Opinion: The 1962 & 1995 Constitution has practically equal rights… against sectarianism…

In 1962, the politics of Uganda was based on the sectarianism of tribes, religion and looking down on women. That is how Uganda had become a failed state. The politics of Uganda was based on sectarianism. That’s how Uganda has become a failed state. All that was from sowing a bad seed. We are for socio-economic transformation and democracy. That’s how we started in 1995, challenging the other line (Sectarianism)” – President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (06.04.2022).

The Head of State, President for Life and His Excellency Yoweri Tibuhurwa Kaguta Museveni during yesterday farewell speech at the state funeral of late Speaker Jacob Oulanyah. He uttered these words and said it. Like he invented the wheel and nobody did it before. When his coming with such claims, which is outrageous …. because he has appointed more high ranking officals from Ankole and the Western Uganda than anyone else. Therefore, the President should be careful about his own legacy….

With that in mind, the way his government and party has assaulted the NUP and their roots in Baganda Kingdom or in the Central Region. They should be wise and not do that… as they have record themselves and it was an result of the previous governments, which also appointed and ensured certain tribes of the North got a powerbase. If that being the Langi, Acholi or even Kakwa for that matter. We know that Obote and Amin did certain services in this manner and Museveni has been no different there. Only that he has had longer time and he has gotten away with it.

Alas, because of his claim of 1962 versus 1995. He claims he made a difference, but the laws of each time shows the people had practically equal rights after their respective constitutions. The implications of how the government operated and how things panned out is different. That was what Obote did in his first term and what happened after that. However, the sectarianism …. claim seems to be out of bound with the initial texts of the laws, which the Constitution at the time said.

So read this here…

1962 Constitution:

17. Whereas every person in Uganda is entitled t o the fundamental and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, what- ever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the individual public interest, t o each and all of the following, namely—

(a) life, liberty, security of the person and the protection of the law;

(b) freedom of conscience, of expression and of assembly and association; and

(c) protection for the privacy of his home and other property and from deprivation of property without compensation, the provisions of this Chapter shall have effect for the purpose of affording protection to those rights and freedoms subject to such limitations of that protection as are contained in those provisions, being limitations designed t o ensure that the enjoyment of the said

rights and freedoms by any individual does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of others or the public interest” (1962 Constitution).

1995 Constitution:

Article 21 Equality and freedom from discrimination (1) All persons are equal before and under the law in all spheres of political, economic, social and cultural life and in every other respect and shall enjoy equal protection of the law. (2) Without prejudice to clause (1) of this article, a person shall not be discriminated against on the ground of sex, race, colour, ethnic origin, tribe, birth, creed or religion, or social or economic standing, political opinion or disability. (3) For the purposes of this article, “discriminate” means to give different treatment to different persons attributable only or mainly to their respective descriptions by sex, race, colour, ethnic origin, tribe, birth, creed or religion, or social or economic standing, political opinion or disability. (4) Nothing in this article shall prevent Parliament from enacting laws that are necessary for- (a) implementing policies and programmes aimed at redressing social, economic or educational or other imbalance in society; or (b) making such provision as is required or authorised to be made under this Constitution; or (c) providing for any matter acceptable and demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society. (5) Nothing shall be taken to be inconsistent with this article which is allowed to be done under any provision of this Constitution” (1995 Constitution).

When you read these articles from two constitutions… you can easily assess and see that they are saying the same things. There is no real difference or changes of language even. The 1995 Constitution is only in this manner speaking of direct discrimination, but the 1962 states of it in the view of public interest.

The citizens have equal rights under both constitutions and they shouldn’t be subjected to limitations or prosecutions, because of their sex, race, colour, ethnic tribe, birth, creed or religion. That is similar under both articles from the two constitutions. Therefore, we can see that this didn’t start in 1995, but was already a thing in 1962. It could easily wonder if the ones writing the 1995 Constitution was inspired by the 1962 Constitution in this article. Nevertheless, that is only speculation.

What we do know… is that they are giving the same rights people and not being sectarian. Which was the claim of the current day President. He should think more straight and not speak of malice without considering his words. That’s what he does and trying to re-write history. Not that the previous governments didn’t’ do badly and didn’t appoint on tribal lines. The history speaks of this and the historians after Post-Musveni will show that he did the same. A legacy he don’t want, but that is his history too. Peace.

President Museveni’s statement: On the recent attacks by some schemers in Kasese and Bundibugyo

Statement

by

H.E. Yoweri K. Museveni
President of the Republic of Uganda

on
The recent attacks by some schemers in Kasese and Bundibugyo

7th July 2014

Nantabulirwa yasabala na bwabbumba:  Whatever a man sows that is what he will reap.

Uganda started off her Independence, in 1962, on a very weak foundation.  This was, mainly, because of bad politics pushed by opportunistic sectarian groups and manipulated by external interests.  The sectarianism, as we have pointed out many times, was based on religion, tribes and gender chauvinism (marginalizing the women).  There were only three women that I remember in the Independence Parliament of 1962 to take one example.  Within four years of Independence, the then Prime Minister had to abolish the 1962 Constitution because of the contradictions that were getting ever sharper.  Earlier on, there had been the conflict on the “lost counties” of Bunyoro.

A lot of blood was shed in the 1966 crisis, resulting in the abolition of the Kingdoms.  Eventually, Amin made a coup detat in 1971 and more sectarianism was generated and much more blood was shed between 1971 and 1979.

The late Mwalimu Nyerere, writing about Uganda, said of that period as follows:  “If the Ugandans thought they were on the frying pan under Obote, they found themselves in the fire proper under Amin”.  That was the perfect description of that time.

Some of us have the advantage of having been old enough to know and understand everything that was going on and yet we were young enough to live for long after 1962 as we have done.  Initially, we, as youth, belonged to those sectarian parties ─ I being in Democratic Party (DP) and some of my colleagues being in Uganda Peoples’ Congress (UPC) and Kabaka Yeka (KY).  However, by 1965, we had started developing grave doubts about the direction of that blind, irresponsible, opportunistic sectarian politics. As students, that is how we founded the nucleus of the third force ─ a non-sectarian student body.  That student Movement, during Amin’s time, metamorphosed into FRONASA that was part of the coalition that fought Idi Amin and, eventually, evolved into NRM.  Right from the beginning, we opposed and despised sectarianism because it was illogical and, obviously, run counter to the interests of the people.  As we have said, repeatedly, the core interests of the people are prosperity and security for each individual family and for the entire society.  When we talk of prosperity and security, we mean prosperity through production, not through parasitism.  When we talk of security, we mean security in pursuing one’s legitimate interests.  Legitimate interests mean working, utilizing our legitimately earned assets and enjoying the fruits of your labour.

There are, of course, other interests such as cultural, spiritual, etc.  However, the core ones and on which all the other interests depend, are prosperity (especially economic) and security of person and property.  Prosperity through production means producing and selling what you produce.  Your allies in that battle are the people who buy what you produce.  The recent insecurity in South Sudan showed the importance to producers of markets.  Many businesses suffered.  The prices even went down.  The insecurity in Eastern Congo or Kenya usually has similar effects on the producers’ prosperity. Recently, I was in Kanungu and found there prospering farmers because there is now, again, some security in Eastern Congo.  Even before colonization, there was interdependence among the tribes ─ as far as the forest of Congo, South Sudan and the East African Coast.  It was only some of the tribal chiefs that were inconveniencing this trade as was observed and recorded by the early European travelers ─ John Speke and Henry Stanley.

Therefore, those who have been in the habit of pushing for sectarianism are the real enemies of not only security but also the prosperity of the African Peoples, the Ugandans inclusive.  It is this firm belief of ours that propelled us to sow the mustard seed of non-sectarianism that, eventually, became the mighty tree of NRM/NRA and the present peace in the whole country.  It was on account of our non-sectarianism and always working for the unity of the people that, starting with a small force, we were able to build a very powerful force.  That force enabled us to win all the wars we fought, bring democracy to Uganda as well as peace and development.  In bringing democracy, we also restored the rights of the different cultural groups in Uganda, if they so wished, to restore the traditional cultural institutions or even create new ones on condition that they did not meddle in partisan politics, administration and legislation.  Why did we insist on this?  It was for two reasons.  First, in a democracy, the population govern themselves ─ through elections.  They are not governed by anybody else except themselves.  Yet, when you hear some of the spokesmen of the cultural institutions that we restored speaking, they speak as if it is not the people that govern themselves.  Worse still, some of the cultural institutions have, for some time now, been acting counter to our message of non-sectarianism.  They have been actively fomenting sectarianism and tribal chauvinism ─ acting and talking as if the only thing that matters are certain tribes to which the respective traditional leaders belong.  Yet, the NRM, the Bible and the Koran as well as common sense hold that all people are born equal and must be treated as such.  We have repeatedly and politely pointed out this point.  Yet, some elements among the cultural institutions have also been repeatedly uttering sectarian and chauvinist words and also acting in that manner.

This now brings me to my two statements above ─ the Luganda proverb that says: “Nantabulirwa yasabaala na bwa bbumba” and the Biblical statement that “whatever a man sows, that is what he will reap”.  The Luganda proverb refers to somebody who defied all the advice and decided to use a clay canoe to cross a body of water.  The consequences were disastrous for him and for those who travelled with him in the clay boat.

