UPC seeking democratic change - Otunnu

To continue pushing the government to make economic reforms and find solutions to the rising cost of living, opposition politicians have dedicated this week to demonstrations, starting tomorrow (Monday) and ending on Sunday.

The most ambitious of the events lined up by the opposition will be the march to the Constitution Square on Tuesday, where opposition leaders will address a joint rally. On Thursday, May 12, when President Yoweri Museveni swears in for a fourth five-year term, the opposition will be leading the country in a “vigil” over the economic situation.

Coming at a time when political watchers are saying the absence of FDC leader, Dr Kizza Besigye, had taken the steam out of the walk-to-work campaign, the week-long activities, the opposition says, will put fresh breath into their efforts to exert pressure on the government to act on the cost of living. Indeed this will test the opposition’s ability to make an impact without Besigye’s active participation.

The activities, the leaders say, have been organised “to further express our solidarity with the suffering majority, some of whom cannot afford a meal every day”.

“We are inviting all Ugandans to join us to find solutions to the current economic meltdown,” said Norbert Mao, the DP president general.

Although Besigye was discharged from Nairobi hospital on Friday, it is not clear when he will return home, although various sources say it might be this week.

The opposition, in their joint press statement issued on Saturday, May 7, at Uganda House, the headquarters of the UPC, also condemned the government for “violations of human rights” and “committing crimes against Ugandans who are peacefully expressing themselves over rising fuel, food prices and high cost of living and the waste of public resources by the NRM regime”.

Opposition politicians that issued the joint statement were led by Mao, the DP President General, and included party heads: Olara Otunnu (UPC), Michael Mabikke (SDP), Asuman Basalirwa (JEEMA), and Salaamu Musumba (FDC Vice President).

The walk-to-work campaign, initiated by Activists for Change (A4C), an opposition pressure group, will this week occur daily as opposed to only Mondays and Thursdays since its inception four weeks ago.

The week’s programme, Mao said, will be as follows: Monday: countrywide ‘walk-to-work’; Tuesday: rally at the Constitution Square; Wednesday: rally at the Clock Tower, Nsambya; Thursday (swearing-in day): countrywide vigil over the economic situation; Friday: countrywide walk-to-mosques; Saturday: torture victims’ parade; and Sunday: walk-to-places of worship.

For the past few weeks, police and the military have clamped down on politicians seeking to walk to their work places. The police say they must be notified before any demonstration can take place, but the opposition supporters insist they are not obliged to do so. However, Mao said they have notified the police this time about their planned activities.

The opposition has also urged religious leaders not to attend Thursday’s swearing-in ceremony.

“It’s a bogus ceremony. We appeal to religious leaders not to show up. Ugandans should know that we’re dealing with a president who is arrogant. We are dealing with a government that doesn’t listen,” Mao said.

“Our country is hugely divided between the haves and have-nots, but this government does not see that. The other day, the First Lady, Janet Museveni, was in Parliament saying that she doesn’t see sense in our campaign. She is behaving like Marie Antoinette. The situation is bad, but some people don’t feel it.”

On his part, Otunnu said that according to UPC, the ultimate goal for the campaign is to change government.

“Our goal still remains, even if fuel and commodity prices reduce. Our overall goal is a democratic change,” he said, lending credence to claims by different government officials in recent weeks that the ‘walk-to-work’ campaign ultimately seeks to overthrow the government.

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


0 #31 WittyKitty 2011-05-11 09:40
charly boy:M7 did not impose himself on us - he liberated us!!!

Of course to those who were on the "other" side - he imposed his will on theirs, but for the majority (at the time anyway), he liberated us from Obote who was imposing his will on us. Ask Mao - (yes the Mao that cavorts with OO these days) - if he understands the history of the party he supposeldy leads - he will tell you how the election was stolen big time by one MO.

Having said that, whether M7 imposed himself on us or not became irrelevant when he was elected in 1996! If he was such an imposition, I believe 70 something percent of voters wouldn't have voted for him.

About the tribal thing - you said: "We all want to see a one united Uganda, not a uganda devided on tribal basis" I agree entirely, I just wish you would stop bringing tribe in most of your arguments!
0 #32 WittyKitty 2011-05-11 09:51
How cosy and convenient that you are perched somewhere far and you " fully support....blah blah blah"
If you really support, maybe you should come over for a dose of the 'pink stuff"
0 #33 WittyKitty 2011-05-11 10:00
charly says: "David, the Obote regim (sic) you hate so much, had many good things. There was relative peace in the country. Good schools, transports, hospitals, food in the markets, stable food and fuel prices"

Which part of Uganda had all this? Not the part where I was at least!

