An interesting whatsapp conversation about Mengo’s Kyapa Mungalo


Me: shared Ssemujju Nganda’s article recently in the Observer

[02/06, 19:45] N: I don’t believe it’s M7 selling the kyapa mangalo idea to BLB. The baganda are proving to be more greedy than him. Why tell a musanda to pay 45 million initial installment and 2 million each year as premium. This land is not personal property of the king. The king is a custodian of the land. BLB is now a private company with shareholders. Bolesa mululu. They want to reap from baganda as much as possible. The way they exploitated them with tofaali. No wonder it’s a muganda man challenging his king in court.

[02/06, 19:53] N: I think Bantu race are naturally cheats. M7 is not alone. Boona bamululu. If BLB wanted to help baganda their premium would be constitutional. Ne kcca doesn’t charge that. Let them respect the Uganda constitution . They charge different busulu per year. They charge different registration fees. No wonder they have allowed the Langi to come complain about the same. What Betty Among is talking is a fact not rumours. Of course the commission won’t make recommendations in favour of BLB. Because BLB operates outside the constitution.

[02/06, 20:00] N: At the end of the day the lease campaign allows more non baganda on the land. You can even mortgage the property. Abanyankole baguze mail mailo land in baganda. Not had of a kattikiro campaign to stop and educate pple how bad it is to sell land. Just here Mayega buying square miles and evicting people with guns. Thought a local muganda looses by selling his land. One day you will know it’s mengo officials buying land and evicting people. Semujju M7 amuleke. It’s like looking at mucus on a neighbor child while your own also has it full on the nose. First clean your child then go to the village.

[02/06, 20:11] N: Pple sell land to buy cars .boda boda. to travel abroad. What education is being given to our people to value there land. Bakilimululu just pay once you see for sale. Has CBS put any anti land selling campaign. Can’t bazooka M7. If anything pple who got BLB leases for 5 years have lost some property to those guts already. The lease is not an auto renewal. Mbu kabaka amala kusiima. Let them steal from those who think they can steal from baganda. Wonder what will happen to those leases if court says they are illegitimate. Money from those lease should benefit baganda not BLB a private company. Bali mukukuganya sente nga toofali project. They have even failed to finish masilo after collection of billions of shillings . Is it M7 alemesa.

Me:OK…..naye kati tukoze tutya banange?

[02/06, 20:21] N: A lease is optional. It is not a condition to get a plan approved. Why build an arcade in nansana like am seeing them grow like mushrooms. Then sign a lease that is not auto renewal on it. If we are admiring arcades in nansana now you expect BLB not to take them after 49 years. Ensi tweyogela mululu each year. So why lease any away. Why risk?

[02/06, 20:25] N: Even Sudanese have bought baganda land. No one says anything. Ask your if mengo established a factory like mukwano. Would got close it. The money collection from toofali could build a factory. Semujju wabula anyiziza. The smell is within us not rwakitura.

[02/06, 20:30] N: Abbey it you who wants to join politics. Better learn how to be greedy selfish and a cheat then join there club. Other than that you will just run in elections like Besigye. Atamanyi kuba kalulu tayitamu.M7 has camped in Gayaza to make sure NRM wins. You think they will wait for pple to vote them. Just look on.

[02/06, 20:31] N: Boona baabi. They are in those places to eat not serve. Paka kuba lukiiko mengo.

[03/06, 08:54] T: I can’t agree with you better. You are extremely right about mengo thieves. They’re worse than the banyankole people are complaining about. Their myopic thinking has kept Kabaka and the whole institution broke. Why should a Muganda lease land of his great great grandfather, the Kabaka? ???What makes me a Muganda different from the rest when I am just Tennant on Kabaka’s land????

[03/06, 08:59] T: I advise whoever has kibanja on Kabaka’s land to avoid those so called leases. Kibanja ownership is in perpetuity yet lease ownership is rental terms by agreement between so called landlord and Tennant. The premium you’re talking about is only meant to chase you off your land. The same with the ground rent. The law has just not been implemented by the land registry. Once you know the block and plot number you occupy as a kibanja owner, the law grants you rights to apply for a certificate of occupancy, which you can use for financial security purposes as advanced by our own tormentors.

BUGANDA NATIONALISM EXPLAINED(Hilarious, funny, damn right)

In a busy Ugandan-owned cafe near Salabed shop in north London, a Buganda tourist called Mp Bakireke Nambooze is sitting alone, enjoying a cup of tea with samosa. Another tourist approaches:
May I sit here,madam?
BETI:No problem.
Thank you, very nice…
BETI:Are you on vacation?
Yes, I arrived yesterday.
BETI:What country are you from?
Norway. You?
BETI:From Buganda.
Buganda? I don’t know Buganda…
BETI:Buganda….. near Lake Victoria, next to Jinja, with Kampala as its capital
No, I don’t know these places.
BETI:Never mind then, I’m from Uganda.
Ah! Uganda! Uganda I know! So why you tell me you come from Buganda?
BETI:Because, my first country is Buganda!
Oh, you were born in Buganda and immigrated to Uganda?
BETI: No, no, I was born in Buganda and I stayed in Buganda.
Oh, then your father is from Uganda?
BETI: No, no, my father, my mother, my wife, my dog, everybody, they come from Buganda.
So why you say Uganda?
BETI: For Christ sake, because you say you don’t know where is Buganda!
OK, but if you say you not know Norway, I not say that my country is Japan.
BETI: Shit! Uganda isn’t Japan. Uganda, it’s my country.
Oh, your country not Buganda anymore?
BETI: My country is Buganda. But my country, it can be Uganda, too, if the person I’m speaking to not know where is Buganda, Toyina magezi!
I don’t understand.
BETI:Look, it’s simple: I come from the kingdom of Buganda, in the country of Uganda.
Ok! But I didn’t ask you what Kingdom you’re from; I ask you what Country you’re from. Me, I come from Lofoten region in Norway, but I answer you Norway when you ask me what country I come from.
BETI: I know, I’m not stupid, Gundi gwe! But me, when they ask me what country I come from, I answer Buganda. Even if it’s the name of my Kingdom. For me, it’s my Country.
Oh, now I understand. You are a separatist, you want your Buganda kingdom to be your country.
BETI: Are you crazy, Hostie? I don’t want to know nothing from that shit!
I do not understand anything anymore!
BETI: I tell you before, it’s simple! You ask me what country I come from, I answered Buganda because Buganda is my country, but I don’t really want it to be my country, it would be too much trouble. I just want to say it. So, why don’t you just let me say it?

I’m all mixed up. You have passport from what country: Buganda or Uganda?
BETI: UGANDA, Hostie!
So why you not tell me Uganda right away?
BETI: Because it don’t feel right. For me, Uganda is Museveni, his brother, his wife, his son, his in-laws, teargas, corruption, power black outs, getting rid of elected mayors, e.t.c…………, it’s not my home all that…….Home, it’s Sabasajja Kabaka; Luganda as language, cultured women whom Kenyans also fancy; beautiful weather; Matooke; Wasuzze otya; Matugunda,; Mapela,……………. Do you
understand that?

Less and less…

BETI: Listen, forget all that shit. Ask me another question.
Ok, what town you come from?
BETI: Mmm… I don’t know anymore!
You not know what town you come from?
BETI: Yes, yes, I know what town I come from, but my town it merged with another town because of Museveni’s stupid ”town twinning” policies, but soon it is going to demerge from the town that was supposed to be my town.

Oh, that very complicated! When you write your address, what do you write?
BETI: I don’t know anymore. Before, I used to write Kayunga, but Kayunga changed to Kayunga-Kangulumira, but they tell us to wait 3 years before stopping to write Kayunga to not mix up the mailman. But now, the Liberals they pass a law that make it okay for Kangulumira-Kayunga to be Kayunga again, but I don’t know if we have to wait 3 years to be able to write Kayunga, or when the 3 years are passed, if we have to write Kayunga-Kangulumira for 3 years, and after we write Kayunga. Unless, of course, the NRM stay in power and we remerge with Kangulumira, then we’ll have to write Kayunga-Kangulumira for 3 years.

I’ll leave now; I my head hurts.

BETI: It’s so simple, musilugwe: My town is Kayunga, my country is Buganda. But if you prefer, my town is Kayunga-Kangulumira and my country is Uganda.

OK, I think I understand!
BETI: It’s about time. Anyway, it was fun talking to you, if you come around where I live; maybe you come and see me.

OK, but where? Kayunga in Buganda or Kayunga-Kangulumira in Uganda?

BETI: You’re a pain in the ass. Forget the whole thing.

That, my friends, is the most accurate portrait of Buganda Nationalism that you will ever get!

SEMEI KAKUNGULU WAS NOT A TRAITOR? WHO IS A TRAITOR? AND WHO IS A NATIONALIST?

Dear people,

‘Traitor’ or ‘heroes’ are like identical twin brothers or sisters. However,’ Traitor’ is not a word to be bandied about lightly. Traitor is an ugly word and should be used sparingly. If we describe someone as a traitor, we should first be confident that he or she has violated specific laws dealing with treason. How would we have defined treason during the Semei Kakungulu times when there was no country called Uganda? Someone who sells classified information about the country’s weapons development program to a foreign nation may well be convicted of treason and appropriately described as a traitor. But we cannot and should not use the same word to describe a person used by the British to lead a successful Baganda army against the neighbouring kingdom of Bunyoro in 1894-5. Kakungulu was a military man used to extend both Buganda and British interests outside Buganda kingdom in the north and northeast. This suited both the British and Buganda very well at the time. There was no country called Uganda at the time. So what does one base on to call Kakungulu a traitor?

Up to now, I’m finding it difficult to identify a Uganda hero apart from the Ignatius Musazi and group. Yes,Kakungulu killed a lot of people while pursuing his ambitions or kingdom or British objectives, but does this make him a traitor by any standards? It is remarkable that one who obviously considers himself to be an offended patriot can call Obote a hero when he killed several Ugandans he was supposed to protect but when we cannot accord the same hero status to Kakungulu who was making use of his common sense. If all leaders who kill are bad to some people, then we should just put them in the same category. Bush is considered by one section of Americans to be a traitor and a terrorist war criminal because of the lives lost around the world under his watch. What about murderous Mugabe in Zimbabwe who has killed his own people within his territory instead of protecting them? Is he worse or better than Kakungulu? Another example is when a nationwide cross section of adults in USA was asked to name people they thought of as heroes, without reviewing a list or having any names suggested to them, the person mentioned most often was Jesus Christ. He’s followed by Martin Luther King, Colin Powell, John F. Kennedy and Mother Teresa in that order. If we are to do this in Uganda today, which names can we come up with? What do we really base on to determine African or Ugandan heroes?

So let us agree that traitors or heroes come from all walks of life and therefore Kakungulu was just a Kakungulu. Traitors can also be heroes depending on the circumstances. People who are so partisan and against good military deals or wars cannot even recognize a true hero in our midst. The Baganda and Kakungulu realised that there’s no point of fighting Mike Tyson in a ring when one was weighing just 50 kg. So they opted to work with Mike Tyson(British) to destroy their enemies at the time. This is the diplomacy some UAH authors were talking about in their messages.

Assuming we all agree with the definition of a ‘nationalist’ as one who places the nation above the individual, can we call Bunyoro’s Kabalega a ‘nationalist’ and leave Kakungulu out? I don’t think so. Kabalega was defending the existence of Bunyoro Kingdom and Kakungulu was participating in the creation of a nation called Uganda by fighting with the British and Baganda. So which one of the two is a nationalist by that definition? I think Kakungulu qualifies to be used as a as fodder for national purposes compared to Kabalega.

What about the nationalists or internationalists in the present day situation in Uganda. How would you categorise the following groups of people:

-Those presidents of Uganda or leaders who give more leverage to foreign investors compared to local investors. They treat foreign investors like ‘brides’ compared to local ones.
-Those who think that a government should be selected by its own citizens in fair and free elections but they turn around and rig the elections. When you think of rigging elections in Uganda, the following years come into our minds: 1980, 2001, 2006 and 2008 ‘Kyadondo’ elections.
-Those who think that a government should be granted unlimited powers by its own citizens. For instance, I have heard some people on radios in Uganda questioning the powers of judges who did not fight in Luwero bushes.
-Those who don’t believe that rights are inherent to being alive and not privileges to be dispensed by government.
-Those who think that it is right for one country to overthrow the lawfully-elected governments of other countries and replace them with dictatorships or Generals from their own army.
-Those who believe that it is okay for Uganda to break apart into separate countries, each with its own ethnic background, as did the former Soviet Union.

Kabalega and America’s George Washington may both be called nationalists because they both risked execution as traitors against Britain. But then again, they both just didn’t like British tyranny. Many people both in USA and Uganda didn’t like it, that didn’t mean they were nationalists. Indeed many of them would have fought against the “nation” having the amount of power over the individual states or regions or kingdoms that it now has.

The Serbian called Nikola Kavaja, who hijacked a U.S. passenger jet in 1979 with the intention of crashing it into Yugoslav Communist Party headquarters, was called a nationalist by some sections of people in Serbia. Many nationalist Serbs considered Kavaja a hero and a patriot, while others thought of him as a ruthless terrorist. Can we also say that people call Kakungulu or Kabalega a nationalist or traitor or hero depending on what they belief in.

In 1905, President Grover Cleveland pardoned Gavrilo Princip, the Polish nationalist who assassinated Austrian Empress Maria-Theresa in Stockholm in 1889, which set off World War I. Gavrilo Princip is considered a nationalist in Poland yet his actions led to the start of World War 1. What justifications do we have as Ugandans to start calling Kakungulu bad names or tittles when his actions just led to the creation of the nation called Uganda?

Therefore, the definition of “nationalism” in a political context is much more complex. But I guess anything beyond “We good, Them bad” is a little too deep for anyone to categorically state that Kakungulu or Kabalega was a nationalist. Can we really call Obote or Museveni ‘nationalists’ if we are to put the whole definition of nationalism in context? My answer is a big ‘No’.


Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba

Museveni still needs the Baganda!

M7 would not be or continue to be president without Buganda support:’Nobody should deceive you that they can be president for long in Uganda in the face of an active Buganda opposition. If the whole of Buganda starts ‘OPERATION AGAINST M7’ openly then the regime will not last, but somehow believe it or not, there is a large section of Baganda that still adore president Museveni, for some reasons. Of course, there are also those who love him because he helps their bank accounts to grow ‘fat’. President Museveni has also tried to make sure that he isolates Mengo from the population and it seems to be working (for now).

I suspect that Kiiza Besigye was forced to change tactics for the the struggle(including retiring from the FDC presidency) after realising that the large section of the population in Uganda is so ‘confused’, not to mention the endless number of NRM spies that kept surrounding him in FDC.

Baganda’s hostility towards Obote and UPC was the main reason of Museveni’s victory in 1986. They supported him because they hated Obote. Secondly, because Banyarwanda have got a weakness called ‘OKWEWANA’(boastful) and ‘ENJOGELA EMBI'(loose tongue), they created problems for Museveni in the NRA between 1986 and 1994 because other tribes, especially the Baganda and Bahima, did not like them after the war. Their promotions in the NRA started being blocked. For instance, In November 1989, Major General Fred Rwigyema was removed from his position as commander in chief and minister of Defence. By the way, I have got no problem with any tribe including the Banyarwanda!

Fred Rwigyema officially joined RANU in December 1987 at their conference in Kampala. At that conference, RANU changed its name to RPF. RPF was financially backed by a Muslim brother called Omani.

So please we should not underestimate the Baganda just because they have been flogged by the current govt one way or the other. They are still a force to be reckoned with in any future plans for the country.’

Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba

When ‘Kwanjura’ Morphs into Comedy: No Money, No Funny

Friends,
For the past few years, I have gone about my business here in the UK, hanging out with my kids, doing my ‘Kyeyo’ and reconnecting with Ugandans in different parts of the world whenever I get a chance but, for some reason; I have never bothered to involve myself in so many family ‘kwanjula’ or wedding functions. ‘Kwanjula’ is a traditional ceremony in Uganda where a couple introduces themselves to family and friends. There are a lot of drinks, food, smiling and speeches there and I have just fallen in love with it after watching a DVD of my young brother’s ‘Kwanjula’.

Rhemmie Kiggundu( auntie) with two of my sisters attending my brother's 'kwanjula'

Rhemmie Kiggundu( auntie) with two of my sisters attending my brother’s ‘kwanjula’

To be honest, I don’t know who invented this stuff but it is awesome and I’m glad it is part of our culture. The ceremony is more of a light comedy about two spokespersons (‘abogezi’ in Luganda) such that my brother’s DVD made me laugh from the beginning to the end. For instance, one spokesperson apologised to the other in Luganda: ‘nsonyiwa okulemelako nga Nambooze weyalemela ku DP’ meaning ‘forgive me for super gluing myself on to you as Nambooze super glued herself to DP’. Everyone looked smart in ‘Kanzus’ and I think it is high time we specifically gave this tender of selling ‘Kanzus’ to only Mengo to help them make some money for the kingdom.

It seems rather unfortunate that this very good comedy has not been taken to new levels up to now. Rich men and women in Uganda should gather all these so called ‘spokespersons’ to help us create a TV drama series that will keep us smiling in our homes too. How I wish I owned a TV station in Uganda because I think I could do a better job with these people.

