The EC in Uganda is promising to declare a military coup in Uganda as the National General Elections get near:

Dr Badru Kiggundu

the EC.

 

By PAUL TAJUBA


Posted  Thursday, December 17   2015 


The Electoral Commission (EC) Chairman, Dr Badru Kiggundu has said he will, on request by the government, authorise the deployment of the military to counter presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye’s defiance campaign.

“If the military is called to come in, I will approve. Yes, the military is part of Uganda; they are your brothers…” Dr Kiggundu said on Thursday.

Shortly after nomination for his fourth presidential bid, Dr Besigye declared “a campaign of defiance and not compliance” that will enable citizens “take back their power” from a dictatorship.

On Monday, FDC Wasswa Birigwa at the party headquarters in Najjanakubi, a Kampala suburb said: “Our campaign is standing on four legs; defiance, liberation, restructuring of state institutions and social-economic transformation... In particular what we mean by defiance is we shall not accept to adhere to any directive that is unlawful or any law that deviates from the universal human rights,”

But Dr Kiggundu said yesterday at the Uganda Human Rights Commission public dialogue held in Kampala aimed at facilitating a peaceful and violence-free electoral process, that such messages are inciting violence and only preparing the masses for violence if Dr Besigye loses.

Dr Kiggundu further attacked Dr Besigye describing “him as bad example to his youthful followers” and urged his supporters to first ask him [Besigye] why they should be on the frontline yet his family is “enjoying burgers” in foreign countries.

“If I were a young person, I would ask [Dr Besigye] where your son is in this campaign. In most times, they are in New York, London and elsewhere enjoying cheese burgers…” Dr Kiggundu said.

Dr Besigye could not be reached for a comment as his known telephone was unavailable but Forum for Democratic Change spokesperson, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, said in reaction to the comments: “Should [Dr] Kiggundu participate in rigging or allow the NRM to rig or announce a loser [as winner] our response is there with or without the military,” Mr Nganda, told the Daily Monitor by telephone yesterday.

Adding, “Did Museveni go with his family to the bush? For him to think that a revolution must happen when Anselm Besigye [Besigye’s son] is here… I do not understand why he [Dr Kiggundu] went to school,”

In an interview at the sidelines of the dialogue, Chief Political Commissar of the Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF) Col Felix Kulaigye, said the military will “support the Uganda Police Force when it is required” during the electoral process.

“Failure to protect and sustain peace in this country will be our [UPDF] failure and if people are announcing defiance, can we seat in our comfort barracks and watch?” Col Kulayigye asked.

Human rights lawyer, Nicolas Opiyo said by the EC boss calling in the intervention of the military, it is an indication that either the elections will not be free and fair or there will be violence thereafter.

“Mr Kiggundu seems to have no confidence in police and expects violence. He should instead make the election free and fair to avoid violence,” Mr Opiyo said, adding that attacks on candidates’ families are despicable.

Deputy attorney general, Mwesigwa Rukutana at the same event warned the media from inciting the public and urged all stakeholders to make the elections free, fair and peaceful.

ptajuba@

ug.nationmedia.

com


Ekibiina kyobufuzi ekya Kabaka Yekka, UPC y’ Obote Ekiwera:

Obote yekyusiza abaamutuusa!

 

 

Mu mwaka 1965, Omubaka we kibiina kya KY Daudi Ocheng, yayisa ekiteeso kunsonga yokukusa zaabu we Congo namasanga g’enjovu, okubitunda munsi zebweru.


Dr Obote, nga Prime Minister, ne Minister Nekyon muganda wa Obote ne Onama Minister wa Defence bebatekebwa ko olunnwe nga bwebenyigira mulukwe luno.

Era Ocheng yaleeta ekiteeso ekirala, Colonel Amin okugira ng’awummuzibwako weeks bbiri nga Gavumenti bw’ebuuliriza.


Gwo omukago gwebyobufuzi wakati we kibiina kyo bufuzi ekya KY ne kibiina kyo bufuzi ekya UPC gwafiira ddala mu September 1964. Era 1965 gugenda okutuuka nga bangi ababaka ba UPC mu National Assembly (Parliament) bateesa kulaba nga bawera ekibiina kya Kabaka Yekka. Baakiyita kya bakyewaggula abatagoberera mateeka era abaagala okutabulatabula eddembe mu Uganda.

Abantu bangi baali bakwatiddwa era nga bali mu nkomyo na ddala e Luzira.

Obote yatekawo akakiiko kabulirize ku bya zaabu n’amasanga era abantu bangi ko baawa obujulirwa mu kakiiko ako, ebyama bingi ku kufuna n’okutunda zaabu n’amasanga ne bibikkulwa.

Naye report y’akakiiko bwe yaggwa Obote teyagifulumya! Parliement ye, Cabinet ye nabawagizi bangi aba UPC nebamuggyamu obwesige.


Yali asigazza kwesiga b’amagye bokka. Okuyimiriza Col. Amin yakigaana nakuza Amin mukifo kya Brigadier Opoloto. Mukuteesa kwa Cabinet okwaddako Obote yagenda kukwatta ba Minister be batano nabasibira e Luzira Criminal Prison.


FRIDAY, 16 JANUARY 2015

Attorney General Peter Nyombi has scoffed at the Uganda Law Society, after the body threatened to boycott today's ceremonies to open the law year.


In a letter on Wednesday, ULS President Ruth Sebatindira urged lawyers to boycott the function in protest at President Museveni's failure to appoint a chief justice and deputy chief justice. But a defiant Nyombi told us on Wednesday that the function would go ahead with or without lawyers.


"Those who want to come will come; those who want to stay away, let them stay away but we shall go ahead with the function," Nyombi said.


Justice Steven Kavuma, who is acting both as chief justice and deputy chief justice, will preside at the ceremony at the High court in Kampala. The new law year is an annual meeting at which the judiciary states what it achieved the previous year and its targets in the new year. In the letter, Sebatindira decried the lack of substantive leadership in the judiciary.


"[It is my belief that we have to adopt a different approach as to how we support the judiciary on this matter."


At meeting in April 2014, Museveni told ULS that the positions would be filled once the constitutional petition challenging the reappointment of Benjamin Odoki as chief justice upon retirement was determined. Four months after that petition was disposed of, the president is yet to act.


Asked about the lack of a substantive chief justice, Nyombi said: "There is already an acting chief justice [Kavuma] who can perform all the functions."


However, Sebatindira says that the judiciary is being run ìunder scandalousî circumstances.


"We can no longer walk with our heads high to assure the citizenry that all is well in the judiciary because, all is not well," she said.


Nicholas Opiyo, a former ULS secretary general, told The Observer that like last year, he would not attend the function to be presided over by Kavuma.


"I respect Justice Kavuma as a judge but I cannot call him the deputy chief justice or the chief justice because it is illegal as the Constitutional court ruled," he said.


Kavuma told The Observer he was too busy to comment on Sebatindira's letter.


dkiyonga@

gmail.com


 The British Judge Allen


P J Allen and his judiciary at the time demonstrate the high quality of the judiciary at the time.
Judge Allen and Judge Manyindo presided over  the trials of most of the Amin era criminals. A majority of these criminals hired the best lawyers available in Uganda at the time, which invariably was Ayigihugu. Some like Abdallah Nasur were convicted but a good number were acquitted because of lack of direct evidence. Others like Edward Mulindwa even managed to lie low for a while before escaping to foreign lands.



 I hope your mate WBK does not judge those of us who participated in prosecuting these Amin era criminals as failures, in the same manner that he has judged the ICC prosecutors. Prosecutors are supposed to present the facts before the courts that can convince a court that an accused is quilty. In this, it has to work very closely with the Investigatory authorities, namely the police and law enforcement. In the case of the Amin criminals, the police did not give us enough information from their investigations that would allow a conviction to be  upheld.
It was particulalrly disappointing in the case of Bob Astles in whose case, the judge found he was always around the major killings we charged him with, especially the murders of Archbishop Luwum and Minister's Erinayo Oryema and Oboth-Ofumbi, but we could not connect him directly to the killings. With advance in DNA science these days and coupled with Edward Mulindwa's recent confessions about complicity in the murders, I think a good prosecutor would today nail Edward Mulindwa without doubt. What WBK does not understand, from your debates which I have followed,  is that the ICC prosecutors can only be good as the investigations put before it. The Satatute of the ICC puts a duty on Satte Authorities to cooperate with the ICC in investigating cases referred to it. if a state refuses, objects or even thwarts the invesigations, the direct result is that the Presecutors will not have serficient evidence to obtain a conviction. So Mensouda and her team have so far failed in their prosecution of Jomo Kenyatta, but this is because of the failure of GoK to cooperate in investigations. It is not because Mensouda and her team are bad lawyers as WBK keeps asserting. In fact the evidnce that they had gathered against Jomo Kenyatta was so compelling that any prosecutor would make a decision to prosecute. But faced with alkmost all key or material witnesses withdrawing or disappeared or intimidated, Mensouda had no choice but to withdraw the case.


The first important hurdle, that is the establishment of the International Criminal Court, has now been successfully overcome. States party to the Rome Treaty now have to decide ways and means by which they can strengthen the ICC's Investigatory capacity and authority, especially in cases where a suspect or accused  holds or is close to power. The UN Security Council has to give the Prosecutor extra-ordinary powers to investigatewith or without the cooperation of the State concerned. Th UN must also strengthen its Witness protection programme. Lastly, the Security Council must reserve to itself power to punish leaders, like Jomo Kenyatta and Omar Bashir who refuse to cooperate with the ICC investigations. This may mean imposing travel bans, arrest warrants and other other economic sanctions against them so that they the continue to swagger around like Jomo Kenyatta whn in fact they should be locked up in prison as dangerous criminals. 
Written by 
George Okello
 
Reviews by experts and politicians of the country’s eight-year experiment with multiparty politics have found cracks. Loud voices advocating a return to the no-party Movement system, are beginning to emerge.

Some political players claim the wrangling within the ruling NRM in the aftermath of the sacking of former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi is not good for the growth of multiparty democracy.

“NRM belongs to people who are faceless; until you step on their toes,  that’s when you will get to know who are the real owners of that party,” opposition Chief Whip Cecilia Ogwal (Dokolo Woman) said in a recent interview.

NRM has been accused of using its Parliamentary caucus to gag its members and subsequently killing free debate and parliamentary independence.

Kyankwazi retreat

During its 2013 retreat at Kyankwanzi, NRM MPs adopted a set of rules of procedure, criticized by political commentators as intended to gag the NRM MPs. The development followed a sharp disagreement between Parliament and Museveni over the mysterious death of former Butaleja MP Cerinah Nebanda in 2012.

“There have been initiatives by the opposition to keep the government in check but they could not go far because the NRM caucus sees them [initiatives] as adversarial manoeuvres,” said Hippo Twebaze, a political and policy analyst.

“If you take the Nebanda case and the oil debate in the first one and half years of the [current] Parliament, you would see some sort of legislative independence, but it has since gone down,” Twebaze adds.

In its rules of procedure, the NRM caucus adopted a three-line whipping system, which gives a strict instruction to members to attend parliament and vote in a particular way. Any MP who acts in breach of the rules is liable to punitive action, including expulsion from the party.

Four MPs; Theodore Ssekikubo (Lwemiyaga), Wilfred Niwagaba (Ndorwa East), Muhammad Nsereko (Kampala Central) and Barnabas Tinkasiimire (Buyaga West) were the first offenders.

“Some political party leaders want to control the thinking and the speaking of their members; this is worse with the ruling party,” said Niwagaba in an interview.

Although the quartet still hold their parliamentary seats, their expulsion scared many of their outspoken colleagues on the government side into shutting up.

“It is wrong for one to imagine that under a multi-party system, one shouldn’t hold their independent views,” Ssekikubo said.

“I don’t think that multipartyism is synonymous with gagging; under whatever political system in place, as long as I am an MP and not a member of the executive, I should be at liberty to voice the concerns of my people,” Ssekikubo added.

Parliament Speaker Rebecca Kadaga used the 25th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association seminar in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in May 2014, to vent her frustration at the ruling NRM government’s mode of operation. During the meeting, Kadaga claimed that debate in Parliament had been stifled because NRM MPs cannot freely speak without receiving instructions from the caucus.

Kadaga is NRM’s second national vice chairperson, and also a member of the ruling central executive committee, CEC, the second topmost decision- making organ of NRM. The caucus’ vice chairman David Bahati (Ndorwa West) said in an interview that despite the challenge of balancing NRM interests and individual interests of its members, the caucus encourages free speech.

“There is a lot of freedom for MPs to speak as long as what they say is in the interest of the country and in line with the party they represent,” Bahati said.

“They [MPs] can speak their mind constructively during the caucus meetings and rally their colleagues to support their positions which can eventually become the position of the party,” he added.

No-party

In a dissertation, Parliamentary Independence in Uganda and Kenya, 1962 – 2008, written for the State University of New York for his PhD in Political Science, John K. Johnson, notes that the absence of political parties in Uganda facilitated parliamentary independence during the sixth Parliament (1996 – 2001).

The independence was attributed to the absence of a government and opposition side in Parliament, which made it easier for MPs to support a position favourable to Parliament against the executive. According to Twebaze, the high degree of independence exhibited in the sixth Parliament was an eye-opener for President Museveni to start interfering with Parliament’s autonomy.

“The president’s interference shaped the performance of the next parliaments, some MPs were de-campaigned [in the 2001 elections] and in effect, the seventh Parliament did not confront the [executive],” said Twebaze.

“In its first year, the seventh Parliament tried but then conceded to the president on major issues like the removal of term limits from the Constitution,” Twebaze added.

With the restoration of multiparty politics in 2006 that saw the NRM winning more than a two-thirds majority both in the eighth and ninth Parliaments, Museveni’s influence over Parliament grew, resulting in a decline of its independence.

“The current government is president-driven, Parliament cannot act normally because Museveni is using the NRM caucus to entrench his interests, he has a lot of control over every activity of Parliament,” said Cecilia Ogwal.

Movement hangover

Joseph Balikuddembe Mutebi (Busiro South) relishes the days of the Movement system era when all MPs would freely contribute to debate in the House.

“Virtually, Parliament has lost its independence because caucusing has become the norm unlike the core function of Parliament elaborated in Article 79 of the Constitution,” Mutebi argued.

In their book, The Rise and Ebb of Uganda’s Parliament, Twebaze and Nelson Kasfir note that the absence of parties was an important factor in the success of Parliament. But the pace of legislative development “ebbed” once the country formally legalized multiparty politics and the boundaries between government and opposition were more firmly drawn.

An NRM MP who has been a lawmaker from the sixth Parliament, blames the loss of parliamentary independence on the MPs’ choice of patronage over their roles.

“It is forestalling the cardinal principle of Parliament, acting as a check and balance especially on the executive arm of government,” Niwagaba said.

“There is a tendency of those in leadership to fuse the executive with parliament and in a way whittle down the cardinal roles of MPs,” Niwagaba added.

But Stephen Tashobya, the chairperson of the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee, said much as the country embraced multiparty democracy, some MPs are still nursing a Movement hangover.

“Some want to talk on their individual merit, what you think is what you say, things have changed and this was a choice of Ugandans [that we adopt multi-party democracy], you can’t eat your cake and have it,” Tashobya said.

One-party system

Tashobya relates the workings of the NRM to Britain’s Conservative party that he says whips its members in more or less the same way as NRM does.

“You can’t run away from the party, because we are elected on the basis of party positions and platform; so, when we come to Parliament, we are supposed to actualize, to implement what the government promised the people,” Tashobya argued.


To enforce discipline among their members, other political parties also have an option of expulsion. UPC took the lead at the opening of the political space in 2005 when it expelled seven MPs: Ogwal, Omara Atubo (Otuke), Dr Okullo Epak (Oyam South), Dr Alex Okot (Moroto), Charles Angiro Gutomoi (Erute North), Tom Odur Anang (Kwania) and B’Leo Ojok (Kioga) who were opposed to the leadership of new president, Miria Kalule Obote.

FDC in 2010 expelled two of its MPs; Beti Kamya (Lubaga North) and Alex Onzima (Maracha). Kamya was punished for forming a rival political party (Uganda Federal Alliance) while Onzima’s charge was hobnobbing with NRM. Ogwal, now an FDC MP, argues that despite the expulsions, her party MPs are free to speak their mind.

Article 8(d) of the DP constitution also lists expulsion as a punitive measure against its members but like other opposition parties, DP is not keen on doggedly controlling what its members speak. DP Legal Advisor Fred Mukasa Mbidde said DP is keener on shielding its members from the long arm of NRM influence.

“[NRM] has silenced all the other [parties]…,” Mbidde said.

“Multiparty democracy has not been given a chance to operate in Uganda, what exists is a single party; a dictablanda or democradura [dictatorship] but not a democracy,” Mbidde argued.

Beside party controls, Twebaze argued, Parliament’s performance is also undermined by the financial status of the MPs as well as the quality of people elected to Parliament.

“The quality and experience of the MPs needs to be considered. Look at where they jumped from to join Parliament, it makes it hard for them to build coalitions to oppose, modify or give an alternative to government proposals,” Twebaze says.


sadabkk@

observer.ug

This article was produced with support from the African Centre for Media Excellence (ACME)


 
UPC founder Milton Obote

The term movement legacy was first coined by professor emeritus, Goran Hyden in 2011, and by it I mean a pattern of political behavior that characterized anti-colonial nationalist movements in their struggles for independence.

Half a century since most countries gained independence, this form of behavior continues to shape ruling- and opposition party politics in Africa and Uganda, while frustrating the prospects for deepening democracy.


CAUSE-EFFECT

Nationalist movements in Uganda were spearheaded by three main sections: World War II veterans, a small not so well-educated elite class of clerical workers, and leaders of a nascent civil society.  These groups were united by a single but multi-faceted cause, namely to vanquish the colonial masters and take charge of the state apparatus.

Other than this mission, these groups remained committed to their particular identities. The issues were varied and subordinate to the cause. The anti-colonial movements adopted a simple but important strategy of popular mobilization for the cause. It was rare and in most cases illegal to campaign.

Most notably the movement against the British took place at the level of society because there were no representative bodies such as parliaments or legislative councils until much later in the struggle.  Membership to these movements was rather diffuse and fluid, but because there was a single movement, this was not detrimental to its dynamic and operation.

Typically anti-colonial movements reified the person of the leader, and were not built on competition. The latter was not necessary because of the consensus that was built around the anti-colonial struggle and the proclivity to lean toward personalities rather than structure and organization.  Finally, social movements seldom value or subject themselves to formal (legal) limits to resource claims.

Political parties (DP, UPC, etc) that emerged out of these movements and are yet to shed their movement skins or disavow movement political behavior.  First, a cursory look at post-independence Ugandan politics demonstrates how parties are driven by “a cause” rather than a systematic articulation of specific issues.

Among Uganda’s opposition parties today the cause is ‘remove Museveni’ or ‘reform the Electoral Commission’ or ‘de-couple the state from the NRM-O’. Rarely does a discourse on issues take precedence over the cause de jour.

This is partly a consequence of the absence of ideological orientation among the parties; and without ideology, it’s hard to project a coherent, well-reasoned set of issues that would drive a campaign and thus enable ascendancy into government.  But lack of ideology also raises another key issue inherited from the pre-colonial movements, namely the lack of specific party identity.

Affiliation to the parties is diffuse just as was the case with pre-colonial social movements. In Uganda’s early history, this characteristic was the underpinning to the frequent crossing of the floor of parliament by MPs.

Today, the phenomenon of so-called Independents in parliament is the closest to crossing the floor, given that the process of abandoning one’s party in midway through the terms is outside the law. Not unlike the opposition parties, the ruling NRM party seldom articulates issues in a systematic manner except in the run-up to elections, when roads or business parks are commissioned, banks rebranded, job centers set up, etc.

The cause for the movement party in this case has changed over time but lately it has become an entrenchment project; and the intensity of party loyalty and identity with the NRM is also subject to debate.


NO COMPETITION

Second, parties, both incumbent and in the opposition, typically mobilize, rather than campaign. It’s, indeed, hard to campaign effectively if issues are not the main elements undergirding the methods of political operation.

Related to this point is that mobilization, by definition, circumscribes competition, which explains why it is a dying breed in Uganda.  In their mobilization schemes, Africa’s political organizations, most notably incumbent parties aim at co-opting and/or marginalizing political contestants while eschewing competition.

President Museveni often disparages opposition parties and chides voters who don’t elect NRM flag bearers as having made mistakes. For him, the weaker the opposition the better; or better still he wishes they didn’t exist at all. Clearly the president places very little value in opposition parties as building blocks of a healthy, vibrant and deepening democracy.

The result is the emergence of a dominant (even hegemonic) movement party system in Uganda, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Eritrea, Rwanda, etc.

Thirdly, Ugandan parties are extremely personalistic. Their organizations and structures are weak not unlike their social movement forebears. As a result, when Col Kizza Besigye stepped aside, the FDC suffered a heart attack with the left ventricle (or Mafabi wing) disconnecting from the right ventricle (or Mugisha Muntu/Alaso faction).

The Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) has not recovered from the demise of its founders especially Dr Milton Obote. It too is fragmented along several quite visible fault lines.  Can anyone think about/imagine the NRM without Yoweri Museveni? Or ZANU-PF without Mugabe or the Rwandan Patriotic Front without Kagame? What is particularly intriguing in making this observation is that leaders deliberately encourage these personality cult-like tendencies.

Fourthly, in their bid to fulfill the cause, social movements are not restrained by law especially as they lay claim to resources. This piece of the movement legacy is also undoubtedly clear in Uganda. Rule of law is not appreciated in principle but, rather, in instrumentalist terms, i.e. it’s respected only when it is convenient and expedient.

The implication of this is that rules and norms governing parties may be altered without reference to their significance; and constitutional engineering becomes common practice. Some laws may be passed without quorum while constitutions may be altered to, for example, remove presidential term limits. On the opposition side, we have recently seen DP president Mao appealing to the likes of Erias Lukwago and other factions to respect party structures and rules as they vie for leadership positions.

Finally, movements operate at the level of society as pointed out above. This characteristic is even more pronounced in Uganda and in Africa as a whole because culturally we operate at a very informal (rather than formal) level.

Unlike typical parties whose arena of operation is primarily parliament, movement focus and influence is mostly limited to the (civil) societal level. It is this variable that best explains the use of patronage as a mobilization tool.

Agents in society quickly take on the role of clients while those in power and with access to state resources become patrons. The resulting patron-clientelist networks inevitably breed corruption and erode the mechanisms of accountability and transparency.


CONCLUSION

To the extent that the ‘movement legacy’ is a historically determined, genetic flaw in the make-up of African parties, it stands to reason that for now it matters not which party takes power. Clearly there is a need for a mutation of sorts if party behavior is to change.

And change must begin with efforts towards institutionalization of political parties and of politics in general. In its present form, democracy on the continent precariously revolves around the holding of regular elections and clearly this is not enough. Competition must be encouraged, political spaces expanded and rule of law strengthened.

The emergence of issue-based politics, political transparency and accountability represent other milestones on the road toward a deeper democratic dispensation.


The author is a professor of Political Science at Roanoke College, Virginia, USA.


The new Chief Judge of the NRM Judiciary Mr Katureebe has asked for a list of corrupt judges that grace the Resistance Movement judiciary institution:

Chief Justice Bart Katureebe.

Chief Justice Bart Katureebe.

PHOTO BY Michael Kakumirizi

By  ANTHONY WESAKA


Posted  Saturday, May 2  2015
KAMPALA, UGANDA
 
Following prevalent outcry over rampant corruption among judges and magistrates, the Chief Justice Bart Katureebe has launched an anti-corruption crackdown to restore public confidence in Judiciary.

Justice Katureebe has also written to retired Supreme Court judge George Kanyeihamba and senior lawyer Peter Mulira to forward to him names of corrupt judges and other judicial officers they have been referring to during public functions.

The campaign to crack down on corruption in the Judiciary was launched on Thursday, according to a press statement from the Judiciary public relations office. The statement quotes Justice Katureebe warning that no judicial official or support staff will be spared of investigations once they are implicated.

The Chief Justice wrote to Justice Kanyeihamba, Mr Peter Mulira and Presidential Press Secretary Tamale Mirundi, asking them to name the corrupt judicial officers they have been talking about.

“We need to move and tackle issues of alleged corruption in the Judiciary…furnish me with the evidence in your possession so that the necessary course of action is taken in accordance with the law and the constitution,” Justice Katureebe wrote to the three individuals.

“All responsible citizens of our country should not only speak out about the perceived malpractice in the Judiciary, but should come out and help in finding a solution to the problem. Let us work together to improve and strengthen the administration of justice in our country,” Justice Katureebe added.

The press statement signed by senior communications officer Solomon Muyita said the Judiciary has prepared a series of public engagements with civic leaders and the public to partly keep open lines of communication and to explain the functions of the Judiciary and the courts at the different levels.

The statement said a number of reforms will be made to clean up the Judiciary. The reforms include assigning a Supreme Court judge to head the Inspectorate of Courts, a section of Judiciary that inspects courts and deals with corruption issues, which is currently headed by a deputy registrar of the High Court.

The statement further said the Judiciary has started a process of setting up a customer care telephone numbers and feedback hotlines for the public to make general inquiries and also report errant court staff who demand bribes from the litigants.

Justice Katureebe said once a prima facie (credible) case has been established against a judicial officer, his/her name will be forwarded to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) for disciplinary action and the evidence and decisions will be shared with the public.

He, however, cautioned the public not to equate wrong court decisions, which can be appealed, to corruption.

During a public function last week, the Principal Judge Yorokamu Bamwine, urged the Chief Justice to approach Justice Kanyeihamba and Mr Mulira to give him names of the judicial officers they had claiming are corrupt so that they can be dealt with accordingly.

Justice Bamwine explained that by naming the corrupt judicial officers, it will save the judicial staff from the collective sin of the “Adam and Eve” style.

“I hope I speak for a number of my colleagues on this point, Lord Chief Justice when I propose that you get better particulars from lawyers like Mulira and Prof Kanyeihamba and take appropriate action through the JSC and the President so that the sheep are separated from the goats in order to protect the integrity of those doing an excellent job. All judicial staff should not suffer collective sin like the descendants of Adam and Eve,” Justice Bamwine told the Chief Justice.

