The man who promised a “fundamental change” and be a different from the ones before him. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni promised a lot, but however these days it shows no difference between him and the second Dr. Milton Obote II regime. He is using the same means against opposition and activists.
The abduction and suddenly detaining of Nicholas Opiyo yesterday proved it. As he was taken by law enforcement in plain clothers from a restaurant in Kamwokya. Later it was reported that he was at the Central Investigation Division (CID) at Kireka. However, they have suddenly charged him with money laundering and such. That is just an easy way freeze accounts and find excuses to have behind bars.
It wasn’t only Opiyo who was abducted yesterday. His team was also taken-in. These was Simon Peter Esomu and Anthony Odur. Which shows that anyone can be taken by the state operatives for no apparent reasons these days.
There been reports of Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) leaders and candidates who has been taken and in-custody without any warrants. The National Unity Platform (NUP) supporters have been attacked by soldiers as they were preparing for rallies. They were wearing red and posters of Bobi Wine. That was enough to get either brutally hurt by them or arrested to unknown locations.
These days the regime doesn’t have the State Research Bureau (SRB) which was a torture dome and where people was taken too. Today the Internal Security Organization (ISO), Chieftain of Military Intelligence (CMI) and other outfits are using not only CID Kireka, but also ungazetted safe-houses for the ones that is abducted by the state. This sort of operation have gone on for long and court cases proved it. However, the election is only showing the lack of space for opposition in the Republic.
The National Resistance Movement (NRM) is acting like Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) under Dr. Milton Obote II did to the Democratic Party in the 1980s. Where MPs was arrested, gerrymandering and abduction of people. There is no difference there. Only new names and parties, but the parties are clearly acting alike.
Now the green of the DP isn’t the deadly sin, but wearing the red or blue is the problem. If you are associated with NUP or FDC you can expect legal trouble. You can get abducted for weeks without warrants or charges. The people who is abducted is able to get access to get attorneys, neither are they freed after 48 hours without a trial. They are just keeping them indefinitely and hoping nobody is blowing the whistle on the injustice.
The NRM is repeating the ills of the previous regimes. They are using the military, expanded the Presidential Entourage and finding new measures to suppress the public. The President is blaming the victims and using words that even Obote did in 1983.
Where Obote said: “It is convenient for them to make allegations in order to hide the effect of losing support and the lack of policies to put to the electorate” (Leon Dash – ‘Violence Poisons Political Process Within Uganda’ 01.12.1983, Washington Post).
We can hear the NRM saying similar these days. They are deflecting and hoping people are forgetting the ones abducted and arrested politically during these times. That would be very convenient for them. As we are following the campaign trail and what’s happening to the main candidates. While the lingering supporters and smaller candidates… can be behind bars without anyone defending them. Some can even be at a safe-house and their families have no clue where they are taken. The ones abducted to unknown locations. Just because the state can do so… Peace.
The Human Rights Lawyer Nicholas Opiyo was arrested by security officers in plain-clothes earlier today at Lamwaro Restaurant in Kamwokya in Kampala today. This after his house was raided by unknown people a few days ago.
This is going after a government critic and lawyer who works for human rights and against injustice. So, because of what he does. He gets arrested too. Not that this was warranted or have any open charges on the lawyer.
The location of the arrested lawyer is unknown … and we don’t even if these security operators was part of CMI, ISO or anyone else within the authorities. Because, this is just arresting and abducting a civilian for no apparent reason. That is what the state does to its critics.
Usually they are mobilizers or activists for a opposition and they are getting phony charges. These are taken away at night or early morning. Later the party and organizations wonders where they members and activists are. Therefore, what happened to Opiyo isn’t a new thing, but a worrying sign still.
That someone like his is targeted and easily taken of the streets without any warning. That the state can issue an arrest and abduct him without any precautions. This isn’t a good look. We can wonder how many more who is taken away like this and who is monitored by state. As they have been following Opiyo for a while.
