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Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Are Kagame and Museveni accidents waiting to happen?? Reflections on Ango-American Autocrats in the great lakes region

The Untold Stories: Many RPF officials now regret taking arms fighting dictatorship and installing a monster.  

January 7, 2013

There is a silent rift between RPF officials  who see president Kagame becoming not only a dictator but rather a monster by killing everybody he  disagrees with, to an extend of not  even sparing his colleagues and comrades.

What does this mean for the democracy that many RPF officials fought for and many lost lives, limbs, relatives and friends?  We should not forget that, it is the war of liberation that also cost many Rwandans’ lives in genocide of the 20th Century. Does Kagame also know that genocide was a price that many Rwandans payed for the democracy and freedom that he has denied them?

This is very bad for all Rwandans  and Rwanda and  it does not augur well  for good governance  that Kagame keeps  saying   and it truly indicates  that some people  in RPF but most importantly Kagame have totally  failed to understand  what caused their own struggle  and hence respect the rule of law  and  internalize the Eight Point Program which  was the basis of the RPF struggle.

There is bad blood between some RPF officials and Kagame, whom many see as not only a dictator but a person who has hijacked the RPF Party as his own property. Kagame  has not only hijacked his own party but also other state institutions, like the Army, the Police, Judiciary and the Parliament and the so called doctrine of separation of powers does not exist in  Rwanda.

It is therefore a total disregard  and almost  in contempt of rules  and the laws that govern us, and a total disregard of the constitutional  provisions  which  establish  the separate organs of the government ,demarcated responsibilities between them and trying to ensure that there is harmonious relationship  and equilibrium  between those organs, people, either through personalized understanding or personalized  greed, or personalized  politics, have totally ignored the Supreme law and other laws of  Rwanda and   they are doing at their own peril and peril of our country.

The continued disregard of the rule of law by RPF and Kagame  is slap in the face to many Rwandans who  directly or indirectly participated in the struggle  believing  in the principles  and ethics of RPF of the time  which  they have abandoned  and believed  that democracy , the rule of law , respect of human rights and good governance  would be restored in our country.

If you read the literature of the Eight Point Program which was the basis of the struggle that brought RPF to power, it is shame that Kagame who has actually personalized every institution reversed everything we believed in. They have reversed  much of what President Kagame  and his colleagues especially the founder  of RPF the late Gen. Fred Rwigema, who went to the bush to fight and some lost their lives including Gen. Fed Rwigema and his senior colleagues in the RPF establishment , the likes of Peter Bayingana, Chris Bunyenyezi, Adam Wasswa, Kayitare , the list is endless and those who managed to arrive in Kigali were later killed with poison , or murdered in the broad day light ,  or incarcerated to the present day, the likes  of Col. Bagire, Col. Stephen Ndugutei,   Col. Theoneste Lizinde, Seth Sendashonga, Col. Biseruka just to mention a few, in fact if Fred rises up from the grave today he can fight with Kagame on the spot.

As I have mentioned above many people including those pioneers and founders of the RPF movement risked their lives and many people perished in that struggle, in fact in Rwanda it was an extraordinary struggle that sparked genocide in which one million Rwandans were slaughtered like sheep and goats in order to establish the principles enshrined in the Eight Point Program which were abandoned in pursuit of personalized politics of greed, Intrigue , killing ,nepotism, invading neighbors  like Congo, contempt of other leaders and certainly disregard to people’s wishes by organizing elections and rig them  without even allowing free and fair contest  for the presidency.

Today if we look at the writings, speeches and statements of great people who in  fact were the pillars of RPF,  like Dr. Theogene Rudasingwa, Gen. Kayumba Nyamwasa who personally saved president Kagame when he was surrounded by the enemy during the struggle, Col. Karegeya, Pasteur Bizimungu  the first president after genocide and  many RPF officials who are still in Rwanda but are speechless, they do so, so that they can  see the next sunrise, the likes of Patrick Mazempaka, Jacky  Bihozagara and many more are slowly burning within and regretting  what has happened today.

They all say the revolution and principles on which they fought in the bush war have been abandoned by Kagame. Why? The answer is  simple to find,  the fact  that  Kagame has personalized every institution in the country where he is not accountable  to anybody has  resulted in embezzlement of public funds  by buying personal jets, building of  mansions  and other business empires  without any institution questioning  him.

