Month: January 2013

Uganda Needs Good Leadership At All Levels

There is consensus that Uganda is suffering a leadership crisis in NRM and opposition parties, causing Uganda to go silent political issues and to decline economically, socially and ecologically. That there wasn’t a public outcry over the mysterious death of a twenty four year old Member of Parliament and death of a pregnant woman at Mulago Hospital signifies a serious leadership deficit. The public is asking where opposition leaders are. This concern was expressed on Ngoma Radio program that ran on January 13, 2013 from 4 to 6 o’clock, London time. There is therefore a search for leadership to lay a foundation for a better Uganda for all citizens. But what constitutes a good leader?

It is recognized that a good leader should at least have discipline and trust; lead by example and ability to bring and keep people together to solve common problems and take care of the interests of all members of society.
Out of concern for the decadence that has engulfed Uganda, I have humbly offered my services to serve because I believe I have something to offer to solve the challenges we face as a nation. I have experience accumulated over many decades. And experience counts a great deal. Let me illustrate.

On discipline: The headmaster of Kashenyi primary school in Ruhinda sub-county of Rukungiri district told my parents that he selected me to be a time keeper because I was disciplined in the sense that I was the first to arrive at school every day. I used to get up very early to sound the drum for teaching catechism which my father was responsible for. Then I would get ready for school and was the first to arrive. Because of this discipline, the headmaster entrusted me with that responsibility. And I didn’t fail him. I have kept this discipline since then. If you ask me to be at a meeting at 7 o’clock, I shall be there barring circumstances beyond control. Ask those I worked with on Radio Munansi English program. I was there at ten o’clock sharp.

On trust: At Kinyasano secondary school I was selected to become a librarian because I liked to read beyond the assigned textbooks. I was told that many books had disappeared and should stop that from happening again. And I did. Then there was a problem of sugar being stolen from the store. Because I was trusted sugar was kept in the library. This was a serious responsibility. First I had to be at school every day to open the library and second to be present when the cook measured the sugar he needed for lunch.

Lead by example: A good leader must lead by example. You can’t stop your colleagues from smoking in their offices when you smoke in yours. You can’t force workmates to be punctual, when you come late. You can’t stop corruption and sectarianism when you practice them however much you complain about them.

During my career, I was given various management responsibilities including regional program for Africa and United Nations General Assembly affairs. In one case I was assigned to an office where punctuality and absenteeism were common. I learnt that my predecessor was always coming late and disappearing from office frequently without informing colleagues where he went. The rest of staff followed suit.
The only way I could stop the habit was to lead by example. Without complaining that there was a problem, I simply came to the office on time every day in the morning and afternoon and left on time for lunch and after work in the evening. When I was absent from office, staff knew where I was. Seeing that I was punctual and not disappearing from office mysteriously forced others to follow suit and I solved the problem without saying a word about it.

On leadership: It is a mistake to pick a leader because of family connections or loyalty per se. While loyalty is necessary, it doesn’t constitute a sufficient condition. To pick a leader requires observation of the behavior of the targeted person for quite a while.
The headmaster of Butobere Senior Secondary School told me that he had picked me to become a prefect and house captain because he and other teachers had observed my behavior and character for two years. I didn’t smoke and didn’t drink alcohol. I observed lights out requirement and was popular with fellow students regardless of ethnicity and religion and was performing well academically and in sports.

I was selected to be scout troop leader at Butobere School because as I was told was respected and liked by fellow scouts. I led the team to Marumba camp in Rujumbura where scouts from Kigezi district met for some ten days. We came second in overall performance but we were judged number one in discipline. I made sure we observed all the rules. To succeed I had to serve as a role model. Nobody would go out of the camp at night because they knew I would find out and act appropriately because I had the mandate to do so.
I was picked to become a prefect at Ntare School because of my record at Butobere School, my active participation in sports at Ntare and popularity among students.
Bringing and keeping people together: UPC was formed in 1960.

1. In 1961 then Secretary General John Kakonge (RIP) visited Kabale town. I met with him and we discussed mobilization to increase party membership. He told me what to do which included non-discrimination. He said all Ugandans were welcomed into the party. I formed a UPC youth wing and became its president and tried to recruit all students. I didn’t succeed in recruiting Catholics because at that time Uganda politics was overwhelmingly religious-based. Those that had joined left under peer pressure that a good Catholic had to join DP. But I managed to recruit Protestants from different backgrounds including ethnicity.

2. I was elected president of Rujumbura Students Association at a time when the association was experiencing many difficulties. I was elected to instill discipline because some members had become unruly. I approached the challenge by talking to the difficult members individually; making it clear that those who insisted on disrupting work of the association would not be tolerated. I made sure they were engaged instead of isolating them and by the end of my term morale, discipline and respect for one another had improved.

3. I was elected president of African Students Association at the University of California at Berkeley USA because fellow students found me reasonable in our discussions focusing on issues that brought all students together instead of joining one camp against another.

4. In 1979, I co-founded in Lusaka, Zambia, Uganda Unity Group (UGU). The idea was to bring Ugandans together. Ugandans had been split so badly that I felt something needed to be done before Amin regime was toppled. I succeeded in bringing a sizeable group drawn from all parts of Uganda, all religions and all ethnic groups. We were easily admitted at the Moshi conference and one of our delegates was elected minister of state. I couldn’t attend the conference because my employer forbade direct participation in national politics.

5. Co-founder of African Amicale at the United Nations in New York. The need arose to coordinate African activities and needs that were scattered in different departments. I was among the first champions and participated actively in its activities. By acting together we had greater impact than acting separately. That is why I like the idea of an umbrella organization of opposition political parties and organizations opposed to NRM, a transitional government and disproportional representation in Uganda politics.

6. Co-founder of UDU in 2011: My joining Uganda politics is based on the fact that the opposition (political parties and organizations at home and abroad) need to come together to form a critical mass to challenge NRM by coordinating the agenda and electing credible leadership. I was elected Secretary General charged with diplomatic networking responsibility and coordinating preparation of a National Recovery Plan (NRP) as well as civic education and analysis and response to developments in Uganda political economy. Within a period of 18 months, UDU has made significant progress in working with development partners, conducting civic education and keeping an eye and responding to developments in Uganda and working with other organization including attending the conference on federalism in London in October 2012. UDU has created a website www.udugandans.org where all our work and periodic reports of UDU performance are kept. We are now engaged in joining with other groups that haven’t done so and prioritizing our work with a shift towards action. UDU is also compiling a list of professionals in different categories and at various levels to avoid the pitfalls of Moshi conference in 1979 that formed a transitional government without adequate preparation. UDU believes Uganda should set up a transitional government of all stake holders to clean up the place and prepare solid ground for free and fair elections based on independent electoral commission, revised constitution as appropriate, standardized campaign finance and a vetting committee of all candidates.

7. Leadership by giving back: I constructed my first house in Rukungiri town to lead my fellow Rukungirians that we have to give back to our communities that supported us as we grew up and encourage those that come after us to do the same. In the same spirit I constructed a church for my community. My businesses have created jobs offered on merit to people in my community without discrimination as to religion or ethnicity.

8. Leadership in abstentia: Although I don’t live in Uganda, I have led my team that manages my businesses at home in farming and real estate.
Am I ready? As you can see I have built leadership experience over many years. Through research and writing, I know what Uganda challenges are and how to address them. I have been open and exhaustive in my approach and would welcome others to do the same. I have adopted the approach that you can’t solve a problem without understanding its root cause (s) first. I also believe very strongly that Uganda has shed too much blood. We should use peaceful methods to bring about change but must be ready to use other means should self-defense become necessary. That is why in UDU we are talking of Plan A and Plan B which should be developed concurrently but applied differently with Plan A coming first. Fellow Ugandans that is a snapshot of my leadership experience and I am ready to serve Uganda should I be given the opportunity. Other aspiring Ugandans should present their leadership profile to give Ugandans an opportunity to make an informed decision. Leadership should not be purchased or acquired at gun point. Please read and let me have your sincere feedback.

Tutsi Grabbing of Uganda Land will Break NRM’s Back

By Eric Kashambuzi

Writing about Uganda and the Great Lakes region isn’t fun. You are either correcting distortions or reporting on wars, human rights violations, genocide and other crimes against humanity; land grabbing and stealing elections; corruption and sectarianism; people dying mysteriously or of negligence and others of starvation in a region that has the potential to produce surplus food over and above domestic needs. In many of the interviews I have been asked why I don’t report on good news. Frankly I would love to but there isn’t much good news to report and twisting things to please isn’t my cup of tea. I am writing these stories not to start trouble but to prevent one. In this article, I will focus on Tutsi land grab in Uganda and the implications for the landless.

Museveni’s hidden agenda

Yoweri Museveni came to power with a clear but hidden agenda from the majority of Ugandans. You have to study Museveni dialectically to find the truth which many of us haven’t done or those who know don’t want to say it for various reasons mostly selfish ones. He also came to power with a conviction that he could do whatever he wants with impunity as long as he has his AK 47 and full support of security forces and some western backers.
Because many of us were busy trying to prevent the return of Obote and UPC to power, we didn’t pay much attention to what Museveni and his Tutsi generals were doing. Some of the complaints including land grabbing that was made in 1989 were dismissed as sectarian.

Let me tell you what Museveni long term goals are. He is in the process of turning Uganda into a medieval Europe or pre-colonial Rwanda. Like in medieval Europe and pre-colonial Rwanda, Museveni wants to become the landlord, dish out land to his Tutsi generals in return for keeping him in power and turn the rest of Ugandans into serfs to labor with their muscles for the benefit of the lord and his knights. His second goal may sound incredible but it is true. As pastoralist, Museveni would like to turn Uganda into a grazing land away from crop cultivation. That is why he hasn’t paid much attention to environmental degradation that is making Uganda drier and more suitable for grazing than crop cultivation. Switching ministers of environment won’t dilute his philosophy.

Tutsi land grabbing begins

Immediately after capturing power in 1986, Tutsi soldiers began grabbing land particularly in Buganda and Ankole. In 1989, Ugandans complained to Museveni about this land grab. In 1990, it was decided that Tutsi as refugees should not own land in Uganda. This was superseded by a clause in the 1995 constitution that allows free mobility and ownership of land anywhere in Uganda where people could speak their languages. With Museveni in power and anti-sectarian law in force, classifying Tutsi as refugees ended and opened the door for Tutsi with money and access to credit to own large swathes of land to the detriment of indigenous owners.

I am asking all Ugandans to go back to their communities and find out who owned land before 1986 and who owns it now. I know there are some Ugandans who don’t care about land because they prefer town life to bush hazards but even in town you need land to build a house but urban land is being grabbed by Tutsi generals and you will soon have nowhere to construct a home. Greater Kampala has been placed under the supervision of the president, not the mayor. Do you know why? If you don’t know find out.
Struggle over land ownership

Before outlining the disadvantages of losing Uganda land to Tutsi foreigners, let me outline struggles over land ownership from time immemorial. As early as A.D. 61 Britons fought against Roman rule when Roman soldiers grabbed their land. French, Mexican, Russian and Ethiopian Revolutions, among others, had an element of land ownership. In Russia, Lenin gained popular support by promising peace, bread and above all land. He captured power in October 1917 and ended the Romanov dynasty. In the Mexican constitution of 1917 “All land was declared the inalienable property of the state” presumably to prevent private land grabbing.
African decolonization struggle was longest and bloodiest in countries of white settlers including in Algeria, Kenya, Namibia, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and South Africa. You could say the struggle was largely over land ownership.

Land ownership struggle in Uganda

In Uganda a number of factors prevented foreign land ownership including the failure of plantation agriculture in the 1920s and some colonial officials like Governor Bell, Director of Agriculture and Provincial Commissioner of Eastern Province who reasoned and won the debate that Uganda land belongs to Ugandans. A law was passed prohibiting foreign land ownership.
While he was still mobilizing support of Ugandans, Museveni declared in 1985 in the ten point program that one of the actions his government would take immediately was return land to the rightful owners including Mailo land and forests that Baganda owned and were protected in the independence constitution. However, no sooner had he settled in State House than he began to dish out Uganda land to his friends claiming that some of the land was government owned. But government is the people and the people of Uganda have never given Museveni authority to change land ownership.

Museveni has used various methods to grab people’s land that are very difficult to understand.

1. He hired Uganda intellectuals or created conditions for them to write articles in support of privatizing Uganda land and allowing Ugandans in densely populated areas like Kigezi and Ankole to resettle in areas that are less densely populated including in Buganda, Bunyoro and Toro. Most of the settlers from Kigezi and Ankole are Tutsi who sought refuge in these two districts from Rwanda following the 1959 Hutu Social Revolution that forced Tutsi to flee. Most of the people in new areas of settlement are not Bakiga and Banyankole but Tutsi. Check it out if in doubt.

2. Museveni advocated that Uganda had plenty of unused arable land which needed to be developed and contribute to Uganda’s economic and social transformation. At the same time he called for liberalization of immigration policy to allow outsiders to come to Uganda and help in economic transformation including land ownership. People in land hungry Kenya, Burundi and Rwanda are keen on East African economic integration because it allows free mobility and settlement in any part of the community. Uganda and Tanzania will receive more people and livestock than they will send out.

3. Under the NRM government, Uganda embarked on the policy of willing seller and willing buyer of land to enter into transactions regardless of customs or laws that prevent such transactions, allowing individuals to sell communal land that has led to serious disputes including in the northern region. The government has also encouraged rural -urban migration so that more land is available for purchase by wealthy Tutsi.

4. The expansion of municipal boundaries appears good at face value: it creates more constituencies for parliamentary representation but at its core the idea is to place land ownership into the hands of municipal authorities and dispossess peasants. Municipal councils can then sell it to the highest bidder. In Rukungiri municipality boundary changes affected only areas settled by Bairu people. Nyakagyeme inhabited by Tutsi was spared.

5. As if all the above methods were not enough to
make enough land available for Tutsi ownership, the prime minister presumably with the president’s instruction announced not too long ago that all land in Uganda would be placed in the hands of large scale farmers to increase productivity and feed the nation and generate surplus for sale in external markets because peasants had failed to do so. Sadly, the reason he gave isn’t correct. There is overwhelming evidence worldwide that when facilitated small holder farmers are more productive, more efficient and environmentally and socially friendly than large scale farmers. That is why the international community including the United Nations and G8 has agreed to support small holder farmers including in Uganda. It is therefore baffling how the prime minster could make such a statement in view of what is happening around him.

Why Ugandans can’t afford losing their land

Uganda peasants need their land more than ever. Without functional literacy to find a job outside agriculture, with Uganda de-industrializing and shedding jobs, with Uganda government focusing on the service sector that is capital intensive and with rising unemployment, the only hope of survival is land ownership. Once you have a piece of land and a hand hoe and the blessing of rain you can survive. I therefore urge all Ugandans to dedicate 2013 the year to stop Tutsi from grabbing our land and to return what they have already stolen.

If we know why haven’t we acted?

Some Ugandans have complained that I tell them what they already know but if you know that land is being grabbed at breakneck speed what have you done about it? Sometimes I wonder who these people are. There are those who are saying that Tutsi are well entrenched, powerful and rich and nothing can be done about taking land away from them. They add that after all the constitution allows them free mobility, settlement and landownership anywhere in Uganda. But the constitution is a living document subject to amendment and it will be amended at an appropriate time to suit the interests of everyone. We also know that some of the contentious provisions in the constitution were passed without a quorum.

How should we deal with this land issue and NRM behind it?

Many Ugandans want change in Uganda but there is disagreement about strategy. There are those who want to use force in the first instance. But they don’t compare the costs and benefits of war in the short, medium and long term. I have studied the costs and benefits of war in historical perspective. By and large, wars deliver more costs than gains. The end of WWI led, inter alia, to the rise of European dictatorships and totalitarian regimes in Italy, Germany and Spain that spiraled into economic depression and devastation of WWII. The Korean War left the peninsular divided to this day.

In Uganda the damage to Mengo in 1966, to Mbarara and Masaka towns in 1979, to Luwero Triangle in 1981-85 and to northern and eastern Uganda from 1986 until very recently is still fresh in our minds. What makes some of us assume that the next one will be less destructive in fighting Museveni who is armed to the teeth and has been preparing for a show down with guerrillas? Second, what makes us believe that once Kampala has fallen, the guerrillas will hand over power to civilians? I am hearing stories that theirs is to lay a foundation for true democracy and civilian rule. But that is what Amin told us after he captured power in 1971. He declared that his was a caretaker government and he would return to the barracks once elections were held. A few years later he declared himself president for life.

Museveni said that he used the military temporarily to solve a political problem implying he would handover to DP that claimed its victory had been robbed in the 1980 elections. Museveni also assured the nation that once peace returned to Uganda he would exit Uganda politics and focus on pan-African issues or his cows. It is now 26 years and he is still in state house and has already served notice that he is competing in 2016 presidential elections.

We have witnessed enough

Fellow Ugandans we have seen enough of military regimes and the destruction they have caused. Surely we don’t need more of it no matter what sweet words are used. Ugandans don’t have appetite for another war. Besides, indications are that NRM will implode from internal decay, opposition and external pressure. The president is already under stress if we go by the language he is using against those opposing what he is doing. What we need is to come together under one umbrella organization and establish a transitional government that prepares for free and fair multi-party elections. UDU is already in place with a credible National Recovery Plan and record of what it is able to do. We are compiling a list of Ugandans to lead the transitional government. Please join us instead of reinventing the wheel and scatter efforts. United we shall win – definitely.

Feudalism or federalism for Uganda

There is a struggle between Ugandans in favor of feudalism and those in favor of federalism.

Feudalism is an economic and social system of lords or kings, knights (soldiers) and serfs (peasants). It dominated European medieval period but has occurred in other societies like pre-colonial Rwanda. The center of feudalism was the king who was also a warrior supported by knights. The king centralized power in his court and owned the land which he used to compensate knights for military service. The grant of land to knights was called ‘feud’ or ‘fief’ hence feudalism.

Feudalism was marked by hierarchy of rank (lords, knights and serfs). “In fact, feudal society was marked by a vast gulf between the very few, very rich, great landholders and the mass of the poor who worked for the profit of the nobility” (Robert Stewart 2002).
Federalism (which is federo in Luganda) simply means sharing power between central and provincial or local governments, giving the latter constitutional authority to plan their development according to their endowments, history and culture.

In Uganda the group led by Yoweri Museveni is trying to solidify feudalism with Museveni as the lord with full power to dish out land to his top ranking soldiers in return for military support reminiscent of medieval Europe.

Ugandans must understand that Museveni and his Tutsi advisers knew exactly what they wanted to do and how to do it long before they launched the guerrilla war and captured power. Grabbing land from Ugandans was on top of the list. So all talk of East African community or borderless East African community has one goal – metamorphosing land control and ownership away from indigenous Ugandans to foreign Tutsi. Once Ugandans lose land and are denied functional education, we are finished.

As soon as Kampala fell to NRA/NRM in 1986, soldiers began acquiring land immediately. Nyabushozi ranches and park lands were divided up and handed over to Tutsi. In 1989, the president was presented with a complaint that soldiers were grabbing land at break neck speed. In 1990, it was agreed that Tutsi should not own land in Uganda. This decision lacked enforcement and land has continued to be grabbed. Tutsi are coming into Uganda including from as far as South Kivu with promise of getting land even as refugees, displacing indigenous Ugandans.
People who pose as Bakiga settling in Toro, Bunyoro and other parts in Uganda are Tutsi who have been arriving in Uganda since 1959 Social Revolution in Rwanda. For humanitarian reasons some Uganda leaders allowed Tutsi to occupy land temporarily until the situation improved in Rwanda so they return home. It is reported that some Tutsi that returned to Rwanda since 1994 still own land in Uganda. This is abuse of hospitality and when we complain we shouldn’t be dubbed sectarian. This is a matter of patriotism and national security and no country anywhere else would allow such abuse.
The recent decision by the prime minister that all land in Uganda would be transferred to large scale farmers is to complete a feudal system of depriving indigenous people of their land. Ugandans are hoodwinked with arguments that large scale farmers will create jobs, use land more efficiently and more productively and transform Uganda into a middle income economy and society. This isn’t true.

There is scientific evidence that small holder farmers when facilitated with infrastructure such as roads, affordable energy and telecommunications; marketing and extension services and organizations like cooperatives as well as high yielding seeds, fertilizers and irrigation they are more productive, more efficient and more environmentally and more socially friendly than large scale farmers. That is why the international community including the United Nations and the Group of Eight (G8) industrialized countries has decided to support small holder farming including in Uganda.

Large scale farming is highly capital intensive in all stages of farming and doesn’t create jobs. Large scale farming destroys the environment by extensive use of tractors that destroy biological diversity (fauna and flora), use a lot of fertilizers and pesticide that pollute the environment (water and soil) and replace indigenous people to create large farms. If Ugandans accept what is being proposed we shall end up with “a vast gulf between the very few, very rich, great landholders [mostly foreigners since Ugandans don’t have enough money to purchase large chunks of land] and the mass of the poor [who will be landless, jobless or massively under employed languishing in urban slums]”.

Federalism is in a way designed to stop feudalism by reducing absolute power of the president and increasing the power of provincial or district governments to manage their resources including land ownership and plan their economic, social and ecological development. Federalism is different from decentralization or any other form of governance because once decisions have been taken on how to share power under federalism those decisions are enshrined in the constitution and the central government can’t change them at will. On the other hand, decentralization enables the central government to retain vast powers over provincial or local governments through the office of the president or minister of local government and decentralized power could even be withdrawn.

The discussions on federalism culminated in the London conference held on October 27, 2012 to which UDU was invited and attended. It was a well attended conference by representatives from all the four Uganda regions and demographics (men, women and youth). The keynote address laid a good foundation upon which to build.
It was agreed that a national working committee be established to consult comprehensively with all Ugandans at home and abroad. A national convention would follow to discuss the way forward. A flexible arrangement should be worked out so that different regions are given the opportunity to choose the kind of governance system that best suits them.

It is hoped that the NRM government which so far has shown resistance to federalism will join with the rest of Ugandans in the working committee and national convention. UDU supports federalism and will participate actively in the working committee and national convention.

Those Who Break Promises Lose Trust and Get Punished

By Eric Kashambuzi

In behavioral economics trust is an important concept. People feel good when dealing with people they trust and are trusted. “This feeling is related to the positive stimuli they get from trusting engagements. … People also tend to get high on punishing others, but they most enjoy punishing those who have betrayed them. They enjoy punishing individuals who have breached their trust or behaved unfairly. … This type of punishment [which is referred to] as reciprocal punishment, is payback for perceived behavior” (Morris Altman 2012).

