Talk about democracy in what has become a police state id laughable. The Uganda experience is unfortunate simple because Museveni fooled many who could be fooled and now he can not leave. He keeps giving those who are in for simple favours as he consolidates in office. Priorities are misplaced. Uganda is simply a sad story and no body is sure whether there can be a peaceful change. Dictators are a real problem to development. The prayer is to have people who are serious regarding democracy as future leaders. Short of that, Uganda is simply a sad story.
William Kituuka Kiwanuka
UGANDA'S DEMOCRACY IN DECLINE - US THINK TANK
By EMMANUEL GYEZAHO
Posted Thursday, March 1 2012 at 00:00
Continued repression of freedoms in the country in an attempt to consolidate power by President Museveni’s administration is what has been cited by a US consultancy to conclude that the strength of democracy in Uganda is on the decline.
A report by Flattau Associates, a Washington-based research and consulting firm that conducts government assessment and monitors democratic stability in countries, states that democracy in Uganda has “declined to slightly worse than moderate levels” in the past few months.
The report notes that while Mr Museveni remains credited with bringing economic and political stability to Uganda and fostering efforts to combat HIV/Aids since 1986, “many critics, however, cite Museveni administration’s continued repression of freedom in the country in an attempt to consolidate power.” “For all intents and purposes, the President has succeeded in this endeavour,” reads the report in a part.
Rating Uganda’s overall strength of democracy on a 0 to 10 scale—with 0 representing weak, 5 representing moderate, and 10 representing strong, the Democracy Monitor Quarterly report hands Uganda a 4.1 score.
The report states that in the past two years, Uganda’s opposition have had no ability to form, operate, and participate in government processes without interference from Mr Museveni and the entities that he has control over like security forces and party members.
“One key event which illustrates the on-going repression of opposition groups occurred when police arrested at least four opposition activists, including Forum for Democratic Change Women League head Ingrid Turinawe, and had them charged with treason, a capital offence punishable by death,” said the report. Ms Turinawe and her co-accused are on bail pending trial.
The report adds that freedom of assembly, access to information, media independence and freedom “all declined to worse than moderate levels” between October 1 and December 31, 2011.
The report comes at a time when government has declined to admit a UN envoy on freedom of expression to the country and assess human rights. “The problem is that the invitation is open ended in that whenever the [UN] Special Rapporteur feels like visiting the country will do so at his/her wish.
We cannot allow this because it would be like a house without a door,” Ambassador David Etuket, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official, is quoted as having told local press freedom defenders, HRNJ, in a statement issued on Tuesday.
Several human rights organisations and journalists in Uganda have repeatedly asked the UN to dispatch its envoy to visit the country due to the shrinking space of their operating environment.
The findings also follow recent demands by the police to have Parliament expedite enactment of the Public Order Management Bill 2011, which seeks to