US congressman slams Museveni over use of security in 'partisan manner'

Monday January 25 2021

Majority leader of the U.S House of Representatives, Steny Hoyer. PHOTO/GETTY IMAGES.

By Our Reporter

The Majority leader of the U.S House of Representatives, Steny Hoyer has joined the growing list of U.S congressmen and activists to condemn the continued use of Uganda police and the army in partisan politics.

“The Ugandan government continues to use state security in a partisan manner to harass and intimidate its citizens, press, and political opposition. Mr. Museveni’s tactics towards those who advocate for an inclusive democracy is dangerous & must be addressed by the global community,” Mr Hoyer who represents Maryland's Fifth Congressional District tweeted Sunday evening.

Last month, Mr Eliot Lance Engel, the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the US House of Representatives, also asked his government and its international partners to act and prevent what he described as “further destabilisation” in Uganda- and “facilitate the opening of civic and political space”.

His remarks came just weeks to the 2021 polls.

The House of Representatives is the lower house of the US Congress, with the Senate being the upper house. Together, they compose the national bicameral legislature of the United States.

Mr Engel’s December 9, letter was addressed to Mr Mike Pompeo, the then Secretary of State and Mr Steven T. Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary.


Mr Engel, who is a Democrat, asked the U.S to use the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act to designate (label) individuals who may be responsible for violence in Uganda in recent years.

According to the politician, these included among others; Lt. Gen. Peter Elwelu, Commander of Land Forces; Maj. Gen. James Birungi, Commander of the Special Forces Command; Maj. Gen. Don William Nabasa, former Commander of the Special Forces Command; Maj. Gen. Abel Kandiho, Chief of Military Intelligence; Maj. Gen. Steven Sabiiti Muzeyi, Deputy Inspector of General of Police; Mr Frank Mwesigwa, Commissioner of Police; and Col. Chris Serunjogi Ddamulira, the Director of Crime Intelligence. 

In his response to issues raised by Mr Engel, the foreign affairs minister, Sam Kutesa said: “… it is erroneous to suggest that any actions that have been taken by concerned authorities in Uganda pursuant to this provision are illegal or politically motivated. This is simply a matter of law enforcement and the guilt or innocence of a suspect can only be declared by Ugandan Courts of law in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda."