Time to take stance on the rule of law

S. Dradenya Amazia

The time to stand firm, demand for and boldly reject orders that thwart our constitutional rights has come.

Thank you the organisers of the One Million March for not relenting to the orders of the police to stop you from exercising your inherent rights and freedoms enshrined in our constitutions and other international Human rights legal frameworks to which Uganda is a party.

Defiance to yield pressure on the government to heed to the calls of its citizens within confines of the law ought not to be stopped by any state apparatus rather be given a hearing ear to their plights.

Any government that does not accommodate peaceful women’s demonstration with placards, whistles and songs to draw attention to their concerns of the degenerating public security, is not of a civilized democratic society.

The NRM government boasts of opening space for freedom of expression, public security, rule of law, women emancipation, mention them, makes it valueless to justify why they took arms to fight into power for the same objectives if you keep on clipping the wings of hapless people’s rights and freedoms.

I read with dismay about the reasons given by the police to stop the One Million March that the issue raised by the women is being addressed and so they should not exercise their rights. I at one moment thought the statement came the moon, not from a sober source.

The police acknowledges that several women are kidnapped, raped and murdered  and no foreseeable concrete remedies are in sight, but expect sane people to die in silence because the “President and other security bosses have addressed the matter on several fora.” Have these measures stopped or given assurance to the wanaichi that any woman, child or citizen can walk freely without any fear of being kidnaped, held hostage for ransom and killed?  No, but you don’t want people to come out, really?

In a civilized democratic society, which Uganda claims to be one, no one has to be neutral when it comes to the issues of human rights, public security and safety, corruption, rule of law when the government fails or is not doing enough. The peace loving citizens will always rise and say NO and press the government to do more. Journalists and activists like the Women’s Protest Working Group (WPWG), politicians, students and the ordinary citizens have to unite and take a strong stance to defy unconstitutional restrictions, if not you are sharing a bed with a failed government.

I wish that holy ghost unites all walks of Ugandans regardless of their political affiliations, tribe, status, sex, religion when it comes to Uganda Cranes football team facing another country or how the unknown Onduparaka became the darling local foot club across the country not of Lugbara or West Nile, inspires Ugandans to come together and patriotically fight to uphold their constitution.

Kudos, my colleague Lydia Namubiru and the rest of your team, you have opened another chapter on how to defy unconstitutional decision using constitutional means. Unless, this is an absolute dictatorship that only thinks of its survival, it will definitely intensify its actions towards this call and many others.

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