Month: September 2012

NRM Represents Broken Promises

Museveni in the 80sNRM which overthrew Okello regime in January 1986 has been in power for more than half of Uganda’s independence regained in October 1962. Since 1986, Uganda has been dominated by one individual – President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni as head of state, head of government, chairman of NRM and commander in chief of Uganda armed forces. At the start of his administration, Museveni was also minister of defense, chairman of NRC (National Resistance Council) and chairman of NEC (National Executive Council).

Museveni handpicked Ugandans to help him (mis)govern the country. He disproportionately favored medical doctors including as prime minister, two vice presidents, minister of finance, minister of defense, minister of foreign affairs and minister of agriculture and animal industry. He also favored lawyers many of whom he went to Dar es Salaam University. They have included a vice president, three speakers of parliament, prime minister, first and two third deputy prime ministers and three ministers of foreign affairs. Museveni has also relied on members of his family that include “His brother, Gen. Caleb Akandwanaho, brother in law, Sam Kutesa, son Lt Col Kainerugaba Muhoozi, wife Janet Museveni and daughter Natasha Karugire among his family members to have held government posts” (NewAfrica October 31, 2010). Ambassadors to key missions have also come from Museveni relatives.

The professional group which Museveni would have needed the most given the sorry state of the economy in 1986 but has marginalized the most is the economists. Throughout his 26 years in power Museveni has relied on two Uganda economists: one started in the ministry of finance and later moved to the central bank, the other is still in the ministry of finance. Some have reasoned that Museveni ignored national economists because he has relied on economists provided by the IMF and World Bank directly or foreign economists funded by the two institutions and other donors. Sebastian Malaby (2004) in his book “The World’s Banker” has elaborated on this point. Tumusiime-Mutebile also observed that “in 1987 the government sought the assistance of the World Bank and IMF in designing and implementing an economic recovery program” (P. Langseth 1995 Page 2) thus eliminating the need to employ Uganda economists – sad but true.

Museveni came to power without much popular support (he even lost in the 1980 election). He therefore made a wide range of promises to win him support. The promises were contained in the ten point program which he extended to fifteen. They included:

1. Elimination of poverty, hunger, illiteracy, disease, corruption and sectarianism;

2. Enjoyment of free, fair, peaceful elections and human rights and freedoms;

3. Unifying the country and separating religion from politics;

4. Returning properties and institutions to previous owners;

5. Establishment of good neighborly or peaceful co-existence with neighbors

Sadly, none of these has been fulfilled.
Poverty eradication: Throughout his speeches at home and abroad, Museveni stated categorically that his government was not interested in poverty reduction. He underscored that he went to the bush to gain power with which to eradicate poverty from the face of Uganda. It’s now 26 years since he has been in power and absolute poverty is still over 50 percent.

Ending hunger, ignorance and disease: Museveni blamed his predecessors for failing to balance agricultural production to meet domestic needs and surplus for export to earn foreign exchange. It’s now twenty six years since he has been in power and some ten million Ugandans go to bed hungry every night. Undernourished mothers are producing underweight infants with permanent physical and mental disabilities if they survive. Because children are not eating enough they are developing smaller brain sizes than normal with all the negative implications that that entails. Primary school children are dropping out in large numbers partly because they don’t eat lunch and the government has consistently refused to support school lunch programs endorsed by NEPAD because school lunches improve attendance and performance especially of girls.
Education and healthcare systems are on the verge of collapse. Functional illiteracy is the order of the day. Children hospital wards are turning into hospices and maternal mortality is going through the roof. Regarding clothing, Museveni promised every Ugandans would be able to afford and wear shoes from Monday to Sunday. This hasn’t happened. Furthermore, Ugandans are still dressed in second hand clothes in a country that produces first class cotton and has factories, labor and energy to produce its own clothes.

Ending corruption and sectarianism: This was Museveni’s signature commitment. He vowed that he would see to it that corruption and sectarianism that had plagued Uganda economy and society are eliminated. What we have is a regime that is most corrupt and most sectarian in Uganda’s independence history.

