Category: Politics

Uganda Genocide: What Do We Know About Genocide?

The term genocide was coined by Raphael Lemkin in 1944. He wrote that genocide is “the coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves. The objectives of such a plan would be the disintegration of the political and economic institutions of culture, language, national feelings, religion, economic existence, of national groups and the destruction of the personal security, liberty, health, dignity, and even the lives of the individuals belonging to such groups. Genocide is directed against the national group as an entity, and the actions involved are directed against individuals, not in their individual capacity, but as members of the national group”(Samuel Totten et al., 2004).

2. In October 1946, a few days after the Nuremberg Tribunal judgment was announced, Cuba, India, Panama and Saudi Arabia demanded that the UN General Assembly correct the limitations on the concept of crimes against humanity. The Nuremberg Trials (1945-46) and the Tokyo Trial (1946) crimes against humanity were included only to the extent they were connected to the war.

3. The Nuremberg Trials and the Tokyo Trial set a new procedure in international law: no one, whether a ruler, a public official, or a private individual, was immune from punishment for war crimes. These crimes included crimes against peace – namely, planning, initiating and waging of wars of aggression in violation of international treaties and agreements, crimes against humanity – extermination, deportations, and genocide; war crimes etc.

4. The UN General Assembly adopted in December 1946 a Resolution 96(a) on the crime of genocide. The resolution mandated the United Nations to draft a treaty on genocide.

5. UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the crime of Genocide was adopted unanimously by the UN General Assembly on December 9 1948 as the first human rights treaty, a day before the ratification of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Convention on Genocide was ratified in 1951. The Convention is a compromise document.

6. Article I – The contracting parties confirm that genocide, whether committed in time of war or in time of peace, is a crime under international law which they undertake to prevent and to punish.

7. In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group as such:

(a)Killing members of the group;
(b)Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d)Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Article III – The following acts shall be punishable:
(b)Conspiring to commit genocide;
(c)Direct and public incitement to commit genocide; attempt to commit genocide;
(d)Complicity in genocide.

Article IV – Persons committing genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in article III shall be punished, whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials, or private individuals.

The word genocide refers to the destruction of a culture as well as the physical elimination of people (A. Belden Fields 2003) in whole or in part and the taking away of wealth of victims of genocide. The Swiss banks are revealed to have accepted and kept wealth stolen by the Nazis from their Jewish victims (A. Belden Fields 2003).
In some cases like Burundi and East Timor the world pretended not to know or knew very little. “For a long time that was the case with East Timor, where it is estimated that one-third of the population had been killed by the Indonesian military from 1975 to 1999, where there was torture and forced sterilization of women, and where the indigenous language was forbidden (a genocidal measure to destroy a people’s culture and identity). In other cases, there is even active complicity of one or more Western democracies…”(A. Belden Fields 2003).

Diverse strategies are used to carry out genocide. It should be noted that mass killing or physical liquidation is one of many strategies. Genocidal strategies may be direct or indirect, “including economic or biological subjugation”. They may include “killing of the elites (i.e. elicitide); elimination of national (racial, ethnic) culture and religious life with the intent of ‘denationalization’ and ‘prevention of normal family life’ … breaking the linkage between reproduction and socialization of children in the family or group of origin … preventing births within a group”
A consensus exists that genocide is committed with intent to destroy, is structural and systematic, deliberate and organized, sustained and involves a series of purposeful actions. Jack Nusan Porter (1982) wrote that genocide is the deliberate destruction in whole or in part, by government or its agents, of a racial, sexual, religious, tribal or political minority. It can involve not only mass murder, but also starvation, forced deportation, and political, economic and biological subjugation. Genocide involved ideology, technology and bureaucracy/organization. Yehuda Bauer (1984) mentions selective mass murder of elites or parts of the population and the intention to denationalization, enslavement and destruction of economic life (Adam Jones 2006).

Genocide in Uganda: Some have described the wars, destruction of property or grabbing there of in Luwero Triangle, northern and eastern regions as genocide which has continued after the conflicts ended. Using the information provided above is it possible to establish a concrete case so that at least we can stop its continuation into the future and spread to or intensification in other regions? Apart from loss of lives are there other cases like loss of properties say land taken over from survivors using different means? For example, what happened to the properties like buildings in towns and money of the victims in the banks at home and possibly abroad? Did the survivors reclaim them? If not, why not?

The genocide convention is about prevention and punishment of those involved as described above. What we have learned is that genocide is more than merely destroying a targeted group in a time of conflict. It includes destroying a culture of a group that loses identity. It involves impoverishing and rendering a group powerless and voiceless through reducing its population growth, scattering it people around and taking its properties especially land. Genocide can happen silently in time of peace and can take a long time to achieve. Where do we stand in Uganda where allegations of genocide have been made?

Inexperienced Leadership Harmful to Uganda

The current indisputable decadence in Uganda has forced Ugandans to search for a solution more than ever. There is consensus Uganda has enough resources – human and non-human – to meet basic needs of education, food, health, housing and clothing for every Ugandan now and in the foreseeable future if used fairly. Ugandans are not only hard workers; they are also innovative if given a chance. At the time of colonization, Uganda was more industrialized than it is today. Through specialization in production and exchange in local and regional markets Ugandans obtained what they needed except during periods of natural or human calamities like drought and war that led to famines and loss of lives.

The colonial regime changed Uganda’s economic structure, ending industrialization process and turning Uganda into a producer of cheap raw materials it never produced before (cotton, coffee, tobacco and tea) in exchange for expensive manufactured products that it produced before like hoes that contributed to poverty and its negative offshoots. The struggle for independence was meant to reverse the order thereby reintroduce industrialization of the economy and export manufactured products with a higher unit value than raw materials. This has not happened after independence in 1962 for two major reasons: inexperienced leaders in the art of public administration; and opportunism, corruption and sectarianism. As late as 1960, Uganda national leaders hadn’t emerged. Iain Macleod, then British Colonial Secretary wrote in May 1960:

“The problem here is an extremely complex and difficult one. In no other territory is the political picture so confused. No national African leader of any sort has yet emerged. In consequence the struggle goes on between the traditional forces represented by the Kabaka and the other Agreement Rulers and the rising power of the political parties. We must try to keep a balance between them and not sacrifice either…”(Roy Douglas 2002).

Because of the struggle for power, Ugandans that had some experience like Ignatius Musazi and Ben Kiwanuka of Buganda, George Magezi of Bunyoro and William Rwetsiba of Akole were sidelined by young and with little or inexperience for post-independence leadership. Consequently, the president, prime minister and probably both secretaries-general of UPC were in their thirties with hardly any experience to lead a complex country.

As if we did not learn anything, Amin without civilian public experience and with a well known record of brutality in Kenya and Uganda was well received in January 1971 as the savior of Uganda. In order to hang on to power Amin damaged the economy and society by killing and forcing into exile the elites including the expulsion of the Asian community. Then came Museveni who was not only inexperienced in civilian administration, but an opportunist as Mzee Boniface Byanyima described him to C. M. Mpagi (Daily Monitor October 6, 2005) who has also turned out to be highly corrupt and sectarian. Museveni originally a UPC member wanted to lead DP in 1980 elections; formed UPM when DP rejected him; lost a parliamentary seat in the 1980 elections and ended up waging a brutal guerrilla war because the elections were rigged when his party is not the one that felt had been cheated in the 1980 elections. Museveni recognized his lack of expertise recently when he made a statement in Kisumu at the invitation of Raila Odinga. Museveni observed that he had become an expert giving the impression he had been a student on the job with European tutors (he was given tutorials in macroeconomics by European tutors). In his address on April 18, 2013 launching vision 2040, Museveni took us back to some sections of the ten-point program which he abandoned in early 1987 (in favor of failed structural adjustment program) before it got implemented as if to remind us of the work he came to power to do which hasn’t been done. After reporting on what he considers as achievements in education, energy, democracy and security, he said “We are now set to move”, implying that he is now ready to lead the country to accelerated economic growth and possibly equity.

Boniface Byanyima who perhaps knows Museveni more than anyone else because he looked after him while he was young observed that Museveni introduced the idea of vision to deprive people the right to determine their destiny and leave it in the hands of Museveni to do it for Ugandans. To prevent parliament from determining Uganda destiny Museveni “invented the idea of the man of vision; … so they should allow him to think for us”(Daily Monitor October 6, 2005). We already have Museveni’s ongoing 2025 vision. The question is this: Why have another vision? Does vision 2040 replace 2025 or is it a revision and extension of 2025? From the information at my disposal no explanation has been offered why we needed vision 2040. It may represent an attempt by someone who has failed at home and increasingly abroad and is trying to hoodwink the public in order to stay in power longer (when faced with domestic problems Amin threatened to reclaim Uganda land in Kenya. When that failed he invaded Tanzania that fought back and sent him into exile). Ipso facto, vision 2040 should be treated with a grain of salt.

Now we have Gilbert Bukenya who some people believe is another opportunist. He was one of the people closest to Museveni as minister in the presidency and then as vice president serving in that capacity for ten years and therefore closely associated with and definitely shares responsibility for the mess in Uganda. He was comfortable with NRM until Museveni dropped him in the cabinet reshuffle in 2011. He hasn’t been absolved of a number of things including possible corruption. With all this record, he has already been selected by DP and FDC to lead the opposition against NRM which he served since its inception in 1986 until he was dropped from the cabinet. How is Bukenya going to convince Ugandans that he wasn’t responsible for the country’s decadence? How has this decision blocked emerging of a formidable candidate to run against Museveni? Are there some parallels between Gilbert Bukenya and Paul Ssemogerere? Some have suggested that Ssemogerere couldn’t make it to the top because of opportunism. While DP leader he served as minister in Okello Lutwa government, then in Museveni government as minister of internal affairs, foreign affairs and second deputy prime minister and then competed against Museveni in 1996 for president on a DP/UPC ticket knowing full well UPC was unpopular especially in Buganda. What does Bukenya stand for and what is his family tree? Present and aspiring leaders should be transparent and make their political economy views known to give Ugandans a chance to make informed decisions (Ugandans who avoid to discuss unpleasant or controversial issues like federalism to avoid risking losing popularity should not participate in running a government because they will evade those issues and more while in power or will use force to silence dissent and the country and citizens will suffer).

Bukenya started upland rice which he no longer talks about. If the project is still running how much rice are we producing? How much of it is consumed in the country and how much exported? What has been the impact on the environment and peasant land holding? The situation Uganda is reminiscent of what Macleod talked about in May 1960 namely: “In no other territory is the political picture so confused [as in Uganda]”. Now we have a president who goes to public rallies with sacks of cash to bribe Ugandans! Can Museveni and Bukenya be rebranded by Ugandans and their outside supporters? People are asking what to do in 2016 should they be presented with Museveni and Bukenya as presidential candidates of the two major parties: Should they re-elect Museveni or replace him with Bukenya or stay away from the polling stations? What should concern Ugandans now is to find out who is the invisible hand directing Uganda’s political affairs.

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.

Uganda Ranks High in Good Governance in the Region

Uganda is among the best governed countries in East Africa and on the continent, according to the 2011 Ibrahim Index of the continent’s governance.

Uganda with a score of 55, was ranked third best out of the 12 countries categorised by the index under East Africa. Uganda followed the best two in the region; Seychelles which scored 73 and Tanzania at 58.

Kenya followed Uganda in the region. Rwanda, Djibouti, the Comoros, Ethiopia, Burundi, Eritrea, Sudan and Somalia followed in the same order of quality of governance. The ranking was based on safety and rule of law, participation and human rights, sustainable economic opportunity, and human development.

More so, of the 53 countries ranked in Africa, Uganda still stands among the best governed countries, in the 20th position. The index was launched yesterday by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, an organisation that supports good governance and great leadership in Africa.

Established in 2007, the Ibrahim Index is the most comprehensive collection of quantitative data, providing an annual assessment of governance performance in every African country.

Uganda this time still scored higher than the regional average for East Africa which is 46. It also scored higher than the continent’s average which is 50.

At sub-category level, Uganda’s highest rank is in the rule of law (9th) and lowest in national security (39th). Over the past five years (between 2006 and 2010), Uganda’s overall governance quality improved.

Uganda is Down, But not Out

Written by Eric Kashambuzi

In every society, people make mistakes. Those who recognize them early and correct them get back on the right track and move on. Those who don’t correct the mistakes suffer the consequences.

Uganda Police brutalityIn England, King Charles I was defeated in a civil war, absolutism and the monarchy were abolished and England became a republic (Commonwealth) under Oliver Cromwell, a military commander. Cromwell governed with an iron hand and his son who succeeded him was very weak. The people of England through their Parliament decided to restore the monarchy under King Charles II with restrictions. The mistake was corrected and England moved forward.

Since the Lancaster House constitutional conference for independence, we Ugandans have made mistakes. In a rush to meet the deadline of October 9, 1962 for independence, we postponed and overlooked major issues which should have been resolved with Britain in the chair. The daunting issues of Lost Counties, Head of State, Batutsi refugees and the fate of Amin were postponed. We abandoned Ben Kiwanuka whom we knew better and welcomed Milton Obote who had just returned from Kenya who didn’t know Uganda and Uganda didn’t know him. When Uganda became independent, it was neither a monarchy nor a republic. It was simply called “The Sovereign State of Uganda” with the Queen as Head of State.

This was a very fragile beginning and we should have known it and corrected it. Instead selfish politicians took advantage of it and in the process drove Uganda into the 1966/67 political and constitutional crisis.
When Obote made economic reforms to balance the roles of state and private sector and launch a mixed economy model (what today we call private and public partnership) and adjust a colonial economy to post-independence reality, he was wrongly accused by those who wanted his job of sneaking communism or socialism into Uganda.
Sections of Uganda frustrated with Obote wanted him replaced by anyone. They believed none could be worse than Obote. We ended up with General Amin Dada, a military commander whom we received with open arms and jubilation. To our disappointment Amin governed like Oliver Cromwell in England, with an iron hand. Unlike the English people, we didn’t use our parliament after the overthrow of Amin to put Uganda on the right track. Instead we fought each other and opened the gate for another military commander named Yoweri Museveni who had been rejected by his own Mbarara people as leader of NRM and as MP.

Like Obote, Museveni was barely known (and is still barely known) but we entrusted him with national responsibility. This mistake should have been corrected in the 1996 elections. We didn’t because we were still afraid of UPC and Obote or anyone who associated with him. Museveni is another military leader who has governed with an iron hand.

As if we haven’t learned that military leaders rule with iron hand like Cromwell, Amin and Museveni, FDC has just elected as its president a former military commander. With sincere and due respect to Uganda soldiers, men and women in uniform are trained to deal with enemies and defend their country against external aggression, not deal with civilian populations. That is why police officers who deal with civilians are trained differently from soldiers. That is why we are resisting militarization of Uganda police. We respect our soldiers but we should use their comparative advantage which is protecting and defending the nation. And they should be fully facilitated to do their work effectively and efficiently.

In situations like Uganda where checks and balances and separation of powers among the legislature, executive and judicial branches of government are lacking it is dangerous to elect a military commander to be head of state. Latin America was once ruled by military dictators and human conditions deteriorated. They have been replaced by civilians. Uganda should keep this lesson in mind.

Let us return to Cromwell for more lessons. Oliver Cromwell ruled unjustly. He dissolved parliament twice and then ruled as a dictator under the title of Lord Protector with backing of the army. He ruthlessly put down royalist uprisings in Ireland and Scotland. Cromwell saw the Catholic Irish as dangerous savages and dealt with them harshly and Catholic land was confiscated.
Like Cromwell, Amin ruled Uganda with an iron hand and threatened Kenya and invaded Tanzania.

Museveni has also ruled Uganda with an iron hand. He decided that trained and experienced Ugandans should stay in the diaspora. He deleted term limits from the constitution so he rules for life. He has rejected an independent electoral commission so he is sure to get re-elected every five years to meet a requirement for foreign aid. He has replaced Ugandans with Tutsi or tutsified Ugandans in key posts in security forces, public service and private sector and is governing with the backing of the army. At one time a foreigner was deputy army commander and deputy minister of defense! Like Cromwell, Museveni has been involved in wars in Sudan, Rwanda and DRC and is threatening to confiscate peasants land.

What makes us think that another former military commander whether under NRM or FDC will behave differently? Soldiers behave the same. They don’t know how to discuss, consult and compromise because they are not trained that way. And it is not their fault. It is the fault of those who give them responsibilities they are not qualified for. So I don’t blame Muntu or Museveni. I blame those who put them there. They should work hard to correct that mistake or Uganda will continue in darkness and deceived like when Museveni decived Ugandans on October 9, 2012 when he stated that Uganda will become a middle income country in a few years. A country retrogressing from third world status like Uganda is can’t become a middle income country in a few years. The World Bank was so appalled that it objected to that statement.

A military commander gives orders. Muntu was a military commander, giving orders. So, don’t expect him to behave differently as party leader or as president should he enter state house. When Napoleon had trouble with regional leaders, he simply divided up France into 90 provinces of equal size just to weaken resistance to his rule whether the divisions made sense or not. Similarly, Museveni has divided up Uganda into over a hundred districts to rule without resistance whether the districts make economic sense or not.

Now confident Museveni through his prime minister is threatening to give peasants land to rich Uganda and foreign farmers. Ugandans and parliament are quiet. Uganda and Rwanda have decided that colonial borders in the East African community should be abolished. Ugandans and parliament and other members of the community are quiet. Foreigners are taking over our country in broad daylight. Where is the leader of the opposition? What is the view of Muntu the newly elected president of FDC? What is the view of Olara Otunnu, the president of UPC? What is the view of Nobert Mao, the President-General of DP?
Kizza Besigye has stated that he would contest again for Uganda’s presidency if requested but he has to prove that Ugandans still want him to contest. So what are Besigye’s views on land transfer from peasants to rich farmers and the elimination of national borders? Candidates should be evaluated on their policy proposals, not on silence or buying votes.

The debates taking place in the media in Uganda and abroad are encouraging. But we need to go a stage further. All patriotic forces in Uganda whether in NRM or the opposition need to come together. Acting individually won’t help. KANU in Kenya was defeated only after opposition groups came together under NARC. UNIP in Zambia was defeated only after opposition parties came together under MMD. Ian Smith in then Rhodesia was defeated only after ZANU and ZAPU came together. Pinochet of Chile was defeated only after major opposition parties came together.
Besides coming together, Uganda needs bold, selfless, patriotic and experienced leadership with impeccable character – character matters a great deal! And this leadership is there. What is needed is to put it together for the good of all Ugandans.

The 27th October 2012 London conference on federalism demonstrated that Ugandans from all corners of the nation can work together for a perfect union when there is an enabling environment. The organizers of the conference created that atmosphere. Let us build on that.

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

Museveni is Unlikely to Step Down Voluntarily or Through the Ballot Box

Yesterday, July 2, 2012, I wrote an article appealing to Ugandans to come together quickly and save Uganda from Museveni’s notion of metamorphosis or complete overhaul. Museveni prepared step by step what he wanted to achieve including sending messages or making observations in the form of questions after he has stated his view for those who cared to know where he was headed. For example, in his interview with John Nagenda shortly before he became president Museveni through a question posed by Nagenda (perhaps with Museveni’s encouragement) made a statement to the effect that there are two races in western Uganda – Ugandans of the white race (Museveni’s race) and Ugandans of the black race although both races speak Lunyankole language. He sent a convoluted message about white superiority and black inferiority. But his supporters including those in Ntungamo district have made it clear who is who and who deserves what in Uganda.

Museveni elaborated his views in an interview with Bill Berkely and said with reference to colonialism and slavery: “I have never blamed the whites [M7 believes he is white] for colonizing Africa; I have never blamed these whites for taking slaves. If you are stupid, you should be taken a slave”. This was in 1994. Museveni believes almost religiously that he fought Ugandans with his Tutsi mercenaries and some “stupid” Ugandans and conquered Uganda and took Ugandans slaves. So, he should not be blamed. Ugandans who facilitated Museveni to conquer and colonize them are the ones who should be blamed (and those who supported and still support him know themselves and know how Museveni refers to them). Similarly, if Ugandans are taken slaves, witness human trafficking and commercialization underway in Uganda, it is the fault of “stupid” Ugandans.

The above statements may sound incredible but that is the reality – and the truth hurts sometimes. Those who don’t want to hear the truth or want to let sleeping dogs lie are going to castigate me in order to shut me up. Before doing that, I suggest you reflect and consult others in order to take an informed decision. You may realize that I am trying from the bottom of my heart (despite the risks involved) to make life better for present and future generations.

I have studied Museveni very carefully within the Great Lakes region context since our student days at Ntare School. I am convinced about what I am saying. Let me repeat what I have said many times before: I have nothing against Museveni as a person and his family – believe me. I hope Museveni and his family will treat me and my family the same way. I am simply and honestly opposed to his policies which are leading Uganda into hell including the possibility of abolishing Uganda boundaries as one East African president has suggested to a high powered Uganda delegation. Hopefully, other patriots feel the same. Reversing NRM’s failed policies will save Ugandans including Museveni and his family. For the sake of inclusiveness, UDU is extending an olive branch to NRM. Let us work together. As noted already, NRM cannot do it alone because it has a big problem. When the old and the young fall in deep sleep when the president is addressing the nation and the world – the occasion when everyone especially cabinet members must be alert, it means that there is a systemic problem. The cabinet is telling Museveni, the nation and the world that it needs help – either they are very tired and need to be retired or they are incapable and need to be replaced. And they should be excused. Museveni is the one to blame for retaining in public office such people. Museveni seems to be afraid of new blood with fresh ideas. That is why he has retained the old and picked the young who have a sleeping problem and possibly other disabilities. Such people are easy to handle. For Museveni, it seems, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush regardless of the cost to the nation.

Be that as it may. Stories coming from Sheema in southwest Uganda indicate that under the leadership of MP Elioda Tumwesigye the youth have launched Museveni for a fifth term. Instead of asking Museveni to cater for the interests of youth and children who are dying of preventable malnutrition and communicable diseases, who have been denied school lunch and are dropping out of school in large numbers, whose unemployment rate exceeds 80 percent and whose rights and freedoms are being violated when they stage peaceful demonstrations asking government for help, Tumwesigye has endorsed Museveni for a fifth term. It appears Tumwesigye represents those Ugandans that Museveni refers to as “stupid”. If you are stupid you will be exploited and then you will request your exploiter to stay in power and continue to exploit you. That is exactly what Tumwesigye has just done to the youth and entire people of Sheema. Tumwesigye represents those MPs who simply don’t understand what it means to represent people or Tumwesigye is a relative of Museveni by birth or adoption and is perpetuating the interests of Museveni and his family or Tumwesigye is simply greedy for power and/or wealth and Museveni has used such Ugandans before to achieve his goals. Tumwesigye should therefore be ashamed and if he has realized the mistake he committed he should apologize to the people of Sheema and the entire nation. Museveni is seeking early endorsement for another term starting in the former Ankole district to save NRM from total collapse on his watch for three compelling reasons.

First, the defeat of NRM candidate in a by-election in Museveni’s back yard has embarrassed and scared him.
Second, the ongoing fight for succession among the First Lady, Speaker of Parliament and Prime Minister has shaken NRM. Because Museveni is unable to decide who should succeed him, he has chosen to run for another term to contain fire that has started in the kitchen and might spread and burn down the entire house.

Third, stories reaching us indicate that Museveni and NRM are scared of UDU, its non-corrupt and anti-sectarian leadership and excellent National Recovery Plan (NRP) as a replacement for the failed policies of NRM. That is why Museveni has rushed to invite UPC to join NRM and to offer Miria Obote a cabinet post as rumored before UPC decides to partner with UDU. That NRM has failed and that it is in trouble and therefore cannot reverse course is not in doubt any longer at home and abroad. We urge UPC to work with UDU which is moving forward and not NRM that is sliding backwards at an accelerating speed. You don’t join a sinking ship. You rush towards a rescue vessel. Notwithstanding, Museveni wants to continue as president beyond 2016 in the belief that rulers do no wrong.

Museveni is clinging onto power for other reasons similar to those of James. Before he became king of England, James I wrote a book “The True Law of Free Monarchy”. He reasoned that monarchy was established by conquest and passed on through inheritance. Once established, the monarchy was sovereign (not the people). He added that monarchs are the “agents of God upon earth”. The King’s will is God’s will, a king, therefore rules by divine right and can do no wrong. James I passed the throne to his son Charles I who insisted on absolute rule and divine right of kings. The British Parliament that was already angry with the first Stuart king James I who ruled differently from the Tudor kings said no. The dispute was resolved through a civil war that Charles lost. From then on the power and sovereignty have rested with Parliament through the people who elect members to serve in that institution. Museveni should drop the idea that he conquered Uganda and took Ugandans as slaves and will pass on the presidency to his wife, son or brother. One of the reasons UDU was created and is gathering support is to re-establish the sovereignty of the people of Uganda who in turn will elect representatives to parliament to serve their interests through the instruments of democracy and good governance. The people of Uganda have become enlightened, their eyes and ears are alert. And they don’t like what they are seeing and hearing. They want change preferably by peaceful means. Once people and their institutions have refused there is virtually nothing that the ruler can do except to yield and save lives and property.
The people of Uganda and increasingly their institutions are sending signals of resistance to NRM rule through demonstrations which should continue and spread to all parts of the country to stretch police capacity to the limit or force it to join demonstrators out of frustration and hunger while the military stays neutral or joins the suffering majority to send a joint message to Museveni to let go before chaos breaks loose (security forces especially those suffering like civilians need to know that their duty is to protect or join the people when the government oppresses them in any form. You are not there to serve the ruler. In fact you should send signals to the ruler that he has gone too far). Non-violence works through many visible and invisible ways by inter alia creating an environment that discourages investors and tourists and remittances. Capital flight and business relocation outside Uganda follows and donors cut back assistance. These actions reduce government revenue. Salaries for civil servants and teachers and health workers etc, security forces and embassies abroad are not paid. They cannot buy food and send their children to school etc. Drivers refuse to work and farmers to grow or sell food. The country is paralyzed. Anger and hunger erupt.

The demonstrations that started last year reduced economic growth rate to 3.2 per cent (the lowest since NRM came to power in 1986) below population growth of 3.5 percent, meaning that poverty has increased. So demonstrations are working and Museveni and his police cannot use force to kill and maim and intimidate demonstrators because the international community has warned Museveni and UDU is watching like a hawk for any sign of trouble and we shall spring into action. UDU press releases and other contacts have contributed in a big way. So, go out and demonstrate until NRM comes to its senses. In 1917, the people of Russia and their Duma (Parliament) said no to Czar Nicholas II when he told them to disband. He called on the police to put down the demonstrators. The police said no and joined the demonstrators. Then he called on the army to step in on behalf of the Romanov family and the Russian Empire. The soldiers including the most trusted Cossacks said no and joined the demonstrators. Eventually, army commanders advised Nicholas to abdicate. He did and called on his brother Michael to take over. Michael was very wise and realistic and politely said no. And the Romanov dynasty came to an end. Mobutu Sese Seko was advised by his very close advisers to step down and he said no. We all know what happened in the end. History repeats itself. Museveni and advisers at home and abroad, please take heed because Ugandans have rejected NRM’s corrupt, sectarian and incompetent rule.