Resist NRM Impunity, Nagenda To Ugandans
Sr. Presidential Advisor John Nagenda has decried high corruption tendencies in Museveni-led Uganda adding that the situation will only worsen unless Ugandans overcome fearfulness and actively speak out
rejecting the vice.
rejecting the vice.
“There is a lot of corruption in Uganda to the extent that I’m embarrassed as a member of the NRM which has been in government for the last 30 years but it’s something we can defeat. I urge you as young people not to fear us your leaders.
He was a key note speaker on Friday at Bugolobi Village Mall-based Book Point where big name South African journalist Mzilikazi Wa Africa’s book was launched for the Ugandan market. The book, which profiles the biggest corruption scandals in South Africa and other countries in the SADC region, is titled “Nothing Left to Steal.”
Flanked by Mzilikazi, the author of the controversial book, Nagenda said the South African situation
written about in the book is relevant and very applicable to what has been happening in Uganda.
written about in the book is relevant and very applicable to what has been happening in Uganda.
“The South African corruption is scandalous and betrayal to Nelson Mandela, the founding father of modern South Africa,” said Mzee Nagenda who so far remains the most outspoken NRM guru against
Your govt impunity is amazing – Bidandi
· April 22, 2016
· Written by Observer Media Ltd
In this letter, the former minister urges Museveni to erase the impression that he is determined to remain president whatever the damage to the country.
Dear Mr President,
Once again, I am addressing Your Excellency on matters that concern our country, on behalf of the People’s Progressive Party. On behalf of the people of Uganda, the People’s Progressive Party is deeply concerned with the manner and your method of leadership, in the office of President, which is destroying our country and Uganda as a nation.
To begin with, your government continues to contemptuously disregard the rule of law and the provisions of our national constitution, in particular, article 99(3).
You have also broken the promise you made to the people of Uganda, under article 98(3) and article 128(3) of the Constitution that you would uphold, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and observe the laws of Uganda. You have made the office of president to be the custodian and fountain of the law and only Your Excellency holds the key.
The constitutional office you hold is responsible for building state institutions; the pillars of democracy and good governance. Mr President, you have instead taken deliberate steps to destroy the institutions by either taking over their constitutional roles or simply undermining them and consequently rendering them impotent. We have chosen to comment on five examples to prove our point.
Mr President, you are aware the legislature is an important arm of the state. It is one of the most vital institutions and pillars in a democracy. Mr President, in your policy of “winning” over the co-operation of parliament, either by using monetary means or sheer dangling of promises of appointment, most members of our parliament have been compromised.
You recall the circumstance, under which the infamous five million shillings plus tax refunds and the so-called Constituency Development Funds, were given to MPs of the seventh (last) Parliament. Two months later, they passed the constitutional amendments that allowed you to stand for president for a third term.
There have been reports in the media of yet another scheme for Parliament to amend the Constitution once again and extend the presidential term of office from five to 10 years so that come 2011, you automatically continue in office for another five years, hence the carrot, in form of an expensive motor vehicle scheme, being suggested by Your Excellency for the present MPs.
Mr President, there is no longer objective debate in our Parliament to-day on important legislation because the NRM MPs, who are the majority in Parliament, have to follow and vote for whatever the NRM caucus has resolved on. And Your Excellency knows very well that in the caucus, an NRM MP is not supposed to oppose the NRM cabinet position.
I do not need to remind Your Excellency that Cabinet is truly subordinated to you and in many instances it endorses the president’s position which is then forwarded to the caucus. Mr President, this type of “cooperation” between the legislature and the executive in Uganda, is not healthy for democracy and good governance and if continued, will ultimately destroy Parliament.
Mr President, the people of Uganda, through the Constituent Assembly, distributed powers and functions and provided for the checks and balances necessary for good governance. The Judiciary is the custodian of the rule of law and the Constitution. Any law-abiding citizen of Uganda appreciates this arrangement.
Mr President, the impunity with which your government continues to disregard the rule of law in Uganda is amazing. You recall the famous siege of the High court on November 16, 2005 by some elements in the military, which you did not condemn.
Besides your occasional outburst against the courts and Judges, how could your government defy a decision of the High Court of Uganda or indeed the recent Constitutional court ruling of January 12, 2007? Under what constitution are you governing this country? We do not need to remind Your Excellency about the provisions in our National Constitution under articles 3 (1) and 99(3) in defence of our Constitution.
Mr President, the people of Uganda, were guaranteed freedom to assemble and to demonstrate peacefully and unarmed under article 29 (1) (d) of the Constitution of Uganda.
