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Day June 16, 2009

Why there was no Muslims in Obote’s 1983 Cabinet

In the year 1983, there was no Muslim in Obote’s cabinet as Ntege Lubwama, the former Minister of Tourism and the only Muslim, survived narrowly being killed by Oyote Ojok and Rwakasisi at his Komamboga home. Ali Ssennyonga was Chief of Protocol at President’s Office, despite the duwas he was praying for Wakombozi in Tanzania in 1979. There was no Muslim in Obote’s cabinet in 1983 and no efforts were made to have one at all. Oyite Ojok had in 1980 vowed never to have a Muslim in cabinet simply because Amin was a Muslim. Obote attempted to include Ntege Lubwama and that was why Rwakasisi and Oyite Ojok plotted to kill him and Rwakasisi seized Ntege’s portifolio of Tourism and Wild Life. Oboteists were putting blame on Muslims for the 1971 coup whereas the coup was master minded by American C.I.A,British M15, Israeli Mossad and Southern Sudanese Anyanya, none of those were Muslims.

Muslims on Masaka Axis were protected because of the pre-colonial Buganda nation other than Oyite Ojok. Baganda and Bannabuddu in particular could differentiate Idi Amin’s men be Nubians or Sudanese who were massacring them, 70 in number (not hundreds and thousands), from ordinary Baganda Muslims who used to frequent Mauledi ceremonies to eat pilaawo, and dance mataali. Among those Baganda leaders were Paulo Muwanga, Samwiri Mugwisa and Israel Mayengo, who were the civic leaders in areas occupied by Tanzanians and Ugandan exiles. But for Banyankore, especially UPCs like Edward Rurangaranga and Yowasi Makaaru, they were seeing Muslims as alien Baganda, and could not differentiate between Nubians and Southern Sudanese from Baganda and Banyankore Muslims. Moreover, they wanted to grab their land which they took and a conflict will remain until Muslims are given back their land, or are paid. West Nile massacres took place between 1980 and 1982 when FRONASA was in Luwero Triangle. It was done by Acholi and Lango militia.

As TPDF was crossing Pakwach bridge, Yusuf Lule directed them never to hand over the sub region to UNLA. This was kept by even Godfrey Binaisa. It changed when muwanga was in charge. Oyite Ojok and Bazilio deployed there an Acholi militia which started massacring people, the worst being Ombaci massacre. Ask Ben Bella Ilakut from UCU who accompanied the then Premier Eric Otema Alimadi.

Obote inherited Muslim support from Uganda National Congress(UNC). But after the 1971 coup, he started usimg Muslims as political condoms.The Example being Badru Wegulo who is a spent force.

Ahmed Katerega

UAH forumist and NewVision Journalist


FDC,NRM,DP,PPP & and other parties are all the same

1/6  All of Uganda’s office-seeking political factions are exactly the same but always struggling to be different.  They struggle to be different by basing on their historical fortunes (and misfortunes), the communal/ethnoreligious biases of leading members and such other non-achievement (i.e., ascriptive) criteria.
2/6  Even the most disinterested scan through the 36 or so fractious political factions in Uganda reveals that they all have at their helm members of the rent-seeking non-productive middle class (call it the meddle class).  Shame on all 36 of them for not realizing what they really are and saving the poor Ugandan the burden which they all are.
3/6  The reality is that, political parties are, and have always been structures for articulating and aggregating group interests in socieities that have undergone vertical differentiation, into classes: industrialists, finaciers, landowners, merchants, wage labourers.  Tell me: which of the 36 petty factions in Uganda is a grouping for labourers, or industrialists, or merchants, or financiers.  Tell me.
4/6  By virtue of being a mediaeval, preindustrial society, your Uganda is still only horizontally differentiated.  Lack of imagination has canalised us into mechanically imposing on ourselves vertical structures when our orientation is still horizontal: castes, lineages, clans, ebyaffe, ethnicities and all those ascriptive clusters.  That is how the majority of our population is still organised; that majority called peasants whose proportion is as large as when the currently developed nations were still in the middle ages.
5/6  To pretend to transact our politics through the medium of structures that are suited for vertically stratified societies when we are horizontally differentiated is like forcing Kalitusi to grow like lumonde.  It either withers away or becomes a disastrous weed as it tries to conform to the undulating terrain of a horizontally differentiated reality, negotiating around one clan, and then one religious, then left over a family of pseudonotables, then right over  one ethinicty and then ebyaffe and so on.  Does Uganda have the time for that nonsense?
6/6  In Uganda’s case, let me ask, is it pluralism or factionalism?  I do not know what quinine one can concoct to whip our pseudoelite into shape.  They need to be taught a les…….

Otto Patrick

Let all Ugandans pay taxes

The clarion call for the American war of independence was “No representation, no taxation”.  That is the very dictum that is being turned on its head in Uganda when populism blinkers the political elite into abolishing poll tax.  Paternalistic abolition of tax is an automatic dissolution of civil society.  Once a population is lulled into not paying tax, it is automatically unsubscribed from membership to civil society. 

 Our political elite can now easily proclaim: “No taxation, no representation”.  Indeed, this is what we see as an extreme case in countries that are completely devoid of a fiscal contract between the masses and the elite, particularly those that depend on oil for revenue.  In Bahrain and Qatar, income tax is 0%, there is Zero parliament.  Parliament is the venue for parley.  If you do not bankroll me, what parley, or bargain do I have to exercise with you?

 That is when even the notion of “accountability” which some people deploy becomes a mere bumper sticker and tedious cliche.  Simply a sterile jargon.  Accountability is a reciprocal process.  It is a two way process.  I am accountable to you if you owe me a living.  If I depend on aid or oil, I am unlike an elite that depends on excise duties, export duties, import duties, income taxes and all other forms of revenue that create symbiosis between productive populations and the political class.

 Institutions per se will not help Uganda. Ugandans must have a stake in their country. How can they become effective stakeholders? You and I argue that through some form of direct taxation.  That may not be popular but is the best way.

 Today, the very few taxpayers in Uganda are well facilitated. They are actually happy.  Those who do not pay direct taxes are also happy so who is going to fight for what us-the elite-treasure.

 I am watching the situation in Iran with interest.  Things may boil over in that Persian country.

 But the folks in the media who are always urging the opposition to unite should re-think their message. Instead they should urge Ugandans to embrace direct taxation if they expect to make progress. From my angle, a country or people who do not pay taxes cannot aspire for great things including democratization, decent health care services, housing, social services, education, and yes accountability, running water, police services etc.

 Institutions can only be the icing on the cake.  The cake is taxation: the nuts and bolts of democracy. 


WBK and Otto

UAH forumists

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