Poll Petition: Museveni Explains “Leopard” Comments, Denies Ordering Arrests

The Sudan’s opposition leader Hassan ‘Abd Allah al-Turabi who is remembered for backing the hosting of Osama Bin Laden in the North African nation has died.

Al-Turabi a Muslim scholar who was the de facto leader when President Omar al-Bashir had just taken power through a coup in 1989 passed on from Royal Care International Hospital in Nairobi on Saturday evening according to the country’s national TV that described him as a hero.

He is widely regarded as the main figure behind the Sudan’s modern politics.

In the 1990s he invited Alqaeda’s leader Bin Laden and his deputy to Sudan together with his deputy now successor Ayman al-Zawahri.  Bin Laden was allowed to start business in the then united oil rich Sudan. The CIA’s recently declassified materials indicate that Bin Laden left a fortune of $29m in Sudan.

Al-Turabi later fell out with Bashir in a ruling National Congress Party power struggle. As the Speaker of the National Assembly, medicine cure he supported and tried to pass a law to put in place presidential term limits. He was removed from Speakership.

He formed the Congress of the People but faced the wrath of state crackdown spending many times in prison.

Hassan ‘Abd Allah al-Turabi (1 February 1932 – 5 March 2016) was a religious and Islamist political leader in Sudan.

He has been called “one of the most influential figures in modern Sudanese politics”, and a “longtime hard-line ideological leader”.

In particular he may have been instrumental in institutionalizing Sharia Islamic law in the northern part of the country. He has been frequently imprisoned in Sudan, but these “periods of detention” have been “interspersed with periods of high political office”.

Al-Turabi was leader of what was called the National Islamic Front (NIF) (which changed its name to National Congress in the late 1990s), a political movement that developed considerable political power in Sudan while never obtaining significant popularity among Sudanese voters.

It embraced a “top down” approach to Islamisation of placing party members in high posts in the government and security services.

Turabi and the NIF reached the peak of their power from 1989 following a military coup d’état, until 2001, as what observers have called “the power behind the throne”, head of the only SunniIslamist movement to take state control of a state.

Turabi oversaw highly controversial policies such as the creation of the “NIF police state” and associated NIF militias which consolidated Islamist power and prevented a popular uprising, but reportedly committed many human rights abuses, including “summary executions, torture, ill treatment, arbitrary detentions, denial of freedoms of speech, assembly, and religion, and violations of the rules of war, particularly in the south”.

Turabi was a leader of opposition to the American-Saudi “coalition forces” in the Gulf War, establishing in 1990-1 the Popular Arab and Islamic Congress(PAIC), a regional umbrella for political Islamist militants, headquartered in Khartoum.

After 1996, al-Turabi and his party’s “internationalist and ideological wing” saw a decline in influence in favor of more pragmatic leaders, brought on by the imposition of UN sanctions on Sudan in punishment for Sudan’s assistance to Egyptian terrorists in their attempt to assassinate Egyptian PresidentHosni Mubarak.

As of 2015 Turabi and the NIF’s fortunes have waned. Sudan has lost at least a third of its land and nearly all its oil fields as a result of the cession of South Sudan, and Turabi is out of power leading a
splinter group of the National Congress known as the Popular (or People’s) National Congress. His most recent imprisonment was 17 January 2011 for nine days, following civil unrest across the Maghreb.
President Yoweri Museveni, page the first respondent in an election petition filed at the Supreme Court last Tuesday, nurse has submitted his response.

Museveni through his lawyers filed his defense, adiposity denying most of the accusations leveled on him by one of the candidates in last month’s election John Patrick Amama Mbabazi.

The lawyers stated in the defense that Mr Mbabazi had no legal ground to file the petition, noting, “…each and every allegation is denied as if as if the same were set forth verbatim and traversed seriatim.”

Museveni who won the election by 60.8% denied in the defense, the accusations that he used in the campaigns derogatory and abusive language as claims Mr Mbabazi.

He also denied ever threatening to arrest candidate Col Dr Kizza Besigye during the three months of campaigning.

The lawyers went on to term as ‘figurative speech,’ the president’s comments in December, in which he likened the actions of his opponents as “touching leopard’s anus.”

In December, while addressing a press conference in Eastern Uganda, Museveni said Hon Mbabazi’s supporters who attacked and beat up NRM supporters at a rally in Ntungamo town were like a person who dare touches the anus of a leopard.

“What he stated using the Runyankore saying,” clarified the lawyers, “was that anybody who causes violence would face the full force of the law.”

“His reference to touching anus of the leopard was figurative to illustrate the recklessness of anybody breaking the law.”

Meanwhile the president went on to deny ever threatening to arrest one of the presidential candidates Col Dr Kizza Besigye during the course of his campaigns.

He also dismissed the allegations that he directed the Inspector General of Police to arrest any of the candidates.

“The respondent did not direct the Inspector General of Police to arrest, humiliate or detain the petitioners as alleged,” they said.

Tomorrow, Monday the Supreme Court’s 9 judges selected to hear the cause are expected to kick off the process which is expected to last about one month.



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