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Uganda Domestic Media Monitoring Report

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					Uganda: Domestic Media Monitoring Report


Laura Schülke, MIGS Media Monitor for Uganda               Unless otherwise stated,
July 18th to July 24th 2011                                all articles were written in English


Report Content:

    1. Deputy Speaker of Parliament criticized by opposition, might pass law denying bail
    2. UN orders LRA rebels to surrender – International Justice Day in Northern Uganda
    3. Miscellaneous: Democratic pointers from Kenya, Museveni succession in question




    1. Deputy Speaker of Parliament criticized by opposition, might pass law denying bail

Government-owned media

The New Vision (mass-circulation daily) website. July 20, 2011.
“Opposition want Oulanyah censured from office” by Catherine Bekunda

The opposition has called for the resignation of the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah,
saying he is taking part in partisan politics. Nandala Mafabi, the Leader of Opposition, while
addressing journalists at Parliament yesterday, said Oulanyah participated in the NRM caucus
meeting held at President Yoweri Museveni’s home in Rwakitura over the weekend. “Oulanyah is
supposed to be impartial. It is high time he resigned his post as deputy speaker because he is siding
with the NRM,” Mafabi said.

A motion for the removal of a Speaker or Deputy Speaker of Parliament must be supported by not
less than two-thirds of all the voting MPs.

“The risk is real. We are worried because Oulanyah commended the most harmful thing that has
affected the democracy of this country — lifting of the presidential term limits,” said Hassan
Fungaroo.

He said Oulanyah would find no trouble in passing the law, denying bail to suspects of murder,
rioting, economic sabotage and defilement. The legislators told journalists that Parliament is no
longer independent following the suspension of Parliament business to allow NRM MPs hold their
caucus. Mafabi said instead of Museveni taking NRM MPs to Rwakitura, the ministry of agriculture
should have addressed the same issues in Parliament.
The opposition expressed worry over Museveni’s abuse of public resources for personal and party
activities.

Privately-owned media

The Daily Monitor (leading privately-owned newspaper) website. July 21, 2011.
“Museveni insists on law against granting bail” by Geoffrey Sseruyange

President Museveni has insisted on introducing legislation in Parliament whose effect will be to scrap
the constitutional right to bail for certain offences. Mr. Museveni told NRM party MPs during a
caucus retreat at State House, Entebbe, on Tuesday that the proposed law, which several MPs have
already promised to oppose, is intended to ensure peace and stability.

The President said unless the government prevails over demonstrators and criminals, there will not
be development in the country. His proposal would see people accused of the as-yet-undefined
crime of economic sabotage, participating in demonstrations, committing murder, defilement, rape
and treason denied bail. “We need development in the country which can only be achieved through
a stable country. A country that is free from demonstrators,” President Museveni reportedly said at
the end of a day of deliberations on economic transformation.

The proposal has been widely condemned by human rights defenders and the Opposition, who note
that bail is a fundamental human right and that the government wants to use the law to curtail other
constitutional freedoms like the right to assembly and expression, which are critical to democracy. It
has also been criticized because it will, by implication, negate the constitutional guarantee of
presumption of innocence until proven guilty. Bulamogi MP Kenneth Lubogo said the law is anti-
people.

    2. UN orders LRA rebels to surrender – International Justice Day in Northern Uganda

Government-owned media

The New Vision (mass-circulation daily) website. July 23, 2011.
“UN orders LRA rebels to surrender” [Author unknown]

The United Nations Security Council (SC) has condemned continued attacks by the Lord’s Resistance
Army against civilians in the DR Congo (DRC) and ordered the group to surrender. According to a UN
report, last month alone, the LRA carried out 53 attacks in DRC, killing 26 civilians. In these attacks,
they kidnapped 21 people, including 10 children, in ‘highly mobile’ attacks in Orientale province in
north-eastern DRC. More than 380,000 people in DRC and the Central African Republic (CAR) have
been displaced from their homes as a result of the LRA attacks.

On Thursday, the Security Council demanded that the LRA stops its their atrocities against civilians.
“The members of the Security Council demanded an end to all attacks on civilians by the LRA, and
urged all LRA elements to surrender and disarm,” said Ambassador Peter Wittig of Germany, which
holds the rotating presidency of the SC this month.

The SC also repeated an earlier warning that the rebel group, headed by Joseph Kony, should halt the
recruitment, abduction and use of children and release all women, children and non-combatants.

