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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora