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CSOs attack government over public militarization

   Dr Zahara Nampewo the Director Human Rights and Peace Center (HURIPEC) Makerere University (Courtesy Photo)

The Civil Society Organization has attacked the government over what they call increased militarization of the public service which has undermined civilian authority.

Speaking at the symposium held at the Makerere University School of Law under the theme Militarizing Public Service in Uganda- A solution to the governance crisis?  Dr Zahara Nampewo the Director Human Rights and Peace Center Makerere University (HURIPEC) said the militarization of the public service has been exposed majorly by the UPDF takeover of public departments that were formerly under civilian management.

Among them she cited the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS), the Operation wealth creation, as well as the army takeover of the fisheries department that is under the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF).

“Such incidences have shown that the army is more trusted but do not show why the civilian authority is failing to perform,” she said.

The symposium was organized by the Human Rights and Peace Center Makerere University (HURIPEC) in collaboration with Society for Justice and National Unity (SoJNU).
Dr Nampewo further cited the statement made by State Minister for Investments Evyline Anite in 2017 that government would establish a hot line for investors that would be manned by the military yet her docket should be under civilian management.

The other cases of militarization are exposed in the police where over the years military officers have been appointed to head top police departments especially the IGP and deputy IGP positions.
Prof. John-Jean Barya the chair person SoJNU responded by says the UPDF is no longer a revolutionary army and no longer serves the interests of the people.

He said the army is not coming as a solution but as an escape measure of the state which shows the civil service is no longer performing.

However, Ofwono Opondo the government spokes man said it’s the constitutional mandate of the army to defend the, lives and property of the people.
He said once the army sees the interests of Ugandans being threatened they have to intervene to ensure that development prevails.
Mr Opondo said like any other Ugandans the military have a right to get involved and play part in the development of the country especially when the civilian authority fails to perform.

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