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VIDEO: Museveni speaks out against torture, facebook

President Museveni Interacting with media representatives and journalists from the different Ugandan Media Houses at Nakasero State Lodge. PHOTO PPU

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT  & URN | President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has urged elected leaders across the country to play their role of defending the rights of citizens. He called on them to stand up and resist excesses of the security forces especially in regards to human right violations.

Speaking Friday at State House in Nakasero at an end of year media meet, Museveni said that he gets surprised to hear of cases of torture against civilians yet the elected leaders are not doing anything to stop it.

“We are against all these arrests without trial; we organized you people from LCI, those structures must bring it up and we follow it up. There is popular power everywhere, they should bring up all these issues. If they want to keep popularity. Bring up the legitimate issues of the people, that should deal with the illegal arrests,” he told a cross section of journalists, as he fielded questions.

“Even if the policemen were corrupt, the antidote is there; the elected people; why don’t they defend their people; that will check the police…Use all this power that the NRM gave you,” said Museveni in response to a question about the increased cases of torture and illegal arrests that are now commonly called abduction.

Case of the Judiciary

The President explained that that the reason why some arrested people spend longer time on remand is the limited number of judicial officers to hear their cases.

“We have few judges and magistrates because we have so many things to do; the roads, the electricity. If you look at the budget, the ministry of works at one time got Shs 6 trillion… not that we didn’t know the judiciary needed more money…we said, let us have fewer judges so the infrastructure is there to produce more wealth,” said Museveni.

He said in the past he has given security organs guidelines on how to handle people, adding that he is surprised that the complaints of torture and illegal arrests persist.

“You don’t have to beat, just interrogate whether he admits or not, he can be sentenced or even hanged but legally. are essentially traditional or tribal management of crime… We need the arrester; we need the prosecutor and we need the judge. So really, its part of capacity building. The law is there but they have not absorbed it in their blood,” he added.

Electricity line vandalism

The President said he is yet to be briefed on the ongoing vandalism of electricity lines in some parts of the country. Museveni said although he has read about the issue in newspapers, he is yet to attend any meeting where the matter is discussed. He however vowed to crack down hard on elements behind the vandalism.

“Once I come in, those vandals will not like it, they will be six feet under. It will be solved, are the power lines in Uganda or in Congo; they will be handled,” said Museveni.

ADF and insecurity

On the cases of insecurity in the country where a number of police stations have been attacked and guns stolen, Museveni said the ongoing war in the Democratic Republic of Congo will not end until the rebels of the Allied Democratic Forces-ADF are wiped out. ADF has been accused of being behind several attacks in Uganda.

“ADF was a group which was started by our young Muslims here who had been trained in Arab countries… They were supported by Bashir and Mobutu . They were there having gardens and controlling that area of eastern Congo until we went there. Now that we have gone, there is no way they will survive. If they are involved in the issue of the power lines, they will be wiped out,” added the President.

Fate of facebook

Asked why Facebook remains closed going to two years now, Museveni said the social media site  unfairly banned Ugandan accounts that were trying to counter attacks on government on the platform.

“We have our problems with Facebook and we have expressed them. If they are worked on, we have no problems opening Facebook. At least, life has not stopped because of it; Boda Bodas are moving well, and commuter taxis are making their trips as usual. Life goes on,” he said.

Cost of living

Museveni again explained the government’s stand against subsidizing the cost of fuel, saying it would deplete the country’s cash reserves without solving the problem. He said they continue to talk to world leaders to resolve the Ukraine issue, that is the main cause for high fuel prices.

On declining purchase power, he said government’s decision to put money in the Parish Development Model is intended to give citizens a platform to make money and therefore boost spending.

He asked that all Ugandans with access to land to access the PDM money, and invest in at least one of seven targeted projects:

✳ Coffee 1 acre
✳ Fruits 1 acre
✳ Pasture 1 acre
✳ Food 1 acre
✳ Poultry
✳ Pigs
✳ Fish farming



SECURITY: Museveni warns forces on torture

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