Last Sunday, a group of people in the Rwenzori region carried out coordinated attacks against security forces and civilians.  Altogether, they carried out 13 attacks as follows:
(i)    At 3.00 pm, they attacked policemen at the weigh bridge, killed 1 policeman, injured another one and took 2 SMGs;
(ii)    At Bigando, a UPDF soldier that was on leave, was killed and all his family burnt in a house;
(iii)    In Bigando, they also killed 6 Basongora civilians;
(iv)    At Karugutu Police post, they injured one (1) policeman and took one (1) SMG
(v)    At Kikyo Police post, they took one SMG;
(vi)    At Kirumiya Police post, they took 1 gun;
(vii)    At Ntandi they took 2 SMGs from Uganda Wild Life (UWA) personnel;
(viii)    At Kibuku, they ambushed soldiers who were taking re-enforcements to Bundibugyo, killed one of them, and took 1 SMG but 3 of the attackers were killed including their so called commander;
(ix)    In Bundibugyo town, they attacked Bundibugyo Police Station, killed the OC station and one policeman and took one SMG;
(x)    They attacked Stanbic Bank but three of the attackers were killed;
(xi)    They, then, attacked, Lakwena style, the camp of 39BN at Kanyamirima, injuring one Captain and killing one soldier but 45 of the attackers were killed and the attack was repelled;
(xii)    Attack on the Palace of the Bamba King saw one gun being taken and one policeman being injured; and, finally,
(xiii)    The attack on the shrine where 2 soldiers were killed and one gun was taken.

This means that 8 members of the security forces were killed and 51 attackers were also killed.  This is a total of 65 Ugandans killed last Saturday by the schemes of some confused or selfish bunch of people.  Fortunately, today Uganda has got a capable State that is able to deal decisively and expeditiously with such schemes although, of course, there was a failure of intelligence.   How did these people weave such a scheme without being pre-empted?  What were the GISOs doing?  However, their main effort, which was to enter the camp of 39BN was decisively defeated.  In their limited thinking, they thought it was a light matter to attack UPDF.

How did all this start?  It started with Mr. Charles Mumbere, now HH Omusinga of the Bakonjo, coming to see me some years ago.  He is the son of the late Isaiah Mukirane who, together with Kawamara, the father of the new cultural leader of the Bamba and Mupalya who died recently, started the Rwenzururu Movement in 1962 against the Batooro domination.  Mukirane, eventually, died in the mountains and left his young son Mumbere.  When Mr. Mumbere came to see me, he wanted to be the King of the Rwenzururu.  I told him that the Rwenzururu had been a Political Movement for equality.  Why did he want to turn a political resistance movement into a monarchy?  His group, however, kept on insisting on the issue of monarchy although there was a big group in Kasese that also opposed the idea.   Eventually, in order to create harmony, we withdrew objections to Mr. Mumbere becoming Omusinga especially after people like Dr. Kiyonga and a large group of people who were opposed to the idea of monarchy, withdrew their objection.  However, the Bamba leaders of Bundibugyo were totally opposed to the idea of the monarchy.

In agreeing to Mr. Mumbere being Omusinga, we, therefore, agreed that that cultural institution should operate in Kasese.  Those of Bundibugyo and other areas that were interested in the Obusinga could go to Kasese.  Even within Kasese, there are other indigenous groups that did not support these ideas.  These are the Basongora, Banyabindi and BagaboWe encouraged HH Omusinga to have dialogue with these groups.  I do not know how far that dialogue has gone.  I have, however, been hearing of some chauvinistic positions from some of those who claim to be supporting Obusinga.  They seem to insist that the Omusinga, apart from the Omukama of Tooro in his area, should be the only cultural leader in the Rwenzori region.  Yet, there are other ethnic groups in the Rwenzori region: Bamba, Basongora, Banyabindi, etc.  They have different ideas about this issue and have, in several meetings with me, made this categorically clear.

On account of those chauvinistic ideas being banded around for so long, it seems some groups hatched this criminal scheme that has caused the death of so many people.  Apart from killing 51 of the attackers, we have captured 65 others.  We shall get to the truth and will punish those involved.  In the meantime, the country should not get anxious about this scheme.  It was defeated right on the first day of its execution even before the full potential of the UPDF has been mobilized.  This scheme is doomed to total failure.  It is amazing how wrong ideas coalesce into wrong actions.  Nantabulirwa ya sabaala na bwa bbumba.  Whatever a man sows, that is what he will reap.

I thank you.

Yoweri Kaguta Museveni Gen (rtd)
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA

Link:

http://www.mediacentre.go.ug/press-release/president-musevenis-statement-recent-attacks-some-schemers-kasese-and-bundibugyo

 

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