By Faruk Kirunda
Uganda’s notably successful response to the Covid-19 sweeping death parade is under attack. This follows an attack launched against the face of the response, President Yoweri Museveni, whose public sensitization drive and safety precautionary measures are being challenged by Uganda Law Society (ULS) and Mr. Male Mabirizi. Mabirizi filed a case in the East African Court (his preferred arena of play in recent times in his various legal challenges against anything with Museveni’s name connected to it).
Mabirizi has taken issue with the decision to close educational institutions, religious gatherings, curtailing social and public gatherings, and other anti-corona measures announced by the president. Using the cover of infringements on the fundamental and operational principles of good governance, democracy, rule of law, accountability, transparency, and human rights, the overzealous lawman believes that he is the only one who knows the law and who must employ that “knowledge” to the detriment of humanity.
Similarly, the Uganda Law Society (ULS) is challenging Museveni’s ordinances of lockdown and curfew.
In their petition to the constitutional court, the ULS said that president Museveni acted contrary to the constitution of Uganda by putting up orders that have curtailed people’s freedom of speech, movement, business and which in turn may affect the economy.
They argue that the actions of Museveni in declaring a lockdown and a curfew is unconstitutional, illegal, and in contravention of Articles 29(1) & (2) & 40 (1) (a)& (2) of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda “as the same curtails work, movement, associations and practice of trade”.
The assertions by this group of lawyers are totally absurd and evil. The reaction by the lawyers is typical of some elites who are ever out of touch with reality. To them, Covid-19 is an opportunity to throw about their weight to be seen as having read a lot of books. It is a time to settle political scores and advance anti-life rhetoric? What democracy or human rights are they talking about when people are threatened by a deadly enemy? Do they understand the law better than Museveni? What have they done to rescue Ugandans from the pandemic? Did the president just jump from nowhere and declare the measures without justification? What can these lawyers teach Museveni about protecting the economy, lives, human rights, and enjoyment of Constitutionalism by Ugandans when he has guaranteed the same since 1986? Do they realize that the Museveni they always turn into a punching bag has steered Uganda through a more difficult patch of existence albeit different?
What the lawyers don’t realize is that Ugandans appreciate Museveni’s deep concern and effort against Covid-19, which efforts are responsible for Uganda’s current success in limiting transmission and spread of the virus.
Had it not been for him coming out early even before the first case was reported and issuing stringent guidelines, the situation would be absolutely dire and worrying. In reality, the preventing and containment measures should have been instituted earlier than when in fact they were. This “anomaly” has been noted by almost everybody including primary school-going bazzukulu, but here we have supposedly educated adults missing the entire gist of the Anti-Covid-19 fight.
We do not have the luxury of choosing our enemy in this fight which is not localized to Uganda. Is Museveni responsible for lockdowns in Kenya, the USA, South Africa, U.K, and wherever else stringent measures have been put in place?
The momentum so far generated by the ceaseless sensitization and coordination has put Uganda on a good footing, then here come spoilers with their white collars attempting to roll back the strong position. I predict they will only receive a judgment they deserve- on earth and in the afterlife.
These lawyers are a danger to themselves and other Ugandans. Whose interests do they serve? Could the whole pandemic be t