RETURNING UGANDA TO MULTIPARTY DEMOCRATIC - FEDERALISM
I present to the conference at large and in particular, to the people of Uganda living in the Diaspora.
- Everywhere in Africa and elsewhere, citizens of various countries are struggling for and demanding the freedom to participate, upon conscience, in the affairs of their respective countries or are promoting and developing conscious participation.
- In Uganda, the freedom of conscience and other human rights and freedoms of the individual citizens in matters of politics, elections and governance have been imprisoned for now over 17 years.
- Through a combination of laws, force, manipulation, subornation, corruption and political chicanery, the dictatorship, which has been in power since 1986 up-to-date has been entrenched as the only "system of governance" suitable for Uganda now and in the 21st century.
- Whereas the Uganda dictatorship has a political party which is also the political wing of the ruling army, it arrogantly insult the intelligence of the people of the world community with the humbug that by outlawing political parties and suppressing the fundamental human rights and freedoms of the individual citizens it is developing a "no party democracy".
- The most disturbing and painful aspect of the Uganda dictatorship is that for over seventeen years now, government in the developed and democratic countries have wittingly or unwittingly financed and facilitated the entrenchment of the dictatorship in full knowledge of the dictatorship's concomitants of violence and wars, in which a staggering number of Ugandans and non Ugandans have lost their lives or have been rendered destitute besides other concomitants of devastations and corruption.
- In light of the total commitment, vow and determination of the Uganda Peoples Congress the last 17 years, to remain active in the service of the people of Uganda and its campaign and struggle by using peaceful means at home and abroad singly and with other democratic forces for the restoration of democratic governance, the Uganda dictatorship was forced this year to change its long held view that multiparty democracy is bad for Uganda.
- On 19th February, 2003, the Monitor Newspaper published a report that President Yoweri Museveni had changed his long held stand and opted to recommend Uganda to return to multiparty politics.
- The cause of change of mind by Museveni was given in the report as pressure from the donors and investors, and not the need and necessity to let the people of Uganda enjoys their God given rights and freedoms. The strategy of changing to multiparty politics according to him, is to secure markets in Europe and North America and also attract investments into the country
- It was further reported that in the meeting where the President made the revelation, he warned that there would be chaos if multiparty democracy was reintroduced. The NRM Chairman was then quoted to have retorted that there would be no chaos because he was raising a (new) professional army to check the possibility of chaos.
- The said newspaper report has since been confirmed by the President in his address and the resolutions passed by the National Executive Committee and the National Conference of the Movement delegates meeting held at Kyankwanzi early this year to that effect.
- The President's statement unfortunately up to date can only be described as a public utterance in that no practical steps have been initiated by the government to implement the over due and welcome opinion. The practical steps would involve among other things the removal of all obstacles to the enjoyment of fundamental human rights and freedom of the individual to associate. These obstacles have been entrenched in certain articles and clauses of the 1995 constitution. The Movement Act, the Electoral Laws, the Local Government Act, the Political Organisation Act, the Police Stature and the anti Terrorism Act are some of the laws that have to be repealed in order to realise the change to multiparty democracy.
- Attaching, securing and maintaining markets in Europe and North America and the prowess of the new army, in a discussion of the enjoyment and exercise by the citizen of his/her human rights and freedoms under multiparty rule, give a troubling impression that the hyped a change of heart by Museveni on multiparty rule was and is still cunning and sly ploy or dupery to get the governments and investors in Europe and North America to finance the heavily armed and greatly expanded army (UPDF) whose political wing is the Movement. The only transparent way forward is a White Paper on the nature of what Museveni has in mind.
- UPC is of the considered opinion that the NRM Government must provide for what can stand the test of time. The said markets and investments would be lost where what is introduced has neither the contribution, nor acceptance of the people of Uganda. A White Paper is imperative to offer the citizens an opportunity to contribute, and digest issues of their governance. It is important that necessary legislation be effected speedily discarding and replacing various objectionable aspects of malgovernance of the last 17 years.
- To stave off the repeat of Odoki Constitutional Commission debacle where the NRM dictatorship through political chicanery imposed its will on the people of Uganda, and made the Constituent Assembly to endorse, extend and entrench the undemocratic rule in the Constitution; a White Paper that will guide the people and the political parties to debate, digest and contribute ideas should be published immediately. Otherwise no amount of armament will prevent upheavals presently experienced or that may come in Uganda, which situation will inevitably lead to loss of markets, and loss of investments from Europe and North America.
- Before the Constituent Assembly debated the draft Constitution that came into force in 1995, the Uganda Peoples Congress had already tabled federal arrangement of Government to the people of Uganda. When the matter was brought for debate in CA, it was none other than Besweri Mulondo who shot it down. The UPC had done everything possible for a federal arrangement to be reintroduced in Uganda's body politic. Ugandans should be reminded that the Odoki Commission had startling results from its findings throughout the country. 65% of Ugandans and 95% of the Baganda preferred a federal system to a unitary system of government.
On the other hand the Museveni regime had decided before hand to instead decided on the decentralisation policy, which they rout ahead, to implement. In so doing the floated on the federal system was thrown by the way side. The UPC has not changed its position on the matter. We in the UPC believe that a federal system of Government can help nurture democracy in our country.
- The UPC considers it an absurdity for a human being to be asked; "do you want to be free". Back at home the supporters of Yoweri Museveni imposed the concept of referendum on basic rights. We are made to understand that before opening up the political space Ugandans may have to be subjected to another referendum. We in the UPC do not accept this and we will campaign to defeat the scheme.
- On both internal and external wars it is our considered opinion as UPC that dismantling the Museveni dictatorship in Uganda is the
Key and the way forward to stopping the carnage at home and in the East and Central African region. The chronology below of the wars waged externally by the dictatorship should help us focus on this matter more seriously.
- 1986 - Museveni went to war with Kenya.
- In 1988 Museveni was already sponsoring the Southern Sudan war (SPLA) and in response Sudan supported the LRA.
- In 1990, Museveni supported the Rwanda Patriotic Army to invade Rwanda and whose result was a genocide that consumed almost a million people and sent an entire national population into neighbouring countries.
- In 1997 and 1998 Museveni went to war with DRC.
- 1986 - Museveni went to war with Kenya.
Please note all these wars were entered into with the express and personal directive of Museveni without the support of the people of Uganda or their representatives (Parliament).
For God and My Country.
Presidential Policy Commission