By K. David Mafabi
The Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu on 9th March 2010, called for countrywide protests - allegedly to “win back our electoral victory”! The call is most unfortunate, totally unnecessary, reckless and irresponsible.
Mr. Kyagulanyi is calling for “peaceful and unarmed” protest - possibly in echo of Article 29 (1) (d) of the Constitution. He has repeated that the protest is “not illegal” …
But, he has also added that President Yoweri K. Museveni has abrogated the Constitution, and that the people of Uganda are duty bound to defend the Constitution pursuant to Article 3 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda … Is the Kyagulanyi pronouncement in this sense, not a call to insurrection?!
In the meantime, questions naturally arise … Which executive authority then, does Mr. Kyagulanyi recognize? Which legislative authority does Mr. Kyagulanyi recognize? Which judicial authority? The one under which he is still a serving Member of Parliament? Or has he resigned? The legislative authority to which 60 odd members of NUP have been elected? Or are these good legislators-to-be planning not to take up their seats - under conditions of the “abrogated” Constitution? What part(s) of the national legal and constitutional framework does Mr. Kyagulanyi recognize or not recognize … I suggest that this particular “issue” need not detain us anymore … I think absurdity is clearly discernable …
Let us return to Mr. Kyagulanyi’s “legality” or otherwise, of his planned protests. He and his advisors must have found comfort in the March 2020 decision of the Constitutional Court (incidentally, part of the “Museveni machinery” according to the NUP leader) to declare the then Section 8 of the Public Order and Management Act, unconstitutional … Do they therefore think that Article 43 (1), which provides that in enjoyment of rights and freedoms “no person shall prejudice the fundamental or other human rights and freedoms of others or the public interest”, is redundant? Or do they erroneously hope that mischief shall be hidden in the qualification of “public interest” contained in Article 43 (2)?!
I shall be blunt. Mr. Kyagulanyi knows very well that issues of “regulation”, as opposed to “prohibition” - must, and shall arise … He knows that there is no such thing as absolute freedoms and rights anywhere in the world … There is no such utopian jurisdiction anywhere in the world. Please read the law as a whole. Please revisit the Duties of Citizens of Uganda as outlined in Objective XXIX - National Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy in the Constitution of Uganda, and as outlined in Article 17 of that Constitution.
What Mr. Kyagulanyi is objectively setting up, are clashes between the forces of law and order, public health, etc - and his “electoral victory” crusade! He is setting up inevitable clashes in 146 Districts of Uganda - having first declared the status quo illegal and unconstitutional! This is the height of folly, recklessness and irresponsibility. This is not leadership unto light. It is leadership unto darkness. Fortunately, this particular force of darkness is on the wrong side of history - and shall be decisively defeated by wananchi in their millions and majority.
Finally, to the Kyagulanyi electoral victory win mirage of 54.19% … Yesterday afternoon, after watching/listening to the NBS 1.00pm news bulletin, I called my friend News Anchor Samson Kasumba, and requested him to pass a message of appreciation to NBS Reporter Victoria Bagaya - she covered live Hon. Kyagulanyi’s press conference where the legislator declared himself winner of the 2021 Presidential Election.
Why am I so appreciative of Ms. Bagaya? Because she has given us information that nobody else has … That Mr. Kyagulanyi stated that he had a total of 25,000 or so, Declaration Forms … That Mr. Kyagulanyi stated that some 7,000 of his Declaration Forms “are with Security” … That Mr. Kyagulanyi stated that some 9,000 of his Declaration Forms “are missing” …
Now, it is possible that I got Ms. Bagaya wrong - because the total of Declaration Forms would then be 41,000 … More than the statutory 34,600 odd polling stations … Is it possible that those “with security”, are the very ones described as “missing”? Either way, are they 7,000 or 9,000?
Whatever the case, can Mr. Kyagulanyi kindly translate the 54.19% into votes and specific polling stations? Does the “court of public opinion” not need this breakdown? I have failed to find it online …
Mr. Kyagulanyi could very kindly also try this: pick up the “Byabakama results” polling station by polling station, and tick them against his (Kyagulanyi) results … In other words, produce the detailed alternative tally - and avail it to the “court of public opinion”?
If he is unable to do that, should he simply not hold his peace - and forever remain silent?
K. David Mafabi
Senior Presidential Advisor/Special Duties