GEN. SALEH(CALEB AKWANDANAHO) IS AN ENIGMA!

Friends,
Gen.Salim Saleh seems to be an interesting character in our politics. He is arguably the defacto vice president of Uganda, forget Hon. Ssekandi and his official title as the VP. His brother is the most powerful man in Uganda, and he’s arguably hated by majority of Ugandans. But , for some reason, it’s very rare to find a NRA bush war man, now in opposition, speaking badly of Saleh. He seems to be a self made guy who built his name in the army through the courageous missions he took before NRM came to power. Unlike his brother, Saleh was a real fighter in the bush.On Feb 21, 1983, NRA engaged the UNLA forces at Bukalabi. Saleh was shot in both arms in the fighting, and was treated by Dr.Besigye Kiiza. Again, at one time he shot himself after consuming many( alcohol), and he had to be treated by Dr.Ronald Batta. Unlike the brother-president, It seems the bottle has always been a problem for Saleh, but then again, may be that is why he is friendly with so many in the opposition now. Alcoholics tend to have a lot of friends, and, as a Muslim, I’ve never understood this.

As a kid, I thought Saleh was a Muslim till when I learnt that it’s a name he was given as a way to elude Obote’s intelligence during the Luwero bush war. Interestingly, one time I was reading a DRC report where Uganda was involved in looting Congo’s mineral resources, they used the name Saleh instead of Caleb Akwandanaho. I wonder if it has any legal implications. The guy may deny everything on the basis of being called what he isn’t.

Recently, Saleh has been indirectly linked with various land grabbing. He likes to operate like a ghost. So, it’s difficult to pin his hands on any of the dirty deals in the country. I last spoke to him around 2005 when I was an undergraduate and pursuing my studies in the UK. I wonder if anybody understands the real Saleh. I’ve got a feeling that Saleh himself doesn’t know who exactly he is.

Who exactly is Salim Saleh? Anybody??

M7 SHOULDN’T ‘CRY’ ABOUT HIS SALARY ANYMORE!

Freinds,
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I could care less about Museveni’s presidential salary of Ug shs. 3.9 m a month. I’m more worrried about the Uganda teachers who are among the worst paid public workers in East Africa. Primary school teachers earn an average 250,000 shillings ($97.16) a month and their secondary school counterparts take home sh472,079 (Grade V) and sh601,341 per month (graduate) respectively. However, come July or so Grade V and graduate science teachers will get sh1,728,007 and sh2,000,000 per month respectively , if we go by government promises.Teaching isn’t easy to do, especially with the amount of preparation work that goes into each class every day and proven by its high burn-out rate.

Teachers are Uganda’s hope, and we’re failing them.Teachers are serving as bodyguards, therapists, soup kitchens and parents especially in boading schools.They are responsible for producing quality citizens as they spend more time with our kids than the parents themselves.I know a teacher here in the UK that counts the number of successfully saved kids by her to be counted on her fingers.On the other hand she can tell you about a lot of kids that will most likely be incarcerated for one crime or another.She couldn’t change them given the few hours a day she had with them.Then there is my former headmaster of Kibuli S.S i know who went out of his way to secure scholarships for underpriviledged students in the school. Even now as a retired man, he tries hard to get funding to help orphans in our family and those he isn’t related to.

And now, we have a crying-baby-president who is tearing his little remaining hair out complaining about his little salary, yet we all know its not technically true, considering that he spends tax payers’ money in any way he wants. At one point while speaking in Mbale, Museveni bragged that he is a rich man and that he left his wife to collect his salary. He gives out money in sacks to groups and calls the money his. He also said around 2006, while meeting Ugandans at Mayflower Hotel in Washington, that he doesn’t need the MO Ibrahim prize because he is a dam rich man, ” if you are used to poor leaders, i am not one of them. You better come and visit me. I do not need money to leave power”.

I would assume that the person who doesn’t need money to leave power, shouldn’t be complaining about the little salary he is getting. He should also be donating the money to the poor like Kabaka Mutesa 11 did for Karamoja while he was president in early 1960s, or be like President Donald J. Trump who isn’t taking any salary at all as US president . And there is also the question of how Museveni got so rich on a little salary.

There are certain people in government that are unfairly earning mega salaries, and are mainly from western Uganda, at the expense of the rest of Ugandans.Let me then introduce “Generalized Pork Barrel” politics, which I define to be government expenditures designed to benefit a well-defined (if not geographically circumscribed) minority for no good reason.An expenditure is referred to as a “pork barrel” when the minority of citizens that it directly benefits happen to be the constituents of a particular politician, particularly when there is a sense that these consituents are getting more than their share of the bread. For instance, Museveni has created unnecessary offices, such as presidential advisors, RDCs,e.t.c and all these people are costing the tax payers an arm and a leg in terms of salaries.

Let me repeat that if the general public is informed of such funding activities and see nothing wrong with it,neither do I.I do not stand for the notion that there are superior reasons for giving higher salaries, however, which would require such funding in spite of the general public’s disinclination. Consider this: the Governor Bank of Uganda earns 53 million Uganda shillings a month.Does that seem fair to you? I see govt spending on the governor, Commissioner General, URA, Executive Director NSSF, and others in that category, as unjustified on grounds of inefficiency, or on specific grounds of unfairness. All that money could be channeled elsewhere and benefit more Ugandans than just a few people.

*Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba*

Stalk my blog at: https://semuwemba.wordpress.com

This is how the Museveni letter writing game works!


Ok, this is how the Museveni letter writing game works:

1. I’m the president of Uganda. I’m the biggest celebrity in the country. If I post something to the media in reference to this new kid on the block, the kid will definitely get excited, so pumped up, and so will his supporters. I will even leave deliberate mistakes in my submission to give the kid something to grill on;

2. The kid will then write back to respond to me in the finest of languages and research. His supporters will go wild again with excitement;

3. Everybody will then expect me to respond again to the issues the kid has raised, but I will lay low for a while, as I have been doing with Besigye, Bidandi Ssali, and others, to assess the situation, keep the tongues wagging, e.t.c;

4. In the meantime, I must make the people believe that Besigye no longer matters to me. I’ve got a new thorn to remove from my way; i will encourage the Tamale Mirundis to sell him as a credible opponent;

5. But still I must watch out for Besigye’s reaction. Is this new excitement by some of the kid’s supporters taking a big toll on him or not? If it is, then that works out perfectly for me because I will just add fuel to the fire by financing some groups whose intention is to permanently create a rivalry between Besigye and the kid.

6. That will keep everyone busy for a while before 2021 as I push through my life presidency and land bills;

7. Come 2021, the kid will want to stand against me, and so is Besigye. That will be enough to help me sail through again unnoticed, obviously with the help of my Electoral commission.

Oh Lord, why I’m I always one step ahead of my opponents? May be it’s true what they say….that bald men are more intelligent. Hello sweetheart Janet, I could actually do with that cup of tea!

Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba
UK
“In tribute to the United Kingdom and the Republic of Uganda, two bastions of strength in a world filled with strife, discrimination and terrorism.”

Age limit:My last appeal to NRM MPs

You could be NRM but still do the right thing, and create history like that Kenyan judge who cancelled Uhuru’s re-election, did. Many of the USA opponents of slavery who wanted to outlaw it during the Constitutional convention were Virginians and yes, they owned land, but they did the right thing, and slavery was abolished.

In my more open-minded moments, I try to make myself believe that if Ugandans had witnessed a peaceful transfer of power at some points since independence, then the issue of removing presidential age limit, wouldn’t have been of great concern. But with Museveni, he is already on the record saying that “Uganda etandise okumuwomela “. And that’s worrying, because it’s symptomatic of a leader who wants a life presidency. So, age limits is the only insurance Ugandans are clinging on to see the end of his regime, as elections have turned out to be more or less a useless exercise.

Secondly, when one becomes old , he or she becomes a drag for everyone else around them. It’s better to let people retire, do some self reflection, have a peace and quiet somewhere before meeting their creator. Chairman Museveni and his people are, in effect , being just selfish on this. What the argument that he is still physically strong propounds is similar to an individual driving a car with an inaccurate speedometer cannot be speeding so long as they rely on that broken speedometer. Try telling that to a judge.

In the eyes of most Ugandans, you, Mps, are the judge, the jury and the executioner. So, don’t let them down. Please, don’t execute them. A referendum, as proposed by religious leaders, won’t make a difference under the current electoral laws and appointment and disappointments. Kigwela mu parliament!

Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba

Age Limit Removal:Some images are unforgettable!


Some images are unforgettable!

Bobi Wine’ s hands are in good position, his legs with a good balance, and ready for attack.

His opponent is already on guard, which left me wondering why ,if he hadn’t already been attacked.

Ya I noticed the haircut too, and the way they both lined up ready for anything. The one at the front has got backups at the back, in case of a restrain, or being overpowered by Bobi……Bobi, on the otherhand, has no back up. He is on his own. Sewanyana Allan, et al, should have been behind him to act as back up, such that in case of an attack, they could have put up a strong front.

Then the guy on the side innocently staring at Bobi Wine’s moves, and trying to imitate him, just put the icing on the cake…….He looks so funny, a bit confused….oh man!

And then the woman sat on a chair…..i don’t know if she is cheering or trying to calm things down. …..What a day!

WHY PEOPLE SUPPORT AGE LIMIT REMOVAL OR RETENTION?


Friends,

Let me again add my thoughts to the issue of age limit.First, any discussion is,of course, very speculative,but I believe It probably is a personal matter how any Ugandan decides to support or not to support the removal of age limit from the constitution.

1.Any Ugandan in their 60s and above, and harbour presidential ambitions, are so upset with Museveni for hanging on to the presidency like forever.That age group whether they are in NRM or opposition, just hate the man to the bones, but they cannot dare show it to anybody close to the president.

2.A small group already in their 70s support the removal in the hope that God could decide to take Museveni after the age limits have been scrapped, and then they will have a shot at the presidency before they die.

3. Then there is a group, i suspect, that has decided to support age limit removal because they realise that its useless to fight the inevitable, and they can as well make money or a career out of it. This same group supports or work with Museveni, not necessarily because they adore him as a leader, but they’ve basically given up on their ambitions. I believe Ibrahim Abiriga, Beti Kamya,Hajji Abdul Nadduli, some youths like Duncan Abigaba, Andrew mwenda, e.t.c, are part of this group. Abiriga is a very ambitious man, and that is why he quit his job as RDC to join politics.

4. Finally, there are those in any age group,and there are the majority, that just want age limits retained for patriotic reasons(basing on Uganda’s history). This same group is advocating for presidential term limits.

Museveni is ready to be president until the impediment of death gets in the way.The presidency is everything in Uganda. Museveni can front all the reasons he wants but its all still about personal ambition for him. When you’re president, you can become rich overnight, you can own any piece of land you want, you can shag any Ugandan woman you want, you can use parliament in any way you want, you can techinically do anything you want. You’re like a superking, man. While these are only anecdotes, it does make you wonder whether staying active as a president helps one to ward off osteoarthritis, for example, which is almost universal to one degree or another in people over age 75.

Yes, age does affect the way we do things.Obviously at some age, a person starts to lose flexibility.The Museveni of 1986-2001 isn’t the Museveni of 2017 howevermuch his handlers try to project him as still physically and mentally fit. Pushing himself into the domain of 2021-2026 will be trying his luck but he isnt afraid because he has seen Mugabe and club doing it. Already there are questions about his actual date of birth, as some think that he is already knocked his 80s.

One good thing that comes with old age is that its very rare for a leader in his 70s or above, to see killing an opponent as a solution to the country’s problems. This is something you cannot usually say for a leader in their 30s,40s or 50s,as ambition tends to overide anything including human life.

I dont think the Muhoozi-for-presidency project is real

‘Like I once wrote on the UAH forum about Amama Mbabazi and some people in the NRM, and their grandioce ideas about succeeding Mr.Museveni, I can also tell you right now that I dont think the Muhoozi-for-presidency project is real. I think its a decoy to check the loyalty of some people in the government. My prediction is that Museveni will either die a president,like Zimbabwe’s Mugabe will, or he will be miraculously kicked out of the presidency. The later will definitely require foreign assistance because I cant see Ugandans doing it on their own!’——Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba
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Its only the ‘Museveni-law’ that will save the Sheikhs languishing in prison!

Brother Abbey

Accused persons who are innocent must be discharged, have charges withdrawn/vacated but not ‘pardoned’

Your post contains in part the following sentence:

“A lot of people in prison over politically motivated charges should be forgiven. Our sheikhs should be pardoned, and let them go back to their families.”

It is well known that several Ugandan sheikhs are in prison/detention in Uganda mainly under the following categories.
(i) Some are being tried before the High Court after a long period of detention – eg Sheikh Muhammad Yunus Kamoga, who was arrested on 20th January 2015, being tried with several others.

(ii) While other sheikhs have been recently detained so far without any known charge(s) being brought against them before any competent court of law – eg Sheikh Yahaya Mwanje, who was arrested on 27 November 2016.

(iii) Some have been acquitted by the High Court of Uganda in the past but re-arrested immediately after acquittal – eg Sheikh Ismail Kalule.

Since none of the sheikhs has so far been convicted of any offence by a competent court of law, they, individually and/or collectively, do not deserve to be granted ‘pardon’ – forgiveness/amnesty. ‘Pardon’ is not granted after the prosecution has failed to bring or prove charges against an accused person.

When the prosecution fails to prove charges (beyond reasonable doubt) brought against an accused person, charges may be either withdrawn or vacated and criminal proceedings are terminated without prejudice to accused’s presumption of innocence or the prosecution’s right to bring new charges at a later date if there is sufficient evidence to do so. This is what the International Criminal Court (ICC) did after the ICC Prosecutor failed to adduce evidence to prove charges against President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya[1] and Vice President William Ruto of Kenya.[2] Charges were withdrawn/ vacated and both Kenyatta and Ruto were discharged from criminal process but not ‘pardoned’.

Thus, since accused persons in Uganda are presumed innocent until proved guilty, they are entitled to the equal protection of the law including a right to a speedy and fair hearing before an independent court in accordance with the Constitution. Sheikhs are human beings like anyone else and must not be denied the equal protection of the law. Either they are, without undue delay, tried by a competent court and convicted (if there is evidence to prove beyond reasonable doubt any charge/s against them) or they are discharged from criminal process (if there is insufficient evidence). Those who are being detained without charges must be brought before courts of law but many of the so-called Muslim leaders are in silence!

Al Islam

[1] The Prosecutor v. Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, Decision on the withdrawal of charges against Mr Kenyatta, ICC-01/09-02/11-1005, 13 March 2015, https://www.icc-cpi.int/CourtRecords/CR2015_02842.PDF

[2] The Prosecutor v. William Samoei Ruto and Joshua Arap Sang, Decision on Defence Applications for Judgments of Acquittal, ICC-01/09-01/11, 5 April 2016, https://www.icc-cpi.int/CourtRecords/CR2016_04384.PDF

—————————————————————
Al Islam,

Sorry if my earlier statement on ‘pardoning’ of sheikhs was too cryptic. I’m afraid there are gaping holes in my legal education. I’m mainly self-schooled, and I now deeply regret focusing only on those things that interest me at the time. However, I do think I see what you mean here.

If it’s any consolation, you aren’t alone in what you feel. I’m sure the sheikhs feel as ‘innocent-till-proven-guilty’ as you do. Not to be too crude about it, but the claims that the law will help them eventually get out of prison, seem to ring a little hollow. By definition, it seems to me that the concept of ‘conviction’ and ‘persecution failure’ is deceptive under the current political environment in Uganda and, if the entire experience of Sheikh Ismail Kalule and the black mambas that rearrested Besigye after being granted bail in 2006 is any indication, impossible to attain, except in a very limited and temporary sense. The law now operating in Uganda is the super ‘Museveni law’: what Museveni wants goes, if he wants you out of prison, you’re out the next day; and if he wants you to stay in prison, trust me, no judge will get you out. Therefore, I don’t see the sheikhs coming out of prison on their terms.

Having said that, it appears we are somewhat stuck, as in quicksand, and there are no easy solutions in sight. I do not have any easy answers, my friends. That’s the rub. No one else has easy answers, either, but there’s nothing wrong with approaching Mr.Museveni and BEG him to ‘pardon’ our sheikhs. One definition of Museveni’s ‘PARDON-LAW’ is a quick phone call to the prosecutor to ‘WITHDRAW’ the charges, and ordering the bank of Uganda to give you, lawyers, a juicy cheque such that you stop making noise. Either way, it’s all ‘pardon’, my friend!

I’ve very conflicted on this whole mess, and I am uncomfortable admitting that, when the murders started, I advocated for the arming of sheikhs with guns to defend themselves, but with the death of Maama Fiina’s husband who was armed to the teeth, turns out I was flat out wrong on that one, as the evidence is now clear that this is way well planned ‘James-bond’ stuff than any of us envisaged. It has even made me afraid of ‘bodabodas’ driving by every time i visit Kampala.

Most of us just don’t know what to think anymore. Yet, somehow, I feel that there’s no ‘justice’ in keeping sheikhs in prison indefinitely in a situation which looks like has got less to do with them. Most of us in the general public are in no position to be able to form our own independent opinions of what and who exactly is behind the Muslim murders in Uganda, because it is all kept from us in an atmosphere of secrecy. And add to that the problem that most of the public relies on the media, and you get a further degradation of the information available. Yet, I can also speak with some certainty that the way these murders are executed is way beyond the likes of the sheikhs that are already in prison, and the government has got no ability to thwart them from happening again and again.

Yes, there are reasons for some secrecy in national security matters. That complicates honesty in politics beyond belief, and it breeds distrust, by the very nature of secrecy and the demonstrated proclivity of some politicians for deceit. And yes, politicians are very much motivated by power and ego issues, it seems. At the same time, I would suggest that a dedicated press and free and open discussion are the bright light that we can usually count on to help us engage in a truth seeking process, as a public.

However, now that someone has created this mess, we need to fix what has been broken, and I don’t think the courts are gonna do that. I think this administration has strangled itself in its own propaganda (e.g. its ADF killing Muslim leaders). People can only be fooled so far. I think they’ve exceeded their limit by a long shot.

My hope is that the sheikhs are ‘pardoned’ with the touch of the ‘MUSEVENI-LAW’ (the most important law in Uganda), and then we all sit down and find a way forward. I don’t feel that it matters, in this context, whether the sheikhs are guilty or not in the eyes of the law, as there is no way to go back in time and undo the mess.

Just a few non-classified thoughts of a Xmas evening from a nobody in the UK,brother!

Have a good one,

Abbey .K.S

GO FOR THE PRESIDENCY AND STOP BEGGING FOR CABINET POSTS

Hajji Abdu-Nadduli

Hajji Abdu-Nadduli

Dear brothers and sisters,

Assalamu Alaikum. Ramandhan Kareem. We pray that Allah forgives us for our past sins and those we will intentionally and unintentionally commit in future. Hope everyone is doing a lot of ‘astaghfirullahs’ during this month, and praying for our sick brothers and sisters, such as Prof Abassi Kiyimba. Anyway, I just wanted to make a few comments on the debate on Museveni’s new cabinet.

First,to be hateful and Islamophobic has become so common that it is proudly displayed all around us, online, on the news, and in politics. It is dehumanizing and it hurts.The term Muslim is being thrown out so often so cheaply. Just look at what’s happening in USA politics right now.For someone who seems to have had the best education Donald Trump lacks culture sensitivity and understanding. He evokes fear in people over his own ideology. He says Muslims did this and did that but there are people who are Muslims being murdered by people who say they are doing it for God.

Always remember this line “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” Nobody is gonna change your life for the better unless you wake up and do it yourself. Democracy is saturated with differing opinions and views, and it is the democratic majority of those views that decide what is legal and acceptable in Uganda, not the foot that stomps the hardest or voice that yells the loudest. Its the presidency that now decides everything in Uganda. So, little by little Muslims should target the presidency. They should be aspiring to become presidents. They should be a program helping in identifying and supporting Muslims interested in the presidency. Muslims should not beg favors from the presidency but they should be an influence on the presidency whether one of them is in the office or not. Learn from our Catholic brothers and sisters, and their organisational abilities.

Because there’s likely no such a system or thoughts in place, you find a few Muslims in high positions in government all running to the presidency to determine their next step in life. For instance, If someone has been appointed the Chairman of the Electoral Commission, you’d expect that person to use that position to: 1- do their duties diligently; 2- sell yourself, your good nature, your good character, e.t.c to the public; 3- use that office to take you to the next level, and that level should be the presidency or something more important(not retirement, come on, unless if you have got healthy or family related issues). You only choose to retire if you feel you have not performed to your expectations or to the expectations of the people of Uganda.

The few years Idi Amin spent as president ARGUABLY benefited Uganda Muslims and Ugandans in general more than the last 30 years of Museveni’s leadership.Museveni does not need to change,in fact he will never change but Muslims need to change their reluctance to be fully involved in politics.

MPs

The few Muslim MPs aren’t impressive, I don’t care what your party is, have the damn backbone to stand up to any injustice by the government. I’m aware that an individual who belongs to a party isn’t actually allowed to vote the way he wants, nor the way the people who vote him in want. They always have to vote according to the party’s platform. But come on,guys, this is Uganda where everything is damn possible. All you need is to grind your teeth, look the speaker in the eyes, and say ‘that’s my position. Like it or stuff it’!

I know that many consider this view unrealistic and narrow, but I feel more comfortable supporting nonMuslim politicians than Muslim politicians who remain silent or wishy washy on issues affecting Muslims and the whole country. We like to support Muslims in politics, but how effective are they in matters that seriously affect us and matter as a community?

Brother Hajji Nadduli:

If Hajji Nadduli accepts the position of the minister without Portfolio(MWP), it will be just another example of Muslims embarrassing themselves in politics and not actually being particularly helpful. Its not that i’m not happy for our brother but ,goodness me, what’s he gonna do at the age of 74 that he has not done in the last 30 years? What do MWP exactly do? What’s the point of being in politics if you’re not going to do anything bloody useful? I’m yet to see a Muslim politician take a strong principled stand on matters relevant to the Muslim community, other than very minor matters.

Disunity costing our place in politics:

As a whole we have no unity as an Ummah and its a bit Pathetic because some politicians use it to further divide us.The strategy feeds on itself. Turning us against each other has become easier because of the economic stresses most Ugandans feel. Economic insecurity is rampant. Most Ugandans worry about their futures. That insecurity and anger is easily manipulated — channeled into a politics of one Muslim faction fighting the other, one Muslim allied to Statehouse and another to the opposition, but should it be like this? Really?

This disunity, in turn, serves those in power because it distracts Muslims from what’s should benefit them as a community. The greatest fear of any non-Muslim president is that a majority of Muslims would otherwise join together politically and demand a country organized for the many, not the few.

In this way, “divide and distract” is a winning strategy for them. But it is a losing strategy for Muslims who want to fundamentally change things in Uganda. We must not let them succeed.We should,therefore, be working together on issues that benefit the Ummah whether you are a Muslim in opposition or government.

Byebyo enbyange banange!



*Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba*

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

“My journey is long and my preparation is so little, and weakness has gripped me and death is chasing me!”

Objectively speaking, extending the presidential term of office from 5 to 7 years is cool!

Objectively speaking, extending the presidential term of office from 5 to 7 years is cool, and I have been thinking about it for a while,……I know it sounds like a cliché, but there’s not much one could do as a president in just 5 years, but there’s much one could and should do for his country in 30 years plus. That’s why I really cant see Mr.Museveni changing Uganda for better even if he’s given 7-20 more years. He just wants to die as a president…simple. Therefore, I suggest that the Fanatical fundies in Kyankwanzi retreat should push to drop the presidential elections and age limits, so we can have a super dictator who doesn’t pretend anymore.

Oh, well. Museveni is a different dictator: He is kind-hearted, doesn’t kill people, allows protests and freedoms of speech, allows social media to buzz in his ears 24/7, keeps the army in barracks, and reasonably priced – I heard. So, why not? ……..In any case,such proposals will also help people to psychologically start accepting him as their president(at least for 7 more years), forget about the rigging, Besigye’s house arrest and Mbabazi’s petition. Minds are like umbrellas, they function best while open, you know!

Abbey

ARE NATURALISED CITIZENS ALLOWED TO STAND FOR UGANDA’S PRESIDENCY?

