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.

My Father Influenced the Way I Treat People

My father, Reverend/Canon Samwiri Kashambuzi, as first born male and Anglican minister has had responsibilities for uniting people and resolving Eric Kashambuzidisputes in a mutually satisfactory manner. We have a relatively large extended family with members belonging to different faiths largely Protestants and Catholics. Although a Protestant and minister, his faith and profession did not influence how he treated members of the family that belong to another faith even during difficult religious times. The first lesson I learned from my father is that religion should not divide people. As a result religion has not influenced the way I treat people socially and professionally.

When I returned from exile in 1980, I started business in my home area of Rujumbura in southwest Uganda partly in acknowledgement of community support as I grew up and to help the development of the area. Since father was going to be the overall manager (we call him Chairman) in my absence at work far away from home, I discussed with him about selection of managers. He advised that we should pick the best regardless of their religion or ethnicity. Consequently, we picked a Catholic and a Mukiga to construct my family and first house in Rukungiri town although we had qualified people in our family. My father felt they lacked experience for the type of building we had in mind.

When relatives and some Protestants complained after the contract had been awarded, he brought them together and we explained carefully why we took that decision. They argued that we should insist that the contractor should hire them. My father reasoned and convincingly that we shouldn’t tie the contractor’s hands. Instead those that needed jobs should apply in the normal way and be considered on merit. They concurred. From this lesson, I have hired the best managers: a Catholic who manages my tree plantation and a Muslim who manages my ranch.
The second lesson I learned from my father is that we should always extend a helping hand to those in need even to people we don’t know because he reasoned all human being are children of one Creator. During the late 1950s and early 1960s, people from Kabale area of former Kigezi district were resettled in different parts of Uganda including in Ruhinda sub-county of Kigezi district where we lived.

Because motorized transport was limited, people walked and spent nights preferably at churches. Father instructed us that when they arrived, no matter what time of day or night, we should help them as much as possible whether he was in or out. He further instructed that we should never ask their faith or their tribe. We should just treat them as fellow human beings as we would like to be treated by others.

In my career mainly at the University and United Nations where many people from different backgrounds meet, as supervisor I treated them as fellow human beings. I also made sure to the extent possible especially when I was stationed in New York that I received Ugandans well that came for conferences, including having a meal or drink together or giving them a copy of one of my books for free. I have distributed to Ugandans free of charge many copies of my ten books.

Before and during formation of UDU, I advised that while merit should be the criterion for selecting officers or participants in meetings we should not forget the demographic makeup of our membership. During Ugandan demonstrations at State Department in USA, United Nations in New York and Boston we made sure there was demographic balance when meeting with officials. For example, during the Voice of America interview when Ugandans demonstrated in Washington DC, we made sure through consultations among women that a woman representative was interviewed and she gave a gender perspective. The tape of that interview is posted at www.kashambuzi.com.
During the formation of UDU in July 2011, the first decision we took before elections of office bearers was to agree that there must be gender and youth representatives. These representatives are responsible for national gender and youth issues.

My father believes in uniting people and keeping families together. I used to hear him saying he was rushing to some place because there was a feud within the family, between families or among community members. Sometimes he would invite them to come to the church. He would begin the discussion with a prayer. He would then patiently listen to all views. He never allowed anybody to dominate the discussion. In some cultures, women are not given a chance to express their opinions. Father would give opportunity to everyone. Father also avoided as much as possible rushing people into conclusions or telling them what to do. He would sometimes convene meetings several times until a consensus emerged and everyone felt ready to reconcile. I learned at least two lessons.
First, I learned that whatever disputes people may have on a particular issue, it is cost effective to work together. While stationed in Lusaka, Zambia, before the Amin regime was toppled, Ugandans were divided on how to do it. I recall a moment when I invited some Ugandans for dinner at our residence. Some told me they would come only if so and so were not there because they couldn’t stand one another politically and by extension socially. Through patient and delicate consultations, I was able to convince some Ugandans that working together was much better than separately. Out of this discussion we created Uganda Unity Group (UUG) a multi-ethnic and multi-religious body taking the four regions and gender concerns into account. The group was admitted at the Moshi conference and one of our delegates was appointed a minister of state.

