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Day March 5, 2009

RUKWANZI ISLAND: IS IT IN UGANDA OR DRC


Forumists,

1/7 When one takes a closer look at the open source satellite imagery of the Uganda/DRC border, it seems that Rukwanzi Island is not part of Uganda.  The Island appears to be 0.89 km inside DRC territory.  This is according to Google Earth imagery (provided by among others, NASA).  Look at the attachment to this message showing two Google Earth extracts of the Lake Mwitanzige (Albert) basin taken at different altitudes, very close to the mouth of River Semliki.  The yellow line is the international boundary with DRC.

2/7 It is unfortunate that the documents that outline the alignment of the border are silent on any reference points over the lake. The only instance that would make one hope that the island is in our territory is Emin Pasha’s 1886 account of ‘…. discovery of a new [sic] river flowing from Usongora mountains.’ Pasha further noted that, ‘It is of considerable size and flows into the lake at the south…. Contains a large island near its junction with the lake.’ [Schweinfurth, G (1888), Emin Pasha in Central Africa, pp. 187, 179 and 570.

3/7 In the quote above, I underline ‘near’ to ensure that we do not interpret it as, ‘at’.  Had Emin Pasha stated that the island was at the junction of the river with the lake, there would have been grounds to claim that the boundary was subsequently ill-demarcated, in light of the fact that it coincides with the thalweg of the Semliki and the Semliki opens directly into the Lake, therefore making it possible for us to have half the Island.  This is the false impression that William Rwebembera of the New Vision made by distorting the map of the area in his 10th August 2007 article.

4/7 The last figure in the attachment is an extract of the map of Uganda sectioned out in 317 grids, each representing a map of scale 1:25,000..  Maps 46/4 and 47/3 available from Lands and Survey in Entebbe cover the area of our interest.  They should be looked at closely to confirm whether that Island is on the Ugandan or the DRC side of the border.

5/7 There were several press reports indicating that locals in the lake basin know the island to be on the Uganda side because they have always fished there.  This is only testimony to the inconveniences that Berlin borders have visited upon communities in frontier zones but not a confirmation of where Rukwanzi belongs.  All of us know the Kitgum frontier zone with Sudan: it is called Ngom Orom, i.e., the land that belongs to all, or put differently, to-whom-it-may-concern-territory.

6/7 The many decades of the ineptitude of the Zairean state may have turned Rukwanzi into an Ngom Orom.  The discovery of oil, and regime change in Kinsasha might be altering that state of affairs.  I have read that in the Bantu dialects, ‘Rukwanzi’ means a bead, which many parents of restless toddlers know to be a choke hazard.

7/7 It may be dangerous for us to assume that Rukwanzi is in Uganda, when it may not be.  We should not hope that DRC authorities will remain as sleepy as they have been for many years.  If we are right, it may be advisable that, Google Maps is alerted to the extent to which it is misrepresenting the country’s frontiers: if a DRC researcher looks at that map the way it is now, it may be a source of embarrasment.  A bid by Uganda to swallow that bead could easily cause severe choking.

Lance Corporal (Rtd) Otto Patrick

‘Tutsi’ are the only Ugandans in Museveni’s book


Tendo!

You observation below is well noted! That stated, Mucebeni has undertaken a deliberate  policy measure to frustrate the advancement  and aspiration of many citizens of Uganda  who are not Tutsi.

  • Only Tutsi are allowed to get government loans to set up business.
  • Only Tutsi are provided with government  scholarship  to study abroad,
  • Only Tutsi occupy prominent Government positions in any ministry

When a  journalist asked  Museveni about this apparent discrepancies which tends to favour tutsis in all aspects of the Uganda social, political and economic life , Museveni had the audacity to tell  the journalist  that  mbu Tutsis  seem to have all the favour because they are well read and smart .Other people from other parts  of Uganda … like in Northern Uganda are simply backwards and primitive.

Yet it is museveni’s policies of creating wars for 20 years and counting which has lead to dismal academic performance of Students in Northern Uganda. In Buganda, biting poverty has rendered most parents incapable of financing their children education in Good schools! And if some how a smart Muganda  kid reaches the University and obtains that degree  guess what… the kid never obtains any kind of employment. This has really frustrated many fellow citizens in Buganda.

And now Museveni is working hard to deprive citizens of the one thing they are still hanging on for survival… that is land!!! Once he grabs all the land and hands them over to Tutsi, people will really have no means to survive! You simply die a pauper!!!Something really must be done!!…

Matek Kopoko

Old Student of Buganda Road Primary School/UPC Activist and now resides in USA

Advise on education to Ugandans and the president


Fellow Ugandans,

On the education scene our beef ought not be with the scholarly pursuits of any East African group but rather with our own government’s policies and seriousness regarding education. If Pres. Kagame of Rwanda is aggressive enough to obtain scholarships for his people let us applaud his efforts- because he is one of a few African leaders next to Botswana’s president who have recognized the power of education. He visits and empowers his students religiously every year, he gets an A+ in this regard.

 

 

I truly believe that if we managed our affairs well, we will have enough jobs to last us several decades. This favouring of one group over another, like the way Banyankole are favoured in Uganda, may have just a slight advantage, but it surely does not auger well for the development of the region.

 

Our contention ought to be with our own leadership on this matter, for a country on a development path we have not shown the necessary aggressiveness that is called upon to close the apparent gaps in education-this might well be what has long deterred our progress. In the last 20 years I have seen very few Ugandan Students both at Harvard and MIT-Yet these are the centres that have fuelled the Asian development machinery. I have seen more students from Rwanda as well as Zimbabwe. To date we have just one student pursuing her PHD in Electrical Engineering and perhaps a couple at Harvard doing their masters.

 

The scantiness of these numbers during the past 23 years speaks to the approach and perhaps policies not pursued that would have put us as a nation on a clear path of progress.  I can only urge our president to begin to recognize that the ills with AGOA and other initiatives that have not taken off-during his tenure are self inflicted. Indeed to stop selling raw materials you have to have an Industrial Engineering major at our Universities, to stop posturing as the garment sellers for India for purposes of Agoa, you need Textile Engineers and machinery to work your textile factories, and please do not let the life science boom pass us by. Many have profited from re-engineering herbs/medicines that are from our own land; and now that we have OIL there will be a need for both plastic Engineers and Chemical Engineers and this needs to be proactively catered for now.

 

 Tendo Kaluma

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