The President of,
The Republic of Uganda
Yoweri Kaguta Museveni,
Chair of the –
East African Community
Heads of State Summit
RE:Violation of Articles 6 (d) and 7 (2) of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community Treaty
I have the honour, your Excellence to address you on the above captioned. My major reference is of particulars regarding your address to the press at Nakasero State Lodge onMonday 24th /December /2012 on matters pertaining to the death of the Butaleja Woman MP Cerinar Nebanda, and the subsequent police and other security agencies’ actions against members of the Parliament of the Republic of Uganda in the same regard.
The Contents of your address, Mr President and the said actions constitute a violation of Art 6(d) of the Treaty for the establishment of the East African Community that states.
The fundamental principles that shall govern the achievement of the objectives of the community by the partner states shall include,
d)Good governance Including adherence of the Principles of democracy, the rule of law, accountability, transparency, social justice, equal opportunities, gender equality as well as the recognition, promotion and protection of human and people’s rights in accordance with the provision of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.
The parliament of the Republic of Uganda is the legislative arm of government, and a substantive pillar of democracy that by law should be harnessed and accorded its separate power from the executive for it to function properly in a free and democratic society contemplated under the instant provision.
The address, the subject of this letter, put parliament in a position of disrepute and scorn and presented to the Ugandan Public and the world at large, members of Parliament as dishonourable in contravention of the provision sighted above.
Art 7 (2) of the Treaty enjoins all partners states to the East African community to abide by the principles of good governance, democracy and the rule of law and it states as hereunder:-
“The Partner states undertake to abide by the Principles of good governance, including adherence to the Principles of democracy, the rule of law, Social Justice, and the Maintenance of Universally accepted standards of human Rights”.
Writing good laws and signing treaties does not constitute the rule of law, but just a promissory note.It is acting in accordance with provisions thereof that amounts to the rule of law, Mr President, youAND THE GOVERNMENT AT LARGE have defaulted on this promissory note.
Today, Members of Parliament Hon CHRIS BARYOMUNSI and HON NSEREKO MOHAMMED are being detained at Jinja Road Police Station and Special Investigation Unit Kireka respectively without charges beyond the constitutional 48 hours.
Your comments as against parliament and the Right Honourable Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga were improper. Parliament does not derive its powers from you or the executive in its entirety and accordingly its functions are not prescribed by your office.
Chapter six of the Constitution deals with the establishment, composition and functions of Parliament all of which are prescribed by the provisions of the same Constitution. Thus, Article 77(1) provides that “there shall be a Parliament of Uganda
(2) The Composition and functions of Parliament shall be as prescribed by this Constitution”.
The contents of your address Mr President should be regretted as occasioning a dire abuse of the authority of the Parliament of the Republic of Uganda as the Supreme Legislative Arm of Government; this position was further fortified by the Supreme Court Decision in the case of Brigadier Henry Tumukunde V Attorney General Const Appeal No 2of 2006.
‘The Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, 1995, placed Parliament, the supreme representative body of the people, first, and ordained that henceforth the acts and decisions of the Executive including those of the President and Cabinet shall be subjected to the scrutiny and approval of Parliament.’
The contents of the subject address may be construed further, asintended to cause panic and construed as your intended attempts to unlawfully intermeddle in the direction of the investigations especially where you stated :-
“People like MPs Theodore Ssekikubo, Chris Baryomunsi, and WilfredNiwagaba –who have now been joined by MPs Lyomoki and Emmanuel Dombo – who said in Parliament………….”,
Mr President these utterances have tended to unlawfully direct the course of investigations. It should be noted Mr President, that all the MPs mentioned herein and others still at large are destined for detention. It is equally noteworthy that the acts of the state have not exhibited innocence as to the cause of death of Hon Cerinar Nebanda and to this end, investigations as on-going will continue to suffer for want of legitimacy.
Parliament is by law mandated to pay tribute to fallen comrades and those proceedings are privileged occasions under the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Act Cap 258 Section 2 thereof provides that
‘No civil or criminal proceedings may be instituted against any member for words spoken before or written in any report during those proceedings’
The whole process until burial was parliamentary proceedings which are covered by that Act.
The circumstances surrounding the death of Hon Cerinar Nebanda have still remained enigmatic, debates and discoveries over the cause of her death are still important to us.
Your address, MrPresident, the above not withstanding appears to condone Wanton Killings. This is contained in the statement where you said on account of Hon. Moses Ali’sfailed addressat Butaleja that;
‘…..Unfortunately our intelligence is poor- they were told, but they did not counter the hooligans. We were lucky that nobody was shot, but they can’t continue giving our country a bad name.’
Mr President, the law does not create any justification for wanton killings and this statement appears to have created a blanket permit for the same and is to this extent unlawful.
Finally Mr President, the Constitution of The Republic of Uganda, Art 8A and objective XXVIII is couched in Mandatory terms that the Foreign Policy of Uganda shall be based on the Principles of respect for International Law and treaty obligations.
The East African Community treaty and particularly the provisions sited herein have grossly been violated by the actions i have complained of.
The Treaty and all laws enacted thereunder are supranational thus above all national laws of Partner states whose continued violation makes it a logical impossibility for our continued membership to the community.
As the Chairman of the Summit of the Heads of State of the East African Community, it is within your interest to uphold the treaty establishing the community that you chair.
It is noteworthy that the recent East African Legislative Assembly report of the on-spot assessment of good governance in Partner states as at 1st-5th October 2012 placed Uganda at very low levels of accountability, the fight against corruption and democracy compared to Rwanda ,Tanzania and Kenya whose sub-committee i personally chaired.
Kenya, a country that has had challenges on corruption prevalence has excelled on the establishment of a robust legal base for the establishment of anti corruption institutions.
The above standard is only achievable for Uganda through Parliament as the only surviving institution championing an amendment of the constitution to establish a full chapter on the required standards of integrity for public officials, providing for further legislations on commissions and public reviews for all appointments and a restructuring and re-vetting of all public service jobs and other appointments.
Parliament, under Art 79 of the constitution of Uganda is the body mandated among others, to protect this constitution and promote democratic governance for Uganda and accordingly it should be accorded its due space for the achievement of the same.
Mr President, the world has now become a global village and as the President of the Republic of Uganda, your hands are tied and are not at liberty to take back this country towards un-constitutional rule.
I am mandated by the same treaty particularly Article 61 of the Treaty Establishing the East African Community, to put you to notice of the anomalies cited and as a Ugandan, by the Constitution to do so.
In the event of continuity of aforesaid illegal acts either by you or those on your behalf, we shall have no other remedy Mr President than to invoke all the necessary national and regional legal machinery for the enforcement of the same at the cost and constant embarrassment to our country.
Please, Mr President, accept the assurances of my highest regard to your good office.
Mukasa Fred Mbidde-MP
East African Legislative Assembly.
C.C The Speaker Parliament of Uganda.