NBS News Anchor Samson Kasumba was arrested last night for seditious activities against the President. Kasumba’s house been raided and his been held at Kira Road Police Station in Kampala. A law that Andrew Mwenda claims was already thrown out by the Constitutional Court. However, the Uganda Legal Information Institute(Ulii.org) says is still active. This being the colonial law of the Penal Code and the articles 39 and 40, which states the matters.
This part of the law is direct. These sort of articles and sections of the law has been used against critics before. That they are malicious and such towards His Excellency and his kin. If it was speaking ill of the “Leopards Anus” or addressing “Project Muhoozi”. They have gotten into trouble. Therefore, Samson is in a long line of people scorn by daring to write-up on them. Used various of laws against them from the Computer Act to whatever, even write some silly poems too.
The Penal Code states:
“39. Seditious intention.
(1) A seditious intention shall be an intention—
(a) to bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against the person of the President, the Government as by law established or the Constitution”
40. Seditious offences.
Any person who—
does or attempts to do or makes any preparation to do, or
conspires with any person to do, any act with a seditious intention;
utters any words with a seditious intention;
(c) prints, publishes, sells, offers for sale, distributes or reproduces any seditious publication;
(d) imports any seditious publication, unless he or she has no reason to believe, the proof of which shall lie on him or her, that it is seditious” (Penal Act of 1950).
We can anticipate the authorities postponing the court date. They will hold him for as long as possible. This is done as a message to society. That even a NBS News Anchor can be taken like cattle into custody. That there is no one the Authorities cannot touch. If they dare to insult or insinuate things about the ways the government organize. Than they can end up like Pastor Joseph Kabuleta or anyone else. Even spending months upon end in Luzira like Dr. Stella Nyanzi.
This is not a new way or method of this government. He is just the recent big-fish for the big-men to shallowly call a victory. Fred Enaga and the whole Police Force can come with their ordinary statements and releases. He can be smug and call him a chicken thief. Surely, the statements made on Social Media hurt the pride of the state. However, they must deserve it when one of the major News Anchors of the Republic says it for everyone to see.
Like stated already. His not the first nor the last. The authorities does this, critics are fair game and allowed to challenge. Samson is just another one. He will pay and be a prized possession of the Police Force. They can show a token of loyalty to the “High Above”. Enough BS. Peace.
There is dropped an Corrigenda of the Budget for the Financial Year of 2020/21. This is always put adjust after the voting on the original budget and change the placement on funds. We are now seeing the state plans to make it rain on the Local Defence Unit (LDUs). Which is already made to ensure the political pressure and insight fear towards the General Elections of 2021. This is a common thread in the mind and the spirit of National Resistance Movement (NRM). They always have one para-military outfit to secure the public is kept of guard and doesn’t challenge a rigged election.
Therefore, the state needs to ensure the para-military organization is fed and has enough equipment. Even if there is legal basis for it and its a ad-hoc idea of the President. He still will implement and use this tool, as it is convenient. That is why suddenly the LDUs getting billions for their work. This is well planned behaviour.
“Vote OO4 – Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs: Ushs. 90.6Bn provided to cater for arrears on LDUs food, fuel, clothing, medical as well as maintenance of vehicles” (Corrigenda Report FY 2020/21, 06.04.2020).
This is how suddenly the state needs funds to secure their para-military organization, whose created with one motive and motivation. This group isn’t there for securing the borders nor a foreign enemy. Neither for insurgency or terrorism. No, this is to incite fear and secure the elections. They are not there for pickpockets nor anything else, that is the Police work.
Therefore, this funds, these billions is part of the re-election charade of the NRM. Peace.
There are some stories you cannot make up, there is a supplementary budget for the COVID-19 or Coronavirus in the Republic. All over the world the nations are scrambling funds, throwing it into a basket and hoping it solves the crisis at hand. However, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) have their solutions, it is the usual suspects, but also some new ones too.
Here is the breakdown from URN:
“The Budget committee has made some adjustments to the supplementary budget for COVID-19 intervention.
Health 107 Bn from 62 Bn
Security 75 Bn from 81 Bn
ICT 6 Bn from 14 bn
Disaster remains at 59 Billion
KCCA has seen over 12 Bn cut of the 30 bn requested” (Uganda Radio Network, 02.04.2020).
Because, originally, the state planned to offer the most funds to Security, this meaning the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) or Uganda Police Force (UPF) would get a huge chunk of the funds. Which is still true, they are still billed with billions of shillings. The Ministry, which is the most vital are getting the most, his being Health. However, just about more than 30 billions shillings.
The Ministry of Health should have gotten even more. Especially since they need funds for testing, for treatment and for keeping the needed equipment across the Republic. That is not cheap. If the President complains about the cost of testing. He should worry about the costs of treatment, ICU beds and ventilators to keep people alive. Also, ensure UMEME and NWSC keep the electric and water going for the hospitals and everyone else. That should also be ensured by the state, as they need this to keep their hands clean and stay home.
We can just be sure the Police Officers will stay on the road-side, make road-blocks and the LDUs will be marching around. Soldiers will outside the barracks and if you offend the Don, they will shoot at someone. We anticipate more police brutality, even as some unlucky souls are trying to pass to get milk, matooke or help their kids as their home is empty of stocks in their pantry. However, the soldier will not care and show no mercy.
At some point, some will be so afraid to go out during the lockdown, even as their kids and relatives are sick with symptoms. That they will be beaten and under fire to try to pass to the next Health Care Centre or doctor in the near area. This wouldn’t be shocking, as the cars, the public is stopped from driving and they cannot hawk someone to drive them to the Hospital. No, they have to beg for mercy and hope the security isn’t beating them to pulp. Which we have seen to the unlucky brothers who are passing in the streets.
That is just the way it is. Peace.
Well, now the Constitutional Court came today with a striking judgment. That the Section 8 of the Public Order Management Act of 2013 is unconstitutional. Section 8 of the POMA is very clear. That gives the powers to officers and give the police the authority to block any meeting. It also gives the powers to the Police to disperse a meeting. Also, finally the sub-section also issues the officers in question the powers to assess if a person is disobeying the law or unlawfully assembles. Which makes that person liable for sentencing according to the Penal Code section 117.
Therefore, today’s judgment is vital, as the Police Force by definition now doesn’t have the authority to block any gathering. Neither disperse it or issue an order to stop the public from participate in any public meeting/gathering. This here is an direct consequence of the judgment today.
We knew this law was draconian. The whole law isn’t null and void, just one part of it, but it takes away the powers to enforce it. The Police Force, the authorities is limited by this. This law has banned concerts, public gatherings, consultation meetings, anniversary rallies, opening of political party offices and so fourth. The state has given all sorts of orders and usage of the law to an extent, where the opposition is futile. They couldn’t conduct either internal party organizations nor actually try to gain new followers, since the state stopped it or never allowed them to publicly to gather in the first place.
This law was deemed the Anti-Besigye Act, ABA, the act against Besigye and his political effort to undermine the regime. This came after the Walk to Work. Now, the opposition has one an important battle in the Courts.
There was on judge who didn’t see it like this, that was Stephen Musota. Remember that man, because he stated this, he was the one voting in favour of Section 8 of POMA. Because, there was 4-1 and therefore, it was null and void. However, Stephen stated this: “The limits are now cast in stone and are no longer at the whims or imagination of the Inspector General of Police or his authorized officers”. That is why the whims of the IGP shouldn’t be the factor to allow people to assemble or not. This is why its unconstitutional, which is stated by the other judges on this matter.
What I am suspecting will happen is that the National Resistance Movement will revise and amend this bill. To ensure they have the powers to stop meetings and such before the General Elections 2021. They have had the good need of this bill for years. This will not go away without a blast. I don’t believe the NRM will concede and give way that easily. Not when the rise of Bobi Wine and Besigye is now allowed and cannot be stopped. That is what the NRM worried about and will find new ways to silence it. Especially, when the Police Force has been preoccupied with this partisan politicking for years. Peace.
There are one of those days, when you let your anger strike you too hard and you write something in an infuriating state. Where you mind boggles the facts and deeper understanding of the things. What the Ugandan blogger based in Canada did was very easy microwaving the message without considering the implications of it. Like, the Opposition should react, instead she said it shouldn’t campaign or shouldn’t even try create change. If she got her will, the demolition of opposition would be fixed. Mzee, Bosco or Mr. Sunday would be very happy, because people listened to Nangalama. They put down their swords and became silent like graves.
Here is an out-take from Red Pepper, which has resurfaced on social media:
“Ugandans should be demanding from their opposition leaders why their kids are being killed. Opposition leaders should not be taking the killings as political capital. They should suspend all their rallies, consultations and kwekalakasa to demand justice for the dead and imprisoned. You surely do not think we have opposition in Uganda. Here is the BIG News, there is no opposition in Uganda” (Martha Leah Nangalama – ‘People Power Movement Should Not Use Death for Cheap Political Capital’ 29.02.2020).
All of this happens because People Power Movement (PPM) are seeing their activists killed and associates being murdered. She is initially stating that Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine is wrong and doing it badly.
As she started her piece like this: “Bobi Wine should sack his media team and hire a professional. Capitalizing on the death of two young people is not my cup of tea. Those two kids are in the same age group as my kids so I fly to Toronto, Canada to capitalize on deaths!! With a poster like this. Who is gonna raise their kids? The opposition needs to learn from Gen. Mugisha Muntu” (Martha Leah Nangalama – ‘People Power Movement Should Not Use Death for Cheap Political Capital’ 29.02.2020).
It is like this have never been done before, all political movements has had their martyrs, especially the ones who fought against a junta or a miltiary dictatorship. Because, the junta will use their force, because they have no other methods of control of dissidents. That is why the opposition is so split and attacked by the authorities. All means are used against them, even killing by trying to stop the opposition from gathering or even assemble in public. This is something Nangalama knows, but doesn’t care to dig into. Maybe, that isn’t important to her?
She just want friend sheep like Mugisha Muntu, whose loved by the NRM and whose so pragmatic, that he cannot even pass a street without asking authorization by the local RDC. That is how it seems. This from the lady from ‘Peril of Africa’, the lady who always goes hard. However, here she went a bit left. Especially, if she yearns for change or more of the same?
It is like she wrote in rage, I understand and we both agree. That no one should die because of politics. Each life taken is one to much. However, the brutal reality is that the army, all security agencies and so-on use all means to shut-down the opposition. They know everything, because the opposition needs to notify and spell out their activity to the authorities. Therefore, they got no way to hide or escape the armed forces, either if they like it or not.
In that reality. She wants a compromised leader, a leader who doesn’t dare the authorities nor the structure itself. A man whose not honest in his approach to his start-up party Alliance of National Transformation (ANT). She accepts this, because, she wants that easy-picking approach. Not even use the ills against you. However, Muntu like anyone else uses burials and funerals as rally grounds for political messages, but that is cool right?
I understand her frustration, as the dead is named and put on like martyrs. No one wants to have that. No movement wants that, but when your fighting the powers to be with all their forces. They use all means to stay in power. They are not redeeming or a forgiving organization. No, they come with bullets, tear-gas and prison. This she knows, but wants them to silent and not speak up about it.
Only lay-down and die. Not speak out, not address it or continue. She wants suspensions and not civil disobedience. If you think that works, then you will give life to the Movement for a few more decades and a Muhoozi Presidency when Yoweri “calls it a day”. Because, why fight them or undress them at all?
