Posts tagged as: constitution

Police Should Rethink Their Work Methods

editorial

On Monday, the President wrote to the Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura and other security agencies, to stop the barbaric method of torturing suspects in order to extract evidence from them. It is a good move by the President although it would not have been necessary if the police and other security forces had been doing their work professionally. It’s unsustainable. How often shall the President have to issue warnings before our law enforcement authorities fulfill their constitutional mandate?

Just as the President was warning police to stop torturing suspects in custody, a woman was camping at Kira Police Station in Kampala seeking justice for her teenage sister who was defiled and impregnated by her husband, a person who ought to have protected her. Her future is bleak or totally shattered.

Police released the suspect despite the presence of the victim’s statement on the case file admitting defilement by the accused and the corroborative medical examination results confirming the victim’s revelations.

The police argued that the file was taken to the DPP but had not received sanction to take the suspect to court. They therefore they released him on bond purportedly to comply with the constitutional limit of 48 hours required to have taken a suspect to court.

Police cannot hide under pretence of upholding the Constitution, given its recent record. A police that torture suspects with all brutality to the extent of causing injuries cannot be bothered by the interruption of a suspect’s liberty beyond 48 hours.

The most plausible motivation to release the suspect could have been money. Officially, police bond is free of charge but as we all know, many police officers will not release a suspect without pay.

The released suspect returned home and chased away the victim and the wife. The woman was by yesterday still camping at the police station and vowed not to leave until she got justice. Should the President have to write to the IGP about this?

The police must always do what they are trained and paid to do – apprehend criminals and help the victims get justice – without anyone first raising an alarm in the media or crying to the President.

Uganda

Are Police Harbouring Criminal Syndicate Within the Force?

Some weeks ago, President Museveni made a candid statement about the police, which I believe most Ugandans applauded.… Read more »

South Africa: SA’s Nuclear Procurement Process to Start Afresh – Kubayi

South Africa’s nuclear procurement process will start afresh, Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi announced on Saturday morning.

“There is a need for nuclear in this country,” Kubayi stated unequivocally at a briefing.

She said this is needed as part of the energy mix to reduce South Africa’s carbon footprint by 34% by 2020.

She was responding to the Western Cape High Court’s judgment on April 26 which set aside the process.

“I have decided that I will not be appealing the decision of the Western Cape High Court on this matter.

“Government and the department remains committed to the currently approved energy mix policy and will continue to strive to implement all forms of energy sources to secure the supply and availability of energy in the country. We appeal to our stakeholders to stop the temptation to divide the sector between nuclear and renewables.”

The department will now start anew determining the funding model and the cost for the project, and negotiations to sing new agreements with the US, China, South Korea, Russia and France will start by June.

She said these countries, with who South Africa had agreements which were set aside by the court, were “anxious” about the court’s ruling.

“It is uncomfortable for them.

“We will try our level best to start signing new agreements,” she said, adding that once this is done, it will be brought to parliament.

Kubayi said she wants the new process to be “clean, clinical” and able to withstand all scrutiny.

“I don’t want myself in court every day.”

She said this was expensive and time-consuming.

Despite accepting the court’s judgment, Kubayi was clearly not impressed by it.

“The fact that I accept the judgment doesn’t mean I agree with everything,” she said.

Kubayi said is seemed as if some points of the judgment were based on public opinion.

“I don’t think the courts should pronounce on policy, that is our [government’s] space,” she said, adding that this is entrenched in the Constitution under the doctrine of the separation of powers.

Kubayi vowed to keep South Africans informed about the nuclear process.

Source: News24

South Africa

Be Prepared for Dictatorship – Malema Warns About Zuma

EFF leader Julius Malema has warned that if a Parliamentary motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma succeeds, he… Read more »

Ruling Party Now Reveals Source of Opposition CUF Woes

By Louis Kolumbia

Dar es Salaam — Does anyone wants to know what is it that is causing trouble within the Civic United Front (CUF)?

The CCM’s Secretary for Ideology and Publicity, Humphrey Polepole knows the answer; the source of trouble in CUF are the CCM members who decamped in 2015 before the General Election.

Speaking to The Citizen when he visited Mwnanchi Communications Limited premises recently Mr Polepole addressed allegations that the ruling party is the invisible hand in internal problems in Opposition parties, include CUF.

In addition to distancing CCM from involvement in the escalating wrangles within CUF he placed the blame squarely on the coalition of Opposition parties, Ukawa, for brewing trouble when it welcome CCM members that had left the party after failing to get nominations form the 2015 elections.

