Uganda’s leading opposition party the National Unity Platform (NUP) has told US and western powers to prioritize human rights during engagements with individual African countries and stop pursuing their business interests only.
The renewed agitation which seem to be a note of disappointment in the United States’ foreign policy as well as that of western powers, was reflected in a post on the party’s official social media platform. The opposition party lashed at the US for ignoring human rights of the ordinary folk and continued support to African governments, while letting leaders have a field day.
“Africans deserve to be treated with respect & dignity like the rest of the Western World. The US in particular should put human rights first as they come to Africa to do business. There is no need for them to continue funding dictators like Mr. Museveni to achieve their interests” NUP posted on Twitter on Saturday.
“The US and other development world can achieve their interests in a democratic Africa. We want respect for human rights to be at the forefront of agenda on development #StopFundingTheDictator” another post tagged to Bobi Wine’s Twitter account reads. Bobi Wine is a pet name for NUP president Robert Ssentamu Kyagulanyi.
This latest pronouncement mirrors recent expression of resentment from the newly-founded opposition party and an agitation for change of policy by powers the leadership in Uganda highly anticipate to be backing it’s opponents. It also seem to indicate that the narrative from the opposition NUP has changed starting questioning the interests of America and the west in Africa.
“We continue to appreciate the efforts of our comrades in the diaspora who tirelessly endeavor to call out the west & all other financial aid donors to stop bankrolling the brutal regime that is characterized with gross human rights violations & zero respect for the rule of law.” this message of June 25th was posted alongside photographs of alleged NUP supporters in United Kingdom engaged in protest over “continued funding to dictatorial regimes in Africa”
The photographs show protesters flashing banners and placards denouncing support to the Uganda government by Britain. The “protesters” also carried NUP’s insignia, flashed party signs and donned party colors with portraits of Bobi Wine.
“Speak out now. Stop doing business with dictators” most of the banners read.
The US and it’s partners have been extending both financial and military support to Uganda for ages amid condemnations of the leadership’s less regard for human rights of citizens. During the general elections in January, the US and European Union issued threats of sanctions over gross human rights violations involving security agencies. Despite all this, funding support from the western world has continued to flow.
NUP’s frustration also targets the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which has been extending loan support to the Ugandan government. The more recent is the approval by IMF Executive Board last month to disburse a US$491.5 Million fund to Uganda to Address the COVID-19 Pandemic. The approved disbursement will address the urgent balance-of-payments and fiscal needs as an emergency assistance for Uganda under the Rapid Credit Facility.
In a June press release issued by the IMF, the funds will help finance the health, social protection and macroeconomic stabilization measures, meet the urgent balance-of-payments and fiscal needs arising from the COVID-19 outbreak and catalyze additional support from the international community as Uganda battles a second wave of the pandemic.
The protestors also carried posters indicating that another US$900 Million was set to be released by IMF, a claim we could not independently verify.
Efforts to get a comment from NUP spokesperson Hon Joel Senyonyi were futile as our phone calls remain unanswered.