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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs