News / Africa

Rift Between Ugandan President, Parliament Widens

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni, November 30, 2012.
Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni, November 30, 2012.
The death of a member of parliament in Uganda has sparked anger against the president, with several MPs accusing his government of murder. The dead woman's boyfriend has been charged with manslaughter, and an inquest is due to begin soon.

Uganda’s parliament has been rocked by scandal, arrests and rumors of poisoning in recent weeks, as lawmakers argue over the death of 24 year-old opposition MP Cerinah Nebanda.  The young woman’s boyfriend was arrested in Kenya, and has been charged this week with manslaughter.

Nebanda died in a Kampala hospital in mid-December.  Now a group of MPs is calling for parliament to be summoned out of recess to debate the death.  Nebanda had been openly critical of President Yoweri Museveni’s handling of oil contracts, and some are saying she was murdered.

But a government-led autopsy concluded that Nebanda died from taking cocaine and heroin. Museveni has lashed out at those claiming the government poisoned the MP, calling them idiots and fools. “So anybody who says we kill unarmed people is an idiot.  He’s an idiot, he’s a fool, he’s despiseable," he said.  "And they will know what it means to fight the National Resistance Movement.”

Several opposition MPs have already been arrested for making inflammatory statements about the death.  These arrests, along with the president’s comments, have driven a wedge between the president and parliament, as MP Medard Segona told a local television station in late December.

“Parliament is under attack.  The president said when he was in the bush, he was not under any kind of oversight.  We want parliament to come back [and] convene, so that we either, one, move to save Uganda, or we are arrested from parliament as the president promised,” Segona stated.

MPs have already collected the 125 signatures required for parliament to be recalled, although several parliamentarians say their signatures were forged.

Government spokesman Fred Opolot says the recall is unnecessary and calls the poisoning accusations “ridiculous.”  The governing National Resistance Movement (NRM) does not kill its opponents, he says, pointing to opposition leader Kizza Besigye.

“Kizza Besigye has been extremely vocal against President Museveni’s regime.  He has been.  And Kizza Besigye is alive and kicking in Uganda," Opolot asserted. "Would he have been killed by government?  Absolutely not.  It is not the principle of the NRM government to kill its opponents.”

A judge has been appointed this week to lead an official inquest into Nebanda’s death.  The government had earlier blocked attempts to take forensic samples out of the country for independent examination.

You May Like

Video Video Claims to Show Shi'ite Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

While not yet independently confirmed, brutal killing already has gotten attention of Islamic State followers on social media More

After Six Years, Little Change for Niger Delta's Former Militants

Nigerians who laid down arms in exchange for government amnesty subsidies fear program may end with upcoming presidential elections More

Vietnam Pushes for More Educated Drivers to Curb Road Deaths

Transportation officials hope that making a greater effort to get drivers to learn the rules of the road will reduce fatal crashes More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Moses from: Uganda
January 15, 2013 9:54 AM
I have never seen a statesman ranting like President Museveni did that day. One would think the man was complaining about missing food in his home. At this point i don't know who to blame for his upbringing -the parent or the guardian? Language not expected from a civilized citizen of the republic of Uganda was found and uttered with ease from a statesman. What do we have for a President?

by: Godfrey Silas Garvey Olan from: Lesotho
January 12, 2013 2:27 PM
The reaction of President Museveni to this incident is not surprising at all. The man is too arrogant. He calls Ugandans idiots, fools and despiseable. When will he ever learn to be diplomatic. Remember no body has a monopoly of knowledge except God. What is the National Resistance Movement to Ugandans? It is not Uganda. That's Museveni's private movement. Does he want the movement to wipe out Ugandans who want to speak the truth? Fred Opolot is a liar. The reason Kizza Besigye has not been killed is that he is another bird of the same feather. How many unarmed Ugandans have been killed, by the MRN? Where they killing chickens in the bush?

by: Jonathan Egalal from: Kenya
January 09, 2013 12:43 PM
Musevni has terminated most of the people against his monopolistic Government which being run just like a company or an organization belonging to a particular person,he does things without a bi-partnership of Ugandans and he treats MPs just like his employees,he does not consider the Mps as the representatives of the people of Uganda thus he pushes for for drafting of the new laws that favor himself and his familys' interest yet Ugandans are suffering whoever comes critical against his deeds he murders.Fred Opolots' remarks on Dr.Besigye are fake they well much aware that Museveni can not murder the Main opposition leader in the country because it will incite violence but still the pepper spray that was sprayed to Dr.Besigye in 2011 still it was poisonous.let them stop fooling the international community as they had fooled before.Here the good reason is his own Members of Parliament of his ruling party or i may call a company who have now come out criticizing him not the opposition MPs,if it was oppositions MPs then one could doubt but his party MPs whom he sponsors to Parliamentary elections accusing him so there is no question.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planeti
X
George Putic
March 04, 2015 8:51 PM
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More