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

US Border Patrol Union Accused of Taking Sides on Immigration

Report alleges agents leaking info to immigration opponents, appearing at their private events; Center for Immigration Studies director defends agents' actions More

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Reporting from Somali capital for past decade, Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal has been working at one of Mogadishu's leading radio stations covering parliament More

Video Rights Monitor: Hate Groups' Use of Internet to Inflame, Recruit Growing

Wiesenthal Center's Abraham Cooper says extremists have become skilled at celebrating violence, ideology on Web 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.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs