The National Resistance Movement, “Grassroots Democracy”, and Dictatorship in Uganda

Publication Type:

Book Chapter


Democracy And Socialism In Africa, p.17 (2019)



This chapter examines the specific characteristics of the resistance committee legislation passed in 1987 relating to the extension of grassroots democracy in Uganda. It demonstrates how the institutionalization of the resistance committees has effectively stunted their autonomous evolution and operation. The chapter explores developments in other areas that have occurred over the same period and have in effect rendered the attainment of grassroots democracy an even more distant goal. It discusses the National Resistance Movement's (NRM) method and structure of governance and describes a critique of aspects of its “ten-point programme.” The chapter presents an overview of the laws governing the organization and operation of the resistance committees: the Resistance Councils and Committees Statutes and the Resistance Committees Statutes, both passed in 1987 by the National Resistance Council—the premier legislative organ of the NRM. It reviews the passing of three legislative measures in 1988. These were the Constitution Statute, the Penal Code Statute, and the Magistrate Courts Statute.