Addressing lawyers in Entebbe two weeks ago, Justice Kanyeihamba said he knew at least half a dozen of Ugandan judges who receive ‘enkoko’ (a reference for bribes) and castigated the Uganda Law Society for not taking action about them. However, he did not name the corrupt judges.

On Thursday, Prof Kanyeihamba said he was “very ready” to name the corrupt judges he had been referring to if the Chief Justice contacted him.

The Judiciary has been ranked one of the most corrupt government institutions in various corruption surveillance surveys.

awesaka@ug.

nationmedia.

com


EC warns against personal attacks

Electoral Commission chairman Badru Kiggundu (L) speaks at the National Consultative Forum in Arua District.

PHOTO

BY FELIX WAROM OKELLO

 
By
FELIX WAROM OKELLO


Posted  Monday, May 25  2015 

Arua. The chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) has warned all those seeking office in the 2016 general elections to desist from the politics of character assassination.

Mr Badru Kiggundu asked the politicians to pursue issue-based campaigns that promote democracy.

“I have always said we are still young in democracy because there is still character assassination versus issue- based campaigns. Talk about issues. What has character got to do with campaigns? God created people in different ways. Let us chase issues not personalities,” Mr Kiggundu said.

He was speaking at the National Consultative Forum meeting held in Arua Town on Thursday. Mr Kiggundu said the concept of multiparty politics is not yet well understood and appreciated by citizens as well as leaders. He, however, painted a rosy picture for the future.

“There is no country that has had perfect elections but we aim to get there someday. As human beings, we make some mistakes. Even countries such as the United States of America that have practiced democracy for long still make mistakes during elections,” he said.

West Nile sub-region has in the past elections seen candidates contesting for political office at various levels use strategies such as nick-naming, mudslinging and composing songs with messages that cast their opponents in bad taste.

However, Mr Kiggundu appealed to politicians to be tolerant of one another irrespective of tribe, religion and political affiliation during campaigns.

The former presidential candidate, Dr Abed Bwanika, said there was a need for national dialogue involving all political parties as a way of championing the growth of democracy.

Mr Titia Kamure, the UPC national vice chairperson, said there is a need for electoral reforms ahead of the next general election in 2016.

Background

Since independence, Uganda has had few elections. These include; the Legislative Council of 1958, the referendum of 1961, and general elections in 1980, 1996, 2006 and 2011.

editorial@ug.

nationmedia.

com

Nb


This gentleman

(Politician) running Political Movement Democratic Elections in the young country of Uganda is indeed God sent! 

Local election Observers have warned that the high handedness of Uganda Police and other security agencies against opposition politicians and the public could spark off election violence.

Yesterday police arrested more than 10 Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) officials including the presidential candidate Kizza Besigye, party chairman Wasswa Birigwa, party president Gen Mugisha Muntu, Acting chairperson Joyce Ssebugwawo, FDC women league leader Ingrid Turinawe among others together with other party flag bearers in different electoral positions.

Following the arrest of the FDC politicians, demonstrations erupted in different places around the city center including; Kiseka Market, Najanankumbi, Nateete, Wandegeya and Kawempe. Police and Military Police responded to the demonstrations by firing teargas and live ammunition to disperse the protestors. Media footage showed police brutality arrest people, directly spraying some with teargas.

Crispy Kaheru, the Executive Director Citizens' Coalition for Electoral Democracy Uganda (CCEDU) says during this critical time when the electoral emotions are high, police ought to restrain from being brutal and abusing the human rights of Ugandans as it may fuel electoral violence.

"I think they raise a lot more anxiety and potentially this is the time we should be seeing security agencies, police specifically taking more restrained measures in handling such situations not arrests. At this time you want to tamper the anxieties of people not to flare them. And for me the temptation is, such arrests could end up flaring up, could end up inciting the public which could act in irrational ways. We don’t want to see that", Kaheru said.






The African Police showing off its true colours on the African continent.



Police has been criticized locally and internationally for brutality and abuse of human rights in past by reports from Amnesty International, Uganda Human Rights Commission and other critical bodies.

Dr Martin Mwondha, the National Coordinator Citizens Election Observers Network-Uganda (CEON-U) says, the police despite its past record was expected to help achieve a free, fair and peaceful election which they have failed.

"Police intervention in blocking the movements of any citizen or any candidate is perceived as a big infringement on the rights of people. And that is what not we expect in an electoral process that is free and fair", Mwondha said.

However the deputy police spokesperson Polly Namaye says, they have practiced restraint from arresting people despite being pushed to the limits. Police has maintained that they have not arrested any politician during this election period but rather 'inconvenienced' the illegal activities of the politicians. Media reports and footage, however say otherwise.

"Those who are trying to announce themselves winners of the election at Najjanankumbi were inconvenienced and many of them were taken to their home aboard to ensure that they don’t continue with the press briefing that they were planning to do where they would announce themselves. But we also hope that they have learnt that you can not announce yourself an election winner when people are still voting.

And anyway there is only one instituion that is mandated to announce results - that is the Electoral Commission. When we see the assemblance of people burning tyres definitely we [would] arrest them but at  the moment, No, we have not arrested anybody who was involved in burning tyres and also those who are attempting to burn the [police] vehicle but we hope they don’t do it", Namaye said.