The government of Uganda doesn’t want good press. They just want depressing news, apparently. Peace.
He was at it again for the 31st time or 30th since he didn’t do this in first year after the coup d’etat. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. That being the old-man-with-the-hat having his first State of the Union in 1987. Times are changing but he is still not caring about facts or using his tricks to make himself look like a genius and savior. Even if there are far from it and makes sure the others are to blame. That is what President Museveni do. Therefore, I am just looking at parts of his speech, since there are many details and many things you could put a finger on and discuss. As it could be as simple as explaining the roads funds and research the pledged roads, which he said today was all paid by Government of Uganda (GoU), while if you look over the previous funding of the roads you would see the money might be foreign. Instead, I will look the security issues, the torture and the Policing. Because it is so important and the man trust IGP Kale Kayihura so much, who has made the Police a long-arm of the ruling regime. With that in mind, I had to focus on this and not on all the other subjects that the President spoke about. Take a look!
“The Police do not have to wait for the crime to be committed. Through good intelligence, most crimes can be prevented. Most of the suspects arrested after the murder of Kawesi and others, even if they were not involved in the killing of Kawesi, they had committed other capital offences, many of which carry death sentences or life imprisonment. Why, then, were they still in circulation? That means somebody was not doing his or her work” (Museveni, 2017).
Mr. President, why wasn’t these men caught for the other cases, than the murder case of the AIGP Andrew Kaweesi. This case has been public and there been an awesome amount of possible suspects. These has been hundreds and even the kids of suspects has been detained. Therefore, that all of these might have other crimes on their hands, that might be true, but still they all could be innocent. So the President has decided their fate without trial, which is a rare, but common practice by the President.
“The other day, I was in Kalerwe and the youth there were complaining of the Police arresting them for being “idle and disorderly”. This must stop completely. Some of the youth are idle because they do not have jobs. Why arrest them for that? The revolutionary should be like “fish in water”. A revolutionary should never be “fish in no water”” (Museveni, 2017).
As seen how the Police are working there are reports and studies on the subject, as the Police are the long-hand of the regime under the President. This can be quoted by: “One sub-county official explained that the activities of crime preventers are handled at the village level and news of them doesn’t reach his office, while another said they are too informal to discuss in a semi-structured interview with me. What happens in the village is not of concern, so long as it is not organized violent crime or resistance to the government. Although security groups are framed as local responses to local problems, the government retains the right to intervene and police their activities, frequently making arrests in relation to groups’ night patrols, the degree of force they employ and the appropriateness of their involvement in interpersonal conflicts” (Tapscott, 2017). So the are local policing that are framing the locals. These seems like the ones the President are talking about. Just similar stories even made the Police themselves in April 2017: “Tools like pangas, hammers and pick axes were provided to carry out their missions. The suspects also said that, the many youths were collected from parts of Kawempe Kalerwe Namugoona among others areas specifically to break into houses and once you were in the gang there was no way out. The IGP said criminals have used crime to be a business venture, and after the tension caused by these goons the police has taken action, and over 100 arrested and 50 appeared before court. Since then areas of Masaka are secure” (Uganda Police Force, 2017). So there apparently gangs, that are idle and unemployed as well. Certainly, there could be incidents where the police detain and arrest youths as a way of extorting them, since the payment for being a Police Officer in Uganda isn’t that splendid. This has been reported a lot of times and stories been told on the social media from all parts of Uganda.
“The issue of alleged torture by the Police, was addressed by myself in the usual NRM/NRA way. We always combine educational methods (sensitization) and administrative methods (punishments, demotions, etc,). When these reports came up, I carried out analysis of torture and how it, actually, impedes successful investigations. That is a very powerful message because it addresses the whys and the why-nots of an issue. It addresses the “Policeman of the mind” rather than just the “Policeman of the body”. I saw some NGOs and allied persons pouring scorn on my methods and recommending only fascist methods of arrests and imprisonment without education. Could these “experts in-everything” tell us why the UPDF is able to operate in Somalia, Central African Republic, Congo, South Sudan, etc. without complaining? Is it because of high pay or fear of imprisonment? Do these “know-it-alls” remember that our Army is a volunteer Army? Do they know that one can make much more money in the private sector than in the army? it, actually, impedes successful investigations. That is a very powerful message because it addresses the whys and the why-nots of an issue. It addresses the “Policeman of the mind” rather than just the “Policeman of the body”. I saw some NGOs and allied persons pouring scorn on my methods and recommending only fascist methods of arrests and imprisonment without education. Could these “experts in-everything” tell us why the UPDF is able to operate in Somalia, Central African Republic, Congo, South Sudan, etc. without complaining? Is it because of high pay or fear of imprisonment? Do these “know-it-alls” remember that our Army is a volunteer Army? Do they know that one can make much more money in the private sector than in the army? Let the “know-it-alls” be informed that the UPDF does what it does because of conviction. Okunyonyora (to explain, to sensitize) has been the life and blood of Fronasa, of the NRA, of the UPDF. To end this point, be informed that Uganda is free of war and it will remain so and the spike in lawlessness is being defeated even before we fill all the gaps and will be totally defeated when the gaps are filled” (Musveni, 2017).
The NRM Way are clearly not a healthy one, even if this is reported through the wits of NGO’s who know’s to much and cannot be trusted. This is what the President himself said. Because the UPDF are such wiseguys, since they are there voluntarily, But here is some quick reports of the torture, that has been also rampant part of the security organizations at places like Nalufenya. So this has been a discussed theme, but show’s the part of how the State in Uganda uses the Police Force and also other organizations in oppressive behavior.
Like these two reports:
“In similar fashion, presently, there is the recruitment of persons, undergoing rigorous training for purported legal purposes. Under the auspices of the Uganda Police, ‘crime preventers’ are being recruited and trained, ofcially, to fght crime.14 However, a critical assessment of this group reveals that it is a band of civilian vigilantes recruited by the government aimed at intimidating or reducing support for the political opposition through illegal means, including torture” (Chapter Four, P: 13, 2016).
“Various reports indicate the following as some of the patterns of torture in Uganda.
i) Being held incommunicado – where a person is arrested, detained and no access is allowed and no opportunity to communicate with other people.
ii) Extra-judicial executions – where suspects are executed without going through the due process of law and in most cases where they lack sufficient evidence on a case.
iii) Threats and intimidation through text messages and phone calls.
iv) Enforced disappearance – where a person is arrested in context of terrorism and treason suspects then disappears with trace and explanation.
v) Cases of rape by government and rebel forces during the conflict in Northern Uganda” (ACTV, P: 21, 2015).
This is just the sensitization and the NRM way of torture, that is well-known, so when the President speaks so found of his army. I have a hard time believing him or trusting his words. Seems more like promising words and praising of UPDF. Since it solves everything, the Operation Wealth Creation are even parts of the UPDF. That should make you think and also consider the places of the army. Since the army and police force aren’t only there for security reasons, but also for political reasons. That is why the President has to praise the army.
I think this is enough for now! Peace.
African Centre for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture Victims (ACTV) – ‘THE SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS ON THE PREVALENCE OF TORTURE IN UGANDA’ (November 2015)
Chapter Four – ‘Free Expression and Assembly in Peril ahead of 2016 Polls’ (2016)
Tapscott, Rebecca – ‘The Government Has Long Hands: Institutionalized Arbitrariness and Local Security Initiatives in Northern Uganda’ (06.03.2017) link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/dech.12294/full
Uganda Police Force – ‘MASAKA, KAMPALA CRIMINALS GANGS HAVE CONFESSED’ (24.04.2017) link: http://www.upf.go.ug/masaka-kampala-criminals-gangs-confessed/
Yoweri Kaguta Museveni – ‘State of The Nation Address’ – Republic of Uganda, Kampala (06.06.2017)