Search

 

Cablegate: Ugandan Parliament: "Patriotism Clubs" Spark Opposition

VZCZCXRO7615
RR RUEHGI RUEHRN RUEHROV
DE RUEHKM #1069 2600458
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 170458Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY KAMPALA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1777
INFO RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM 0820

UNCLAS KAMPALA 001069

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KDEM ECON EFIN PREL UG
SUBJECT: UGANDAN PARLIAMENT: "PATRIOTISM CLUBS" SPARK OPPOSITION
BUDGET BOYCOTT

1. (SBU) Summary: Uganda's Parliament passed the 2009/10 budget on
September 9 after opposition MPs walked out over a provision
allocating $5.25 million for the promotion of "Patriotism Clubs" in
schools. Noting that these funds were earmarked for the Ministry of
Security rather than the Ministry of Education, opposition members
claim the patriotism clubs will be used for partisan political
purposes ahead of the 2011 presidential election. End Summary.

-----------------------------------
Parliament Funds "Patriotism Clubs"
-----------------------------------

2. (SBU) President Museveni raised the idea of government funded
"patriotism clubs" in 2008 as a way to instill a sense of
nationalism among students and youth. Parliament initially balked
at the idea of spending $2 million to create the clubs, plus another
$3.25 million to recruit 80 Assistant District Resident
Commissioners (RDCs) to teach patriotism in 5,000 secondary schools.
In May 2009 Museveni prevailed on the ruling party's parliamentary
caucus to insert the provisions into the 2009-2010 budget.

3. (SBU) Opposition and some ruling National Resistance Movement
(NRM) parliamentarians believe the clubs are a ruse to introduce
propaganda into schools to advance the NRM's political agenda for
the 2011 presidential elections. Although the government has said
the funds will be placed under the Office of the President, an NRM
MP said the funds are actually earmarked for the Ministry of
Security run by NRM Secretary General Amama Mbabazi.

4. (U) Opposition MPs walked out of Parliament on September 10 after
the NRM-majority legislature refused to re-allocate the funds to the
Ministry of Education. MP Kassiano Wadri told local media that he
and other opposition members walked out "to show our displeasure
with the manner in which the government is scaling out its
activities without due regard of the minority in the House." Wadri
added that the $3.25 million for the recruitment of 80 special
Assistant RDCs to manage the patriotism clubs was "a calculation of
the government to campaign for President Museveni come 2011." Other
MPs complained that Uganda should not waste millions on patriotism
when Ugandan citizens are going without medications.

----------------------------------
Comment: Under the Electoral Radar
----------------------------------

5. (SBU) Uganda's "patriotism clubs" do indeed arouse suspicion. As
one NRM MP noted, there has been no attempt to articulate a syllabus
or set of standards for these clubs, and the move to earmark the
funding to a Ministry other than the Ministry of Education suggests
that such planning is likely not forthcoming. The clubs' activities
seem designed to target the 18-21 year old age bracket, which
includes a bulge of new voters with the potential to swing the 2011
polls in one direction or another. It is entirely possible the
clubs will be nothing more than patronage-dispensing booster clubs
for NRM candidates in 2011.

LANIER

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

IPPPR: The Independent Panel Calls For Urgent Reform Of Pandemic Prevention And Response Systems

Expert independent panel calls for urgent reform of pandemic prevention and response systems The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response is today calling on the global community to end the COVID-19 pandemic and adopt a series of bold and ... More>>

NGO Coalition On Human Rights: Call For A Stop To Police Brutality In Fiji

A viral video has circulated online showing two police officers utilising disproportionate and excessive force in detaining the suspect, an individual half their size. In the video it shows the man’s head being pressed down on the ground, his arms being ... More>>

UN: India’s New COVID-19 Wave Is Spreading Like ‘Wildfire’, Warns UN Children’s Fund

7 May 2021 A new wave of COVID-19 infections is spreading like “wildfire” across India, leaving many youngsters destitute, the UN Children’s Fund UNICEF said on Friday. In the last 24 hours, India registered 3,915 coronavirus deaths and 414,188 ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

UN: Economic Recovery Under Threat Amid Surging COVID Cases And Lagging Vaccination In Poorer Countries

New York, 11 May — While the global growth outlook has improved, led by robust rebound in China and the United States, surging COVID-19 infections and inadequate vaccination progress in many countries threaten a broad-based recovery of the world ... More>>

Study: Cut Methane Emissions To Avert Global Temperature Rise

6 May 2021 Methane emissions caused by human activity can be reduced by up to 45 per cent this decade, thus helping to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to a UN-backed ... More>>

UN: Learning From COVID-19, Forum To Highlight Critical Role Of Science, Technology And Innovation In Global Challenges

New York, 4 May —To build on the bold innovations in science, technology and innovations that produced life-saving solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN will bring together experts to highlight measures that can broaden the development and deployment ... More>>