British MPs divided on Museveni removal from power

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British House of Commons in session

British legislator Dr Paul Williams of Stockton South Constituency has said “nothing can stand in the way of the millions of Ugandans who are desperate for change”.

“Nothing can stand in the way of People Power,” said Williams following a motion he moved on Tuesday in the UK Parliament on the rule of law in Uganda.

Members of Parliament (MPs) of the United Kingdom House of Commons started the session on Uganda at 4pm which lasted for 30 minutes, according to the UK parliament website.

“A healthy democracy can unlock so much potential in the country but the hopes of the Ugandan people currently are not being met by the people who lead Ugandans,” Williams told parliament.

He added: “I’m with you and we are watching and hurting for the hopes of Ugandan people.”

He said democrats around the world want a Uganda that is prosperous, free and secure.

British MPs cited cases where Uganda development partners in the European Union have decided to channel donations directly to agencies for fear funds will be swindled by government officials.

They used the 2012 incident in which €12m from Ireland, Denmark and Norway ended up in bank accounts of officials in the Prime Minister’s office

As such, UK support is now being channelled through private sector and non-governmental organisations to escape government corruption.

Dr Williams told the House of Commons that while working in Uganda [four years in Kanungu District] as a doctor with local health workers, he realised President Museveni can no longer foster development for Uganda.

He cited the August 2018 Arua incident in which military tortured opposition members including MP Bobi Wine and Francis Zaake using the excuse of stoning Museveni’s car.

Williams told the house he has evidence of human rights abuses citing the 2016 attack on the palace of King Charles Mumbere in Kasese and the massacre of 150 civilians by Ugandan forces.

He also cited the EU report on the 2016 presidential election [citing voter bribery and election rigging] where 30 recommendations have up to now not been implemented.

MPs dissent

John Howell of Henley constituency, who had watched the whole drama in silence, finally spoke and asked why Williams was dragging Britain into Ugandan affairs.

Howell said Ugandans were concerned about the UK Parliament telling them how to run their country.

He suggested they would face “an uphill struggle in getting our points across” in the measured way Dr Williams described the matter.

Williams used the example of Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi saying the way he has been targeted by the military shows Uganda’s undemocratic behaviour.

Jeremy Lefroy, Stafford constituency, also took Uganda’s side citing the peacekeeping mission in Somalia where Uganda has shed so much of its own blood to keep al-Shabaab out of the capital Mogadishu.

Chris Law of Dundee constituency also hailed Uganda for hosting millions of refugees from countries across the region.

 

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