When you want men like Muntu? Why even use time to blog or speak of the ills of society? Only when it doesn’t cost? Should the opposition suspend it all and really die? In your eyes, they are dead anyway?
I am sure Kizza Besigye and POA will disagree with that. The same will Bobi Wine, who you disagree with. There are opposition, but nearly impossible to do party work or assemble. If they do so, there is costs, there is pain and suffering. Unless, people stand up against that. The cycle of violence, arrests and misuse of power will continue. However, the stance in her piece. Isn’t creating anything positive. It is neither showing any will of stopping of it, but instead giving ways to the authorities who is sanctions this actions towards the youths who dies for their political affiliation.
Even if I believe it comes from a true place, that Nangalama means well. It doesn’t serve anyone. Except for the ANT and Muntu. Who easily speaks with everyone, but is of no concern to the State House. That is why his out there. However, the ones who is a of a concern and who creates fire is dismissed and said to lay their tools down.
How will that generate change? It will not, especially, if the ones whose new and who has the youth behind them. Suddenly, supposed to suspend their actions and be silent. Not even try to be relevant. That is reality of what she wrote. Because, of the deaths and the usage in public. The PPM and Bobi Wine should lay their tools down and not do anything.
With that sort of thinking, Bobi Wine is never winning. It is just the matter of which ways he looses. He looses if he acts and looses if he stands down. He cannot even participate without someone saying his actions are wrong.
Wonder if Nangalama thought of that? I didn’t think so. Peace.
I want to bring to your attention the deteriorating human rights situation in Uganda.
President Yoweri Museveni’s regime is increasingly resorting to extreme means to silence the voice of the people of Uganda who are demanding the opportunity to end his 34 years of rule and his progressively brutal regime.
The People Power Movement is a non-violent movement. It brings together Ugandans from different political parties, professions, regions, and religious groupings to unite in peaceful protest against a military dictatorship which violently restricts any form of democratic opposition. The movement is demanding the independence of the judiciary, the police force, the army, the press as well as the Electoral Commission. We are struggling to ensure that the people of Uganda have the opportunity to decide their own future, for the first time since Uganda’s independence from colonial rule.
Anyone who associates with me has become a target for kidnap, imprisonment, torture and death at the hands of the Uganda security forces. These violent forms of intimidation are orchestrated mainly by elements serving in the Police, Internal Security Organisation – ISO, Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence- CMI, Military Police, as well as the Local Defence Unit- LDU.
On 24th February, 2020 a supporter and leader in the People Power movement was murdered when a police truck struck her in Nakawa Division, Kampala. At 8:00am, Ritah Nabukenya, who was aged 28, was a passenger on the rear seat of a motorcycle. She had just dropped her young daughters aged 6 and 4 at school. Because RITAH and her rider were dressed in ‘People Power’ attire, they were easily identified as members of the group.
The driver of the police truck swerved to hit the motorcycle and eye witnesses later confirmed to the media that the police truck had deliberately targeted Ritah.
She was pronounced dead at Mulago National Referral Hospital, and the motorcycle driver sustained injuries.
Police officers who were moving in the patrol vehicle immediately took up positions around the scene with weapons and ordered the witnesses not to take any photos or videos of the incident.
Our demands for CCTV footage from the incident have not yielded anything and the police spokesperson said that CCTV cameras were not operational at the time of the killing.
Ritah was laid to rest on 25th February, 2020. On our way back from the funeral, thousands of young people lined the roads of the various towns we passed through to express solidarity with the movement and to recognise the sacrifice that Ritah had made.
When we got to Nansana town, uniformed police officers as well as elements of the Local Defence Unit (LDU) opened fire with live rounds on the crowd which had gathered peacefully.
Dan Kyeyune, who was aged 33, was shot through the eye and died instantly. At least two other people received severe gunshot injuries. Yet again, the police claimed that the CCTV footage of the incident was unavailable.
