By www.mknewslink.com reporter
As President Yoweri Museveni traverses the country educating citizens on the proposed Land Amendment Bill, 2017, eight national civil society organizations including Africa Institute for Energy Governance (AFIEGO), National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE), Centre for Constitutional Governance (CCG) and five others have warned him to stop what they say is “intimidating citizens and the media, saying it is undemocratic.”
The Civil Society Organizations, including World Voices Uganda (WVU), South Western Institute for Policy and Advocacy (SOWIPA), Guild Presidents’ Forum on Oil Governance (GPFOG), Kanungu Youth Initiative for Environment (KYIE) and the Oil Refinery Residents Association (ORRA) were meeting in Buliisa district where they discussed what they called President Yoweri Museveni’s threats and directives to radio station owners and managers to deny airtime to those opposed to government’s efforts to amend Article 26.
Through the Land Amendment Bill, 1 2017, the government wants to amend the Constitution to avoid the legal requirement for prompt payment of fair and adequate compensation to land owners prior to possession or acquisition in all cases of compulsory land acquisition.
www.mknewslink.com can confirm that during the radio talk show on Voice of Kigezi on September 4, 2017, the president is alleged to have asked radio station owners to stop giving airtime to those opposed to the amendment. Following the alleged directive, former presidential candidate, Dr. Kiiza Besigye was barred by Mr. Darius Nandinda, the Resident District Commissioner (RDC) of Kabale district from appearing on Voice of Kigezi for a talk show that Dr. Besigye had already paid.
The CSO leaders also noted that President Museveni is talking about environment conservation yet since 2014, his government has failed to put in place the new National Environmental Act, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Regulations as well as Strategic Environmental Impact (SEA) Regulations. They noted that oil and other developments that highly degrade the environmental are being developed without these laws in place to ensure the environment and communities’ livelihoods are protected.
Lastly, they noted with grave concern at how President Museveni has time to move around local radios threatening the citizens yet for over 30 years, his government has failed to help at least 50 per cent of the citizens get land titles for their land.