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      Mr Michael Mabikke Chairman of the political party SDP.

 

Accused of changing the party name, Michael Mabikke has been sued by four members of his Social Democratic Party (SDP).

 

 

The quartet accuses Mabikke of conniving with Henry Lubowa, the party’s secretary general, and the Electoral Commission to illegally change the party’s name to Party of National Unity. The complainants are Asea Azuma, Fred Kavuma, Ahmed Sserunjogi and Harriet Namujju.

 

In their suit, filed in the High court yesterday, they also claim that the respondents illegally changed the SDP constitution. They claim that on September 11, 2013, the party’s national council held a meeting at the Youth Sharing hall in Nsambya.

 

According to the complainants, the meeting discussed one thing: whether SDP should form a political alliance with another political party. They say the idea of an alliance was flatly rejected.

 

“The second respondent [Lubowa] with full knowledge and support of the first respondent [Mabikke] herein clandestinely and in contravention of the party constitution wrote to the secretary general of the Electoral Commission on October 17 2013 alleging that the party had passed a resolution to have the name of the party changed while on the contrary it was not on the agenda nor discussed by the said committee,” the plaint partly reads.

 

Through Ruhinda advocates and solicitors, the trio accuse the Electoral Commission of failing to carry out due diligence when it approved the name change at the end of September 2014.

 

They insist that the EC should have cross-checked whether it was the national delegates’ conference which sanctioned the change of the name since such powers reside with it.

 

“The first and second respondents contravened articles 2(1),71(1) and 72(2) of the Constitution of Uganda and the decision to change the party’s name to the Party of National Unity was arbitrary since it was executed by the first and second respondents in total disregard of Article 10(1) of the constitution,” they claim.

 

Consequently, they want court to declare that there is no party called Party of National Unity. They want the High court to order the third respondent [Electoral Commission] to strike out the name Party of    National Unity and restore the party’s name of Social Democratic Party.

 

They also want court to order all the respondents to pay exemplary damages for their failure to adhere to both the national constitution and SDP constitution.

 

Senior SDP leaders have backed former Vice-President Gilbert Bukenya to run as the party’s presidential candidate in 2016. But they have strongly rejected claims by other leaders, that the party was sold to Bukenya.

 

dkiyonga@gmail.com 

 

 

 

FRIDAY, 16 JANUARY 2015

 

        Museveni making voting deals lately for  presidential elections

 

A new book authored by political scientists backs Col Kizza Besigye’s view that it is impossible to oust President Museveni through elections he organises and controls.

 

 

Titled Elections In A Hybrid Regime: Revisiting The 2011 Ugandan Polls, the book by local and international researchers comes to the conclusion that an election is unlikely to cause political change or bring about democratisation in Uganda under the current circumstances.

 

“It appears a distant possibility that elections per se will change the top leadership in Uganda under the existing institutional framework,” the book claims.

 

Launched on January 7 at Hotel Africana, the book analyses Uganda’s evolving electoral democracy, issues that shape it, voters’ behaviour and how elections are managed.

 

The 495-page book is a product of a joint academic research project that aims to encourage a better understanding of the 2011 elections in Uganda.

 

The authors include Makerere University political science lecturers; Dr Sabiti Makara, Dr Julius Kiiza, Dr William Muhumuza and Dr Paul Omach.

 

2011 elections

 

It would be erroneous to conclude that President Museveni and his NRM’s victory in the 2011 elections represents a strengthening of political authority and legitimacy, the authors state. Their argument is that the election outcome was explained by several reasons as inferred from the analysis of voter behaviour and the political environment.

 

These reasons include a high rate of voter abstention, massive distribution of financial and material incentives, and application of at least subtle violence. According to the researchers, there was an attempt through subtle violence and other means to send a message to the electorate that the regime is still in charge at least in the short run or medium term.

 

“Regarding this last point, we argue that the electorate...rejected the opposition for fear of political or economic marginalisation - a position that raises essential questions about what it means to be in the opposition in contemporary Uganda,” the book states.

 

“Our argument is not that the elections cannot lead to an alternation of power, but that the electorate internalised the idea that it could not,” the authors note.

 

NRM vs opposition

 

While acknowledging that the NRM victory is majorly explained by its fusion with the state apparatus, the authors note that opposition parties are weak, and thus unable to put up a formidable challenge.

 

“On its part, the opposition took it for granted that they had significant and growing support and therefore failed to address its internal weaknesses,” the book states, pointing at the failure to establish structures and lack of clear and sustainable sources of funding as some of the weaknesses.

 

The researchers define Uganda as a pseudo democracy, which in form has democratic institutions but in substance is authoritarian.

 

“Hybrid regimes like that of Uganda are interesting to analyse, not as renewed examples of authoritarian  regimes but regimes that carry new forms of control and domination,” the book notes.

 

The authors point out that the 2011 elections were not marked by repression of the opposition as was the case was in 2001 and 2006, but note that the previous acts and the subtle violence against the opposition have “generated an internalised violence that has induced new behaviours.”

 

In their assessment of election management, the authors note that President Museveni’s appointed Electoral Commission is not competent to organise free and fair elections.

 

“Genuine, rule-bound competitive politics that produces respectable and acceptable results is still a pipe dream in Uganda,” argues Makara in Chapter 4.

 

“Greed for power and the unwarranted desire for incumbents to stay at the helm indefinitely rarely give rise to [a] full democratic process.”