Is Sudhir a naturalized citizen of Uganda? Is the son of Rwanda’s Paul Kagame allowed to stand for presidency in Uganda? Just asking!

When the US declared independence from England, one of the main concerns of the drafters of the Constitution was that England would send a candidate to the States to run for and win the office of President, a person with ties back to the English Monarchy. That could easily have resulted in the newly independent colonies going right back under the King’s thumb.

DON’T CRY OR CAMPAIGN FOR MINISTERIAL POSTS ANYMORE!

Friends:
You don’t need to be a cabinet/state minister to serve the people.Let’s be honest here:of all the people in the new cabinet, few of them have got the pedigree of a dream minister. None of them is capable of questioning president Museveni’s decisions as the group we had in 1986-2006. I understand some Baganda and Ugandan Muslims feel so much left out but ,honestly, why would anybody wish to be part of such a ‘yes’ cabinet! The strategy is a simple one: ignore President Museveni. He will respond in ways that will further damage his Party and the prospects of a Muhoozi Kainerugaba presidency.Presidents like to feel important; they revel in being players.Strategies win wars; tactics are tools but complaining or campaigning for ministerial posts has rarely paid off under the current regime. Personally, I am just a bit angry that Uganda’s whole national policy has been perverted (and this is a word that can be used often when judging Museveni’s presidency) to serve the interests of only one man.

A lot has been written about the ladies that have been dropped particularly Ms.Maria Kiwanuka(whom i prefer to call ‘Mariam Bint Kiwanuka ”). But I think she should keep her head held high despite being dropped in the current reshuffle. And this is for my sisters reading this: If you’re a woman who owns some property(small or big); you have got some sort of a qualification/job; know how to run a household, balance a checkbook, cook for atleast three people, write a resume, raise a child, network with new people, and essentially be an adult, then you should consider yourself successful in life!

As for the ‘ministerial’ rumour about me, I think its unfair to use “rumour and innuendo” to demonize someone especially if he or she has said nothing about it. Lots of people have had their integrity destroyed after being appoonted as ministers because of Mr.Museveni’s recklessness and lack of honesty. His using and dumping of people is encyclopedic.

Often, when we talk about the history of cabinets in Ugandan, we focus on the great men and their big ideas. In the 1990s when i was still a student at Kibuli S.S , I used to picture myself as an adult in a cabinet room full of elders such as Bidandi Ssali, Eriya Kategeya, Paul Ssemogerere, Dr.Besigye, e.t.c. These guys were a group of intellectuals and I sometimes wondered how Museveni managed them all, but anybody could be proud of them, and any young person appointed in a responsible positon could learn something from them. Actually my wife thinks Besigye’s picture should be hanged somewhere in parliament in future to remind legislators that you can succeed in politics without corruption, and that its good to be a principled politician.

But I have never pictured myself in a cabinet room full of people like Anite( the kneeling down and a promoter of ‘Mbabazicide’), Frank Tumwebaze(now promoter of ‘Besigyecide’), and the rest whose names I cannot remember.When I think about what they’re going to be discussing in cabinet with M7 chairing the meetings, I cringe. Tumwebaze has already posted his congratulatory message for keeping him in his ministerial post with an unnecessary attack on Besigye, and he is somehow convinced in his intelligence that he has done an honorable act for us all!

Bebo ba minister baffe enaku zino banange!

NO NEED TO WASTE MONEY ON PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS ANYMORE

Guys: this is serious: why did Museveni replace Hon.Mbabazi with Hon.Justice Lumumba? Wasn’t there someone else in NRM who would have fitted in Mbabazi’s shoes? Its like dropping a steak in the mud just because the neighbor has caught some white-ants(enswa). I just watched a video of her doing a presentation at Kyankwanzi and I couldn’t believe what I was watching and hearing. Even ‘Napoleon’ M7 implicitly looked a bit bored especially with those singing endless praises of ‘Tumwagala kufa nakuwona’. By the way, whose photos are those hanged on the walls at Kyankwanzi? There’s one that looked like me in a combat, and I guess Photoshop has invaded Kyankwanzi too.

Back to the MPs in the hall, at least Hon.Mariam Nalubega looked beautiful: her hair done and scrubbed well in the yellow uniform, but her reasons for attending the Kyankwanzi ‘school of confinement’ were less convincing. The rest of the MPs there looked like they were already thinking about food and sleep.The sooner these people are gone, the better for everyone concerned.

Unlike people who are against all the proposals at Kyankwanzi, I would be happy if the 2016 presidential elections are scrapped altogether, regardless of anything. There’s no point anymore as the winner is already known. Unfortunately, some people are still pushing for already rigged elections because there will make some money out of it. Somebody promises them a little money, they eat each other alive.Given the whiff of it, they will do amazing tricks. Anyway, most poor people love elections as it is a form of entertainment. As Bill Kasper – Millionaire and Philosopher, said:”I’d put you in prison just because you’re poor.”

Dual Citizenship Dr.Aggrey Kiyingi Is Perfect and he might benefit from standing for presidency

If we look past Kiyingi’s past court battles and just see his potential, he is among the few perfect Ugandans that are capable of taking on Museveni if the electoral ground is level. Anybody can be president in a functioning democracy with strong state institutions.

I don’t know what the future holds for Kiyingi but I can understand why Kiyingi would like to be part of these presidential elections in 2016. He cleverly announced his candidature to keep the dogs backing outside his house busy.The dogs may agree to a ceasefire at some point if he drops his political ambitions. Call it ‘blackmail’ if you want, because that is exactly what he is doing. He knows he cannot win under the current environment that favours only president Museveni, but declaring his interest in the presidency catches the attention of the big international sharks(USA and UK) that determine almost everything in our country. But I’m still puzzled as to why anyone else would wish to be part of an exercise that isn’t gonna change anything.

By the way, I still don’t understand this idea of refusing someone to stand for presidency because of dual citizenship. I don’t think citizenship is the problem here but the real albatross is the need to make it difficult for Ugandans in diaspora to stand for presidency, and I don’t think this is right at all. Is Uganda better than USA of 1770s? USA’s early presidents were naturalized to become “Citizens of the United States” through the Declaration of Independence and by adhering to the American Revolution, and these included: George Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Adams, Jackson, and Harrison. Obama was born to a Kenyan father who never became a U.S. citizen.

Can dual citizens be good Uganda presidents? Definitely yes. We already have one that has been president for 28 years yet he is reportedly a Swedish citizen.Dual citizenship represents a kind of freedom of association, a form of voluntary affiliation to be protected, not condemned. Even one sworn to one citizenship can be compromised.Allowing dual citizenship doesn’t contradict the values of both nations as most Diasporas already know what Uganda exactly needs to get better!

Abbey

Frank Tumwebaze: ‘Leave’ in Uganda may mean ‘losing’ your job!

Frank Tumwebaze

Frank Tumwebaze

Friends:

Hon.Frank Tumwebaze’s case is only about pure Hubris,and I think I now understand why a lot of people want nothing to do with politics. Just check it out:

1. Hon Frank Tumwebaze takes leave from work supposedly for the first time but nobody is happy for him;

2. President Museveni never takes any leave from work ,and I suppose he has his own reasons, but still some people aren’t happy about this. In Africa, you take leave from your job, you may find your replacement in the parking the very day you start your leave;

3. My “sister”, Alice Ruhindi, unfairly throws another punch at UAH for allowing all “trash” to be posted there. This was in reaction to some people that used the platform to attack her and others for allegedly spreading malicious rumours against Frank Tumwebaze. By the way, Alice is a nice person however much she tries to pretend otherwise. She is actually my only hope of making Ms.Nina Mbabazi my mate again;

4. Cuba President Raul Castro demands US hands back Guantanamo Bay . Honestly, why would anybody want to be associated with such a bay where all kinds of people have been tortured since 9/11? The bay is arguably an equivalent of “dirty” money on an account somewhere in the Crane Bank.

But what jumps out at you when you read through the above list is that a lot of people in positions of power are naive. They think they are powerful when actually they aren’t. Mr.Frank Tumwebaze’s response to the shs.10b allegations, for example, is that the Mbabazis have got it for him, and I think this is pure diversion and hubris. As Wikipedia says: “Hubris is usually perceived as a characteristic of an individual rather than a group, although the group the offender belongs to may suffer consequences from the wrongful act. Hubris often indicates a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one’s own competence, accomplishments or capabilities, especially when the person exhibiting it is in a position of power.”

I’m not a fan of Mbabazi but he shouldn’t be everybody’s ball to kick in NRM. The 68 year old is arguably finished politically but he is probably the only man I know who knows how to handle a crisis with silence. Tumwebaze’s essential problem is that he likes to impress the bigger forces behind him so much yet sometimes its good to take a step back and just do only the right thing. Yes, only the right thing. And the right thing at this moment is to either deny the existence of the shs.10b on his account, or explain how he got it, or just keep quiet with the hope the issue will just go away! Nze bwendaba banange! Oh, I almost forgot the other alternative: please transfer that money to my account here in the UK.

Abbey

Please forgive and give Sarah Kagingo her job back

Joseph Owino

Joseph Owino


Friends:

Who is updating us now on Statehouse ‘lugambo’ now that Ms. Sarah Kagingo is locked out? We are missing the updates as they too seem to have been suspended at the same time as Sarah. I reckon Sarah’s bosses behaved like a merchant updating his inventory by first burning down his store. The ‘store’ was Sarah because he introduced them to the social media, and I’m afraid a new face may not cut it for a lot of people.

This time I’m gonna fault my sister, Sarah Kagingo, for trusting people she doesn’t know very well. She should never have trusted Mr. Joseph Owino with the passwords to access the president’s accounts. By the way, Owino is now a member of UAH on facebook.

That said, I just don’t know why everybody is making a big deal out of this hacking business.It was even another pointless point on Tamale Mirundi’s part to get involved because its gonna bring him some problems.He keeps this up and and he’ll be batting a1000 statehouse battles in no time.

Everybody’s account(banking online, Facebook, twitter, e.t.c) can be hacked into, and everybody is capable of impersonating anybody on Facebook. And the chances of the police catching them are almost nil. It is even a wastage of tax payers’ money to probe Mr.James Owino. It is scary that some people seem to actually believe the trash that Uganda police could tack anybody on Facebook.They could track someone behind an Email address,but not Facebook. And Facebook rarely helps authorities in trivial matters such as this one. Anybody can improperly and covertly hack into computers used by Statehouse and possibly get away with it.

This incident has two lessons for us:

1-The president and individuals in the executive branch should absolutely keep private communications absolutely private.If the communication is NOT critical to national security, or any of the govt business, we have no business knowing about it. For instance, pics of a 70 plus Museveni celebrating his birthday is none of our damn business.There is no form of government anywhere on earth where everyone is allowed to know everything that the government does. Which is perfectly understandable, up to a point.

2- “Free” space in the digital “cloud”or anywhere on internet is not to be trusted. To put it another way, if you don’t pay for it, you don’t control it, and even if you do pay for it, chances are that you have limited control.

Now, statehouse should let Sarah get back to job because we adore her. Mr.Tamale should cool it. I know he has got a big one(mouth) on him. And everybody is happy happy! Oh, And it doesn’t cost $1600 or $ 160,000 to run twitter/facebook Accounts.

Nze bwendaba banange!

Abbey

M7 GETS HIS SWORD OUT AGAIN AND THIS TIME IT HAS FALLEN ON MBABAZI

Friends,
Everyone is saying that Mbabazi has been sacked, but I think the right word here is ‘pulverised’. I believe the decision to sack him was reached after ‘crushing’ him in all his areas of influence in govt……And lets be honest, all the signs have been on display for a while now.
letter sacking
We have had cycles of nastiness,but the UPCs of 1980s started the current cycle most openly and calculatedly.Museveni learnt this at the time Binaisa was president when he ‘carelessly’ replaced him as minister of defence, and I think Oyite Ojoko was also posted to some ambassadorial position to Algeria. I cant remember the ministry where Binaisa posted Museveni,………was it regional govt or something like that? But he(Museveni) is on record saying that he used that time to start writing about the political problems of Uganda, and yes, he also drew some lessons from this experience.

