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Bobi Wine: Museveni’s Human Rights Record Qualifies Uganda as a Failed State

Bobi Wine: Uganda Laws Impotent

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Kyadondo East MP and musician Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine on Wednesday teamed up with lawyer and activist Andrew Karamagi to castigate three-decade president Yoweri Museveni’s human rights record, branding Uganda a failed state.

Karamagi and Bobi Wine were part of the panel that discussed human rights and democracy on day two of the Human Rights Convention held in Kampala.

MP Safia Nalule
MP Safia Nalule

The debate also involved Safia Nalule, the deputy chairperson of parliament’s human rights committee.

And the controversial age limit law came into the discussion.

Nalule, who represents People with Disabilities, said most Ugandans wanted the age limit removed — and that the age limit vote represented the will of the people.

But, Nalule, added the army raid on parliament was uncalled for.

Lawyer Andrew Karamagi
Lawyer Andrew Karamagi

But Karamagi told Nalule that Ugandans “don’t expect a leader to come here and start lamenting”.

“We want to know what have you done to [former police chief] IGP Kayihura and the army for the attack on Parliament.”

Karamagi further hit at the state for being “present in matters where you least expect it or want it to be and very absent where they are mandated to be”.

Last month, commander of defence forces (CDF) David Muhoozi told the age limit court in Mbale that Kayihura had asked him to help restore parliament’s integrity. 

Nalule further said that parliament had done it’s role on promoting human rights and democracy.

“When you organise such conventions on human rights, invite the president because parliament has done it’s work,” said Nalule.

ENTER BOBI WINE

In response, Bobi Wine argued that Uganda was a failed state if it needed the president’s presence for human rights to be observed.

“If human rights can only be observed when the president shows up, that’s a sign of a failed state,” said Bobi Wine.

“Should human rights only be observed when the president is there? What happens when he is not?”

He also reminded Nalule that “we shouldn’t wait for the president to be called to the convention for human rights to be respected because they are inherent”.

Bobi Wine further described Uganda’s laws as impotent, serving a few and neglecting others.

“It’s a day-to-day reality that there are people whose rights matter more than others’. One person’s rights matter until a bigger person shows up,” said Bobi Wine.

Andrew Karamagi
Andrew Karamagi

Karamagi agreed with Bobi Wine, wondering: “If we cannot guarantee the rights of the majority, how can we purport to talk about minority rights?”

“The minority are more vulnerable. The bulk of Ugandans are not treated with dignity.”

He further argued that recently passed laws were an indication of “the obsession or spirit of the legislature and those behind these laws are interested in suppression”.

“They are targeting not only the minorities but the majority as well,” emphasized Karamagi.

However, both Nalule agreed that there is need to take the human rights discussion outside “these beautiful rooms”.

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