Ugandans must reclaim their freedom and dignity

Greetings fellow Ugandans and friends

Although born free and equal in dignity, Ugandans have lost both since colonial days. Independence did not restore our freedom and dignity. The pre-independence constitutional and election arrangements were skewed in favor of a few. Since 1966 Uganda has experienced political and economic crisis.

Economic and political troubles in neighboring countries particularly in Rwanda and Burundi resulted in economic and political refugees that have fundamentally affected Uganda’s demographic, economic and political landscape and further eroded the freedom and dignity of indigenous Ugandans. During Amin’s regime Uganda was ruled by foreigners causing extensive damage in human life, property, institutions and infrastructure because they did not care. When their time was up, they disappeared and left behind a depressing economic and political situation.

Museveni whose place of birth has remained a mystery captured power with foreign assistance and mercenaries in 1986. Some 25 percent of his guerrilla fighters were Rwandese Tutsi and have ruled Uganda with him with an iron fist. Museveni came to power at a time of too much distress. He took advantage of the distress and consolidated military power that has turned him into a dictator with absolute power further draining our freedom and dignity. Museveni also embarked on economic and immigration policies that have entrenched foreign control of Uganda’s economy and politics. As a result we are ruled from the lowest administrative level of LC one through the presidency mostly by people we do not know. It’s no wonder we are in this crisis! When the chips are down, they too will run like Amin and his mercenaries did and leave behind a messy situation.

Uganda’s 2011 elections were stolen by foreign voters that were bused in from neighboring countries and refugees and immigrants residing in Uganda. The indigenous voters were disenfranchised and others extensively bribed. That is why the election results at the presidential, parliamentary and local levels are illegitimate, unacceptable and rejected. Likewise, governments to be formed out of the illegitimate elections will be illegitimate, unacceptable and rejected. An increasing number of NRM supporters feel the same way.

Contrary to some advice at home and abroad, we should not go to the Supreme Court seeking redress because we know the verdict already based on past experience. We should not legitimize illegitimate election results.

From now on Ugandans need to do two things. First, through concerted and coordinated peaceful demonstrations at home and abroad Ugandans and their sympathizers should force Museveni and his illegitimate government to step down. A coalition transitional government should be formed including NRM representatives to prepare for free and fair elections.

Second, Ugandans should from now on scrutinize every person seeking political office to avoid our country turning into another Ivory Coast. Ugandans must insist on getting a complete and verifiable profile of current politicians and aspirants with details of their place of birth and ancestral history. This is the right national security thing to do, not sectarianism. Those holding senior positions in the army, police and intelligence services, and government especially in strategic ministries of finance, central bank and foreign affairs must be scrutinized thoroughly. The private sector should be treated the same.

The above two points were discussed at length on yesterday’s program. As follow up, we need to set up two task forces. One task force should coordinate peaceful demonstration activities among Ugandans in the diaspora and between them and Ugandans at home. The taskforce should be small to ensure efficiency and effectiveness but gender, age and regional sensitive. It should aim to have the first demonstrations take place concurrently or separately as appropriate at least in New York City and Washington DC targeting Uganda, USA and UK missions and the United Nations. A date should be fixed as soon as possible. The taskforce should report progress regularly to seek guidance from listeners.

The second task force should scrutinize those in position of leadership in government, security forces and business sector as well as those aspiring to lead Uganda. It should compile information on the president, ministers and other leaders’ corrupt and sectarian behavior and report as appropriate. This information should form the basis for the next presidential, parliamentary and local elections and when the time comes serve to freeze stolen assets and money.

Through the work of these two taskforces and implementation of their recommendations it should be possible to reclaim in full our freedom and dignity.

Finally, for easy reference some people asked me to summarize what I said about the responsibility and accountability of Uganda’s security forces.

Uganda security forces are hired and paid to protect and not kill Uganda citizens.

A security person who commits the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression shall be individually responsible and liable for punishment.

A security commander or person effectively acting as such shall be criminally responsible for crimes committed by forces under his or her command and control for failure to exercise proper control over such forces.

Information is being compiled on security persons and commanders who are committing crimes against the people of Uganda. They will be held accountable at the appropriate time. We have received a photograph showing three police officers tossing Ms. Annet Namuddu on a pick up. We are trying to get their names and titles for appropriate action.

During the forthcoming peaceful demonstrations, all security forces must protect demonstrators as they are hired and paid to do.

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