KAMPALA, June 14 (Reuter) - A senior Ugandan minister and leading
opposition politician has resigned from the country's coalition
government, saying he wanted to prepare himself for presidential
polls due later this year.
Paul Ssemogerere told a news conference late on Tuesday that
President Yoweri Museveni had accepted his resignation as minister
of public service.
The veteran Ugandan politician, who also heads the opposition
Democratic Party (DP), said leaving Museveni's broad-based
government would enable him to freely take part in a debate this
week on the future of political parties in Uganda.
Uganda's Constituent Assembly will debate the future of political
parties, banned by Museveni when he took power in 1986, after a
Museveni instead formed a coalition government made up of his
National Resistance Movement (NRM) and other parties ranged against
But he has recently come under pressure from the parties to lift
the ban and allow a pluralist political environment -- a move
Museveni says could plunge the country into ethnic and religious
Museveni has said he would stand in the presidential elections.
Apart from Ssemogerere, another opposition parliamentarian --
Adonia Tiberondwa of the Uganda People's Congress (UPC) party --
has said he would run for the presidency.
Transmitted: 95-06-14 07:31:37 EDT
LUSAKA, June 14 (Reuter) - Zambian President Frederick Chiluba on
Wednesday denied a report he had fathered a child with a Zairean
woman, saying the newspaper was running a campaign to vilify
The Post named the mother as Clementine Kabondo. It said she had an
eight-year-old daughter by Chiluba. The president had been seeing
Kabondo since 1983, it said.
Chiluba, who has nine children from his marriage to Vera, demanded
that The Post retract the story or face legal action.
``It is obvious that your story is part of your persistent campaign
of vilification intended to malign and defame me,'' Chiluba said in
a letter to Post editor Fred M'membe.
Quoting a security official at Chiluba's state house, the paper
said Kabondo had visited the official residence to collect
It also quoted Kabondo, a trader, as saying she had been invited to
Chiluba's official residence twice this year to collect money for
M'membe dismissed the president's denials and threats for legal
action, saying he was ready to meet him in court.
``We stand by our story,'' he said in a letter to Chiluba.
``Such claims will not stop us from demanding that you account for
your actions - past and present. And as to your commitment to press
freedom, I do not believe you have any.''
Police last December raided The Post offices after the newspaper
threatened to publish a picture of Chiluba and another woman it
said he had been in love with in the past.
Transmitted: 95-06-14 08:15:35 EDT
By Ingeborg Lichtenberg
CAPE TOWN, June 13 (Reuter) - The widow of slain South African
black consciousness leader Steve Biko on Tuesday demanded justice,
not amnesty for her husband's killers.
Nontsikelelo Biko was part of a delegation seeking to overturn
proposals before parliament for a Truth Commission to identify and
grant amnesty to human rights offenders.
``The Biko family demands that the (Steve) Biko case be reopened
and the culprits properly charged,'' she said in evidence before
the Senate Justice Committee.
Biko told senators considering a National Unity and Reconciliation
bill, including provision for a Truth Commission, how her husband
died naked and beaten at the hands of apartheid police in 1977.
Steve Biko, immortalised in the David Attenborough film Cry
Freedom, was one of the best known black anti-apartheid leaders to
die in police custody.
Human rights monitors count at least 80 prominent black leaders
killed in police custody or assassinated by government hit squads
Representing 500 members of the Association of Victims of Unsolved
Apartheid Atrocities, Biko's delegation said the perpetrators of
apartheid crimes should be punished and not forgiven.
Churchill Mxenge, brother of assassinated African National Congress
(ANC) activist Griffiths Mxenge, banged the table in the former
white House of Assembly and demanded: ``We want justice.
``Those of us who know who killed their relatives, definitely think
the Truth Commission is worthless,'' he said.
Mxenge said the Truth Commission would merely wipe clean the slate
``so we are victims again of the new government...The bank of
justice is bankrupt.''
He said the association had nursed high hopes that with President
Nelson Mandela's ANC-led government coming into power after South
Africa's first all-race elections last year, ``at last the law was
going to take its course.''
``But to our shock and dismay we find ourselves exactly where we
were 10 years ago, if not worse off.''
Committee chairman Mohseen Moosa said, however, the National Unity
and Reconciliation bill aimed to bury the painful past and promote
reconciliation by giving amnesty to those who revealed the full
truth about the human rights violations they were guity of.
Mxenge responded: ``It's very, very easy for a person who hasn't
experienced what we have experienced to talk about
He said that if the killers were still walking the streets one year
after the ANC came into power, ``I'm afraid it's just very
difficult for us...to reconcile ourselves with the idea (of
Transmitted: 95-06-13 21:54:09 EDT
LAGOS, June 14 (Reuter) - Nigeria's former military ruler General
Olusegun Obasanjo, detained in connection with an alleged coup
plot, has been moved from house arrest to an unknown destination,
his aide said on Wednesday.
``General Obasanjo was picked up yesterday morning at 4.00 a.m.
(0300 GMT),'' the aide told Reuters.
``The soldiers who took him said he would be brought back in a day
but up until now he hasn't returned, he added.
A military tribunal trying people suspected of being involved in a
plot to topple the military government began sitting in Lagos
behind closed doors on June 5.
Obasanjo was arrested on March 13 after the government announced it
had discovered a plot to overthrow it on March 1.
The former ruler was later moved from jail and placed under house
arrest at his farm in Ota in southwestern Nigeria.
Obasanjo, who ruled Nigeria between 1976 and 1979, was not among
the 23 service men and civilians arraigned before the military
tribunal on June 5 on charges of treason and conspiracy.
The authorities have said more people could face trial following
further investigations into the coup plot.
On May 30, Obasanjo was taken briefly from his farm for
questioning, his associates said.
Obasanjo and his then number two, Major-General Shehu Musa
Yar'Adua, who is also being held in connection with the coup plot,
are the only Nigerian rulers to have voluntarily relinquished
Critics of the Abacha government say the coup plot was concocted to
enable the authorities to suppress opposition, a charge the
government has denied.
Transmitted: 95-06-14 07:34:20 EDT
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