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2013 was bad for economy, democracy, say opposition

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Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Nandala Mafabi (L), FDC party spokesperson Wafula Oguttu (

Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Nandala Mafabi (L), FDC party spokesperson Wafula Oguttu (C) and FDC party president Mugisha Muntu consult during the address at Parliament yesterday. Photo by Geoffrey Sseruyange  

By SOLOMON ARINAITWE

Posted  Friday, December 20  2013 at  00:00

In Summary

Leader of the Opposition in Parliament delivers a damning verdict on the state of affairs in the country under the ruling NRM party and predicts a tougher 2014.

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Parliament- Taking stock of 2013, opposition politicians have said the ending year saw a reversal in Uganda’s economic and political fortunes and predict that next year could be worse as the 2016 general elections draw closer.

Delivering what was billed as a “State-of-the Nation” address yesterday at Parliament, the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Mr Nandala Mafabi, recounted the litany of excesses that marred 2013. From the closure of media houses in May to the meting out of violence by police on Ugandans over the year.

“We are closing 2013 at the height of an unprecedented abuse of power and dictatorial tendencies perpetuated by the NRM regime. Everything is now fundamentally wrong. There is stealing of public resources and the killing of institutions. The only institution alive is President Museveni,” Mr Mafabi said.

He also lashed out at the government for undermining of the Judiciary, citing the recent case where the Kampala minister rejected a court order and proceeded with a meeting to impeach the Kampala mayor. The rising unemployment rates and the several corruption scams were also cited as other failures.

In May, two newspapers, including the Daily Monitor, were summarily closed by police after publishing stories quoting a letter written by Gen David Sejusa to the Internal Security Organisation.

Gen Sejusa’s letter called for a probe into reports that there is a plot to assassinate senior army and government officials deemed opposed to the so-called “Muhoozi project” to have the President’s son succeed him.

Maj Gen (rtd) Mugisha Muntu, the FDC president, however, said the “dictatorship will be removed”.

“We shall do everything possible not only to hasten the removal of the dictatorship but to ensure that we confront the challenges that come when such regimes are removed,” Gen Muntu said.

Terego County MP Kassiano Wadri revealed that several reports compiled by the Public Accounts Committee, which he chairs, have been handed over to Parliament but efforts to have them tabled have been frustrated by House authorities.

“We investigated corruption at the Prime Minister’s office and submitted a report but today it is on the Order Paper and tomorrow it is on business to follow and the next day it is nowhere,” Mr Wadri said.

Kyadondo East MP Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda described the passing of the Public Order Management Act as an attack on freedoms, warning that 2014 will bring with it worse legislations as ruling party MPs fall all over themselves to impress Mr Museveni.

Opposition claims
Closure of media houses. In May, two newspapers were closed after publishing stories quoting a letter written by Gen David Sejusa to the Internal Security Organisation.

Gen Sejusa alleged that there is a plot to assassinate senior army and government officials deemed opposed to the so-called “Muhoozi project”
Undermining the Judiciary.

Kampala minister rejected a court order and proceeded with a meeting to impeach the Kampala Lord Mayor.

Corruption. Several reports compiled by the Public Accounts Committee have been handed over to Parliament but efforts to have them tabled have been frustrated by House authorities.

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