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FDC welcomes US sanctions against Museveni regime but want more

The US Department of State recently announced visa restrictions targeting Uganda government officials implicated in gross human rights violations during and after the recently concluded violent elections where Gen Yoweri Museveni was announced winner with 58% against his main challenger, Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu with 35%.

A statement from the US Secretary of State, Antony J. Blinken said that the government of Uganda's actions during the recent electoral process undermined democracy and respect for human rights and announced visa restrictions on those believed to be responsible for, or complicit in undermining the democratic process in Uganda including during the country's January 14th general elections and the campaign period that preceded it.

While responding to these visa restrictions, Dr Kizza Besigye who fruitlessly contested against Museveni four times from 2001 to 2016 had this to say;

"Any action beyond the usual diplomatic rhetoric- of "having frank discussion"; "expressing concern"; "condemning" etcetera; is a welcome step in the right direction."

However, the military or police officers, paramilitary and militia personnel, security operatives or administrative officers (like resident district commissioners) who've been engaged in human rights abuses do so because of the immediate big rewards from Gen. Museveni and his cronies.

They also act in the comfort that they're protected from accountability. They act with impunity. Therefore, the imposition of travel visa bans by the US government is not going to cause a marked change of behaviour for those under orders to violate people's rights.

Moreover, due to the inconsistent application of such measures by the US and other "western democracies" generally, the Museveni regime is quick to explain such actions as unprincipled arm-twisting for their other (illegitimate) interests. Sanctions will not become effective until they effectively pause a threat to Mr. Museveni's hold on power. One such measure would be to reduce the "oil" they provide for him to "lubricate" his patronage machinery.

Uganda currently runs an annual budget of about $11 billion. Annually, the US government, through different programs (including support for the military) invests about $ 1 billion - close to 10% of the budget!

The World Bank and IMF (in which the US is the main shareholder) gave Uganda government close to $1 billion in the last 1 year! This also sets the pace for other lenders.

Former presidential aspirant and also the Forum for Democratic Change president, Patrick Oboi Amuriat also welcomed the sanctions with mixed feelings and in his interview asked the US to impose such sanctions against the bull himself - Gen Museveni directly and also paralyze funding that gives him the gumption to grow feathers. 

"I welcome the visa restrictions imposed on individuals in the Gen. Museveni administration. The reasons given for this include the mismanagement of the elections and blatant abuse of human rights during and after the process. It would be most fulfilling if all individuals found to have inflicted pain of whatever nature were named, shamed and restricted. This would give organizations like FDC which were directly affected by the excesses of individuals in the regime the opportunity to highlight even those left out of the State department list of affected individuals. Mr. Museveni being the chief perpetrator even if he is head of state should be affected by these sanctions. I also believe that the Museveni regime should be denied funding in areas where the US intervention helped facilitate what were turned into instruments to coarse citizens" said Amuriat.

While responding on behalf of the Kampala Capital City Authority lord mayor who is presently in the hospital in Nairobi, his deputy, also opposition firebrand Doreen Nyanjura, welcomed the visa restrictions but argued that they should have been harsher. 

"We welcome such developments. It has actually been late for such restrictions against Ugandan operatives who have taken the law in their hands. I actually think that Museveni himself should be given a travel ban from all nations since he is the commander in chief of this abuse. I however continue rallying Ugandans that change will come from within we can't depend on the foreigners for our freedom without our own input," said Nyanjura

By the look of things, it seems to many that imposing mere visa restrictions against the rogue regime of Museveni and his cronies will never scare him a modicum from violating human rights and undermining democracy in the name of keeping power because such restrictions are ineffectual as long as they don't paralyze his source of funding as Besigye has explained above.

After all, they can always travel to China and other countries where they have kept their loot.


The writer is a Novelist, human rights activist and also a member of FDC.


+1 #1 Chris 2021-04-21 11:34
There is need for more punitive action against the dictators close associates. It would not be criminal if some of them were taken out of action so that the rest can learn.
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+2 #2 Lysol 2021-04-22 04:23
That is just a small step in the right direction. The US and other Western powers have always looked the other way and ignore the brutalities of the corrupt killer regime of Museveni, He has been deceiving/playing them that, he is the only one who can keep their interests in the region, by involving in the many endless wars just for his personal political survival and financial gains.

Those wars never end. It is high time for the Western powers to wake up and call Museveni out. They can find someone from the next generation of leaders to curry on.
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0 #3 Kalemera Mulondo 2021-04-22 15:51
I am not a fan of Mr Rukirabashaija's writing style but on politics we are pretty much aligned. FDC and KB all the way.
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-1 #4 Akot 2021-04-24 18:17
[FDC welcomes US sanctions against Museveni regime but want more]

US gesture is symbolic & kind, but Americans have no right, no legitimacy to impose change on Ugandans, especially as Museveni has just been assured of 40 years of rule by Ugandans.

Americans did everything to ensure D. Trump has just 4 years.

Museveni has no one fighting him & tribally divided & rules the people to whom tribal lands that form Uganda belong & these are going along in peace, right!

FDC should be the first to know it's bringing down the tribalistic system & UNITY of Ugandans that is needed, if Ugandans want Museveni out & govern as they want.

Where is the so needed National Leadership Ugandans need?

Why doesn't FDC know it's ending the tribalistic system & UNITY are all that are needed, if Ugandans want Museveni out?
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-1 #5 Akot 2021-04-24 18:33
The entire developed world could sanction Museveni, but he will still be the official, legal, constitutional president & chief tribal leader who owns tax money & controls every institution!

Museveni was brought to power through UNITY of all the other tribes against T. Okello/Acholi & it's the same UNITY that will end his rule!

As long as Ugandans maintain the tribalistic system, Museveni is safe in post!

So, are Ugandans going to take the right steps to ensure Museveni is out & they get outside help, in case the demon decides to fight back?

And from which tribal land will Museveni fight back from this time?

Why is the tribalistic system still standing with tribal leaders ensuring division, thus Museveni's post, if Ugandans want REAL help from USA...?
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+2 #6 Remase 2021-04-24 19:21
Nyanjula hit the nail right on the head. Sanctions of any kind can't and won't bring the fundamental change that we, Ugandans need and deserve.

We must put the sanctions that meaningful and international, with the purpose of making certain that change is inexorable. Such sanctions require a unified opposition, mainly NUP & FDC, and should boycott parliament and all elective positions.
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+3 #7 Remase 2021-04-24 21:12
Lysol, I totally agree with you, the western world always looks the other way while M7 has been abusing our rights and rigging elections for the last 35 years.

They always look for their interests, as long as they feel that their interests are covered, they mind less about M7's autocracy.

We must unit and demand for meaningful sanctions that includes but not limited to, cutting off financial support. Most, if not all, the western financial support to M7 ends up in his pockect and cronies!
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+2 #8 Remase 2021-04-25 17:15
Ajay, I'll never thank you enough for staying the course and call for unity as the only solution to M7's divisive rule along nepotism and tribalism.

Uganda is the only country in the world where the govt, army, police and prison authority is composed of M7, his family, relatives and tribesmen!

Akot, stay the course, one day unity will eneluctably happen, because it the only way to end M7's divisive regime. Kyagulanyi and Besigye, the two leading opposition figures must unit and find a common objective.

This division along political parties only strengthen M7 more and more and guarantees M7, his family, relatives and tribesmen to rule Uganda to the end of time! They are united to make it, and we are divided to help them achieve it! We are investing our hope in US and other western sanctions to bring change to and for us!
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+1 #9 Remase 2021-04-25 19:37
Akot, unfortunately it's going to take time to find unity. How long? Until we realise that selfishness and greed which drives M7's governing style is nt the answer.

Ugandans are exceedingly selfish and motivated by greed. For example, BW sang a great song, "Buli omu asiba kiwanyi." Everyone intentionally lies for selfish reasons and greed is what motivates Ugandans. BW is a perfect example, he clearly didn't join politics to bring change or end M7's autocracy but to replace Besigye and making NUP the largest opposition party in parliament.

In disguised his message in giving us false hope [kiwanyi] that, "Tuliyambala engule mu Uganda empya." What he really meant is that he, BW, would be crowded as the leading opposition figure and NUP would be the largest opposition party in parliament!

Therefore we are in the worst position than before. We have invested our hope in US and western sanctions!
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0 #10 Akot 2021-04-27 01:01
Remase, still love you.

Ugandans are self destructive, have perfectioned themselves in doing so for 35 years & are ensuring they are slaves of migrant Museveni & family!

The tribalistic system ensures Museveni's rule & family business & tribal leaders are so happy to be in post as gardians of the inhuman system, to ensure Museveni's ownership of every tribal land & riches, tax money!

Any tribal leader who stills comes out to make stand about his tribe/tribal land is only begging Museveni for more handout & affirming he's a dirty useless rag in the service of Museveni!

Tribal leaders are more dangerous, more evil than naive fake opposition leaders & Museveni combined!

No developed country should now let evil dirty hearted tribalist Uganda tribal leaders set feet on their lands as this would be joining them in worshiping demon Museveni & supporting TRIBALISM!
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