By Peter Ogwang (MP)
Three years after the 2016 U.S presidential election, the Americans are still up in arms following classified reports that hackers linked to the Russian government reportedly interfered with the election process where they harmed the campaign of Hillary Clinton, thus boosting the candidacy of Donald Trump, now the President.
The U.S reasonably urges that Russia breached the common tradition and International legal structures that calls for respect of right of sovereignty of other nations. But does the U.S practice what they preach? Do they respect sovereignty of other nations?
A few days ago, the Mayor of Boston city in U.S, Ms Jeanette McCarthy attended the ongoing fundraising dinner in Boston organized by Bobi Wine, who is seeking to give it a shot in the presidential race in 2021.
In her statement, Ms McCarthy insensitively pledged U.S total support to Bobi Wine’s presidential bid against the current NRM leadership of President Yoweri Museveni, who has ably, peacefully and democratically led this country since 1986 through regular free and fair elections.
McCarthy’s statement is a direct endorsement that the U.S is opening a can of worms against a legitimately established government for reasons well known to them. Is her statement a reflection of the U.S government’s position towards Uganda’s political future? Is it also by mistake or coincidence that outgoing U.S ambassador to U.S, Deborah Malac is also peddling into political affairs of the host country? She has persistently poked her noses into our affairs by portraying the NRM government as undemocratic and abusers of human rights contrary to the international diplomatic guidelines.
This is in total breach of the United Nations General Assembly declaration that states “no state has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other state . . .” and “no state shall organize, assist, foment, finance, incite or tolerate subversive, terrorist or armed activities directed toward the violent overthrow of another state, or interfere in civil strife in another state.”
I am not a lawyer, but by virtue of my position as a lawmaker, I would like to bring to the attention of the U.S and other countries that Uganda has laws that back the international laws against foreign interference policy.
Section 4 of the Presidential Elections Act, 2005 prohibits a candidate or a candidate’s agent from obtaining, soliciting or receiving any financial or other assistance for the purpose of the candidate’s campaign, from any foreign government, institution, body or person which or who has demonstrated an intention to overthrow the lawfully established Government of Uganda, or to endanger the security of Uganda.
It is now clear that U.S is becoming an ‘enemy of Uganda’s progress’ and must be gazetted among the prohibited foreign governments that should not offer any support to a candidate in accordance with Presidential Elections Act, 2005.
Consequently, in a bid to protect Uganda’s independence, sovereignty and national security, Ugandans need to support the Electoral Reforms Bills which were recently tabled on the floor of Parliament and are being processed by the Committee on Legal and Parliamentary affairs. The Bills will among others allow presidential and parliamentary candidates to declare to the Electoral Commission their source of funding.
The Writer is MP for Usuk County