He learned that you never sack anyone unless if you have rendered them ‘imbecile'(as the Mexican would say). I keep telling people that there is no cure for dictatorships, and the best way to deal with them(dictators) is to understand how they think and why they make the decisions they make.They are born with genes that predispose them to aggressiveness,’sack-mbabaziness’, incredible self-confidence, and an attitude that says “don’t get in my way, or else”.

I think Mbabazi is somehow ‘dead’ politically, but I would wish to say that he put the rope around himself when he accepted to become the PM instead of just remaining the NRM Sec Gen. That’s what they call political ‘suicide’, but then again, New York detective Vernon Geberth, whose book “Tactics” is considered the bible on homicide forensics, says, “The last thing you want to classify a death as is suicide. Death investigations are analytical. Don’t jump to conclusions.Just because a gun is found in the victim’s hand,who says that it is the gun that is fired?”

So, may be, there is more to this Mbabazi Vs Museveni thingy than what we already know. We wait and see. I only really feel for Mrs.’Jack-chan’ Mbabazi because she’s the only who saw all this coming! And the appointment of Dr.Rugunda as the next PM is meant to keep the community of the Bana-Kigezi sweet and on the side!Rugunda is a mate of Mbabazi and has been around the block for a while now. So, he knows what is expected of him as PM. But it will be interesting to see if he is gonna accept the position or not.

Abbey

Cut Kagingo some slack, please!

Friends:

I’ve been one of the more vocal opponents of Ms. Sarah Kagingo and her likes in govt but it pains me when i see a hardworking person being destroyed by others in the name of politics or whatever. I’m not NRM, and I’ve gone through no “contortions” to change my opinion on her or some people in the govt. In fact, the contortions are coming from a certain brand of some radical NRM people in civil service who will do everything to make Ugandans so frustrated with the system, in the form of doing a lot of bad things that damage the name of the country(police officers are guilty of this as charged); repeated false claims that they cannot support and bizarre logic repeated even after it’s been revealed as absurd. Oh, and don’t forget all their vague, unsupported, useless statements, like the one we have been reading about in the Observer that the cost of a statehouse website is not at shs.650m. Why don’t they just tell us the actual cost of all statehouse expenses to promote transparency in Statehouse and other govt institutions, instead of just denying it?

Sarah Kagingo

Sarah Kagingo


Considering how unpopular our govt is, I can tell you right now that no govt website is gonna generate as much hits as Sarah’s Facebook accounts and pages followers. The future is Facebook and every serious politician in the world is taking this seriously.

Once in a while I have fun deflating the false claims of Kagingo’s more ardent display of president Museveni as an angel, and i think she hates me for it. But we should be fair and acknowledge people who put in more shift than others in their jobs.For instance, when Kagingo opened his Facebook ‘worms’, Oh God, he put a lot of people out of jobs or what to write against the govt online. She is probably the best opponent UAH and other similar sites have faced in many years.

As you know, most of the regular UAH contributors are in opposition but the Kagingo regular pictures just dis-empowered them so much. Most of the govt people on UAH, apart from probably Gen.Kayihura, Ahmed Katerega, RDC Aisha Kabanda, Asuman Kiyingi and a few others, are not good with ‘interacting’ with those that are opposing them.They usually find comfort in their own individual accounts on Facebook- where they could intimidate whoever they want.Many of them are members there(UAH) but they are as quiet as a Kazinda in Luzira prison.

Here’s a free clue about the Ms.Kagingo on Facebook: Despite her inflated opinion of herself, she is not one of those to shy away from a good debate; she defends president Museveni and others in govt with passion but she also recognizes that a govt without opposition input is not an effective govt, and this kind of liberalism shouldn’t be a requirement for disliking her by anybody.I’m defending sister Kagingo because I think her new role is a valuable contribution to public discourse. As far as I can tell, the people smearing her are doing so for political reasons that have little to do with an interest in truth.

I understand that some people in the Statehouse wants Ugandans to believe that Ms.Kagingo is the problem here but where have all these people been in regards to ‘regular updates’ before Kagingo came in? What I don’t get is why some of you are so willing to swallow everything that is being reported in the media about her? You’ve chosen to buy everything they say on ‘agataliko nfufu’ hook, line and sinker because of your political bias, but I don’t think this is morally right.The fact is, all the people against her have clear reasons to skew things their way, so the fact that they’re doing so is no surprise, and means nothing.

When a lot of people have an obvious common motive to discredit someone, naturally they’re going to sing the same tune. I mean, duhhhhhhhh. That’s why you have to look at specifics, if you really care about the truth. When you actually look at specifics, most of the complaints are laughable. Come on, why would Kagingo inhumanly mistreat her ‘maid’ as it was reported, yet she is also reportedly facing some injustice at work(according to the Red-pepper and Observer)? i think this is simply black propaganda. Black propaganda, usually called disinformation, is generally used to make one’s opponents look evil, essentially to “frame” them for something they didn’t do. A reasonably skeptical person has little reason to side with such people in such circumstances.

Sarah Kagingo joined statehouse on merit. Most people think it was Gen. Salim Saleh aka Akandwanaho Caleb, that influenced her appointment but this is not the case, as far as I know. Do you guys remember the famous photo of rebel MPs eating food at one of the Kyankwanzi gatherings, at the time they were kicking Museveni Yoweri’s back side? It was Sarah that took it before it went viral on social networks, and that’s how she came to win the heart of the president. That’s how statehouse/ Museveni came to be seriously introduced on Facebook. The Linda Nabusayis were still thinking in stone age methods of being mean with such info to the main stream media, and Sarah swept them off their feet. They didn’t know what had hit them as journalists were no longer running to them for updates. Every journalist in Uganda is rightly following her on Facebook, and that’s is the best PR Museveni has ever got online. The other NRM PR gurus, like Mwenda, Ofwono Opondo-Opondo P’odel and his lame Media Centre, couldn’t possibly know what had hit them. I really feel for Ms.Kagingo because she doesn’t deserve all the shit being thrown at her by the ‘untouchables’. But God is keenly watching, we hope!

Byebyo ebyange banange!

Abbey

Alengot Oromait Becomes one of the Best PR Museveni has ever pulled!

Left is Ms Alengot Oromait during her school days. The 19-year-old, yet to join university (R), could be the youngest MP in Africa(DAILY MONITOR)Friends,
One of the more apparent truths of life is the old adage that it is easier to go downhill than uphill. Similar incantations observe that breaking something is easier than putting it back together. Perhaps all this may be explained by the election of Uganda’s youngest MP-elect Proscovia Alengot Oromait who was born in 1993 when I was still doing my O’ levels. For me, this is the best Public Relations (PR) Museveni has ever pulled such that the opposition are gonna find it difficult to put this one in the bin. NRM couldn’t have hired a better public relations person than Alengot.

This is way up there with the best I have ever seen in politics such that If anybody in the opposition tries to shoot this development down, the world will look at them as: ‘freedom hating, bigoted honourables’. The best way out of this for the opposition is to compile some evidence that may probably lead to cancellation of results, thus, another by-election.

This regime (I mean the whole regime, not just president Museveni) has unlimited funds for public relations, and they have been hiring the best, including Andrew Mwenda’s so called reconciliation series in his magazine, but this is the best they have done so far. I can see all the youths jumping up and down dreaming about becoming MPs and presidents in future. Every young man and woman is going to dream now to become something because of Alengot’s election as MP in Usuk. What better way to pull the youths towards NRM than this?

If this had happened in 1994 when I was secretary and Vice chairman Kibuli.S.S Political Education Club, I would have jumped my A’levels to stand for MP straightway. Why not? I’m also allowed to dream, right?

Just to keep this preposterous public relations ploy in perspective, I have compiled a handy list to show people how Museveni is going to use this young girl to promote himself and the party among the youths: Arengot will appear in HIV/AIDS campaigns; Arengot will appear in the 2016 newly branded ‘Mpekoni’ song; Arengot will probably become a state minister after 2016 and M7 will appear to be promoting a leader within for the first time; Arengot will probably become married soon to promote the accepted moral structures, after all she is already promoting the de-facto national dress(Buganda’s gomes), Arengot will be on our TV and newspapers so often, e.t.c

The debate over whether she has enough experience to be an effective MP obscures the real questions: When is a vote for a young candidate reasonable? Why has NRM turned to the young ones to produce their base in parliament? Is Museveni trying to repair what he has broken? Is Museveni becoming wiser in the old age?

These are questions we should be asking ourselves, after all, the world has seen young people becoming something big before. For instance, Dr.Besigye was in Museveni’s cabinet at the age of 28, I think. USA’s newly elected Republican representative Aaron Schock, is the youngest member of Congress at 28. Donald Rumsfeld is a Princeton graduate who became the youngest Secretary of Defense in the history of USA. Dr. Condoleezza Rice graduated high school at the age of 15 and earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Denver in 1974 (at age 19); her master’s from the University of Notre Dame in 1975; and her Ph.D. from the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver in 1981. Additionally, Dr. Rice began piano studies at age 3 and took up competitive figure skating in high school (rising at 4:30 am to practice before school).

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro was at a Democratic Party Convention as Keynoter a few days ago. He is a graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Law School (like his twin brother Joaquin, a Texas state representative), and in 2009 he became the youngest mayor of a top 50 U.S. city. I watched him on TV seated next to Michelle Obama during the convention and I thought: ‘ouch, some people are lucky!’

Basically, at the age of 18 all parental responsibility is legally ended and the person is considered to be an adult, fully able to make, and take responsibility for, all of their choices. If Arego was 17 years old, the critics would have a point but 19? Well I suppose it’s really only matters if you are in the opposition and realise that Museveni has scored where he was least expected to score. It looks like all the opposition wins in byelections have been overshadowed by this PR stunt, and i really feel sorry for them. I bet few people are now talking about Butambala and Muwanga Kivumbi yet it was a massive achievement for Ssubi and DP.

The right to vote, to drink, to smoke, to drive, etc. are all restricted to those who have reached 18 years old. The reason primarily is that it is assumed that until one reaches a certain age they cannot be trusted to act responsibly in regard to these things.

The best thing for a child is what the parent says is the best thing for their child (excluding physical and sexual abuse) but Arengot’s dad is dead, and his death seems to have given the daughter a life line. If she can survive questioning without contradicting herself, and can produce any developments in her constituency, then she will be MP for a good number of years.

All she needs to do is to be open with her thoughts and willing to share what information she can, and remain guarded – cautious and thoughtful in a manner critics will mistaken as cold.

Byebyo ebyange

Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba

NRM Is The Most Unethical Administration In the History of Uganda

Friends,
Some of you sound disappointed when Ugandans never chip in on the debates about:”forms of electoral malpractice and correcting the accompanying processes”, but i think this is to do with the fact that we have got the most unethical government in power such that whatever we propose, it will be a wastage of time. In any case, the government knows what they need to do to make elections free and fair but they are not willing to do it. Basically, they are not bothered as long as they retain power.

The more we know about president Museveni, the more it is obvious he was really a bad deal for us from the start. The scandals that have dominated his leadership for the last 26 years shows that there is an absolute abuse of Presidential power at the highest levels. Iddil Amin was a mediocre at best President but a lot of Ugandans are probably appreciating him now more than President Museveni despite his weak points. I know of few, if any, historians who rank him as great!

Museveni’s clinging to power(using all means necessary) have not only paralyzed him as a leader, but have also created a great schism in this nation. Now, I see a nation where a few people support Museveni’s job, and the majority frustrated ones wondering why the public isn’t getting mad, and why they can’t dent M7. It’s really rather amusing to observe. When the W2Work started, i guess a lot of people on this forum thought: ”this is it”, but i knew it wasn’t gonna bring him down. Yes, some people made political capital out of it but that is where it ended.

Good leaders know how to build bridges between disparate constituencies. To me, Mao, is one of those leaders that have learned on the job to do this despite various unconfirmed sources that he is an agent of NRM & Preident Museveni in opposition. His statement on the ‘Ugandans at Heart’ forum that he was gonna learn how to eat ‘amalewa’ because he is soon visiting Mbale’s Nandara Mafabi to mend fences over the fall out in East Africa General Assembly elections, spoke volumes. That is why i think the DPs should give him a chance to rebuild their party. Museveni, on the other hand, is a typical male who likes to display male rhetoric full of male hormones, as in like:’ndi musajja nyo, oyo Besigye namuwangula’. Now, if you are Besigye, how would you feel about this – very well knowing that the man cheated you in 2001, 2006 and 2011, and he is chest thumping about it.

