Monday, May 11, 2015


I AM NOT LOOKING FOR GRATITUDE BUT LET ME SAY IT AGAIN. Any article you see me share from The Insider means a bit more work on my side. They do not allow copy and paste so I have to go to their source code, copy the text, remove html characters and then get the text for you all. Whenever you see me posting from the Insider, please take the time to at least read the text. I only do this for the key ones I need our people to read. Here you go. She is a tough one.
Dr. Miria Rukoza Koburunga Matembe, a former Member of Parliament and political activist has warned that unless President Yoweri Museveni eases on his “impudence and arrogance”, his regime will end badly.
“He must watch out…I tell him to watch out. If he doesn’t, he will end up like his friends who were dug out of trenches and killed,” Matembe summed up her evening while appearing on KFM Hot Seat recently.
Museveni’s such friend who was “dug out of a trench” and shot in the head is none other than the Libyan leader, the late Col Muammar Gaddafi.
Gaddafi, the deposed leader of Libya, died on 20 October 2011 during the Battle of Sirte.
Gaddafi was found hiding in a culvert west of Sirte and captured by National Transitional Council forces.
The NTC initially claimed he died from injuries sustained in a firefight when loyalist forces attempted to free him, although videos of his last moments show rebel fighters beating him before he was shot several times.
Matembe says Museveni’s arrogance could lead him in trouble
Matembe said she was particularly annoyed by the arrogance exhibited by the ruling party led by its chairman Museveni.
She cited cases where the President boasted of owning a strong army and owning all the money in Uganda.
She also picked out the Kabale incident in which Museveni called opposition politicians dogs vowing never to leave the country to them so they could tear it apart.
Matembe reasoned that from his speeches, Museveni could be happy Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza is still in power since they share the same idea of “clinging onto power”.
“They both don’t respect term limits.”
Matembe recalled of how they went upcountry and collected people’s views on governance and when they met Museveni, “he laughed at us”.
“He was asking ‘who are they?’” she said, adding that in due course and as usual, Museveni ignored the people’s views.
Citing the corruption in government, Matembe wondered who this government is working for.
“When I heard him say he owns the money, the gun, the army; I asked myself whether I should collapse and die,” she pointed out.
“When he (Museveni) came from the bush, he owned nothing.”
“Did you see him being sworn in at Parliament (on January 29, 1986)?” she asked Patrick Kamara, the KFM Hot Seat host.
“Look at that picture,” she urged the presenter, adding, “He (Museveni) had no money, not even a hander kerchief. He was wiping sweat using an old cape he brought along from the bush.”
Matembe said that herself by that time was richer than Museveni because she was earning some income.
“This money he is bragging about now belongs to Ugandans.”
Declares war on the constitutional amendment bill
Matembe vowed to ensure with fellow activists that Constitutional Amendment Bill recently published by Parliament doesn’t pass in its present state.
“We shall see what to do about it,” she vowed calling upon Members of Parliament not to be intimidated or bribed to pass it.
The bill which seeks to change the name of the electoral commission ignored most of the proposals suggested by civil society and opposition political parties.
Matembe attacked deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah, of daring ban MPs from travelling until the bill has been passed.
“That Oulanyah man, where has he been? Parliament has been empty and MPs were getting allowances.
Now he stops them from travelling because government wants to benefit from the bill?”
“I appeal to MPs to ignore him and don’t discuss that lousy bill. It is a waste of time because some of the provisions never found light of day in that bill.”
She said that in any case, the committee of Parliament responsible for passing the bill has majority NRM members.
“Under their (NRM MPs) terrorism, your views can never be listened to. We are seeking god’s guidance to see how to deal with these people,” she prayed.
Matembe said God was not happy with the situation in Uganda because the country’s motto has changed from “For God and my country” to “For my stomach and my clan”.
“We don’t want this law to pass because its not relevant to our people. Our proposals wanted to create a conducive environment for free and fair elections. We are now saying enough is enough,” Matembe stated, alluding to FDC former President, Kizza Besigye’s new pressure group “Citizens Reforms Now” recently launched in Kampala.
“We are looking for peace, free and fair elections, peaceful handover of power from one government to another.”
Matembe recalled her visit to Nigeria where she was an election observer in the 2015 general elections.
“I was in Nigeria observing elections, it was a critical movement and for the first time a sitting government handed over power to opposition. It was very, very tough. The government had lost popularity but wanted to stay in power. The opposition organized themselves and became one the reason they won very highly. The electoral commission was independent, they even tried to assassinate the chairman EC, threatening to send him on leave but he made sure the registration of voters was good and no one could rig.”
As such, Muhammadu Buhari, an opposition candidate won Nigeria’s March 2015 presidential polls removing President Goodluck Jonathan from power.
Matembe was, however, skeptical when it came to Uganda.
“But here,” she sneered, “our Badru Kiggundu (chairman EC) does what he is told”.
“The man never looks into people’s eyes. Believe me, he can’t look into your eyes. That tells of what he is.”
She said after losing the election, opposition candidates will not even find justice in courts of law because courts too are bribed.
“Which court should we go to?”
Politics of the belly killing all signs of hope
Matembe said she had no kind words for the Ugandan elite and youth who have maintained Museveni in power by receiving handouts from him.
“MPs themselves kneel before Museveni, what do you expect? The educated ones and the unemployed youth (NRM) are the ones congratulating Museveni over insignificant matters.”
She cited a case in which Museveni appointed Youth MP, Evelyn Anite, as minister for Youth and Children Affairs saying that was when she (Matembe) “realized this country has no future”.
“The situation is now hopeless. The main evil that has brought us where we are is corruption. Materialism, moral degeneration and ethical breakdown at leadership, institutional level are killing this country.”
“The brown envelope introduced by Museveni has worsened matters.”
Matembe said she was around during the Milton Obote 11 government but had never seen “such greedy stinking people”.
“They eat and can never be satisfied. Instead of using money for services, they channel it to their selfish interests.”
She said while MPs on one hand fear to talk lest they are thrown out of Parliament, the NRM youth on the other were like “young birds waiting to be fed by the parents (leaders)”.
“People should look at Uganda as theirs, all of us should be interested. Museveni has personalized everything. He is not a monopoly of the people and he must watch out. If he doesn’t, he may end up like his friends who were killed clinging onto power.”
Matembe is a former member of the Pan-African Parliament from Uganda.
While on the Pan-African Parliament she was chairperson of the Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline a permanent committee of the Pan-African Parliament.
In June 2006 she became a Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow with the National Endowment for Democracy.

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