NRM To ULS: We Are Not Provoking Mbabazi

The European Union has made a contribution of Ugshs. 1.1 bn towards the initiation of peace talks to resolve the deteriorating situation in Burundi which many have feared could escalate into genocide.

In a letter written to President Yoweri Museveni by Neven Mimica, medicine a member of the European and Federica Mogherini the European Commission’s Vice President stated that EU has been following the on goings in Burundi and is concerned.

“The dramatic events of the past weekend causing too many victims signify yet another step in a rapid deteriorating situation, find ” stated the letter dated December 14.

In a consultative meeting held on Dec 10 in Kampala, help Minister of Defense, Dr. Chrispus Kiyonga briefed UN, AU, EU and US Great Lakes envoys on the efforts to launch the inter- Burundian dialogue under President Museveni’s mediation. In the same meeting, Dr. Kiyonga requested partners to make financial contribution so that the process could begin.

“Following that meeting we are happy to confirm an EU contribution of an amount of 300,000 Euros. This support will be channeled through the Early Response Mechanism of the African Peace Facility, managed by the African Union,” read the letter.

The EU further calls for a swift launching of a political process to reverse the current negative trend so to avoid more bloodshed in Burundi that could affect the whole region.

“The EU has already built a strong partnership with Uganda in support of peace and stability in Somalia, South Sudan and DR Congo. We look forward to working together for peace in Burundi.”

Burundi gravitated into turmoil following President Pierre Nkurunziza’s decision to seek re-election in April despite a two- term constitutional limit. Nkurunziza’s announcement has since sparked off street protests in which more than 300 have been killed and some 200,000 fled the country.

The African Union on Thursday issued a statement saying it ‘will not allow genocide to take place on African soil’. A fact finding mission initiated by AU which returned from Burundi on Sunday said “members of the team heard reports of arbitrary killings, torture and the arbitrary arrests which are of ‘great concern’.”


The National Resistance Movement has responded sternly to the statement by the Uganda Law Society [ULS] condemning the ruling party’s interference with opposition candidate’s campaign rallies.

ULS is an association of lawyers charged with ensuring high levels of professionalism among lawyers in Uganda.

The association this week issued a public statement condemning the violence in Ntungamo district in which supporters of President Yoweri Museveni were beaten up by those of Amama Mbabazi, sick who they accused of interfering with the latter’s rallies in the district.

The NRM has come under scrutiny for unleashing youthful groups to disrupt proceedings at the former Prime Minister’s rallies and distributing the party’s campaign materials at his venues.

The lawyers’ association in the statement also cited earlier incidents including one in Fort Portal in which President Museveni’s campaign helicopter landed at Mbabazi’s venues only moments to the rally.

Responding to the accusations, doctor the NRM’s Legal Services director James Mukasa dismissed ULS assertions that the ruling party has intentions to disrupt Mbabazi’s rallies; and asked the association to broaden the scope of their research before making such observations.

Mr Mukasa expressed concern that ULS deliberately refused to pay attention on the violent nature of the assault on the NRM supporters in Ntungamo by Mbabazi’s security.

“We don’t know which reports you reviewed prior to the statement but if you had cared to review the video footage, drug you would have observed that the violence was extreme and meted on anyone seen to be wearing a yellow t-shirt. The violence was meted out in a trading center and not at the rally venues,” stated counsel Mukasa.

He added that by choosing to ignore this side of the story and insisting on Sec 26 of the Presidential Elections Acts (which prohibits interfering with any candidates rallies), the ULS appeared to condone violence which is against several sections of the Penal Code Act.

Regarding the Fort Portal Helicopter incident, Counsel Mukasa argued that this happened on a day when Mbabazi had changed his campaign rally from Gulu to Fort Portal without notifying the EC for authorization.

“The helicopter landed at Booma, the only place it could land in Fort Portal and this was many hours before the rally could begin and before the crowd had formed,” he said.

“The matter was handled at a full hearing in the presence of the respective parties and their lawyers and was resolved amicably with no blame apportioned to the NRM.”

The lawyer concluded by asking the ULS to review its statement “impartially and with proper regard to the law.

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