And Museveni’s hatred of his domestic opponents has led him to create the secret “plumbers” and to corrupt the ISO, the CMI,the UPDF and the police – such that wherever one runs to after being unfairly treated by the system, they would lose to the president. Judging from what I sometimes hear on the radio and TV and see in the papers, I must be among the few Ugandans alive outside Uganda who don’t think that elections will ever take Museveni and NRM out of power. So, even discussing ways of stopping the rigging is a headache to me, to be honest.

Museveni controls everything in Uganda. If he was a media company, i would equate him to CNN in USA. CNN owners create wars, confusion, scandals,………… to get something on their TV. The choppers are owned by Ted Turner and he uses them to foment discord somewhere once his news teams are in place. Thus, he insures CNN of yet another Emmy/Pulitzer prize for covering the latest “breaking news.” Similarly, in Uganda, Museveni is capable of creating infighting both in NRM and other parties, and he would later come in as a peacemaker. Uganda is basically Museveni’s personal Island, if you know what i mean.

One of the most enjoyable things about being over 30 years old is watching the younger generations make the same dumb mistakes, the same stupid assumptions,buy the same political scams and fall for the same societal gimmicks and not having a clue as to what is really going on. The fun is seeing that look on their faces, when the truth finally hits them. For example, i used to tell my young brother not to waste time on girls when he was in secondary school but he never listened to me, but he didn’t know i was talking from experience.So, he missed out on a good course at university yet he is a brilliant guy because his head was always between the legs.

Museveni became a president when i was arguably a kid and i kind of supported him, but i have come to learn that i was really a real kid/naive. I should never have had hopes in the guy in the first place. As a result, I have learnt not to have hope in anyone especially if im not in position to influence that person directly myself. It appears no matter who gets in power, there ends up being some individual who will then think he does have a govern program to cure some natural process, or some operation, to make the life of others extremely unbearable.

It appears that our greatest enemy at this point in time and history seems to be a psychological phenomenon known as “cognitive dissonance”. Recognizing this, I now struggle to see some means of overcoming it, with great frustration and no real answers. Although I’m sure you are familiar with it, I offer you some information on this disease below.

Cognitive dissonance is a psychological phenomenon which refers to the discomfort felt at a discrepancy between what you already know or believe, and new information or interpretation. It therefore occurs when there is a need to accommodate new ideas, and it may be necessary for it to develop so that we become “open” to them. Beyond this benign if uncomfortable aspect, however, dissonance can go “over the top”, leading to two interesting side-effects for learning:

If someone is called upon to learn something which contradicts what they already think they know particularly if they are committed to that prior knowledge they are likely to resist the new learning. So, when you are a NRM supporter and someone tells you that Museveni rigged the election, evenif you know it is true, you are going to come up with all reasons under the sun, to dispel it. It is only when people admit it ,at both local and national level, that rigging is a reality, that we will come up with agreeable solutions.

Counter-intuitively, perhaps if learning something has been difficult, uncomfortable, or even humiliating enough, people are less likely to concede that the content of what has been learned is useless, pointless or valueless. To do so would be to admit that one has been “had”, or “conned”. So there is the reason the people of Uganda won’t see what is staring them in the face. Some of them are simply too ‘Musevenised’ to admit they’ve been duped, even though their survival depends on it. I have used the word ‘Musevenised’ to avoid using the word ‘stupid’ but my intentions, all the same, are honorable.

Byebyo ebyange

Abbey Semuwemba

Besigye-M7 Pending talks is a ”Bone-head” idea but a bit exciting

The Observer front page headline on 02/01/2012

Friends,

The story in the Observer about Besigye and Museveni planned talks is more like a replay of what happened between Zanu-PF and the MDC in Zimbabwe a few years ago. You remember those talks that were mediated by then South African president,Thabo Mbeki. The difference here is that Mwenda and Conrad Nkutu seem to be the big players in this whole thing which is a bit strange. I know Andrew Mwenda is a bit influential in the Museveni government but he is also someone who is not in good books with Besigye at the moment. So, anything where he is involved may raise suspicions.

It is also obvious that the story was intentionally leaked to the press to see the reaction from both camps: Besigye and Museveni’s, and the elites who read such stories published in English. So far, both sides have remained silent about it which confirms that something is in the pipeline. Even the big ‘mouthed’ Tamare Mirundi has not come out yet with his ‘bullets’ to shoot those ‘Nagendaising’ the situation, which shows that this is a big thing in the corridors of power in Uganda. The story has appeared both in the Newvision and Observer newspapers.

However, the whole exercise of these talks is a misdirected effort because the majority of Ugandans would be happy if president Museveni offers a quick time frame to step down from the presidency, but this is not something we expect from these talks. Museveni is not ready to give up power to anybody soon despite the recent Daily Monitor headline of ‘I will not stay in power forever’. The man has no intention at all to give up an inch of power, and I’m sure Besigye is aware of it, and we assume he (Besigye) is bothered by it .So what will be the basis of these talks, I wonder.

On the other hand, senior FDC officials are increasingly aware that there is a need to start planning for a political future after Dr.Besiggye, but do not quite know how to achieve that end. Besigye has already announced his intention to stand down from the FDC presidency despite his undoubted popularity among Ugandans. So, why involve himself in political deals he may not be there to supervise and see to it that they are fully implemented? Let’s say, for instance, Museveni agrees to a power sharing interim government, what will be Besigye’s and the new FDC president positions in the new government? Who will be the superior decision maker in the new government? This whole thing may ultimately weaken FDC if not handled properly.

Seriously, I don’t have a problem with the idea of talks between the opposition and Museveni government, and it is indeed encouraging to see that some people want it to happen, but there is a lot of water under the bridge at the moment- which makes it a bonehead idea at the moment.

A lot of people are in prison or exile because of the fights that have been going between these two guys, and I’m wondering if they have got any stake in these talks. Will there be an unconditional amnesty granted to all those perceived to be enemies of the state? Will all political prisoners be pardoned and let back on the street to do whatever they want before or after these talks? What about other stakeholders, such as the Mengo administration and Ssubi, which formed an alliance with Besigye in 2011 elections to see that Buganda achieves its demands from the central government? Will the Kabaka be involved in these talks? What about the religious leaders who are tired of corruption in government offices and would like the government to also get tough on homosexuality? What about those who just want to see the back of president Museveni for good as soon as possible and Besigye was seen as a representation of such feelings?

That’s why I think that the idea of talks between ‘Ajja Genda’ and ‘Mpekoni’ or ‘do u want another rap’ guy makes very little sense. Yes, looking for the “good”, or looking for the “truth” both proceed by talking and also by investigation and neither, in and of themselves, result in the creation of a sustainable political climate. However, looking for good as opposed to truth is precisely what has led Sub-Saharan Africa to its present downward spiral. Instead of recognizing truths which require little study and even less talk, western governments, media and academe have consistently tried to see good at the expense of recognizing such clear and obvious truths. The damage that this has done is just as evident and all in the service of a corrupt concept of natural equality.

If, therefore, we are to have meaningful talks between the government and opposition, president Museveni must publicly state that he is going to resign from the presidency at a specific date. Short of that, we may as well say that Besigye has betrayed the people who put too much trust in him. All the truth about everything evil this government has done must be put on the table as enough reason for the president to hang his boots as soon as possible. Truth is truth and looking the other way helps no one.

Byebyo ebyange

Abbey Semuwemba

Bidandi:Ke​ep Those Cards and Letters Coming but prepare for a Muhoozi presidency​!

Guys,
Bidandi ssali’s letter to Major Muhoozi is a land mine for the former but it just confirms what I have always told people that there is no serious opposition in Uganda. I don’t know what Bidandi and former DP president, Kawanga Ssemogerere, see in letter writing as far as changing Uganda politics is concerned, because these two guys have been writing letters to whoever is in power since 1980s. I’m not surprised that both of them are going to die without ‘tasting’ the presidency. You don’t become a president in Uganda by annually writing letters in the media. Bidandi is not a serious opposition leader. He once called Paul Semogerere ‘docile’ on one of the FM stations (when he was still in NRM) but I see no difference between them now.

Yes, Bidandi urges Muhoozi to prove to himself, to his family, and to the world, that he makes his own decisions, and that his being the son of president Museveni has got nothing to do with anything, but I cannot see Muhoozi doing so because he has become what he is because of his father. Bidandi is inviting him to walk through a land mine here because Muhoozi cannot afford to start rebelling against his father. Such advice is ok for sons of leaders in developed nations but not Africa. A label like ‘being son or daughter of a big man in government’ can help one gate crash anything. If, for instance, Muhoozi opens up a facebook account right now, several Ugandans would rush to become his friends because he is simply the son of Museveni. People create ‘ghost’ friends and enemies when they are in that kind of position.

To be honest, I just hate all of Bidandi’s letters because they seem to do a PR for Muhoozi and Museveni than anything else. He wrote one during the previous presidential campaigns which I again thought was more of a PR for Museveni than anything else, especially where he sneaked in the issue of Museveni visiting his son in the hospital. The leader of a supposedly a national party (PPP) writing to the president of a nation about national issues and then concludes the message with a personal note….. I thought this was either an intended political miscalculation from Mr.Bidandi or he was just overwhelmed with parental emotions when writing this letter. In all fairness, President Museveni visited Bebe Cool to tap votes of the musician’s supporters.

The way Bidandi sounded in the letter to Muhoozi one would think that he was talking to a son of Martin Luther King, sr. You see Martin Luther King, Jr. was a son of a preacher but despite his unprivileged Negro background, everybody could see that he was a man on a mission to save a certain group of people. So who is Muhoozi really going to save? He is basically looking at the presidency as the highest he can get after being put on a speed boat in army promotions.

Like I said, there is nothing in Uganda at the moment that can stop Muhoozi from becoming the next president of Uganda. Letter writing, wiki-leaks cables, restoration of term limits, media interviews by NRM old guards,……. are all not going to stop the Muhoozi project. It is only the UPDF and foreign nations that can stop it if they decide to do so.

In any case, what Museveni is doing with Muhoozi is not that much different from what George Bush, Sr. did to help his son to become president. Actually, somebody wrote a damaging and well researched book: ‘Fortunate Son’ by J.H. Hatfield, to open the eyes of the Americans on what they were electing into the White House, but it did not stop Bush, Jr. from becoming the president. The book showed Bush’s weak academic performances, his three known arrests, his alcoholism, the failure of all of his oil companies, you name it, but he still made it to the presidency.

This same Bush did not even give a damn on how the public perceived him before he became the president. At one time during a conversation with Hartford Courant associate editor David Fink, he was asked at the 1988 Republican Convention: “When you’re not talking politics,” Fink asked the vice president’s son, “what do you and [your father] talk about?” “Pussy,” George W. replied. I’m sure he made a lot of people to long for one then.

So, those who think that because Muhoozi was allegedly involved in some shoot outs at Kasubi tombs where two people lost their lives, the ‘’massacres’’ in Karamojja or whatever, then it is capable of twisting the minds of Ugandans in rural areas when he is presented as NRM presidential candidate, they should plan for something else. Such propaganda does not stop sons of former presidents from winning the presidency. In any case, Muhoozi has already done a PR of his own by writing a book, whose title I even don’t know up to now, because I know why he wrote it. He will also be helped by the fact that NRM and the government now control the radio space in the country which can reach out to the biggest masses. If probably Ugandans At Heart was a radio station that covers at least 60% of Uganda, he should have been worried.

Byebyo ebyange
Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba

Mike Mukula Was Right about the Muhoozi- Museveni ‘presidency’ and the opposition cannot stop it

Friends,

Muhoozi in the middle of president Museveni and Cabinet minister to Karamoja

Yes, it was good for president Museveni’s son, Major General Muhoozi, to come out and clarify on the comments reportedly made by Mike Mukula as revealed by wiki-leaks. Muhoozi hides behind the curtains a lot like ‘omugole’( a bride) yet people want to know what he is thinking. Tugumizemu Vernon, the leader of the ‘’Muhoozi Generation Network ‘’ on facebook, told us recently that he ( Muhoozi) follows Ugandans At Heart[UAH] but he should come out a bit more. We don’t know him and what he is in his head. So maybe we are wrongly judging him.