The UN did not promise to attack LRA, but encouraged the African Union to continue with plans to
set up a regional task force and joint operations against the cross-border rebel group. The AU is
planning military action, demobilization, disarmament, repatriation, resettlement and reintegration.

Privately-owned media

The Daily Monitor (leading privately-owned newspaper) website. July 20, 2011.
“Give LRA victims justice, says ex-bishop” by Sam Lawino

The government and Judiciary should deliver true justice to survivors of war in northern Uganda, civic
and religious leaders have said. Addressing a rally during the International Day of Justice celebration
in Gulu Town on Sunday, the retired Bishop of Kitgum Anglican Diocese, Macleod Baker Ochola, said
the day should remind the government and its partners that they have failed to dispense justice to
the victims of the 23-year-old Lord’s Resistance Army rebellion.

He said: “Uganda has failed to support victims and survivors of the LRA and government mayhems in
Acholi yet it also deliberately refused to accept responsibilities for the crimes they may have
committed.” He added that “Everyone in Uganda and the rebels must be brought to book for
atrocities they may have committed against unarmed civilians during the war. It is one way through
which we can attain peace and justice,” Bishop Ochola said. He criticized the government for not
coming up with a clear policy on compensation of the families of those killed, and the survivors.




                                                                          (1)




    3. Miscellaneous: Democratic pointers from Kenya, Museveni’s succession in question

Privately-owned media

The Daily Monitor (leading privately-owned newspaper) website. July 22, 2011.
“Have faith, by 2030 Uganda will be a democracy: Pointers from Kenya” by Charles Onyango-Obbo

On Monday, something unusual happened in Africa, more specifically in Kenya. Dr Willy Mutunga,
until a few days ago the Eastern Africa Representative for the Ford Foundation, was sworn in as
Kenya’s first Chief Justice under the country’s new constitution. Mutunga, a lawyer who was jailed by
then president Daniel arap Moi for his pro-democracy activities in the 1980s, is known to many civil
society activists and progressives in Uganda. He actively supported the campaign for gay rights in
Uganda.
When Mutunga was interviewed and picked as the candidate for CJ by Kenya’s Judicial Service
Commission, most people swore that President Mwai Kibaki would reject his name, but he did not.

From 2012, Kenya is likely to have the most limited presidency in Africa. The president has only about
10 per cent of the budget to dole out his patronage and fund his pet projects. The bulk of the rest is
fixed; both by a constitutional cap, and a negotiation process.

Where is all this leading? Given heightened opposition activity in Uganda and the government’s
determination to crackdown on protests, democracy is struggling. But even when they face many
setbacks as they did in Kenya, efforts toward reform are never in vain. With time they breed
meaningful change.

The Daily Monitor (leading privately-owned newspaper) website. July 24, 2011.
“Museveni succession is threat to stability” by Residel Kasasira

Uncertainty over who will succeed President Yoweri Museveni, in power now for 25 years, stands as
the singular most threat to Uganda’s future stability, a new report by an American research
organization has warned. The report is part of a series of reports on 10 other African countries
commissioned by the US Africa Command.

It looks at how different dynamics could play to cause instability in the next 10 years. President
Museveni has been in power since 1986 after a five-year guerilla war in Luwero. In 2016 Mr.
Museveni will be among the longest serving presidents in the world. The report says the country’s
stability is largely “tied up” in the personal position of Mr. Museveni because of his highly
“personalized” leadership of Uganda.

However, the army spokesperson, Lt. Col. Felix Kulayigye, said the biggest threat to Uganda’s future
stability is terrorism, not succession.

“I don’t see that being a security threat because we have a Constitution that defines how presidents
are succeeded and we, in the military understand these provisions of the Constitution. For us, we see
terrorism as the greatest threat to our country,” he said.

The report notes that President Museveni’s patronage regime is likely to come under growing strain
if the economy contracts, inflation remains high and government cannot reverse its declining records
at providing basic social services to its citizens.

The report states that political breakdown triggered by a conflict over the political succession within
the NRM is the most likely threat to the current government between now and 2016. It predicts that
the succession debate will mostly likely fracture the party especially on the generation line as
younger leaders assert themselves and confront President Museveni and his cohort around him.




Photo credit:
    (1) “Retired Kitgum Bishop Mcleod Baker Ochola in Rupiny FM studios”, November 17, 2009,
        http://www.newvision.co.ug/D/8/16/701458.

				
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posted:9/27/2011
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