By Patrick Kagenda
The Uganda People’s Congress last week welcomed the US congressional directive on Uganda`s 2011 election.
In a statement the UPC said the Congressional directive to the American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to closely monitor preparations for the 2011 elections in Uganda and to actively promote in coordination with the European Union, Canada and other nations is very welcome.
The directive also calls on the Secretary of State to report on the security and protection of the candidates. The UPC said as much as it appreciated the congressional actions, it feels let down by the US government which has for a long time looked on as the NRM governmentÂ repressed Ugandans with impunity and rigged elections without hindrance.Â
The UPC cited the recent acts of brutality by the police and military where up to 27 people were murdered in September during a demonstration against the government decision to block the Kabaka of Buganda from visiting a part of his kingdom.Â The party also strongly condemned last weekâ€™s police action of arresting 35 Interparty women activists who were peacefully demonstrating against the Electoral Commission. They were manhandled and locked up in police cells.
The UPC called on the US to withhold any funding to the NRM regime and to immediately consider strengthening democracy in Uganda by offering tangible direct assistance to the political parties.
Under the Congressional directive Secretary Hillary Clinton is to submit a report to the Committee on Appropriations not later than 90 days after the enactment of the Appropriation Act and thereafter every 4 months.
The US has the capacity to influence things in the world. Uganda is no exception,said Opoka the UPC secretary general. Look at Honduras, Nicaragua, Afghanistan, Iraq and name it; when the US said its time for change in those countries there was change.
Walyemera trounces Sakwa
Davis Amos Walyemera was last week successfully nominated to contest for the Mbale Municipality parliamentary seat on the UPC ticket. The seat fell vacant on Dec. 20 following the resignation of the FDC`s Wilfred Kajeke who cited rampant corruption in the government.
Meanwhile, the UPC`s presidential contender, ambassador Olara Otunu last week started his western tour of the country. Otunu started the western tour at Kisoro after entering the country from Rwanda on his way from the US. The tour saw him cover the districts of Ntungamo, Isingiro, Mbarara, Kiruhura and Bushenyi.Â
Like the late UPC party president Milton Obote, Otunu unveiled his national task force and campaign coordinators at Bushenyi on Jan 23. Otunu`s western leg tour continues in the districts of Kasese, Bundibugyo, Kabarole, Kamwenge, Kyenjojo Hoima ,Masindi, Buliisa and will return to Kampala at the end of the month.