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Day November 19, 2008

Nobody in the NRMO cares about elections

When you care about elections because of the elections and not the party you will possibly be a real Ugandan. Uganda does not have the majority who care about the election. Ask Ahmed Katerega,Tamare Mirundi,Aisha Kabanda,Mbabazi and Dr.Suruma if they really care about elections and not NRMO or their stomachs.
How many dead are they(NRMO) going to vote this time in 2011? Secondly, Election board officials guard the legitimacy of the election process and  the idea that the Opposition are being intimidated and banned for partisan purposes does not allow for an honest and open election process.But do you see any body in the NRMO speaking against it?
If you bet on a race horse, and later heard about serious allegations that the winning horse may have been illegally doped to gain an advantage, would you demand an investigation? You know the answer. It would depend on whether or not you bet on the winning horse.That’s what has made much of the Uganda population so hesitant to demand accountability regarding a growing ledger of allegations that the 1980, 2001 and 2006 elections were so badly tainted that one could fairly question the outcome of the presidential results.

Anyone in Uganda among NRMO or UPC who questions the reliability of the election is assumed to be a sour-grapes bad sport who has fallen into the thrall of aluminum-foil helmeted conspiracy theorists.That is how far things have gone from bad to worse. Elections have become a joke. So Ugandans, how can a UPC supporter accept in public that 1980 documents proving that the elections were stolen to be genuine? If you want the truth, better ask UPC members or NRMO members privately.

Media and political parties

Dear Ugandans,

I wish to highlight on some sort of unfairness when it comes to media reporting in Uganda visa-vi political parties. The NRMO have controlled not only radios, TV, news and newspapers for so long but even the population has been held at ransom on what they are supposed to read, hear or write. When one sends an anti-Museveni article to the Newvision, it never finds its way anywhere. This isn’t good for promotion of democracy in the country. Those who are praising NRMO party and the president have been given ‘Christmas’ pages in the New Vision. It is now upon the liberal-minded journalists, media and the opposition to find a way to fight state consolidation of the media and ensure opportunity for all voices to be heard. The opposition needs to start its own version of the Media centre rivalling the state’s or NRMO’s media centre.

Simply put, no political party can achieve results in Uganda without a Public Relations exercise. That’s why Ochieno takes his time to write every week for Obote’s party in the monitor newspaper. Moses Byaruhanga and David Mafabi also write for NRMO in the Monitor newspaper. Anne Mugisha and Ruzindana write for FDC in the Observer and The Monitor respectively. Brother Omar Kalinge writes for JEEMA and the general opposition in the Monitor. Kato Mukasa writes for PPP in the monitor. I don’t know who writes for DP and CP but there must be someone. Kingdoms like Buganda also need to be given enough space in the media on a weekly basis. They only get coverage from magazines particularly The Sunrise. I find the Monitor Newspaper and Sunrise to be representative of all corners of the society and I hope NewVision emulates them. How many opposition editors are given weekly editorials in the NewVision? None is the answer.

All newspapers need to be representative of every body unless they are attached to specific parties as the ‘Daily Mail’ in the UK is attached to the Conservatives or Fox News to Republicans in USA. What I fail to understand is why the Newvision is mainly reporting presidential trips, NRMO propaganda and the like yet it is being funded by the tax payer. I wish Ugandans go on strike and stop buying the NewVision till when they change their reporting. It is so unfair and segregative in its reporting. We have seen too many stories get squashed and too many lies masquerading as news. When Mr.Kabushenga and NewVison get called on to substantiate their bull (like the resignation of their editor recently), they protest that “It’s not News, it’s a consultative decision’’. In USA, there is what is called the ‘Fairness Doctrine’: FAIR!!! It will suppress the use of American media to have a monopoly on party political propaganda for any party. Why can’t we have that in Uganda? Let NRMO start a paper of its own instead of clinging to the NewVision which is funded by the taxpayers’ money.

Similarly, if the opposition political parties are to mount an effective counter-movement, they must focus their energies toward building a strong, well organized and funded political party. That’s why the idea of the Interparty cooperation between FDC, UPC, CP and JEEMA is very good. It has brought them funding from the outside and it will also help them with a formidable election strategy. Other problems within these parties need painful decisions quickly. For instance, FDC problems like enough Buganda representation (an issue raised by Kamya Beti) can be reformed within the party and very quickly.


Old politicians should groom the youth to take over leadership

Old politicians should groom the youth to take over leadership

I agree with an article in a local magazine criticising President Museveni over his utterances  against young people in politics. It is sad that the old politicians in Uganda have not considered grooming young people to take over their positions.

Milton Obote died without a young man taking over UPC. The party has brilliant young brains like Joseph Ochieno who are just being wasted.

A politician like Mr Bidandi Ssali, who has been in politics for ages,  will not surprise us if he emerges as PPP’s presidential candidate when there are many brilliant young men in the party. The oldies want to stay on till when both their feet and brains develop wrinkles.

The NRM, a party initially blessed with a crop of young leaders including Dr Kizza Besigye, should never have allowed the Besigye’s to leave it. They should have been nurtured to take over leadership now instead of fighting them. The old people in the NRM are constantly fighting each other over the succession issue. For instance, one reads in the papers about the battles between Prof. Gilbert Bukenya and Mr Amama Mbabazi.

Mr Museveni does not want to leave power yet he is not grooming anyone to take over from him. This kind of politics compels young men and women to participate in politics only if they expect immediate gains.

Ugandans should admire the political environment in America where a young man like Barack Obama  has been given a chance and is likely to become the next US president. Obama, 47, is not only the first African-American presidential  candidate of a major party in the US but he is also a first  term Senator to vie for president. He is a model and motivator for all the Black race worldwide.

Old people should give a chance to the youth to take over political leadership in Uganda. May be we need a party for young men and women to strongly send this message out there.

Abbey K.Semuwemba,United Kingdom


Dear Netters Senkindu,Senyonjo, Mulindwa, Jessica, etc.

Thanks for responding to the subject of witch-doctors intimidating and causing untold fear amongst the Uganda population to the point of believing  lies and tricks of witch-doctors in attracting people to believe that human sacrifice of calousily killing young girls and boys in the unfounded hope of acquiring wealth from such barbaric acts.

One characteristic of all the respondents is that nobody has hit at the effective solution. Nobody has agreed that practitioners of witch-craft are basically honest, genuine people but who act ignorantly.

Only education of their minds will remove their ignorance. And this can only be carried out in the education system begining in the prirmary, secondary and at university level.

The press can play an effective role, but people like Kalundi Serumaga fear to antagonise witch-dcotors. Killing innocent young girls and boys should invite sympathy but Serumaga has never presented a programme to condemn this practice for fear of antagonising witch-doctors.

Most  netters are saying that witch-craft be criminalised and the Police Force be awakened to take strong action against practitioners of witch-craft.
The laws against witch-craft are there, but are they enforced.

The great weakness of these proposals is that the majority of Ugandaans, including the Police Force and the judiciary are all of them believers in witch-craft hence they cannot take  action against witch-doctors.

In addition to that, and we have established these facts in our book UNVEILING WTICH-CRAFT these people are intimidated into fearing the repurcusions of witch-dcotors. Fear of witch-doctors makes law enforcers, the Police and the Press,  to fear to take action against them. They fear to be cursed and to be possessed by the devil, they fear to be be-witched by witch-doctors.

This fear is based on ignorannce of the highest degree.

The only solution is to remmove fear from our people.  Fear can only be removed if they are convinced from the bottom of their hearts that the witch-doctor has not power to send spirits to attack anybody. We have established that there are no such spirits known as amayembe, lubaale, emizimu, ebyookoola, ebyomunju, etc.

In our book we demonstrate very clearly the basis of how witch-doctors claim to possess such powers. We have converted hundreds of thousands of witch-doctors who have spilled the beans on how they deceived and trick people.

Netters have asked me whether we have approached the ministry of education and other law makers to educate the population about these lies and tricks of witch-dcotrs.

Yes, we have approached the highest authorities in Uganda. We have written letters to H.E. President Museveni, and the MInister of Presidential aAffairs, Hon Wabudeya, and the PPS in the President’s office, Hon. Amelia Kyambadde. The latter had even made an appointment for us to meet the President but some how it did not materialise.

We have approached Makerere University and delivered complimentary copies to relevant departments like that of Sociology, Psychology, Education, Anthropolgy, Religious Affairs, The Faculty of Law,etc

The Presidents office invited us to meet Canon Ruhunda who is incharge of Religious Affairs in HE’s office. We carried two ex-witch-doctors to his office, and all the spirits and other paraphernalia witch-doctors use in the spirits shrines and demonstratred how  they tell lies and how they change their voices to sound like spirits and how they make horns (amayembe) walk about and how they make them talk.

WE were invited at  Makerere Institute of Languages where the department of Anthropology operates from and  we carried  two ex-witchdoctors who demonstrated how they make spirits (horns) and lubaale, talk and walk about.

Briefly, we showed how witch-doctors capitalise on the gullibility of the population to deceive them.

At this stage Ugandans should be abhorred by the story of the young girl who was so calously placed in a ditch, alive and watching every activity going on, sand poured over her and made her die a very painful death.

In civilised societies such a story would prop up in Parliament and the Minister of security would be put on the carpet, indeed, the Government would be forced to resign if the culprit is not found and prosecuted.

Briefly, the solution is to criticlly read that book and analyse it and see how our findings can help educate the minds of the people so that they no longer succumb to witch-doctors lies and tricks. It is only after fear of witch-doctors has been removed that we can face them and refuse to kill young girls and boys for their body parts to prescribe medicine for acquiring wealth.

We also approached the Minsitry of Education and donated five books to all the ministers in that ministry and their commissioners.

But, dear netters, we have never even received a letter acknowledging receipt of our donations. And this subject has never been even mentioned in the minisrtry.

Our suspicion is that these officers are themselves believers in witch-craft hence they cannot take action that will remove what they believe in. Or, they are so effectively intimidated by the thought that witch-doctors will attack them if they take action.

Henry Ford Mirima

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