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Tuesday,August 04,2020 06:14 AM

Museveni declares state of emergency

By Vision Reporter

Added 19th September 2007 03:00 AM

President Yoweri Museveni is to declare a state of emergency in northern and eastern Uganda, where floods have displaced thousands, destroyed crops and property worth billions and washed away bridges and roads, cutting off entire sub-counties and districts.

President Yoweri Museveni is to declare a state of emergency in northern and eastern Uganda, where floods have displaced thousands, destroyed crops and property worth billions and washed away bridges and roads, cutting off entire sub-counties and districts.

By John Odyek and Cyprian Musoke

President Yoweri Museveni is to declare a state of emergency in northern and eastern Uganda, where floods have displaced thousands, destroyed crops and property worth billions and washed away bridges and roads, cutting off entire sub-counties and districts.

During a Cabinet meeting yesterday morning, chaired by the President, it was agreed that the floods constituted a natural disaster and a state of emergency be declared, Prime Minister Apolo Nsibambi told Parliament yesterday.

It will be the first time President Museveni invokes article 110 of the Constitution. The previous Parliament pressurised the Government to declare the North a disaster area because of the prolonged insurgency but this was rejected by the Government.

Nsibambi explained that the Constitution gives powers to the President to declare a state of emergency if he is “satisfied that circumstances exist in any part of Uganda that is threatened by war, internal insurgency, natural disaster, the need to maintain law and order or to secure public safety.”

The Constitution requires that a proclamation declaring a state of emergency is tabled in Parliamentary for approval within 14 days.

The Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Prof. Ogenga Latigo, welcomed the decision, saying it would address the crisis in northern and eastern Uganda and the looming crisis in other areas such as Mukono.

“We sought a lot of clarification from the Government regarding the flooding. The party to act is the Government. We are ready to work with the Government to ensure people get the best services,” Ogenga asserted.

Fred Ruhindi, the deputy attorney general, explained that the ministry of justice was preparing a declaration’s instrument to be published in the Gazette. He said Museveni was expected to receive the draft today.

Tarsis Kabwegyere, minister for disaster preparedness, said declaring a state of emergency would help to get external support. While the proclamation was being issued, the Government would continue to assist the affected populations, he assured.

The declaration by the Prime Minister closed the debate on the floods report, which had been presented on Tuesday by Musa Ecweru, the disaster preparedness minister in the Office of the Prime Minster. The MPs argued that the Government had shown seriousness in dealing with the disaster.

Earlier, six local leaders under the Teso Region Chairpersons Forum told the press at Parliament that they had declared their districts a disaster area “because the Government has failed to do so”.

The district chairpersons of Amuria, Kaberamaido, Soroti, Bukedea, Kumi and Katakwi said 80% of Amuria district and 50% of Katakwi had flooded.

According to Rev. Sam Ebukalin of Bukedea, 14,000 acres of cassava, worth sh14.5b, had been destroyed by the floods and 106 houses had collapsed.

The leaders also revealed that 35 camps needed to be evacuated. They called upon the Government to speed up the relief effort.

Museveni declares state of emergency

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