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Day June 11, 2011

UPC Might have lied about Obote Assasination at Lugogo


I think the story of the attempted assassination of Dr. Obote at Lugoggo long ago is more confusing than even before.Obviously, if Dr. Obote was shot on the head, the chances of survival would have been more of a miracle. However, I talked to an officer in the then Special Branch of the Uganda Police and he told me that actually Dr. Obote was not shot at all.

He told me that if the truth was to be told, not only would it embarrass the President of Uganda, but could also have caused the question from the international community, about what kind of leadership Uganda fell into. He said that, ”Uganda’s situation was not yet clear, only several years after the confrontation with former President and the most popular of the Kings, Sir Edward Mutesa of Buganda”. I asked him what happened exactly. He said that Dr. Obote drank a lot of alcohol in the bar room at Lugogo in-door stadium and that when he was escorted out towards his official car; he stumbled and fell down on the tarmac. That as some of the body guards tried to help him onto his feet; others opened fire, so that the whole area was deserted as the people ran for cover. ”The President was bleeding from his mouth as the teeth had been damaged by the fall on the tarmac. He was rushed to Mulago Hospital where he was treated”. The officer told me that what the people know is the official statement of what is supposed to have happened. He then asked me if I thought that a gun bullet would have hit the teeth and left the jaw intact. I kept quiet, but he answered himself, ”Never”.

So, whether UPC says that Dr. Obote was shot on the head, contradicting the ”official statement”, in my mind, I still have doubts about what actually happened.Talking with the police officer, he made me believe what he had told me. But again, what if someone aimed to shoot the President and missed, the act that might have prompted the bodyguards to shoot at random? It is still not easy for me to believe that a gun bullet damaged the teeth and left the rest of his face intact. It is easy to believe for someone who does not know the power and effect of the gun bullet but, as much as I respected the late President, I can only conclude that the official report served its purpose.

It surely seems as though we shall end up with ”a conspiracy theory as in the death of JFK”. The reason is that due to the high respect reserved for the former President, very few if any, are willing to discuss frankly about this very unfortunate situation. But a gun bullet damaging the tongue, teeth and the lower jaw of the President and leaving the rest of the face intact?

Now, if someone else fell down as a result of alcohol consumption and lost some teeth, damaged his tongue, would the lower jaw escape the impact? Anyway, let us simply leave this theory alone. It may only hurt some people and may also cause friction here at the UAH. The truth of this matter serves no purpose at all. As I stated, the words were not mine, but as I know the power and effect of the gun bullet, I was convinced.

Fear during Obote

During the presidency of Dr. Obote, since the abolition of the Kingdoms until he was overthrown in January, 1971, nobody could even whisper anything that was considered anti Obote or State. There was a saying that, ”Even the walls have ears”. The people lived under a quiet terror in which people disappeared and others tortured, imprisoned without charge and indefinitely. Now, under such conditions, how could you expect to hear any contradiction of the news or report issued by the Uganda  government?

Have we all forgotten the jubilation that welcomed the overthrow of  President Dr. Apolo Milton Obote? Have some people also forgotten that one of the strategies to defeat President Idi Amin, was to exclude Dr. Obote from all the meetings pertaining to the ”Liberation”of Uganda and to exclude him from the government that would replace Idi Amin’s?

My point here is to remind you that, even when the people felt that life was becoming hard under President Idi Amin, they preferred to be under Amin than to return Obote to power.

When the Uganda National Liberation Front announced that Prof. Yosuf Kironde Lule would take over as President of Uganda, if or when Amin was defeated, even the Uganda Armed Forces split, as many wanted Amin out. Before the announcement of Prof. Lule as the would be new President, the people of Uganda rallied behind the government of Idi Amin, for they believed that President Julius Nyerere of Tanzania wanted to reinstate Dr. Obote as the President of Uganda.

The incident in question(assassination) has no national importance whatsoever. Why should the people talk about it anyway? Saying that some people were arrested in that regard proves nothing. If in fact they would have confessed under Obote that they ”shot the bullet” that hurt the president, they would have been sentenced to death immediately. If anyone confessed to Idi Amin that he wanted to kill Obote, it is clear that such a person would be rewarded. Do you remember Army Pte. Kayongo who beat up a Cabinet Minister whom he suspected of seducing his wife? That was during the Obote’s presidency. When Amin took over power from Obote, he promoted Private Kayongo to the rank of Captain, ”For beating up the Obote Minister”.

The purpose of this mail is to remind you that nobody could risk contradicting any information by the State, under President Obote. It is also a long time ago, so that being without any national importance, even those who remember what actually happened, may only talk about it as I have made my memory known to you. The police officer was in the police service during the incident in question.

As I stated, the explanation given to me by the police officer convinced me that the President was not shot. The officer told me that when the President stumbled and fell down, the bodyguards opened fire. So, if some other people were shot, as some UPC supporters stated, that could have been by the bodyguards who were shooting at random.

Byarahunga Jonny Rubin

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Ssebagala’s case Reminds me of Al Hajji Ssebirumbi and Maj. Nassur Abdallah


In 1980 the UPC had an MP called Al Hajji Ssebirumbi, I think his constituency was Luwero, I don’t remember. This Hon. Ssebirumbi MP did not speak English at all. I honestly wonder how he managed to represent his constituency without any knowledge of the official language, English. The man was what the people used to call, a ”UPC die-hard”. He was always in the news with praises of the party and the party President Dr. Obote. I truly wonder if he survived the Luwero war.

Al Hajji Musa Ssebirumbi was a terrible man. His misconduct might have also given the reason for some people to support the NRA, UFA and others which wanted to topple the UPC government. All his deeds went without a word of caution from the UPC Headquarters, not even from the President of Uganda, Dr. Obote who had several intelligence networks at his disposal. Ssebirumbi appeared in the newspapers almost daily. Not about anything good he might have done, but about terrible commotions he always caused. The killings were the worst, but he was believed to do all that in defence of the party he was prepared to die for.

I remember when Dr. Obote returned from exile, he was pictured kissing the soil at Bushenyi and the photographs showed a much older Obote than the people remembered of him. You could hear even the Baganda who might have had justifiable reasons to hate him saying, ”Bambi, Akaddiye” (Oh dear, he’s aged). I sometimes think that the Baganda among others who might have hated Dr. Obote for the reasons pertaining his rule that ended in 1971, were ready to forgive and give him another chance to govern. But the misconduct of the UNLA troops and some UPC die-hards, like Ssebirumbi certainly changed their mind.

Whether or not Ssebirumbi had any evidence against the NRA, his own terrible misconduct could have even led to his own death in the hands of angry wananchi. Even talking of giving Ssebirumbi legal defence, which of course he deserved as being innocent until proven guilty, many would see his Lawyers as people who condoned his actions.

Without any wish to condone the way Al Hajji Musa Ssebirumbi was tried and executed, does anyone here remember how abusive the man was against the supporters of other parties? In my view, he was an embarrassment to the UPC party. I think he enjoyed too much favour from the top leadership, hence the ”rogue” he had become. Imagine, the man could not speak the official language of the nation and obviously the party, but there he was at the helm of the party. How could he communicate with the party President Dr. Obote? I never heard Dr. Obote speak any local language, but the official one, English.

I am told that Al Hajji Sebaggala speaks English, but not to the satisfaction of the vetting committee. But if Ssebirumbi could manage his job as an MP, can’t Sebaggala manage as a Minister without portfolio?

Hon. Sebaggala identifies with those who feel that they have been left out of the loop. With him on the team, I mean the Cabinet; work will be more effective, as all those who felt as though they were neglected will participate in every way possible, for the good of the country.

I remember in the 1970s when Maj. Nassur Abdallah was appointed Governor of the Central Province. Most of the petty criminals disappeared and Kampala became as clean and safe as possible. This was because Nassur Abdallah used to be a street boy himself. However, there were some people who complained to President Idi Amin that the Governor, Nassur Abdallah was too harsh and therefore wanted him removed. The President obliged and Nassur Abdallah was replaced by Capt. Samuel Odong. The new Governor of the Central Province was a very polite and friendly man. Before long, the Capital City, Kampala was invaded by all sorts of criminals. Not only the petty criminals like the pick-pockets, but also organized criminals from the State Research Bureau, the Military Police and other military and police establishments. Kampala was like a war zone even before the war that ousted the regime. The people were now requesting the President to return Governor Nassur Abdallh to Kampala.

Briefly, I concur with the views that it is a good choice for Hajji Sebaggala to be the Minister without portfolio, for which he has been nominated by the President. I hope that the Parliamentary Committee will reconsider his nomination.

BYARUHANGA JONNY RUBIN

The Fate of Lado Remains Unresolved as is the death of Brigadier Okoya and Benedicto Kiwanuka


The Weight of the 1953 Political Argument Britain , Lado and Uganda Kingdom  , the State of Lado never signed or made an Agreement with Britain to become a Part of the British Uganda Protectorate . In fact, that was the reason why His Majesty ( H.M ) Agofe of Lado refused  that , Lado should be a Part of a British East African Federation , which was a Federation of British Colonial Territories in East Africa , it would mean that Lado was consenting to be a British Colony under the British Sovereignty . So Lado rejected the East African Federation in 1953.  Therefore, Lado rejected the Idea of joining the East African. And when the King of Uganda ( Buganda  rejected it too , he was deported on 30 November 1953 to England . He had no Right to refuse what Britain had decided according to Articles 6 and 15 of the Uganda Agreement of 10 March 1900 , in which Uganda Kingdom must obey Britain , and side with British Authorities in case of a Conflict with Africans and / or African Tribes or African Nations . Uganda is a political enslaved country by the way.

But how comes President Idi Amin never mentioned anything about ”Lado”? This name never came out during the entire rule of Idi Amin. I heard about it in Denmark from a gentleman who was a Lt. Colonel in the pre-Independence Uganda Army, John Agami. I was made to know that Mr. John Agami is actually the heir to the throne of the Agofe of Lado. Mr. Agami told me that the Kingdom of Lado covers the areas between Uganda, Sudan and the DR Congo. Mr. Agami, a very well educated man in Geography and certainly in the history of his people and the land they claim is what used to be their Kingdom, narrates the history calmly, like a teacher doing his best to make his pupils understand.

I posed the same question to another gentleman also from West Nile, who was an officer in the defunct Uganda Air Force during the presidency of Idi Amin. He told me that during the presidency of Idi Amin, the question of Lado was temporarily suspended because the president claimed to have been too busy to discuss the matter. However, he also told me that there was no immediate danger to their people and that is why they accepted the suspension of the ”Lado” discussion.

I was curious and wanted to know why bring the subject now? He told me that their people were suffering in the Sudan, the DR Congo and that the future of Uganda ”is still uncertain”. I wanted to know why ‘all these years’ they were happy as Ugandans and instead of working to make Uganda a happy place again, they ‘want to add confusion to the existing conflict that is yet to be resolved’. He told me that the best answers to my questions can only be obtained from the ”Heir of the Agofe of the Kingdom of Lado” John Agami. Mr. John Agami lives in Kokkedal, Denmark.

That aside, I also wish to comment on Brigadier Pierino Okoya.  How many reports have we seen claiming that the Brig. General was killed by Idi Amin? Even Henry Kyemba, in his book ”State of Blood” mentioned it, among so many others who now appear in Dr. Olala Otunnu’s ”Concealment of Genocide” report claiming that all those in the report were killed by President Yoweri Museveni or were killed by people who were ordered by him?

Surely, how can the international community take us, Ugandans seriously when we simply make accusations and show the same supposed evidence against anyone we ”wish convicted”?

The first Prime Minister of Uganda, later appointed Chief Justice, Benedicto Kiwanuka was reported to have been killed by Idi Amin. All these years, the international community and the people of Uganda have been made to believe that Idi Amin was the killer. Now, a new report surfaces with accusations directed to someone else. Which one of these reports should we all believe? The former against Idi Amin, or the new one against President Museveni?

What we can do to avert the prevailing situation of violence

I have already done that. Before the general elections, I suggested that the opposition should instead seek the government of reconciliation and national unity. With such arrangement, the government could work amicably to correct the mistakes made by the current government, also doing all in their friendly environment to reorganize their parties for the general elections that would be conducted after an agreed upon duration of the unity administration. After the elections, I suggested that the opposition should organize projects within which to serve the people, with the purpose to alleviate poverty and improved social, educational, agricultural and health services, to mention, but a few. I also indicated that many, if not the most of us in the Diaspora would contribute funds for the success of the projects conducted by the opposition. I also made a note that if the opposition embarked on such projects, the government would try to perform even better than the opposition and the beneficiaries would be the people of Uganda.

We have seen that all the opposition is doing like, ”walk to work” and other demonstrations have cost lives of the people whom the opposition is supposed to fight for. It is up to the opposition to find a peaceful way to improve the situation in the country and that may be acceptable and attained sooner than mere threats of war, as I often hear on the Radio of fellow Ugandans in the Diaspora. That’s my opinion.

Looking at the mails of the UAH debates, you realize how angry many debaters are about the situation in Uganda. As angry as they are, some are not prepared to admit that they are the weaker party, compared to the government they would wish to remove. If one is to advise how to achieve a peaceful country in which we can all live in harmony, suggestions have to be put forward, as I have done in order to discourage the idea of war as the only option. However, it seems to be a courageous suggestion to seem soft on the NRM government, despite the purpose that would otherwise be welcomed by many people at home. In other words, even those who know that you cannot use threats of war and achieve anything, but only endanger the lives of the innocent people in Uganda, simply disappear from any comment. My purpose is to advise realistically, but it is not easy as such advice meets the people who will be harsh to me and even suggesting that I am an NRM sympathizer.

My friend in Uganda told me in early 1986 that, ”Museveni is here to stay”, and I have not found any reason to doubt that. All my advice is to find away the people at home can achieve a decent life, without relying only on the government services.

B.Jonn. Rubin.

Sleeping Ministers Reflect a Tired Museveni Regime


1-(L-R)Eriya Kategaya, First deputy Prime Minister and minister for East Africa Affairs, Henry Muganwa Kajura, 2nd Deputy Premier and minister for public service and Moses Ali, 3rd Premier and deputy leader of government business in parliament took some time off to dose off during President Yoweri Museveni's State of The Nation Adress at Serena Hotel on Tuesday

We should take pity at our tired elders. The national duties are weighing on them, a small nap while you work is good for the health of ministers. What is good is that they can be woken up  to vote for the government proposals when voting takes place. Their neighbours can advise them on how to vote.

I am beginning to think  what they  displayed on day one are the kind of qualities the president looked for when making appointments, better get people who don’t stare at him all the time, such people can make the president’s work difficult, he can even make mistakes when all the eyes are focussed him, better at least some sleep. Next, the president can start questioning those ministers wo do not take a nap, what are they up to, trying to catch him or what, they should emulate the example of those senior cabinet people, moreover those young guys need more sleep as babies do, they stand warned, they either  sleep a little or risk being fired. We have no room for non-sleepers.

I kind of thought about why someone can choose to sleep at a very important function and came to the same conclusion that may be the speaker( President Museveni) was boring and sent the listeners to sleep. This reminds me of a warning our professor of American diplomacy gave. He told us that if a speaker/presenter gave his presentation but failed to keep him fully alert as he assesses, he would likely doze off and that he would award marks up to where he listened, the rest would be zero, and as the pass mark was 70% for a one hour presentation, sending the professor to sleep after just 10 minutes of your start of the presentation meant you totally failed, with may be only 5-10% marks on your table.

At another department, there was also an argument between one professor and a student. The professor spoke so softly and students always strained to hear him. Early one morning during a lecture, one student fell asleep and started snoring and since he was seated in the front row, he was close to the professor, so the professor asked the student close to the snoring guy to wake him up. The professor said,”Hey John, wake up your friend, he is going to miss the next important section.” The young John responded rudely, ” I am not going to wake him up.” The professor pleaded,” why not, please help him.” John retorted, ” why should I, you better wake him up, you are the one who sent him to sleep, come and wake him up.” The initially quiet and attentive class burst into laughter, which helped to wake up the sleeping guy, who wondered what was going on.

May be the president is to blame for sending his ministers to sleep especially after the deputy prime ministers had declared that age would not affect their performance with Henry Kajura saying that he had stamina to serve, it must be the president to blame. To prove the point, the president is very careful, he cannot comment about these sleeping guys, which I am sure he sees, why doesn’t he comment about sleeping while business is going on, he must be aware of his shortcomings of maintaining motivation during presentations/speeches/addresses, so he rather let “sleeping dogs lie.” as the saying goes.

2- (L-R) Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi, Premier Amama Mbabazi and Eriya Kategaya were in slumberland during President Yoweri Museveni's State of The Nation Adress at Serena Hotel on Tuesday

It is a pity that some of us still don’t see where our nation is headed to imagine all those  giants boldly sleeping during day time and on duty, and not just only that, but before their boss, who even does not comment on such behaviour. Now picture what they do in their offices where they are alone and bosses; I guess it is unhealthy to enter those people’s offices unless you wait at their doors and follow them immediately they enter and make haste to go away.We have send those giants to sleep- clinics, not to be in those offices.
These ministers are either tired or are protesting against President Museveni. I have an idea to help the President to keep these people accountable. Let the president assist the Opposition members to print copies of these pictures and get them circulated in many parts of the country to show the citizens what the people they send to parliament do. The president would have sent a message to his friends that it is not good to sleep as you work. Alternatively, the Opposition can organize a specific nonviolent protest, “Protest Against Sleeping in Parliament” where every protester waves pictures of sleeping ministers and MPs, this will keep these guys awake. In this particular protest march, the police should escort the protesters, such a protest would have all parties represented, NRMO, UPC, DP etc. this is helping government do work and it should be welcomed if we really love our country. This has nothing to do with politics but work.

The Banyoro, and Karamojong rejected ministers sent to their regions. I have an idea, since Hon. Henry Kajura is a Munyoro and since the Banyoro want a Munyoro to be the minister for Bunyoro Affairs, I kind request President Museveni to reshuffle his cabinet a little and send Kajura to be in charge Bunyoro, this will please the Banyoro so much since they will have got their true son/father who knows their problems so much. As for Karamoja, the president can appoint me to do the good job there, Karamoja and Teso would be real learning centres for other regions since I could work with  Hon. Amongin, the minister in charge Teso. I would also volunteer to be a prefect for MPs, to keep them awake by tapping their heads with a special small stick, I would be roaming around to see who is nodding/sleeping, then I move close to the guy and tap his head to wake him up; it is sometimes done to keep people focused and alert. This is a practical solution, it is a high time we offered services to our motherland.

Even there is no minister who hails from my village yet my people voted for NRMO. We need a minister and must one from our own village; the president knows that village for our mzee (President Museveni’s friend) sent a huge goat to assist him when he lost his mother. They became friends when the president camped there( Orungo) to rout out rebels. We need a minister, ours will not go to sleep on parliament, this I am sure.

Peter Simon Okurut

USA

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