Opinion: Museveni is repeating the oppressive means of Obote II

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.

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