About the food, I agree - there was so much food rotting in the gardens because there was nowhere to sell it - actually there were no roads leading anywhere the food could be sold, so you are right in that respect.

More on the roads: a story is told of how in preparation for Hero's day (remember the one that used to take place in Obote's second home Bushenyi?), they would power murram in the potholes in the road (that was formely tarmac) from Mbarara to Bushenyi, then on the big day, they would hire tractors with drums of water to pour on the " refurbished" road to reduce the dust as his excellency drove past!

As soon as the rains came....... Oh Yes indeed, transport was good in those days!
0 #34 Nakasero 2011-05-11 10:04
@Grace--Hey Grace! I forgot another thing!I agree with my nudugu,s comment on hospitals!Hope you will also read my first comment.

Why do you want always the Government to build?Is the developing Uganda that rich that it can build hospsitals, schools, roads, etc.Rich countries do it, they have loads of money.Why "friends"of Uganda, those supporting"demo crtats" with pots and pans do not bring their companies and build private hospitals if they love Uganda?Just an example, Grace!
0 #35 BANAKI 2011-05-11 10:10
To u whether you are a fun of walk to work or work to walk, there are better ways of solving uganda's inflation problem other than walking.

I personally believe in dialogue. During walking to work and working to walk, many opportunists have squandered people's property.lets use dialogue. let us not mix our long time hatred in today's politics for the disadvantage of the people.
0 #36 Nakasero 2011-05-11 10:21
@Musa Evans-- You talk nonsense buds!Speaking of New Zealand, tell me about your life thereIs it good, or better than in Uganda?Do not lie, tell ndugus honestly.

How do they treat you there?Ha?How about protection of human rights there?I have a friend Kiwi teacher working in Australia.Discr iminated, bullied!New Zealand says they can do nothing, that is a private matter!!Ha,ha,. ha!!
0 #37 DAVID 2011-05-11 10:40
Thanks for your brilliance. These opposition guys are just spewing out-dated ideas and that's why they'll keep in limbo till cows come home.

Every time they're questioning the number of hospitals that the NRM has built but they ran short of asking themselves why during their "glorious" days, infants were dying of immunisable diseases like polio, TB, tenanus, diptheria etc!

During those UPC years, my grannies could travel from their remote villages to the Masaka Hospital at Villa Maria but today they access medical care at their respective Health Centre IV units.

Never mind that during those days, they had to make long queues for medical attendence and drugs except for the Charly boys of this world who were "highly connected" to the powers-that-be!

Charly boy and his comrade, Grace, tactifully dodge the fact that during those salad days when "industries were well established in Uganda"(sic), Ugandans were queueing for essential commodities like salt, sugar,cooking oil,etc which is not the case today where "M7 has run down all the once flourishing industries"(sic )!
0 #38 DAVID 2011-05-11 11:05
M7 was almost flogged in the run up to the 1980 elections thanks to his divergent political affiliation with Muwanga, his then boss.

Its around this time that he formed the UPM. Remember, even the other political parties particularly the DP felt the sting of the rowdy and undiscipline UPC affiliated security functionaries.

In the run up to the 1980 fraudulent elections, have you forgotten the fate(read murder) of the prominent DP parliamentary hopefuls like Victor Muhindo, Africanus Ssembatya, George Bamuturaki, Sebastian Ssebugwaawo, Kiirya Kalikwani etc?, what about the hounding of others to exile like Paulo Ssebuliba?

How many FDC,DP,JEEMA,UP C,PPP political aspirants were killed by the state security apparatus before the 2011 polls?, aren't they now playing cat-and-mouse games with the police on the Kampala streets in their forlorn hope of "creating a state of ungovernability"?

As for Besigye, its just his statements that rather come back to haunt him and so he should blame himself. Why is the government not running after the calm and sober Gen Mugisha Muntu?, isn't he also a senior military official who's even more experienced and senior to Besigye?

Even if it was Charly boy to threaten chaos after the polls, like it or not, the state security would put a surveillance ring around you. This isn't the case of fearing and blah,blah but with issues pertaining to national security, chances needn't be taken.
0 #39 charly boy 2011-05-11 13:00
Thank you for reminding me about Heros day. Don't forget, that was the time Obote came from Tanzania and immediately Luweero war started.

But today, 25 years in power, M7 fails to make Uganda good for every body. Kampala is called a "Pothole city", 25 years please. Don't forget only 9 years in government, UPC I, had build Hospitals, Schools, railway, there was UTC (Uganda Transport Company), and may other. Just nine (9) years not 25 years.

The roads you are talking about was destroyed during the 9 years rule of Amin. How could you accused UPC II rule of doing nothing in just 5 years, yet you forget that the present government of NRM/A is 25 yrs and Kampala is still pothole city. Jinja is Ghost city. Other towns I don't know what to say.
0 #40 Raymond Otika 2011-05-11 13:03
DAVID is blaming the victims of fruad. It is a hobby. Which in other words is having a satanic pleasure in the suffering of the majority of the people of Uganda. What a free and fair election?

DAVID, what would you do to a gangster who holds a gun on your head and runs his hands through your pockets? Clap may be and rejoyce.

During the last election, I saw machineguns and bullet-chain-cl ad soldiers in Sironko and Mbale superintending electioneering. In Kampala Suburbs and elsewhere; there were military detatches every twist and turns as if the LRA had invaded the entire country.

What a free and fair election? DAVID is having a satanic pleasure in the suffering of the majority of Ugandan.
0 #41 DD 2011-05-11 14:47
Why are you talking about rising food prices, when the main issue is regime change. Uganda needs new bold leadership and none of the opposition members is getting to the point. Stop beating about the bush and do the courageous thing. UGANDA NEEDS REGIME CHANGE !
0 #42 Nakasero 2011-05-11 15:51
@BB-Do not be chicken!You and couple of paid mercenary are crying fault-we want change?Change of what?

If you are not happy with the voting results, change the country, ndugu, go to America( lots of jobless and struggling folks there- go to UK- filled up, sorry cannot take any more immigrants).

Where next?They are soon going to the Mars!You want to board the first group?Go for it pro!Go for it!Get your smelly feet out of Uganda!
0 #43 charly boy 2011-05-11 16:27
Under RIP Obote I & II no one slept in the bush. No one was forced in camp. People did not line up for medicine in the hospital except during Amin's time.

Not even for suger or salt, except immediately after Amin was removed. Which is understandable. But if you see that as UPC weakness then is up to you.

No opposition politician was tortured and bundle in a pick up like a bad of maize. No one was threaten. Parliament was not rubberstamp like today.

To you Uganda did not exist during UPC rule. Today Ugandan exist because of M7 and his NRM/A. Lets wait and see. Even Mobutu and Mubarak went. It bad with leaders whoes name starts with M.
David, leaders come and leaders go.

Ugandans who are being brutalised will still be there, but those brutalising them will one day go. Peasefully or forcefully. We have seen many, M7 is not exception.
0 #44 wodgot 2011-05-11 17:56
Museveni didn't built any hospital, not even a dispensary.

He created more potholes with his landmines during Luwero war and has never thought of mending those roads.

Fragmenting already well-establishe d districts isn't achievement. The ultimate motives were to create soft seats for his spin-doctors,ca dres and increase the number of Mps in a mov't dominated regions.

25 years of mov't rule has created unprecedented Economic distance between the majority poor and the stinking rich Ugandans.

The gov't hospitals which poor citizens used to depend on, have all gone down the drain. The doctors whose training are paid for by the taxpayers are leaving the country because of poor pay. Since when has capital heamorhage become an indicator of achievement? Can Witty Kitty and David tell us how please.

Hospital lands are being grabbed by big gov't officials [ Ref:Butabika mental hospital].
Can Witty Kitty and David tell us how the disappearance of gov't assets such as land can equate to development under NRM government?

Where are the gov't industries and parastatals which were created and formed by act of parliament to provide the public with employment?

If Museveni argues that Privatisation creates efficiency, let him show me the jobs which it has created?
I will cut my discussion short not that I have nothing to say , but because telling the truth is now percieved by NRM as a Revolutionary act.
0 #45 DAVID 2011-05-11 18:05
FYI, its the FDC goons under the commandership of Nandala Mafabi who went around those Busgisu suburbs harassing the Movementists.

During the polling days, you opposition guys usually go after the NRM supporters suspecting them of harbouring rigging plans yet the reverse is true.

Have you forgotten that in the media photos during the polls, you could observe Nandala donning white shorts and a white T-shirt together with his hoodlums manhandling a military police personnel while the others were hurling stones?!

As for the case of machine-gun soldiers patrolling the streets of Kampala, as a "peace loving" citizen, what was the cause for your worries?

In the run up to the polls, your camp had vowed to visit mayhem so as to sabotage the whole polling process due to the state's refusal to drop Kiggundu, so did you expect it to take chances?.

FYI, the business community in Kampala was happy with such a precaution. Just wait when they'll mobilise themselves into groups of vigilantees, that's when you'll discover that your street foolery under the pretext of "peaceful protests" has no place in Kampala.

Comments are now closed for this entry