Uganda Leader Attacks Opponents, Media

Posted June 7th, 2012 at 3:40 pm (UTC-5)
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Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has spoken out against his political opponents and the media while taking credit for economic improvements in his country.

In his State of the Nation address at the opening of the second session of parliament in Kampala Thursday, Mr. Museveni focused his attention on the economy including Uganda's double-digit inflation and soaring unemployment.

But he also attacked opposition leader Kizza Besigye, accusing him of misrepresenting Uganda and its problems and, in doing so, scaring away tourists and their much needed dollars.

“Besigye's lawlessness added to the problem of the relative scarcity of the dollars; hence the loss of value of the Uganda shilling. It should be sacrilege to have political actors who tell lies about the destiny of the Ugandan people. I congratulate the police for defeating this conspiracy by Dr. Besigye of attempting to overthrow the constitution by insurrection.”

The Ugandan leader used his speech to advocate for the controversial Public Order Management Bill, widely criticized by human rights groups for curtailing freedom of assembly and expression.

He also criticized the media, calling them a corrupt, irresponsible and unprofessional group. He warned that any media that do not produce balanced and objective stories will lose out. “The power of licensing belongs to the state,” he said.

The Ugandan leader said more money should be invested in the science and medical fields saying scientists are the only public servants who deserve pay raises because their contribution is unique.

Mr. Museveni also took credit for improving the economic situation in the country during his 26 years in office. He promised that once Uganda's new-found oil begins to flow, conditions would improve for everyone.