In Uganda Museveni and his NRM government has broken many promises entered into with the people of Uganda during and after the guerrilla war of 1981-85. In 1985, a year before NRM captured power in 1986 Museveni published a ten point program that included introduction of democracy through free and fair elections and good governance; observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms; ending corruption and sectarianism; restoration of people’s sovereignty and ending suffering in Uganda through providing infrastructure and social institutions and services.
Museveni further promised restoration of what was lost when Obote abolished the independence constitution including kingdoms, federalism and properties such as land. Asians were promised restoration of their properties. Because it is believed that the Democratic Party (DP) was robbed of victory in the 1980 elections, promise or impression was made that upon ousting UPC and Obote II from power, DP would form the next government with a Catholic president. Not least, Museveni promised law and order, peace and individual security broadly defined including food and job security etc and good neighborly relations.

It is now 26 years since Protestant Museveni became president instead of a Catholic president as promised. DP which was supposed to recover and dominate Uganda politics following ousting of Protestant backed Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) has instead been systematically strangled and badly weakened. Chances of Catholics earning the presidency are becoming remote by the day as Museveni grooms his son to take over at the appropriate time. That Museveni believes Catholics are firmly on his side with no viable alternative can be deduced by comparing the gifts he gives to Protestant and Catholic bishops on their installation. Because he needs Protestants bishops who are UPC supporters more than Catholic bishops he already has in his camp, Museveni gives Protestant bishops Pajero (four wheel drive) vehicles and gives a cow or two to Catholic bishops. This clearly represents a promise made with Catholics and then broken thereby endangering trust Museveni has with DP Catholic supporters. Appointing Catholic vice presidents and to other senior positions won’t compensate for failure to have a Catholic president. The promise was breached.

Buganda was promised restoration of federo as confirmed by Sam Njuba. This deal was reached between Museveni and the soon-to-be Kabaka of Buganda in London. It is now more than 26 years and the promise is fading from NRM memory although Buganda keeps reminding Museveni. This is a promise that won’t be delivered because Museveni believes in absolute power and federalism by definition means sharing power between national and provincial or local governments. Any other arrangement, however sweetened, won’t deliver federo. It is also for this reason of absolute power that Museveni denied Bahinda of Ankole their kingdom because Museveni who hails from Ankole can’t share power or be below another leader in Ankole. As they say two bulls don’t occupy the same hill. Ankole is Museveni’s hill. It should also be noted that restoration of kingdoms is limited to cultural affairs, leaving Museveni in full control of Uganda at the political level.

Museveni was very clear about restoration of land to its owners. This included Mailo and forest lands in Buganda. At the same time he promised his Tutsi guerrillas that he would get them land and land in Buganda is more preferable because of closeness to the market and developed infrastructure to move goods in and out of farms. In 1989 a complaint was lodged with Museveni about land grabbing and in 1990 a decision was made that Tutsi should not own land in Uganda. This handicap was overcome in the 1995 constitution that allowed Ugandans to settle and own land anywhere in the country and use their local languages (by the way we are told that many contentious articles in the constitution were adopted without a quorum as many members abstained. This is something to bear in mind when we are revisiting the constitution which is a living instrument subject to revision and updating). This was meant to accommodate Tutsi who speak local languages including Lukiga and Kifumbira.

Professionals including Apollo Nsibambi also wrote advocating privatization of land and allowing people from densely populated areas to settle in low densely settled areas including in Buganda and Bunyoro and Toro. These new settlers are officially described as Bakiga but they are Tutsi. Mayanja Nkangi was appointed Uganda’s land commissioner with responsibilities possibly including facilitation of new settlers.

The nomadic nature of Tutsi has enabled them to settle in all parts of Uganda where they have consciously adopted local languages and local names. Museveni through his agents has traced where Tutsi have settled and in dividing Uganda into tiny districts he is trying to give them areas where they have critical mass to influence political decisions through representatives in parliament and district councils. With financial backing, Tutsi are winning elections at national and district levels and influencing decisions in their favor. Many Ugandans who have read Museveni’s mind incorrectly believe he is empowering them to take care of their affairs. The truth of the matter is that Museveni is marginalizing and impoverishing indigenous Ugandans who are losing more land including through expansion of municipal boundaries that automatically transfers land ownership from peasants to municipal councils that dish it out to the rich or who have access to credit facilities who are mostly Tutsi. Ugandans are further hoodwinked by believing that Museveni is creating more representatives in parliament to better represent constituents’ interests. Museveni is pushing Tutsi into all branches of Uganda public and private life. Having them in parliament and in district councils has helped Museveni to implement his plan of “Tutsifying” Uganda which is his principal and ultimate objective and to be used as a base in pursuit of Tutsi Empire initially in the Great Lakes region. This is not conspiracy theory. It is real.
Those Ugandans benefiting from NRM government or marrying Tutsi women to gain entry to state house are refusing to see the writing on the wall and don’t seem to care about the future of their country and children which is very sad indeed. They are investing in themselves and not in the future of their children. We hope that when the chips are down they won’t claim that they didn’t understand what Museveni was up to and shouldn’t be held accountable. We are now telling you what Museveni is up to you either desert him or you will be held accountable according to the law of the land.
We warn especially those dishing out peasant land to rich buyers through various ways to be very careful. The hand of the law won’t miss you. It is time to adjust because every commission or omission has consequences. We are risking our and our families’ lives at home and abroad to tell you. I trust Ugandans at home and abroad understand the difficult conditions under which we are working – very dangerous conditions indeed. For me it is better to die in the struggle for a public cause than in private and comfortable silence.

Museveni promised quantity and quality education and healthcare as well as good jobs and food and nutrition security. He promoted a few women so they would fight for the interests of more women including drastic reduction in maternal mortality and getting good education, jobs and income. Museveni blamed previous governments for degrading the environment and promised he would re-grow hair on Uganda bald hills and restore wetlands. The record shows that Museveni hasn’t delivered on any of these promises. And he has been in power for 26 years. He has done much talking largely blaming his predecessors and formulated development programs for public consumption with little or no implementation.

The SAP which was his signature macroeconomic policy with foreign full backing crumbled and was buried in 2009. Museveni lost the will to develop a viable alternative and Uganda is being governed without guidelines because the five year development plan which was adopted as replacement of SAP hasn’t been implemented as advised by the prime minister not too long ago. It is not surprising that economic growth has dropped from 10 percent in mid-1990s to some three percent currently. Because of allegations that Uganda was involved in genocide of Hutu in DRC and in M23 invasion of North Kivu of DRC, Museveni has also lost his recognition as a regional peacemaker.

Museveni is now confronted with so many challenges including the potential NRM implosion and succession struggle, economic crisis and associated non-violent dissent through demonstrations and strikes that are depressing the economy further as well as political and military turbulence in DRC that has tarnished his image in the regional and international community and is embarrassing his external staunch supporters.

Impoverished people and school dropouts are producing babies faster than the economy can absorb. Uganda porous borders are letting more people in than are going out. The result is population ‘explosion’ which foreign experts or their Uganda surrogates falsely believe can be contained by contraception alone. Rapid population growth ahead of economic growth is suppressing per capita income and spreading and deepening poverty and associated ills. That is what NRM is harvesting after 26 years in power with generous donor support and remittances by Ugandans in the diaspora. What this tells us is that there is a serious leadership deficit in the “Pearl of Africa”.
Use of force doesn’t seem to be a solution.

The more Ugandans are tortured and tear gassed the more they resolve to dissent. The wives of police officers have been demonstrating for a while because their husbands are not paid and families are in bad shape. Some police and military officers are beginning to question the wisdom of suppressing the will of the people and diverting public funds into private pockets. Some are resigning in protest and others are being dismissed. Frequent reshuffles in security forces are an indication of the potential revolt.

Religious leaders and development partners have also raised their voices about human suffering and excessive corruption and misuse of public funds including donations for development purposes. NRM is now on the defensive and has no time for planning the future of Uganda. Museveni’s recent visit to Russia and the statement he made there has given mixed signals. Is he losing western support or is he warning them that if they desert him he has an alternative in Russians?

In an attempt to prevent a catastrophe, UDU has provided an alternative blue print for Uganda’s recovery and sustained development and offered it to NRM for implementation with UDU advice under appropriate arrangements but no response has been received. UDU has also suggested that Uganda needs a fresh start through establishment of a transitional government of all stakeholders that would prepare for a free and fair multi-party elections based on a level playing field that would include an independent electoral commission and standardized campaign finance. UDU has gained recognition through its excellent recovery plan, civic education and diplomatic networking. UDU was represented at the London conference on federalism and presented papers.

We have signaled interest to participate in the working committee to be established shortly and we are working more closely with Uganda federation confederates. UDU representatives are appearing on media programs to articulate its program. We call on the international community to extend a helping hand in this noble effort.
For the sake of laying a strong foundation for Uganda in the 21st century let all Ugandans come together at this moment of crisis. A beginning was made in London on October 27, 2012 when Ugandans from all parts and all walks of life debated federalism and agreed to set up a national working committee to consult with all Ugandans at home and abroad and then convene a national convention to agree on the way forward. Let 2013 be a watershed year and a year defined more by action than words.

When a leader Blames others: M7 and the New Year message

Eric Kashambuzi

This is what a good leader does. When things go well, he/she shares credit with his/her team. When things go wrong the leader takes full responsibility.

