Monday, April 21, 2014
Media Release on the Occupy Parliament Campaign
Friends International – Uganda, in conjunction with, Youth Lawyers Forum
Tuesday, 22 April, 2014
Occupy Parliament Campaign
Fellow Ugandans, it is on rare occasions that humble citizens besiege or threaten to besiege their superiors. When that happens, then clearly the matter of concern must be one of great significance, at least to the citizens, deserving the urgent attention of the leaders concerned.
Today, the Friends International – Uganda, in conjunction with, the Youth Lawyers Forum, are happy to launch the Occupy Parliament Campaign, in which we are rallying all citizens of goodwill to peacefully assemble and camp at the Parliamentary Gardens and the precincts of parliament, unless and until Parliament addresses our concerns as stated in the ‘Complaint Concerning Under-Performance of the Law Development Centre’ that was delivered to the office of the Right Honourable Speaker of Parliament on Wednesday, 19th March, 2014, but subsequently sent to the Legal Department of Parliament, by the same office, for alleged ‘processing and clearing.’ To our dismay, one month after, we are reliably informed by our sources that nothing is being done about it.
Briefly, the complaint analyzes the causes of the unacceptably high failure rates at the Law Development Centre (LDC); calls for an independent and serious parliamentary inquiry into the same; and proposes breaking the LDC monopoly over the Bar course, by devolving the training and teaching of the course to universities in Uganda that are offering the Bachelor of Laws programmes. Since nothing is forthcoming from the Legal Department, without any plausible explanation for the delay, we are therefore, giving it an ultimatum of two weeks from now to expedite the processing and clearance of the complaint to be formally presented to the Right Honourable Speaker for proper redress. Failure of this, we shall mobilize our people to occupy parliament as earlier and hereafter explained.
We request our people to come along with comfortable clothing of their choice and light sleeping gadgets like mats or sleeping bags. On our part, we have made arrangements for provision of food to the campaigners and currently we are sourcing for provision of medical care, which we hope to obtain as well, by the grace of God. We shall do anything and everything legal and/or socially acceptable under the sun, to realize the objectives of our noble mission.
The issue of legendary high failure rates at LDC, bordering on massacre and the impunity that reigns there, largely due to the incurably defective system that superintends over them, are matters of national interest, affecting all Ugandans and non-Ugandans equally and without discrimination. These excesses do not bear any political, religious, ethnic, economic or social inclination. We therefore, request the cooperation of everyone in the execution of this campaign. Our gallant officers, men and women in the police and other security agencies, are particularly and specially called upon to be patriotic enough, by enabling – not hindering – our citizens in the enjoyment of their fundamental human rights and freedoms. May God bless you.
For God and my country.
Bakampa Brian Baryaguma