“Uganda’s current political and social stability is not guaranteed…” – says Norwegian Ambassador


At the joint Nordic National Day celebrations last Friday, Ms Susan Eckey, Norway’s ambassador to Uganda, disclosed heart touching issues about the country.

The celebration was under the theme, ‘Freedom of expression, a prerequisite for sustainable development.’

According to Ms Suzan Eckey, with the fact that Uganda has been successful in regional and home security, there is still need for dialogue between the ruling party and the Opposition for the country’s stability to last.

“Uganda’s current political and social stability is not guaranteed in future unless the National Resistance Movement (NRM), the ruling party led by the president, talks with the Opposition on contested issues,” said Ms Eckey.

“Uganda provides security in the region and is an island in the troubled seas. We are grateful towards Uganda’s contribution to regional security especially in Somalia. But, at home and abroad, there is no guarantee that the political and social stability will last. Dialogue and consensus are necessary, purely military responses hardly give lasting results,” she added.

Under the theme Freedom of expression, a prerequisite for sustainable development, Suzan informed that it is not surprising that the promotion and protection of human rights is at the core of their countries’ agendas at home, in Uganda and all over the world.

She stressed that, “Freedom of expression is also needed if a public employee sees mismanagement, to speak up and address it”.

“Sadly, wide spread assaults on human rights and journalism across the globe is seen today. It is an increasingly dangerous trade,” she explained.

Ms Eckey stated a concern that in spite of the strong constitutional and legal protection provided for freedom of expression in Article 29 in the constitution, the recent developments are worrying.

The Article in the constitution gives clear protection of freedom of expression.

“Since the run up of the general election in 2016, we have seen increasing limitations on freedom of the press in Uganda. Media and social media shutdowns, on-going arrests, threats and harassment of journalists and bloggers,” she elaborated.

At this point, the ambassador mentioned their deep concern at the case against Dr Stella Nyanzi, whom she says has strong views and a loud voice.

Dr Stella Nyanzi is a lecturer and researcher at Makerere University in Uganda, who was recently charged of repeatedly using offensive words on the media and in public, including insulting the president. However, Ms Eckey said that despite that, Nyanzi should still be allowed to express herself.

On this, Uganda’s Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kuteesa said he was also concerned about Dr Stella’s case but reported that “Freedoms come with responsibilities. One should not enjoy his/her freedoms at the expense of others”.



Correspondent: Shamirah Abdallah

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