By AROMA PATRICK
When Mr. Museveni addressed Ugandans on 29/January/1986 as President, he stated “No one should think that what is happening today is a mere change of guards; it is a fundamental change in the politics of our country”. Thereafter, the NRM Ten Point Program that promised a corruption free society, democracy, rule of law, constitutionalism and equal economic opportunity for all citizens were pronounced.
35years later in power, Uganda is a haven of corruption, dictatorship, lack of economic opportunities for all citizens, breakdown in rule of law and order and our Country has witnessed over ten constitutional coups since 1986 to date. The first one being Legal Notice No. 1 of 1986 introduced by the NRA upon capturing power that effectively overthrew the 1967 Constitution by suspending articles that guarantee rights and freedom of association.
The Legal Notice No. 1 of 1986 was later on codified in 1995 Constitution in the form of Articles 269,270 and 271 that restricted operations of Political Parties and infringed on the freedoms of association, speech, expression etc. The other major constitutional coups has been the removal of term limits and age limits from the 1995 constitution creating a powerful life Presidency.
The Presidential decree pronounced by President Museveni to NRM caucus meeting in 2007 sitting at International Conference Center that PRA suspects would not be released until they apply for amnesty was open coup against the 1995 Constitution, the rule of law and the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty and convicted by a court of law. The President’s decree was contrary to the Court order that granted bail to the PRA suspects.
The re-arrest of Hon. Allan Ssewanyana and Hon. Mohamed Ssegirinya after being granted bail by Courts of laws is a replica of Black Mambas who invaded High Court on 16/December/2005 to arrest PRA suspects whom Justice Edmond Lugayizi had authorized them to apply for bail.
Mr. Museveni has consistently opposed bail applications granted by Courts of laws in Uganda and right now security agencies are following his orders against that of court in total violations of the principles of separation of powers and open abrogation of the constitution.
I suspect, the intention and motives for rearrests is to force the legislators to confess to crimes they never committed and beg for forgiveness by applying for amnesty. Mr. Museveni government is interested in using such forceful extracted confessions to nail the NUP Leaders, lock all of them in jail without right to bail applications and declare NUP as a terrorist organization, disband the organization and banned them from Ugandan politics.
I am not a NUP member but a Ugandan who is a political victim of NRM Mafia politics evidenced in my persecutions, suppressions, broken right leg, murdered fiancée and daughter, total life destruction of my person etc.
The determination to scrap bail from the constitution was seen from President Museveni decree pronounced at the 4th Annual Memorial Lecture of The former Chief Justice Benedicto Kiwanuka yesterday at Judiciary headquarters where he stated that “granting bail is a provocation which will not be accepted” . Mr. Museveni still believes in the bush war Justice System.
The pronouncement was contrary to the Chief Justice Owiny Dollo’s instructions to “Judicial Officers to remember the oath they took to dispense Justice without Fear or favour since bail is a constitutional right” This usurpation of power of the other organs of the state by Mr. Museveni and NRM is dangerous.
I now fear of what happened to Benedicto Kiwanuka and Janan Luwum during Idi Amin era, may happen again. Many Judicial Officers are bound to follow Dr. Stella Nyanzi and former Minister of Gender, Labor and Social Development Zoe Bakoko into exile since they can nolonger exercise their judicial discretions.
Judgements are vetted from State House , Judicial Officers must consult the unconstitutional Rwakitura Court headed by President MUSEVENI before dispensing Justice . VERY VERY ABSURD.6. Conclusively, 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 many risks.
Article 126 of the 1995 constitution provides that, judicial power is derived from the people and shall be exercised by Courts in fulfillment of the people’s aspirations and Article 129 (1)(d) states that Judicial power shall be exercised by the Courts of Judicature which shall consists of:-b.The Supreme Court of UgandaC.
The Court of Appeal of UgandaD. The High Court of UgandaE. Such Subordinate Courts as Parliament may by law established7. President Museveni is not named as one of the Courts of Judicature. Where does he derive his judicial powers from? And on what premise is he exercising judicial powers? Is this the promised fundamental change? Stripping the Judiciary of its constitutional role is this what NRM fought for??
Is this the meaning of STEADY PROGRESS? Hakuna Mchezo? Middle Income Country? Securing your future ?The NRM Ten Point Program promise of a better democratic future where Ugandans enjoy freedoms, rule of law and constitutionalism.
GHOST PROMISES ONLY.
Uganda is heading towards the current Tunisia scenario where The President suspended the Constitution and dissolved all organs of the state and usurped all powers of government to himself.
For God and My Country
Human Rights Activist, Political Analyst and Chief Hustler