If I’m being honest with you, there was a time I believed that Muhoozi will automatically be Uganda’s next president, but from what I have observed in the last 9 months, I think this project will prove to be disastrous for president Museveni if he goes ahead with it. I’m not saying that it is not going to happen but it will bury him if he is not careful. The world has changed so much and everyone is looking for an excuse to attack someone, and there will be no better excuse for the ‘big boys’ to kick Museveni’s butt in future if he goes ahead and promotes his son to the presidency.

Having said that, I have come to believe that one does not become a president in Uganda because of mere elections. May be, it will change in the next 10-20 years but not now. So if anyone thinks that elections will stop Muhoozi from becoming our next president, please think again.

Museveni knows that he will meet resistance within NRM, the UPDF, and parliament if he imposes Muhoozi on Ugandans but this will not stop him if he is determined to pursue this project. Of all the institutions that may resist this ‘’Muhoozi project’’, it is only the army he is afraid of. Muhoozi will not be fielded as NRM candidate if president Museveni senses that the military, and in this case UPDF, may cause huge problems. Forget about the rest and their problems. It is only the military that may internally stop it but not elections of any kind.

Elections are useless in Uganda because president Museveni can use them to get whatever he wants. Without going into the presidential rigging that is often rightly cited by the opposition, Let me give you an example of the two referendums to either stay with the Movement or Multiparties, and the vice versa.

The first one was held in June 2000 and the second was held in July 2005. Those who voted ‘‘Yes’’ to Movement system were 4,471,681 that represented a 90.7% according to the Electoral Commission. Those who ticked or voted ‘‘No’’ to Multiparty system were 442,843 which represented 09.3% of the total votes.

The second referendum was held after less than 4 years but the results again came out as President Museveni wanted them to be. Those who said ‘‘Yes’’ to Multiparty system were 3,736,367 which represented a good 92.4% of the total votes cast. Those who ticked ‘‘No’’ to Movement system were 297,865 representing 07.6% of the total votes.

So basically elections in Uganda cannot stop Museveni from being the president of Uganda even if 90% of Ugandans vote for the opposition. Similarly, they cannot stop his son or anybody he wishes, from becoming the next president.

Apart from the UPDF, international pressure or intervention would also be able to stop the Muhoozi project, because there is nothing on the ground that is capable of stopping Muhoozi from becoming the president of Uganda if Museveni wants him to. The opposition is weak, parliament can easily be twisted, the media is under his control, the old NRM historicals have accumulated a lot of wealth and have got no appetite to wage more wars, and the man with the ”hat” on his head almost controls everything in the country.

Let’s face it: Muhoozi is President Museveni’s project with a lot of money behind it, and Captain Mike Mukula was so right in his remarks to the Americans though I read somewhere that he had started backtracking for fear of the ‘big eyes’ from the big fella in state house angrily rolling all over him. Having Muhoozi in state house is like having Museveni in another form. We don’t need that anymore. We need to find a break from all this NRM, musevenism, Janet Musevenism, Muhoozi Musevenism, e.t.c

If you ask me, I would tell you that I respect poor people who join the military so much but it is not something I would recommend to anybody. It is too much sacrifice taken by the young men and women out there who join this service to serve their country. The military men are paid so poorly worldwide apart from obviously the top bosses yet they sacrifice so much.

However, the military training tends to give people some kind of discipline and routine in their life. So I think it is good for the sons of the rich, monarchies, the privileged, e.t.c. That’s why sons of royals in the UK all enlist in the military at some point but I would not recommend it to anybody from a poor background. It is not easy to become successful in the military when you are under privileged though some few people have made it and eventually became great leaders.

But obviously I cannot say the same thing for Muhoozi who joined the UPDF as soon as he graduated at university. Since then, he has been on a variety of courses abroad including in the prestigious Sandhurst in the UK. I think he is the most paper qualified UPDF soldier at the moment.

Abbey

Not Excited by John Nagenda’s Interview to Sunday Monitor

Dr. John Nagenda

Friends,

I’m not so excited by Nagenda’s interview because I believe he is now a ”nobody” in Museveni’s political ambitions.In any case, there is nothing he said that is not already known to Ugandans. Some people in the media and opposition will try to hype it a little bit but I’m sure Nagenda has already received a phone call telling him to ‘calm down’. If the interview had been made by one of the big guys in the army, Museveni would have lost his sleep but not a presidential advisor. The army is the main thing that terrifies Museveni now but nothing else.

However, Nagenda’s interview in the Sunday Monitor is full of foundation rattling comments that would seem to deserve a reaction from State House. The smart money suggests that this is only the beginning of the fall out of Museveni with the old guards or so called NRM historicals – that similar comments will be made by others in the next few years. It is only natural if somebody has been in power for such a long time.

Nonetheless, the interview has raised Nagenda’s stakes but that is as far as it goes. He may either be promised something better than presidential advising or he is going to be pulled down by the very system he helped to build. I think as presidential advisor he’s scaled new heights of slime and outrageousness.

Nagenda’s interview is a bit confusing, though, because he is very skilled at dancing around the periphery of issues. Any answers he delivered to the Sunday Monitor can survive a thousand interpretations. He is a very intelligent man who is very good at framing, positioning and spinning ideas. He can, therefore, easily turn the whole interview around depending on how the president reacts to it. He obviously made this interview to get the president’s attention and Tamare Mirundi was very right on this.

But he runs the risk of being punished by the president because I don’t think presidential advisors are supposed to advise the president through the media, and I think they have got certain binding agreements in their contracts that don’t allow them to behave the way Nagenda did. This doesn’t require elaboration. If Nagenda broke certain stuff in his job contract knowingly, it’s a misdemeanor, and it may be punishable in the courts of law or may lead to his dismissal as presidential advisor.

However, any Presidential advisor must have the freedom to be allowed to give the President honest and straight forward advice without the danger of being cited by the president during a witch hunt for political reasons. Nagenda may reason, as he stated, it is no longer easy to meet the president. More so, the president never listens to anyone anymore apart from his wife who is a cabinet minister.


TAMARE MIRUNDI

I was not surprised that Tamare Mirundi butted in as soon as Nagenda gave a negative interview to Sunday Monitor. He’s doing his job. Wouldn’t you agree that Nagenda’s role in this government is relatively insignificant compared to the role of presidential spokesperson who is participating in the presidential affairs on an on-going basis? Yes, it may true that a presidential advisor outranks any presidential spokesperson but in Uganda’s case, presidential advisors are more or less useless. That’s why Tamare referred to them as people with ‘financial difficulties’.

Nevertheless, Tamare’s comments may not go down well with other presidential advisors but he was telling the truth. I wonder what Chris Rwakasisis is thinking right now. He should have found a better way of addressing this issue.

Anyway, Tamare himself is just a guy trying to make a living by pandering to the propaganda needs of the very rich and powerful. Being spokesperson is not the best paying and most secure job in the world but it’s usually a pretty good living, actually. I don’t how much Tamare is paid annually but I’m sure his life has financially changed ever since he got this job.That is why he looks and sounds so excited.

Yes, he still mangles the English language but most of us- Ugandans in central, are like that. It would be better if he is usually given a script tree to follow which will allow him to respond to most topics of concern. I think they do it with spokespersons of developed nations. If a spokesperson lies, then the person he speaks for lies as well, unless the spokesperson is immediately corrected or removed from the organization. When Tamare Mirundi speaks Luganda, he is actually a pleasure to listen to though he is very arrogant and disrespectful. I also hate it when he belittles our Kabaka and other elders in the society. However, he seems like a smart guy when he talks in Luganda but his body language gives him away as a man who is angry, revengeful and always looking for recognition. The way he straightens his neck when talking to the media- points to a man with less confidence.


Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba

http://ugandansatheart.org/
http://twitter.com/#!/semuwemba
http://jjanguonkwekule.blogspot.com/
https://semuwemba.wordpress.com/

Museveni Will Not Give Away Mabira. He is Simply using it to take ”Economic Heat” off himself


Dear friends,

Mabira forest is back in the news and, this time around with a seemingly determined president who is ready to give away part of the forest for sugar cane growing. Speaking as someone who grew up on a farm in Bugerere, and who lived somewhere nearest to Mabira forest at Kangulumira, I would have to say president Museveni don’t have a clue about the environment. President museveni’s argument that giving away part of Mabira in 2007 would have prevented the current rise in sugar prices is so simplistic. His insistence that he will give away Mabira regardless of people’s cries is another confirmation that big people with big power do big evil and know they are doing it.

Yes, some people have argued that Mabira is just one forest in Uganda and in any case, it is very easy to replace a forest but Isn’t that like saying that because an individual locust doesn’t mean to wipe out the entire crop that we should try to stop the hoard of them. Cutting down trees or rain forests, bodes ill for the long-term survival of the human species. Some 25% of the world’s oxygen is generated in the rainforests. As a matter of our own survival it is imperative that every resource not be used up, but that instead sustainable methods be implemented.

What use is short-term success if it guarantees long-term failure? Isn’t it better to implement methods that are good for us now and later? The fact is that cutting down a forest affects the environment. If we lose forests, we lose the fight against climate change. Global warming and increased temperatures are causing higher winds as well. I read somewhere that Sahara Desert was once a rain forest before man started heating the earth with campfires to cook meat, and suddenly the Desert formed. In this 21st century, we are doing a lot of things to destroy these forests. For instance, we’re ruining the rainforest by using too much toilet paper. It may sound funny to a lot of people but it is true. The sky is just falling into pieces on a daily basis and we are doing very little to revert the process.

For Mabira Forest, there was an abrupt forest loss of about 24%  between 1976 and 1986 (27,421 to 20,977 ha) due to encroachers. I guess the rebels against Iddil Amin and Milton Obote 2 governments might have also cooked a lot of food in the bushes using firewood at the time. The encroachers originated from the neighbouring districts of mainly Kamuli and Iganga. The trend of encroachment was reversed between 1988 and 1989 when all the encroachers were evicted and an ambitious programme of rehabilitating the forest through re-afforestation was embarked on by the forest department in 1989. We are now surprised that the same government that saw the need to protect the forest is now gearing towards destroying it.

Fact is, the economy is entirely too large and complex for human minds to comprehend. Government policy does have noticeable and to some extent predictable effects on the economy. President Museveni ‘cleaned’ up the treasury during this year’s presidential campaigns and he has been dishing out a lot of money to save his  men , particularly, Basajjabalaba, whose businesses are always in trouble. May be the money has run out, and now it is time to dish out state land. Our Nation is being sold down the river to save Museveni’s legacy of mismanagement of resources.

Mabira is a tourist attraction and it cannot continue to generate us income with leaders who see it as a cancer to sugarcane production. Mabira is endowed with about 312 trees and shrub species. Approximately 47% of Uganda’s tree species grow in Mabira, including five rare species. There are more than 287 birds including the threatened Nahan’s francolin (Francolinus nahani); 23 small mammals, vervet monkeys and baboons as well as two arboreal primate species; 218 butterfly species and 97 large moth species. It is illegal to practice medicine without a license in Uganda. It is too bad that Museveni, simply because he is president, is given a license to manage forests he knows nothing about, and cares even less about.

It is suspected that government’s interest in Mabira is mainly Timber. The timber companies usually cut down the large, mature trees for their profit and what Museveni is attempting to do is let loose the timber companies to make the environmental decisions for us all. Both the timber and sugar companies are simply taking advantage of a poor nation with a corrupt system. Which stable country really gives out land like that as if we are a charity case? They also pay peanuts to the Basoga who are doing most of the sugarcane growing but because our people are poor, they still go along with it.

Profits by definition, are the difference between the market value of a product and the cost of its production.  Paying workers little and selling the fruits of their labor for a high price is one way enormous profits can be generated.  For instance, if Madhvani can sell a 20 kg sack of sugar in the South Sudan for $150, made in Uganda for about $7 in labor and materials, then the  labor was actually worth many times what the  laborer was actually compensated for the work. Nonetheles, SCOUL  is the least efficient of Uganda’s three main sugar producers – the others are Kakira and Kinyara. Their demand for ‘free’ land is abysimal and should be rejected by all free minded Ugandans.

What the government should do is to turn people already owning land around Mabira and sugar factories into fulltime and -state- supported sugarcane growers. There are a lot of people who own large pieces of land in these areas but it is idle. By transmogrifying a group of such people into market-oriented consumers and laborers in factories, they become sources of Profit. In Mabira Forest, many of the deforested portions were turned to smallholder agriculture (sharp increase of agriculture in 1986 and 1989 compared to the 1970s).

There is plenty we can do now to preserve human livelihood both now and later. Education, international cooperation,  debt forgiveness, technology transfer, introducing  sustainable farming methods, setting aside more protected  lands, passing and enforcing laws that both protect the  environment and encourage economic growth, providing job  training, follwoing the Cuban experiment, etc. All this would be much cheaper in the long run than sitting twiddling our thumbs and then having to pay the price later.

Personally, I still don’t believe that Museveni will risk giving away Mabira because what happened on April 12th 2007 will be made to look like a picnic if he goes ahead with this idea. He has tactically created a situation that takes the heat completly off him as the economy is in a totally bad shape. So people have simply forgotten other issues and everybody has jumped on Mabira. Anyway,the Mehta family should look for the 17,540 acres elsewhere, and they need to pay for it. It should not be free as it looks the case now with their current and past demands. In any case, it requires an act of parliament for Museveni to give away this gazette state land. I don’t believe that all the current NRM MPs will allow themselves to be used again and again just because the president serves them food and wine whenever they visit him at State House under these circumstances.

Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba

http://ugandansatheart.org/
http://twitter.com/#!/semuwemba
http://jjanguonkwekule.blogspot.com/
https://semuwemba.wordpress.com/

Current Justice Minister,Otafiire, Should release the contents of the CIVHR report

Dear Ugandans,
A lot of atrocities have been committed against Ugandans since independence and this subject is dominating almost all debates among Ugandans on a daily basis. The real problem is that we have never had a real truth and reconciliation commission to help put certain questions to bed. More so, it would have helped if the current Uganda government had released the findings of the Commission of Inquiry into Violations of Human Rights perpetrated from 1961 until 1986. The Commission’s role was to inquire into “the causes and circumstances” surrounding mass murders, arbitrary arrests, the role of law enforcement agents and the state security agencies, and discrimination which occurred during that time.

Justice Arthur Haggai Okelo Oder.

The commission was chaired by Justice Oder and it was also supposed to suggest various ways in which we were to make sure that such human rights violations did not happen again in our country. Nevertheless, going by what has happened so far since 1986, it looks we shall need another commission for the period NRM have been in power. Apart from Oder, the other five commissioners were: John Nagenda(NRM),Dr. Edward Khiddu-Makubuya (now NRM),Dr. Jack Luyombya(NRM and he was in the bush with M7),John Kawanga( Neutral but I guess he is now NRM),Joan Kakwenzire( Women advocate and historian). I think the current Vice president, Edward Ssekandi, was also part of the commission.

Dr. Makubuya was not affiliated with any political party in 1986. He valued his Yale academic credentials so much then that he did not feel the need to join anything that might taint his good name. Remember, he had got a 1st class degree in Law at MUK before he went to Yale on a scholarship. He was just lecturing at MUK at that time, but he later joined the NRM after the findings of the commission. Mukubuya also later became the Minister of Education and Sport in Museveni government. I don’t know what he is up to now since the cabinet reshuffles this year.

Others like Naggenda John and Luyombya were later given heroes medals by the Museveni government. John Nagenda and Joan Kakwenzire later also became one of the many of Museveni’s special advisors (‘’NKUSIBIDE AWO KASITA NKUSASULA’’ meaning ‘’I have tied you there, after all, I pay you’’). Naggenda has also been keeping himself busy with his regular Newvision columns but I wonder what he exactly does in terms of being productive to the nation at the moment.Oder died of cancer in 2006 and he was among those judges that agreed with Besigye that the 2006 elections had been rigged.

So, I doubt whether any of these people can help us access the contents of that report. They have all been given positions that don’t allow them to say anything bad against the govt. But the guys in the media should help us please to dig the contents of this report.

The then Minister of Justice, Mulenga, who appointed the Commission in 1986, promised that the government would not bury the findings of the Commission. So, we can still push the current minister of justice, Kahinda Otafire, to release the report to the media. Ugandans deserve to know what is in that report. I believe that the Uganda Human Rights Commission have got a copy at their offices but I wonder how the rest of Uganda can access it. I’m sure it has got a lot of revealing information that could be interesting to read, and also help us find a way forward. The Danish embassy has also got a copy because they sponsored some of the commission’s work. But it’s up to us to demand that the government releases the official copy of this commission. However, I sometimes wonder why the current Opposition MPs do not pick on these issues and raise them in parliament. Ugandans deserve to read what was put in this report.

The report was tabled in October 1994 but I’m sure it’s one of those time and resource wasting projects governments in Africa don’t take seriously. As a result, we are all in darkness about some things that happened in our country’s history. I understand that Museveni’s heart is/was not in this commission. He introduced the Amnesty Commission before the 1986 ‘’Truth and Reconciliation’’ commission had finished their job. The commission lacked both political support and adequate funding.

Some people have been asking me why Muslim leaders are not bothered with finding out the atrocities that happened to fellow Muslims in the past but this is not true. Muslims are also searching for answers just like any other Ugandan. Muslims have been kind of disorganized and divided since independence such that it has been difficult to bring them together to discuss matters of importance to their community, but they have started sorting this out slowly.

Muslims have been killed under different regimes but it is very difficult to gather all this information together to bring it into the public domain. All Uganda’s leaders, apart from Iddil Amin, have been dividing and using Muslims to achieve their own political aims, but with more organization and unity, Muslims will eventually put a stop to this nonsense.

For instance, there were some Muslims killed in Bushenyi district and president Museveni mentions this in his book (Sowing the Mustard Seed) on page 113. Museveni said that there were killed by fellow villagers who had been incited by someone whose identity was known. Museveni does not mention the name of the villager in his book though he gives this as one of the examples why Godfrey Binaisa had to be dislodged from power.

Imaam Iddi Kasozi also presented a paper at the Uganda Muslim Youth Assembly (UMYA) in 2008 and he talked about human rights and the murder of Muslims in Ankole and Arua. We saved the contents of this paper on the link below if anybody wishes to read it:

http://ugandamuslims.wordpress.com/2011/06/27/human-right-in-uganda-the-fate-of-the-1979-muslim-massacres-in-arua-and-ankole-paper-presented-at-umya-ramadhan-seminar-2008/

I wish more Muslims present this data to us such that we keep it on records instead of dying with all this knowledge. The Torch Newspaper has also been conducting weekly interviews among the Muslim elders in Uganda to help us gather information here and there. I don’t know if they have stopped doing this as I have not seen any more interviews posted to us for a while, but I reckon they were doing a good job, and they should be supported.

Byebyo ebyange

Abbey.K.Semuwemba

President Museveni should Come Out on Kazibwe and Ssebagala

Dear Friends,

The current reports that former vice president, Dr.Specioza Kazibwe, has been suspended over another financial mismanagement of micro-finance resources is so sickening. Several Ugandans warned the president against reappointing the lady in any financial position of authority after the Valley Dam saga, but he went ahead and did so for reasons only know to him.

It is even more sickening that Ms.Kazibwe reportedly said that it’s only president Museveni who could fire her, an indication that she is one of those who no longer respect the institutions in the country. She looks at president Museveni as everything in Uganda, and she is probably right, but as Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) explained that the ‘perfect nature of man’ could be defiled by a corrupt society. He believed that individuals willingly enter a ‘form of association’ with already known criminals because there is a mutual benefit of protecting all participants in this association. If president Museveni, therefore, does not come out to distance himself from Dr. Kazibwe’s actions, we will fairly believe that whatever Dr.Kazibwe did was sanctioned by him one way or the other.

The corruption in Uganda has spread to several institutions including the Kampala City Council such that it was again very embarrassing on the side of the president not to publicly come out to distance himself from another known crook in the names of Hajji Nasser Ssebagala over the Town Clerk’s residence issue. Just like Kazibwe, Ssebagala also claims that it is only president Museveni who can evict him from this house.Oh, i almost forgot another former Vice president,Dr.Bukenya, who rightly said that whatever he did during CHOGM was on behalf of the president. It seems Musevenism is everywhere now and state insitutions are dead.

Anyway, Property is such a very important issue such that it is always painful for anybody who lawfully acquired a piece of land or built a house to be unfairly evicted, but in Ssebagala’s case, I don’t know because the whole thing has got Museveni’s ‘good’ hands on it. We should only feel sorry for those small property or land owners that are continually evicted by the rich as Rousseau also said in his book: ‘the social Contract’:” the right of property is the most sacred of all rights of citizenship, and even more important in some respects than liberty itself; either because it more nearly affects the preservation of life, or because, property being more easily usurped and more difficult to defend than life, the law ought to pay a greater attention to what is more easily taken away; or finally, because property  is the true foundation of civil society, and the real guarantee of the undertakings of citizens.’’(p.138)

I have heard old men saying: ‘these guys have stolen more than anybody before but they still want more’. This avarice among some of the current crop of NRM leadership is so scaring. It is, therefore, very important that we support those that use the law to bring these irregularities into the public domain or to be questioned. On this note, I would like Ugandans to support the mayor of Kampala and Executive Director in their efforts to follow the book as they sort out the mess in the city.

Otherwise, the high state of corruption reported daily in the media is likely to make us a bit more isolated on the global stage if we are not careful. Most of the great nations we have got today are building special relationships with one or two countries as a survival mechanism for the unpredictable future. For instance, Britain and USA have got a ”special relationship” which every leader of these two countries tries to defend regardless of some policy differences, something Sydney Blumenthal, one of President Clinton’s advisors, emphasized in 1998 to a meeting of the World Policy Institute.

However, Uganda, on the otherhand, looks to be a bit isolated in both East Africa and world stage. Both the Kenyans and Tanzanians speak ill of our president. We used to have a special relationship with Paul Kagame’s Rwanda but it sickens to read daily in newspapers  that we have sunk so low to the extent of accusing each other of certain rebel activities , as we have seen since the death of Colonel Muzora.And it seems nobody seem to be doing anything to revive this good relationship we once had with Rwanda. It is all now accusatiosn after accusations!

By the way, it is good that the government is investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of colonel Muzora, and I believe their intentions are good. But I have read messages in different forums indicating that Ugandans don’t trust the government anymore when it comes to high profile murder investigations. Actually, General Tinyenfunza’s interview with the Daily Monitor recently in regard to Muzora’s murder has even made it worse because some people now believe that the whole investigation is meant to directly pin Dr.Kiiza Besigye . Some Ugandans seem to agree with what the American Professor, Thomas Stephen Szasz, once said in 1993 that the law makers do not uncover but ‘’invent crimes’. He also held the view that killing only becomes a crime if it is not sanctioned by the state, and I think he was right to some extent especially in developing countries such as Uganda.

But overall, those who think that Uganda is a special case whereby leaders will continue to unfairly imprison and kill political opponents without any international actions, are living in a dream cave. The world has changed and our leaders should find a way to change with it as soon as possible or they are gonna be run down by their own citizens and the international community at some point.We should all feel safe while in our country.

Byebyo ebyange

Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba

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Presidential Age Limit Should Be Scrapped From The Constitution

Dear Friends,

I may sound a bit weird on this but I think age limit should not be applicable to leaders born before the computer age. This is something i have been thinking about for a while. In all honesty, I find it awkward to ask an African man their age because most of them don’t know when they were born exactly. Just look at our African footballers in the premiership, some of them look older but you find the media here in the UK reporting their age as in 20s. Every time I used to watch Kanu( Nigeria footballer) on the pitch- when he was playing for Portsmouth, I used to see an old man in his late 30s but the media reported something less than that.

I just wish people lay off age limits as far as presidency and the current generation of African men are concerned. Most Africans don’t know when exactly they were born. So there is a possibility that president Museveni may even be younger or older than 63. The reason for ending Museveni’s perpetual presidency should not be based on his age but on his ability to lead the country. As far as I know, Museveni should not have stood for presidency in 2011 because I think he has lost the credibility to lead the country but I would not pin this on his age or something like that- because it’s kind of a useless argument.

No wonder, age is literally becoming even useless in the western countries as I have seen kids here who are supposed to be 16 years old but they look like they are in their mid 20s. Age should not be a determinant for the presidency, and I think it should be scrapped from the constitution for now. Let’s just restore presidential term limits but leave age out of it. We are Africans and most of us don’t know when exactly we were born.