It is therefore unfortunate that our leaders do not learn from history, there is no government that is immune to disruption, no leader stays in power indefinitely, sooner or later, they will soon account to their mistakes or omissions and when this time comes, they will regret that they never protected their names and they will test the same cup that they are now giving their friends, relatives, comrades, colleagues and many innocent Rwandans.
Jacqueline Umurungi

Generals Tinyefuza, Tumwine regretting, says Kanyeihamba

Sunday, 06 January 2013 23:33

Written by Deo Walusimbi

Steadily over the years, retired Justice George Kanyeihamba has been known for his bluntly expressed opinions, more so, about the NRM government.

In a revealing interview with Deo Walusimbi, Justice Kanyeihamba reflects on the omissions and commissions of the central government that have triggered a deep and abiding sense of disappointment among ordinary Ugandans.

The law professor says most of the army generals who have served under President Museveni are now tormented by regret, after the president abandoned the ideals for which they fought previous governments. In an ideal world, Kanyeihamba says, President Museveni would already have been impeached, given the mistakes he has made.
Below are excerpts:

There is a rift now between Parliament and the Executive. What does this mean for democracy and the doctrine of separation of powers?

It’s very bad for the democracy of this country and it doesn’t augur well for good governance and it truly indicates that some people in governance have totally failed to read and internalize the provisions of the Constitution and our laws. What we have is not bad blood between the organs of government but a total disregard almost in contempt of the rules that govern us.

It’s a total disregard of the Constitutional provisions which establish the separate organs of government, demarcated responsibilities between them and trying to ensure that there is harmonious relationship and equilibrium between those organs. People, either through personalized understanding or personalized greed or personalized politics, have totally ignored the supreme law of Uganda and they are doing so at their own peril and peril of this country.

What does the continued disregard for the Constitution project for the country?

That is preciously what it is. Some of us participated directly or indirectly in the struggle we are talking about. Some of us were named as pillars of the movement because we believed in the principles and ethics of the then National Resistance Movement which they have now abandoned and believed that democracy, the rule of law and good
governance [would] be restored in this country.

If you read the literature that has occurred especially since the end of the 1996 elected Parliament, they have reversed every thing we believed in. They have reversed much of what President Museveni and his colleagues who went to the bush to fight and lost life for. Museveni, the likes of Kizza Besigye, John Kazoora, Elly Tumwine risked their lives, their comrades, friends and relatives perished in the struggle in order to establish the principles enshrined in the NRM 10-point programme which was abandoned in pursuit of personalized politics of greed, overstaying in power or contempt of other leaders and certainly of disregard to people’s wishes.

Today if we look at the writings, statements of great people like Gen David Tinyefuza, Gen Elly Tumwine, Maj Gen Mugisha Muntu, Maj Gen Kahinda Otafiire, they are all regretting what has happened today. They all say the revolution and principles on which they fought in the bush war have been abandoned by the president.

Why? The answer is easy to find. You look at the allegations of embezzlement of public funds or corruption, abuse of office by our current leaders almost from top to bottom, people are believed to have embezzled billions of money, abused their offices and built unknown mansions, property and nobody has done anything.

There are media reports of a clash between the president and the speaker of Parliament. He accuses Rebecca Kadaga of frustrating NRM’s agenda and only recently ordered Police to interrogate her in relation to statements she made about the autopsy report of the late MP Cerinah Nebanda.

He also called MPs who faulted the same report “idiots” and “fools.” What do you make of such a statement?

I’m very saddened that the president whom I still admire for his energies, whom I served, can make such a statement. He should be forced either by circumstances or by something else to think so low in his judgment of the characters of Members of Parliament and to reach a stage where he can be so abusive as to call them idiots and fools, this is most regrettable and a very sad event in the politics of Uganda.

Let me say that I don’t have any evidence whatsoever that the Speaker of Parliament has committed any wrong or she’s conspiring with anyone to damage this government. After all, it’s this government that lifted her from the front bench to be the speaker. It was none other than the Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi who nominated her. Nobody has told me that she is mad; then how can she act against her own government?

Sometimes, the fault is not in our stars but in us. In my opinion, it should be the executive and the president to examine their own behaviours and acts instead of always blaming others for their own misfortunes.

My limited knowledge and experience of government is that most governments self-distract, no one outside their own party destroys governments but themselves between a string of historical events going back to time immemorial and the longer they stay in office, the more arrogant they think they are right and more damaging their acts and behaviour. And that is why I can now believe the predictions by Hon Eriya Kategaya who said that the longer you stay in office, as a party, as a minister or as president, the more you are detached from reality.

As one of the key framers of the 1995 Constitution, which carries a provision for the impeachment of the president for misbehaviour or misconduct, isn’t it high time MPs moved a motion to impeach the president for misconduct for abusing MPs?

The Constitution enumerates the grounds for impeaching the president and there is a provision under which the president can be impeached but to do so, you have to have a very serious, brave and not an intimidated Parliament.

I think most Ugandans know that with a few exceptions of MPs, the majority of MPs are very much intimidated, they are beholden by the president for their stay in power, many of them are sycophants who would not get a job even in a primary school but they are now elevated to ministerial and senior government positions and these are not the instruments on which impeachment can be sustained.

Another problem is that we have weak civil society organizations which have not reached a stage where they can start a campaign to force their MPs to debate let alone pass a motion of impeachment of the president. It is not debatable that many of the mistakes the president has allowed to be made by his government, some of the omissions are so serious that the motion of impeachment is amply justified in my opinion.

Let me give you a very simple example. If you read our Constitution as amended 2005, chapters six and seven deal with the functions, establishment and sustenance of traditional and cultural leaders. There is only one provision which allows parliament to discuss traditional and cultural leaders and that is the article which deals with the area where there is a dispute of whether a traditional ruler should continue to be there.

There are only two areas where parliament could constitutionally debate the matter; that is Ankole and Busoga. Parliament has no mandate to discuss any other matter like reducing traditional rulers’ powers or creating others, that is purely unconstitutional but during the elections, Parliament was summoned and unconstitutionally passed a law which was unconstitutionally limiting the powers and freedoms of monarchies and cultural leaders.

The methods and all the contents were unconstitutional although many knowledgeable commentators starting from the Attorney General then Prof Khiddu Makubuya advised cabinet that the bill was unconstitutional, it was steered through Parliament by a team led by Amama Mbabazi and others and eventually passed, which is not only governance with impunity but it is unconstitutional.

Another ground for impeaching the president is that everybody including commissions have pointed out names of individuals and groups who are corrupt who have embezzled money but the president doesn’t do anything. One of the reasons for impeachment is the omission for the president to do what is right for the country; the most important ground is that the president has totally failed to control corruption. He talks and he does not walk the talk; instead, he shields them.

The Constitution says somebody to be respected to be a member of Parliament must be elected by the people okay, there is a provision for him to appoint people out of Parliament but for him to appoint people who have been rejected by Parliament, in my opinion, is tantamount to contempt of the people and therefore liable for impeachment; so, there are many grounds for impeaching him.

There is a latest one of abusing members of Parliament. In our Constitution, Parliament is placed first as the most [important] organ of government because it represents the people and therefore the will of those who have all the power in this country. To call such people who have been elected “idiots” and ‘fools’ is certainly governing by contempt and contempt of the people, in my opinion, that is something the president should have been impeached for.

Of the two, the president and the Parliament, who is superior to the other?
Article 79 of the Constitution stipulates the functions of Parliament which are that Parliament shall have power to make laws on any matter for peace, order, development, and good governance of this country except as provided by this constitution, no person or body other than Parliament shall have power to make provisions heard in the course of
law in Uganda except under authority conferred by an act of Parliament.

Parliament shall protect this constitution and promote the democratic governance in Uganda. These are cardinal functions of Parliament which cannot be interfered with by anybody however mighty or powerful they think they are, not certainly by the president.

The president swore to block a recall of Parliament. Does he have such powers?

I thought that when MPs started collecting signatures for the special session, his threats would stop more MPs to sign but now that they have got the needed signatures, there’s no way he can block that process.

How can he? Without Parliament looking unserious, the constitution under 95(5) obliges Speaker to recall Parliament automatically without any option so long as MPs raise a third of their number. And if the speaker bends herself on Museveni’s position, she will have discredited herself and the institution of parliament.

As a person who participated in the fight for the rule of law in Uganda, what is your word of wisdom to the people in power today?

There is a problem of total disregard of the people’s aspirations and sentiments. We are being governed by total impunity but there is no government that is immune to disruption, no leader stays in power indefinitely, sooner or later, they will account for their mistakes or omissions and when that happens, they will regret that they never protected their names or secured the future of their names and to me, that is the saddest commentary on how governance is being conducted in this country.

They should bear it in mind that in all countries where disruption of governments has been, the acquired properties through corruption go immediately. Lastly, we have reached the crossroads in Uganda of which each of us must decide which road we shall take and we must decide now where that road will take us in 2016.