London: Protest Greets Museveni

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Uganda opposition groups continue to pressure the Commonwealth Secretariat over allegations of human rights abuse in the East African country, scheduled to host this year’s annual heads of state conference in November. The following petition was submitted to Don McKinnon, Commonwealth Secretary General by CONCERNED UGANDANS, an umbrella group embracing various opposition groups. Separately, demonstrators greeted President Museveni who was in London seeking investors.

Points of Action before the November Chogm Summit in Kampala

1) The Government of Uganda must stop determining the outcome of any elections in Uganda by removing ruling party cadres from the Electoral Commission. In order to be free of control by anyone or organisation, all political players must have a say in the organisation and function of the Electoral Commission at all levels.
 2) The Government of Uganda must appoint a commission of inquiry to investigate the presence of a Poison Assassin. This assassin has confessed in front of the Parliament Speaker and the Minister of Internal Affairs but surprisingly, that is where it all ended. The CID Director, who also attended the confession, has not continued to investigate.
3) What democracy do you refer to in Uganda when the ruling party is funded by the tax payer and all other parties have to find their own funding?
4) The government of Uganda must stop supporting and arming Para-military organisations i.e. Kalangala Action Plan and Kibooko Brigade.  These are intended to operate outside the law in a manner similar to the Janjaweed of Sudan which has caused havoc to Darfur region of Southern Sudan.

5) Uganda Government must stop militarising the Uganda Police. Police should be run by professional policemen and not Military Generals. Lawlessness in Uganda is caused by lack of professional policing in the country.
6) The Government of Uganda must respect judicial decisions by freeing PRA suspects. They were released on bail by courts but army generals, acting on orders from “above” re-arrested them.
7) The Government of Uganda must scrap laws that make the practice of multiparty democracy an impossible task. The Presidential Elections Act and the Movement Act are still in place to serve the interests of the One Party State, even when Ugandans voted to practice multiparty democracy!
8) Bad governance is enabled by laws that restrict the freedom of NGOs and Press to operate. Restrictions on the Press have resulted into a genocide taking place in Northern Uganda unnoticed for 20 years. Laws that enable bad governance must be repealed.

9) Uganda government must appoint a commission of Inquiry to investigate the presence of “Safe Houses” in the country where thousands of Ugandans are being tortured with complete disregard of the law. There is widespread abuse of human rights in Uganda.

10) Uganda government must uphold the constitutional right to privacy by prosecuting people who have been tapping private telephone conversations illegally.
11) Uganda government must stop harassing opposition politicians. They must stop illegal imprisonment of politicians and using government departments i.e. the DPP and CID to bring trumped up charges against leaders of the opposition.
12) There are 11,000 prisoners on remand in Uganda. Some up to 10 years in prison without trial. The government should release them.
13) The Executive in Uganda must stop encroaching Uganda Forests by giving them away as investment land to scrupulous business dealers.
14) Uganda government is not doing enough to stop the misery and genocide in Northern Uganda. It is now the responsibility of the Ugandan government to find a peaceful solution to the war in the North.
15) Political Corruption, which came to its climax by the removal of Presidential term limits on the office of the President, is turning Uganda into a constitutional dictatorship. It is becoming increasingly clear that Uganda is breeding a New King of Scotland.

The Commonwealth must ensure that there are significant, verifiable and irreversible reforms in Uganda before delegates head for the 2007 CHOGM Summit.  Failure to act now will produce another Zimbabwe for the Commonwealth in the near future.

The Commonwealth made good observations and recommendations after the 2006 general elections. It is wise to insure that there is compliance with these recommendations before the November Summit.  If Uganda continues to slide into dictatorship after this warning; the Commonwealth will have had a direct hand in this situation because of its failure to act on the warning lights.

Unless the Commonwealth begins to act on Uganda, the Queen’s visit will be a crowning of tyranny. There is likely to be sad news from Uganda soon after the Summit dinners are over.

By Concerned Ugandans. All correspondence to the group can be sent to: PO Box 776, Wembley, Middlesex,
HA0 3XW, U.K.



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