The second lesson helped me when I was chairing UN meetings that brought different UN agencies and/or African regional organizations together. The principle I employed as my father did was to listen very carefully to what was being said, giving everyone a chance to speak. In summarizing debates, I would begin with areas where I felt a consensus had been reached. Once that was resolved, I would then ask for guidance on how to proceed on areas where there was no consensus. I realized that when you conduct meetings that way rather than issuing instructions from the chair participants felt they were in charge of their meeting. It was possible, though not always, to resolve contentious issues.

However, I also noticed that there were occasions when my father had to take charge and identify the root cause of the problem at the risk of offending some participants in the meeting. He believed and still does that unless you get to the root cause of the problem there won’t be a solution. I used to see or hear him confronting some members of his church for wrong doing and point out what had gone wrong and who was responsible. There would be heated debates. I would hear him saying that he was telling the truth based on facts he had gathered. Because he told the truth, he ended up weathering the storm.
When he retired as Archdeacon of the Church of Uganda at the end of a long career, he was praised as a role model who treated everyone justly and called a spade a spade when circumstances dictated so. He has been in retirement for quite some time but his former parishioners still visit him and thank him for what he did especially building schools.

Finally, many times people have told me privately that my father is an honest man and he was not corrupt. He drew a distinction between what belonged to the church and what was his. Metaphorically, he drew a yellow line that separated church property and his and couldn’t cross it. Further, when he doesn’t like something he will tell you exactly why. One time he rejected a reassignment and gave reasons that everyone concurred with and was given another duty station.

I have followed my father in getting to the root cause of problems, pointing out who is responsible. I am not afraid to deal with sensitive or controversial issues provided I use facts. The intention is not to hurt feelings but to change behavior and get things back on the right track. For example, I have pointed out what I think NRM-Tutsi led government is doing wrong at home and in neighboring countries. That doesn’t mean I don’t like Tutsi people. I would like to work with them in the next government.

I have also strongly argued against military governments or military commanders becoming Uganda head of state, not because I am against soldiers but because I believe that is not where their comparative advantage resides. I have criticized President Museveni for appointing people to ministries and embassies that they are not qualified for. Why appoint medical doctors as ministers of finance, foreign affairs, agriculture etc. First their life becomes difficult because they are operating in a strange environment and the country suffers because they are not likely to produce the desired results. Then they are in constant conflict with professionals who feel should be occupying top jobs.

Another area where I have expressed strong views is on corruption. I believe very strongly that government officials who steal public money should have the money returned in full with interest and be prosecuted. None even the head of state should be above the law. That is why I have been demanding an explanation about where over $30 billion donations to Uganda have gone because there is virtually nothing to show for it. I am happy that the development partners have decided to act. And it is hoped that all will act and collectively because money has been stolen from every donor. And hopefully they will get to the bottom of the problem including who is responsible in a transparent manner. Nobody should be above the law.
I also believe sincerely that Uganda belongs to all Ugandans and should be treated justly. The next government should promote economic growth, equity and sustainable development for all. I don’t believe in Robinhood principle of robbing the rich and giving to the poor. Rather, I believe that all Ugandans should be given equal opportunity through food and nutrition security, universal and quality education and healthcare so that they have energy to learn and acquire skills that enable them to compete in the labor market.

The government role is to create the right environment including law and order, provision of infrastructure and institution and administration of justice so that for instance contracts are respected and private initiatives promoted. There have to be safety nets to help those for no fault of theirs are down so they can get up and walk again.

I want to let those who may have been offended by some of my writings to know that no disrespect or hurting feelings has been intended. I am merely as a human being trying to offer suggestions to improve Uganda’s political economy so that everyone in present and future generations has a comfortable place to live in. Ugandans and other interested parties should judge me on my ability to serve and nothing else. I believe that patriotism, commitment, experience and character matter a great deal in selecting leaders. Leaders should put country first and underscore the sovereignty of the people. Governments exist to serve the people and when they fail as NRM surely has they should be removed. Given the level of the current challenges, Uganda needs a transitional government of all stakeholders to prepare for free and fair multiparty elections. To be fair those who serve in the transitional government shouldn’t participate in the next elections.

Above all, Uganda needs a leader that is bold with broad knowledge and confidence to handle the serious challenges before us. There is no room for students to learn on the job and gain experience when they are retiring. Leaders must come with experience as reflected in their profiles. People who hide their profiles or keep their views to themselves to avoid controversy shouldn’t even be allowed to contest any elective office.
I want to take this moment to thank my father for not only feeding me but also for teaching me how to fish.

Without Justice and Equality there won’t be Lasting Peace in the Great Lakes Region

We want to thank the international community including African Union and the United Nations as well as some governments for the efforts to end the invasion of DRC by M23. While this effort is appreciated, it must be recognized that it won’t by itself bring about lasting peace and security for all unless the root cause of the conflict which is Nilotic Tutsi domination of Bantu people is recognized and solved so that the two ethnic groups live together in peace and security.

Batutsi have deceptively presented themselves to the world since the 1994 Rwanda genocide as victims in a hostile environment and must defend themselves by eliminating ‘enemies’ and occupying more territory under the pretext of correcting the wrongs of a colonial system of borders that robbed them of land, not realizing or ignoring that they too took land from somewhere else such as 5 thousand square kilometers that Rwanda and Burundi gained from then Tanganyika in 1923. In my attempt to identify the root cause of the problem, I have touched on sensitive areas previously regarded as taboo that have made some people uncomfortable and forced them to hit back hard without supporting evidence. In sympathy or guilt about what happened in 1994 in Rwanda some countries and people have turned a blind eye to the damage being caused by Batutsi in Uganda, Rwanda and DRC. For example, in Uganda, Batutsi have marginalized non-Batutsi in education, healthcare, jobs, food security and are rapidly losing land, the only asset the majority possess. Corruption, sectarianism and cronyism have become rampant. It is gratifying that finally the donor community has stepped in to find out where over $30 billion of grant money went as there is virtually nothing to show for it. We hope all the stolen money will be recovered with interest and those involved prosecuted. We appeal to all donors to work together for maximum effect because money has been stolen from every donor since it is part of national budget. Those who argue that cutting off aid will hurt the poor are not correct because the money never gets to them in the first place. Let me restate that I have worked on the Great Lakes region for a long time and I want to share information I have gathered with those that are not familiar or have accessed distorted stories that paint Nilotic Batutsi as superior and Bantu (Bahutu and Bairu) as genetically inferior and bad people, if not barbaric. We have to get to the bottom of Great Lakes problem and find a lasting solution. I strongly believe in justice and equal opportunity for all. Those who want to read more please visit my website at www.kashambuzi.com . I have reported my findings as faithfully as possible and that is why I provide some sources of my information when I feel it is absolutely necessary. Some commentators have asked me to summarize in a user-friendly language the main features of Batutsi and Bahutu/Bairu relations in the Great Lakes region. Let me repeat that I have defined the Great Lakes region to include southwest Uganda (former Kigezi district and Ntungamo district), Burundi, Rwanda and eastern BRC where the two groups have experienced unpleasant relations.

Race and ethnicity

Nilotic Batutsi and Bantu people are different ethnically, not racially. The wrong element of race was introduced in the region by explorer John Hanning Speke and popularized by Charles Gabriel Seligman based on European race theories which stated that black people or Negroes were at the bottom of the race pyramid in all areas of human endeavor. As such they lived in the dark and had no civilization whatsoever. In 1862 Speke and Grant arrived in Buganda. They were astonished to find sophisticated and magnificent civilizations in the form of “highly developed political [and social] organization and comparatively civilized life”. Since blacks could not achieve these civilizations, they concluded that this must have been the work of white and more intelligent people whom they called Bahima derived from the Hamitic myth or Hamitic tribes as descendants of white people. They noted “At its top [of this civilization], the governing class were the Bahima, the Hamitic tribes which swept over Bantu, negroid Uganda, in the seventeenth century” (Negley Farson 1941). Research after research has demonstrated definitively that there is no such a thing as the Hamitic Myth and Bahima tribe. For example, it was written “In this view, all the pastoral dynasties of the region – not only Rwanda and Nkore but also the mythical Chwezi – were originally invaders who brought the idea of the state with them and imposed their institutions by conquest. In fact, this view is simply another misconception about African history that was very heavily influenced by the Hamitic myth. It [Hamitic myth] is now thoroughly discredited”(Philip Curtain et al., 1978). Joseph Greenberg, an expert on African languages concluded that “the stereotype of the pastoral conquering Hamitic must be abandoned” And Roland Oliver added that “So it must, and so indeed it has been”(Roland Oliver 1991). In spite of this conclusive evidence, Batutsi have insisted they are racially different, implying they are superior and born to rule. These sentiments are still heard in southwest Uganda where Batutsi have boasted in public that one Mututsi is the equivalent of 1000 Bairu. To prove their point they use the illustration of a weighing scale where on one side you have a small weight that balances the other side with heaps of beans or chunks of meat. In this regard John Reader writes “This hamitic myth has a long and enduring history … and their [Batutsi] superiority over cultivators [Bahutu or Bairu] of the lakes region, persists to this day. The idea was reinforced by the colonial regimes and since independence the elites themselves [Batutsi] have seized every opportunity to perpetuate it” (John Reader 1997). In his interview with John Nagenda shortly before becoming president, Museveni mentioned implicitly that although linguistically Batutsi are the same as Bairu, they are racially different, a position shared by Ibingira (G. S. Ibingira 1980). In short, Batutsi believe they are descendants of white people. Ipso facto they are superior and more intelligent and born to rule over black people and they believe none should question that and don’t have to prove it. Because of this insistence, the Hamitic myth still lingers on. Consequently, an ethnic group called Nilo-Hamitic (intermarriage between Nilotic and Hamitic people) still lingers on. Those who believe there are no hamitic people dismiss the existence of Nilo-Hamitic ethnic group.

