The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Maj Gen Kahinda Otafiire, has said the Opposition should forget that they can remove President Museveni from power by shouting at him.
“Museveni will only go when you stop voting him. He will not go because people are shouting. Nobody is going to shout Museveni out of office, forget it. Museveni will only be removed by the people of Uganda when they vote him out of office,’’ Gen Otafiire said.
Gen Otafiire was speaking at the commissioning of the Justice, Law and Order (JILOS) centres in Ibanda and Kiruhura districts, which was presided over by Chief Justice Bart Katureebe on Friday.
According to Gen Otafiire, there was no democracy in Uganda before NRM came to power in 1986 and that President Museveni as a pioneer of democratic practice in the country should be allowed to work and achieve the aims of NRM/NRA revolution.
He said some Opposition groups do not have any cause and it is the reason they have “turned Parliament into a boxing ring.”
“We were warriors because of justified causes. We did not fight over bananas, women, chicken and cows, no. We fought for causes but not like these ones who were seen standing on tables in Parliament, shouting and throwing chairs forgetting that you go to Parliament to legislate but not to box each other,’’ Gen Otafiire said.
War in Parliament, he said, should not be of exchanging blows like what happened during the debate for the removal of age limit from the Constitution in November last year when there was a fist-fight in the House between MPs opposed to the amendment and those in support.
“Yes, there is war in Parliament but that should be of thoughts. The war in Parliament is war of ideas not fists, but those who box others and when they are beaten they complain that they have been beaten; then why do they fight? If you recite a rosary in a bar what do you expect? You will not be tolerated because you are doing a right thing in a wrong place. Fighting is for bars and Parliament is for ideas,’’ Mr Otafiire said.
He called on other arms of government to allow the Judiciary perform its duties without interference in order for justice to prevail in the country.
“We should allow the Judiciary to be as independent of the other arms of government as possible because that is their role. Desist from making yourselves judges in your own cases. Please, Parliament allow Judiciary to do its work without interference,’’ he said.
He did not cite any incident where Parliament is deemed to have interfered with the Judiciary’s work.
Chief Justice Bart Katureebe said all Ugandans must respect the rule of law if they want the country to move forward and added that Uganda cannot develop if there is no justice.
“We do not like the trends, which are happening; because the court has made this decision against us, we are not going to pass their laws. If you do not pass that judicial administration, you are not hurting me but you are hurting the people of Uganda. Judiciary is for Ugandans not us judges,’’ Justice Katureebe said.
The Judiciary Administration Bill, which seeks to streamline operations of the Judiciary, has been pending for years without being passed and the Chief Justice has been urging government to expedite the law but without success.
He added that if the President, Judiciary and Parliament exercise power in accordance with the Constitution, Uganda will be a good place for all to live in.