How do you feel, when on your TV screen, you watch the frequent running battles between opposition party members and police when the people are merely expressing their dismay about the government’s contemptuous disregard of court rulings? Under what laws did the police, for example, stop a Democratic Party victory celebration function at Mukono town? Which laws, Mr President, are Ugandans expected to follow?
THE POLICE FORCE
Mr President, your government is gradually destroying the professional role of the police by deliberately twinning it with the military and turning the police into an instrument of coercion against the population. The constitutional functions of the police included maintaining law and order, protection of life and property, detection and prevention of crime.
Besides appointing military officers to adorn police uniform, in the office of inspector general of police, long-serving professional officers are being subjected to military training at Kyankwanzi. No wonder one reads about a number of them opting out of service on early retirement. Mr President, given that background, the people of Uganda hold your government responsible for the shoddy performance of the police force in a number of instances.
Mr President, you are aware Cabinet is a vital institution exercising specific constitutional powers and responsibilities both collectively and individually. You have rendered the Cabinet irrelevant and your ministers impotent including institutional organs of the various ministries. Most activities of government currently are implementation of directives by the president or President’s Office.
Mr President, your chosen style of leadership of running the country disregarding the formal structures of government, explains the costly mistakes you are making. The people of Uganda continue to watch the unfolding tragedy in total disbelief.
THE LOCAL GOVERNMENTS
Mr President, posterity will condemn you for infanticide with regard to Local Governments. You have strangled decentralization, your own baby. You recall we created these institutions to encourage and empower citizens to participate in their own governance by providing services to the population. You have engineered the withdrawal of their powers and responsibilities and erased sources of their financial independence.
Local Government Councils are now hapless organs in our society expected to glorify the president and government while waiting for their allowances, which in many cases is a dream of the past. It is amazing; Your Excellency, that today an RDC can nullify a legal decision of a Local Government Council. Mr President, you are aware that under the Local Governments Act, not even the president has the power to do that.
You Excellency, the istances of your government’s self-destruction and destructions of institutions of democratic governance are endless. I have not mentioned the destruction of the environment for which you are a temporary custodian and trustee for generations to come, the wanton allocation of land under the veil of investment, nor the blatant grant of public funds to individuals of your own choice under opaque circumstances.
Finally, Your Excellency, we want to remind you that you are holding the office of president in trust for the people of Uganda, to serve them, protect them and keep this country together, not for those who fought in the bush, or a chosen few. Mr President, you are under obligation therefore to erase the growing public perception that you are preoccupied with remaining in power regardless of the continued damage to the nation your quest entails.
You are under obligation, Your Excellency, to appreciate the fact that Uganda will continue to exist long after we have departed and your legacy should be setting the stage for a peaceful handover of power to a successor, chosen by the people of Uganda through a free and fair electoral process. Such a successor may not necessarily be one from your family, your sect or a veteran from the bush war.
TUESDAY OCTOBER 2 2012
‘Tinyefuza is right on impunity’
By RICHARD WANAMBWA
A senior State House official and an opposition figure yesterday agreed with the Coordinator of Security Services’ warning about the impunity which is threatening to tear the country apart.
Presidential Press Secretary Tamale Mirundi said when Gen. David Sejusa, formerly known as Tinyefuza, makes a statement of the sort he released to Daily Monitor over the weekend, it should be taken seriously because he could know much more.
“Gen. Tinyefuza could be saying if things happen the wrong way, don’t say I never told you and many in NRM are worried. What he raised is shared by intelligence but he is saying it in the open and I agree with him,” Mr Mirundi said.
Mr Mirundi said many in the ruling party are anxious about the party losing popularity as indicated in recent by-elections losses. He said there is a question of succession and those that have amassed wealth through corruption that are threatening the power base.
“The succession fear as we have a group that has amassed wealth that they now fear Museveni because of his stance on tackling corruption, the corrupt want internally to overthrow him. So what Sejusa is saying is right that the party can tackle ahead of 2016.”
Gen. Sejusa in his statement warned against arrogance, impunity, creeping lawlessness and insensitive behaviour among some actors who manage state affairs.
Yoweri Museveni's Impunity Will Cause Catastophy
31 January 2007
1. After 21 years of political, constitutional, military and economic manipulation, the NRM leaders and the emerging life president of Uganda, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni have manoeuvred themselves into a very dangerous position of impunity in Uganda, which if not checked will ruin this country and cause havoc to the region.
2. This impunity started in 1979 when Yoweri Museveni as a defence minister in the UNLF administration abused his position by massively recruiting and training his FRONASA force. It is this personal army, and not those so-called 27 men, that wrecked havoc in the Luwero triangle and eventually took over government illegally.
3. Once in government Yoweri Museveni has perfected his personal stronghold over the recruitment, training and deployment of the NRA/UPDF. He is the Commander- in- chief of the army and controls all procurement by the army which position he invariably abuses.
4. With impunity and an iron hand, Yoweri Museveni has militarily deployed the NRA/UPDF in expensive military misadventures in Rwanda , Burundi, Republic of Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia , Eritrea and now Somalia . In all these adventures thousands of Ugandan soldiers have been killed and used to kill, maim and loot.
5. The most recent adventure is the UPDF's deployment in Somalia. Long before Ethiopian authorities admitted entering into Somalia , Museveni had sent men and arms to fight alongside the Ethiopian forces in Somalia against the Islamic Courts Union. This deployment was done when UN military embargo was in force and when there was no request by the United Nations or African Union for peace keeping forces. The UPDF trained and entered Somalia over six months ago in an act of partisan impunity by Yoweri Museveni. UPC calls upon the Parliament of Uganda, the African Union and United Nations not to be hoodwinked to embrace this impunity by legitimising Museveni's military adventure in Somalia.
6. Museveni's impunity has not been restricted to the personalised handling of Uganda army. It has embraced every facet of national life. On politics and democracy, he has ensured that even after the legal opening up of political space, opposition parties are not allowed to function freely.
7. The police and UPDF disguised as police have been deployed by Yoweri Museveni, to forcefully break up opposition demonstrations, rallies and assemblies. In blatant breach of the Constitution and the Police Act, the Police has arrogated to itself the responsibility of giving permission to the opposition political parties when, where and how to assemble, even though the Constitution is very clear that fundamental human rights and freedoms which include the right to associate, assemble and demonstrate are inherent and not granted by the state.
8. In this forceful impunity, Yoweri Museveni has ensured that no meaningful political contest takes place. It is now routine for police to beat up peaceful citizens and to fire tear gas into their midst, vehicles and premises.
9. The worst case of impunity by Yoweri Museveni has been his blatant acts to break the back of the Judiciary as an institution. He has systematically starved it of human and financial resources and is in an advanced stage of abolishing the constitutionally provided security of tenure of judges. The latest attempt has been the purported, forceful and premature retirement of Hon. Justice Okumu Wengi when his complaint against the Judicial Service Commission is pending judgement in the High Court.
10. To ensure that the judiciary is stripped of its Constitutional role, Yoweri Museveni has, in breach of the Constitution, refused to recognise and enforce the High Court decision to grant bail to the eleven PRA suspects. This, in effect, is an act of overthrowing the 1995 Constitution of Uganda and all Ugandans are constitutionally called upon to protect the Constitution.
11. The attack on the institution of the Judiciary which is the final arbiter on fundamental human rights and freedoms now exposes the country to a total breakdown of the rule of law and risks of rebellion. As early as 1948 the authors of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in the preamble, recognised that "it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by rule of law."
12. The NRM government has for two decades manipulated politics with impunity under the monolithic one Party dictatorship. UPC had hoped that under the new multiparty political dispensation, it would realise the realities of multiparty democracy. The NRM has refused to abandon impunity in the management of public affairs; it continues to detain the PRA suspects in flagrant breach of court orders; it continues to intimidate the opposition and brutally interfere with their rallies and meetings using violence by the Police and other security agents.
13. In view of the circumstances prevailing in the country, the UPC has decided to suspend its participation in the Inter Party Committee with immediate effect until there are real actions to stop harassment of the opposition, restoration of the rule of law and transparency in the running of the country.
Mama Miria Kalule Obote
President, Uganda People’s Congress
Time for Ugandans to Act to End Impunity by Our Leaders
Religious Leaders, the Women’s Movement, the youth and several other formations have all made submissions to the relevant Committee in Parliament, all in the hope that Parliament would enact comprehensive proposals to guarantee free and fair elections in 2016 and beyond. All the above were done in good time and yet Parliament and the government chose the path of ignoring all these efforts and not listening to voices of citizens and even proposals from within 2 government! The Committee tasked with the responsibility of considering these important reforms had the time to move around the country listening to citizen views, they had time to go to other countries ostensibly to benchmark, drawing huge per diems and costing the tax payers billions and yet they come back and say there is not time to consider comprehensive reforms! All this at a time when Parliament has the time to consider, debate and pass decisions to increase the number of constituencies and set the stage for a huge Legislature that will come at enormous cost to service delivery is not just a betrayal of the trust Ugandans have put in Parliament, but clearly a sign that there is no will in the 9th Parliament and the Executive to listen to important voices for electoral reforms. The issue is not about time; rather it is about choice of priorities by our leaders. Citizens are again being taken for a ride as it was in 2010 when the Government said there was no time, and committed to ensure that the reforms would be the first agenda of Government during the first two years after the 2011 elections. The Way Forward With the government acting with impunity and in total disregard of citizen voices, once again the country is on course to miss an opportunity to build consensus and pull in one direction to deliver free and fair elections. This is likely to increase disillusionment by citizens who will likely turn away from electoral processes to the detriment of the broader democratization agenda. There is no way the elections can be free and fair without comprehensive electoral reforms as proposed by citizens and the unfortunate scenes that have defined our previous elections are likely to be seen again. It is clear, that with the re-emergence of stick-wielding militias like Kalangala Action Plan, the numerous vigilante groups and partisan security establishment and yet a determined citizens seeking reforms for free and fair elections, connected to a quest for greater dignity and opportunity for all. As civil society, it is now clear that Parliament and our leaders will not listen to citizens for as long as we remain doing the same things and expecting different results. It is no guarantee that all our analysis and submissions will lead to the changes we desire. It is therefore critical that we harness the power in us to exert more pressure for the government and our leaders not to take us for granted. We would like to inform the general public as follows: a) We insist, that without comprehensive electoral reforms, as contained in the Citizens Compact on Free and Fair Elections, among others, there can never be free and fair elections. As civil society, we shall be meeting on Friday this week after which we shall announce our collective decision regarding our involvement in the forthcoming general elections in 2016. b) We will continue to focus on citizen mobilization and pressure to ensure reforms are instituted before any elections take place. We do not see the need to put energy in an electoral process that will simply lead to a fraudulent outcome. c) Considering the consistent disregard by Parliament and the Executive of the views of citizens on Electoral Reforms, we shall explore the option of taking Parliament to Court for ignoring citizen views and further consider the option of an injunction to any election until comprehensive reforms are enacted to guarantee free and fair elections. d) Our Constitution confers all power in the hands of the people but as indicated above, even when citizens play their part, leaders in Government and in Parliament simply ignore. We call upon all Ugandans to pursue all civil means to ensure comprehensive reforms are implemented and reconsider their support to a process that can only lead to a fraud.· Most recently, under the leadership of the Uganda National NGO Forum, national citizens consultations on Free and Fair Elections took place across the country in Karamoja, Acholi, Lango, West Nile, Bunyoro, Toro, Busoga, Bukedi, Sebei, Bugisu, Buganda, Ankole and Kigezi, culminating in a national event convened in Kampala on November 24-26, 2014 where over 1,300 leaders from all over the country adopted The Citizens Compact on Free and Free and Fair Elections that was presented to the Speaker of Parliament. · Civil Society Organisations through the Citizens Coalition on Electoral Democracy (CCEDU) as early as 2010 came up with critical proposals needed for Elections in Uganda to be free and fair · The Electoral Commission itself has made proposals as early as 2013 and even developed a roadmap and timelines necessary for the Elections to be carried out in a better fashion than in previous years. · Under the Inter Party Organisation for Dialogue (IPOD), over the last three years,Political Parties, including the NRM came up with several comprehensive proposals for Electoral Reforms that led to a relatively detailed document that Cabinet has been considering since last year. ·A Civil Society Statement on the need for Comprehensive Electoral Reforms before the next General Elections August 17th 2015 Introduction Not for the first time, Parliament and the Executive, two important arms of Government have once again joined hands to ignore popular views of Ugandans on critical reforms needed to guarantee Free and Fair Elections. Consistent disregard of citizen views and other actors with a stake in Uganda does not only border on arrogance by our leaders in charge of government and Parliament, but could lead to instability for this country. Notwithstanding the merits in some of the proposals in the recently passed Constitutional Amendments on August 11th 2015 by Parliament, for all intents and purposes, that piece of legislation had absolutely nothing to do with the expected comprehensive reforms that Ugandans, from across the political divide have demanded for the last 10 years. Of all the 11 provisions of the proposed Constitutional Amendments passed by Parliament on Tuesday 11th August 2015, the only one that had a proposal connected to the elections was the introduction of the word ‘Independent’ before the name Electoral Commission. Evidence of Impunity: A Government that doesn’t listen to its people and itself! Over the last 5 years, Ugandans under their various formations have organised and invested enormous energy and resources to come up with comprehensive electoral reforms for government’s consideration. The following efforts have been roundly ignored:
Security operatives commit murder with impunity
Uganda has been ruled by a brutal dictator – Museveni – for 26 years during which thousands of Ugandans have been killed ,tortured by merciless killer squads”untouchable” putting on police, army uniforms and sometime plain clothed security operatives that have powerful god fathers in government. The government has failed to restrain them or bring them to book in order to create a state of fear among civilians .In Uganda a security operative is free to kill any opposition member and ‘s assured he will always walk away scout free.
