The 1995 Constitution as a Tool for Dictatorship in Uganda: An African Dilemma of Constitutionalism
This chapter examines the interplay between the 1995 Constitution and the growing tendency of dictatorship in Uganda. The main argument is that whereas the drafting of the 1995 Constitution was seen by many as an attempt to promote democracy and good governance in Uganda, its implementation has often not appeared to point to that endeavour. Rather the 1995 Constitution has been used as a legal instrument for the promotion of Museveni’s political interests in the form of personal rule. The article, therefore, examines how Museveni using his position as president has continuously used the legislative processes as part of a strategic repertoire to portray a democratic picture to the international community while weakening political opposition, promoting patronage and hegemonic government in Uganda. Therefore, the 1995 Constitution has in the end created a semi-authoritarian regime where symbolic importance of the legislature and relatively free media contend with fundamentally a dictatorship at the centre that survives through legal manoeuvres and violence against any opposition. The 1995 Constitution is, therefore, seen as a tool for Museveni’s dictatorship rather than the promotion of democracy in Uganda.