The views expressed in this article [Opinion] are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Africa Tembelea’s editorial stance.
The US, European Union, their new idol Robert Kyagulanyi [Bobi Wine] the failed presidential contender have woven a conspiracy of blackmail against Uganda government institutions and officials, but fortunately they are not as yet getting far in the scheme. Since mid 2018 Kyagulanyi has driven a narrative that Uganda under President Yoweri Museveni is a dictatorship worth starving of US and European support and should be removed by force if necessary. One year of Covid19 lockdown has shown that Uganda can survive and prosper without handouts if there is national discipline.
The US and EU have recently raised objections to the credibility of Uganda’s elections and demanded a ‘credible audit’ which isn’t provided for in our legal framework. In addition they have raised the possibility of the so-called ‘measured’ and ‘targeted’ sanctions against agencies and individuals allegedly involved in various forms of political malfeasances. The condemnations and threats which we must reject are issued with so much spite against established rules of international law and relations among independent nations. This world is so cruel that the US whose presidential legitimacy is disputed by none other than former President Donald Trump and much of the Republican Party with accusations that election was fraudulent where even the dead voted, observers barred and computers switched results should be lecturing on election integrity. While their police system is picking up insurrectionists who invaded Capitol Hill to prevent certification of presidential results they think Uganda should look on helplessly as anarchists plan violent mischief.
Their false star, Kyagulanyi has been practicing the shooting of moving targets, changing his lines of attack as and when convenient to disguise his hotchpotch so as to deflect embarrassments and criticisms. The latest is a cry without any credible proof that his victory was snatched by President Yoweri Museveni. Having petitioned the Supreme Court with documents containing incomplete and hard to substantiate claims, rushed, falsified and forged affidavits, and the patchwork of his team, Kyagulanyi descended into acrobatic publicity stunts to slander the judges and whoever appears an obstacle on his path to self destruction. Most signatures on affidavits don’t match those on voter’s register or national identity cards. Museveni couldn’t have personally breached the law to warrant election nullification.
Kyagulanyi has chosen using press conferences rather than his lawyers putting evidence on court record as a cheap way to malign the Chief Justice Alfonse Chigamoi Owiny-Dollo, Justices Ezekiel Kurabiraho Muhanguzi and Mike Chibita with false claims that they have conflict of interest due to personal relationship with President Museveni and cannot be fair to him. Kyagulanyi’s lawyers must be very embarrassed by his conduct although they are certainly shy to publicly admit. Probably not known to many people, the real reason Kyagulanyi fled from his petition is the trepidation that fraud would be exposed if the process ran its full course, and his short political life was destined to be shredded into pieces.
Ugandans should remember that Kyagulanyi is a byproduct and beneficiary of the courts having joined elective politics in 2018 on the backdrop of court nullification of the parliamentary seat of an FDC MP Apollo Kantinti. Again last year court saved his National unity Platform (NUP) when it ruled that it was legally acquired and legible to field candidates including himself in elections. Also, it was the courts that ruled in his favour that police cordon of his residence was unlawful and ordered its vacation enabling Kyagulanyi to move freely including filing election petition against President Museveni, the Electoral Commission and Attorney General. Even during his short-lived petition, court has been lenient to him in many ways, consequently, no justifiable basis to roundly condemn courts or judges.
Kyagulanyi’s accusations follows a pattern set by Kizza Besigye over the years of his struggles usually shifting between condemnation or praise depending on how cases go. Often, public institutions are good, impartial and independent if rulings are in their favour, and bad or compromised when decisions are against them. They have thrown about these accusations at parliament, judiciary, and law enforcement agencies often with the short-term goal to taint institutional credibility.
According to his previous public talk and available record Kyagulanyi was a performing artist at President Museveni’s election campaigns in Luwero district, other public functions, and probably voted for him. NUP Secretary General David Louis Rubongoya is a direct and recent beneficiary of the controversial State House scholarship from secondary school through Makerere University up to Harvard Law School in the US, his mother is to-date a member of the NRM and valiant supporter of President Museveni in Mbarara city. Many wonder why he’s so angry with Museveni. But that shouldn’t be substantive reasons to cast doubt on their political credentials.
Judges are not the only senior public officers appointed by a sitting president. In any case, apart from their oath before assuming office, there are rules and procedures that govern the conduct of court business including the fact that courts are open to the media and general public as one way to safeguard against professional misconduct.
The writer, is Government Spokesperson and head of Uganda Media Centre
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