Mr Polepole was referring to prominent CCM members including the founder and long serving minister Kingunge Ngombale Mwiru, two former Prime Ministers, Fredrick Sumaye and Edward Lowassa who decamped to Chadema protesting looming irregularities in the CCM presidential nomination process. Others include, former Home Affairs Minister, Mr Laurence Masha, former Lands Deputy Minister, Mr Goodluck Ole-Medeye and former Deputy Minister for Labor, Dr Makongoro Mahanga. Also, in the list were prominent CCM cadres, party’s chairman for Shinyanga region, Mr Khamis Mgeja and many other members and supporters who jumped the ship to the opposition.

Chadema nominated him as the flag-bearer in the 2015 presidential election. Mr Lowassa was then fronted as the joint candidate for Ukawa.

But soon after leaders of Chadema and CUF, Dr Wilibrod Slaa and Prof Ibrahim Lipumba, respectively, left their parties citing their discontent with the manner in which Mr Lowassa was nominated.

Mr Polepole said most members who decamped to the opposition had serious ethical issues which couldn’t be tolerated by CCM and that CUF Chairman Prof Lipumba and the then Chadema Secretary General, Dr Slaa couldn’t withstand decisions made to accommodate such members and therefore decided to quit their leadership positions in respective political parties.

“These are serious politicians who stood by their principles and rejected “decampers” from CCM especially amid ethical concerns. In fact they were supposed to be rejected by all other political institutions that are legally registered. It is where troubles within CUF started” he said.

Prof Lipumba, however, decided to rescind his decision to “retire” from his chairmanship position. And in June 2016 wrote a letter to CUF Secretary General Seif Sharif Hamad, informing him that he was resuming his position. That was the beginning of troubles for CUF.

The CUF leadership refused to allow Prof Lipumba resume his position and called an extraordinary national conference to approve Prof Lipumba’s resignation or reject it. This was the process that should have been done after Prof Lupumba had written a resignation letter in August 2015, but was postponed due to General Election.

When the national conference voted to approve Prof Lipumba’s resignation in its August 2016 meeting, chaos ensued and the meeting ended prematurely. Prof Lipumba wrote to the Registrar of Political Parties over the issue. The Registrar said in accordance to CUF’s constitution Prof Lipumba was still the legally accepted CUF chairman. Mr Hamad’s camp rejected the Registrar’s interpretation of the constitution and filed a case in the High Court.

Reacting to Mr Polepole’s comments CUF Director of Information allied to Prof Lipumba, Mr Abdul Kambaya, sided with the Registrar interpretation saying the wrangles in CUF were caused by violations of party constitution that saw a faction led by Mr Hamad rejecting Prof Lipumba’s comeback contrary to stipulations of constitutional directives.

“Our constitution requires that three stages be followed for the chairman to resign which were abused by Mr Hamad’s faction that is why, we, the party members who advocate respect to party’s constitution have joined with Prof Lipumba in protest to what had happened,” said Mr Kambaya.

Party’s Deputy Secretary General (Zanzibar) who is allied to Mr Hamad, Mr Nassor Ahmed Mazrui, on his party reiterated long-held claims that CCM was behind the dispute and that it was using government organs to accomplish “dirty” plans by providing Prof Lipumba, who had decided to become a puppet of the ruling party, with financial and security supports.

He refuted claims by Mr Polepole that Ukawa and defected CCM members had roles in the dispute because CUF under Prof Lipumba’s chairmanship voted to accept forming a coalition with other opposition parties and fronting a single presidential candidate during the party’s Supreme Governing Body (SGB) meeting.

According to him Prof Lipumba signed an agreement document during an event that took place at the Jangwani grounds on October 26, 2014 for the creation of Ukawa. Other parties that signed the document are Chadema, NCCR-Mageuzi and National League for Democracy (NLD).

He said their agreement aimed at enhancing cooperation in advocating the draft constitution by defunct Constitution Reforms Commission led by Judge (rtd) Joseph Warioba and mobilize the public to cast a No vote against the Proposed Constitution consensus wasn’t be reached to the extent of being presented before the wananchi during the referendum.

“It was during the same SGB chaired by Prof Lipumba where we also approved a decision to provide one presidential candidate in support of Chadema. We asked the professor during the meeting if he was comfortable with decisions and he said there was no problem” he said.

“Surprisingly, speaking after submitting his resignation letter, the professor said he was opposing decisions to appoint Mr Lowassa to run for the presidency under Ukawa,” he added.

Mr Mazrui said that CUF remained a stable party after Prof Lipumba’s resignation but troubles started after he expressed desires to regain his leadership position.

According to him, Prof Lipumba’s decision to resign and later revoke his resignation was engineered by CCM in the efforts to sabotage the party. Academicians also commented on Mr Polepole’s assertions on CUF woes.

Prof Mohamed Bakari of the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM), said there were no way CCM could distance itself from what was happening within CUF, citing the huge security support Prof Lipumba is provided during his political activities as a vivid testimony government authorities under CCM were behind the dispute.

He said CCM had reasons of fueling dispute within the Opposition party, citing difficulties the ruling party faced during the 2015 General Election and CUF competitiveness in Zanzibar politics since resumption of the multiparty democracy.

“It is strategically done to derail CUF’s focus. Instead of concentrating in unresolved issues emerged after the 2015 General Election, they use much of their valuable time and resources to solve internal problems,” he said.

Though he couldn’t directly link CCM with the ongoing impasse within CUF, Mr Richard Mbunda of UDSM said the ruling party was benefiting from the disputes as CUF couldn’t engage into active politics especially at the Isles, instead it spends most of their time finding solutions to internal disputes.

He said Opposition parties should unite and form a single major party that shall be big enough to dissolve all internal conflicts.

“In democratically developed countries, the Judiciary is a pillar of the state trusted to provide justice to the citizens. But looking at the way cases filed by CUF at the country’s High Court are progressing it raises questions on whether such delay could provide justice expected by the public. Remember justice delayed is justice denied” he said.

Prof Gaudens Mpangala of the Ruaha Catholic University (Rucu) maintained that after the registrar of political parties has taken side in the dispute, the only remained machinery to resolve the dispute was the judiciary.

“If the judiciary is under the state control, then we have great troubles with the country democracy and that the public should now wake up and fight for its reinstatement before things developed to worse” he said.

Efforts to deliberate on Prof Lipumba’s resignation ended into chaos in August 21, last year after the National Congress meeting convened at Blue Pearl in the city turned into chaos. In that day Prof Lipumba and his supporters forcibly made their way into the meeting on what was termed as providing the professor his constitutional rights to respond to charges against him.

An announcement that the meeting had accepted Prof Lipumba’s resignation was greatly refuted by the economist professor who officially wrote to the registrar saying the process was surrounded with looming irregularities. The registrar wrote to Mr Hamad demanding to know what transpired in the meeting.

Few days later, the registrar announced to recognize Prof Lipumba as party chairman something that was strongly criticized by Mr Hamad’s faction and before the dust was settled the faction was disbursed with Sh369 million being part of party’s subventions restricted by the same office following the ongoing dispute.

Prof Lipumba’s incident to storm the Buguruni headquarters in accompany of his supporters and armed police taking full control of the offices, being permitted by law enforcers to hold rallies and internal meetings amid restrictions to the other faction was considered among issues that place the ruling party government at the spotlight of the dispute.

Masha, former Lands Deputy Minister, Mr Goodluck Ole-Medeye and former Deputy Minister for Labor, Dr Makongoro Mahanga. Also, in the list were prominent CCM cadres, party’s chairman for Shinyanga region, Mr Khamis Mgeja and many other members and supporters who jumped the ship to the opposition.

Former premier, Mr Lowassa was later nominated Chadema flagbearer in the presidential post who doubled as the Coalition for Defenders Constitution (Ukawa) candidate in the general elections that saw the CCM candidate President John Magufuli being elected by 54 per cent to succeed former President Jakaya Kikwete.

Mr Polepole said most members who decamped to the opposition had serious ethical concerns which couldn’t be tolerated to the new CCM and that CUF Chairman Prof Lipumba and the then Chadema Secretary General, Dr Willibroad Slaa couldn’t withstand decisions made to accommodate such members therefore decided to quit leadership in respective political parties.

“These are serious politicians who demonstrated their stands by rejecting rejects from CCM especially amid ethical concerns. In fact they were supposed to be rejected by all other political institutions mandated by law to advocate the people’s rights. It is where troubles within CUF started” he said.

According to him, the dispute escalation was also caused by few the “undisciplined” CUF individuals who had no respect to interests of the people by prioritizing personal interests and selfishness, saying within CUF there was a certain leader who believe was untouchable even to integrity issues.

However, CUF Director of Information, Mr Abdul Kambaya wrangles eating the party was caused by violations of party constitution that saw a faction led by Mr Hamad rejecting Prof Lipumba’s comeback contrary to stipulations of constitutional directives and later announced to strip off his membership from the party.