Think of it this way–if you’ve ever watched a snippet of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show online, you know that before you watch any of it, you have to watch an ad. So the studio is making money off that–but not the writers, who don’t see a dime. When a show airs on regular television, the writers get paid. When it airs in reruns, the writers get paid a residual, which is less, but they still get paid.

We all need people with a sense of humour in our lives and I’m glad we have got them in plenty at the Ugandans At Heart (UAH) forum. See, here’s a pointer for a joke to work, it has to have a kernel of truth to it. For a barb to sting, it has to make some kind of sense. UAH’s John Nsubuga, Okurut Simon Peter and Otto Patrick are real comedians if anyone ever bothered to read their messages. John is a cartoonist too and we love him. Some of Otto’s photos are real funny but at the same time, there are supposed to indirectly bully some people in debates, but he is a funny guy. Otto can use any image in the world to defend Museveni and I like his zeal. The sad part of it is that I don’t his real names or who he is exactly since Otto is just a pseudo name.

As for the pretty girls on ‘kwanjula’ functions I have been watching on DVDs, I can only guess that it’s because liberal boys never try to make a move on them without the UN Security Council’s approval. Jesus, some of these girls look so pretty in ‘gomesi’ and ‘Hijabs’ but some of us are ‘retired Generals’ such that we can do nothing about it. In one of the DVDs I watched, I was amazed to see that they bring girls as young as 6 years, dressed in ‘gomesi’, to entertain the visitors. This I thought is a good initiative as it promotes cultures among the young ones.

Even the newspapers are comedians, can you imagine mama fina’s nude photos making headlines in newspapers and our online forums. Actually, one captain Rashid on UAH forum said that she had a ‘great body’. Phewwwwww! I didn’t know that Mama Fina was out there to break some hearts, and now I hear she has gone missing, moreover, with almost all her ‘great’ body.

While most people have been distracted by this act, Museveni has worked hard and long to grease the way for the end of corruption as he promised again this week for the 100th time to get tough on corrupt people and his ‘Amama-Kutesa’ oil buddies while, for example, “reforming” the IGG office which has been part of us since 1986. The Inspectorate of Government is mandated to fight corruption by the national Constitution of 1995 and the Inspectorate of Government Act 2002. Yes, we want our stolen money back from the traitors’ who claim openly, Uganda is not being undone by trillionaire thieves, with the help of an independent journalist owning an independent Magazine called the ‘Independent’. This journalist defended Mbabazi and Kutesa during the oil bribe scandals and this showed the height of his independence, right?

Well, the corrupt get the money in the same way Hassan Basajjabalaba conducts genuine businesses without stealing anybody. But you get the prosthetic roads (without lakes in the middle), the nightmares, and the mysterious illnesses. So if your rage needs a target, there they are, responsible for your being there, and responsible for keeping you there. I can’t tell how you can act on all this as I’m just reaching for one or two perhaps three individuals to join in making a stand for Ugandans and declare: NRM is an enemy to Humanity for not caring about the people they lead.

Also on the Museveni-bashing team is comedian Hon.Meddie Nsereko, who claimed that the NRM is dumb as “an egg-timer” and said that they don’t respect any laws they enacted themselves, but he goes ahead and allegedly uses his ‘dental machines’ to extract two teeth out of a police man. What an ‘honorable’ act to do for a legislator!

Anyway, just who the hell are we trying to convince ourselves here that we should have had a better president than Museveni yet we also don’t want to change ourselves.

If anything, Museveni is a normal human being that has a lot in common with normal Uganda business practices: ‘juju’( witchcraft), corruption, eviction, Chameleon fighting Bebe Cool, women pouring acid on fellow women, pastors poring acid on pastor Umar Mulinde, ‘ghosts’ killing Muslims clerics in Uganda and elsewhere using guns, men discarding girls as their heirs as some men promote their sons to Brigadier, e.t.c

But, overall, we thank whoever invented ‘Kwanjula’ and i believe Ugandans abroad should also do it when they go back home. It is real comedy that deserves to be moved to another level. I love it now, don’t you?

‘By all means marry. If you get a good wife, you’ll be happy. If you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher.’ – Socrates

Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba

Raphael Lemkin must be laughing at Owana’s ‘Genocide’ jokes in the Redpepper

Tony Owana

Tony Owana

Folks,
I have always respected Tony Owana, the UBC chief, but his Redpepper article:’‘INTERNET POLITICIANS’ GET SET FOR GENOCIDE’ was more of an exaggeration than anything else i can think of. Branding Ugandans At heart ( UAH) forum a genocide promoting forum was the lowest of the low for a professional journalist of his status. As a moderator of the UAH, genocide is something we don’t take lightly but Owana’s message was clearly written in bad spirit and i hope his readers dont take him seriously- because there is never gonna be a genocide in Uganda promoted or started by UAH.Nobody could really think that the UAH will ever descend to such level.An accusation of genocide is certainly not taken lightly and will almost always be controversial.

Contrary to what Owana and my friend, Lt.Otto Patrick, write about Eric Kashambuzi(UN employee) as a genocidal megalomaniac, the later has been a subject of various interesting books and articles that are admired by a lot of people. I’m surprised that the duo are not instead writing about the genocidal maniacs that have wiped out millions in Rwanda, Northern Uganda, DRC and Ethiopia.

People are openly discussing President Museveni’s sectarian policies(i.e. allocating juicy positions to certain groups of people) because they want him to correct these mistakes. Yes, sometimes the messages are presented in the way that is alarming but anyone with common sense understands what they are trying to tell us. So, instead of branding these ‘free advisers’ to the president: ‘genociders’, we should investigate their allegations and see if there is an element of truth in them. For instance, while reading Major John Kazora’s memoirs in the Daily Monitor, i came across some advise Winnie Byanyima was giving to president Museveni about Muhoozi and his irregular recruitment of people in the army. Museveni’s response was: ‘ “Iwe Karagwe-mwatandika kutiina omwereere” meaning “You Karagwa you have started fearing toddlers……..Muhoozi is not even LDU, (a member of the Local Defence Unit) – I just asked him to identify people of good character who can be absorbed in the army.”But now few years the down the line, Muhoozi is nolonger LDU and the guys he recruited are the ‘elites’ or ‘abalangira’ of the army.

Definitions of genocide

‘Genocide’ is defined as the deliberate killing of people based on their ethnicity, nationality, race, religion, or (sometimes) politics, as well as other deliberate actions leading to the physical elimination of any of the above categories. There is disagreement over whether the term genocide ought to be used for politically-motivated mass murders in general (compare “democide”). The term genocide was coined by Raphael Lemkin, a Polish Jew, in 1944, from the roots genos (Greek for family, tribe or race) and cide (Latin – occidere, to kill). In the wake of the Nazi Holocaust, Lemkin successfully campaigned for the acceptance of international laws, defining and forbidding genocide. This was achieved in 1951, with the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide was adopted by the UN General Assembly in December 1948 and came into effect in January 1951. It contains an internationally recognized definition of genocide which was incorporated into the national criminal legislation of many countries, and was also adopted by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the treaty that established the International Criminal Court (ICC). The Convention (in article 2) defines genocide as “any of the following acts committed with 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.

Much debate about genocide revolves around the proper definition of the word genocide. Opponents of government massacres often insist that the word’s usage should include such massacres, even if international law has a narrower scope. The Baganda on UAH have got all the reasons to believe that Obote and UPC did a ‘genocide’ in Buganda in late 1960s and 1980s just as the northerners also argue that Museveni did a genocide in the north, but Owana is quick to accuse the same Baganda of being ”different from their ancestors in ‘Mission Objectives’ and ‘Target Identification’, as if the Baganda have ever targeted any group for murder in the past. I know Baganda talk too much but they are not murderers. For instance, they made a lot of noise when their Kabaka was stopped from visiting Kayunga in September 2009 but at the end of the day, the more than 40 people that died during that time were killed by Owana’s ‘friends’ who are still waking freely in the country.

In nearly every case where accusations of genocide have circulated, partisans of various sides have fiercely disputed the interpretation and details of the event, often to the point of promoting wildly different versions of the facts. Owana and other NRM advocates are not complaining at the narrower definition that is exculpating the totalitarian governments that are killing the same people they are supposed to protect. Yes, there was a genocide in Rwanda and we hope it never happens in Uganda but so many factors led to the genocide in Rwanda. I don’t know why some people attribute this entirely the propaganda spread by the radio RTLM alone. During and before the genocide in Rwanda,Rwandans could listen to the more state-owned station, Radio Rwanda. The government of Rwanda was mainly responsible for the genocide as they promoted the killing of the Tutsis. If the govt had no stake in it, then this genocide would not have taken place. So how can a genocide take place in Uganda if the state does not want it to take place.

Genocide is an ongoing process, which should be constantly opposed and eradicated by elimination of the tools of injustice, oppression and genocide. If a government is oppressing its own people then it is directly promoting a future genocide.Therefore, it’s very unwise to suggest that an online forum advising the government should be banned yet it keeps pointing out the issues that are unfair toward all the other disadvantaged individuals, or groups of individuals who continue to suffer from injustice.

The first draft of the Convention included political killings but that language was removed at the insistence of the Soviet Union. I’m sure Owana, Museveni and other NRMs would have done the same if there were seated in that UN panel.The exclusion of social and political groups as targets of genocide in this legal definition has been criticized. In common usage of the word, these target groups are often included.

Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba

Stalk my blog at: http://semuwemba.com/

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Tribalism Is Not a Horror Movie. It Is A Horror Reality but Superiority Is Not really Tribal

This whole ‘national language’ issue or what I supposedly said about other languages in Uganda is being twisted by some people.But let me provide you with the last possible explanation as far as this issue is concerned.

First of all, I have never said that Baganda are superior to Langis or any other tribe but the fact of the matter is that some people are clearly much smarter than others just as some are clearly stronger. Education is good but it can never make everyone equal. It is also true that the dominant culture in Uganda is that of the Baganda because they are the majority.

For instance, most men I know find the ladies from western and central Uganda kind of more beautiful than the rest but, to have a superior mind, to have a superior body, is not to possess also a superior humanity. So, this would not make these ladies more superior than others in Uganda unless if they do something extraordinary.

This superiority has got nothing to do with the tribe but there are other factors that can probably explain it, though I don’t wanna go into all that, but such factors are the reasons why the Baganda and westerners attract more of people’s intention now than any other tribe in the country.

You see superiority is explained by a lot of things. Let me give you an example outside Uganda because it will make this a bit easier for me( as i don’t want you to drag me into some tribal contests anymore). Then you will find a way to relate it to the Uganda context without necessarily abusing me, as some of you often do. Forbes’ list of the wealthiest people includes 117 people who each inherited more than 500 million dollars. Now we know what being “superior” means. It means being lucky enough to have picked the right parents. There’s the “meritocracy” at work. We all get to run in a race against someone who has been given permission to start the race one millimetre from the finish line – now, given those odds, go out and compete, and God be with you.

The Marxist “classless” world wants everyone to be equal and ignores the fact that we shall never be equal.

Let me also address a statement I probably made and which some of you have quoted on our debates on UAH forum while attributing it to me: “Here in the UK, the only sure way you can get to know whether someone is a Ugandan is when you hear them speaking Luganda”.

The above opinion isn’t just mine; it is the opinion of just about anyone who ever tried to be part of any group in diaspora. For instance, try to speak to Ugandans that attend parties, conferences, weddings,……. in both UK and USA, they will tell you that the most common medium of communication on such events is Luganda. Forget about the speeches some people make in English but the real language of interaction during such events is Luganda, my friend. Because some of you have confessed that you don’t know how to speak Luganda, I think it becomes difficult for you to know whether people around you are speaking it or not. At the end of the day, those Ugandans around you have recognized your problem and that is why they speak with you in either English or some other language you understand (if you know any).

If they’re using a language which is syntactically different from Standard Luganda or English, then, the theory goes, the people that have met on such an occasion are mainly from the same tribe. For example, I have been on parties here in the UK that are dominated by Banyarwanda, and the main language of interaction there is Lunyarwanda. I never complain at all though i rarely dance in circles with hands swinging around, as they do.

Theorizing in that context does not mean that I undermine other tribes or their languages because I have always judged people for who they are, not what tribe they are, but it means that there is a language other than English that is more popular among Ugandans abroad and home.

One thing for sure: some of you seem to love the English language than any language in Africa which is a bit absurd. It starts, in part, from your failure to recognize that these debates are issues of national importance to pan-Africans not some ‘Malwa’ talk. You also fail to recognize that Uganda is a very special place such that we should learn to recognize our own uniqueness; not meekly fall prey to playing ethnic sock-puppet games for the rest of the tribalists!

Most of all, we for sure should stop attacking each other over an issue that makes sense to anyone who wants to see it as sensible. Honestly, why would anyone hate Luganda as a national language unless if they have got some issues against the Baganda? But the big question is: why would anyone let such small talk get in the way of the big picture. The big picture here is to find a native language that will define us as Ugandans.

Yes, i recognize that we all have differences in skin color, different shades, different tribes, and cultures but this should have no bearing on our decision to deciding a national language.

Thank you

Abbey.K.Semuwemba

Buganda nationalism is an opportunity to ‘erase’ the many tribal outfits in the country

Dear my Banyoro friends,

Are you really sure that Buruli and Bunyala are independent of Buganda kingdom because, as far as I know, the Baganda and Luganda still dominate these territories, and its likely to remain so for a long time. Please, let us not divide our country more that is already divided. There are less Banyara and Baruli in the so called territories than other tribes. So, if you want to advocate for a referendum, please go ahead and see who loses out.

I’m so astonished that the discussions that raise our emotions are mainly centred on our tribal outfits. May be, most of you are not interested in the project Uganda anymore. Why don’t we hold a referendum on that before we start fighting for territories, anyway?

My conclusion in some of your arguments is that you hate the project called Uganda. If you don’t, then you don’t see that project as sustainable, a reason why you are fighting to get Bunyoro ‘kingdom’ a big share before Uganda breaks up. Honestly, if you did not hate ‘Uganda’, you would not mind Uganda being built around the characteristics of the dominant tribe (the Baganda) and their culture because this itself minimizes the future cultural divisions in the country, thus strengthening the Uganda project.For instance, because of tribal led decisions, Obote failed to build Uganda around Buagnda between 1962-71 and 1980-85, yet he had all the means to do so. Museveni has also been a victim of the same policies such that i hear he is even compiling a Runyankole dictionary- which he intends to help publish before he leaves power, though there is already one in book stores.

Critically thinking, Buganda nationalism should not be looked at as a dangerous force that could break up the country but it should be looked at as something that could ultimately erase the many more tribal outfits in the country.People should not look at those Baganda who love their Kabaka wholeheartedly as a threat to the continued existence of Uganda. All these tribal outfits could easily be more skilfully integrated and assimilated, which will defuse tribalism in the country in the long term. Our concern as elites should be about keeping the country together but I’m surprised that most of you are driven by your personal feelings against the Baganda.

Yes, the absurdity and immorality of this strategy are obvious,e.g. other tribes will feel like they are being less empowered culturally than the Baganda, and that it is immoral to advocate for erosion of some cultures in the country, but hey, the alternatives in place will keep us fighting each other on several fronts.If Obote had followed this strategy , I’m sure Luganda will be a national language by now; we would not be fighting as much as we are doing now, e.t.c. Instead, he decided to stuff things up with his tribalism, which would have worked if the Langis and Acholis were probably the majority in Uganda, but they are not.

What some of you are advocating for is dangerous in the long term because you want to build a Uganda defined by borders within. I have been told that you are a Munyoro but you reside in Buganda peacefully, speak Luagnda fluently and I believe you have never been discriminated against by Baganda, but your messages against Baganda make a guy like me kind of fear even to buy land in Bunyoro- because I fear I will be discriminated against due to my tribe.

Lots of people have been killed because of these so called borders. For instance, the USA has killed thousands of Mexicans at the border, through shooting, beatings, death by thirst, exposure to the elements, rape by brutal border law enforcement is not uncommon. Just because Mexico is not welcoming to US immigrants doesn’t make what the USA does to people is correct. Apparently, some politicians in Washington feel that they are benefiting from Mexican immigrants such that it’s time to open up borders to them. Mexicans have shagged USA women and there is some kind of integration already going on. So, what is the purpose of continued discrimination of Mexicans? I think Obama is slowly addressing this issue with his recent public proposals to allow Mexican immigrants to legally work in the USA.

Similarly, Let’s find a way to build a Uganda without nation borders within and the best way is to do so around the dominant tribe in Uganda because it is easy that way. I’m not proposing this because I’m a Muganda but I’m looking at the big picture here. Baganda are already marrying Banyankole; northerners are marrying Basoga; everybody is marrying everybody, but we need to find a common cultural aspect to keep this integration momentum going.

So, please stop looking at Buganda nationalism as a dangerous thing but instead look at it as an opportunity to build a future border-less Uganda. You cannot do that around the minority, as simple as that, and you are not going to undo all the effects of colonialism through your so called proposals. Just think about it if you really love the Uganda project to succeed.

Nze bwendaba

Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba

BUGANDA NATIONALISM IS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR A UGANDA PROJECT???

Folks,
Multiculturalism tells us that Uganda is a collection of various cultures but with a dominant Baganda culture. Yes, there is a lot of rage against the Buganda culture or whatever it represents because of historical reasons but my appeal to people feeling like that is to find it in their hearts to forgive the past mistakes and we move on. We have a country to build and it will require the collective efforts of almost everyone.The majority of our problems at the moment are the result of not knowing what valid behavior is when you have any sort of power on this planet.

I’m not suggesting that ‘Buganda should eat up the other nation-blocs for the sake of Uganda’ but I’m suggesting that all elites in Uganda, regardless of their tribal differences, should come together and build the nation called ‘Uganda’ around the most dominant culture in Uganda. This is something already happening on its own but it may be helped if elites such as Bunyoro’s spokesperson, Mirima Henry, do look at Buganda nationalism as an opportunity to build a nation with less differences, instead of looking at it as the most dangerous thing that has ever happened to our country. The Buganda culture today, as we know it, is a stable hybrid of several cultures, and this is something that our great kings historically worked on with a lot of zeal. Bwebawambanga ekiitundu, bawambilanga ddala!!!!!

Throughout history, cultures have never coexisted without eventually mixing and destroying one another. Probably at the moment, say inter-tribal marriages are important to examine because they can be a barometer for tribal relations and cultural assimilation. I think the British foresighted this and that is why they came up with the 1962 constitution.

I’m not saying that Buganda should forcefully assimilate people into their cultures but there should be a leadership role to see that tribal differences in our country are skillfully diffused. This should be done through educating people and promoting the dominant culture and language. It’s just a theory in my head at the moment but i think it is worth investigating for those who find it interesting.

Just think about it, for more than 50 years, non-Baganda politicians and media have upheld the Buganda kingdoms’ crimes as an inescapable point of reference for them to: abolish kingdoms and federalism(1966 by Obote); tribalise the army( as was the case of Obote in 1964-71/ 80-85- when the army was dominated by both the Acholi and Langi); tribalise the public service and education ( as president Museveni has openly done), weaken the Kingdoms(as Obote did in 1964 by denying funds to Buganda kingdom or as M7 has done with numerous tricks in the book), e.t.c.

Yes, their strategies might have been intended to achieve the same results as we are after,i.e. building a strong united Uganda, but it has not worked out because they instead ended up with paternalistic tendencies towards the dominant tribe in the country. Their policies are not geared towards assimilation but to create separation.

Personally, i think separation of Ugandans, as some people propose, is more difficult to achieve and it has dire consequences compared to assimilation. The easiest way to assimilate Ugandans would be around the dominant culture in the country. So, for those who say we are going to “fight Buganda” is probably the most vaguely unattainable nation-building goal imaginable. You cannot build a Uganda without a strong Buganda culture embedded in it, as simple as that.

Bunyoro and Henry Mirima’s strategy appear appealing to non-Baganda because of their personal feelings against the Baganda, and it will probably be the one adopted by most politicians in power but it is a long shot. This fighting, for whatever reason was prophesied by Jesus in Matthew 24 as proof that we would be in the end times when these things come to pass. In Matt. 24 Jesus was answering the disciples questions in Matt. 24:3: “…………what shall be the sign of thy coming and the end of the age?” And, Jesus said that one of the signs would be…..”For nation shall rise against nation….”. The word “nation” is a Greek word “ethnois” and its where we get our word “ethnic.” Therefore, ethnic groups shall rise against other ethnic groups.

So, this is worrying for some of us who don’t want to see these things happen in our country. Whatever Jesus predicted or said, let it happen elsewhere and leave Uganda alone. But i know for sure that whatever strategies the Musevenis and Mirimas’ are coming up with, are likely to cause us problems in future.

Let me give you an example, China is comprised of more than 50 separate peoples but they have got Mandarin as their dominant language yet their history is probably worse than that of Buganda. I know Mr.Mirima has got some beef to settle with some Baganda kings but he is living in the past, and China’s emperorism history should help him get out of it. One of the Emperors of China walked around with vials of pure alcohol that he would give at whim to his own staff, which they would then have to drink instantly and which would kill them instantly. China is mostly known for its brutal Emperors, up into modern times but this has not stopped their leaders from finding ways of uniting the population behind them.

China did have a form of land-distribution for a short while, by the way: they divided the land into blocks and the blocks into 9 squares. Each family had a square and they where to tend the central square together as a tax for the Emperor. Of course that quickly became a problem because the taxation pressure was always increasing. That model never survived although it certainly is interesting. But there is a lot to learn from them and how they have got themselves out of the deep hole to where they are at the moment.

There are never gonna be nation blokes built around kingdoms in Africa. We should just forget about it and instead advocate for both federalism within Uganda, and regional blocks( e.g. the East African federation). I cannot envisage a situation where Uganda is dismantled into these small nations such that it is no more.

Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba
United Kingdom

You are a ‘Ugandan’ not ‘Bugandan’ or ‘Busogan’ or ‘Bunyoran’ by Nationality

Folks,

Yes, Buganda, Bunyoro, Toro and Ankole used to be nations but not anymore. All the kingdoms are now  part of a country called Uganda. So, one cannot officially be a Muganda or Musoga or Mutoro or Munyori by nationality. I think some of you need to join FDC soon because you may find their motto of ‘One people One Uganda’ very useful.

I love my Kabaka and everything called Buganda but there are things we have got to draw a line under if we are to find a way forward. Some of my Baganda friends may misinterpret this standing as anti-Kabaka but they are absolutely wrong. I have got no reason to appease any non-Muganda against Buganda. Kabaka Mutebi is my Kabaka and I wish he is given what he wants to help his people.

Yes, I understand why some people are finding it difficult to accept that president Museveni has done a number on Baganda . He has systematically weakened the Kingdom to the extent that our only option now is to fight for a federal system of governance despite the fact that he hates it too. Buganda kingdom has got all the mechanisms in place to embrace federalism unlike other parts of the country. If you remember, I one time wrote an article here showing that ‘Buganda is already a quasi state within a state

 
The kingdom has got all the structures in place to govern itself and I think that scares some people in the government, but this does not make Buganda a ‘state’ or ‘nation’ as some people are saying. The nations in the world are known because there are composed of permanent states. With one exception, the Vatican, the rest of the nations are formed by trans-generational communities. So, Buganda was once a nation with various tribes in it but this ceased in 1900 if my history serves me right. In 1960s, we fully became a nation called Uganda and I can’t foresee that arrangement being put in the bin soon.

Under the new world order, each person inherently belongs to a specific nation, and no-one can validly claim not to belong to any nation. So, most of the members of UAH belong to a nation called Uganda not Buganda. Our nationality is Ugandan, and that is what we fill in on our passport application forms.

Under the new world order, nations are usually not abolished, singly or collectively. No process which terminates the existence of any nation is legitimate. Nobody can abolish a nation called Uganda but people with power in Uganda can abolish any centres of power in the country, and this includes kingdoms (as Obote did in 1966).The world order of nation states shall never be terminated.

Yes, another nation may develop from an existing nation as it happened in Sudan( south and Northern Sudan) or Ethiopia and Eritrea, but there are less chances of this happening in Uganda at the moment because the Buganda kingdom has been ‘de-bugandalised’ with constant inflow and settlement of other tribes from other parts of the country. The present government has been one of the engines of this process and I cannot see this being reversed in anyway by any other government.

Conversely, all nation states claim that other groups do not possess that specific right to the territory in question. For instance, Irish nationalists believe that the ‘Irish people’ have a superior right to the island of Ireland, and that the Paraguayan people do not possess this right.  They believe that individual Irishmen and Irish women are the bearers of this collective right, and that these individuals cannot be denied the right to reside in Ireland. But the difference with Buganda/Uganda is that Ireland has no indigenous ethnic minorities. So the definition of the nation is relatively simple.

Yes, historically Buganda was such a great kingdom and I think some people are still holding on that dream. For instance, Michael Twaddle, for instance, once described the Baganda as the ‘Chinese of Africa’ because of their historical modern ways of living in a non-western world. Winston Churchill also called the Buganda kingdom ‘a fairy-tale’ because ‘the people are different from anything elsewhere to be seen in the whole of Africa’. He later called Uganda ‘the pearl of Africa’ for reasons which are not far away from Buganda kingdom. Political parties were born in Buganda out of political movements. It is widely believed that Katikilo Nsibirwa was assassinated by the Buganda political movements because he was looked at as a stooge for the colonialists. Buganda had a party which united both the tenants and landlords which was called the Bataka party. This party was founded by Baganda intellectuals and it was the first to oppose the East Africa federation. Probably, I would not have been a member because I support both the Federalism in Uganda and the East Africa Federation though the former needs to be sorted out first. The Baganda old men had manners and they never abused people in public.

Anyway,there are several problems with the interpretation of nationality by some people in Uganda, not the least of which is that Baganda , Banyoro, Basoga,……….. are not tribes, but nations.
In all my time I never really thought about my nationality till now and I don’t think many of us did, because I’ve always taken myself to be a Ugandan( not Bugandan). This does not mean that I don’t treasure our kingdom but it’s amazing how one can just assume that everyone treats certain aspects in the same way.

Now that some people are talking in terms of ‘old stone age’, I have been forced to look at the stratigraphies of the Old Stone Age to see how this is related to their argument, which usually look as follows: modern man (homo sapiens); Neanderthal man (homo sapiens neanderthalensis) and Homo erectus (invents fire and is considered the first intelligent Man). My question to them: how old is the earth? How old is Uganda? Uganda is a result of the evolution of all the kingdoms (which they prefer to call nations) and there is no going back. Evolution is a fact just as old age is a fact. Yes, England came to be called England because of a combination of several nations, and that is evolution. Uganda evolved differently and I think we have got to move on instead of blaming colonialists.

By the way, even the democracy we are following is ‘colonial’. Are we going to drop it and move back into ‘stone age’ political ideologies? When are we going to stop this victim blaming?

We already have ‘stone age’ economies; ‘stone age’ leaders in suites with a thin glaze coating of just enough cell phones(MTN, Walid,. e.t.c) in Sub-Saharan Africa, and now some of  you want us to look at our nationalities in a ‘stone age’ format. Let’s be proud of being Ugandans, at least, despite the fact that our leaders try so much to make us feel otherwise. This does not make us love our kingdoms and kings any less but it shows we have got ‘Uganda at heart’. We should put our energies in fighting for federalism for all regions in Uganda. Buganda and other kingdoms can still be great if the sons and daughters of the respective kingdoms are committed to revive them.

In Britain, the north is kind of marginalized but the Yorkshire people are so proud of their region such that the rich men there have done everything possible to close the gap between them and the south. For instance, the two guys that own ‘MORRISON’ supermarket are Yorkshires and until recently, most of their supermarkets were based in the north. London wasn’t an attraction to them till when they bought ‘Safeways’ supermarket a few years ago. There is Yorkshire tea, Yorkshire water (one can drink it from the tap without boiling it), e.t.c. Similarly, we should find a concrete plan to help kingdoms and draw a line under certain things we cannot change. May be one day, we shall be having: Buganda Tea, Buganda water, Buganda Soda, …………. if the ‘stone age ‘thinking is wiped off from our minds.

Overall, I think we need to find a way of keeping our great kingdoms within Uganda without necessarily denouncing our nationality and the best I can think of right now is fighting for federalism.

Byebyo ebyange

Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba

Kabaka’s Private life- Media -Headlines Are Meant to bury the bad headlines in the country

The only official picture released by Mengo since the birth of Prince Semakokilo

Folks,

The apology to the Kabaka by the Newvision boss, Robert Kabushenga, was a good step but they should not have followed it with publication of another picture of a woman who they claim to be the mother of prince Richard Semakokilo. It sends out a bad message to the one you are apologising to. Newvision was once again giving the ‘two fingers’ to the Mengo administration. They should have learned from that ‘Kutesa-Kabaka- land tittle’ story some years ago.

Yes, Newvision might have made millions out of this story, probably more than shs.500 Mrs Barbara Patience Kirabo is demanding from them, but they should not have rubbed salt in the wounds again by publishing another picture they aren’t sure of. Now, what if Mengo embarasses them and produces a different picture of the mother of prince Ssemakokilo? Will they apologise again or what?

Barbara Patience Kirabo, the lady whose photograph appeared in the state-owned Newspaper - The New Vision and its sister publication vernacular daily Bukedde on Wednesday as the mother of the Kabaka’s new son, Prince Richard Ssemakookiro

Newspaper columnists have the right to express whatever opinion they want, but they do not have the right to disseminate inaccuracies, distortions or fabrications and present them as facts. The way Newvision wrote their apology was like as if they have got some beef to settle with Kabaka, and i think this is what is hurting some Baganda.

I had avoided commenting on Prince Richard Semakokilo’s story ever since it was broken on the Ugandans At Heart(UAH) forum because of the mistakes that have so far been committed by both Mengo and the state. The story reminds of the day my daughter asked me if I was ‘uncle dad’ not ‘dad.

The world is laughing at us not because we have a king who cheated on his wife and never lied about it but it’s because we have made a great deal about it yet we have a lot of problems in our country. Please let’s cut the Kabaka some slack.

Yes!  Kabaka has fathered a kid out of the wedlock. So are many other rich, poor and famous Ugandans.  What I’m trying to figure out is don’t we have other issues to handle in Kampala other than Kabaka’s private life??  There are ‘snake-filled’ hospitals and corrupt government officers running rampant within the State House and all we are talking about is whether what Kabaka did was Christian or not. We should not really give a damn about where a traditional leader sticks his pecker because it’s so likely that the majority of kings in Uganda have boinked someone other than their wife while in office. This has only become media-worthy since the people in power figured out that it could take their bad headlines out of the media for a while. The Kabaka’s mistress story or whatever one wants to call it, is meant to bury the bad headlines for a while but I don’t think it’s gonna work.

Speaking of the bible and polygamy, I think, in the Old Testament, God had no problem with polygamy; the Bible does not prohibit it, and some of God’s favourite and most-beloved kings had wives by the dozens or even hundreds!  For instance, King Solomon is said to have had 700 wives and 300 concubines (1 Kings 11:3).  Also, King David is said to have had many wives and concubines (2 Samuel 5:13). In Exodus 21:10, a man can marry an infinite amount of women without any limits to how many he can marry.

Another picture produced by Newvision as the mother of the prince

With King Solomon, he loved many foreign women. For example, he married the daughter of Pharaoh, and Moabite, Ammonite, E’domite,  Sido’nian, and Hittite women. So, Kabaka Mutebi can marry in any tribe outside Buganda if he fancy doing it. It’s indeed not very pragmatic to weaken the Kabakaship over something so trivial.

Marriages in Western culture are based on monogamy and high-pair-bonding and this is something some Africans have come to appreciate. As a result, compatibility, age difference and long-term attractiveness is a matter of consideration before people get married. But I think this is not something Kabaka Mutebi had in mind when he went for the mother of Prince Richard Semakokilo.

In other words,  he went with the universal view that other things are more important than wealth, age and status, because he(Kabaka) has got all the means to marry a woman whom he does not need to hide away from the media especially after having a son with her. There are a lot of families with ‘status’ that would have been willing to offer their daughters( young or old) to the Kabaka for anything, but may be he is silently trying to redefine ‘statuses. Today’s warped view of “status” is entirely dependent on wealth but let’s face it, majority of the highest “status” men and women in Uganda are arguably criminals, and most of them are hypocrites. You bring them near you, they can destroy you. So, why would a leader who is arguably ‘enemies’ with the state wish to marry from such influential families in Uganda at the moment?

Historically, marriage was a business arrangement. The bride was a commodity, her dowry a deal sweetener.  And the groom was likely to be an unwitting pawn in an economic alliance between two families. For example, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) married his daughter to his cousin, Ali, to cement the friendship between families. Then two of his caliphs, Othman and Omar offered their daughters to him to also cement their friendship with the prophet. There was no paperwork, no possibility of divorce, and more often than not- no romance.  But there was work to be done:  procreation, the rearing of children and the enforcement of a contract that allowed for the orderly transfer of wealth and the cycle of arranged matrimony to continue.

Similarly, the birth of Prince Semakokilo should be looked at in that spectrum and we put this issue to bed. Marriage as some Ugandans know it today didn’t exist 90 years ago. I think the Kabaka is trying to balance the seesaw here (as we used to call it in my little physics at Kibuli.S.S). He could have ”married” another woman but he did not do so presumably because he did not wish to upset the church; he could have got another lady from an influential family but he decided to tap into the working class (‘commoners’) to balance things up. Buganda needed another prince and he found a way to offer it. End of story!

Now, he needs to man up and take that extra step as a social and cultural revolutionary, and tell the world the mother of his newlyborn son. He has not done anything wrong in the eyes of the law. The moment he introduced the prince to the media, more questions were definitely going to be asked, and the most important of all questions is:’’ who is the mother to the prince?’ Let Mengo come out with it and shut up the people that are making a great deal out of it. It does not matter whether the mother is of higher status or not as long as the Kabaka did whatever he did for the right reasons.The truth is that Mengo made some mistakes in the way they handled this issue, but I don’t intend to discuss their mistakes in a public forum out of respect and love for my Kabaka.

Nze bwendaba

Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba
COMMONER

Banyoro 2 sue Queen in UK Courts but Museveni Will Play Bunyoro like ‘Pepper pig’

Friends,

I don’t know whether you have already heard but according to Bunyoro Kingdom spokesperson, Henry Mirima, ‘’ Banyoro have finalized plans to sue the Queen of England, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth in UK Courts of Law for the atrocities her colonial British forces committed in the 1893-99 war against Banyoro in which Anglo-Ganda forces killed over two million Banyoro, apart from the pillage, theft of Banyoro wealth and the donation of the Seven lost counties donated to Buganda Kingdom.’’