Color of the skin, shape of lips and height

Mentioning these features may embarrass some people or give the impression that the author is mean. To set the record straight these things have to be mentioned. Some people have insisted that Batutsi have light skins and thin lips, features connected with white people. I challenge those who still believe that to take a good and closer look at Batutsi and Bantu people. You will find that on balance Bantu are lighter skinned and have thinner lips than Batutsi and their cousins Bahima, Batutsi/Bahororo and Banyamulenge. “In skin color, the Tutsis are darker than the Hutu, in the reverse direction to that leading to the Caucasoids. Lip thickness provides a similar case: on an average the lips of the Tutsi are thicker than those of the Hutu”(Jean Hiernaux 1975). The shape of the nose is another matter: Batutsi have thinner and pointed noses while Bantu have wider and flatter noses. That all Bantu are short and all Batutsi are tall is false. There are short Batutsi just as there are tall Bahutu. Overall there are taller Batutsi than Bahutu and Bairu. But this is not necessarily genetic. Studies have shown that it could be a nutritional problem. Because Bahutu and Bairu are exploited they do not eat enough of nutritional value as Batutsi. The nutritious food produced by Bahutu/Bairu is consumed by Batutsi such as goat meat and Bahutu/Bairu were prevented from owning cattle that gives milk and milk products and meat. You will find that in Bahutu/Bairu households where diet is adequate and balanced children are as tall if not taller than Batutsi children. Because of changes in occupation and economic standing the stereotypes of short and tall people have become meaningless (John Reader Africa National Geographic Washington DC undated). As an aside, some studies do show that forest gatherers and hunters are not short because of genetic reasons but because of adaptation to a thick tropical forest environment that require short stature to move quickly. More needs to be done on this subject.

Are Batutsi more intelligent than Bahutu/Bairu?

Using Rujumbura and Ankole as case studies, Bairu are more intelligent than Batutsi/Bahima. Although Bairu started school much later in the 1940s and in poor surroundings (poorer homes without even a reading lamp. When in season I burned castor oil seeds for lighting the room), they were able to catch up and overtake Batutsi/Bahororo especially in science and Math subjects. I studied with Batutsi/Bahororo at Kinyasano primary and secondary school, the only school with grades five through eight in Rujumbura County. Bairu were by far more intelligent than Batutsi/Bahororo. If I remember correctly, five Bairu and one Mututsi/Muhororo qualified for senior secondary school (O level) and that no Mututsi/Muhororo continued to higher (A) level. Thus, the stereotype that Bahutu/Bairu people are intellectually inferior to Batutsi is unfounded.

