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Don’t drag Army into political differences

By Vision Reporter

Added 22nd June 2004 03:00 AM

SIR— Reference is made to The Monitor story of Monday, page 1, titled “Third term might cause crisis —- Ssemo”.

SIR— Reference is made to The Monitor story of Monday, page 1, titled “Third term might cause crisis —- Ssemo”.

SIR— Reference is made to The Monitor story of Monday, page 1, titled “Third term might cause crisis —- Ssemo”.

In his arguments against the lifting of the presidential term limit — the so-called third term, Dr Paul Ssemogerere, leader of the Democratic Party, was quoted as saying, among other things, that “It is not only DP making against the third term project but even the Army opposes it secretly.

” He goes on to say that “If Ugandans become obsessed with the third term, those who don’t want it in Government may be forced to think of a coup as the last alternative.”
We in the UPDF wish to state the following:-

a) We, the UPDF, as the people’s army, won’t do any such thing as subverting or overturning the people’s powers, to which we have all along sacrificed everything including the last price of our lives, to uphold the people’s power to decide on the system and method of self-governance.

b) Our constitutional character of being national and non-partisan as spelt out in articles 208 and 209 of the Constitution are our guiding principles in whatever we do for our country men and women, peace and stability.

c) We respect every Ugandan’s right to take part in the debate and decision-making process as Ugandans review the Constitution to develop the democracy we bled for without fear or favour, pride or prejudice.

d) We implore our people at whatever political level they may be not to drag us into their political differences. For by doing so, they will be making it difficult for us to remain what Article 208 enjoins us to be — non-partisan.

e) Such Ugandans like Ssemogerere, with due respect, have often claimed that Uganda’s politics was messed up by the Army, yet they are the ones indeed, who have always made attempts to misuse and/or abuse the Army when they fail to respect the principles of democracy — free debate and respect for the majority view.

f) Finally, we wish to re-assure Ugandans that we won’t use the means at our disposal to disenfranchise Ugandans,
for we are because they are, and since they are, therefore we are.

Maj Shaban Bantariza
Defence/UPDF Spokesman

Don’t drag Army into political differences

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