The reason why I’m saying that it should be removed temporarily is because we have got people with leadership ambitions but they don’t know when they were exactly born. So, the more we keep it in place, the more we force people in this category to either keep unnecessarily deceiving us about their age or finding ways of changing the constitution to protect their rights. This article or whatever about age limits for presidency  makes our constitution to look a bit  unconstitutional, i.e. it is discriminating people who don’t know their DOB yet it was not their fault. I’m surprised there is no lawyer who has gone to the courts yet to challenge it.

It is not like here in the developed nations where every child born or dead has got to be registered with the registrar’s office. Even ladies who have still birth have to register such babies. One cannot burry them before they are registered. So the issue of DOB is easy for them here in developed nations- unlike us.

In Uganda, people manufacture birth certificates on Nasser road when some people request for them because they don’t have any and don’t know when they were exactly born. It is only kids who have been born in this computer age that will be ok with age limits in the constitution but not people in our generation. For instance, that baby whose mother was pregnant and she was shot during the ‘Walk to work’ protests, he will know his age because it is in every computer in the world. I think some Ugandans on the Ugandans At Heart(UAH) forum nicknamed him ‘RISASI’’ if my memory serves me right. But what about guys who were born when the only thing governments in place were interested in was how to murder Baganda, Westnilers and keeping themselves in power?

Yes, I know there is a risk of some people misusing this well intentioned gesture but that is a risk we gonna have to take to protect the spirit of constitutionalism in the country. We should not look at this issue in the Museveni angle alone because with him, he can change or bring any articles he wants in the constitution regardless of what Ugandans want. This plan is merely meant to save the very constitution we are trying to protect from some form of unconstitutionalism.

Some people have accused me of suggesting this for the benefit of ‘my boss”(whatever this means). First of all, President Museveni is not my boss because he never brings any cent on my account. Actually, he has never brought any cent on my account.

Secondly, there is nothing novel or radical about this idea of scrapping presidential age limit. People who came with the 1995 constitution reportedly consulted people during CA before they came up with all this stuff we are reviewing now, but I can tell you right now that nobody consulted me or any of my friends. So I don’t know what they based on to come up with some stuff in the constitution. If you ask me, I would tell you that Uganda has got a good constitution but some things need to be reviewed, and I think this is one of them.

It was selfish for the parliament to remove presidential term limits and I think they should be restored, but age limit should be temporarily put to bed and rest.

Abbey

MBABAZI PM APPOINTMENT IS A TACTICAL WIN FOR M7

Dear folks,
Disturbing as the Mbabazi appointment as the new Prime Minister(PM) may be, however, it is only an unusually visible sign of something that has been going on quietly for a long time — the struggle for leadership in NRM. Mbabazi has been shifted to the post of PM to be weakened, and political observers will judge his political tactics as weak if he accepts this position.

A prime minister is appointed by the president and is sacked by the president while the NRM Sec General can be recommended by the president but it’s the NRM delegates that elect him. So a party Sec General can easily defy the president while a PM cannot do so. So Mbabazi risks becoming a total poodle for president Museveni the moment he accepts to become his PM. He will be almost the same age as Museveni when he retires in probably 2016. So he will not be a threat in the post Museveni era.

An NRM Secretary General is capable of building a political base of his own if the tools for party promotion are in place and effective. Even if Mbabazi will never become the president of Uganda, being Sec General gives him some sort of a say on influencing the successor to president Museveni and NRM affairs. That is why Gilbert wanted this post but Museveni knew his moves, and instead decided to play chess with Mbabazi.

I think Amama is too arrogant to be in any political office. He may have some good ideas but his demeanor simply kills him. He has also been reported in various corruption scandals. His appointment as PM is a total display of lack of class on president Museveni’s part and confirmation that the office of the presidency means a lot to him.

With both Bukenya and Mbabazi out of the way, Museveni can get somebody to run for this post on his recommendation, and implement ‘’project Muhoozi’’ without any problems. Some people reported that Charles Rwomushana may be appointed in this position but I cannot see this happening because this guy is known to be ambitious from Makerere University days. I wonder what he is up to nowadays. He used to make a lot of noise in the media but he seems to have gone underground.

Yes, president Museveni may console Bukenya Gilbert with some other ministerial post or government job, and knowing Bukenya the way I have come to know him, he will accept any deployment anywhere because he is,i guess, one of the types that are afraid of working outside public service. Gilbert’s Poverty alleviation program was possible because he was in a big office. If Museveni makes him the minister of Agric, then he can continue with it, but I don’t see it happening. He and Carlo Ancelloti seem to be looking ‘elsewhere’ now.

Ssekandi as VP

Like I said yesterday, selfish politicians tend to appoint people in these positions that don’t present any threat to them. So Mr.Sekandi Edward fits this profile very well. Ssekandi is being looked in Buganda as another ‘Judas Iscariot’ such that he even struggled to retain his parliamentary seat in Bukoto, but president Museveni looks at him as a safe pair of hands because he does not harbour presidential ambitions. Even if he did, few Ugandans would even want to associate themselves with him after a lot of bad laws were passed under his stewardship as the speaker of parliament. Those who want to associate with him are the usual sellers of ‘burger and chips’ for NRM. Just like Mbabazi, Ssekandi will end his political career with Museveni. So no surprises here!

Appointing Ssekandi as VP also confirms that Museveni nolonger regards Mengo as a big problem anymore. Ssekandi supported and presided over two controversial bills: 2007 land and the Traditional leader’s bills, both of which put the president and Kabaka on a parallel platform. Therefore, Museveni is basically giving a ‘finger’ to Mengo by publicly confirming this appointment which Mengo can do without.

America Kyambadde

I was hoping that president Museveni will make a ‘’mistake’’ (unselfish act) and appoint a younger person, like Ameria Kyambade as VP. Ameria is an ambitious person however much she tries to smile it off. She has got that nice smile that can hoodwink anybody to think that she is just trying to keep Janet Museveni in check, but she is ambitious in her own way.

Being a woman and a long time confidant of president Museveni, gives her some sort of political clout over her opponents and she can use this to her advantage in future. I have been very impressed with her ability to make her intentions known while the other NRM leaders are back peddling and looking for the tall grass. She is one very smart, and tough, cookie.

Muslims

Muslims continue to be marginalised in Museveni’s cabinet as has been the case for the last 10 years. Most of the big cabinet positions, apart from probably finance where Saida Bumba may be retained, the rest have been occupied by people of other faith. I don’t know the merit the president bases on to chose his ministers which most Muslims cannot fulfil. Obote 2 did not have a single Muslims in his cabinet. It is like Muslims are somehow the forgotten species in the cabinets of Uganda.

In USA, for instance, members of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and the Trilateral Commission dominate key positions in America’s government, military, industries, media outlets and educational foundations and institutions. CFR was founded in 1921 to make Americans more aware of their international responsibilities. It is a much large network of people with power and they are almost everywhere and help each other into juicy positions in both public and private sectors. So the question is: who helps president Museveni to nominate certain people in juicy positions where Muslims end up always on the peripheral of things. I dont think it’s the NRM caucas as the media has made us believe recently.

Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba

Gilbert Bukenya Did Not Deserve To be Treated this Way But he’s also To Blame

Friends,
There are no surprises as far as the sacking of vice president (VP), Bukenya Gilbert, is concerned. He knew that the axe was coming. Actually, it should have come earlier than this but obviously president Museveni had his own reasons.

Anyway, ever since Bukenya was ‘defeated’ by Amama Mbabazi in the NRM Delegates conference for the post of NRM Sec Gen, things have not been the same for him politically. He became weaker politically but he also became bitter at the same time. He was not the same man anymore from that point. I don’t see any political future for him now because he hates them (NRMs) but he cannot come out to say it because opposing Museveni has proved to be a landmine for those who try to take that path.

If president Museveni needed a weaker VP, Bukenya is way up there at the moment, but I think he has been sacked for a pattern of things that have been happening over time- including his unending internal battles with the NRM historical such as Otafiire and Mbabazi. The later, Mbabazi Amama, is like a Jew in Museveni’s government. Those who fight him end up being shown the way out faster than anybody else, a reason I’m watching now how president Obama is going to get re-elected after that stunt he has pulled over the Jews recently.

I’m also still wondering how Hon.Ssekikubo has managed to stay on top of things after declaring ‘world war 3’ on Mr. untouchable or rather super minister, Mbabazi , a couple of years ago. Every time, I look at YouTube videos of Ssekikubo with his wry smile, I think to myself:’ I think this man may die some unexplainable death soon’ but, to my surprise, he is still breathing, making noise in parliament and walking about properly.

Yes, Bukenya may console himself by saying that he will continue with his efforts to fight poverty, but I don’t believe him for a second, because he never used to tell us that he would fight poverty before he became the vice president. There are statements people sometimes make after losing something not to look as losers in the eyes of the public, and I think this is one of them. Most of all, Bukenya is not a Bill Gates to start a serious charity foundation, so his income from his small investments is going to benefit mainly him and his family. So nobody will be expecting him to make any more big donations towards private income generating projects in the country, like he has been doing while still VP.

Bukenya is no longer very popular with the Catholics and Baganda in the country as he used to be because his little romance with president Museveni has turned him into some form of ‘Judas Iscariot’ to the people he was supposed to be loyal to. That is the truth, however uncomfortable it may be to those whose religious faith needs government support.

In any case, Uganda is changing rapidly as far as religious- political support is concerned. People are learning to support good political candidates regardless of their religious affiliations. For instance, Michael Mabike attempted to decampaign Erias Lukwago by saying that his mayoral candidature represented Muslims but this did not stop non-Muslims from voting for him and protecting his votes.

Basically, what Uganda is going through is more of what used to be like in Europe centuries ago. Spain had been Catholic since 586; England since Henry VIII had separated from the papacy and established the Church of England; and Germany, since Luther, catered to the Protestant faith, but religion is no longer such a big factor in European politics. Back in the days, at any rate, if you lived in a country which did not share your faith you were subject to persecution. It could be minor, as simple as being turned away for a job, or major, you could lose your life.

Bukenya’s political survival is, therefore, relying mainly on the strings of him remaining as MP in Kakiiri provided the guy who petitioned his re-election in courts of law does not get his way. You see, when you build a home upon a weak foundation, being a fantastic mansion worth millions doesn’t mean it is going to last forever. That is how I look at Bukenya and his political career. For instance, there is no doubt in my mind that Bukenya was a better candidate for NRM in that delegate conference but his winning strategy lost to a weaker candidate in Mbabazi with a lot of problematic baggage, because he did not have Museveni support. I don’t believe , even for a second, that Mbabazi could beat Bukenya in a free and fair election in NRM, and I think this is what is hurting Bukenya most. I believe that Mbabazi and Moses Kigongo are the main brains behind all the rigging tactics that have marred Uganda’s elections since 2001. Mbabazi, in particular, seem to have unerring radar for detecting the wrong thing to do, so he can do it. He has been implicated in a lot of corruption scandals but he is always protected by president Museveni.

The truth is that Museveni himself does not care about the long-time survival of NRM as a party because if he did, he would have tried to support his now former vice president instead of Mbabazi for the position of Secretary General. This is one of the reasons why I admire US president, Reagan. Reagan never tried to sabotage George Bush’s presidential ambitions despite the later challenging him in the primary elections. Bush had some support in a minority of the delegates. Reagan’s objective was to bring the party together. His objectives were good; his choice of Bush was one of his more marginal decisions.

Yes, a vice president is usually not a major factor in the success or failure of an administration. Many great administrations have had mediocre vice presidents. However, I find it painful that Bukenya has been a VP for eight years but he has ended it as a joker rather a serious political opponent. This kind of selfishness by some presidents should stop. For instance, despite winning two presidential elections, George Bush junior failed to nurture political talent to provide for a presidential succession. His vice president, Dick Cheney, was too old to run in 2008 while his senior cabinet posts included older men such as Donald Rumsfeld and secretaries chosen for loyalty rather than political ability. If I can guess the next VP Museveni is going to chose, I can comfortably say that he is either not going to be so many years younger than him or he is going to be of the same age as him- such that when he retires, they retire together. That is how selfish politicians work.

Abbey

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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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