Uganda President, Museveni, Threatens to resume Execution
Thirteen years after the last execution, Uganda President, Yoweri Museveni has threatened to resume snuffing out lives in the gallows, saying his “leniency” was encouraging criminals.
Ugandan’s pressured the parliament to stand down Museveni’s extension of age limit to run for Presidency. But the Bill scaled through the parliament and was signed into law this year.
Our reporter gathered that opposition is rising in Uganda against the maximum ruler, Museveni.
Mr Museveni said his “Christian background” had prevented him from going ahead with executions, but lamented that this “leniency” was encouraging criminals.
Museveni, 73, amended the country’s constitution so that he could run for re-election in 2021.
Originally, the constitution barred anyone over 75 from running for president. Mr Museveni has governed Uganda since 1986.
However, Human rights groups have warned against re-introduction of execution.
BBC reports that in Uganda, 28 offences merit the death penalty, the highest in east Africa. Some 278 people are on death row.
“I have not been assenting to hanging of convicts because of my Christian background but being lenient is causing people to think they can cause harm and get away with it,” President Yoweri Museveni wrote on Twitter.
He also said he would “hang a few” at a graduation ceremony for prison wardens in Kamapala on Thursday.
“Executing prisoners won’t end crime,” the executive director of Uganda’s Foundation for Human Rights Initiative, Livingstone Ssewanyana, told the Washington Post.
“The police are very weak with no capacity to investigate crimes extensively. As a result, you find serious failures in the systems.”
In recent years crime has risen, with 20 women murdered in four months in the capital Kampala last year. Some critics say police put more effort into targeting President Museveni’s opponents than into catching criminals.
However, other observers suggested Mr Museveni may not be serious about restarting executions.
Nicholas Opiyo of rights organisation Chapter Four told Reuters that Mr Museveni’s tweet was “political talk” aimed at boosting his popularity.
“In 2016, Benin and Guinea abolished the death penalty, though Guinea can still enforce it in the case of exceptional crimes.
The same year, President Uhuru Kenyatta commuted the death penalties of 2,747 people, Kenya’s entire death row population.
However Nigeria and Botswana both executed people in 2016, despite not having used the punishment since 2013. Nigeria also handed down 527 death sentences in 2016”.