“Our constitution requires that three stages be followed for the chairman to resign which were abused by Mr Hamad’s faction something we party members who advocate respect to party’s constitution have joined with Prof Lipumba in protest to what had happened” said Mr Kambaya.

Party’s Deputy Secretary General (Zanzibar), Mr Nassor Ahmed Mazrui reiterated faction’s long claims that CCM was behind the dispute and that it was using government organs to accomplish “dirty” plans by providing Prof Lipumba who had decided to become a puppet of the ruling CCM with financial and security supports.

He refuted claims by Mr Polepole that Ukawa and defected members from CCM had roles in the dispute because CUF under Prof Lipumba’s chairmanship resolved the issue during party’s Supreme Governing Body (SGB) meeting.

According to him, the SGB meeting permitted Prof Lipumba to sign an agreement document during an event that took place at the Jangwani grounds on October 26, 2014. Other parties that signed the document are Chadema, NCCR-Mageuzi and National League for Democracy (NLD).

He said their agreement aimed at enhancing cooperation in advocating the draft constitution by defunct Constitution Reforms Commission led by Judge (rtd) Joseph Warioba and mobilize the public to cast a No vote against the Proposed Constitution consensus wasn’t be reached to the extent of being presented before the wananchi during the referendum.

“It was during the same SGB chaired by Prof Lipumba where we also approved a decision to provide one presidential candidate in support of Chadema. We asked the professor during the meeting if he was comfortable with decisions and he said there was no problem” he said.

“Surprisingly, speaking after submitting his resignation letter, the professor said he was opposing decisions to appoint Mr Lowassa to run for the presidency under Ukawa flagship, this is a strange person” he added.

Mr Mazrui said, even after his resignation, CUF remained stable, troubles started after expressing decisions to revoke his resignation decision under what he termed the “influence” of CCM.

According to him, Prof Lipumba’s decision to resign and later revoke his resignation was engineered by CCM in the efforts to sabotage the party prompting to the current division where the party has now two factions; one loyal Prof Lipumba and the other to Mr Hamad.

Prof Mohamed Bakari of the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM), there were no way CCM could distance itself from what was happening within CUF, citing the huge security support Prof Lipumba is provided during his political movement as a vivid testimony government authorities under CCM were behind the dispute.

He said CCM had reasons of fueling dispute within the opposition party, naming difficulties the ruling party suffered during the 2015 general election and that CUF competitiveness to CCM in the Zanzibar politics since resumption of the multiparty democracy.

“It is intentionally and strategically done to derail the opposition party’s focus. Instead of concentrating in unresolved issues emerged after the 2015 general elections, plots aimed at making them spend most of their valuable time to resolve the internal disputes” he said.

Though he couldn’t directly link CCM with the ongoing impasse within CUF, Mr Richard Mbunda of the UDSM said the ruling party was benefiting from the dispute as CUF couldn’t engage into active politics especially at the Isles, instead of spending most of their time finding solutions to internal disputes.

He suggested that opposition parties should unite to a single major opposition party that shall dissolve all internal conflicts and that the public should be educated on inexistence of the current parties, insisting that such efforts should be concluded early just to enter the 2020 elections as a single voice.

“In democratically developed countries, the judiciary is the state pillar trusted to provide justice to the citizens. But, looking at the way cases filed by CUF at the country’s High Court, it poses doubts whether such delay could provide justice expected by the public because justice delayed is completely equal to justice denied” he said.

Adding, “Amid thoughts that CCM may be behind the conflict, judges and magistrates may have their side in the dispute thus worsening the situation, though the judiciary in democratically developed countries are trusted as machineries for delivering justice”.

Prof Gaudence Mpangala of the Ruaha Catholic University (Rucu) maintained that after the registrar of political parties has taken side in the dispute, the only remained machinery to resolve the dispute was the judiciary.

“If the judiciary is under the state control, then we have great troubles with the country democracy and that the public should now wake up and fight for its reinstatement before things developed to worse” he said.

Efforts to deliberate on Prof Lipumba’s resignation ended into chaos in August 21, last year after the National Congress meeting convened at Blue Pearl in the city turned into chaos. In that day Prof Lipumba and his supporters forcibly made their way into the meeting on what was termed as providing the professor his constitutional rights to respond to charges against him.

An announcement that the meeting had accepted Prof Lipumba’s resignation was greatly refuted by the economist professor who officially wrote to the registrar saying the process was surrounded with looming irregularities. The registrar wrote to Mr Hamad demanding to know what transpired in the meeting.

