Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Sebaana on the attack, promises to end culture of war
DP’s Ssebaana promises compensation to Luweero war claimants
ROBERT MWANJE & IGNATIUS SSUUNA
DEMOCRATIC Party presidential candidate John Ssebaana Kizito has promised to compensate long-time war claimants of the Luweero bush war if he wins the presidency.Calling the incumbent a liar, Ssebaana, also the Kampala mayor, said President Yoweri Museveni had made empty pledges to the people of Luweero, where he based his five-year guerrilla war. “He ate your cows and food, we lost relatives but he has failed to compensate us,” Ssebaana told a rally at Wobulenzi taxi park on Tuesday. “My government will make an arrangement of paying you back and I will ensure that all those who lost their properties regain them.”President Museveni will be launching his campaign in Luweero today. Peasants there supported his guerrilla campaign by providing money, food, livestock and joining the rebel ranks. Thousands of civilians died during the war between his National Resistance Army and the government forces. Many homesteads, farms, and factories were also destroyed. A victorious Museveni set up a ministry in charge of Luweero Triangle, which was to cater for compensation of war victims and reconstruction of the area. Although claimants were compensated, many others claim they are yet to get anything from the government.
DemocracySsebaana said, “When you demanded your things, he pulled out guns against you. This time, allow him go.” The Kampala mayor added that the democratisation process Museveni had promised had become an illusion and a receding mirage.Ssebaana accused Museveni’s government of promoting corruption, violence, and failing to uphold the economy and democracy. “It is Ssebaana of all the presidential aspirants who studied economics,” he said. “Not even Museveni studied economics; he is simply guessing and that’s why Uganda’s economy deteriorating further.” Ssebaana pledged to restore all government parastatals and condemned the current government for an organised plan to deliberately impoverish Ugandans.“This government has sold all (parastatals), including UEB, to businessmen to squeeze and make you poorer,” he said. “Museveni believes that when your are poor, he can easily govern you.” The former DP President General, Dr Paul Ssemogerere, also addressed the rally. He said he had no doubt that Ssebaana would restore Uganda’s “collapsing” economy and relieve Uganda from dependency.“Ssebaana has it all to be your president,” Ssemogerere said. “He is your own blood and at Namboole I demonstrated my total satisfaction to hand over to him.”Ssebaana pledged to restore presidential term limits, restructure ministries to meet the core functions of the central government, and to promote a comprehensive code of conduct for civil servants.He added that DP would provide better health care, ensure free and independent media, grant full federalism, adopt sound and stable micro- and macro-economic policies, promote agriculture and transport network, review entire education system, increase teacher salaries, create a just land tenure system, and merge irrelevant security organisations.Ssebaana who received a triumphant entry in Luweero opened up the new party headquarters at Kabuusu and three party branch offices at Matugga, Wobulenzi and Kalule.He also criticised the President for sending troops into Democratic Republic of Congo without the consent of Parliament.“It’s clear that Parliament did not sanction the invasion of Congo,” he said. “Museveni did so illegally therefore he must pay the $10 billion personally. Did any of you here get a share of the loot?” The International Court of Justice ruled on Monday that Uganda violated the sovereignty of the DRC, plundered its natural resources and was responsible for human rights abuses when it sent its troops there. Ssebaana’s Chief Campaigner, Gulu Municipality MP Norbert Mao, urged the residents to vote for a Muganda.“People in the north are behind Ssebaana because he is the only one who can reconcile them,” he said. “We are tired of Museveni’s camps, killings and constant suffering in the north. You (Baganda), this is your last chance.”In Wakiso yesterday, where Ssebaana held his second rally, he called upon advocates of a federal system of government to opposed Museveni on the question of an elected Katikkiro.“This is very wrong and stand firm please,” Ssebaana said. “Why do you allow Museveni to take you for a ride?”On December 17, Museveni said during a live appearance on Central Broadcasting Services (CBS) at Mengo that he would never support the idea of the Kabaka appointing his own Katikiiro, as the Buganda Kingdom government has demanded.
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© 2005 The Monitor Publications Ltd.