Bunyoro is also planning to sue Buganda kingdom over so many things but most importantly: ‘’ The Banyoro have also already initiated legal action against the Uganda Attorney-General, the Buganda Kingdom, and the nearly 4000 Baganda absentee landlords who are clinging on land titles of land donated to them by the colonial Government in the 1900 Anglo-Ganda Agreement.’’ According to Mirima, ‘’ The case has been referred to the Uganda Constitutional Court for interpretation. In both cases the Banyoro are asking Court to nullfy the 1900 Anglo-Ganda Agreement which legalised the annexation of the Seven Lost Counties.’’

Bunyoro have raised these important issues at such a wrong time. At the moment, all kingdoms need each other to survive under these challenging times than digging into historical grievances that are going to allow their enemies to ultimately ban them from the constitution.

I told Mr.Mirima this a couple of years but he never listened but I’m sure president Museveni is keenly following all these developments and he is gonna play both Bunyoro and Buganda like a kid’s game called ‘pepper pig’ on TV. ‘Pepper pig’ is the most favorite kids program here in the UK and I can see president Museveni play kingdoms against each other in the same way. Bunyoro is going to be used more to weaken Buganda kingdom then the guns will turn against Bunyoro afterwards despite the oil wells discovered in their region.

Actually, Bunyoro should concentrate on fighting for its share of the oil sales/profits and leave other battles alone, at least for now. Uganda is not under federalism and we are miles away from that. I don’t know where all this excitement from Bunyoro is coming from. Is it the oil?

Up to now, I don’t know why Bunyoro keeps fighting Buganda yet historically one is a product of the other. There is a theory that Kabaka Kintu came to the Lake Nalubaale (Victoria) area with some clans, and met other clans there; and after Kintu disappeared in a forest, the Buganda kingdom was saved through the arrival of his grandson Kimera from Bunyoro.

So if Buganda and Bunyoro are the same, is Bunyoro fighting Buganda because they became more successful ‘rebels’ than their forefathers (especially between 1700 and 1880)? Bunyoro is not fighting other ‘rebels’ such as Toro that directly broke off from it yet Kabalega was reportedly obsessed with Toro. Mirima is living Kabalega’s dream of recapturing lost areas but I think it’s not going happen because times have changed. Kabarega  re-conquered Toro at some stage  but he later lost it.

Buganda’s expansion policy saw them taking over areas that used to belong to Bunyoro.  For instance, during the eighteenth century Kabaka Mawanda extended Buganda’s boundaries to the north in Bulemezi and to the west in Singo. He had also strengthened Buganda’s authority in Kyaggwe, while his exploits in the east marked the beginning of the end of Bunyoro’s influence in Busoga and the resultant loss of whatever tribute Bunyoro may have received from there. We nicked Buddu off Bunyoro during the reign of Kabaka Junju. Kooki Seceded from bunyoro and joined Buganda.

The point I’m trying to make is that we don’t need more Bunyoro Vs Buganda or Bunyoro Vs Britain wars in newspapers. Let bygones be bygones.

Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba

Why Some People feel more ‘Buganda’ than ‘Ugandan’

Folks,

We should not sentimentally and angrily discard people who still express real love for the kingdom of Buganda despite the fact that kingdoms don’t have any political powers in our constitution. There are a lot of historical reasons why some Baganda feel: ”Without Buganda, Uganda is useless to them”. Such a group of people are probably expressing the feelings of many down town in Kampala and elsewhere. So we should respect their opinions and try to bring them into a respectable debate.

Michael Twaddle, for instance, once described the Baganda as the ‘Chinese of Africa’ because of their historical modern ways of living in a non-western world. When an old Muganda man born in 1960s speaks to you, you naturally feel a sense of respect for him because men in that age bracket express themselves with certain cultural values they were born with. In contrast, our generation (mulembe) has gone to the dogs. Though I was somehow astonished when one old man supported Dr. kazibwe’s ill- cultured language recently.

Winston Churchill also called the Buganda kingdom ‘a fairy-tale’ because ‘the people are different from anything elsewhere to be seen in the whole of Africa’. He later called Uganda ‘the pearl of Africa’ for reasons which are not far away from Buganda kingdom.

The Baganda were the first people in the East Africa region to become literate, and the first to take part, with any degree of willingness and success, in the cultivation of exportable crops.

The British were so impressed with the Buganda kingdom when they came to colonize Uganda or East Africa such that when Governor Phillip Mitchell was posted to Uganda from Tanganyika, he had a lot to say.

Sir Phillip Mitchell came to Uganda as Governor in 1935. For the previous sixteen years he had served in Tanganyika and, when Secretary for Native Affairs under Sir Donald Cameron, he, with Cameron, Charles Dundas and Edward Jackson, had been one of the architects of the Tanganyika version of indirect rule. But he narrated that he found a kingdom whose organizational arrangement were not really different from Britain- such that it was very easy to exercise ‘indirect rule’ of other regions in Uganda at first point of contact. As such, Britain had a different relationship with the Buganda kingdom compared elsewhere in East Africa.

Buganda kingdom was the strongest militarily in the East Africa region, a factor which explained its rapid expansion. Baganda were naturally good fighters, not chickens as it is today. That is why I’m still surprised that after independence, both the British and Obote continued not to recruit them in the army. I think Museveni is doing the same thing going by the noises people make every day in different forums that westerners are dominating the army. Most of Buganda’s Kabakas fought wars on a regular basis. The weaker ones, among them, such as Kabaka Namugala, chose abdication rather than face a conflict they knew they could not win.

Another British officer, Michael Weight, also praised the organization of the Buganda kingdom. He was an administrative officer in Uganda at the very end of protectorate rule there, first in Lango district, then in the Buganda kingdom.

Anyway, personally I’m no longer obsessed with tribal wars among the people of Uganda.Buganda used to be a great kingdom and probably still is, but we should welcome everybody into Buagnda.  Buganda, itself, has been welcoming everybody since the colonial times. The rulers of Buganda did not preserve a tradition of ethnic exclusiveness but inter-married with all sections of the population and associated their leaders with the exercise of power.  They converted the senior lineage-head of each village, the mutaka (bataka) or “man of the land”, into a kind of subordinate chief. So I see no problem right now with Baganda who are now intermarrying with other tribes. Let them bring everybody into Buganda and teach them the Buganda norms. That’s fine with me.

Anyway, I still think it’s premature for us to spend more time and effort on kingdoms when the guys in power don’t even respect them or federalism. May be if we had a federal kind of arrangement, this would be ok. Museveni is not gonna turn Uganda into a federal state. End of!

Byebyo banange

Abbey

Ignatius Kangave Musazi and his ANC wing had nothing to do with Obote’s UPC

Ignatius Kangave Musazi

Uganda People Congress (UPC) and Uganda National Congress (UNC) are different. Just because UPC came out of the original UNC, it doesn’t make it the same. It is like saying that FDC is the same as NRM which is not true. Or it is like saying that SDP is the same as DP which is also not true, at least officially. Obote was a snake at night and a friendly cat during the day as far as politics is concerned. He was one’s friend during the day but he could ‘bite’ his friends at night whenever he saw an opportunity to promote himself. In other words, he was an animal in politics. He broke Ignatius Musaazi’s jaw as UNC later disappeared off the map of Uganda. He also later broke Kabaka Yeka(KY)’s jaws as KY also later disappeared off Uganda’s political map.

Obote at the last independence celebrations he ever attended in Uganda. Entebbe Airport 1984

 

In 1959, the UNC split into two factions.  UPC was formed in March 1960 by merging Obote’s antibuganda wing of the Uganda National Congress (UNC) with the anti-Buganda party of Uganda People’s Union (UPU). UPU was led by Cuthbert Obwango at the time of the merger. Musazi’s ANC never had anything to do with UPC.

UPC was specifically an anti-Buganda party right from its inception  and this was to remain throughout its history .It was also originally an  anti-Catholic coalition, dominated by a Protestant leadership as well as  based on Protestant associations .

All political parties have been created in Buganda including UPC but it does not make them friends of Buganda. NRM, for instance, was created in Buganda but they are not friends with Buganda anymore as it’s seeking to weaken it. DP was also formed in Buganda but they were not friends of Buganda in 1960s though things have changed a little bit recently. The rest of the current political parties have all been formed and launched in Buganda but it means nothing, brother.

Anyway, the politics of Uganda at independence, like now, was unabashedly sectarian: DP was mainly for Catholics, UPC mainly for Protestants outside Buganda, and KY for Protestants in Buganda. That’s why it was easy for UPC and KY to form that short lived alliance.

DP, on the other hand, under Ben Kiwanuka was looked at as enemies of KY as Uganda’s ARGUS reported a demonstration that was held on Sunday, 10 June 1961, against Kiwanuka’s DP. Kiwanuka was a catholic who had opposed the protestant establishment (Buganda kingdom).

NRM’s 10-point Program was supposed to address the religious and tribal imbalances in the country especially when they quoted the religious sectarianism and the ‘ unprincipled struggle for jobs’ in Ankole in their 10 point program, but things have been more or less remained the same since Museveni came to power.  If they were different, we would not be mourning over westerners dominating everything in public service right now.

So, the same game continues: the Muslims in Uganda continue to be marginalized. So are other tribes at the expense of those tribes in power. The ‘cowards’ like us are working from abroad because we could not fit in Uganda’s ‘survival’ game. We feel more secure abroad than in our country of origin.

Byebyo banange

 Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba

Who are the Nubians in Uganda? Where did they come from?

Nubians started as a colonial army in Uganda recruited in the upper Nile region(South Sudan) by Emin Pasha before they were integrated into the civilian communities in Uganda.This happened way before the Mahdist rebellion in 1882.But they later qualified as a tribe since they developed a culture,language and religion. All the original Nubians were Muslims. The Nubian language is a variant of the Arabic.OLUNUBI spoken by the Banubi in Uganda as a language is some kind of modified Arabic and all the original speakers served under Gordon, Samuel Baker and Emin Pasha.The numerals are in Arabic.

Islam was used as a determinant to recruit the tribes in the Nile region which some scholars came to call Nubinisation. Emin Pasha Himself later converted to Islam while recruiting Nubians in Sudan.The original Nubians used to be called Sudanese the moment they crossed to Uganda and were  integrated into the Uganda society as like any other immigrants. They were called ‘SUDANESE’ at that time when they entered into all sorts of agreements with Lugard.

They came as mercenaries to Uganda to fight alongside the British.Captain Fredric Lugard hired or used the Nubians in 1891 to bring the whole of Uganda under British control. They were specifically used by the British to fight the Banyoro who had resisted the British rule. Majority of them eventually settled in Buganda where they were already military barracks particularly in Bombo(Buganda) and some later integrated into the East African army called King’s African Rifles in 1901. They contributed a lot to the First World War.The first Kenyan police was composed of mostly Nubians.

Eventually, land was given to them in Bombo under the Buganda Land Law of 1908.Other Numbians were settled in different parts of the country especially the north. Those who settled in Bombo became land owners under the Buganda government.They accepted to be intergrated into the Buganda system and pay allegiance to the Kabaka of Buganda. A Nubian exheadman was appointed a Gombolora chief and they had to pay tax to the Buganda government.

In 1893 when the Baganda Muslims were dissatisfied with the British, the Sudanese or Nubians supported the former (Muslims) out of Muslim brotherhood. But the British acted swiftly to break this alliance by disarming all the Sudanese in Buganda and also deported their leader back to Sudan.

Nubians initially did not want to be part of Buganda. They wanted to be independent of Buganda yet Bombo where the majority were staying had become part of Buganda’s crown land. For instance, at one time 50 Nubians refused to pay tax to the king of Buganda and as a result 4 of their leaders were arrested. The fact was that the Nubians did not want to go back to Sudan but at the same time they wanted to be independent of Buganda. But In the end, they accepted to be part of Buganda

On that background, a Muganda who converts to Islam is not a ‘Nubian’ though Muslim Baganda lived a ‘ love – hate ’ relationship with the Banubi before the Nubian question was settled by the British. To be honest, I’m still not sure whether to call Banubi a tribe on its own because these were a mixture of different tribes. It’s like calling the BASWAHILLI or BAKYOTALA a tribe on its own. Both these groups are identified with Islam. Most of the Kakwas and Luguburas in northern Uganda who converted to Islam also came to called the Nubians. Some Nyoros were also ”Nubinised” after the Nubians helped the British to defeat the Banyoro. I think this is how some Banyoro became Muslims. As for former president, late Iddil Amin and Kakwas, they are found in both Sudan and Uganda.

Up to now I don’t know why the British colonialists settled on calling the Sudanese who migrated to Uganda, under the watchful eye of captain Lugard- Nubians, because the whole term meant a mixture of different tribes that went through a certain procedure to become abanubi as I explained earlier on. Again, how can we compare the Nubians in Uganda with the true Nubians of Upper Egypt, northern Sudan and the people residing in Nuba Hills in Sudan.

The original Nubians and their true ancestors may all be dead. What we have got now in Uganda is ‘diluted Banubi’ following the Nubian culture, religion (Islam) and dress.

I think the true or ‘concentrated’ Nubians lived in the north of Khartoum, up to the border with Egypt. While Nubian males here spoke Nubian languages at home, they tended to have a strong command of Arabic since they came from communities in which economically motivated migration to Egypt, and later to Khartoum and other Sudanese towns. Most of the tribes in northern Sudan(Darfurians, Nubians, Beja and Beni Amer) are all Muslims: the majority of Nuba are Muslims though their predecessors were Christians. The last Christian king of Nubia came to the throne early in the fourteenth century and was succeeded by a series of Moslem puppet kings imposed by the Mamluk Sultans of Egypt. They (Christian Nubians) used to put black crosses on their foreheads. Nubian king Silko was the first Christian king.

Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba

http://ugandansatheart.org/
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The Traditional Leaders Bill(2010) is one of the Bad Laws I have ever seen in my life

Dear readers,

The Cultural leaders Bill (2010) is not just annoying but it is likely to breed more than chaos in our country if passed by the parliament. The bill is a disastrous draconian law that has little direct connection with keeping cultural leaders on the leash other than shutting their mouths indefinitely on national causes or issues, as if they are half citizens of Uganda. Uganda Lawmakers are preparing to vote on a bill that would eventually outlaw nearly all traditional institutions in the country, a measure that could become the most sweeping ban in Uganda history.

The bill’s definitions of “partisan politics” are laughable to say the least. I was mostly concerned with the following definitions: (c)” recommending a particular person to the public with a view to promoting that person politically”; (e)” making statements against Government policies or programmes”; and (f)” making statements or comments on Bills or motions under consideration by Parliament with a view to influencing their outcome”. This is simply called interfering with the “freedom of speech,” of traditional leaders not ‘partisan politics.’ In any democracy, even people with traditional or cultural roles can’t be prevented from having an opinion — a.k.a. “freedom of speech.” They may not, however, campaign for, or endorse, specific candidates because that would be “partisan politics.”

The very term “partisan politics” refers to supporting one party over another, or one particular candidate, which Mengo or any other kingdom never openly does. Yes,Ssubi was formed by former Katikiro of Buganda after he resigned from all his duties at the kingdom.In any case, Ssubi would not have been formed if the demands by the Mengo admnistration had been met by the central government. Buganda kingdom particularly does, however, engage in what it considers to be efforts in favor of moral issues.The president may disagree with the Kabaka( Buganda kingdom), but he has to admit that opposing bad policies or leadership on moral grounds is clearly within the purview of any cultural leader, not just the Kabaka. If the truth is more important than partisan politics, I’m sure president Museveni who is the architect of this bill, will take the time to learn. If partisan politics are more important, then he is just wasting my time and yours.

Kabaka Mutebi

Part 2 of clause 7 of the bill is another annoying one as it says: ”The Government may in accordance with a court order withdraw its recognition of a traditional or cultural leader where the traditional or cultural leader:(a) acts in contravention of the Constitution or this Act; or (b) abdicates the institution of a traditional or cultural leader”. This article just confirms all the fears people have always had that president Museveni is planning to ‘abolish’ kingdoms in the country. This means that if this bill is passed and mengo goes ahead and starts opposing some other ‘funny’ bills, as it did with the land bills, then Kabaka may end up served with a notice to say good bye to his kingdom.

Clause 9(2) says:’’ Where there is more than one traditional or cultural leader in the area of a regional government the position of the titular head of the regional government shall be held by each of the traditional or cultural leaders within the area of the regional government in rotation for one year at a time.’’ This was intended to make the chiefdoms created in Buganda under Museveni very happy. It simply means that Ssabaruli or Ssabanyala can easily take over at Mengo and, by law; Baganda will just have to accept it. I will not be surprised if these chiefdoms embrace this bill with two hands because their survival solely depends on the government in power. It should not be forgotten that Uganda had only four recognised kingdoms at independence in 1962.

Concerning the conduct of cultural leaders with foreign governments, article 15 of the bill says:’’(1) A traditional or cultural leader shall not deal with foreign governments except with the approval of the minister responsible for foreign affairs; and (2) The minister responsible for foreign affairs shall develop guidelines for approval to be granted under subsection (1).’’ This means that the Kabaka has to seek permission before he hosts any foreign leader as he did sometime last year when he received a delegation from Swaziland, the US ambassador at Kireka palace, and the Libyans when Gadaffi visited Uganda.

Clause 17 says:’ The ministry responsible for culture shall once in every calendar year cause to be published in the Gazette a List of all traditional or cultural leaders in Uganda whom Government facilitates.’’ This in effect means that the government intends to create more traditional leaders as it has been doing ever since Kabaka and president Museveni fell out, and any of the cultural leaders who falls out with the government will not be listed in the annual gazette( which I suspect will be the Newvision newspaper). In other words, becoming a traditional leader is going to become more like winning a prize or trophy of some sort, as in like football or other sports. It is also one way of blackmailing traditional leaders to support whatever the government wants.

Clause 18 is meant to cut off the likes of Beti Nambooze, Medard Segona and Mpunga from the Kabaka completely. Nambooze was the chairperson of the Buganda civic Educational Committee, an organization mandated by Mengo to teach people the ills in the 2007 land bill which was later passed by the government. Namboze and the two Mengo ministers ended up being arrested and later charged in courts of law. But with this bill, it means the Kabaka is ‘’ personally liable for criminal offences committed by the traditional or cultural leader or the agents or persons in the employment or acting under the authority of the traditional or cultural leader’’. In otherwords, the government is trying to cut off Kabaka or other cultural leaders from their loyal subjects. The bill is practically dumping them in a social ‘prison’. It also means that we are likely to see the Kabaka arrested or in a dock or jail at some point if he breaks any of the contents in this bill.

The ancient Greeks maintained that “a bad law is no law.”They did not expect people with common sense to take bad laws seriously. Yet, as a nation, we are so regimented that we are willing to use guns, parliament, jails, prisons and all manner of violence to enforce bad laws on otherwise law abiding citizens, as the traditional leaders in our country. I therefore request Uganda law makers to throw this bill in the bin because it is simply a bad law. It does not belong with us at all.

Byebyo ebyange

Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba

We all contributed to the Reopening of CBS fm

Dear people,

I think there is no need for Suubi/IPC to revisit the CBS issue in their memorandum of understanding. It should just be ticked as one of the issues already achieved earlier than expected and then fight for others. CBS has been a yearly struggle of all of us, and by us, I mean members of Ugandans at heart (UAH) forum. We have been running a yearly campaign to keep the CBS issue burning in the ears of our leaders and the media. We have been using UAH as a medium of communication for Buganda issues, something which probably would have been done by CBS if it was on air. So the credit goes to everyone who has been helping out in one way or the other.

I read in the Observer of 25/10/10 and it seemed to have given more credit to Mrs.Ameria Kyambadde in this struggle than anybody else. But they were wrong because Suubi, IPC, Besigye, Ugandans at heart forum, media organizations nationally and internationally, online radios and other pressure groups, have all been fighting for CBS fm, and they should be recognized.

Nevertheless, whatever the tales, Museveni’s relationship with Buganda will never be the same. Baganda will never trust him! Reopening CBS is more like a man who organizes a holiday to Spain to salvage his marriage but when all the signs on the wall show that the marriage is finished. So let’s enjoy the ‘’CBS holiday’’ but I think the divorce papers are still on their way, and somebody will have to sign them. The marriage is FINITO

As for DP and their wars with Suubi, I think it’s a bit unfortunate because they (DP) have got bigger problems than just Ssubi. Beti Kamya’s UFA has almost got the same aspirations in Buganda as Ssubi and they are seriously eating into DP support in Buganda and elsewhere in the country. For instance, some of the DP supporters who were previously loyal to Kampala Mayor, Nasser Sebagala, have now crossed to either UFA or Suubi/IPC according to newspapers. Lukyamuzi’s CP should also be in position to finish DP off in Buganda if they expand their horizon other than keeping themselves in cities.

In the north, DP may make some gains because of the little profile of their leader in Gulu but then again we expect UPC and FDC to remain the tigers of this region. NRM is also making inroads slowly with the help of their ‘brown envelopes’ policy.

So basically, the 2011 elections may determine if DP should be admitted in intensive care unit or not. May personal feeling is that unless they get the help of the ‘remote control’, they will come out of this election a bit weaker than even last time in 2006. Mao is not the kind of leader who is ready to roll up his sleeves and put his hands in the dusty part of politics on streets. He prefers to remain in a coat, tie and shirt despite the hot weather in Kampala, and then just preferably appear on rallies and conferences. I have not see him leading any demonstration of anything though I must admit his ‘’magishu’’ dances on YouTube have been outstanding so far.

Finally, I was amazed to see a photo of Besigye’s house in Rukungili in both the Newvision and Bukedde newspapers. So I wondered whether this election is about people’s houses rather than issues. Just for the sake of argument, Besigye has never stolen anybody’s money and if he had anything wrong while in government, the Museveni government would have been the first to expose it and he would probably be in prison. Actually, Besigye has made more of his money after leaving the government. He is simply a hardworking man. He said this himself in his memoirs with the Monitor newspaper ages ago that he intended to be an Accountant/ business man rather than a doctor or politician. And as you know, there is no better way of making money than being self employed.By the way, why do people always want poor people to lead them? How much have we benefitted from getting poor leaders into state house?

We should accept that Besigye is not in politics to ‘eat’ or benefit himself. He can survive without leading FDC or IPC or opposing Museveni. Actually, he probably would have benefited more if he had chosen to remain in NRM instead of being in opposition. He is an average rich man belonging to the middle class of Kampala. In other words, what he has achieved wealthy wise can easily be achieved by any hard working man or woman in Uganda at his age. Those who exaggerate his wealth have got other intentions which we already know. So shame on Newvision and Bukedde for running headlines intended to portray a certain image of the best opposition candidate Uganda has ever had. Let their cameras got to the north and take pictures of Otunu and Mao’s houses too if they want to turn this campaign into ‘who has got the best house’.

Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba

Note:The song below is dedicated to president Museveni’s new friends, possibly the Banyoro, after falling out with Buganda:


Dr.Gilbert Bukenya Was Simply Shown a Copy of the Animal Farm

Dear readers,

Following the end of the NRM primaries, I would like to congratulate president Museveni as one of the brilliant political brains Uganda has ever produced because he managed to get rid of one his future opponents in his vice president, Bukenya Gilbert, without firing any bullet or anything like imprisonment. President Museveni has ended Bukenya’s political ambitions in the most extra ordinary way possible which may not bruise him (the president) that much and I’m still shaking my head over it. What a genius!

Gilbert Bukenya

There is no way the current Secretary General of NRM, Amama Mbabazi, could have beaten Dr. Gilbert Bukenya in any fair and free election unless if there was some underplay somewhere. Obviously, I’m basing this on Mbabazi’s previous abysmal performance as the Secretary General of the party. However, I remember watching a YouTube video where Mbabazi laughed off Bukenya’s challenge in simple words, and some of us called him arrogant, but maybe he knew something we didn’t know. Actually, the Observer newspaper went with a big headline about Mbabazi Vs Bukenya for the Secretary General, and it was all arrogance throughout.

I therefore made a prediction sometime this year that Bukenya was going to win the post of Secretary General but I had underestimated the powers of the ‘remote control’ in this process. I apologize to the Vice president, Bukenya, if he got a snooze about it and also got excited about the whole thing. The way I see things now is totally different after the NRM primaries and I would never rule out Amama Mbabazi or anybody from becoming my president in the post Museveni era.

Now, let’s face reality: If Bukenya was told not to stand against Mbabazi before the delegates’ conference but he insisted and lost, what does that say about NRM? It means that there is a ‘remote control’ – controlling everything in NRM, and this time the button ‘BG'(Bukenya Gilbert) was not pressed. Somebody decided that this is the best way to dump him, and to be honest, I think he is gone after this.

Bukenya’s Life after NRM primaries

This is my simple prediction as far as post Namboole-Bukenya is concerned: He is going to accept the results and move on, just like Honorable Ssekikubo(Lwamiyaga) did. He will accept the advice from the Animal farm: ” All men are equal but some men are more equal than others’. Probably he may be consoled with some simple post somewhere if he does not wreck the boat or make too much noise but we should accept that Bukenya’s political ambitions are over. If he is maintained as the vice president, it will be because he is a catholic and there wasn’t a single catholic elected in the top five powerful NRM positions. Honorable Kaddunabi Lubega (Butambala) and honorable Sempijja (Masaka) were also among those ones that were humbled using the NRM ‘’Super’’ Electoral Commission and now I think they have leant their lessons. Sometimes I wonder what is going in these guys’ minds!

If anybody wants to enter that parliament, they better run to state house and get endorsed by president Museveni. I think his hands are everywhere and my hats off to him. You become stubborn, he will always find a way to humble you which my Rwanda friend I hosted for Iddil Fitri called ‘MUSEVENI’S DIPLOMACY’ which he wants president Kagame to borrow as far as his enemies, the Nyamwasas, are concerned. The same diplomatic skills have worked on the Kampala Mayor, Alhajji Nasser Ssebagala, and now he is singing ‘long live Museveni’.

Amama Mbabazi,NRM Sec Gen


Baganda in the NRM

It’s also wrong for some people to blame all this jiggery and thuggery we witnessed in the NRM primaries on Baganda delegates who did not support Bukenya.  Baganda in the NRM are not as powerful as some people think. They control nothing and if you control nothing, you cannot control an election. NRM have got their way of doing things which has got nothing to do with any particular tribe. Somebody is controlling everything on a remote control and I think this is the time to think twice about the whole 2011 election thing because the opposition may be wasting their time.

Bukenya did not lose because of what he uttered about Buganda riots and CBS last year. There are those Baganda in NRM that didn’t approve the closure of CBS and condemned the riots but the ‘remote control’ again did not want them on the scene, and so they are gone. For instance, Brother Hajji Kadunabi was shown the one way ticket out of Butambala, and also got disqualified to stand against Alhajji Moses Kigongo for the post of vice president. In simple terms, he was also shown the copy of the ‘Animal Farm’?

If a man controls the system in Africa, then he controls the elections. If you control nothing, you cannot determine the outcome of an election in most developing countries. As things stand, Ugandans should be prepared for anybody to become their president starting with 2011 elections. As for me, I will be watching a film entitled ‘Remote Control’ while eating popcorns with a cup of tea in next year’s elections.

Byebyo ebyange

Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba

United Kingdom

Inter-state economic disparities stand in the way for common market

Inter-state economic disparities stand in the way for common market

Tuesday, 18 May 2010 06:56 By Abbey K.Semuwemba

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There are numerous coalitions, organisations and federations that have been formed regionally and worldwide. Some have worked and others have failed. The difference with the East Africa Federation is that some states are going through serious economic and political reformation particularly Rwanda and Kenya. Uganda appears still politically immature, but is that enough reason not to promote this federation? I don’t think so. An East African Federation is good. Uganda’s problems may never be removed by Ugandans alone. We need a partner to help us fight these impediments.

Having said that, I also support a Uganda federation within an East African federation. This will be a bonus if we achieve the Uganda federation first before the East African federation. Buganda and some parts of Uganda are rightly asking for federalism within Uganda. Like Dr Kizza  Besigye explained one time on radio, federalism was demanded by majority of Ugandans and therefore it’s not a Buganda issue alone.

The most important question is, have we learnt any lessons from the East African Community collapse in the 1970s? The East African Community collapsed mainly because of the economics involved. If the current architects can create good economic policies, the East African federation will be a rock for all the member states. Therefore, we need to look at why the East African Common Market or the Community collapsed in and whether those mistakes have been corrected. Otherwise we might be pursuing a futile project.

First, the common market was founded in 1917 and collapsed in 1977. This idea was started by the British colonial government to serve her economic interests and those of the British settlers in Kenya. The aim was to create a free and integrated market, sheltered by selective high tariff walls to simultaneously encourage Kenyan settler- businessmen and expand market for foreign exports into East Africa.

This meant that the gains from the Customs Union were either not reaped or the distribution between partner states was not ‘equitable’. When Uganda, Kenya and Tanganyika got independence, the distribution issue caused instability and led to the collapse of the common market. Will Kenya not again be the top beneficiary at the expense of other partner states?

Secondly, the federation is going ahead without assessment the industrial strengths of the partner states, yet this was a major factor in the collapse of the first East African Community.

Kenya, like before, has an advanced manufacturing and service sector. This industrial imbalance indicates lack of equity in the distribution of integration benefits. These mistakes were neither corrected by the ‘Raisman Commission’ in 1960 nor by the Kampala/Mbale Agreement in 1964/5. The latter was never implemented because the Kenya parliament refused to ratify it and the proposed committee of industrial experts was never set up.

After the failure of the Kampala Agreement, the cooperation became so shaky that the Philip Commission was appointed to save the common market. This culminated in the treaty that established an East African Community consisting of a common market and a wide range of common services. Again in this treaty, most activities had their headquarters in Kenya. Have we taken note of this? Is Kenya going to continue playing the role of the ‘boss’ as it was before?

Let’s take an example of the East Africa Development Bank, established with the aim of promoting balanced industrial development. A differential investment formula was proposed. It was then enjoined on the bank so that it should have loaned, guaranteed or invested over the consecutive five years slightly more than 38 percent of its funds to Uganda and Tanzania and the remaining 22 percent or so to Kenya. This failed for some reasons. Have they corrected them?

However, I’m happy that the architects of the East African Federation are rectifying some of the mistakes that led to the collapse of the first federation on July 1, 1977. For instance, having a single currency among member states by 2012 is a step in the right direction. It will somehow lead to balanced development among member states assuming other factors remain constant. The last monetary policy developed by the 1967 East African Community that involved unified exchange rates led to a situation where the Ugandans and Tanzanians preferred to keep their money in Kenyan currency because Kenya had more industrial goods for consumption. This made the Kenyan shilling a stronger currency, which sparked the creation of a black market. The Kenyan currency continued growing stronger while those of Uganda and Tanzania were becoming weaker. This eventually affected the working of the East African Community cooperation by creating the problem of ‘inter-territorial transfer of funds.’ The policy also led to a decline in reserve positions of both Uganda and Tanzania because of currency flights from these two countries, thus exasperating the need for further exchange controls.

Chapter VII, article 24 of the 1967 Treaty for East African Cooperation, provided for exchange rate harmonisation among the three partner states. Harmonised exchange rate means “the relative per values of the currencies of the member states of the common market remain irrevocably fixed while their absolute par values when changed would change in the same proportion.” The three currencies were to be exchanged without restriction at the IMF parity of shilling 1U = sh1K = sh1T. The rate of inflation was assumed to be equal since the absence of equal rates of inflation would automatically mean that a unified exchange rate situation no longer stood. The three currencies for purposes of parities vis a vis the outside were tied at different times to foreign currencies (British pound, US dollar) and to the IMF special drawing rights.

Considering that the three countries had different economic problems and strategies for solving those problems, the policy of exchange rate unification presents real problems in theory as it did in practice in the past. For example, On February 7, 1967, Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere issued a statement of party principles called the Arusha Declaration which called for nationalisation of banks and large enterprises in agriculture, manufacturing, construction and commerce. In May, 1970, Uganda also announced a leftist policy at Nakivubo. These two policies created uncertainty and hurt business confidence in these countries. Both countries imposed exchange control policies to prevent capital flight. This situation created differences in the three currencies and the policy of unified exchange rates collapsed and contributed to the ultimate fiasco of the East African Community.

Abbey is a Ugandan living in the UK

http://www.independent.co.ug/index.php/column/comment/70-comment/2933-inter-state-economic-disparities-stand-in-the-way-for-common-market

Beti Kamya and President Museveni cannot be trusted on federalism

Dear Sir or Madam:

Politics is a ‘don’t trust me’ ball game and Honourable Beti Kamya decided to play this game by hijacking something called federalism to further her career in politics, without giving a damn to a lot of people that treasure federalism alot. If she does succeed, we will be happy. If she fails, she will probably jump on to something else to further her career. Please nobody should deceive you that there are no people in FDC, DP,SDP or CP fighting for federalism in Uganda as federalism is part of all these party’s manifestos. I don’t know about UPC but I’m sure there are people doing it in other parties and have probably been doing it for ages. For instance, Owekitibwa Joyce Sebugwawo has been fighting for Buganda as far as I can remember and nobody should compare her to Beti Kamya in this battle. Sebugwawo probably would have won the Lubaga chairman elections in 2009 against Sematimba Peter if DP and FDC had sat on the same table and kept their differences wrapped in a magic cloth somewhere. Sebugwawo has been a rock for Buganda for ages. Beti Kamya is just a new comer and we all know why she is jumped on the federo band wagon and Buganda causes. If Kamya was that much interested in fighting particularly for federalism, why didn’t she join CP which has been doing it since 1980s?

In Mexico, there was a man called Francisco Madero who preached federalism and every one knew that he believed in it. He continued to preach federalism even after becoming a president. He was one of the few Mexican presidents to preach federalism seriously though he was murdered in 1913 before he could achieve his goal of returning “political personality” to local government. He was not like some people who preached federalism and Ebyaffe in the bushes of Luwero to further their political career, and after becoming presidents; everything just went out of the window. That’s why I personally don’t trust people who hijack serious causes because they have fallen out with their political parties.

As far as I know, FDC is not against federalism and there are people in that party fighting for it.It was part of their manifesto in 2006 as it’s going to be in 2011 elections. Who could possibly be against a broader distribution of power, decision-making capacity, and economic resources—at present so centralized in the NRM regime or Museveni’s state house?

It’s the NRMO leader, president Museveni, who is against federalism when one follows what he has been writing or saying about Buganda and federalism in the media. In any case, can the division of power implicit in federalism be implemented by an NRMO government that has acquired and so long kept its power under shady circumstances involving fraudulent elections in 2001 and 2006?

So Ugandans, trust me when I say that federalism in Uganda is still a long way particularly if President Museveni and NRMO continue to lead us because you can’t achieve it when a large number of politicians aren’t into it. There are signs that Ugandan politicians are not even aware of the need to consider what the role of federalism will be in the present situation. Everyone is just on political survival: ”how do I safe guard my constituency”. That’s why there are even designing draconian bills like the duo citizenship bill that stop guys like us from returning home and compete for specific offices, basically because we have got citizenships of another country. These guys in power now are first class cowards.

 In Mexico, because the government in power was preaching and believing in federalism, it invested a lot in making the population and politicians to understand what federalism was all about. For instance, the Federal Chamber of Deputies in Mexico City actually sponsored a course on federalism for its members organized by the National Institute of Public Administration. The classes attracted more than 100 deputies and government officials and included comparative study of the federalist systems of Mexico, the United States, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, and Venezuela. The 2-month seminar ended with the conferring of diplomas in federalism.

Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba

Mao is the Best Gift the Opposition has ever given to Museveni’s political Career

Dear readers,

I’m one of those who rarely opens my mouth against anything I know that has been baked in Mengo because I believe ‘EBYOMUNJU TEBITOTOLWA’( in house matters should be resolved in-house’. Suubi is without a doubt a product of mengo and it’s Kabaka’s hidden stick.

Several people have been openly fighting Katikiro Walusimbi’s administration because they believe he has done nothing for Buganda and that he is working for the Museveni government, but I have been one of those who have been calming the waters down because I believe that if people start fearing that post(Katikirorism), we will end up with no kingdom at all as it happened in 1966.

Courtesy of John Nsubuga (member of UAH forum)

In 1964, S. Semakula, a member from the Saza (county) of Mawokota, was one of those hell bent on squeezing out Katikiro kintu , not knowing that he was slowly squeezing out the Buganda kingdom. Semakula kept on banging his chest about the same things some of you are doing so now in regard to the current Katikiro, Suubi and IPC, and Obote was just enjoying the movie being played in front of him waiting for his moment. Take it from me when i say that president Museveni is also just waiting for his moment as long as Baganda keep fighting each other.

The problems Kintu was facing then(in 1964) are the same problems Katikiro Walusimbi is facing now: Buganda’s worsening financial and political relations with the central government; the growing stagnation of the Ganda economy; the inefficiency of the Ganda administrative system. The first problem was majorly created by Obote who was hell bent on starving Mengo and Kabaka of funds, just as President Museveni is doing the same.

Unlike KY, Suubi has been formed after the current president of Uganda had shown his true intentions towards Buganda. KY was primarily formed to fight Ben Kiwanuka’s DP not Obote. The problems Buganda is facing now were not such a big deal at the time when KY was formed. These problems are affecting everybody in Buganda including those in DP-Mao who have made it their mission to fight Suubi and IPC in Buganda for selfish reasons. Surprisingly, they are not afraid to turn around and tell Ugandans that DP-Mao is Buganda’ s best ally which is a total lie. Which kind of ally is this who thinks that the only way Buganda can achieve its objectives is by having a divided opposition in the region?

The truth is that Mao was the best gift DP has ever given to president Museveni’s political career. We were hoping that the opposition will be united in 2011 such that president Museveni is beaten hands down in elections, and then we leave him to force himself on us, but Mao made sure that he spoils the party. So our champagne bottles have gone back to the freezers till 2016, if we are still alive by then.

The Baganda fighting Suubi now are not different from the same Baganda who were fighting KY and Katikiro Kintu in 1964. Coincidentally, the Ben Kiwanuka supporters in Buganda continued to oppose KY and Kintu’s administration till when KY buried itself some years later.  Surprisingly, some of the KY members also started fighting Katikiro Kintu yet he had openly endorsed them. So let’s hope that the current Katikro, Walusimbi, will not openly be seen fighting or supporting Suubi anymore than it is necessary, because they could both go down together if the situation is not handled properly.

So I call upon members of Suubi to stick to their objectives and aims whatever thorns are put in front of them by some DP and NRM members. Let them emulate men such as: Antoni Tamale, (a member KY and of the Ndaiga investigation committee and a Lukiko member since 1962 and secretary of the Lukiko Elected Members Organisation (LEMO)), and Hajji Busungu, who did everything possible to keep KY intact, only to be betrayed by a few people. As people in Kampala say: ‘BALEMELE KUNSONGA’. Let Suubi work with IPC and Besigye whatever DP throws at them.

If we are to go by what has been quoted by some DP members as their party’s contribution to Mengo, then i think we are in trouble, because president Museveni and NRM have done a lot for Mengo in that respect than all political parties combined. The government contributed a lot of money to Kabaka’s Mutebi’s coronation and his wedding to Nabagereka Sylivia lateron but in what spirit did they do these things. The truth is that there is nothing that much DP has ever done for Mengo. Ben Kiwanuka was once a friend of Sir Edward Mutesa as president Museveni was once a close ally of Kabaka Mutebi.

It will be interesting to see both Mao and Museveni in 2011 de-campaigning  Honourable Beti Nambooze in Mukono north elections while Besigye, Otunu, IPC and Suubi campaigning for her. I think we have started getting the picture of how things are gonna be: Mao & Museveni Vs IPC and Suubi. Obviously, newsmen are gonna have a field day in the coming elections.I can only compare this to a Liverpool manager supporting Manchester United for a tittle! I’m sure if a manager does that at Liverpool, the fans will call for his sack straightaway, but surprisingly Mao can get away with it and i wonder why.

Byebyo banange

ABBEY

Those Fighting Suubi and IPC are the most selfish of Ugandans!

Dear readers,

I’m for Uganda but not for really ‘so many political parties’. In other words, I’m not ‘married’ to any ‘bogus’ political party or organisation. By ‘bogus’ I mean any political party that does not really fight for Ugandans but its leaders. It’s the very reason why NRM are no longer for me because they are just fighting for president Museveni to remain in power regardless. Groups such as Kiboko squard and Kalangala are basically there to make sure that the status quo in the country never changes.Anybody who tries to change it in NRM, he is immediately whipped back in line and If one continues being stubborn then one faces the ‘Besigye’ disciplinary measures.

Nevertheless, I get so astonished when we spend a lot of our energy and efforts on the survival of certain political parties rather than the interests of our country. For instance, all those fighting ‘Suubi’ and IPC are doing so because they want DP to continue to survive in Buganda. They don’t want another bull in the kraal. Mao is fighting all other opposition parties basically for his survival and nothing else!

Cartoon by John Nsubuga (member of UAH forum)

Some Mao supporters are trying to make a meal out of what was said by both Cardinal Wamara and ex-Katikilo Muliika in regards to Suubi and IPC, but the context of their words is no different from what was officially said by the Katikiro of Buganda. In other words, these two guys aren’t doing anything to burry Suubi but they are trying to keep the Kabaka away from politics which i think is good and bad. Good, because it will not bring him further problems with the central govt, and I suspect somebody from statehouse asked the cardinal to take this noble responsibility. So we are likely to see a lot of noise in the next few months coming from specific people to remind us that Suubi is not a Kabaka project. It’s a task that has been put on their heads and they have got to fulfill it.

It’s bad because the Kabaka is slowly being distanced away from politics in Uganda since 1966 yet he has got constitutional rights to participate in non-partisan politics, and it is an indicator of the gradual extinction of the Buganda kingdom or all kingdoms from Uganda. In other words, they are slowly being rendered irrelevant to people’s lives. If they cannot do anything about Uganda politics and economics which are the two main things that matter to the people of this country, then what is their use anymore? People are gonna say they are still relevant to ’Culture’ but what is really ‘culture’? This thing called ‘culture’ will keep changing till when people start determining their own culture. It’ s already happening here in Europe where you dress anything you want as long as you feel like it, and somebody is gonna say:’ that’s how it’s should be”. So if Mengo/Kabaka is also limited on how much business he can conduct too, as it was reported by the Eddobbozi newspaper that the MTN deal was hijjacked from Mengo by the central government, then the future of the Buganda kingdom is at stake here.

To be honest, if organisations like Suubi are being fought left and right by the same Baganda/Ugandans that are supposed to protect them, then Mengo is in trouble.If suubi proves to be useless come 2011, then Mengo will become weaker and weaker. Just watch this space! We may say as much as we want but Suubi is Kabaka’s hidden stick against the central government. So the question is: ‘where is our loyalty as Baganda?”. Is it only DP and Mao or Kabaka? Is it in DP and Mao or in Uganda too? Is it in NRM & Museveni or in Kabaka too?

Byebyo ebyange mikwano gwange

Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba

Suubi 2011 is Like an ‘unofficial wife’ of Mengo whether we like it or not!

Dear readers,

Mengo or rather Katikiro’s message to distance the kingdom from Suubi was just timely and perfect. It will reduce on the pressures Mengo were getting from some corners, particularly from DP-Mao and NRM. It will also stop voices that have been publicly saying that IPC and Suubi are dragging the Kabaka into politics. Even those who have been branding Suubi as another Kabaka Yekka(KY) will find no excuses this time since the later (KY) was openly supported by the Kabaka in 1961-62.

In other words, Kattikiro’s message to Suubi-2011 is like a married man who tells his mistress to stop telling people that they are an item. Once a woman starts sleeping with a married man and at the same time opens her mouth to the public, then there is always gonna be trouble. The alternative is for the woman to accept the way things are and then everybody will be happy.

Similarly, Mengo is telling Suubi-2011 and IPC to recognise that the Kabaka of Buganda is in a ‘fix’ here when it comes to politics in the country. If Suubi was an organisation created to endorse NRM in Buganda, then we would not be getting all these problems, but it’s not. So Suubi have got to tread very carefully while campaigning. People will eventually know how Ssabasajja wants them to vote.It’s also understandable when some DPs say  that Suubi brings back bad memories of the 1960s when KY openly went on a mission, with the support of Kabaka Sir Edward Mutesa 11, to stop Ben Kiwanuka from becoming the Prime minister but , then again, most of the current active DPs were not even yet born at that time.

IPC and Buganda Strategy

There are some people in Buganda who cannot buy into the IPC concept on its own. So the IPC delegates, former Katikiros and some sections of DP had to think of something that can get this group of people on board. I was one time hosted on radio Buganda-USA , and from the voices i heard, it looked like some people wanted Buganda to join IPC as an organisation not as individuals. This way, it would give them better negotiating power in case the IPC wins power at some point in future.However, the formation of Suubi may have a knock down effect on IPC if it is not handled very well, because the critics of Suubi are saying that it is an organisation for Baganda only which itself is not true but, as you know, some people take in everything being told by others on board.

I’m one of those who don’t believe in a lot of political parties in the country but as they say: life sucks, so we have got to get on with it. Why the hell do we have Beti Kamya’s UGANDA FEDERAL ALLIANCE(UFA) which in itself is not different from Suubi that much. The only difference between UFA and Suubi is that the former does not believe in IPC but Beti Kamya at the same time supports Suubi.

I particularly just don’t trust Beti Kamya and her party or rather her intentions, and I think that’s why she may not win more than a single seat in the 2011 elections. She started up UFA disguising that she is fighting for federalism but federalism is in every party’s constitution part from NRM. So why didn’t she join up with any of the already established parties and instead started up her own movement? When she was expelled from FDC, why didn’t she join, CP, for instance, which has been agitating for federalism since 1980s? Why form a movement that i hear it is soon going to register as a political party? All these things make some of us sick because their intended outcome is to divide the opposition voting block, and the sole beneficiary in this entire circus is NRM and president Museveni.

But NRM should not count their chickens yet because there are still a lot of foxes out there. Suubi and IPC are basically one thing if one critically analyses all the players behind these two organisations. DP-Kampala, CP,FDC, UPC, JEEMA, SDP are all part of IPC now. So, all they need to do is to find a way of isolating their political enemies in: MAO-DP, PPP(Bidandi Ssali), Bwanika’s party and obviuosly NRM.

Suubi and Challenges

Look, every organisation meets challenges when it has just been formed and Suubi 2011 is no different. By the way, I wish the architects of this organisation had simply called it ‘SUUBI’ instead of ‘ Suubi 2011’ or ‘Suubi lya Buganda” because I can see this thing being still a force after the 2011 elections. The architects must have looked at short term objectives which is a sort of a weakness itself because with Mao dividing the opposition votes, I cannot see the presidency changing in 2011 through the ballot box.

Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba

UK

Mengo makes their Big ”Political” Statement since their fall out with NRM

People,

We should not get overexcited over the joining of politics by former Mengo ministers till when we see some changes in the Badru Kiggundu Electoral Commission (EC). NRM will still win big in Buganda and other parts of the country in 2011 as long as the EC remains as it is. Several people are going to be forced to stand on NRM ticket in Buganda basically because this is the only way they can go to parliament despite the fact that they don’t like NRM. For instance, two former Mengo ministers: Mr.Muyingo and Mr. Nsamba are standing in Bamunanika and Baale County respectively on NRM ticket yet their intention is to fight for Buganda interests in the next parliament if they get elected. There is also a lady, whose first name is Faridah, intending to stand as MP in Ntenjeru South as NRM yet she is believed not to like NRM, but she was told that she could only go through if she stands on NRM ticket.

NRM will still have the majority in the next parliament and President Museveni will remain president after the 2011 elections as long as the EC remains as it is. All those in the IPC,DP,PPP,…………..  know it, and that is why they are putting their bodies on line almost daily to get some reforms in the EC. Unfortunately, the state has unleashed the police and the army on them to ensure that the status quo does not change. I really feel for those IPC women, like FDC’s Ingrid.T, who are harassed by the police every time they try to demonstrate against the EC on streets. Eventually, they will give up because of pressure from their husbands or partners. Ingrid, for example, is a mother and wife, and I don’t think her husband is happy to see his wife being humiliated by the police daily. Nobody wants that.

A friend of mine in Uganda once told me that Nambooze won because they (NRM) let her win, but it will not be the same in 2011. Actually, I watched Ofwono Opondo on NTV-YouTube after the Mukono South elections saying almost the same thing. The fact is that if there are no changes in the EC, it’s going to be difficult for the opposition to protect their votes in 2011. That is a given. DP- Mao is also likely to de-campaign the DP candidates willing to work with the IPC, and Nambooze falls in that category. They have already started a smear campaign against them.

All I know is that, when the Kabaka asked people a few weeks ago to go and register, it raised a lot of eyebrows among the NRM camp, and I think that was the beginning of Mengo’s involvement in the 2011 electoral process. The crossing of the former Katikilos to the IPC and the formation of the Ssuubi organisation was just an icing on the cake.  I heard that there were a lot of people queuing up to register after this mobilisation by the Kabaka and this kind of scared the rigging machine and I suspected that Dr.Kiggundu would not give any more extensions after this, whatever the situation on the ground. The IPC leaders are also partly to blame for telling people that they will boycott the elections such that people became reluctant to register in time after that announcement.

The most important thing in all this is for the opposition to combine their forces together before 2011. Candidates from Mengo need to work with the IPC if they want to achieve something in 2011. IPC must think of various ways of counteracting the rigging machine because everything so far shows that NRM is again ready to rig this election. In other words, I cannot see the numbers changing in the next parliament that much if the opposition remains in this fragmented state where Mao’s DP faction is now campaigning against fellow DPs, IPC and Suubi instead of NRM and Museveni.

Lastly, there is nothing like a”no go” area for any political party in Uganda. FDC was created in 2004 but it’s so far the largest political party after NRM, with several candidates in different parts of the country. DP was formed in 1954 but it has only got candidates in Buganda region. NRM was formed in 1981 after Professor Yusuf Lule joined the then UPM headed by Museveni, and Lule became the chairman and Museveni his vice, but NRM has now got candidates in almost all parts of the country including the north.  It also replaced DP and UPC in the west among the Bahiru and Bahima.

DP will remain strong in Buganda as long as there are few Baganda in FDC because people still look at FDC as a party for westerners, yet this is not true. You could say that NRM is also looked at in the same way but because they are in power, they can attract a lot of ‘NFUNILAMU WA?” (Selfish and greedy Ugandans) into their party. Once NRM are out of power, that will be the end of them. They have committed a lot of mistakes such that if anybody is to write a big book about them in areas of elections rigging, corruption, murders, tribalism and nepotism, it can sell like a hot cake, and trust me, people will do.

So basically, some Baganda still look at DP as a Baganda party because all their leaders ever since it was formed have been Baganda till recently. The election of Mao as the DP president is likely to force some DP supporters in Buganda to vote for the IPC candidates rather than those fronted by Mao. Some of these IPC candidates who may benefit from this situation are likely to be DP (minus Mao) or FDC. So we are likely to see some FDC candidates in Buganda in the next parliament. Secondly, I don’t think DP have got strong structures in all constituencies in Buganda such that any party is capable of benefiting from this. FDC have now got structures in almost all parts of the country, but most importantly they have got money to sponsor all their candidates if we are to take Besigye’s announcements seriously.