Few days later, the registrar announced to recognize Prof Lipumba as party chairman something that was strongly criticized by Mr Hamad’s faction and before the dust was settled the faction was disbursed with Sh369 million being part of party’s subventions restricted by the same office following the ongoing dispute.

Prof Lipumba’s incident to storm the Buguruni headquarters in accompany of his supporters and armed police taking full control of the offices, being permitted by law enforcers to hold rallies and internal meetings amid restrictions to the other faction was considered among issues that place the ruling party government at the spotlight of the dispute.

Uganda Peoples Congress Party Reopens Its Makerere University Branch

By Shabibah Nakirigya

Kampala — A faction of the Uganda Peoples Congress Party (UPC) led by the Lira Municipality MP Mr Jimmy Akena, has reopened its Makerere University branch as part of a new agenda to strengthen party structures countrywide.

Addressing journalists at their party headquarters in Kampala on Wednesday, faction spokesman, Mr Micheal Osinde said that the opening of the branch is in fulfillment of the promise by the party leader Mr Akena, while campaigning to lead the party.

“This is a demonstration that the party is rebuilding its grassroots for better mobilisation come 2021,” Mr Osinde said.

Mr Osinde said that many branches remained in limbo during the reign of Mr Olara Otunnu “due to lack of seriousness and laziness as far as party activities are concerned.”

“Our appeal to party members is to come out and participate in party activities and discussions that are geared towards the formation and implementation of party policies,”Mr Osinde said.

He said that the reopening the UPC Makerere Branch would rovide a framework for party members to exercise their rights and duties.

He said since 1986, such branches and structures closed until 2005 when political parties were allowed to operate by the National Resistance Movement government led by President Yoweri Museveni.

Mr Christopher Lwanga, the head Ideology and Research said that party activities were curtailed even under the 1995 Constitution.

Uganda

Drought Lifts Power Exports to Kenya By 300%

Uganda’s electricity exports to Kenya grew 300 per cent in the four months to April as drought cut the neighbouring… Read more »

Nigeria: 90% of Nigeria’s Economy Run On Foreign Technology – Notap DG

By Zakariyya Adaramola

The Director General of the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), Dr. DanAzumi Mohammed Ibrahim has said over 90% of the Nigerian economy are being run by foreign software.

Dr. Ibrahim made the disclosure in his office in Abuja during a presentation of an over-speed alert device invented by Engr. Agada Sunday Ojonimi to NOTAP Management Staff and other stakeholders, according to a statement from the agency.

The statement by NOTAP’s head of public relations and protocol, Raymond Ogbu quoted the DG as saying the agency was sad seeing the huge amount of money paid to foreign IT companies for deployment of banking or ICT software into the country.

The DG said in order to stem the tide, NOTAP organized a workshop for indigenous software developer/companies to brainstorm on the possible ways developing indigenous software that can power the Nigerian economy and curtail foreign dependency.

Nigeria

National Assembly May Invoke Constitution Over President’s Health

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Ford Kenya Denies Claims That Wetang’ula Will Defend Senate Seat

By Dennis Odunga

Ford Kenya has dismissed claims that party leader Moses Wetang’ula will contest the Bungoma senatorial seat, which he currently holds.

Mr Wetang’ula, one of the five National Super Alliance (Nasa) co-principals, did not participate in nominations, according to the party.

“Ford Kenya issued nomination certificates to all her candidates on May 4. (Mr) Wetang’ula was not one of them,” deputy party leader Boni Khalwale said.

There are fears that Nasa has stretched its risks too far by not having Mr Wetang’ula and Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi contest in the August 8 polls.

The two, besides Mr Odinga and his deputy, could remain “jobless” for five years if Nasa fails to ascend to power.

PROMISED POSITIONS

Together with Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto, they have been promised senior Cabinet positions in the Nasa line-up if the coalition forms the next government.

However, Mr Ruto will defend his seat and a fierce battle is expected between him and National Assembly Deputy Speaker Joyce Laboso.

Unlike the Senate race, the party has a candidate who will square it out with Governor Kenneth Lusaka.

This has sent strong signals that Mr Wetang’ula, the Senate minority leader, could be the party’s choice for the seat.

CRITICISED

President Kenyatta has criticised the positions proposed to be shared amongst the Nasa co-principals, saying they are not in the Constitution.

“They have taken a year deliberating on how to share positions that do not exist in the Constitution,” Mr Kenyatta said.

But ODM leader Raila Odinga, the Nasa presidential flag-bearer, rubbished claims that the Constitution must be changed to accommodate the positions.

“We don’t need to amend the Constitution. The president can delegate some of his powers,” Mr Odinga said.

However, he added, the Constitution can be reviewed if Kenyans so wish.

The opposition has been insisting that the original Bomas draft Constitution that had the views of a majority of Kenyans was mutilated by some self-centred politicians.

Kenya

Six Dead As Wall Collapses On Mombasa House

Six people have died after a hospital wall collapsed on their house in Kizingo, Mombasa County, on Monday after heavy… Read more »

Probe NLC Chiefs On Land Fraud Claim

editorial

The National Land Commission (NLC) is on the spot over suspected fraudulent payments for land taken over by the government to build the new railway line that is nearing completion.

Initial complaints against the commission were presented to Parliament a few weeks ago but the matters have not been conclusively resolved.

Yesterday, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission officials raided the homes of the top officials of the commission and reportedly obtained some colossal sums of money in one of them.

Raids and purported exhibits obtained do not necessarily mean the officials are guilty; that has to be proved by the courts.

IRREGULAR COMPENSATION

However, the information in the public domain is that up to Sh1 billion may have been paid out irregularly in compensation for land compulsorily acquired for the Standard Gauge Railway.

The Lands ministry is on record stating that huge sums of money were lost through dubious compensation that took various forms – inflated land prices, paying individuals for government land, double payments or paying fictitious individuals.

The commission is an independent institution created by the Constitution to redress grave malpractices in management of public land.

It took over powers once wielded by the Lands ministry, which has the dubious distinction of presiding over the plunder of public land through political manipulation.

The NLC was intended to be the cure; restore sanity and lead lands reforms insulated from political interference and guided by professional edicts.

PUBLIC CONFIDENCE

It has several times fought off attempts by the political establishment to control and manipulate its operations.

And that gave it some credibility and inspired public confidence.

This new development is a major dent in the image of the NLC in its bid to push through the envisaged reforms.

It also taints the SGR project, with the perception being created that the land acquisition deal was fishy and part of a plan to embezzle public funds.

The EACC must conduct thorough investigations to get to the root of the matter and determine if there was fraud and those culpable must face the law.

Kenya

The Hidden Hand Resolving Jubilee Primaries Disputes

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Uganda Is One of the Most Democratic Countries – Museveni

By Monitor Reporter

With five presidential terms in office, President Museveni is surrounded by controversies related to freedom of speech, human rights, allegations of nepotism, and even the killing of Ugandan citizens.

But President Museveni claims Uganda is the most democratic country in the world and that he is leading Ugandans out of poverty and to an even better future.

At 72, though, he’s three years away from the constitutional age limit to serve as President. But there is already speculation he will try to change that limit so he can get around it.

We bring you details of his exclusive interview with Al Jazeera when he visited the State of Qatar.

President Museveni got grilled this weekend on Talk To Al Jazeera during his visit to Qatar.

When asked during the 52-minute interview, if he was planning to run for another term as president of Uganda, Mr Museveni told Talk To Al Jazeera’s Mohamed Vall, “We will follow the constitution.”

Mr Museveni has ruled Uganda for 31 years, with five presidential terms in office. At 72 though, he is three years away from the constitutional age limit to serve as president. He dismissed speculation that he will try to change that limit to extend his term.

“I cannot change the Constitution because I do not have the power.”

He defended the length of his rule.

“Have you heard of something called democracy?” he asked Vall.

“Democracy means you elect the people you like. We had elections about one year ago. My party got 62 per cent of the vote. In fact, it would have been more if it had not been for quite a lot of spoilt votes. So that does not show that the people of Uganda are fed up with our [NRM] party, because they have voted for us five times, winning free competition… My party has been winning. Is that an offence to win elections? What are you worried about?”

Similarly, Mr Museveni denied he would go down in history as a dictator.

“A dictator who is elected five times? That must be a wonderful dictator,” he said.

He denied that his party had manipulated the elections. “Why did we lose elections in some districts? It was arranged that we handed some districts to the opposition? Don’t you think that’s ridiculous?”

The president also dismissed claims that he is preparing either his wife or his son to replace him.

“Why should I prepare them? The people of Uganda will choose the one they want… There is no way I can choose for them, my wife, or my son, or even other people,” he added.

He claimed their current prominence had nothing to do with nepotism.

“The few members of my family who are involved, I involved on their own merit. My wife, against my advice, she went and stood for the elections and had the biggest majority in the whole country.”

He also dismissed criticisms that he has failed to raise up leaders to succeed him.

“The leaders are there. We are a population of 40 million. We have got 130 districts. All those districts need leadership. The parliament needs leadership. The ministries need leadership… The other leaders are there. But to maximise the leadership input, we use all our leaders. The young ones. The older ones… So my people will decide on the who according to the what, the problem they are facing that needs to be solved.”

Museveni said he needed five terms “to start from zero, to where we are now. We were at zero; we are now able to do things by ourselves.”

He says the biggest issue “was to transform the traditional preindustrial society to the modern era.” He listed a number of his achievements: more than 25 per cent of Ugandans are currently studying, through universal education; covered roads have increased from about 800 to nearly 6000km; and for the first time Uganda has surplus electricity.

He dismissed criticism of the number of Ugandans living below the poverty line.

“The people under poverty in 1990 were 56 per cent. The ones now under poverty are 19 per cent. Yes, that’s 1/5th but we have covered 4/5ths.”

Museveni also dismissed claims that freedom of speech is restricted in Uganda, pointing to the number of private radio and TV stations. “Uganda is one of the most democratic countries in the world,” he said. “In terms of free speech, we have something like 250 private radios, which say whatever they want.”

In a tough interview, Museveni also fielded questions about the jailing of opponents like Stella Nyanzi and opposition leader Kizza Besigye; rules preventing people rallying freely; the recent killing of more 100 people by security forces in Western Uganda; and his foreign policy.

Activists Challenge Law Used to Charge Stella Nyanzi

Photo: The Observer

Stella Nyanzi (C) at Buganda Road court.

By Derrick Kiyonga

The law under which Makerere University researcher was charged at the Buganda Road court has been challenged at the Constitutional court by the FDC’s chairperson for Katikamu South and two civil society groups.

The petitioners are Swaibu Gwogyolonga Nsamba, Unwanted Witness Uganda and Human Rights Enforcement Foundation. Under challenge is section 25 of the Computer Misuse Act 2011.

It states that any person who willfully and repeatedly uses electronic communication to disturb or attempts to disturb the peace, quiet or right of privacy of any person with no purpose of legitimate communication whether or not a conversation ensues commits a misdemeanor and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding twenty four currency points or imprisonment not exceeding one year or both..

Like Nyanzi, Nsamba was charged under the same section over an offensive social media post against President Museveni. He appeared before Buganda Road court on December 19, 2016 for posting on Facebook that he will announce and mourn the death of President Museveni as and when he dies. The post was accompanied by a photoshopped picture of Museveni.

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Ugandan Court Blocks Media From Covering Stella Nyanzi’s Case

High Court Orders Prison to Produce Activist Stella NyanziCourt Blocks Journalists From Covering Nyanzi’s Case

In his petition, Nsamba says that the section contravenes Article 29 (1) B(a) of the Constitution when it is applied to an individual who makes critical comments on public affairs regarding a politician or a person who has assumed a public role.The article stipulates that, “Every person shall have the right to–freedom of speech and expression which shall include freedom of the press and other media…”Through Rwakafuuzi and company advocates, Nsamba says the section of the law should be struck down by the court because the Constitution establishes Uganda as a democratic society.”My lawyers have informed me that freedom of expression is a very important element for the sustenance of the democratic order,” says Nsamba, who is out of prison on bail.Also under challenge in the petition is section 179 of the Penal Code Act which provides for criminal libel which the petitioners says is inconsistent with Article 29(1)(a) of the Constitution as well as regional and international human rights and standards.In his affidavit in support of the petition, Geoffrey Wokulira Ssebaggala, the executive director of Unwanted Witness, says the imposition of criminal sanctions for defamation has chilling effect on freedom of expression and the maintenance of democratic order.More on ThisStella Nyanzi Sent Back to Luzira Until May 10

The controversial Makerere research fellow Dr Stella Nyanzi will remain on remand until May 10 to know the fate of her… Read more »

South Africa: Nuclear Deal Blocked! Judgement Made On the South African Government’s Secret Trillion-Rand Nuclear Court Case

RESOURCE: Court Sets Aside South African Govt’s Huge Nuclear Dealpress release

After over a year and a half of court preparation for justice, ELA-JHB and the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (SAFCEI) were finally able to block the unlawful and unconstitutional actions of the South African government in its nuclear deal.

The Western Cape High Court delivered its judgement this morning in the nuclear deal court case brought by ELA-JHB and SAFCEI against the South African government on the eve of Freedom Day and on the anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. The timing of the judgement, before this important day in South Africa’s history and on the day of the nuclear disaster in Russia, adds to the sense of justice being done.

