With Paul Waibale Senior
The political situation in Uganda has reached a stage where leaders of opposition groups like UPC, Reform Agenda, DP, etcetera have reduced themselves to the status of theatre stage comedians. This is clearly manifested by the type of statements made at weekly press briefings many of which border on intellectual bankruptcy.
Take the example of a statement reportedly made by a whole Acting Chairman of the UPC Presidential Commission, Henry Mayega, at a press briefing session recently.
Mayega had the audacity to call upon he international community to impose an arms embargo on Uganda saying that was the only way of ending the war in Northern and north-eastern Uganda.
Evidently, Mayega does not have the slightest idea of the basic grounds on which the imposition of an arms embargo on any nation is based. That is why he can entertain the wild imagination that an embargo can be imposed on Uganda for using arms to suppress a rebellion and execute its duty to protect both the lives and property of the citizens. In my submission, the reasonable plea to make is that the international community should avail moral, material, and military support to enable the Uganda Government to bring to an end the ugly activities of murder, rape, maiming, arson, looting, kidnapping, et cetra, perpetuated by Kony and his LRA.
If Mayega thinks that the best way of countering that ugly assortment of Konyâ€™s activities is by disarming the UPDF he had better mount his lecture to a class of lunatics.
Interestingly, he does not even plead with those who are equipping LRA with sophisticated weapons, which they use to terrorise innocent Ugandans, to stop that ghastly act. For him, the ideal is for Museveni to abandon the task of defending the lives and property of the people and surrender.
That is not altogether surprising. The UPC leadership is accustomed to the practice of taking to their heels whenever a situation involving the use of military hardware arises. History has it that when the late Idi Amin seized power in l97l, UPCâ€™s Dr Milton Obote, who had boasted before leaving for Singapore that he was the only African leader who did not fear a coup, could not fly home to battle it out with the insubordinate Army Commander. And when in l984, another Army Commander hatched a conspiracy to stage a coup, the same man quickly sneaked out of the country.
Let me take this opportunity to educate Mayega and those who share his imagination that Museveni is made of different material. He will not concede defeat and invite Kony to take over State House. His mission is to defeat Kony at any cost and he will accomplish it.
Mayega talks of holding negotiations to end the war. But he should appreciate that it takes at least two parties to negotiate.
President Museveni appointed a high profile committee to negotiate on behalf of the Uganda Government and invited Kony to appoint his. But Kony, despite approaches by MPs and religious leaders, never responded. Instead, he continued his vicious acts of terror with even greater vigour.
Can any President worth the name just look on while a group of vagabonds ravage the countryside?
At the same press briefing, UPCâ€™s legal expert, Peter Walubiri complained that the law under which a UPDF corporal was sentenced to death was unconstitutional. It might well be. Nevertheless, it is not enough for a lawyer of Walubiriâ€™s calibre to stop at the stage of sentimental utterances.
There is currently a petition filed in the Constitutional Court, which contends that the death penalty is unconstitutional irrespective of whatever court imposes it.
The petition covers the corporalâ€™s case; therefore Walubiri should demonstrate his opposition by joining Katende, Ssempebwa, and Co, Advocates, to pilot the petition through the Constitutional Court.
Opposition reduced to theatre comedians