FDC holds parallel independence celebration, criticises Uganda’s democracy as pseudo
In an apparent move to avoid altercations with the police, members of the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party converged at their headquarters at Najjanankumbi for their version of the independence day celebrations.
The police last week warned that it would break up any form of celebrations held parallel to the national celebrations at Kasasa in Kyotera district.
Acting smarter, the FDC invited its supporters to Najjanankumbi, and from within the premises of the party headquarters, different party leaders made presentations on how they see Uganda at its 56th year of independence.
“There was some freedom even with Amin who was referred to as the butcher of Uganda went for his political enemies only. Today killings are rampant, and the security of the country is at stake. You cannot tell who will be shot and killed before the sun goes down. We have pseudo democracy today,” said party president Patrick Amuriat Oboi.
Amuriat criticised President Yoweri Museveni’s cash donations to various groups around Kampala as extravagant expenditure which would have been used to improve health service delivery in the countryside.
“What you see happening today in private hospitals where you are given garments to put on used to happen in public hospitals. So much so that when people went to the hospital when sick, after they got better, they did not want to go back home because the condition in hospital was much better than the condition at home. Today, our health system has collapsed,” Amuriat said.
FDC national chairman Wasswa Biriggwa recalled how October 9 in the past used to be a day of jubilation for many in the past filled with festivities that started a day earlier.
Biriggwa said, the reason why in recent times people do not celebrate the day, is the disappointment in the current leadership and thus urged opposition forces to work together.
“The people power (group) is a friend and should be a friend. In fact, people power is a child of defiance, it’s not an enemy. Those who consider it to be that we are an enemy of people power are very very wrong. We are together, we are in a fight. So, let’s find a way to harmonise our relationship with DP, with Jeema and even with the new party that is about to happen for our former president; let’s look at this as an opportunity not as a loss,” Biriggwa said.
The party spokesman also Kira Municipality MP Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda explained that they decided to hold parallel celebrations because national celebrations had been what he called “NRMlised”.
He said, FDC opted for a low key event to avoid unnecessary expenditure like the Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli who banned high profile national independence day celebrations to channel the money into infrastructural development.
The Leader of Opposition in Parliament Betty Ochan Aol said Ugandans are not yet liberated as they should be in an democracy given the “continued manipulation of the constitution” citing the recent removal of presidential term limits.
She said that Parliament had ceased to a representative of the people’s views since MPs had turned into self-seekers, acting on the demands of the ruling government in anticipation of promotions in the line of leadership.