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Museveni Warns On Tribal Politics

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by Ex Spy, Aug 15, 2009.

  1. Ex Spy

    Ex Spy Senior Member

    Aug 15, 2009
    Joined: Jan 15, 2007
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    Written by Alfred Nyongesa Wandera

    President Museveni yesterday warned that individuals engaged in promoting sectarianism, especially over the widely debated Bunyoro question pitting natives against immigrants would suffer grave consequences.

    Commenting publicly for the first time on his letter to Ms Beatrice Wabudeya, the Minister of Presidency, recommending ring-fencing of elective positions in the oil-rich Bunyoro sub-region for natives, a suggestion that has since rattled the country, the President said tribal politicking causes bloodshed.

    Citing the 1994 Rwandan genocide in which an estimated 800, 000 people, mainly Tutsis, were butchered in 100 days, Mr Museveni said "If you don't handle poisonous words in time, they will generate poisonous actions."

    "Some of the countries that have been stable for a long time like Tanzania have been so strict on this issue and we shall not accept violence in this country."

    The President has in the past fortnight been roundly criticised, the latest being this week by respected global academic Prof. Ali Mazrui, for proposing in a letter to Ms Wabudeya that the jobs of MP, District and LC3 chairpersons in Kibaale, Masindi, Hoima and Buliisa districts - constituting Bunyoro be reserved only for natives for balance of political power.

    Critics said the suggestion, if implemented unrefined, would introduce tribe as the identity card in national politics and cause disharmony across the country in once-peaceful communities harbouring immigrants.

    It was unclear if Mr Museveni's expressed aversion for tribalism during the fourth national Justice, Law and Order Sector (JLOS) forum in Entebbe yesterday, was to charm critics and help nip the national furore he touched with his letter in the bud.

    Earlier at the forum, the President asked judicial officials to hand down harsh punishments on habitual outlaws, suggesting that retribution is the remedy to right the wrongs in society.

    Mr Museveni said he prefers the principle of "an eye for an eye" as the solution to weed out serial criminals. "You rape a woman; your head will be loose on your shoulders. The head will be cut off and our soldiers know about this," Mr Museveni said, alluding to prompt execution of capital offenders convicted in military courts.

    President Museveni said for peace to continue to prevail in the country, judicial officials should not grant bail to suspected murderers, defilers, rapists and persons charged with treason, corruption and sectarianism, unless they have served the mandatory remand period of 180 days.

    "Murder is the worst crime and you must ensure that one who kills is answerable," he said, adding: "But you see somebody accused of murder walking around on bail. This is a radical development."

    Prof. John Kakooza of the Law Reform Commission, however, disagreed with the President, reminding him that bail "is a constitutional right." "It is only when a suspect is perceived to be able to interfere with investigations; not avail oneself to court during hearing of the case or capable of committing more crimes that bail may not be granted," he said.

    The acting Inspector General of Government, Mr Raphael Baku, said lenient sentences embolden criminals, especially corrupt government officials.

    Mr Baku said individuals convicted of involvement in corruption should be handed down the maximum punishment of 10 years imprisonment or Shs6 million fine, if not both.