News

Uganda Political Pressure Group Vows to Defy Government Ban

Uganda's top opposition leader Kizza Besigye, second left (A4C participant), waves to supporters inside the court in Kampala, Uganda after he was freed on bail, March 28, 2012.
Uganda's top opposition leader Kizza Besigye, second left (A4C participant), waves to supporters inside the court in Kampala, Uganda after he was freed on bail, March 28, 2012.

Multimedia

Audio
  • Clottey interview with legislator Mathias Mpuga, laeder of Uganda's leader of the A4C

Peter Clottey

A Ugandan lawmaker has condemned as “illegitimate and autocratic” a government ban on political pressure group, the Activists for Change (A4C).

Mathias Mpuga, leader of the A4C, said his supporters plan to defy the ban.

He said his group, which consists mainly of opposition political parties, civil society and human rights groups, also plans to mount a legal challenge.

Attorney General, Peter Nyombi, this week declared the pressure group “an unlawful society.”

“In exercise of the powers conferred on the Attorney General by section 56(2) (C) of the Penal Code Act, Cap. 120. This order may be cited as the Penal Code (Declaration of unlawful societies) Order, 2012. Any society specified in the schedule to this order is declared to be a society dangerous to peace and order in Uganda,” said Nyombi.

Constitutional analysts say the government’s declaration effectively criminalizes all of A4C’s activities, including demonstrations and its walk-to-work campaigns.

But group leader Mpuga said the administration erred in its decision.

“This is a political reaction…and we have agreed that we are going to take on the regime on two fronts,” continued Mpuga. “On the political front by defying the ban, because we believe it has no legal basis in a free and fair society. And then two, we go on to challenge the ban in the constitutional court because we believe we have adequate legal outlets to challenge it and we shall defeat it in the courts of Uganda.”

A4C-organized demonstrations and protests have often turned violent, as supporters clash with police, especially in the capital, Kampala.

Organizers insist their actions are aimed at pressuring the government to address soaring food and fuel prices, which they say puts harsh financial constraints on citizens. But senior administration officials have said the group aims to force a regime change by creating chaos and making the country ungovernable.

Mpuga said the administration’s accusations are unfounded.

“The concerns are not legitimate because very many activists or members of our group have been arrested and land before court, but I can assure you, not a single court has convicted any of our members,” said Mpuga. “The implication here is that the basis for the government to claim that our activities are unlawful has no legal basis.”

Mpuga said the A4C will not relent in its pressure on the government until the country’s challenges are resolved.

“I can assure you that the regime in Kampala has no resort to anything but to succumb or to accept to negotiate with the opposition or wait to actually crumble like most other despots have crumbled in Africa,” said Mpuga.

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Tupak Mukasa
April 09, 2012 4:25 AM
Gen. Museveni please note, Robbery and Corruption are worse than Terrorism. Ugandans are dissatisfied with the direction is taking and Museveni knows it that's why he's turned Kampala city into a dysfunctional garrison with heavy police and military deployment at a cost of over 500millions a day since the last sham general elections. Museveni is leading Uganda into deadly chaos and bunning A4C will simply increase widespread public discontent and underground movements.

by: Andrew Nsubuga
April 06, 2012 10:08 AM
Mr.Museveni's regime is on it's final leg and Ugandans are ready to achieve democratic, economic and Human rights freedoms despite all the armed police brutality and forcing A4C out will just add fuel on fire because Ugandans are done with the killings, thieving, corrupt and tribalistic Museveni regime. The United Nations,the international Community,Friends and all Donors to Uganda should stop any support to the regime.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponentsi
X
Henry Ridgwell
July 28, 2015 9:53 PM
A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video Special Olympics Athletes Meet International Friends

The Special Olympics are underway in Los Angeles, California, with athletes from 165 countries participating in an event that gives people with intellectual disabilities the chance to take part in an international competition. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that for athletes and their families, it's also an opportunity to make new friends in an international setting.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs