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Mamdani is misleading â€" Museveni

By Vision Reporter

Added 7th December 2005 03:00 AM

PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni has criticised renown scholar Prof. Mahmood Mamdani, saying he had misled the public on the arrest and prosecution of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) president, Col. Dr Kizza Besigye.

PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni has criticised renown scholar Prof. Mahmood Mamdani, saying he had misled the public on the arrest and prosecution of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) president, Col. Dr Kizza Besigye.

By Frank Mugabi

PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni has criticised renown scholar Prof. Mahmood Mamdani, saying he had misled the public on the arrest and prosecution of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) president, Col. Dr Kizza Besigye.

Speaking during a special talk show on the Arua-based Radio Pacis on Tuesday, Museveni said Mamdani had in his letter published in The New Vision on December 5 wrongly implied that it is up to the President to start criminal proceedings or not against a person.

In his letter, Mamdani called for national reconciliation and argued that the focus on whether or not Besigye committed treason and rape was “misleading” and that “whereas it is the business of the courts, civil and military, to decide the truth of these allegations, only the political authority has power to decide whether and when to bring charges to court.”

“The fact of the matter is that it is not up to anybody, not the President, but the Director for Public Prosecution (DPP). As long as you commit a crime, unless you get amnesty for the amnestable offences, you will be prosecuted not by the President but the DPP,” Museveni said.

Museveni, who revealed that he had already written a response to Mamdani’s letter but he was still waiting for the Attorney General, said he knew Mamdani was a “busy” man who hadn’t got time to read the constitution.

He said under article 121 of the constitution, the DPP is the one who has got powers to prosecute or institute criminal proceedings against any person or authority in any court with competent jurisdiction other than a court martial.

Museveni said not even the president could control the DPP because article 126 of the constitution protects him from any subject to directions or control of any authority or person during the exercise of the functions conferred on him.

He said that’s why a provision in the 1962 constitution that required the DPP to get authority from the Attorney General to open a case against a person was removed in 1995.

“We did not want involvement of politics in criminal matters. We wanted criminal matters to be dealt with on merit.” Museveni said.

Museveni said the DPP had no power not to prosecute. He said once evidence is there he must prosecute and if he doesn’t he would be liable to prosecution for cover up, negligence and other preferable charges.

Mamdani is misleading – Museveni

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