Veteran Politician Vernon Mwanga says the invitation of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni was in bad taste and does not augur well for the future.
In statement, Dr Mwanga said the Ugandan President cannot be regarded as a role model for any country that is seeking to pursue a Democratic path.
Dr Mwanga said Museveni has continued to hang on to power for more than 30 years and that he presides over one of the most brutal and repressive regimes on the continent.
He said Uganda has nasty human rights records adding that the opposition leader of the said country has spent more time in prison and cells than outside.
“The invitation extended to President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda by President Edgar Lungu, to be guest of honour during the 52nd independence anniversary of our country was in bad taste and does not augur well for the future.
Dr Mwanga said it is a well-known fact that President Museveni cannot be regarded as role model for any country that seeks or is supposed to be pursuing a democratic path.
“He has hang on to power for more than 30 years and presides over one of the most brutal and repressive regimes on the African continent, with a very nasty human rights records, not to speak of the cruelty and brutalisation of opposition party leaders like Dr Kizza Besigye who spend more time in jail and police cells than outside” Dr Mwanga said
Dr Besigye was once Museveni’s personal physician and opted to defend the people’s interests when he felt that Museveni’s regime was trampling on the rights of Ugandan citizens and undermining democracy.
The Democratic freedoms, which made Museven and Besigye to go into the bush to fight against Idi Amin’s military dictatorship.
Dr Mwanga said it is an insult to more than half of Zambians for Museveni to make such outrageous statements hinging on the internal affairs of the country urging the opposition to accept the outcome of the disputed presidential election,without subjecting it to a litmus constitutional court challenge.
He noted that people following the utterances of civil society and the social social media in Uganda, will agree that his people are suffering from a democracy deficit of unprecedented magnitude.
“Those who speak against his regime are put behind bars or subjected to the most severe forms of intimidation, particularly as the Ramadan of discontent grows. Press freedom is non-existent as the independent media is silenced and its editors or publishers are put in jail, for writing what Museveni and his cronies do not like,” he said.
Further Dr Mwanga said Mr Museveni should be the last person that the country should be inviting to grace such important occasion.
“He is hardly the person we should be inviting to grace such an important occasion, where we are supposed to honour those who died or made enormous sacrifices so that freedom and justice.
“How on earth do we honour and end up with such a tin-pot dictator and what impression are we giving to our people in terms of role models and defenders of the new African which is supposed to be democratic and tolerant of diverse views?” Mwanga pointed out.
Dr Mwanga advised that the invitations should be carefully thought out in future to avoid having guests of honour like Museveni, who subtract substantially from the hard won independence by the freedom fighters.