Ancestral home of Batutsi and Bantu

In 1854 John Speke and Richard Grant visited Harar of Ethiopia. When they came to Buganda in 1862 and other parts of Uganda they found pastoralists who resembled those in Ethiopia. Speke concluded that pastoralists in Uganda must have come from Ethiopia. Subsequent studies have concluded that there is no linguistic or cultural link with Ethiopia. It is now clear that the ancestors of Batutsi were Nilotic Luo-speaking pastoralists that lived in Bahr el Ghazal region of South Sudan. The many sources of this conclusion can be found in Kashambuzi book titled “Uganda’s Development Agenda in the 21st Century and Related Regional Issues” 2008). Bantu people originated in the border area between Cameroon and Nigeria. When the two ethnic groups met in the Great Lakes region around the 15th century, Nilotic Luo-speaking people adopted Bantu names, Bantu language, Bantu religion and even Bantu king title. Mwami (king) was a Bahutu king title but was adopted by Batutsi kings after they defeated Bahutu, implying they had no kings before.

Who are Bachwezi?

Contrary to available information from credible sources, Batutsi have insisted that they are the descendants of Bachwezi. The truth is that Bachwezi were a Bantu aristocracy under whose leadership the earthen works in central Uganda are believed to have been constructed. Professor Bathwell A. Ogot concluded “Be that as it may, the important point to emphasize is that, according to the historical reconstruction we are outlining here, the Bachwezi were not Bahima or Luo: they were a Bantu aristocracy who emerged in western Uganda in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries”(Bethwell A. Ogot Building On the Indigeneous: Selected Essays 1981-1998. 1999 page 77).

Batutsi economic relations with Bahutu/Bairu

Bantu arrived in the Great Lakes region with short horn cattle, goals, sheep and poultry as well as a wide range of crops and iron technology. “Bantu did not come as conquerors but as farmers with a superior technology, and with cattle, sheep and goats” (Robert O. Collins 2006). With technology they manufactured iron tools including farm implements of hoe, axes and machetes that they used to expand agriculture. Some Bantu specialized in pastoralism in areas where ecological conditions were suitable as in parts of Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi “many of the Bantu settlers switched to animal husbandry as a primary source of food, herding cattle, sheep and goats” (E. J. Murphy1974). Therefore Bahutu and Bairu were turned from mixed farmers and manufacturers into cultivators. This therefore is Batutsi made categorization which should be changed because at least in Uganda since the 1960s Bairu have more cattle than Batutsi/Bahima.

Batutsi social and legal relations with Bahutu and Bairu

Batutsi imposed strict marriage restrictions between the two ethnic groups. Even a Mwiru to be seen talking to a Mututsi/Muhororo woman was a serious matter for the man. However, once in a while a Tutsi king would give a Tutsi woman to an outstanding Hutu man to marry and the Hutu man would be tutsified as a junior partner and abandon his kith and kin. After independence when political power switched from Batutsi to Bahutu and Bairu, Batutsi encouraged their women to marry outstanding Bahutu and Bairu men and tutsify them so they promote Tutsi interests over those of Bahutu and Bairu. That is a silent requirement. This was a post-independence revolution because Batutsi women became so aggressive that Bahutu and Bairu men should have wondered at such a transformation but perhaps they thought that was the fruit of independence. Bairu and Bahutu men abandoned their Bahutu and Bairu women thus creating a tremendous problem as Bahutu/Bairu women are complaining that Batutsi women are stealing their men. Batutsi Covenant includes a specific clause which states that in order to control Bahutu and Bairu men Batutsi women should marry them if necessary. This is a marriage of control and political domination. That is why we see in Uganda things turning against non-Batutsi people because some of their representatives in parliament or local councils aren’t supporting non-Batutsi interests. Some people are finding it difficult to accept that their leaders can betray their people. It’s time we accepted this reality and deal with it accordingly instead of dwelling in denial. According to Tutsi tradition a woman is expected to remain a virgin until she gets married. Meanwhile, Tutsi boys were given Hutu women for sexual pleasures. Although Bahutu and Bairu cooked food and brewed beer for Batutsi, the two groups would not eat or drink together because Bahutu and Bairu were inferior. These practices are still in force albeit in a diluted form for political purposes. After they have a drink or a meal with you, Batutsi curse on their way home for sitting at the same table and being seen with an inferior person.

Batutsi lifestyle not conducive to develop civilizations

Batutsi and their cousins Bahima, Bantutsi/Bahororo and Banyamulenge were and are still basically nomadic people, moving constantly in search of pasture and water points for their cattle, their main source of livelihood. Civilizations take place and thrive in settled communities as towns where they build permanent structures and develop governance systems and institutions to maintain law and order. As Bantu populations grew fast with adequate food and absence of wars, they settled in communities, with leaders such as chiefs and kings or clan heads emerging to provide law and order. In Rwanda and Burundi Bahutu had chiefs called Mwami, a title that was adopted when Batutsi conquered Bahutu. That kings and chiefs existed before Batutsi arrived in southwest Uganda is confirmed in this observation “Elephants were abundant in the forests of southwest Uganda and ivory trade became the monopoly of the kings and chiefs of the region. … and ivory markets were located at the king’s or chief’s palaces” (Bethwell A. Ogot 1976). Therefore state or administrative institutions were already in place when Batutsi arrived.

How Bahutu impoverishment occurred

Batutsi warriors, in some cases with support of Arabs and Swahili that had modern European weapons defeated Bantu and deprived them of their wealth including land as in Rwanda and were reduced to crop cultivators to serve primarily the needs of their new masters in return for so-called protection. From the 15th century to independence in 1962 Bahutu and Bairu were exploited and dispossessed. Let us take as an illustration the case of exploitation under Belgian rule. “Throughout the period of Belgian colonial rule, the Tutsi tightened their grip on every aspect of social, economic and political control. While pursuing colonial government instructions to extract more taxes and labor from small farmers, mostly Hutu, local Tutsi chiefs also used their increased authority to seize cattle and land from rivals and farmers”(John Reader undated). Thus through the process of exploitation and dispossession, Bantu (Bahutu and Bairu) who had been wealthy and engaged in mixed farming of crops, herding and manufacturing and ate well and lived in peace were reduced to crop cultivation to meet food needs of Batutsi first, were also denied education and jobs in colonial administration and religious institutions. With independence in 1962 in Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda, Batutsi lost to Bahutu and Bairu because of demographic differences that favored Bantu. Since the early 1960s, under the leadership of Museveni Batutsi people have resorted to using military means to restore their domination and exploitation of Bantu people in the Great Lakes region. They have done so in collaboration with western powers many of whom still believe in stereotypes of Batutsi superiority and Bantu inferiority, primitivism and barbarism. Using military tools Batutsi have overthrown governments in Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda and DRC. To overthrow Obote II government some westerners created stories that Obote soldiers were committing serious human rights violations. Western governments were approached including financial institutions that cut off aid and exposed Obote to a second military coup which occurred in July 1985. It has been reported that Museveni never accused Obote of murdering Ugandans especially in the Luwero Triangle. “It is significant that Museveni never once claims in his autobiography that Obote killed the people in the Luwero Triangle, because Museveni is the one himself who carried out these atrocities”(EIR Special Report 1997 Page 35). Following the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, Bahutu have been described as genocidaires and bad people who should have no place under the sun as they were being hunted down in Congo forests. Howard W. French reports on this indifference when he observed that “[some] officials had written off the Hutu as a pariah population, and no one had time for questions about their fate [in DRC]. Another official thought “They were the bad guys” (Howard W. French 2004). But when Batutsi committed genocide against Hutu in Burundi in 1972, 1988 and 1993, and in DRC since 1994 and massacres of Hutu in Rwanda since 1990 the world kept quiet or sided with Tutsi governments in Burundi and Rwanda. For example, in 1972 there were sufficient warnings that genocide was going to take place by Batutsi against Bahutu but was ignored. “As in Rwanda, this African variant of genocide and ethnic cleansing [in Burundi] transpired amid an attitude of relative indifference on the part of the international community”(William R. Keylor 2001).

Are Batutsi superior and born to rule?

Once elected, leaders should govern for all people. They should assemble the best teams to advise them. In Uganda Museveni has failed the test. He hasn’t proved intellectually superior and has favored members of his Batutsi kith and kin through corruption, sectarianism, cronyism and mismanagement. He has been in power for 26 years and what Uganda has reaped is decadence such as the reemergence of diseases that had disappeared, collapse of education, health, ecological and food security systems. Educated people are locked up in the diaspora or marginalized at home or retrenched, food is being exported while Ugandans starve and children drop out of school because they are hungry. Maternal mortality has risen from 527 in 1995 to 920 per 100000 live births in 2005 (APRM 2009). With general conditions getting worse following the current economic recession, maternal mortality must have risen further since 2005. Good education and health services are provided for the rich through private hospitals and schools beyond the means of the majority of Ugandans. The countryside where the overwhelming majority of Ugandans lives and earns their meager livelihood has been neglected as Museveni implemented a version of Singapore model based on the capital city and providing services with Kampala generating some 70 percent of Gross National Income. Income distribution is very skewed because the trickledown mechanism did not work and it is believed that some twenty percent in the lowest income bracket are poorer than in 1986 when Museveni became president. Against this bleak background, donors that continue to praise NRM government for good economic development record must have another criterion for assessing performance.

To sum up

Tthe point being made is that as long as prejudices continue against Bahutu and Bairu as inferior, intellectually bankrupt and incapable of leading in the Great Lakes region and all the favors continue to flow to Batutsi who are the aggressors and have caused major suffering of Bahutu and Bairu, placing troops in the region won’t solve the problem once and for all. Batutsi are intent on creating a Tutsi Empire in the Horn, Middle and Southern Africa starting with the Great Lakes region and using Uganda as the base and therefore sustaining Museveni in power or perhaps supporting another general who will use military style to silence the population by abusing their human rights and freedoms and cover up for him. It is surprising how Rwanda with its bad human rights record including invading other countries could have got a seat in the Security Council for two years starting in January 2013. Apart from a few ambitious people, the majority of people in the Great Lakes region want to live together in peace, security (including freedom from hunger, freedom from fear and freedom to live in dignity) and happiness. They will not rest until justice and equality have been realized. We have seen what military leaders can do when they get power. They give orders, take or threaten lives of those who raise a finger to ask a question and in the process cause more harm than good, destruction than construction. A disguised feudal system of lords and serfs is being restored in the Great Lakes region with Batutsi becoming lords and Bantu serfs through the latter’s poor education, food insecurity and poor health systems, land dispossession and ecological collapse that is resulting in economic migration into urban slums where crime and disease are taking a heavy toll. The abandoned lands are being taken over by Batutsi already in Uganda with plenty of cash or credit facilities and new ones coming in mostly from Rwanda, and DRC. These developments must continue to be discussed until a lasting solution is found. On the whole the Great Lakes region is less stable today than it was in 1986 when NRM took power in Uganda pledging development and ending suffering and establishing good neighborly relations. Ugandans can’t solve this problem alone and we need a helping hand of development partners, friends and well wishers. Uganda is in bad shape. UDU is now involved in civic education, diplomatic networking and keeping an eye on what is happening on the ground in Uganda. Please join us in this worthwhile crusade. With knowledge about the situation in Uganda and neighbors and the threat gathering on the horizon, Ugandans should gather courage and do their part rather than wait for others to do it for them pleading lack of time. We all have 24 hours a day. It is a matter of prioritizing. We should all do whatever we can so that when dinner is served everyone gets a fair share. I am doing my part. I trust I have simplified the presentation and hopefully this is the last time I am writing on this topic.

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 www.udugandans.org

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

Written by Ssalongo Mugerwa

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

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

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

Demonstrations

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

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

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

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

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

Janet Museveni escapes citizen’s arrest.

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

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

Demonstration in UK Against the NRM ‘sponsored’ Convention

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Congolese to join the demonstrations

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

Bobi Wine, Judith Babirye and other musicians warned

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

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

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.

Uganda Cranes Receive Fulham F.C Magazines

Ugandan National Football Team (“The Cranes) has received Fulham F.C Magazines.

At Kampala’s Mandela National Stadium this morning, 25 Fulham programmes and magazines were presented to the Cranes’ Captain, Andy Mwesigwa, for distribution to the Ugandan squad.

BOBBY WILLIAMSON

O’Connor, an athletics coach and Fulham supporter, said: “These magazines have been airmailed to Uganda by Fulham supporters in order to benefit Ugandan footballers. This is the second such presentation, and has been made possible with the assistance of National Football Coach, Bobby Williamson.”

ENCOURAGEMENT TO CRANES

“For me,” O’Connor continued, “today is a rather sentimental occasion. The photo shows me wearing a scarf (in Fulham’s black and white colours) that was knitted by my mother around 50 years ago, not long after my Dad had taken me to see my first match at Fulham’s Craven Cottage in November 1959. What with last Saturday’s 1-1 World Cup Qualifier draw against Senegal, and this coming Saturday’s African Cup of Nation’s Qualifier against Congo Brazzaville, this is a huge week for Ugandan football, and I do hope the magazines provide a little encouragement to the Cranes.”