FUEL CRISIS AND CONTINUING ABUSE OF CITIZENS RIGHTS
Today’s media briefing is to primarily address the deliberate failure by the Museveni regime to address the fuel crisis in the country and the continued abuse of citizens’ rights by armed gangs.
But before I do so, let me extend my and FDC condolences to the family, Bank of Uganda and the country upon the passing of Central Bank Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile.
We belive Mutebile was held hostage by Mr. Museveni and struggled throughout his tenure at Bank of Uganda to stabilize the shilling he undermined by printing extra money to sustain the regime. Because of the over hatching influence of the regime on bank of Uganda, the economy is on drip
We borrow more than Shs 7 trillion annually to pay salaries of government employees and to fund other recurrent expenditure. That is partly what has kept interest rates high because private people are competing with government.
As a central bank governor, he has been the regime’s principal economic advisor and he takes a big share of the blame for its failed economic policies. The Bank of Uganda was turned into a Museveni wallet. Remember the first Shs 19 billion bailout to Bassajjabalaba, NRM chairman for entrepreneur’s league then and the Shs 142 billion fictitious compensation to the same man.
His death in Nairobi speaks volume about the ailing health facilities in the country. And Mutebile did not have to die in office. He has been unwell for a number of years and ought to have vacated office. There is something between him and Museveni about dying in office. Greed.
ABUSE OF CITIZENS RIGHTS
The FDC is concerned as before about the continued abuse of citizens’ rights. The latest victim is author Mr. Kakwenza Rukirabasaija an FDC activist who was kidnapped by an armed gang and kept in a torture chamber illegally for days. The Court issued an order for his immediate release but his captors defied it. Museveni’s son Lt. Gen. Kainerugaba was quoted in the social media as opposed to his release.
Mr. Kakwenza was later sneaked into court and remanded to prison. His crime is to criticize Museveni’s son.
We have two opposition MPs; Hon. Allan Ssewanyana and Hon. Muhammad Ssegirinya who were granted bail by court but because Museveni wanted them in prison, they were brutally re-arrested and sent back to prison on manufactured charges. It is more than two months since these MPs were brutally arrested.
There are hundreds of other citizens who are in prison for allegedly breaking Covid 19 regulations mainly curfew. A number of motorcycles have been snatched by policemen from bodaboda riders who are struggling for a living. And now merchandise is being confiscated from poor hawkers and vendors trying to fend for their families.
Our people have already been brutalized by Covid or its effect. They are sick, nursing sick people or have lost jobs/business/income. They are vulnerable.
There are government agencies that have turned torture into a trade. One such dreaded outfit is Police’s Crimes Intelligence Directorate headed by Brig. Christopher Ddamulira.
These together with Special Forces Command (SFC) are the ones shooting suspects on site. You remember the murder of Sheik Kilevu, boxer Zebra Ssenyange etc.
We have slowly descended into jungle law – Armed and therefore strong men are right. They take away live without following the rules, they themselves enacted. This is unacceptable and today is the last warning. We will soon announce measure that citizens can employ to protect themselves against marauding armed gangs.
The prices of fuel have remained prohibitive for nearly now a month. The price of petrol shot from Shs 3800 to Shs 6000 a litre and has only reduced by a few shillings. Diesel keeps fluctuating at Shs 4300 and Shs 4400.
This has distorted people’s budgets and incomes as transport fares for both passengers and goods have correspondingly shot up.
This crisis like many others is self-induced. Why did we put in place Covid 19 measures that are unsustainable? How on earth can anyone sensible demand from a truck driver $30 for Covid testing.
We told the country that Museveni and his agents are treating Covid as a very big enterprise. Compulsory testing against people already tested elsewhere has been turned into a lucrative business. It is no longer done for health but for money.
This again to warn the regime that if fuel prices don’t normalize by end of this week, we will organize citizens to demonstrate starting next week.
FDC EALA PRIMARY ELECTIONS
The Party has begun the process to identify its candidate for EALA. Today 24th and tomorrow 25th January we shall expect members to pick nomination forms and return them for nomination on Thursday 27th and Friday 28th January. Voting shall take place on Tuesday 8th February. We embrace every qualified member to be pleased and take part. The clear program is with Electoral Commission.
PATRICK OBOI AMURIAT