A section of Ugandans living in Europe have slammed the European Union parliament to respect Uganda’s sovereignty but also stop being biased while discussing democracy and other aspects in the East African country.
Responding to the EU parliament’s 19 resolutions taking stock of human rights violations in Uganda in the period before, during, and after the 2021 general election, a group of five Ugandans including Titus Seruga(Belgium), Lilian Ikulumet(Germany), Michael Lwanga(Germany), Elizabeth Byekwaso(Netherlands) and Chelsea Paige(Netherlands) say they were saddened by the recommendations.
“We were saddened that these deliberations were based on falsehoods and social media fake news that were never verified by other members of the EU Parliament. We appreciate EU partnership with Uganda in all areas of development, but as Ugandans, we carefully draw a distinction between development partners and colonial masters,” the group who said they were writing on behalf of other Ugandans in the diaspora said in their letter to the EU Political officer in charge of the Horn of Africa and East African Division.
The group noted whereas development partners are free to set fair and acceptable conditions for partnerships, they can only do so diplomatically while respecting the sovereignty of any country including Uganda.
“Colonial masters should not sit and dictate how things should be done regardless of the circumstances and also impose their decisions on sovereign countries. There is a distinct similarity between what happened on the 11th February 2021 and the events of the 15th November 1884 Berlin Conference where European powers sat to share and decide on the future of Africa, decisions made that day are still the reasons many Africans are suffering today.”
“So indeed Uganda is still fixing the mistakes Britain left, the EU can’t run away from responsibility since they initially conspired as a block, look at Uganda a country with over 54 tribes speaking different languages, a country that UK brought together despite different cultures to form one country, all this was done in Berlin without consulting the natives, their leaders or understanding these community, indeed impunity repeats itself.”
The European Union Parliament in its recommendations said many Ugandans were either arrested or killed in the November 18 and 19 riots after the arrest of the National Unity Platform leader, Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine.
The EU Parliament consequently called for sanctions against individuals and organisations responsible for human rights violations in Uganda, especially those meted out on opposition politicians led by Kyagulanyi in the just concluded elections.
However, in their response, the Ugandans in Europe said despite the different tribes that Uganda has, the country has been kept together for many years, noting that sectarian sentiments have however increased of late and are being supported by the West.
Mentioning a number of social media accounts and bloggers in Europe and the US supporting Kyagulanyi, the group said these have made it a habit to preach sectarian sentiments in their bid to defend Kyagulanyi.
“The country has been held together until the emergency of Mr. Kyagulanyi whose sectarian sentiments have increased and threatened the existence of Uganda, with bloggers attached to Mr. Kyagulanyi like Fred Kajjubi Lumbuye (Turkey), Kakensa Media (Finland), Raymond Soulfa (Sweden), Kyojja Omugezi (Ireland), Ssegirinya Muhammad (MP Elect Kawempe), Etyooto (UK), Nsubuga Fahad (Canada), Kabuye Boston (US) and so many others,” the group said.
“All these accounts have things in common; they preach hatred based on tribe, they are managed by people from one particular tribe and region ie. Baganda from the Central and they all support Kyagulanyi. In a region that has seen genocide in Rwanda, it would be absurd to ask a government to let this reign be nurtured under the guise of human rights. On social media, if you support the ruling party and you belong to the Baganda tribe like Seruga Titus you are harassed and threatened with Violence, even church leaders are not spared.”
The group said the EU Parliament resolutions fell short of some of the mentioned “facts” but rather relied on “hearsay information provided by one interest group and they didn’t do due diligence to find out from Ugandan Embassies across Europe.”
“ We heard the Romanian MP lie on the floor of Parliament how he was given information by Ugandans in Romania, we challenge him to show evidence that there is a Ugandan community in Romania. We were surprised to hear the EU Parliament discuss and adopt a resolution on specifics of a matter like a presidential election while the same matter is still being challenged in the Supreme Court of Uganda. We see this as an act of abuse of international law.”
Commenting about the November 18 and 19 protests that saw a number of people arrested and others killed, the group insisted that the rioters were involved in acts of insurrection and had to be reined in on by security agencies.
“The EU Parliament talks about violence in Uganda’s election and looks at the security forces without acknowledging the contribution made by NUP supporters to this violence. To us this shows no goodwill in settling the matter on the part of EU parliament.”
“We are looking at the promotion of our common values as we grow our democracy. We hope you appreciate and receive our engagement in good faith because our intention is to provide a much-balanced view of Uganda.”