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Will opening up political space in Uganda lead to stability?

By Vision Reporter

Added 4th June 2002 03:00 AM

The Constituent Assembly (CA) made the Uganda Constitution. Indeed, the CA was composed of elected representatives from every corner of Uganda,

The Constituent Assembly (CA) made the Uganda Constitution. Indeed, the CA was composed of elected representatives from every corner of Uganda,

By Mulengera – Empape The Constituent Assembly (CA) made the Uganda Constitution. Indeed, the CA was composed of elected representatives from every corner of Uganda, which suggests simply that whatever was included in the Constitution had the support of the entire Uganda. Therefore, its relevant to infer that by including the articles restricting activities of political parties in the Constitution it was a tangible demonstration of what Ugandans thought of political parties! Actually, political parties came to be abhorred because of their leadership, which indeed resulted in the many atrocities which were rendered to Ugandans. Furthermore, the political parties were hated because their ideologies were not based on principles, but on sectarian basis. With the lapse of time after the constitution was made, the multiparty aspiring politicians started agitating for freeing political parties, which means the removal of the articles restricting the activities of political parties from the constitution. Indeed, the voices of the politicians who are urging for freeing political parties are steadily being heard, to the extent that they have started getting impelling support from international bodies and donor countries. In the long run the Movement government will inevitably have to give in to donor demands because it will be difficult for the government to run efficiently. At this juncture, a reference should be made to the speech President Mkapa of Tanzania made when closing the four-day symposium on peace in the Great Lakes Region in Kampala, whereby he stated inter-alia: “...powers so far away from our region coerce us under threats of suspension of aid, to live up to images they want and policies they formulate.” Undoubtedly, the quotation is quite relevant to the current political situation in Uganda, because unless the Movement changes its attitude towards freeing political parties, the donor countries could very well stop their yearly donations to the country! However, the mere freeing of political parties without first solving the problems which led to the majority of Ugandans to reject them as evidenced by the articles embodied in the 1995 Uganda Constitution, will not lead to Uganda’s stability! Actually, it will be comparable to a doctor who would prescribe medicine to a patient without first diagnosing the disease! If the donors or developed countries wanted to be fair to Uganda, they should have held meetings with the political parties in order to ensure that the problems which made them to be hated by the people, have been rectified. Then they would have been fully justified to approach the Movement government about freeing the political parties. Otherwise, there is no way Ugandans will fail to feel that the donor or developed countries have sinister ulterior motives against the country! In the final analysis, the political parties should be well advised to put their houses in order first, before they are freed. Otherwise, Uganda could be led to undesirable consequences! Likewise, the donor or developed countries should not shut their eyes to this most probable dangerous situation which could happen to Uganda. Ends

Will opening up political space in Uganda lead to stability?

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