Kampala, Uganda | URN | Over 800 people have so far signed a petition to drag President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The petition spearheaded by the People’s Government led by Former President of the Forum for Democratic Party- FDC party Dr Kizza Besigye requires at least two million Ugandans to append their signatures.
The People’s Government will hand over the petition to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to open cases of crime against humanity against President Museveni and other government officials in security agencies.
According to the Rome Statute that establishes the ICC, crimes against humanity include murder, extermination, enslavement, torture, enforced disappearance of persons and imprisonment among others.
Some of the incidents cited by the Peoples Government are the brutality against members of the opposition, the attack on Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere’s palace in Kasese town which led to the death of more than 100 people, the invasion of the Parliament by the army during the age limit debate and the rampant kidnaps and murders in the country.
People’s government want the perpetrators of crimes against humanity to answer to their crimes but also President Museveni to answer since he is the head of military forces that are allegedly responsible for committing atrocities against Ugandans.
Besigye, who was the first to append his signature on the petition, says the process is meant for all citizens who feel aggrieved.
People’s government will be seeking signatures from people in different areas. All petitioners are required to write their name, National Identity Card number and sign the petition. The different coordinators of people’s government will be in charge of the petitions.
Besigye says that as part of the petition process, they will be collecting evidence from individuals. The evidence gathered will be that of events that took place after 2002 when the ICC started functioning.
Last week, the vice-chairman of the People’s Government who is also Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago said they had gathered some evidence and would only need to beef it up.
However, government has downplayed the petition. Deputy government spokesperson Col. Shaban Bantariza says that the opposition has failed to gain support and is now playing diversionary politics.
This is not the first petition initiated by members of the opposition. In 2017, a group of MPs petitioned the ICC to initiate investigations into possible atrocities by security forces following the raid of the Rwenzururu Kingdom palace where hundreds of people were killed.
The petition was led by Kasese Municipality Member of Parliament Centenary Robert, former Leader of Opposition Winnie Kizza and Willaim Nzoghu.