 

The insights on election management in the book come at a time when the opposition and civil society groups have been agitating for electoral reforms. Among others, the activists want the Electoral Commission to be constituted by the Judicial Service Commission.

 

On the role of security forces in elections, the book notes that their role should be clearly defined. It also calls for the issue of campaign financing to be addressed.

 

Asked to comment on the book, Jotham Taremwa, the EC spokesman, said: “Where do they get the competence to evaluate the elections? Being a political scientist does not make one an expert on elections. We have organised elections that have put governments in place,” he said.

 

skakaire@observer.ug

 

 
             Some of NRM's top leaders at Kyankwanzi recently after dlismissing their Secretary General

 

Court orders EC to reveal NRM funders

 

A chief magistrate’s court has ordered the Electoral Commission to reveal the source of money and names of funders of the ruling NRM.

 

The order was issued by Timothy Lumunye at Nakawa on October 31, 2014 but six months down the road the EC has not complied.

The order stemmed from a case filed by Francis Atugonza (not the former mayor of Hoima and FDC supporter). Atugonza wanted to access the party’s audited accounts between 2010 and 2013 from the EC. When the EC failed to act on his request last year, Atugonza took the matter to court.

According to the order, EC should provide Atugonza with information regarding the “records of contribution, donation or pledges made by the founders or promoters of NRM, statements of accounts showing sources of funds and the names of persons that have contributed [to NRM], properties belonging to the party and annual audited accounts for the period NRM has been in existence to date.”

The court order is addressed to the chief executive officer of the EC, who in this case is Sam Rwakoojo, the secretary. Asked to comment on the matter, Jotham Taremwa, the EC spokesperson, said he was not aware of the court order. He said the EC is not in the habit of hiding information from the public.

“There is nothing to hide [about the operations of political parties]. Anybody can request information from the political parties’ desk and it will be given to you,” he said.

Nicholas Opiyo, a lawyer, said the only way the order can be enforced is by Atugonza seeking another court order of mandamus (an order compelling a public official to perform his/her duty).

“When you have this order, the officer who is supposed to provide this information can be personally held liable for not doing their duty,” Opiyo said.

 

MBABAZI’S HAND

Atugonza, we have been told, is a supporter of former Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi. He is also a member of the “Mbabazi western brigade”, a loose group set up by activist Ellady Muyambi to mobilise political support for the former NRM secretary general in western Uganda.

Mbabazi, so far, remains tightlipped about his presidential ambitions. Muyambi told The Observer yesterday that they are aware that NRM has not furnished the EC with its audited accounts for the last three years. If any exist, he said, they are forged.

“The accounts have to be signed by three people: the party chairman, the treasurer and the secretary general. As far as we know, Mbabazi has not appended his signature to any NRM accounts in the last three years,” Muyambi claimed.

Rose Namayanja, the NRM treasurer, said on Tuesday that she could not comment on issues related to the NRM accounts because she is still acquainting herself with her new role.

“I am still new in the office. I will check and get back to you,” she said.

NRM’s source of funding remains a mystery. While the party’s 264 MPs make a monthly financial contribution, the money amounts to about Shs 50m per month and is therefore too little to sustain NRM activities, including running the secretariat.

According to sources, President Museveni, the party chairman, remains its main funder. This realization has encouraged critics to allege that the president is abusing public resources to bankroll partisan activities.

 

DISSOLVE NRM?

Muyambi said they have given the EC two weeks, with effect from February 23, to comply with the order or face the consequences. Should it fail, he said, their lawyers would demand that NRM be de-registered.

According to section 21 (1) of the Political Parties and Organisations Act (PPOA), failure by a political party to comply with any of the provisions of the act, including annual declaration of its accounts to the EC, is ground enough to have it de-registered. Yet the same act in section 9 (6) says it is only the EC that can lodge such a request at the High court.

Last year in April, the High court approved a request by the EC to deregister 10 political parties accused of failing to comply with certain provisions of the act, particularly section 9. Peter Walubiri, a constitutional lawyer, said it is difficult for an ordinary member to successfully pursue the issue of de-registering a party in court.

“What a member can do is to take on the EC for its omission or for not playing its role. Otherwise I do not know under which law someone can seek to dissolve a party,” Walubiri said.

 

ekiggundu@observer.ug

 

 

Martin Niemoeller was a Protestant pastor born January 14, 1892, in

Lippstadt, Westphalia.

 

He was a submarine commander in World War I.

 

 

 

He was anti-communist and initially supported the Nazis until the church

was made subordinate to state authority.

In 1934, he started the Pastors’ Emergency League to defend the

church. Hitler became angered by Niemoeller’s rebellious sermons and

popularity and had him arrested on July 1, 1937. He was tried the

following year and sentenced to seven months in prison and fined.

After Niemoeller's release, Hitler ordered him arrested again and he

spent the next seven years in concentration camps in “protective

custody.“ He was liberated in 1945 and was elected President of the

Protestant church in Hesse and Nassau in 1947. He held the title until

1964. He was also a President of the World Council of Churches in the

1960’s.

Niemoeller was a pacifist who spoke out against nuclear weapons. He is

best known for his powerful statement about the failure of Germans to

speak out against the Nazis:

“First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist so I

did not speak out. Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade

Unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out. Then they came

for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out. And when

they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.”

He died in Wiesbaden on March 6, 1984.