‘I WILL OVERTHROW MUSEVENI’ SAYS MP SSEGGONA

 

Busiro East MP Medard Ssegona, has vowed to work tirelessly to overthrow President Yoweri  Museveni and his government out of power.

Addressing a crowd that braved the evening downpour, the vocal lawmaker noted that he is determined to change government because he is not ready to continue seeing his people suffering at the hands of President Museveni, yet their generation has come.

“I want to overthrow Museveni, I do not say this at night nor is it a secret but I work day and night to see that I remove him from power and I want to assure you that I will accomplish my plan ”-Ssegona, who was the host of Citizens’ alliance rally at Wakiso on Saturday 26th told people.

He, however, reluctant to elaborate the methods he would use to achieve his Museveni ouster, but the Constitution eleborates all legitimate ways to remove a siting govermnment.

Sseggona, who justified his argument by saying that Museveni’s failure to deliver social services such as Education,health services, good road etc, has prompted him to start enacting obnocious laws like Public Order Management for the smooth operations in his bid to curtail freedoms of expression.

Amidst the heavy police deployment, Sseggona was flanked by his counterparts mainly opposition politicians who cemented his argument.

“You people, you should be strong and should not give up but work towards changing the status quo, for a better  future for your selves and generations to come” said Butambala MP, Muhammad Muwanga Kivumbi.

Lubaga North MP Moses Kasibante said that President Museveni who wishes that Uganda pulls out of the International Crime Court is a clear indicator that his government can come up with a law that seeks to gag the citizenry who may have issues affecting their lives.

“That is why government decided to enact a law to always disperse public meetings on assumptions that whenever people gather they are likely to demonstrate/riot”Kasibante added.

On his Part, Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago said that “Museveni’s government is already on a collapsing edge and that is reason why bad laws like the public Order Management law are being enacted” he told People adding that  “Such a law is intended to keep president Museveni in power some few more years”

Like the previous speakers, Lukwago also asked Ugandans not “fear death as they resist bad governance”

“I will not be deterred by anyone from fighting for the right course for this country and I would not  mind dying at the battle front for the sake of rule of law and Human rights just like my role model Martin Luther King Junior” he said.

“No one know when and how he/she will die, so it is better to join us fighting for the betterment of  our motherland” He stressed.

slubambula@gmail.com

LUWERO DISTRICT RESIDENTS VOW TO DISOBEY THE PUBLIC ORDER MANAGEMENT LAW.

 
Residents in Luwero District have joined the rest of other areas of
the country such as Mbale and Wakiso district, to show their dismay
the Parliament of Uganda, for enacting the Public Order Management
law, which they say will grossly violate their rights if effected.
According to the residents who were interviewed by Unwanted Witness
Uganda shortly after a rally organized by Citizens’ Alliance and
political parties in conjunction with the district MP Brendah
Nabukenya at Kasana Town in Luwero revealed that they would not “obey” the law.
Samaddu Safi (32) a pineapple seller in Kasana town, says “I can not
comply with the recently passed Public Order Management law”
He justified his objection to the law when he said that “we are a
family of 32 people which means that it would require us to seek for
police permission for every preparatory meeting for my graduation
party because I have just finished my University”
“I do not support this law because even at a family level it would
require us to seek police permission to have a meeting, therefore am
also inspired to mobilize people to resist this bad law” said Zubaili
Kasana, a businessman in Kasana Town.
 Enock Ssozi a taxi driver in Wobulenzi Town in Luwero wonders whether
the Lawmakers comprehended the bill before it was passed.
When I have looked at this law, dangers overweigh the benefits
associated with the law and to me it seems majority of MPs did not
comprehend the issues deliberated in the house, just because of the
medium used that is the English language”
“That is why the constitution and other laws are deliberately not
translated from English to other local languages; people cannot
interpret the provisions and therefore they cannot understand them “he
added.
“so I ask myself, what will happen when time comes in 2016 as the same
politician is supposed to campaign for another term in office, will
such law have any implications on his/her activities, I still ask
where do these people come from, aren’t we the ones that voted them
into office but why do they pass such draconian laws” Ssessanga who is
a politician, wondered.
“What is likely to happen to us who go out for prayers on Sundays and
those who go to the mosques on Fridays in regard to this Public Order
Management law, he added.
Fred Lutaaya a health worker helping those with children suffering
from sickle cells says that this law is “unfortunate because it will
stifle our operations as social workers and activists and it should be
rejected”.
Human rights activists’ take
Earlier before the main rally in Kasana, human activists Andrew
Karamaji a lawyer and human Rights activist Geoffrey Wokulira
Ssebagala who is the Chief Executive Officer of the Unwanted Witness
Uganda had took residents through the “draconian” law and its effects
in after being assented to by President Museveni.
The duo cited the provisions in this controversial passed legalization
that have grave implications on their activism and advocacy
operations.
Appreciating the group of legal experts from Kampala for enlightening
them on the dangers of the Public Order Management Law, Margaret
Ssekitoleko suggested that after understanding the problems associated
to the law, it is important to go out to sensitize the general public
especially at the village level in order for them to defy the law.
Sekitoleko says that young people should be empowered to continue the
gospel to reject the law before it is too late.
They asked Human rights activists such as Ssebaggala, to document and
expose the MPs who participated in the passage of the law, back in
their constituents because according to him, they breached the social
contract which they reached upon electing them.
“You (Activists) should help us and document all MPs who participated
in the passing this bill which is taking away our rights such that we
reject them in 2016” Said Henry Kimbowa.
solomon@unwantedwitness.or.ug

slubambula@gmail.com

FOOD RIGHTS ACTIVISTS CALL FOR UNIVERSAL AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SERVICES

 As the country joins the rest of the globe to mark the World Food day
scheduled for October 16th Food rights activists have stressed that
failure to ensure universal access to agricultural extension services,
is a matter of human rights violation.

 The activists urge that there two human rights issues that should
keenly be considered and observed the country celebrates the World
Food Day.

While launching a series of activities seeking serious interventions
aimed at combating hunger and malnutrition, activists said the best
approach would be ensuring accessibility of agricultural extension
services for all farmers in the country because it would empower
farmers to be in a position to produce more food and subsequently the
right to food would observed.

This comes at a time when about 900 million people across the globe
are undernourished, while the situation of hunger and malnutrition in
Uganda is not so different.

Activists expressed their disappointment with governments
concentrating on new technologies in the agricultural sector and
neglect the human resource which according to them directly produces
the food.

Now Food Rights advocates under the Food Rights Alliance a non-
governmental organization with over 100 members resolved to embark on
engaging lawmakers, farmers, government officials and other
stakeholders from the line ministries on how to improve accessibility
of agricultural extension services.

The crusaders of food rights believe that if the country is to
increase food productivity and cultivation of nutritious foods for the
population.

The National coordinator of the Food Rights Alliance Agnes Kirabo
explains the recently launched Farm Power 2013 an Initiative to be
marked on the 10th of October every year, is a strategy to bring
concerns of farmers on a discussion table for consideration by all
stakeholders.

In an interview with The Unwanted witness Uganda, she said “There is
no doubt that matters of food and agricultural are Human Rights issues
that government must take as priority”

Referring to the cost of Hunger report 2013, indicating that 54% of
adults are stunted, Kirabo says “the solutions to world Hunger have
left out critical aspect of food system which basically means people
and institutions, instead much emphasis is put on processes by which
food is produced and that is technology”

“Although technology development in agriculture, mechanical and seed
has advanced over decades this has not resulted in an increase in food
availability and stability” She added.

“This is why people centered actions such as those related to
improving technical capacity to produce and handle food as well those
actual eating the food and focusing on building institutional capacity
to deliver on food availability remain an aspect for engagement”
Kirabo said.

The number of farmers accessing extension services is declining over
time, according to the National development only 14% of farmers have
been visited by an extension worker in  the last 12 months, this is in
tandem with the decline in the total agricultural funding .

For example the period 2001/2002 to 2012/2013 has seen a decline in
the agricultural budget as a percentage of the National Budget from an
average of 4.6% to 3.2% which is below the 10% share that Uganda
pledged to allocate sector under the Maputo Declaration.

NAADs hasn’t worked

Although government introduced National Agricultural Advisory Services
(NAADs) program, Kirabo says it has not addressed the issues instead
it has made access to agricultural extension more discriminative ,
only a few farmers in a sub county and parish leaving the majority
without access to this critical aspect of food production,
productivity and utilization.

She argues that NAADS would not fully address the matter of
agricultural extension because it is largely funded by the development
partners who would have conditions pegged to the funding for their
special goals. Kirabo also states that 70% of the funds for the NAADS
programs actually end up doing administrative work at the secretariat
in Kampala and only 30% reach the farmers. So it is incumbent upon
government to fund the program in order to get its desired goals,
kirabo added.

It is on this note that Kirabo blamed government for not taking up its
full responsibility of allocating sufficient funding to the sector and
 providing agricultural extension to all farmers which is translated
into violation of the right to information.

She adds that provision of Agricultural extension is increasingly
becoming discriminative which is detrimental to the country, household
food and nutrition security. And this also in away violates the right
to food.

This is coupled with the absence of the Food and Nutrition Bill in the
country has resulted into violation of the right to food and hence the
increasing number of stunted children.

Kirabo and other advocates called on government to improve funding for
agricultural extension to allow more farmers to access the facilities.
Furthermore stakeholders involved in these services are asked to
consider hard to reach areas and special groups including women, youth
among others.

She recommends that government should prioritize provision of
agricultural extension beyond technology since this has been the
missing link leading to low food production and improvement of
existing technologies

As government considers reforms in the NAADS program, the Food Rights
Alliance says that consultations should not be a board room issue but
a country wide issue allowing the people across the board to debate
especially farmers.

In order to overcome, the challenges of food security and nutrition,
Kirabo also called on Parliament to consider debating and urgently
pass the Food and Nutrition Bill that has gathered dust since it was
shelved way back in 2009.

slubambula@gmail.com

Human rights activists warn Police against implementing stringent

 After President Yoweri Museveni’s signature of the stricter Public
Order management Act, human rights activists have come out to caution
police against implementation, on justification that it violates
peoples’ Rights.

A caution to police comes from eight human rights Non government
Organizations (NGOs) ON top of passing a resolution to take a legal
action to challenge its contentious clauses.

These human rights activists are led by the Human Rights Network
Uganda headed by Mohammed Ndifuna, who is also Chief Executive
Officer.

 “We caution the Uganda Police officers not to take this Act as a
poetic license to violate all rights and freedoms as they want because
indeed there other laws that they may have to deal with if they act in
excesses” said Ndifuna while speaking to the Unwanted Witness Uganda.

He maintains that “Police should be sensitive to principles of
accountability and professionalisms in respect to human Rights”.

Ndifuna, who said that Uganda Police are given immense powers in the
current law, also cautioned government not to go overboard by
sanctioning the clauses embedded in the law which are against human
rights as well as the international Human Rights conventions signed by
Uganda government.

He also reminded police officers about the other existing legislations
such as the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act 2012, which
holds them personally liable for any for criminal acts committed
against Ugandans.

 Ndifuuna adds that although activists and other responsible citizens
condemned some of the clauses, they were finally smuggled into the
law.

“we are heading to the call that is inherit in the constitution itself
that citizens must protect the constitution, so our interpretation of
this, is that we can do something under the ambit of law and this why
we are taking this POMA for constitutional court interpretation,
hopeful some of the obnoxious provisions will be struck” Ndifuna said.

Other groups which joined HURINET to gang up against the Public Order
Management act are, Centre for Constitutional Governance, Commonwealth
Human Rights Initiative, The Uganda Women’s Network, Legal Brain, the
Uganda Association of Women Lawyers (FIDA) among others.

Activists stress that the current law is against the constitution,
citing clause 8 of which they say, re-introduces section 32 of the
Police Act which was declared unconstitutional by the constitutional
in the case of Muwanga Kivumbi Vs Attorney General and thus according
to Ndifuna is “a clear undermining of the Independence of the
Judiciary”

They also contend that limitation venues where rallies are supposed to
be hosted from, also violates freedoms such as freedom of speech,
expression, thought and belief, assembly and association are
unjustifiable in a democratic society, which is against constitutional
Article 29 (1) (a) (b) (c) (d) and (e) of the constitution that
provides for the rights mentioned above.

Reached for a comment, internal Affairs Minister General Aronda
Nyakayirima,gave them a green right, saying that “Whoever is
contesting the Public Order Management Law is free to go to court”
Aronda told Unwanted Witness Uganda, at Parliament, on Thursday.

The minister, whose docket includes police, said the relevant
government agencies are ready to implement the Public Order Management
Law because it went through all the necessary processes and procedures
of Parliament before it was passed.

“They (activists) can only go to court, it is already law, it was
sufficiently debated in Parliament, it was passed and it is a good law
to manage our society as people assemble and where they assemble, and
who should do what?. So it is a good law” Aronda said.

solomon@unwantedwitness.com