President Museveni is not ready to listen to appeals for him to drop his single-minded determination to give 7,100 hectares of Mabira Central Forest Reserve to the Mehta Group to grow sugarcane. On Tuesday, the President was in belligerent mood when he hosted Kampala City Traders Association leaders along with the Kwagalana Group of wealthy city businessmen when they had called on him at State House in a bid to secure a halt in the project. “Tell anybody out there that I am ready for war on sugar,” the President reportedly said. “Let us fight this war once and for all. I am not ready to listen to anybody who is saying that I save Mabira.” Mr Museveni told his guests he is going ahead with the Mehta project despite loud protests of conservationists, environmentalists and the general population who are outraged there will be grave and irreversible repercussions for the eco-system, climate and water catchment area. Presidential Press secretary Tamale Mirundi confirmed that the President remains unmoved.
However,the President MUST remember that the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda states in Article 1(1), “All power belongs to the people who shall exercise their sovereignty in accordance with the Constitution.” It is absurd that he can maintain the decision to give out the Mabira land. It is true that some NRM cadres took advantage of the privatization of Public Enterprises to take a share, however,time will tell as no secret will never remain so.
INTERNATIONAL INSTRUMENTS TO WHICH UGANDA IS A PARTY
Uganda is a party to numerous human rights conventions and legal
instruments. These include the following:
• The African Charter on Human and People’s Rights
• Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
• International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
• International Convention on Civil and Political Rights
• Convention on Elimination of all forms of discrimination against
• International Convention on Elimination of all Forms of
Discrimination against women Migrant workers (CEDAW)
• The Convention against Torture in 1986. Uganda also ratified the
First Optional Protocol on the ICCPR with reservations on Article
• The Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
• Convention on the Rights of the Child including the two attendant
(i) The optional protocol to the convention on the Rights of the
child on involvement of children in the Armed Conflict.
(ii) The optional Protocol to the convention on the Rights of the
child in the sale of children, child prostitution and pornography.
• The African Convention on the rights of the child
• The additional Protocol on the Rights and welfare of the Child
• The additional Protocol to the African charter on Human and
Peoples’ Rights of women.
Uganda undertakes to honour treaty obligations and to this end
endeavours to interpret the various articles contained in the covenant in
good faith with a view to realising each covenant’s objectives. This
commitment is reiterated under principle xxviii of Uganda’s foreign
policy objectives enshrined in the Constitution. Among other things, the
foreign policy of Uganda shall be based on the principles of respect for
international law and treaty obligations and opposition to all forms of
domination, racism and other forms of oppression and exploitation.
We need to observe all of them.