By Betty Nambooze
Mukono Municipality Member of Parliament Hon. Betty Nambooze Bakireke has been making rounds on Capitol Hill.
On her recent trip to Washington DC, she worked closely with Ugandan activists to build the case for Democracy, Human rights but above all a peaceful transition of government from President Yoweri Museveni’s 32 year captivity.
In a meeting with a team of officers at the US Department of State led by Derek Wright, Office of African affairs/ Ugandan desk, she urged that US reviews its relations with Uganda in terms of military support.
Nambooze reasoned that the aid given to Uganda ministry of defence is not used to build a strong institution but to create militias that have used military equipment against citizens.
The Spokesperson for the opposition of the Ugandan parliament also had closed door meetings with Congressional ranking members; Rep Eliot Lance Engel 16th District of the Empire State and also the congressional Chairman Foreign Affair committee with whom they discussed the refugee crisis, political instability in the Great Lakes region and how Museveni has contributed to the crisis.
In another engagement with House Rules Committee Chair Rep. James Patrick McGovern, Hon. Nambooze expresses concern on the continued Ugandan Government abuse of power.
She cited an incident in September 2017 where armed forces raided the Parliamentary chambers with guns, roughed opposition members of parliament up, harassed, tortured and arrested those who strongly opposed the illegal passing of a house resolution that removed the presidential term limit in order to all Museveni run for President in 2021.
She was personally tortured and later had to travel to India for treat for which up to date she still nurses the pain of the effects in the wheel chair.
The Ugandan Government through the ministry of Finance has on purpose refused to pay for her medical bill which she is entitled to as a legislator.
Rep. Bradley James Sherman was very moved by Hon. Nambooze’s presentation. They promised to rally congress behind a special hearing on Uganda.
He is concerned about the continued abuse of human rights, internal displacement of citizens, they shared extensively on the Apaa land crisis and how Museveni’s government officials are behind evicting Ugandans from their lands all across the country.
Nambooze ended her trip in Washington Saturday 18 after meeting the Uganda community in a town hall meeting organised by Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition TASSC, an non-profit organisation in Washington DC dedicated on helping torture survivors.