World View: Uganda Lawmakers Throw Fists and Chairs at Each Other over Museveni’s Power Grab

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Uganda lawmakers throw fists and chairs at each other over Museveni’s power grab
  • Uganda follows a familiar pattern of violence for many African countries
  • Thailand’s Yingluck Shinawatra sentenced in absentia to five years in jail

Uganda lawmakers throw fists and chairs at each other over Museveni’s power grab

Uganda lawmakers throw fists and chairs at each other in argument over allowing Museveni to illegally remain in power after decades of being in power. (Africa News)
Uganda lawmakers throw fists and chairs at each other in argument over allowing Museveni to illegally remain in power after decades of being in power. (Africa News)

For the last two days, lawmakers in Uganda’s parliament in the capital city Kampala have exchanged kicks and punches, and assaults with chairs and microphone stands. At least two female lawmakers were seen being carried out after collapsing.

The disagreements were over changing the constitution remove the age limit for a presidential candidate. The change would permit Yoweri Museveni, who has been president for more than three decades, to run for another term, seen by many as a Museveni power grab. The constitution has an age limit of 75 years, which would make Museveni ineligible to run again in the next election, in 2021.

Museveni’s government attempted to prevent opposition lawmakers from even attending Wednesday’s session, by sending security forces to surround their homes to prevent them from leaving.

One MP, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, a musician turned politician, described his experience this way:

The police surrounded my home in order to prevent me from going to parliament today [Tuesday]. I was too smart for them, I instead spent the night somewhere in the ghetto.

[When the police found him and tried to arrest him,] I instead jumped onto a boda boda [motorcycle taxi]; they tried to grab me off the boda but the riders fought them off. Then police officers jumped onto a boda boda to chase me but the boda guys refused to carry the police officers.

Several MPs had similar experiences and marched to parliament. Before the fighting started, opposition lawmakers filibustered and sang the national anthem repeatedly. One opposition lawmaker accused another MP of carrying a gun, and that led to the brawl. The speaker ordered that opposition MPs had to leave, and when they refused, plain-clothes security operatives stormed parliament and dragged them out.

This was carried live on television and on the internet. The result was that the government’s Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) banned all live broadcasts as of 8 pm on Wednesday. A statement by the UCC said:

The Commission has noted with concern that both radio and television broadcasting operators are relaying live broadcasts which is inciting the public, discriminating, stirring up hatred, promoting a culture of violence amongst viewers and are likely to create public insecurity or violence.

The Commission reminds broadcasters that such live broadcasts are in breach of the minimum broadcasting standards as laid down in section 31 of UCC Act 2013.

Amnesty International issued a statement condemning the ban on live broadcasts, saying, “Ugandans have a right to know what their elected representatives are doing, a right the authorities must facilitate rather than hinder.” The Observer (Kampala) and The Independent (Kampala) and New Vision (Kampala) and Amnesty International

Uganda follows a familiar pattern of violence for many African countries

Uganda is following a familiar generational pattern that I’ve described in many other countries, both in Africa and outside. When a country’s generational crisis war is a civil war between two ethnic groups within the country, then in the decades following the end of the war, especially during the next generational Awakening era, the ethnic group that won the war and took power begins new violence, atrocities, rapes, and arbitrary jailings and executions against the ethnic group that lost the war.

Outside of Africa, we see this for example in Syria, where the president Bashar al-Assad has for decades been using sociopathic forms of torture on his enemies and has used everything from Sarin gas to barrel bombs containing metal and chlorine on marketplaces and residential neighborhoods to kill and torture his political enemies.

Uganda’s president is from the Hima tribe, which is closely allied with the Tutsi tribe. For decades, and perhaps centuries, ethnic Tutsis and ethnic Hutus have been conducting brutal wars with each other, the most well-known of which is the Rwanda genocide of 1994, where Hutus killed almost a million Tutsis in a period of three months.

Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni, 73 years old, allied with the Tutsis, took part in many of these gruesome atrocities and slaughter. By any reasonable measure, he is just as much as a sociopathic monster as Bashar al-Assad.

The same is true of Rwanda and Burundi, the other two countries that were heavily involved in the 1994 Hutu-Tutsi genocide. The current president of Rwanda is Paul Kagame, a Tutsi, while the president of Burundi is Pierre Nkurunziza, a Hutu.

All three leaders are using repressive measures to stay in power long after their mandate has ended. But Nkurunziza, in particular, has been using torture, rape, beatings, arbitrary jailings and summary executions to suppress the Tutsis, resulting in over 500,000 refugees in neighboring countries, including Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania.

All three countries are in a generational Awakening era, meaning that there is no chance at this time of anything like the huge 1994 genocide. But there will be continuing government violence, torture and arbitrary jailings in all three countries, and these patterns will get worse as time goes on. Guardian (London, 12-Sep)

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Thailand’s Yingluck Shinawatra sentenced in absentia to five years in jail

On Wednesday, a court in Bangkok, Thailand, found Thailand’s former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra guilty of graft in absentia and sentenced her to five years in jail.

As we reported last month, Yingluck fled to Dubai rather than face an all-but-certain guilty verdict and jailing for alleged graft in the rice stock sales program that she initiated. Yingluck supporters believe that the charges are purely political.

This is worth mentioning in this article because Thailand is also in a generational Awakening/Unraveling era, following Thailand’s last generational crisis war, Pol Pot’s Cambodian Killing Fields war in the late 1970s. Yingluck and her brother Thaksin were both extremely popular as prime ministers, supported by majority dark-skinned indigenous Thai-Thai “red shirts,” but opposed by the minority market-dominant light-skinned Thai-Chinese “yellow shirts.”

Just like the leaders of Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, and Syria described above, the élite in Thailand, led by the army, are using violence, army coups, and dubious criminal charges to keep them out of power and allow the minority Thai-Chinese élite to continue in power.

Thailand’s police chief announced on Wednesday that he is conducting a manhunt for Yingluck, and is asking Interpol to find her and bring her to justice in Thailand. Bangkok Post

Related: Thailand’s former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra flees to Dubai (26-Aug-2017)

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Uganda, Kampala, Yoweri Museveni, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, Uganda Communication Commission, UCC, Amnesty International, Syria, Bashar al-Assad, Hima, Tutsi, Hutu, Burundi, Rwanda, Paul Kagame, Pierre Nkurunziza, Thailand, Yingluck Shinawatra, Thai-Thai, red shirts, Thai-Chinese, yellow shirts, Thaksin Shinawatra, Pol Pot, Cambodia, Killing fields
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