Thursday January 31 2013

Scrap bail, Museveni says again

An usher pins the Golden Jubilee Medal on the lapel of Bank of Uganda Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile’s jacket during the NRM 27th Liberation Day celebrations in Kasese yesterday.

An usher pins the Golden Jubilee Medal on the lapel of Bank of Uganda Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile’s jacket during the NRM 27th Liberation Day celebrations in Kasese yesterday. Looking on is President Museveni who was the guest of honour. PPU PHOTO 


President Museveni yesterday renewed his call for the scrapping bail for suspects in capital offences, saying it is hampering the fight against corruption.

Speaking during the 27th NRM Liberation anniversary celebrations at Nyakasanga playground in Kasese, the President said the recent xposure of corruption in government departments was done by “sympathisers of the NRM government and young police officers”.

He said the informants had helped break “a racket of suspected thieves”, however, by indiscreetly offering bail to the suspects, the Judiciary was making this fight difficult.

Corruption, the President said, cannot be fought by activists and politicians shouting over the media without arresting suspects.
On bail, he said: “I do not know why the Judiciary is giving bail to every suspect. There is bail to everybody including the core criminals. We shall do legislation as politicians about this law to determine the categories of suspects supposed to be granted bail.

The NRM government must make the corrupt people lose appetite of stealing government money to the extent of someone leaving any abandoned money.”

Graft calls
In the past few months, the government has been in the spotlight following revelations of grand corruption in the office of the Prime Minister and the pensions sector of the Public Service ministry.
Several senior officials in the departments have been interdicted and face prosecution.

The call for denial of bail is not new, with the President in April 2011, making a similar case for people accused of economic sabotage, treason, rape, murder and defilement.

His critics, however, argued that the proposal on “economic saboteurs” targeted his political opponents—most of who were engaged in the walk-to-work protests, which the government said were scaring investors.

Call for industrialisation
Yesterday, the President also pointed out that Uganda and most of Africa is lagging behind economically because they lack adequate industries.

“What Uganda and the rest of Africa lacks most are the factories. We were colonized because we lacked factories but not because of clans. Therefore if the lack of factories is solved, all other issues will be easy to address.”

Citing the redundant Kilembe Mines in Kasese, Mr Museveni said the red tape and bureaucracy in government were frustrating investors.
He said a group of Chinese investors had expressed interest in revamping the mines, which have been idle for the past 30 years, but were frustrated by technocrats. The President directed the privatization unit to expedite the Kilembe matter and warned against taking investors for granted.

He listed the slowed industrial investments as Kilembe Mines, expansion of Lugazi sugar works, Amuru sugar industry, the fertilizer industry and the Bujagali power dam.

The President also cited the delay in the equipping the army and corruption as other factors contributing to slow economic development.
He said the whole country is now peaceful because since 2001 the army has been equipped to flush away the different rebel groups like the Lord’s Resistance Army and the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).
Describing eastern DR Congo as an area with “terrorism conservation,” Mr Museveni warned the ADF, whom he said were regrouping, against attacking Uganda.