Day By Day

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

More Bad News Out of Africa

Der Spiegel reports:

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni was once seen as a model leader in sub-Saharan Africa. But now it seems he wants to turn his country into a dictatorship. Not everyone is willing to cooperate and the judiciary in particular is proving to be a thorn in his side.

Nowadays, Museveni is doing his best autocrat impersonation. With elections looming on Feb. 23, Museveni, who has ruled the country for 20 years, recently passed a constitutional amendment that allows him to run for another term. And his campaign has been nothing short of nasty.

Though he remains the favorite in pre-election surveys, Museveni is doing all he can to silence his main rival, Kizza Besigye. In November, Besigye was arrested and charged with a laundry list of major infractions including treason, terrorism and the illegal possession of weapons. He was set to be tried in a pro-Museveni military tribunal -- virtually ensuring his conviction -- before the Ugandan Supreme Court in Kampala ruled that the tribunal did not have jurisdiction.

Read the whole thing here.

Uganda is facing the the same test so many African regimes have failed. Museveni seems to be starting down the same corrupt path as was trod by so many other African reformers who morphed into despots.

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