Opinion: Bobi Wine’s plea for answers

It shouldn’t be this hard to get an answer. It shouldn’t be this sort of manner, but they are doing this as a result of the President and his orders. The authorities, security organizations and government is doing it and they haven’t stopped.

Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine addressed the Parliament today on the 11th March. The campaigns are over, the elections are sealed, but the state is still going after National Unity Platform activists, leaders and supporters. There are so many people who has been abducted, detained, tortured and even extra judicial killed. Therefore, the state cannot just act aloof and like they don’t know. When everyone knows that they know it perfectly well. They are playing ping-pong between the agencies, but we know that they have access to the information and knowledge of the persons missing.

His first vital statement was this:

We wonder if we still have a Constitution in this country. What happened to the requirement to have arrested persons presented before courts of law within 48 hours? What happened to the prohibition against torture, which is a non-derogable right? Why are civilians being tried by military courts? Why are they charged in the absence of their lawyers and relatives, Madam Speaker?” (Bobi Wine, 11.03.2021).

This here is what has boggled me that the Uganda Law Society (ULS) and the Judiciary haven’t addressed this. Neither has the Uganda Police Force (UPF) or any of the other Security Agency haven’t taken this to account. The state and the “high above” is fine that these people are losing their constitutional rights. It should have been more of a outcry, but it has only been minor efforts to cry out loud.

He continues:

Madam Speaker, President Museveni has come out and acknowledged that it is on his orders that these, our supporters have gone missing. I want to imagine that all of us, regardless of which political party we belong to, understand that our Constitution provides for the presumption of innocence and the right to a fair trial. Isn’t it then unfortunate that President Museveni has convicted iur people for terrorism and treason like he has been saying and sentenced them to torture and long periods of detention without trial? Should we sit here comfortably while this continues?” (Bobi Wine, 11.03.2021).

By the statement made by the President he claimed without any evidence that the ones who was taken was treasonous. By definition his saying supporting an opposition opponent that he fears is treachery. That is what is happening and is the memo of the affair that Bobi Wine states too. His just pleading about the rights to assemble and be a political in a multi-party democracy, which is part of the constitution, but clearly not abided by the government itself.

What is also striking is that citizens can be charged without a trial, warrants and sentencing, but the President deems these civilians as treasonous. That is injustice and impunity. The state is using unlawful means to do their type of “rule of law”. Museveni clearly doesn’t value “rule of law”. Only that he has total control and doesn’t care about the principal of “equal before law”. The only thing that matters to him is to incite fear and intimidate to stop anyone who oppose him. That is what his doing with these orders towards all the abducted or kidnapped civilians.

In the 1980s, an election was rigged using security forces. President Museveni castigated the courts at the time for being used by President Obote to give his regime a semblance of legitimacy. Ugandans were disappearing and being kidnapped in what was called panda gari. Today in 2021, we are back to this point, or even worse. Even peaceful demonstrations that are within the law have been criminalised and citizens are being treated like armed rebels. This Parliament, under you Madam Speaker, can rise to the occasion and distinguish itself by doing the right thing. This Parliament has an opportunity to stand on the right side of history. But if it does not, the people of Uganda will invoke Article 3 of the Constitution and take these matters upon themselves, and seek to restore constitutional rule” (Bobi Wine, 11.03.2021).

Here he brings a history lesson … which is astonishing, but something his not alone to point out. That Museveni is repeating history and doing the same, which was the reason for the bush-war. Just doing it to another generation and youth who never saw the darkness of the past. However, at this moment Museveni is doing it to them. That is the reality of it all and it shouldn’t be a thing.

Part of the ending of the speech was this:

I am not sure how many more times I will be able to address this Parliament as MP, hopefully the next time I address this house, I will be President, but I want to remind this Parliament that the people of Uganda are running out of patience” (Bobi Wine, 11.03.2021).

We know that the MP doesn’t have much time before the 11th Parliament is starting. It is just a matter of months before his term as MP ends. The Presidency will not happen at this given time. There is no uprising and no civil disobedience to talk off. The President and his party can live lavish without any worries. The NRM can be brutal and be horrific without any consequences. They are not paying any price for their actions.

Bobi Wine at this current stage is the Leader of Opposition and his statement will not change that. The International Community will not come to save him. The public is either with him and willing to risk it all or its more “status quo”. Peace.

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