Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Former Inspector General of Government Augustine Ruzindana has described this year’s election as unprecedented, with the role of the electoral commission muted and security agencies and candidates dominating the exercise.
Appearing on NTV Uganda’s On The Spot Show Thursday night, Ruzindana was particularly critical of the role of security forces, saying an unwritten contract between the people and the army had been broken.
“The consensus between the NRM and the people, who have got used to the fact that the security agencies, the army, the police do not kill citizens, do not kill civilians. This has been violated, irrespective of elections or not. Outside armed conflict this should not happen,” said Ruzindana.
He said a taboo has been violated, given the history of the National Resistance Army (NRA) and a consensus between the ruled and the rulers post-election. He advocated for a national dialogue.
The cardinal thing, he stressed, was the army and people “were like fish and water, now the fish and water seem to have been destabilized by what has happened”.
“It is not an issue of impunity, but an issue of legitimacy. The consensus between the rulers and the people seems to have been violated. This is something that has to be recreated, irrespective the results of the election.”
The interview comes a month after another NRM elder, Amanya Mushega also critised the way the NRM government is handling the elections.
The Former senior cabinet minister and NRM political ideologue Nuwe Amanya Mushega however said it is not too late for Uganda to turn course, after admitting that, “We are not in the best of state. This violence which is going on is not nice.”
Mushega said he continues, like he has done before, to urge President Yoweri Museveni to retire and give the younger generation an opportunity to take over peacefully. He said he is still critical of a decision to change the age limit to allow Museveni to continue as President, past an earlier agreed time at which he would have handed over to new leaders.
“As part of the people who brought this government to power, we can’t afford getting tired of reminding Museveni to peacefully hand over power to other people,” Mushega said, adding that, “we put limitations in the constitution. Serve two terms, was one of them. You do not leave power because you have lost steam. You leave because the law says so.”
Mushega demanded that the Government apologizes for the killings at the recent riots follow the arrest of Presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi. Police say up to 50 were killed, many of them shot dead by security officers.
“I have not heard anybody (in the government) come out to apologies for the shooting of Ugandans. It’s painful. Our leaders should come out and condemn it and those who have done it should be punished,” he remarked.