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Sunday, October 2, 2022

Uganda In the Hands of Pro People Leadership: Part Two

The People Power Movement

In Uganda, there is a belief that People Power unites Ugandans of different political professions and ideas. The queer thing is that given that description, at least all Ugandans Qualify to be members of the People Power Movement. Therefore, whoever commits a crime and is reprimanded by relevant government institutions, some people turn around and say that the supporters of People Power are being harassed. It is true that there are some police officers and LDU’s who have unprofessionally handled some cases but the law is very clear.

Security officers who act not in accordance with the law are handled as individuals and are not covered by the institutions they belong to. There are either disciplined by the relevant security organs or challenged in courts of law. There are many security officers in prisons who were charged for behaving unprofessionally. It is difficult to remove all the unprofessional security officers from all the security organizations but the law deals with them step by step. on many occasions when security Organizations discipline errant officers, they do not inform the entire public.

Therefore, the public may not know that stringent measures are being taken to discipline security officers. The investigation of cases for example high profile cases is a process that takes time. Sometimes the quick arrest of suspects may disrupt the investigation process. Many of these complaints raised, their files have already been opened up and investigations are ongoing. When investigations are complete, the suspects will be taken to courts of law whether they a civilians or security officers.

The government is struggling to deal with the issue of Human rights in security forces. This is the reason why human rights’ desks have been created in all security organizations. The Uganda Human Rights Commission has also taken an initiative to train most of the senior security officers in Human Rights issues. Then they are supposed to train junior officers accordingly.

In any country, it will not be possible to survive without any challenge within the security system. The challenges have been maliciously exaggerated by elements that appear to have their selfish interests. Some of them want to tarnish the image of the country so that they can be able to get travel visas and citizenship abroad. However, Uganda is bigger than individuals. We must all stand together and defend the country. Uganda is a country that respects the rule of law and that is the reason why the young people who claimed to be people power supporters when they stormed parliament, they were arrested and taken to the courts of law and all procedures will be followed to have them prosecuted accordingly.

The issue of blanket generalization is very dangerous. It should be if some Ugandans are complaining against some officers for torture, they should name them. Then the relevant security organs hand in hand with parliament will investigate the matter accordingly, this blanket accusation can create an impression that all the security officers are bad, which is unfair. There are many professional security officers who are working tirelessly but they get disappointed when they get accused of torturing Ugandans.

There is one interesting thing when a police car knocks a person; it is seen as a deliberate strategy to eliminate people power supporters. However, when a civilian car knocks a person, then it becomes an accident, it implies that there is a deliberate strategy to mudslinging security officers. This may discourage the hard working professional officers such that criminals take over at the end of the day. It has been argued that people power supporters are the target of torture and imprisonment at the hands of security officers.

But at the same time, the leaders of people power claim that majority of the youth are their supporters. It is illogical to argue that majority of the young people would have been people power supporters amidst brutalization. The conducive political environment has provided opportunities to Ugandans to support whoever they choose to support.

Consultation by Aspiring Candidates:

The issue of consultation by aspiring candidates has got its terms and conditions;

  • The aspiring candidate should go to consult without moving with masses of people.
  • The so-called political consultations by Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu always turn into political rallies. Therefore, the Police saw it prudent to stop those consultations for security reasons. • When Hon. Kyagulanyi sorts out the confusion and differentiates between a consultation and a rally, then police will advise accordingly on what he should do.
  • A political rally is only restricted to only nominated candidates and Hon Kyagulanyi is not yet one. This legal procedure of political consultation does not apply to only Hon Kyagulanyi but to all aspiring candidates. The writer of this press statement has a lot of contradictions for example, he claims that the NRM regime has impoverished the country but at the same time exaggerating the situation in order to scare away donors, investors and tourists. Then, how will the country mobilize resources in order to fulfill pro-people programs.

Judiciary

On many occasions people claim that the judiciary is not independent. However, when judiciary passes a judgment which does not favour government, then they say it is independent. It becomes very confusing for an independent thinker. The other day the judiciary refused to extend the parliament term of seven years and many people said it was independent.

However, when parliament removed the age limit, then they said it was not independent. This means that to such elements, an independent judiciary is that that serves their interests.

PRESS

This International press statement claims that the press is not independent but the independence of Uganda’s press is clear even to a child. Television stations, News Papers, Radios and Social Media publicize so many things largely not pleasing the government. However, this government is duty bound to protect the press independence. This is the reason why the journalists are free to publish their stories, even those that do not favor government interests.

It is true that some security officers handle the journalists unfairly but many of these officers have been sued in courts of law. The human quasi judicial powers and a number of security officers have been reported to the Uganda Human Rights Commission for dealing with journalists unfairly. The Uganda Human Rights Commission has made a lot of rulings and government in some cases got to pay on the behalf of those officers who are meant to pay damages. Indeed, Uganda is still struggling to develop a more beyond press.

Electoral Commission:

The Electoral Commission has been accused for not being independent. However, many of those people who abuse the electoral commission of not being independent are products of the same commission. When the electoral commission announces a member of the opposition as a winner, then it is seen as independent whereas when a member from NRM is announced the winner, it is seen as a tool of the NRM. They should leave the electoral commission to do its work as well as it following the law, where it fails to follow the law, let them sue it in the courts of law. Some of the provisions to make the electoral commission are more independent. More reforms are yet to be passed by the parliament to be even more independent.

POLICE:

The police force has a lot of challenges but at the same time it is the core for the protection of law and order. The police have challenges in a sense that whoever gets a problem with the law ends up blaming the police. The police cannot stand by when wrong elements are violating the law because it has got a constitutional mandate to protect law and order. Therefore, the population must stop provoking the police but at the same time the police should train its officers more and decisively deal with those that act unprofessionally within the Police. To crown it all, the government should give more facilitation to security organizations to carry out thorough investigation.

Steve Mungereza
Steve Mungereza
Sociopolitical Analyst. Coverage of National and Regional news stories.

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