Monday July 28 2014

Youth petition Parliament over Mbabazi remarks

By Solomon arinaitwe

The National Youth Council has petitioned Parliament demanding that Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi further explains comments he made in connection with the arrest of a group of NRM leaders in his native Kanungu District linked to him.

Last week, Mr Mbabazi told Parliament that there appears to be a “frame-up” in the arrest of the four youth whom he said are “closely associated” to him.

He also faulted the conduct of the police in handling the matter, warning the Force to be “very careful” in handling their work.
However, in petition to Parliament last Friday, the youth council argued that the Prime Minister’s explanation did not get to the bottom of the arrests but rather dented the police’s image.

“The leadership of the young people of Uganda cognizant of the fundamental role of the police in protecting the life of Ugandans believe that the Prime Minister failed in his duty to defend and advise government but instead undermined government institutions, especially the Uganda police,” reads the petition in part.

It adds: “While responding to the concern, the Prime Minister failed as the cardinal leader of government business.”
However, in a telephone interview yesterday, Mr Mbabazi’s spokesperson, Ms Josephine Nkangi, said the Premier cannot defend the police “even when it is in the wrong”.

“Are they saying he should defend a government agency even when it is wrong? We cannot keep on saying you are right because you are part of the family,” Ms Nkangi said.

On July 19, four people were arrested following a mysterious fire that gutted a hut that was used as a bar owned Mr Benson Karabareme, the general secretary of Kihiihi Traders Association. Days before, Mr Karabareme gave President Museveni a spear, a shield and a chair urging him to stand again in 2016 general elections. The four have since been charged in a Magistrates court and granted bail.