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Tuesday, 19 April 2016

When Neo-liberal African dictators forget that the USA has no fiends but interests : When Neo-liberal African dictators turn to bite the Mighty hand of their creator the USA: “I don’t like foreigners giving me orders on Uganda. Uganda is ours, says Museveni. US lacks competence to criticize Uganda’s democracy – Uganda Govt: Government, US disagree on 2016 poll verdict

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When a Military General dropped tears: Muntu breaks down at FDC protest prayer: The main celebrant, Pastor Daniel Ngabo of Rock Deliverance Church, who delivered the day’s sermon, invited the participants to their knees to tell God their grievances. He alluded to the Bible in Acts 12, where God sent an Angel to set free Peter, who had been captured and waiting for trial. He said religious leaders will not keep quiet but continue to pray for the country until it is set free from injustices.



 Uganda's President Extends 30-Year Rule, Detains Rivals After Election





When the US could not risk being dirtied by its Neo-liberal dictator : US critcises Uganda’s 2016 election says Ugandans deserve better : Ugandan election commission lacks 'independence': EU observers



When grey hair does not mean wisdom! Museveni’s minister and Sociology Professor Tarsis Kabwegyere says stealing votes is part of life…although it is painful to be cheated in an election, the aggrieved persons should learn to “live with it.”


Museveni tells off donors on 2016 poll


 

“I don’t like foreigners giving me orders on Uganda. Uganda is ours. If we were to accept orders, Uganda would not be where it is today. In 1971, they told us to support Amin..... These people should leave us and concentrate on solving their problems,” President Museveni 
By RISDEL KASASIRA

Posted  Monday, April 11   2016 at  01:00
In Summary
Not bossed. The President said he does not take orders from foreigners 

Kampala.
President Museveni told off donor countries that are in the habit of criticising his government and the conduct of the February 18 presidential elections to mind their own business.
“I don’t like foreigners giving me orders on Uganda. Uganda is ours,” President Museveni said at a victory party held at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds in central Kampala at the weekend. “If we were to accept orders, Uganda would not be where it is today. In 1971, they told us to support Amin,” Mr Museveni said without naming any country. “These people should leave us and concentrate on solving their problems.”
The European Union election observer team and the US have criticised the government, saying the elections did not meet international standards.
The United States’ Permanent Representative to the UN, Ms Samantha Power last month described President Museveni as a risk to Uganda’s future stability due to his government’s repressive behaviour.
Speaking to the 15-member UN Security Council discussing Great Lakes region, Ms Power stated: “President Museveni’s actions contravene the rule of law and jeopardise Uganda’s democratic progress, threatening Uganda’s future stability and prosperity.”
Elections critisised
Last week, the US Ambassador to Uganda also criticised the manner in which the presidential elections were conducted. “The social media shutdown, the detention of Opposition figures, harassment of media - all of these things combined with poor organisation of the election have weakened Uganda’s democracy and tarnished Uganda’s image as a strong democracy in a turbulent region.”
During the victory celebrations at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds, Kampala last Saturday, President Museveni, however, mocked the Opposition for claiming that he benefited from a rigged presidential election, saying his opponents are just weak and sleepy. “If you are saying you were rigged at the presidential level, how come you lost parliamentary, district and sub-county elections? How can they cheat you three million votes? Did you have agents? Did you have a political party? That means you are in a slumber,” Mr Museveni said as his supporters, cheered.
He also claimed that most of the votes that were counted invalid by the election officials were mainly NRM votes.
“When I hear those saying they won, may be they want to perform a miracle like Jesus turned water into wine. It is funny. And you know about 500,000 votes, mainly ours, were classified as invalid yet they were not.”
The President warned public servants against laxity, promising that the next five-years of his presidential term, that will make him president for 35-years, he will purge public service and weed out non-performers.
Mr Museveni also told Ugandans not to worry about the current insecurity in Rwenzori region, which has claimed lives of civilians, policemen and soldiers.
At least 40 people have been killed in the attacks in the two districts but have escalated to a security crisis.
rkasasira@ug.nationmedia.com


US lacks competence to criticise Uganda’s democracy – Govt



Ofwono Opondo. 
By Othman Semakula

Posted  Thursday, April 7   2016 at  14:51Uganda has told the US it lacks the competence to criticise its democracy with government spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo reminding one of the country’s largest development partners that they [government] are fully satisfied with both the pace and achievements so far registered.
“The US, which uses raw power to project its influence and interests around the world, is the least competent to ask other nations for democratic accountability,” Mr Opondo, who is the government media centre executive director said in a statement released Thursday.
Mr Opondo was reacting to comments made by Ms Deborah Malac on Wednesday in which the US ambassador criticised government for poorly handling the February 18 elections, which as she said had cast Uganda’s standing on democracy in bad sharp as well as tarnishing the country’s image.
Ms Malac, who was speaking at a symposium in Kampala also said the US could not ignore actions that shrink the country’s [Uganda] political space and restrict freedoms of expression and assembly, echoing comments made by Ms Samantha Power, the US permanent representative to the UN, who last month told the UN Security Council that President Museveni was a risk to Uganda’s future stability due to his government’s worsening repressive behaviour.
However, Mr Opondo cautioned Ms Malac and other like her against relying on partisan report, singling out the EU Election Observers report, which slammed the February 18 elections as having lacked internationally accepted standards.
Mr Opondo advised those who continue to criticise the poll to “either adduce evidence or keep their peace for good”, revealing that government was aware of some groups in the US and EU, including diplomats, that fund Opposition elements in Uganda to cause government change outside the constitutional framework.
In her speech Ms Malac also said it was wrong for government to curtail the rights and freedoms of people, particularly those who oppose it.
Her comments came a day after police re-arrested Dr Kizza Besigye as he tried, after 42 days under house arrest, to make his way to Najjanankumbi, his party’s [FDC] headquarters, to attend the weekly prayers that are organsied as part of the “Free my vote” campaign.
The US has on several occasions asked government to free Dr Besigye, who claims he won the February 18 elections, accusing President Museveni of having grabbed his victory.
In a unanimous ruling at the close of last month the Supreme Court upheld President Museveni’s victory in a presidential election petition in which former prime minister Amama Mbabazi sought to annul the election of the NRM presidential candidate.
According to the Electoral Commission, President Museveni polled 60.7 per cent of the total votes cast compared to Dr Besigye’s 35 per cent.

Government, US disagree on 2016 poll verdict

http://www.monitor.co.ug/Elections/Government-US-disagree-2016-poll-verdict/-/2787154/3149140/-/43tdkd/-/index.html



Henry Okello Oryem, State Minister for International Relations and Deborah R. Malac, US ambassador  
By PATIENCE AHIMBISIBWE & RISDEL KASASIRA

Posted  Thursday, April 7   2016 at  01:00
In Summary
Contention. Whereas the US says the poorly organised February elections have weakened Uganda’s image, government says the results reflected the will of the people.Kampala. The United States ambassador to Uganda yesterday kept the pressure on government, observing that the poorly organised February elections have weakened Uganda’s standing on democracy and tarnished the country’s image.
Government has, however, rejected the criticism saying while there were some shortcomings, the process was largely free and fair and the final result reflected the will of the Uganda people.
Ms Deborah R. Malac said the US, which is one of Uganda’s largest development partners with key cooperation ties on military affairs, cannot ignore actions that shrink the country’s political space and restrict freedoms of expression and assembly.
Her comments at a public symposium on governance and peace follow last month’s warnings by another US diplomat that President Museveni posed a risk to Uganda’s future stability due to his government’s worsening repressive behaviour.
“Many of you have seen or read statements either by the embassy or US government made concerning the elections. In them, we expressed serious concerns about the elections and their aftermath,” she said.
“The social media shutdown, the detention of Opposition figures, harassment of media -- all of these things combined with poor organisation of the election have weakened Uganda’s democracy and tarnished Uganda’s image as a strong democracy in a turbulent region.”
The symposium was organised by the Public Administration and Governance Society at Hotel Africana under the theme: “Post-Election Peace for Prosperity.” In attendance were students from Makerere University, Uganda Christian University and Kyambogo University.
Ms Malac observed that her country’s relationship with the Ugandan government should be based on shared democratic values.
“We respect the sovereignty of the government of Uganda, and we do not support any one individual or political party. We have spoken out because we believe that the Ugandan people deserve to live in a country where every voice is heard and matters,” she said.
Opposition leader Kizza Besigye, who remains under house arrest 48 days since polling weekend along with other regime opponents continue to face serious difficulties, including police brutalisation, in enjoying their inherent rights to freedom of expression and assembly.
Elements in the security forces also continue to harass the free media, making it difficult for journalists to do their work which is critical to holding government accountable.
The ambassador said: “Some of you might consider comments like these as interference. [The] US cannot ignore actions that shrink Uganda’s political space and restrict freedoms of expression and assembly. We have noted significant problems with the government’s management of funds like in the health sector.”
“Shocking Global Fund audit - not for the first time - millions of dollars wasted, missing or unspent. This money should have gone to provide life-saving medicines for HIV/Aids prevention and treatment, malaria and tuberculosis…. I readily admit that my country is not perfect. Democracy is often messy. But despite the flaws, the US constantly tries to improve itself and live up to its democratic principles,” she added.
But State minister for International Relations Henry Oryem Okello yesterday said in a telephone interview that despite a few challenges, President Museveni was validly elected.
Mr Oryem’s views will seat uncomfortably with the Forum for Democratic Change party that insists that its candidate, Dr Besigye, was the true winner of the February elections.
Yesterday, Makerere University lecturer Susan Nansozi Muwanga, a former presidential debate panelist, said with the prevailing political impasse, government’s accountability to the people is meaningless.
“The issue of insecurity has to be addressed. It is very hard to expect a fair election where the environment by and large is corrupt, no substitutes for Electoral Commission considered partial or where there is no neutral police that can guarantee independent security,” Ms Muwanga said.
The criticism was echoed by Uganda Christian University lecturer Christopher Twesigye.
“The elections in my view were not free and fair. They were characterised by monetisation, intimidation and ballot stuffing. The role of the police, army, resident district commissioners was not to ensure there was peaceful elections but to intimidate and campaign for a particular candidate,” he said.
“EC let down Ugandans. It was incompetent but we knew it. [EC] chairman [Badru] Kiggundu doesn’t deserve to be in that chair. As an engineer, he should be fixing our sewers somewhere in Bwaise and Kawempe. I am one of those who wouldn’t want to see violence in our country but the events we see in Kasese and holding politicians and keeping them in their homes illegally doesn’t augur well. I have been in exile several times. I don’t want to go back,” said Mr Twesigye.
The controversy
President Museveni was announced winner of the disputed elections with a 60 per cent poll victory, extending his 30-year rule for yet another five-year term. His main challenger, Dr Besigye, is said to have polled 35 per cent, according to the Electoral Commission. The Supreme Court last month maintained the status quo dismissing a petition filed by former presidential candidate Amama Mbabazi challenging the results.
The President has described his critics as “jokers”, saying that he does not “need lectures from anybody on elections.” He ruled out claims of rigging, and said anyone with intentions of contesting the results “is not serious.”
Last month, United States Permanent Representative to the UN Samantha Power told the Security Council: “President Museveni’s actions contravene the rule of law and jeopardise Uganda’s democratic progress, threatening Uganda’s future stability and prosperity.”
Ms Power cited the arbitrary detention of Opposition leaders and supporters, harassment of journalists and gagging of civil society.