Wednesday, September 23, 2009



New York/Kampala

A group of Ugandans in the Diaspora yesterday demonstrated against President Museveni at the UN headquarters in New York, denouncing his leadership as repressive before world leaders gathered for the 64th UN General Assembly.

The demonstrators, organised by Mr Kiwanuka Nsereko, the interim chairman of the US-chapter of Gwanga Mujje, an overseas pro-Buganda activist group, carried placards and echoed slogans aimed at discrediting Mr Museveni’s 23-year rule.

In Kampala, the Presidential Press Spokesman Tamale Mirundi described agitators as “economic refugees enjoying other peoples’ freedom instead of fighting for their own at home here.”

“I would only be bothered if President Museveni had lost an election. Demonstrating in Western capitals is useless,” Mr Mirundi said.

Earlier, Ugandan MP Susan Nakawuki (Busiro East; FDC), who travelled from Boston to New York yesterday to take part in the demonstrations, told Daily Monitor by phone that they wanted to expose Mr Museveni’s deceptive international posture as a democrat while sustaining power at home through coercion and vote-stealing.

“We want to show the world that he is not as good as he portrays himself to them,” she said, adding: “We are going to advocate further for Baganda interests since many Ugandans living abroad own properties in Buganda. So if the region is destabilised, all Ugandans are affected.”

Yesterday’s demonstration came on the backdrop of Tuesday’s emotional prayers in Boston- Massachussets, that the union of Ugandan born-again pastors led by Sam Mutyaba organised to remember some 24 Ugandans killed during the Sept. 10-12 riots in and around Kampala.

The city and its surrounding Districts erupted in anarchy after government forcibly prevented Buganda king Muwenda Mutebi from visiting Kayunga town to preside over the kingdom’s Youth Day festivities.

In Boston, MP Nakawuzi suggested that it would be futile for the Kabaka to meet with Mr Museveni, as proposed, because the President is interested in “belittling and arm-twisting” the Mengo establishment for political expediency.

"Not now, not soon should his Majesty trust the President. The Kabaka is now going to devote his precious time mobilising his subjects for economic development," she said.

Mr Mirundi said the clamour by some kingdom loyalists for federalism is “retrogressive feudalism” and “progressive Baganda like me will never allow the Kabaka to get involved in politics.”

The President of People’s Development Party, Mr Abed Bwanika attended the prayers in Boston where authorities have reportedly endorsed a planned demonstration against President Museveni’s impending visit to the State on Saturday. Some 500 Ugandans there have reportedly registered to demonstrate although earlier such protest in Washington nearly flopped due to poor organisation and turn up.