In Museveni’s Uganda things are done differently. When Uganda was described as star performer in structural adjustment program; when Uganda was congratulated for confronting HIV & AIDS boldly and when Uganda was praised for its efforts to bring about peace and stability in the Great Lakes region, President Museveni took all the credit. He attended all the Summits at the United Nations in New York and G8. He spoke with confidence that Uganda would end poverty and suffering and would become an industrialized nation within fifteen years. And nothing would stop Museveni in these endeavors.

When things turned sour, Museveni has blamed everyone but himself. He is known for blaming Ugandans as lazy and drunkards, blaming Ugandans as empty tins, idiots and bankrupt. He has blamed opposition groups for sabotaging NRM worthy efforts, civil servants for incompetence and corruption although he is the one who appoints and promotes them. He has blamed development partners for donating insufficient funds and foreign experts for giving wrong advice. He has blamed slowdown in economic growth on external factors including weak developed country markets and “Acts of God” beyond NRM control. His New Year message is a repeat of what Museveni does when things have gone wrong.

Museveni blamed Uganda’s economic hard times in 2011 and 2012 partly on weak demand for Uganda exports in Europe and USA. The other part of the problem was leveled at internal indiscipline of some politicians particularly in the opposition camp and the unfriendly media. But Museveni knows that there are countries that have continued to export to Europe and USA. The difference between these successful exporting countries and Uganda is that the former export manufactured products whereas Uganda exports raw materials with a lower effective demand especially during economic hard times. Museveni didn’t realize that by setting interest rates so high, depreciating Uganda currency so much and liberalizing Uganda economy so wide he was making it virtually impossible for Uganda manufactured products to compete in domestic markets. Consequently Uganda has de-industrialized: factories are closing down, others have relocated outside Uganda and yet others are operating far below installed capacity due to expensive imports and high interest rates. This is due to NRM’s inappropriate policies that have made it difficult for Uganda’s small and medium enterprises to expand and/or start new enterprises that would have created jobs, grew the economy and produced manufactured products with value addition.

Because there isn’t much to report in productive sectors such as agriculture and social sectors especially education and healthcare, Museveni devoted much of his message describing what has been done and is planned to be done particularly in infrastructure such as roads and energy. While these are necessary, they are not sufficient in improving the quality of life of Ugandans. The success or failure of the economy is judged by the extent to which it lifts people out of poverty and impacts life expectancy at birth. That Museveni focused on boda-boda, hair salons, video houses, petrol stations and housing estates etc as success areas shows the extent of NRM desperation. It is agriculture and agro-based manufacturing enterprises which NRM has neglected that will transform Uganda – not hair salons and boda-boda enterprises.

That Uganda has not reached the general standard of living level attained in 1970 demonstrates that NRM performance has fallen far short of expectations. Contrary to promises made, many Ugandans don’t have shoes and live in dusty shelters that have created conditions for jiggers to thrive and deform Ugandan physical appearance. Because many Ugandans can’t afford soap, scabies have reappeared. Uganda is nowhere near becoming a middle income country as Museveni has tried to make us believe. Uganda is regressing toward a fourth world country. Uganda is a failed state. This is bad news for NRM and for Museveni in particular who boasted that his was a fundamental change that would metamorphose Uganda from a country of peasants to middle income earners. The only metamorphosis we have witnessed is re-emergence of diseases that had disappeared. Donors and experts that had prematurely pinned hopes on Museveni as dean of a new breed of African leaders and champion of a new development paradigm are silently withdrawing support.
There are areas that Museveni has become uncomfortable reporting about including education and healthcare as well as East African community. He didn’t say anything on education and healthcare promising to do so in the State of the Nation address which he will deliver in June or July. The shocking news that a woman died giving birth at Mulago Hospital because she was neglected for not paying bribes to the medical staff was so hot that he decided to avoid mentioning the health situation in the country. UDU has demanded in its January 2 press release that the medical staff concerned be held accountable and the minister of health resigns. The president also avoided mentioning education presumably for fear that he would be grilled for personally refusing to provide school lunch that has forced primary school children to drop out of school in large numbers jeopardizing Uganda future development prospects.

President Museveni has also been silent for sometime on the East African political federation possibly because he has realized that East Africans now know that he is using the community to push his Tutsi Empire dream. But he hasn’t eased on the project. The recent meeting of Uganda and Rwanda delegations in Kigali and agreement on creating a borderless East African community still signifies his efforts to carve a Tutsi Empire by any means possible including doing it bit by bit starting with annexing Eastern DRC and later southwest Uganda to Rwanda and Burundi. East Africans should therefore keep their eyes and ears wide open on this matter of creating Tutsi Empire disguised as East African political federation.