“And the NRM is very strict on that. Even when mistakes occur, we follow them up. Like for instance during these elections which Bishop Ssemogerere talked about, there were mistakes. The Opposition made mistakes by being violent, by intimidating, attacking people because they are putting on yellow,” said Museveni.
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has
acknowledged that security forces made mistakes leading to the death of several
Ugandans during the November 2020 protests ahead of the general election. He made
the revelation during the 32nd Heroes Day Anniversary ceremony at Kololo Independence
Grounds held under the theme, “Remembering those Great Men and Women who put
the nation first in pursuing freedom for our motherland Uganda”.
At least 50 people were gunned during
the spontaneous protests in Kampala and the neighbouring Wakiso district
triggered by the arrest of Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, the National Unity Platform-NUP
presidential candidates in Luuka district on November 18th, 2021.
Other people were killed in Mukono,
Masaka, Jinja, Luweero and Kyotera among other districts. Speaking at Kololo ceremonial grounds, Museveni said that one of the things that pushed them into
the liberation struggle was to stop extra Judicial killings and killing people
outside the law.
“And the NRM is very strict on that. Even when mistakes occur, we follow them
up. Like for instance during these elections which Bishop Ssemogerere talked
about, there were mistakes. The Opposition made mistakes by being violent, by
intimidating, attacking people because they are putting on yellow,” said
Museveni. He said this was a miscalculation on the part of the Opposition
because nobody can defeat the ruling NRM government by force.
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He wondered why someone would choose to
use force when there is an option of voting. “In some areas, NRM did not
win…opposition won in some areas. So why did we not stop the opposition from
winning? We had candidates but, some other groups won. So, there is no need to
use force. But some people think they can use force and uproot the NRM, it will
not happen. That’s a wrong line,” he emphasized.
Museveni also acknowledged the mistakes by
the ruling party like overreacting when faced with a situation, which he partly
attributed to poor leadership like lack of proper briefing of soldiers.
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According to Museveni, honest people know that the government he leads cannot
condone extrajudicial killings because when such acts happen, they follow up
the cases. “And I have the file of all the 54 people who died in that problem of November.
And where the security forces made mistakes…we discovered it. The first I did
was to hold seminars; you must have seen how I met all the commanders of Special
Forces and all the police commanders in the whole country to review their
actions and mistakes. But also to follow up the families of the affected
people,” he revealed.
He assured Ugandans that there is no way
his government can tolerate and condone impunity and wrongdoing. Besides the
November 2020 killings, Museveni also said that even the use of insecurity like
the recent attack on Gen. Edward Katumba Wamala, which cost the life of his daughter
Brenda Nantongo and driver, Haruna Kayondo will not bring down his government.
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He emphasized that killing people with the aim of tarnishing the government
image would not be tolerated. Museveni reminded Ugandans that the elections are
now over and that there is need for opposing parties to work together for the
good of the nation.
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Unlike previous Heroes Day celebrations, there was no decoration of heroes due
to the Covid-19 pandemic. The scientific event was attended by the Chief
Justice Alfonse Owiny- Dollo, Deputy Speaker Anita Among, Church of Uganda
Archbishop Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu and a few dignitaries. President paid
tribute to people who died during the liberation war.