Uganda Church Leaders Tell U.S.-backed Dictator Museveni "Enough!"

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Dictator Museveni thinks he can scare Ugandans by wearing uniform. Didn't Idi Amin try that? Photo: Facebook.

[Commentary]

Now even Uganda's normally conservative church leaders oppose dictator Yoweri Museveni's bid to rule for life.

Dictator Museveni, 73, who has ruled for 32 years now, together with his fanatical band of NRM loyalists in Parliament, remains hell bent on desecrating the country's constitution by lifting Article 102 (b), in order to enable him to continue ruling the country for life.

Article 102 (b) bars any Ugandan who is 75 years or over from standing as a presidential candidate in elections.

Increasingly, an embittered and frustrated Ugandan population, 75% of whom, according to a recent Afro-barometer polling, are opposed to the lifting of Article 102 (b), is readying itself for a familiar inevitability; another one of those chaotic and possibly bloody political cataclysms, which have characterized each and every change of Ugandan government since independence.

Ugandan religious leaders, under their umbrella organization the
Uganda Joint Christian Council (UJCC), are warning of exactly such a scenario. In the words of Archbishop Stanley Ntagali, the UJCC outgoing chairperson, removing the age-75 ceiling "will dampen the prospect for any peaceful and orderly handover of power in the future,” adding that “it is likely that the age limit Bill may be passed by Parliament but we are of the view that the passage of the Bill will leave a huge number of Ugandans deeply antagonized.”

How about the overwhelming majority of Ugandans? Another recent poll shows that fully 85% reject the corrupt dictator who flies around in a $50 million Gulf Stream jet purchased with foreign aid money in a country whose average annual income is under $800 according to the World Bank.

The UJCC warning and Archbishop Ntagali’s cryptic words will, no doubt, be dismissed by dictator Museveni who once declared that he's the "only Ugandan with a vision" as uncalled-for pessimism and scaremongering. In dismissing the warnings Museveni is of course acting dishonestly; he has not only participated in several deadly upheavals, but led an exceedingly bloody civil war, which lasted from 1980 to 1986. It cost tens of thousands of lives. Museveni’s reason for going into the Luweero jungles in Central Uganda to wage war was that the then President of Uganda, Dr. Milton Obote, had rigged the 1980 general elections.

Museveni has not only been accused of overseeing multiple rigged elections since he came to power, but is also responsible for unimaginable levels of repression and persecution of his political opponents and their supporters across the country.

His 32-year reign has been dotted with innumerable political
rebellions, some of which involved armed insurrections in various parts of the country. Museveni’s answer to such rebellions --even peaceful protests-- has been to use overwhelming force, often leading to huge destruction and loss of innocent lives.

Consider the peaceful protests in the Rwenzururu Kingdom in Kasese, Western Uganda, where hundreds of unarmed civilians were massacred in cold blood. Likewise, in Kampala the capital and many other cities and townships, peaceful protests have been savagely suppressed.

https://www.change.org/p/ambassador-deborah-malac-u-s-ambassador-to-ugan...

Pro-democracy activists have been violently shot, teargassed or
arrested and detained in so-called "safe houses" and in notorious
detention centers such as Nalufenya where they have been brutally tortured. Ugandan citizens have been agonizing over whether a violent uprising is the only way to dislodge the Museveni dictatorship. A debate is on-going, with some Ugandans preferring to use peaceful means to sort out what is increasingly being referred to as the Museveni Problem.

Others are openly contemplating the "all-means-necessary" option. An increasing number of Ugandans are arguing that Museveni’s militaristic machinations, which are grounded in raw and naked violence, cannot and will not be stopped by peaceful resistance.

With each passing day, as Museveni continues to activate his plans for his Life-Presidency Project, patience is running out. No wonder church leaders, men of peace, have now added their voice to calling for the dictator to summon any sense that he may have left and reverse his decision on deleting Article 102 (b).

An explosive political volcano is rumbling across Uganda. In truth, power-hungry autocrats will not see the need to voluntarily abandon Life-Presidency Plans. The sweetness inside a honeycomb is so tempting that only the bites of a thousand bees can stop a foolish thief from robbing a few more drops of honey.

The resistance is swarming from all over.

Dr. Vincent Magombe, Secretary
Free Uganda Leadership Committee and Press Secretary FU

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