These are some of the cases of individual killings in the name of the state that have been protected by the state
Jan. 2012: Police officer Santos Komakech Makmot shot at unarmed civilians killing one and injuring three others instead of shooting in the air to disperse the crowd. He is now remanded in Luzira prison but his boss George Agaba who handed him the gun was released on police bond.
April 2011: Gilbert Arinaitwe viciously attacked Besigye in April 2011 temporarily blinding him leading to hospitalization in full glare of cameras. Arinaitwe is a free man and no known punishment has been meted out on him.
April 2011: Peter Bimanywa, the operations commander of the Masaka Reserve Force, was arrested for commanding the soldiers that indiscriminately shot at Walk-to-Work protesters in April 2011 that left 2 year-old baby Julian Nalwanga dead.
April 2011: Paul Mugenyi, a reserve force operative attached to Masaka Reserve Force central barracks was arrested in connection with baby Julian Nalwanga’s death. After the murder police boss Lt. Gen. Kale Kayihura paraded Mugenyi to the residents at the home of Aloysius Walusimbi promising that he would be charged in the court martial and left the bereaved family with Shs 1 million. But Mugenyi and Bimanywa are yet to be court-martialed.
2006: Lt. Ramathan Magara randomly shot at a crowd of Dr Kizza Besigye’s supporters at Bulange Mengo during the 2006 presidential campaigns, killing two people and permanently maiming two others. Lt. Magara, who had evaded a high court trial for three years, was later arrested, prosecuted and sentenced to 14 years in jail in 2009. Magara had been charged with two counts; murder and attempted murder. He was accused of murdering Gideon Makabayi and Vincent Kavuma and attempting to murder Haruna Byamukama. But Justice Wilson Kwesiga reduced the charges to manslaughter. Until then cases of indiscriminate and random public shootings of civilians by security personnel were rare outside the war zone of northern Uganda since President Museveni took power in 1986.
February 4, 2001: A vehicle with government registration plates deliberately drove into a crowd of Col Besigye’s supporters at Namanve, fourteen kilometers outside of Kampala. Three people were killed and eleven injured. The driver of the vehicle walked away scot-free.killing two people and permanently maiming two others. Lt. Magara, who had evaded a high court trial for three years, was later arrested, prosecuted and sentenced to 14 years in jail in 2009. Magara had been charged with two counts; murder and attempted murder. He was accused of murdering Gideon Makabayi and Vincent Kavuma and attempting to murder Haruna Byamukama. But Justice Wilson Kwesiga reduced the charges to manslaughter. Until then cases of indiscriminate and random public shootings of civilians by security personnel were rare outside the war zone of northern Uganda since President Museveni took power in 1986.
Nowa new saga involving KCCA planning Director George Ninsima Agaba a strong NRM supporter, close friend to Museveni in charge of the KCCA demolition squad went to Luzira with any army of enforcement staff wielding claw bars, sticks, and batons and ordered bulldozers to start razing structures that had allegedly been erected without authorization. The condemned structures included roadside kiosks and stalls, and residential houses. Newspaper reports said the demolished buildings housed between 60 and 70 families. KCCA claims they were erected on a road reserve. Area local administration leaders said the evictions were carried out with notice to them, the police, and the victims.
During the eviction, a dismayed crowd pleaded with Agaba to halt the evictions for a few minutes to let them salvage some household property but he refused. “We gave you 28 days eviction notice. We can’t accept anything,” Agaba told the pleading residents Soon gunshots were fired as desperate victims threw themselves at the enforcement officers; soon four people lay on the ground. One was dead, while the other three were seriously wounded. The gun that shot them, an AK47 automatic rifle, was Agaba’s. He picked it from his truck and attempted to fire it when the mayhem erupted. Although the gun jammed when Agaba tried to fire it, his bodyguard, Santos Komakech Makmot, was more successful when he took hold of it.
In 2009 more than 27 people were shot dead by Uganda security operatives as demonstration over the government decision to block the Kabaka of Buganda, Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II, from visiting Kayunga district. Nobody was charged over the killings.