“Along the road to the courts, we experienced delays and dirty tricks, but we persevered and now we have been vindicated. The court has found in our favour”, said Liz McDaid, SAFCEI spokesperson.

The judges ruled that the secret tabling of the Intergovernmental Agreements (IGA) with Russia, USA and Korean are unconstitutional

and unlawful and that they be set aside. They also ruled that the decisions made (section 34 determinations) to procure nuclear are unlawful and unconstitutional and that they be set aside. The government and Eskom’s proposed procurement of nuclear energy was ruled unlawful and unconstitutional and was set aside, and any existing requests for proposals from nuclear energy providers have also been set aside, meaning they are made null and void.

The government has to pay the costs of the court case as well as the other legal costs incurred by SAFCEI and ELA JHB. And the judges declared that the government’s decision (section 34 determination) must have public participation as a part of its procurement process, and that Eskom as the procurer has been set aside, which means Eskom cannot go ahead with the nuclear procurement. In future the Minister and/or the National Energy Regulator (NERSA) would be required to conduct public participation before making any new decisions.

According to SAFCEI’s Liz McDaid: “SAFCEI and ELA-JHB based their case on the South African Constitution, which states that when it comes to far-reaching decisions, such as the nuclear deal, which would alter the future of our country, government is legally required to debate in Parliament and do a thorough, transparent and meaningful public consultation.”

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South African Court Sets Aside Govt’s Huge Nuclear Deal


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Vainola Makan of Western Cape Right to Know (R2K) campaign says, “This contravention of the Constitution is the main reason that ELA-JHB and SAFCEI have taken the government to court. R2K supported this legal action as we need our democratically elected government to be transparent in their dealings and accountable to citizens for their choices.”A lot has happened in the two months since the final arguments were heard in the nuclear court case in February 2017. The President’s late-night cabinet reshuffle at the end of March has spurred countrywide marches and a vote of no confidence is looming. Many more discrepancies have since been reported, with the nuclear deal being in the spotlight in the latest crises in political leadership.SAFCEI founder and Patron, the Green Bishop, Geoff Davies says, “We are very pleased with the result. However, it may only provide a short-lived reprieve. It is sad to hear fresh corruption allegations almost daily, and as custodians for the Earth, we pray that our country’s leaders will be convicted by their conscience to do the right thing, for all SA’s citizens.”SAFCEI youth ambassador, Siphokazi Pangalele says, “We are so glad for the result, but it is clear that we still have a lot of work ahead of us. In the past few weeks citizens have demonstrated their willingness to mobilise against corruption and the capture of our State. The nuclear deal is at the centre of it all.”According to Adrian Pole, legal representative for ELA-JHB and SAFCEI: “The judgement means that there is no decision in terms of the relevant empowering statute that new nuclear generation capacity is needed and should be procured. The Russian agreement has been declared unlawful and unconstitutional for its tabling. Before any nuclear procurement can proceed, the Minster of Energy (in concurrence with NERSA) will be required to make a new determination in accordance with a lawful process that is transparent and includes public participation. This will necessarily require disclosure of relevant information that to date has been kept from the public, including critical information on costs and affordability.”In November 2016, a coalition campaign to stop the nuclear deal was initiated by Kumi Naidoo, ELA-JHB and SAFCEI, who have been joined by many other organisations and citizens across a broad spectrum of interests. From social grants, to large corporates, from jobs, to environmental health and our collective energy future – this issue affects us all.”The organisations and citizens who are motivated by a demand for a just energy transition to sustainable energy are planning to launch an even bigger campaign soon to ensure this judgement is only the start of people holding the government to account on its energy deals,” added Makoma Lekalakala of ELA-JHB.BackgroundAt the outset of the litigation the original nuclear deal determination (s2013 s34) had been made in ‘secret’. It was finally published in the Government Gazette in December 2015 after civil society action to make the government reveal its plans. A later determination (s34) from 2016 only came to light at the court hearing in December 2016, which lead to a further postponement and supplementation of the court papers. The final court hearing took place in February 2017.The court judgement comes on the anniversary of Chernobyl, the nuclear disaster in the former Soviet Union (USSR) which happened in 1986, thirty-one plant workers and firemen died in the immediate aftermath of the accident, mostly from acute radiation sickness.Freedom Day, the day of South Africa’s first democratic election in 1994, ushered in an era where the constitution was supposed to be the guide to how society would be governed. In recent years, we have seen unabashed looting of the government coffers, the capture of key state institutions such as Eskom, for personal greed, and the apathetic failure of the government to be accountable to the people of South Africa.

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