I think Ugandans do not elect people basing on their parties but they do so because of their personalities, tribes, qualifications, and religion.  As such, Ssemujju nganda will stand in Kyandondo on FDC ticket but people will only vote for him as Ssemujju Nganda not because of his affiliation with FDC. This will be the same for every candidate who intends to stand as MP anywhere in the country. Multi party politics has not yet sank in among Ugandans but we shall eventually get there. If FDC can source out strong Baganda candidates to stand in Buganda, then they will do just fine in Buganda. There is nothing like a ”no go” area in politics. I had a dream the other time when Lango had become an NRM stronghold, and i think one day Lango will be switched to another party other than UPC.


Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba

NRM has not given enough political cake to Muslims

Becoming a politician is not inborn or prophetic as in like Jesus or Muhammad(saw) born with unique features of prophecy. Anybody can become a politician if the situation warrants one to become one.General Kazini was teacher by profession but he died a military officer. Late Dr.Kiggundu Sulaiman was a banker and researcher but he died a politician.The current chairman of the electoral commission,Dr.Badru Kiggundu was an academician in USA and later in Makerere university but now he is fully in politics. But Let me go back to the gist of my message which is Muslims and how we have been marginalised politically in Uganda.

The Muslims have got no viable Muslim in the current NRM government apart from the Electoral Commission Chairman,Dr.Badru Kiggundu, and Hajji Kirunda Kivenjinja, yet the both the catholics and protestants are well represented. This has been the case since 1996 where no Muslim occupies a constitutional office anywhere in Museveni’s government. Muslims were well represented in the first 10 years of Museveni’s reign but not anymore.

During Obote 2, there was no Muslim in his cabinet. There was one Muslim ntege Lubwama  who had been named a minister but Oyite Ojok and Chris Rwakasisi plotted his death and he had to go into exile.UNLF under Godfrey Binaisa, there was only Ntege Lubwama and Bidandi Ssali.UNLF under Lule, there was none although Lule was once upon a time a Muslim. Obote 1 had only two Muslim ninisters:Adoko Nekyon and Shaban Nkutu (from Busoga).

During Iddil Amin,Uganda was admited as an islamic country at a conference in Lahore, pakistan in 1974 and Amin tried a lot to help Muslims during his reign. Nevertheless, Amin had only one Mulsim in first cabinet though this later changed as years progressed.

According to the 1958 consensus, i think muslims were not more than 5%. Because we are a minority, we have always needed catholics and protestants at our side when making political decisons.This means that a muslim president or Vice president can act as a bridge between different religions in Uganda and does not need to turn Uganda into an Islamic state which was somehow the dream of Iddil Amin. Non-Muslims can vote for a Muslim president looking at him as a bridge to unite everybody despite whatever happened under Iddil Amin.

Muslims in general do not discriminate people based on religions. In Senegal, there was a catholic president called Leopold Senghol but the majority of the population that voted for him were Muslims.In Tanzania, Julius Nyerere was a catholic but muslims loved him in big numbers. Museveni1(1986-1998) was also loved and supported by majority of Muslims before he came to power.

Religion, culture and politics are like three brothers competing with one another.The link between religion and politics in Uganda can be explained in the earlier relationship between Sudan and Uganda during the rise of the Mahdi, a force that overpowered the British and Egyptians and later led to what we call ‘NUBIANS’ in Uganda. When the Acholi, Lugabara, Kakwa, banyoro and others were converted to Islam, they became BANUBI. Amin was a kakwa muslim which makes him a Nubian is some way.

In the 1950s, religion played apart in party membership and formation. DP was mainly dominated by catholics and it had a catholic Lawyer in Kiwanuka as its first leader.DP was originally supposed to be called christian Democratic party before the word christain was omitted.It also used people like archbisjop of Lubaga, Joseph Kiwanuka, to tap into Baganda and catholic support during the elections. I think Kiwanuka died in 1966, the same year Obote abolished kingdoms.

Uganda National Congress(UNC) and later UPC were dominated by protestants. 75% of the UNC central committee came from King’s College Budo School, a protestant school.74% of their branch chairman were protestants.Islam was not an influence but it once acted as a unifying factor for protestants and catholics when the British and Arabs were fighthing for influence in Buganda. The British later sided with protestants as the formal ascendasy or official religion for Buganda.

For UPC, it benefited from the 1961 elections because of its protestant base. The greater the precentage of protestants in adistrict, the higher the vote for UPC though DP benifited from this more than UPC. Nevertherless,UPC tried to move away from religion in the 1962 elections.

Unlike Muslims, protestants have produced national and traditional leaders that have helped to unite them. Most of the Kabakas have been protestants including the current one. Obote was a protestant and presided over cabinets dominated by protestants in Obote  and Obote 2. Catholics have also continued to be atleast well representated because they are the majority in Uganda.Muslims were also united when Amin was in power but it was short lived because since then we have not been having strong national characters to unite us. That’s why, atleast, we need a strong Muslim Vice president or prime minister as things stand and it could benefit all of us if we get a good candidate. The current NRM governnment should think about this as no Muslim is occupying any of the biggest posts in the government. Buganda’s Mengo administration should also think about appointing a Muslim Katikiro soon for the sake of creating balance in political appointees in the kingdom.

AbbeyKibirige Semuwemba

United Kingdom

MUSEVENI IS WRONG ON TRADITION SYSTEMS

obote and Sir Edward mutesa 11

I beg to disagree with president Museveni when he said that traditional leaders have no place in modern politics today. What is happening in Uganda is no different from what is happening in other parts of Africa as some recent years have seen the restoration of different traditional institutions across the continent. Uganda just like Ghana constitutionally restored traditional leaders in the 1990s.In South Africa of today; about 40% of the population are now ruled in part by 800 traditional chiefs. Traditional chiefs have also been integrated in the political systems in both Mozambique and Benin. Our neighbours in Tanzania have also seen traditional sungusungu grass-roots associations taking over police and justice roles. In Rwanda, a Rwandan `army of the King’ used guerrilla actions to support the return of exiled King Kigeli V, while in Cameroon’s Northern Province; the Sultan of Rey Bouba manages militias and prisons. Our neighbours in the west, the Congolese, have also seen ‘Bami’ chiefs set up a political organisation in the South Kivu region of Congo. In Somalia, clans have replaced the state as instruments of collective action. In Nigeria, ethnic organisations have been restored in the wake of structural adjustment and just like Buganda, chiefs are now demanding for constitutionally sanctioned powers instead of ‘ebyoya byansa’. In Botswana, democracy is steeped in tradition as local chiefs listen to residents’ complaints, then clerks take notes and action follows. Most villages and towns are still ruled by chiefs, incorporated into the country’s administration. Though unelected, they can lose their position if their subjects are unhappy with them and their decisions can be appealed in court. The experiment in Botswana has made them one of the success stories in Africa and it has also been applied in other countries like Lesotho and Swaziland.

The president’s opposition to demands made by Buganda kingdom is for selfish reasons of losing direct control of regions more than for a better Uganda. He also afraid that his decentralisation system will be weakened with the revival of ‘mixed politics’ or ‘dual political authority’ in Uganda. What he forgets is that this kind of political set up may be what Africa and Uganda needs to stabilise at a time of global changes and institutional weakness. Other people have argued that the incorporation of traditional structures in contemporary systems could improve the governance of African states by building upon the legitimacy of pre-colonial institutions. This arrangement may also be ideal for the decentralisation system as power and authority is delegated to the traditional leaders.

In general, the political case for the integration of traditional structures into contemporary ones has highlighted the democratic nature of recognising institutions with which many Africans still overwhelmingly identify, even though these institutions may not themselves be formally democratic. Economists too have welcomed this new trend. In view of theories that transaction costs can be reduced as a function of the perceived legitimacy of institutions, and that collective action is fostered by the homogeneity of group members. some authors have suggested that African customary institutions may reduce opportunistic behaviour and display a greater potential for developmental mobilisation than the post-colonial state.

So probably this is our chance to reconcile the traditional system with the modern system brought about by the colonisation of Africans. Giving Buganda kingdom some political powers in form of federalism may be a good start for the structural arrangement of the country before 2011 elections or the East African federation. The democracy we have called democracy which is based on elections has not done us that good since independence. There is more corruption in public institutions more than before. Probably formal incorporation of the traditional systems into the modern ones is what Uganda has been waiting for since 1986.

Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba

United Kingdom

WHAT IS THE WAY FORWARD FOR THE MENGO ADMINISTRATION?

Oh Ugandans,

It’s a pity that Buganda’s ‘EDDOBOOZI‘ newspaper is only written in Luganda because the paper writes extremely good stuff which deserves the attention of all Ugandans, not only Baganda. The story about MTN and Kabaka exposes the fear in the central government that an economically viable Buganda kingdom is not an option for those in the state house. Can you imagine how far Mengo would be now if it had been allowed to have shares in such a big company like the MTN, hadn’t been the interference of some people in the central government!

There was also a similar story in the Observer on 24th February this year that the ‘Museveni, Kabaka fell out over NSSF’ .Both deals expose one thing- that the central government does not want Mengo to be financially independent. It wants Mengo to look like a useless administration that cannot add any value to the pockets of an ordinary Buganda because of the limited material benefits it provides to them. The observer explicitly reported:‘President Museveni’s fear of a financially powerful Buganda monarch was responsible for the failed bid by a company in which Kabaka Ronald Mutebi II has interest to build 1,000 housing units near Kampala”.

This leads me to a debate I had with some Ugandans yesterday over a birthday party of one of our friend’s kid. Some Ugandans (Baganda) were saying that  Mengo has become useless since it cannot even turn the Lubiri into something worth to look at. They were arguing that ever since the kingdom was restored, the Mengo administration has been farming Matooke in the Lubiri instead of calling on investors to develop it. As a response, I argued that that Mengo has got those plans on a paper as already published widely in the newspapers a couple of years ago but the problem is that the central government always want to have control of what is going on at Mengo. They will never allow a big investor to put money in Lubiri or Bulange unless they have got some sort of control over that investor. And i think i have been exonerated by the two stories in the Eddoboozi and Observer newspapers.

Another gentleman at the birthday party, who happened to come from the same place in Kampala as myself, also mentioned something interesting regarding the Kasubi tombs. He said that Mengo was to blame partly for what happened at Kasubi because some people at Mengo have failed to reason like modernists. He said that when he was still working as a doctor in Uganda, he asked for permission to build rental apartments around the Kasubi tombs which would have helped to build a high security fence around the tombs. The administration was to share the profit margins with him but some guys at Mengo made the whole thing impossible and he had to give up.

I did not respond to this because I did not know what to say, which brings me to another point I want to make. If Mengo has failed to secure international investors (partly due to interference from the central government), to develop some of the land owned by the kingdom, they should not fear the local investors. Some of these people have got Buganda at heart and it pains them to see that their kingdom is mainly surviving on donations and certificates.

It should also be mentioned that the torching of Kasubi tombs has produced a lot of positive things which have left anybody who hates Buganda amazed. It has brought more Baganda together than before when one analyses the masses that flocked Kasubi for prayers last month. It has given religious leaders stamina to interfere in the tension between the central government and Buganda government because they have reaslied that this is nolonger an issue for the two alone. It has energised the opposition in Uganda such that if there was a free and fair election today in Uganda, President Museveni would be history. Most importantly, it has removed the fear among the Baganda Rich businessmen who had earlier on feared being seen publicly donating large amounts of money to the Buganda kingdom. This fear started with the closure of Greenland Bank, whose main shareholder used to be both a personal friend of the Kabaka and one of the biggest contributors to Mengo. The fear was reinforced with the closure of CBS last year such that we all thought that it will take a bull’s eye to see anybody associating themselves with mengo again in public.

Buganda royalists are well aware that a state does not exist which cannot provide for itself by extracting income from the territory and populations it wishes to control. The 1995 constitution prohibits traditional chiefs from taxing or otherwise forcing contributions from their subjects. That is why Mengo has asked for rental arrears from the central government instead of donations to the reconstruction of the Kasubi tombs. Mengo realises that they need to come up with some other viable alternatives to beat the central government in this game.

The closure of CBS fm has put the kingdom two steps back due to the shortage of funds to do anything. The central government knew that Mengo will feel the radio closure and I’m sure they are still surprised that Mengo has not gone down on its knees to apologise- to allow the radio to be reopened. They have tested them by sending guys like Tamare Mirundi to demand for an unconditional apology before the CBS is opened but the response remains the same.

Therefore,If I was president of Uganda, which I’m not, then I should be worried, because it means Mengo have got something up their sleeves which the president does not know about, such that they have come to accept CBS as yesterday’s business and ready to move on. The problem is that nobody in the central government knows how Mengo plans to move on. Mengo has decided to keep the government guessing and that is very dangerous.

Byebyo ebyange

Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba

United kingdom

Museveni is a Student of Obote

Dear people,

While we appreciate Andrew Mwenda’s observations  about Buganda, Obote  and president Museveni  in one of his articles in the independent newspaper, i would like to inform Ugandans that Museveni is a proper student of Obote. It’s just that the student has proved to be a wiser and formidable opponent to Buganda/Uganda than Obote such that it will take a proper political tactical genious,not just A4C ralllies, to win this battle. If Buganda was a football club, i would recommend football Coach, Jose Mourinho, to take over as the Katikiiro, because he is a tactical genius.

ARMY,BUGANDA AND POLITICS

The tactics both the Museveni and late Obote sometimes used differ but the end product is always the same.It’s more like selling toothpaste by calling it different names when the ingredients are similar. At the moment, Museveni has kept good tabs on the army but nobody should deceive you that the army and other security agents are not directly involved in politics, as was the case during Obote. Actually, Honourable Erias Lukwago proposal  to get rid of army MPs from parliament was intended to pull a plug on this before it was deafeated in parliament.

When eventually the Kabaka’s Palace, the Lubiri, was attacked at 5.30 am on 24 May 1966, the Obote army had established itself in an indispensable position in the politics of  UPC government in Uganda. Many university students and their families suffered, if not loss of life, certainly extreme humiliation by having their faces trodden on and their wallets stolen by the often-times drunken soldiery. From May 1966 until the end of Obote’s Presidential rule on 25 January 1971, Buganda was judged to be in ‘a state of emergency’ and was held so by none other than the Ugandan army and the police.

MEDIA FREEDOM

Sedition charges did not start with president museveni as he learnt that from one of his predecessors, Dr. Milton Obote. Pro-baganda newspapers like the Economy had a breather after the fall of Amin but things started getting tougher afterwards. Obote 2 also got tougher on foreign journalists who had had freedom under Lule and Binaisa. Many newspapers like the weekly topic were closed down by government officials under obote 2. Anthony Sekweyama, the editor of the main Luganda newspaper then, Munansi, and two other employees of the paper were arrested in March 1980s and held for three weeks on sedition charges. I think the online – Los Angels radio ,Radio Munansi,  picked its name in rememberance of Ssekweyama’s ”Munansi”.

Under Museveni, journalists such as Andrew Mwenda ,Kalundi Serumaga and Timothy Kalyegira and others had sedition charges  hanging over them till when Andrew Mwenda challenged the sedition law in the constiutional court and won. We don’t know how far the government is willing to extend their arm on punishing those that write anti-government articles since i hear they have even started picking on the facebookers.

Museveni’s idea of the media centre originally headed by Robert Kabushenga did not come from the moon. Obote was the man who first introduced Newspaper and Publications Act to lay down conditions for the starting of a newspaper or magazine in Uganda. Museveni’s media centre is an equivalent of Obote’s  Press Accreditation Committee (PAC) which had representatives from the Ministries of Information, Internal Affairs and Foreign Affairs. Ugandan journalists wishing to send material to foreign sources had to be approved by the same body. Under Museveni, there was  a bill that was tabled and raised a lot of eyebrows internationally and nationally because it intended to take away media freedom from Uganda completely. The Swedish were the first to openly oppose it though we didn’t expect the Americans to oppose it as  Carson had been in Uganda and rubberstamped Museveni’s leadership.

BLACK MAMBAS AND THE JUDICIARY

‘Black mambas’ were in existence during Obote 2 and now under Museveni’s government. Whatever Obote did during his reign, Museveni can do better. An example is when Barak Kirya was acquitted of treason charges in Dec 1984; he was rearrested in the same way FDC’s Besigye was rearrested under Museveni and taken back to Luzira Prison. Kirya just like Besigye was co-accused with others on treason charges( who included captain Mark Kodili, major Hussain Ada, Captain Sajjad Soori, Frank Kivumbi and James Balamu), who were also acquitted by the judge but the Obote’s ‘black mambas’ surrounded the court such that the Kiryas could not leave the court room. They were eventually forced out and taken back to Luzira. So when Besigye was re-arrested in 2006 and the army had the court besieged, it was more like watching the same movie with different actors.

RIGGING ELECTIONS

UPC is a party that started rigging elections in Uganda. They rigged the 1980 elections because they wanted Obote to become the president of Uganda by all means. For instance, Museveni who was in Uganda People’s Movement (UPM) in 1980, is quoted to have said that “Kategaya was a very bad UPC. He even stole our votes. He stole eight. He told us. He voted eight times”. Probably Museveni learned all the tactics of rigging elections while still a member of UPC because he has also been taken to court for the same problems after the 2001 and 2006 elections. Like they say: ‘an apple does not fall far from the tree”.

Let’s also remember that there was a chance to hold General elections in 1967 before Obote introduced mafia legislations that pushed the whole idea of elections aside because he knew he could lose.

RDCs UNDER MUSEVENI

After 1967, Obote increased his power tremendously. The 1967 Constitution was designed to get rid of feudal rule at the sub-national levels of government by increasing the powers of the District Commissioner, who now became the effective instrument of the central government policies in the district, and the removal of outmoded offices at the local level. Chiefs and ministerial figureheads at the district headquarters were removed. Obote also increased his powers so much as a president under the 1967 consitution.

Under Museveni, we have got people like RDCs who yield more power than even the elected officials at the districts. They always interfere with the work of district officials in the name of protecting presidential interests. For instance, a RDC can stop a radio station from hosting a leader of the national party like FDC or UPC -just to please president Museveni. A RDC can fire a LCV chairman as was temporarily the case in Kayunga district with Mr. Besweli Mulondo.

ARMY APPOINTMENTS,SECTARIANISM AND TRIBALISM

In his book African Upheavals since Independence , Grace Ibingira, ex-Minister of Justice, recalls a conversation he had with Obote  at the Governor General’s Garden Party on the 12th of October: ‘as I accompanied Obote through state guests’, he writes, ‘he pointed out Karugaba to me at a distance and inquired whether I knew him. I replied I did not. He then confided that the senior British Officers were recommending him to command the Army and to retire Opolot and Amin, who had reached the highest ranks they could reasonably attain. Obote then told me Karugaba was a Roman Catholic and as such could not be trusted and he would not accept him to head the Army’ (p. 92).

Ibingira goes on to claim that the chief reason for Obote’s dismissal of Major Karugaba,which he proceeded to have carried out, was not primarily one of religion but of ethnicity, since he was a southerner and stood in the way of Iddil Amin whom Obote had chosen in his mind to be his hatchet man. This was in the face of strong advice to the contrary from the Governor General, Sir Walter Coutts, and the British Officers, Colonels Cheyne and Tillett, following charges brought against Amin of using great brutality against the Turkana tribe in the Kenya border area late in 1961.

At Independence the Uganda Rifles consisted of one battalion and though it was very largely composed of northerners from the Acholi, Iteso, Lugbara, Kakwa tribes and other West Nile groups, it did not have within it many men from Lango in the north, Obote’s home area.However, Obote  portrayed tribalism of the highest degree with the introduction of the para-military wing of the General Service Unit, almost wholly recruited from Lango.

Similalry, Under Museveni, a police officer can easily shoot one in broad day light just because one have refused to give way for the president who wants to pay his respects at Kasubi tombs. Under Museveni, you demonstrate or stage a riot at your own peril because a soldier can easily shoot you between the eyes and go away with it, as was the case with the Buganda riots in September 2009. Under Museveni, majority of the Generals come from western Ugandan, the president place of birth, as pointed out in details by the Observer’s Ibrahimu Ssemujju Nganda in one of his articles.Ssemujju was the IPC spokesperson then but he is now a member of Parliament for Kyadondo South.

BANNING PARTIES

UPC was the first party to ban political parties in Uganda under Obote 1 in 1968 under the famous Lugogo ceremony. Similary when YKM came to power in 1986, he did the same thing as a way of weakening the notorious UPC. I partly supported the banning of political parties in 1986 for reasons i will explain another time.

INTERFERING IN MUK POLITICS

Makerere students  and most Ugandans generally hated Obote because he used the campus to spy on students, intimidate  and kill students . The Obote army intimidated and killed a lot of students at Makerere university in the 1980s purely because they wanted to devise ways of either UPC dominating the Guild or closing it altogether if UPC couldn’t have it. At one time, one George Bwanika was shot and damped in Namanve forests. UPC used the offices of the then Dean of students, George Kihuguru and the Deputy Vice chancellor,Gingera-Pinycwa, to plung the whole university into chaos with the help of obviously the army.

Trust me when I say that NRM is also investing a lot of time in MUK politics. They want their own people to run things there other than anybody else. However, to be fair to NRM, they have allowed candidates from other parties to win elections in higher institutions of learning which was not the case under Obote.

There are several aspects where these Museveni and Obote are similar but I just thought I could point out a few of them. Nevertheless, the Luwero war was justified without any doubt in my mind. If all the above is just ‘anterograde amnesia’ to some people then I have got nothing else to say. Obote needed to go by all means. If Museveni had not spearheaded the Luwero Bush war, somebody else would have done so.I have no doubt about that.

Byebyo ebyange

Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba

A Ugandan without any political party

Majority of Ugandans generally hated UPC’s Obote

Obote and Sir Edward Mutesa before kingdoms were abolished

Dear friends,

I have always found articles in the media written by Mengo officials, such as Buganda’s Attorney General, Appolo Makubuya, about the relationship between Obote and Mutesa11, very interesting. And i think It is very wrong for some people to argue that Baganda generally hate Acholis or northerners in general. Baganda are very welcoming people and they have welcomed everybody starting with every name in the alphabets from A- Z including the Acholis. The person to blame for attempting to create divisions between the Baganda and the northerners was late Obote, but good enough he is dead and ,therefore, we can afford to move on or repair the damage he left behind if Museveni also goes sooner.

The truth is that Obote seemed to have had some banter to settle with Baganda. For instance, In a speech broadcast on radio Uganda, obote told a rally held in soroti in 1981 that if the baganda did not behave themselves, they (the Acholi-Langi alliance) would do to them what they did to the west Nilers in 1980. Secondly,Phares Mutibwa in his book ‘Uganda since independence’ also wrote that at Kololo(outskirts of Kampala city) , one Acholi soldier wrote on the wall:killing a muganda or a munyankole is as easy as riding a bicycle’.

Nevertheless, the Acholis have never forgiven Obote for dividing the Acholi district into Simba and Moto Moto factions because he wanted to prolong his stay in power. Obote wanted to keep them fighting each other since a unified Acholi would worry his leadership and he was right when one looks at what happened at the later stages of his leadership. Obote depended on rival factions within the party to lead UPC for a long time. In Toro, he clandestinely supported a rival UPC group called ‘KAGOROGORO’ under Rwambarali against another one under Samson Rusoke. That is how he run his shows in UPC for a long time till the day called ”Mulindwa” happened in 1985.So why should Baganda continue to hate the Acholis who also later realised that they were just being used by Obote?

It is very unfair on the rest of Ugandans who hate Obote and UPC when someone just picks only on Baganda. Obote’s injustices did not limit themselves to Buganda borders alone such that when Dr.Otuunu or any other UPC leader is apologising, s/he may find himself doing it to the whole country apart from Lango. Obote was not only hated in Buganda but the rest of Uganda and the following may explain why:

Sedition charges started with Obote and Museveni just polished it. Sedition charges did not start with president museveni as he learnt that from one of his predecessors, Dr. Milton Obote. Journalists and the media were some of the biggest casualties of the government’s sensitivity to criticism during Obote and now Museveni.

Black Mambas started with Obote not Museveni. When president Museveni sent the ‘black mambas’ in the case of Dr.Kiiza Besigye and other PRA suspects Vs the state of Uganda, and black mambas surrounded the court, he was just polishing what he had been taught by his political master, Milton Obote. When Obote stole the 1980 elections just like most political thieves, he started manipulating the judiciary as a way of keeping himself in power. Lawyers who tried to represent people in courts were intimidated, detained or killed. For example, Cprian Kawoya was abducted from the high court while the court was in session and later murdered by Obote’s ‘black mambas’. Other lawyers killed or tortured under similar circumstances include: Hon. George Bamuturaki, Gideon Mutanga, Sewava Sempala,e.t.c.

UPC was the first party to ban political parties in Uganda under Obote 1 in 1968 under the famous Lugogo ceremony.So, when Museveni came into power in 1986, he did the same thing till 2004 when multi partysm got a breather after donor pressure and court cases fronted by DP and UPC.

Makerere students generally hated Obote because he used the campus to spy on students, intimidate and kill students. The Obote army intimidated and killed a lot of students at Makerere university in the 1980s purely because they wanted to devise ways of either UPC dominating the Guild or closing it altogether if UPC couldn’t have it. At one time, one George Bwanika was shot and damped in Namanve forests. UPC used the offices of the then Dean of students, George Kihuguru and the Deputy Vice chancellor, Gingera-Pinycwa, to plung the whole university into chaos with the help of obviously the army.

However much I admire the political acumen of Dr.Milton Obote, he made the gravest mistake of attempting to weaken Buganda by attacking the Lubili in Mengo in 1966.Obote himself is on record saying that was his lowest point in leadership.

A lot of Ugandans were killed under his watch between 1980 and 1984. For example, Hajji Abbasi Kibazo: Chairman Uganda Taxi OPERATORS Cooperative Union. He was arrested from his office in Kampala and taken to Makindye Barracks where they did what Kampalans call ‘OKUMUMIZA OMUSSU’ (murdered). Actually, he failed to protect the Ugandan population in Luwero when he was ‘legally’ made a president by a UPC chaired Electoral Commission after the 1980 elections. So many Ugandans lost their lives in Luwero and elsewhere because of the NRA rebels that cropped up after these elections

Obote was the man who started coups in Uganda by illegally ousting President Sir Edward Mutesa in 1966. This same year he illegally abolished kingdoms and is partly responsible for the death of Ugandans in the Lubili attack of 1966.

He is responsible for militarisation of politics in Uganda and this is exemplified by so many examples in his government (Obote 1 and 2). He also started the tribalisation of the army in Uganda when he recruited a lot of his tribes mate in the Uganda Army after taking over from DP’s Ben Kiwanuka.

He is responsible for producing a 1967 constitution that makes the offices of the Vice president and prime minister not independent of the presidency. The president can fire the VP and prime minister any time and this was started by the changes brought about in the 1967 constitution. The 1962 consitiution had separated the powers of the president, vice president and Prime minister but Obote changed that, and no president has rectified this up today.

It is also believed that president Obote did not want the Islamic University in Mbale to be built while he was in power. These allegations were made by president Museveni at one of the Mbale University’s graduation ceremony. Museveni also reportedly said that Obote did not want Uganda to be a member of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC). Obote’s reason, according to Museveni, being that the two were linked to Idi Amin.

Obote was the politician who started the ‘TEMANGALO’(Corruption) environment in Uganda though it is arguably believed that NRM has been worse in this department. For instance, the GOLD ALLEGATION scandal of 1960s was the start of pure state corruption in Uganda and if it had been punished properly, probably it would have set a good precedent in Uganda politics.  Another example is when Prime Minister Kintu Musoke attacked Obote for having bought a government house on Prince Charles Drive in Kololo at a giveaway price. The prime minister wanted to prove that Obote was the first politician to purchase a government house and to convince the public that it was therefore in order for President Museveni or his brother Maj. Gen. Salim Saleh to purchase the same house. Let us also remember that Uganda House was built using tax payers money though this could not be proved properly in the courts of law.

Apollo Milton Obote is the only party leader the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) had before he died. Remember UPC was established before even Uganda got independence. But you going to find a lot of UPC supporters asking a man who has been a leader of FDC party since 2005 to step aside because he has served one term.

Obote used men like Rwakasisi to terrorise Banyarwanda in the 1980S. Actually, some registration schemes were started in towns like Masaka headed by some guy I have forgotten. Surprisingly, Rwakasisis is now ‘reformed’ and a state buddy of president Museveni. He is one of the presidential advisors on security.

It’s an open secret that UPC under Obote rigged the 1980 elections and that marked the beginning of rigging in Uganda politics. It had never happened before. That’s why we are not surprised that even when Dr.Otuunu won the UPC presidency and beat his opponents fairly, some UPC still stuck with the 1980 mindset are telling people that he rigged.

As for why most Ugandans hate UPC more than the British, it is because these were colonialists who came in Uganda, did whatever they had to do and later packed their bags at the end of colonialism. They left a very good development program in 1960s (that included among many things the building of hospitals, for Obote 1 which he partly implemented. Uganda is now an independent country though we have failed to be economically independent. Donors are still pulling the strings as we have all seen with threats of cutting aid if Africa does not embrace homosexuality. Africa has got a lot of natural resources and it should be in a good shape now economically but our post independence leaders let us down.

Byebyo ebyange

Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba

UPC murders in 1980s should not just be forgotten but we must also record current ones

People,

We all feel bad about the people that died during and after the Luwero Triangle war. This war happened in Buganda and that means so many baganda died more than any other tribe. It is this very tribe that supported president Museveni and hated Obote and UPC. This very tribe still hates Obote and UPC and it is starting to hate Museveni.The Baganda killed in Luwero were not only UPC members as alleged by Obote or UPC supporters. Yes,both the NRA  guerrillas and the UNLA killed a lot of people in the Luwero triangle and outside this triangle. However, there are several Ugandans that lost their lives from the time UPC rigged the 1980 elections , and among them include the following:

  • Joseph Nsubuga from Rubaga: He was killed along with his father and brother in law and their house was destroyed by a dynamite
  • Mr.Kinaalwa: He was chairman East Mengo growers Coop union. He was killed with 14 others following a visit by Paul muwanga and Hajji Musa Sebirumbi.
  • Alhajji Jabiiri: he was an elder from west Nile.When he returned to Uganda, he was arrested by police and later killed
  • Nelson Kirya Kalikwani: he was a veteran from Busoga who was picked up by security forces and taken to Luzira where he later died from.
  • Hajji SSali from Kabalagala: One of the founders of UFM. His house was bombed and all his family wiped out on the planet earth.
  • Katongole and his wife( mukyala we): both shot dead by UNLA soldiers at road block at Kabalagala
  • Anna Nantongo: she was a housewife but she was raped and strangled by UNLA soldiers
  • Lt.J.J Odong : Killed on orders from the army branch in Mbarara
  • Joseph Kyobe: he was an ex-magistrate of Lungujja.Both his sons were shot dead.Later the government apologized for this death with reasons of mistaken identity
  • Capt Darlington Ssengendo from Lubaga: he was shot dead at Bakuli by UNLA soldiers
  • Lt. Byarugaba: he was picked from officers mess in Moroto barracks and disappeared
  • Lt.George Kalenzi: he was killed by RSM Okello of Makindye barracks
  • Lt.Kutawanyika Mugisha: UNLA bastards killed him near Kampala on a road block
  • Captain Levi Mugarura: he was arrested at Nsambya Housing estate by Oyite-Ojok’s bodyguard and later killed in the nile mansions
  • Prof Joseph Ruremenkuba Muhangi: he was gunned down by soldiers at a road block near Kampala.Some body tramped up charges against him( as is the case today under Museveni) that he was gonna poison UPC’s Paul Muwanga
  • Cypriano Kalule Kawoya: This one was a lawyer. He was taken out of court in Kampala by soldiers and his body was later found on the outskirts of the city.
  • Moses Suubi Mugomba. He was based at Soroti flying school and was killed by soldiers in Jinja
  • Mrs Juliet Sebina: she was shot dead on her way to see the husband in prison soon after Vice president,Muwanga Paul, took over their petrol station on Entebbe road, near the clock tower
  • Stephen Mulira: he was the managing director of Lint MARKETING Board .He was arrested at road block and taken to the Nile mansions by the then army chief of staff, David Oyite Ojok.
  • Sam Karuhanga Rutehenda: he and his brother were killed because they were suspected of helping out on Museveni’s guerrillas.
  • The list is so long including my father and other relatives who were killed during that period. If any body wishes, they can add on it, because one day, some one has got to answer for these murders, atleast when s/he dies and meet God. My father was shot while hiding in the garage and left to bleed to death under his car.

I ask Ugandans to start compiling the list of any body politically killed from 1986 up to now. We need to know the dead because they should not be forgotten just like that.One day all the information considered as classified under Museveni will become public. If I had time I would have put out the whole list of ‘UPC murders’ . Please make records of everybody disappearing and dying under Museveni/NRM. If you don’t make these records, nobody will make them for you. Write a book of these murders, keep it safe, and publish it in future if necessary.

Nevertheless, I agree with the assertion that some people were unfairly punished in Buganda after the fall of Obote 1. The cases I know- involved their houses being destroyed and that was it, but not murders. One of the victims was Mr. Busulwa in Nakatundu, Kangulumira(BUGERERE), whose house was put on fire but nobody was killed. Mr.Muwonge in kyabazala was also a victim. My grandfather was also a victim of these crimes and I’m still confused as to why he used to support Obote, but then again he is a Ugandan and he has got a right to associate with any party.

One thing he has always told me though- is that Obote was the most intelligent president Uganda has ever had but he misused his intelligence and that’s why he landed in trouble, and I believe him. Why did he have to antagonize the Baganda by attacking the Kabaka’s Lubili in Mengo? Why wouldn’t he find another way of settling his ‘wars’ with Sir Edward Mutesa instead of attacking the Lubiri and killing a lot of people?  It was a very stupid egoistic decision  and I pray that Museveni is not advised by anybody to do the same some day because we seem to be moving towards the same direction.

The way forward is a truth and reconciliation committee which is similar to the one the South Africans had after the release of Nelson Mandela. My worry is that we cannot have such a committee under the NRM government that is taking us back where we came from.

Byebyo ebyange

Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba

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Semuwemba is a Ugandan residing in the UK

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"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. "~ Martin Luther King Jr. ~

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