Reading the good Professor’s opinion in the Sunday Monitor dated 18th May 2015 did not shock me at all. In all fairness the good professor needs to rest from the struggles of this country so that he is remembered as a gallant son who fought against misrule in this country. He needs to give a gift to himself by retiring fully from the contradictions that he is laboring to make in the evening of his life. Professor Kanyeihamba is a good man and no doubt about it, a distinguished former Justice of the Supreme Court, one whose profile will not be distorted by historians, but only if he comes to his aid.
I am reminded of an incident when the good professor cried on National television recently after the Constitutional Court registry staff failed to receive his petition. He said;
I usually cry for the death of my relatives, I love this country and the Uganda Constitution as I love my own relatives. And when I moved the motion to promulgate it, I said; I will continue fighting for its protection and against those who violate it until I die. They have smuggled in a Deputy Chief Justice, without the authority and recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission.
Fast forward from the March 18th 2015 professor tears, I find his Sunday Monitor article contradicting his teary revelation of his personal covenant he made when moving the motion to promulgate the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda.
First of all the Professor needs to know that the citizens of Uganda are not proposing anything new in the electoral reforms and constitutional amendment but reinstating those principles that made our governance accountable to the people of Uganda. I do not know that by advocating for the reinstatement of the two five terms of the president in our Constitution would be violating it. I find it disturbing when the good professor calls the proposed reforms irrelevancies. With due respect to the professor, the pursuit for electoral reforms is not a pursuit of irrelevancies unless if one is happy with the unfair status quo. These 17 key proposals in the citizens’ compact are crucial and important for the good governance and welfare of the people of Uganda.
In African culture it is painful to come out and dismiss a respected old man or elder like professor Kanyeihamba, and such is discouraged but with so much pain I find his opinion irrelevant regarding these citizens’ electoral and constitutional reforms.
The good professor ought to know it very well that constitutional amendment is a provision enshrined in the 1995 Constitution that he worked so hard to promulgate. From 1996 to date, our Constitution has been amended several times and interestingly those amendments had not been proposed by the citizens of Uganda but Mr. Museveni for the reasons of entrenching himself in power indefinitely. Just like the good professor vowed to fight against those who violate the Constitution, so have they also vowed to fight against the Constitution until they die. Such resolve cannot be wished away. It has to be fought with the might it warrants.
But if at all the good professor cares to take a little a bit of his time to ponder about the spirit in which these proposals for electoral reforms are brought, he will discover that they are cardinal to restoring the power the same Constitution gives to the citizens of this beloved nation called Uganda, which power is being eating away like a cancer.
The citizens of this nation know the exact barriers to their power; and that is the person of Museveni who has been the Sole violator of the Ugandan Constitution. It is of little wonder that you still want his Sole assurance that 2016 – 2021 should be his last term as president of this country. If such assurances were to be relied on, then there would be no need for a Supreme law to provide terms and conditions of office. Besides that, perhaps the good professor needs to be kindly reminded that Mr. Museveni just like any addict has been saying on numerous occasions that he was running for the last term in office but still contested for the same office. In 2001, he had said he would stand down at the next election and one of his tasks would be to choose a successor. But he obviously changed his mind and had the Constitution amended to let him run for a third term in office in 2006. Professor Kanyeihamba; how many last terms do you want Museveni to have? Following all those past lies, would you want to coronate Mr. Museveni so that you can continue crying at the Constitutional Court for another five years?
To actually borrow from your teary words when crying at the Constitutional Court, but this time paraphrased; we love this nation the same way we love ourselves and that is why we want more safeguards in it so that those who are fighting against it have no chance to abuse or violate it another time as long as we live.
Even more surprising is that you acknowledged what you called ‘the blatant violations of the Constitution and electoral laws that bar the opponents of the ruling party from winning enough votes. It is with utter shock therefore that I learn of the good professor’s choice to criticize those proposing water-tight safeguards in our law for the good of the people of Uganda to avert violation of our Supreme law. This begs the question as to whether all who claim to love this Country indeed love it.
My humble advice to you my good professor is that you need to rest and leave the fight of good governance of this nation to others who will not use gibberish at a critical time like this. Uganda needs all the help it can get to forge a way towards harmonious power transition but it does not need to discuss a successor of Museveni because Uganda is not a monarchy.