Free, fair and peaceful elections: Museveni promised free, fair and peaceful elections held regularly so that Uganda citizens who are sovereign would choose their own representatives and hold them accountable for commissions and omissions. Museveni broke this promise at various levels. He refused to hold elections for ten years until 1996. He suspended political activities while he was building National Resistance Movement which he transformed into a party. He refused multi-party elections until forced by outside pressure.

Museveni refused establishment of an independent electoral commission to ensure a level playing field. All elections in 1996, 2001, 2006 and 2011 have been rigged and conducted under conditions of intimidation and application of force. Let us consider two cases from Ntungamo and Rukungiri districts.

In an article titled “Voter riots in Museveni home district” Linda de Hoyer reported “In this environment, even the NRM is beginning to fracture. In the Ntungamo district of Ankole, Museveni’s birth-place, the government was forced by a growing political revolt of the Bairu ethnic majority in the district to send in the military to ‘keep law and order’ – that is, to enforce the vote for Museveni’s chosen candidate, a Hima Tutsi like Museveni himself. This also failed, with the Bantu candidate, Patrick Buriiku, winning. But no sooner were those results announced than Museveni deployed more troops to the scene and by the end of the week, the local election commission reported that Museveni’s candidate John Karazarwe had won by a measly 0.6% of the vote.
The result of this ruse was rioting throughout the district. By April 29, Museveni himself was forced to intervene, calling Karazarwe and all the candidates to his home [to cool things down]. … Although the violence has ended, the rift in the Movement has not abated” (EIR May 1998).

In Rukungiri district here is what happened in the campaign and elections of 2001. “When a constituency in which Museveni got 99.9 percent of the vote in the 1996 election was perceived to have switched to homeboy Besigye, Museveni’s elite guard which included his son, stepped in to wreak terror and grab voter’s cards in a house-to-house operation. One man was killed and several were injured. Museveni got the vote” (Business in Africa April 2001).

These are two places Museveni has claimed to be his home districts, yet he has to use armed intervention, kill a citizen, injure others and grab voter cards of opposition supporters to be able to secure a vote. Let us also remember that in 1980 elections Museveni lost to Sam Kutesa. One can conclude that Museveni doesn’t have much support in the western region which played an insignificant role in his coming to power in 1986. Most of his support came from Buganda and Tutsi mercenaries.
Ending disunity in Uganda: Museveni came to power determined to unite Ugandans that had been divided by previous leaders along religious, regional and ethnic lines.
However, in the process of so-called decentralization to bring resources and authority closer to the people, Museveni has divided the country into over 100 uneconomic districts virtually along tribal lines.
As reported by Ellen Hauser “Uganda is a more divided country today [1999] than it was when the NRM came to power in 1986. Corruption is rampant, and regionalism and ethnicity continue to be the usual means of determining who gets what in the political and economic arenas” (The Journal of Modern African Studies 1999).

Returning property and institutions: The 1967 constitution abolished kingdoms. Many Ugandans and corporations were deprived of their properties including land through nationalization of the economy, expulsion of the Asian community and grabbing of resources including land. Museveni decided to return them to previous owners or in the case of land resettle them somewhere else. The kingdoms were restored except one. In the case of the latter kingdom commentators have reasoned that two bulls can’t occupy the same hill. The stronger prevailed and the weaker gave way but was vastly in other ways and the matter closed. In another case restoration was partial and demands for return of federo and 9,000 square miles of land etc are still being made. Baganda believe that they sacrificed a lot in property destroyed and loss of some 700,000 souls during the five year guerrilla war (Africa Events March 1986).

Peaceful co-existence among neighbors unfulfilled: Museveni promised that he would not transfer his revolution to neighboring countries. Museveni supported SPLA guerrilla activities in southern Sudan; RPF invasion of Rwanda beginning in 1990; a military coup in Burundi in 1993 and invasion of Zaire/DRC in 1996/97 and 1998/99 respectively. Here is one illustration of Museveni involvement in removing Bantu presidents from power in Burundi and Rwanda.

“The destruction of Rwanda begins not with the April 6, 1994 murder of President Juvenal Habyarimana, but with the … invasion of Rwanda by the top echelons of the Uganda army in October 1990. According to one source in Kampala, 95% of the RPF was in the Uganda army. And Museveni’s National Resistance Army (NRA), … is the source of supplies and money for the RPF. The leaders of the RPF are identical to the top echelons of the Uganda army: Uganda minister of defense was the RPF’s [Fred Rwigyema]; Paul Kagame, the current defense minister of Rwanda under the RPF, was head of intelligence and counterintelligence in the Uganda Army; the RPF’s Chris Bunyenyezi was the former commanding officer of the NRA’s 306th Brigade, notorious for the atrocities committed against Uganda’s Teso.

Museveni also had a hand in the Oct. 23, 1993 coup against Burundi President Melchior Ndadaye, whose election had ended 31 years of Tutsi military rule in Burundi. According to some sources, Museveni planned the coup in a meeting in Entebbe which included the RPF’s Paul Kagame” (EIR November 1994).

This and other stories I have published are based on my many years of researching, listening, observing, reading, visiting and consulting with many sources in and outside the Great Lakes region. I have been strategically placed to access a lot of information from which I have drawn this and other stories you have read. I felt I should share this information with you so that you are able to determine how we should approach the next fifty years and beyond. I urge you to express your substantive opinions in a civil manner with recommendations to make Uganda a better place than it has been in the last fifty years.
Let me end the story this way as I have done many times before: I don’t indulge in private and personal matters of Ugandans and others. I focus on public policies, strategies and programs and provide evidence and references to back up my position. Telling the truth requires courage because you are bound to incur the wrath of someone who could behave irresponsibly and regret when it is too late.

Additionally, I believe very strongly that Uganda belongs to all Ugandans and I support peaceful means of resolving differences in the first instance. Therefore I am totally against using force to remove the failed NRM regime from power unless in self defense. NRM will implode through constant and concerted attrition. All we need to do in the opposition is to come together under capable, courageous, patriotic and experienced leadership with impeccable character, tested and transparent record of public and/or private service.

UDU under which I am writing is not a shadowy organization. It is transparent and vocal with a National Recovery Plan (NRP) as substitute for the failed NRM policies. For more information visit www.udugandans.org

UK Convention: Janet Museveni Escaped Through the Back Doors – Didn’t Say Bye to Her Audience

Written by Ssalongo Mugerwa

It was a nice clear sunny day on the 15/9/2012 in East London at Troxy located at 490 Commercial road. Although the convention was meant to start at 9am, as usual there were delays and the event did not start fully till about 10am. Everything inside almost looked YELLOW which are the NRM colours and the Uganda High Commission officials were visible everywhere. The event was mainly attended by Ugandans in the diaspora from western Uganda and the few from other regions did attend either to apparently promote their businesses or to look for connections in government to pursue their interests.

Janet Museveni, her daughter Natasha, Rebecca Kadaga and a few Uganda NRM MPs attended. But among those who did not show up were Edward Sekandi and Jennifer Musisi. It was not very clear as to why these didn’t turn up as we never got explanations from the organisers. As expected, Janet Museveni praised herself for transforming Karamoja from a complete write-off, insecure, gun-infested, hunger-prone, derelict and very backward region, to a secure place. But the audience did not seem convinced as the clapping seemed out of sympathy to her as opposed to a really convinced and engaged audience. One of the attendees a man over 50 years old on his way outside asked…who is she fooling? The organisers meant sure that Janet Museveni was not asked questions by the audience. After her speech they went into a break and promised the audience that she will answer their questions after the break. However this did not happen and they were kept waiting for the opportunity which never came. It’s not very clear as to why they did this. However our sources told us that the organisers did not want anyone to ask her questions which she could not answer. This would put her in an embarrassing situation. She was also kept away from audiences and at one time she was whisked away to go through a few people to wave and try to appear comfortable but she was still surrounded by many security guards.

Surprisingly the audience warmed up to Kagada the speaker of parliament. Among some of the questions which were put to the panel, was why there was a lot of tribalism and people from other regions do not get jobs however qualified and educated they might be. The panel struggled to answer this query as everyone looked to the other to take on the challenging question.

Demonstrations

One could not miss the demonstrators outside under heavy security. The convention organisers hired a security firm which deployed over 50 guards some in orange uniforms and others in plain clothes, that is not to mention the UPDF guards. Dr Kasaato who had vowed to arrest First Lady Janet Museveni was closely monitored and whenever he moved around the building, he had over 2 security guards escorting him. At one time they followed him to where the main group of demonstrators were based and a fight almost erupted only for over six British police officers to intervene and diffuse the situation. The police warned the private security firm against acting outside their powers. That is, following demonstrators around the building even on streets that they do not have control over was illegal. A young man called Prince Mwanga almost slapped one of the security guards. ‘They kill our people every day in Uganda why are you protecting thugs’….as he squared up with the security guard. The demonstrators’ station was noisy with whistles, drummings and Mukyala Kamulali and other ladies from Northern Uganda were on mega phones motivating and explaining to those going to attend why they should not. Mukyala Kamulali used her advantage of knowing some of the names of the Baganda who attended and kept calling out their names to shame them.

‘You are traitors ….you go and feed on expensive food while your fellow Ugandans are hungry. You go and join the club of thieves but we now know who you are…How can you dine with the oppressors who want to destroy Buganda and kill off our Kabaka’ Kamulali charged. Some known church members were seen begging Kamulali to spare them the rants but she was not having any of it.

During his address to the demonstrators, Dr Kasaato urged Ugandans to stop being cowards and speak up. He emphasised that there is a difference between being assertive and rude or noisy. He said for us ‘we are assertive and know what we want…we want democracy and federalism. The government should stop human rights abuses in our country and stop killing innocent people. If you believed in freedoms, you should have allowed people to ask questions and also engaged those that don’t agree with you. Our hospitals are underfunded and have no medicines yet you are wasting taxpayers’ money’.

Mustapha Semanda Magero the Chairman of the Uganda Federal Confederates (UFC) thanked those that attended the demonstration against the so called ‘NRM sponsored convention’ and urged Ugandans to keep demanding for democracy and a federal political system of governance which he argues will make every kingdom and region feel secure economically, socially and politically. He criticised the government for ignoring public services especially the health care system which is underfunded. ‘For those of you who attended and supported, I urge you to continue this spirit. We are on the right side of history. Let’s hope that those who could not make it today can come next time. Let’s also hope that those who came late; come early next time. Demonstrations are not for the lower classes as some have told us, even Mandela, Ghandi, Clinton and Obama have all in their lives demonstrated for the betterment of their people. What about you? For those of you supporting this regime, one thing for sure we will never give up till our people are free!!’ he said.

Belinda Atim a human rights activist criticised the government for ignoring Ugandans in the Northern region especially those suffering from famine and Nodding Syndrome. She also criticised the government’s policy of forceful displacement of Acolis in IDP camps and grabbing their land.

Janet Museveni escapes citizen’s arrest.

Dr Kasaato and other human rights activists who wanted to carry out a citizen’s arrest on Janet Museveni failed as she was whisked away through the back doors. The security guards used two range rovers as decoys and Janet escaped through another car which was kept in one of the garages on the building. An eye witness told The Uganda Citizen that Janet left the main hall through one of the doors in the toilet corridors. The Uganda Citizen could not independently verify this as efforts to get a comment from the organisers went unanswered.

In all, the convention was not well attended as last year and the majority of those that attended came late to see musicians like Bobi Wine and Judith Babirye. Bobi Wine sung songs praising the Kabaka of Buganda and crowds went mad and could not keep tipping him. A certain old woman from western Uganda was heard saying ….why didn’t they bring those from our region….meaning western Uganda.

Demonstration in UK Against the NRM ‘sponsored’ Convention

A woman demonstrator shot in Uganda Groups of Ugandan organisations in the UK are mobilizing to demonstrate against the NRM Convention in UK to take place on next Saturday 15/09/2012 at Troxy function hall located at 490 Commercial Road, London, E1 0HX. The demonstration is to start from 9-6pm.

In a message sent out to online forums, facebook and other social media, Mustapha Semanda Magero the Chairman of the Uganda Federal Confederates (UFC) has urged Ugandans to turn out in big numbers and show solidarity to the millions of Ugandans being beaten-up and oppressed by the NRM government every day. Semanda Magero criticised the Uganda government for wasting tax payers’ money on grand events every year in different countries yet “…our people are dying in hospitals which are ill equipped with no medicines or doctors. That’s why we are demanding for federalism which means sharing and devolving power to regions and kingdoms so that we can deal with our respective priorities”

First Lady Janet Museveni, Vice President Edward Ssekandi, and KCCA Executive Director Jennifer Musisi are among the NRM personalities expected to attend the event. Jennifer Musisi’s 30million a month salary was also criticised by the demo organisers.

“…Jennifer Musisi alone earns over Shs.30,000,000/= a month, which is more than the UK Prime Minister earns. Let these NRM thieves know that they are not welcome in the UK and the whole world is watching them.”

Other guests expected to attend this event include Baroness Lynda Chalker and Tullow oil executives. The organisers have accused Chalker of lobbying for President Museveni in Western governments “…No wonder he (Museveni) kills and no western governments raise a finger. This woman has had close relationships with many African dictators, including Obasanjo of Nigeria. This is your chance to further isolate this (NRM) regime.”
“…Many innocent people have died trying to express their freedoms in Uganda. Those of you in Europe – this is our turn to show solidarity to our brothers and sisters in Uganda who get imprisoned, tear-gassed or gunned down every day.” Semanda Magero charged.

Meanwhile Dr Rashid Kasaato said plans are ready to arrest Janet Museveni under the UK Citizens Arrest Act 1961. Kasaato said Janet will be arrested because she’s an accomplice to Museveni’s crimes. She is a government minister and an MP but she never opposes her husband’s tribalism, corruption and nepotism tendencies in the country. Dr Kasaato who is a fearless democratic activist had fights with Museveni’s bodyguards a few years ago as he interrupted Museveni’s speech.

Belinda Atim a brilliant mobiliser from the Acholi community said many Acholis are ready and just waiting for the demonstration on the 15/9/2012. Mukyala Male Kamulali urged Ugandans to be brave like their fore fathers who fought to defend their kingdoms. It’s a pitty that Mutenza is lying to Ugandans that the event is for promoting Uganda as a business hub. The whole event is about promoting the NRM in UK and we know it. How many opposition leaders did they invite? Kamulali questioned. The Uganda Citizen has learnt that no opposition leaders are included on the event’s program.

Congolese to join the demonstrations

Congolese are also set to join to demonstrate against Yoweri Museveni the president of Uganda. They accuse him of funding the M23 together with Rwanda to destabilise the DR Congo. ‘We will continue to build alliances with other groups from the great lakes region to oppose this dictatorial regime’…Belinda said.

Bobi Wine, Judith Babirye and other musicians warned

The musicians who have been hired to entertain NRM guests have also come under attack. On different Uganda forums such as Ugandans at Heart (UAH), Ugandans are vowing to punish these musicians they are accusing of being traitors. They have singled out Bobi Wine for pretending to be ‘Omubanda wa Kabaka’ yet he performs on NRM functions and promotes the ruling government. Below is one of the comments from the forum:

‘We are going to punish Bobi Wine, Judith Babirye and other musicians involved in directly or indirectly promoting this or any future NRM events by NOT attending their shows ever again …….unless they pull out of performing for National Robbers Movement (NRM)! It’s time for economic war now’