Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Monitor skips Sebaana's manifesto launch

Ssebaana launches campaign
Wednesday, 21st December, 2005

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PRESIDENTIAL hopeful: Ssebaana leaves Pope Paul Memorial Centre, Lubaga after launching the DP manifesto
By Cyprian Musoke DEMOCRATIC Party (DP) candidate John Ssebaana Kizito yesterday launched his manifesto, with a scathing attack on President Yoweri Museveni for invading the DR Congo. Ssebaana said since Parliament never sanctioned the Congo attack, Museveni was personally liable to pay the $10b that Congo was demanding in reparation. Addressing a packed Pope Paul Memorial centre hall, Ssebaana said the International Court of Justice (ICJ) charged Uganda with plunder of the Congo, but the whereabouts of the loot was unknown. “The Constitution makes it clear that if you want to go to war, you must seek the sanctioning of Parliament. Parliament never sanctioned the invasion of Congo, which means Museveni who sanctioned it did so illegally, and this US$10b must be paid by him,” Ssebaana said. “Congo was looted of wealth but who knows where that wealth went? Did it come here? So how can we pay for something we know nothing about?” he said, working the crowd into frenzy. Ssebaana said Uganda was increasingly becoming isolated and faced endless war, poverty, disunity and tyranny. In a ruling at The Hague on Monday, the ICJ said Uganda violated Congo’s sovereignty, looted its resources and unleashed mayhem on its citizens. Ssebaana said though the Government said the invasion was in self-defence against Ugandan rebels based in Congo, Uganda “went too far.” He said Uganda was facing a big decline in budget support, with donors alarmed by the lack of a clear democratic process, corruption and neglect of war affected areas. Sweden on Monday cut US$8m aid to Uganda, following on the heels of the UK, Ireland and Norway. Yesterday, the UK said it would re-channel another £20m in budget support. Ssebaana said DP would democratise policy-making and execution. His manifesto promises quality education for all, end of wars, boost to farmers, broaden business opportunities, and provide healthcare for all. “This government has made many promises. The question is, can they deliver? They are still promising as if they came yesterday. They should be telling the country what they have done, not what they will do,” he said. He compared Museveni to Oliver Twist, always asking for more. “In 1986, he claimed he would only rule for four years. It is now 20 years. In 2001, he claimed he was seeking his last term only to turn around and defile our young Constitution by manipulating Parliament to lift term limits,” he said. He said the DP had a track record of struggling without bitterness. He promised to restore hope in government that he said had been undermined by the Movement acting like a “terror machine.”

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