These two murdered people are in addition to Asuman Walyendo (shot dead on 19th July, 2018 in Bugiri district), Yasin Kawuma (shot dead in Arua on 13th August, 2018), Vincent Sserugaya (shot dead on 23rd August, 2018 in Gomba), Kalende Yusuf (deliberately knocked by a police truck on 27th August, 2018 in Luwero), Hannington Ssewankambo aka Sweet Pepsi (brutalized by the military on 20th September, 2018 leading to injuries which he would succumb to in October 2019), Lukoma Stephen Ssalongo (shot dead on 7th June, 2019 in Buvuma District), Michael Kalinda aka Zigy Wyne (kidnapped and severely tortured before dying on 4th August, 2019), and Hakim Ssekamwa (deliberately knocked by a police patrol truck on 6th August, 2019). There are several other unreported cases where supporters have been abducted and murdered. In all such cases, there has been a clear lack of interest in conducting investigations by state agencies!
In addition to these extra-judicial killings by the state, security operatives have kidnapped several supporters, tortured them and subjected them to all manner of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. To date, our coordinator Johnbosco Kibalama is still missing, having been abducted in June 2019.
The general levels of repression have increased. Although the Presidential Elections Act, 2005, permits intending presidential candidates to carry out nationwide consultations ahead of nominations, police and the military have blocked me from reaching out to the people of Uganda for these lawful consultations.
We have so far made attempts to consult in eight districts and all of them have been met with extreme brutality against me and our supporters. We are not permitted to carry out any public meeting. Recently on January 31st police fired teargas and live bullets to break up a thanksgiving ceremony where I was due to speak.
Many of our supporters have been arrested and kept in prisons for days, weeks or months.
The regime has become paranoid to the extent that they are arresting people who associate with our movement even when they are not directly involved in our activities.
On 28th February, 2020 Julian Friesinger, a PhD student from Germany was arrested by military operatives in Lira District. He was arrested together with two of our coordinators who he had gone to interview for his research project. The two Ugandans (Adonyo Michael and Oguttu Nicholas) were kept in military detention for three days while being beaten. Julian whose devices (phones, laptops, etc) and passport had been confiscated was interrogated by the Internal Security Organisation, before leaving the country.
In another case, Moses Bwayo, an independent journalist and film maker was arrested alongside eight people with whom I was working on a music project. They were kept in detention for several days and are now facing charges of unlawful assembly whose particulars include singing a song subverting the government of Uganda.
Last week, more than 50 of our supporters were being held in different prisons across the country. Some of whom were arrested for merely wearing our attire. Our supporters Denis Senono (Den City) and Bobi Young were held under military detention. Whereas Bobi Young is still detained, Den City was released; his body bearing torture marks. He reported that he was injected with an unknown substance by security operatives and now lives in fear for his life.
While this is going on, President Museveni who has been in power for 34 years has been desperately moving across the country campaigning for a seventh term with sacks of tax-payers money. He is hoping that he can buy the support of a people, who he has not only impoverished but has nothing left to promise or offer to them. Those who will not be persuaded will be intimidated, tortured and even murdered.
With the political space shrinking further and the human rights situation deteriorating, the economic condition has continued to worsen. There is little provision of basic services to the citizens. The state of education and healthcare have continued to decline. The levels of unemployment as well as poverty are on a sharp increase. Corruption and misuse of public resources are at an all-time high.
The young people of Uganda continue to be excluded by the power structure whose only interest, is enriching themselves, and keeping power at whatever cost.
As we head towards the 2021 General election our demand for free and fair elections is unequivocal. We are committed to ending President Museveni’s brutal regime of blood, plunder and national shame.
We call upon the world and the international community to continue standing with the people of Uganda in these very difficult times.
We shall certainly overcome!
People Power – Our Power
Kyagulanyi Ssentamu Robert