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

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Researcher: Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor at Symposium on Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome says problem involves more than calorie intake, warns of worldwide health impact 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.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs