Uganda Post Election Environment; US says Government Actions Should be checked

A gruesome video of civilians engaging the fire power of police and military has shocked many Ugandans. Five men were gunned down in the Western District of Kasese during this exchange on camera.

In this video shared on social media by Ugandan broadcasters NBS television and NTV, the uniformed officers look to be on a strict mission.

It is not clear how the confrontations arose.

East Africa Daily could only verify that the shootings and a series of other Public and Security forces confrontations in this area is due to a contest in local government election results.

Uganda army spokesperson Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda  in a tweet said the shooting should be a lesson to Ugandans to desist from attempting to engage security forces.

‪‎These attackers in Kasese had a real hard time. No one should ever think that it is such easy business to attack security forces,” he said.

Such and related incidents have prompted the United States to react to the visibly hard hand of the state.

In a statement from the Bureau of Public affairs, the US says it is concerned with the manner in which the government of Uganda and its security forces are persistently violating the rights and freedoms of Ugandan citizens and the media.

“The continued detention of opposition figures without legal justification, the ongoing harassment of opposition supporters, interference in legal challenges to the election results, and the intimidation of Uganda’s media are unacceptable activities in a free and democratic society,” said John Kirby Assistant Secretary and Department Spokesperson.

Uganda is currently considering passing a bill, which was recently presented to the national assembly, seeking to tighten controls over social media, just weeks after the social networking sites where shut down.

Uganda Presidency minister Frank Tumwebaze said bill if considered as law intends to regulate what goes on in the communication sector. He said it was “for the good of Ugandans and their security,”

“The aim of this bill is to amend the Uganda Communications Act 2013 by removing the requirement for the sector minister to seek parliamentary approval in regulating the communication sector,” he said.

The US says these actions could endanger the economic and political progress that has enabled the relationship between the two countries to grow.