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Month August 2011

State House takes Entebbe Hospital and Ugandans again see ‘’underhandedness”


Entebbe Hospital. Photo by M. Ssebuyira(SUNDAY MONITOR)

The taking over of Entebbe hospital by State House for security reasons has raised concern among Ugandans abroad. One Edward Pojim, a resident in USA, wrote on UAH forum:’’ The proximity of this hospital to State House is too close for comfort. It must give security people sleepless nights. Operationally, it should not have continued as a general public facility, and therefore, I see no hidden agenda in converting it to a restricted facility for state house employees. As the official residence and office Ugandan presidents, State House must enjoy considerable restricted land and air space. I think most reasonable Ugandans automatically see: ‘’underhandedness” in everything the Museveni regime does, especially with regards to real estate and other national assets. This is because its record on managing these assets is pathetic. However, they get my support in limiting public access to this hospital.’’

However, Peter Okurut, also in USA, disagreed with him:’’ Since colonial time and till just last week, this hospital has been close to state house. Is it only now that the government has realized how close the hospital is to the state house?

Seriously, how many national assets are going to be sacrificed for a few individuals? Soon the international airport will be secured for a few, and as the president commutes to Kampala, the Entebbe -Kampala road will be secured for the president’s security and so forth. So will the Kampala-Masaka- Mbarara -Kihurura roads because it will be insecure for the president to use it when going home, so the public should be re-routed I don’t know where.

The real security lies within the people, not securing land etc; the president should invest in the people by providing services and relinquishing power at the earliest opportunity available. No amount of private roads, hospitals, bunks, mazes of tunnels or MI-Gs can stop people’s power when they finally say, “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH,” see what happened to the King of Kings of Africa, comrade Col. Gaddafi? Is there any African leader who had better security detail than him, where is he now?’’

According to the Daily Monitor, ‘’ The hospital, which serves an estimated 6,000 people, was built by British colonialists in 1904 and borders State House Entebbe gate.
The government plans to turn the hospital into a health facility for State House staff and security personnel. The first attempt to take over the land came up in June when a medical officer Special Forces only identified as Major Mwesigye, approached local leaders in Entebbe, medical officers and hospital administrators proposing that State House takes over Entebbe ‘Grade A’ Hospital apparently used as a private wing.’’

It is not yet clear if another hospital is going to be built in Entebbe to provide the health services to the residents.

Dr. Kipenji Owor from Australia, is also not satisfied with the reasons given for the takeover: ‘Entebbe Hospital has for long been one of the white elephants serving as an eye sore to the residents of Entebbe.The last time it really functioned as a public hospital could have been around 1987. It also happened to be a hospital where my Engineer friend told me was equipped to handle emergency services during the infamous CHOGM meet. Unfortunately whatever was installed or left un installed is still in the same repose as it was left. Apparently most Entebbe residents either go to private clinics or to hospitals in and around Kampala. The staffing in this hospital is very un motivated let alone being sparse. With such a scenario, may be incorporating it within the State house perimeter, it might come to be adequately used. So,I am not personally in support of it being taken up by state house for the reasons Mr Pojim cites, but rather for the redundant status it finds itself in. If it becomes a state house facility, personnel may be attracted to work there in much the same way they did with the former Kiseka Foundation Hospital in the backyard of the once upon a time famous Bat valley which like Bat valley appears to have become extinct.’’

UGANDA WORKERS DEMAND FOR SALARY INCREMENT FOR PUBLIC SERVANTS


Dear colleagues,
Please receive a Press Release (attached) from Uganda Government Workers Union (UGAWU) who are demanding for salary increment of 100% for public servants. The demand follows an August , 2011 workers meeting that resolved to demand for salary increment to meet the prevailing economic situation in the country that continues to impact negatively on the public servants’ livelihood and well being. Please read from the attached letter the full statement from the workers’ leaders, whose contacts are included.
regards

Stephen Ouma Bwire
Tel/Mobile: +256 – 752643296, +256 – 702643296

Email: oumastephen@hotmail.com
oumabwire@yahoo.com
stephen.ouma5@gmail.com
Website: http://www.ugandajournalistsunion.org

Akena Releases Documents on UAH that take his war against Otunu to another level


In the hope that we will move from speculations to facts I wish to shed some light on the regrettable situation in the UPC. Undoubtedly, there are problems in the Party but it helps no one to out-rightly dismiss them or falsely apportion blame. From the time a quit my $700pm job, sold my Isuzu KB 2.2D pick-up and invested in the Internet where I’ve had opportunity to interact with various people from Ugandanet (@edu then @kym), Fedsnet, Mwanainchi etc, I have never looked back and I’d like to think defended my Party to the best of my abilities.

In the just concluded elections, I have no regrets in campaigning for UPC candidates in Kole, Kwania, Agago, Oyam, Kaberamaido, Soroti and Serere. There were places, like Lira where primaries could not be described as “free and fair” and the appeals were ignored by the powers that be, where in effect we had official candidates and peoples candidates. Were I to be given and opportunity to ‘answer’ the charges for decampaigning anyone, I would surely call those with whom I campaigned to testify but without ever being given an opportunity to defend myself, summary judgement is being passed.

What I find most perturbing is that without my accusers proving my purported guilt and I being given an opportunity to put my case, attempts at punitive actions are being pursued. In the context of the attached documents I was incensed when Otunnu stated: “Honourable Jimmy Akena is not a member of UPC” not ‘party’ as some people a quoting. Much as some of us may wish to dismiss it as an unfortunate ‘slip’ of the tongue, the timing and context could not get any worse when I had raised my concerns on John Odit’s letter.

James Akena

Mini-Mabira mega plan


Sugar is political candy, the President cant resist dishing it out. Big time problem, gone are the days when the Presidents word moved the rural population, this is a new era now, every word the President says has to travel the super information highway and challenged by equally fast ideas. This is the time when the President has to make a big change, its high time he got rid of his hippee aged advisers whose advice is handicapped of reasons leading to all Presidents calls being chopped up by the hip hop face book activist aiming for his jugular.

Back to Mabira, sorry for the digression, there is a compromise but no one is talking about it and that is what I want to address. Off course this will not go down well for those who are championing the idea that the President is merely encroaching on Buganda’s land but anyways I will put it out for discussion.
Deforestation and canopy destruction can be disassociated or rebalanced. If I plant the same amount of trees as I destroyed the equation will be balanced I argue. That is the compromise. He who wants to destroy the forest must equally agree to plant the same number of trees he cut and it doesn’t have to be in the same region. The companies that want to plant sugar should be mandated to carry on a reforestation program at per with the destruction caused. Climate and trees is an issue of carbon sequestration and heat absorption. I believe a tree in isolation will do what a tree married in a canopy will do. A big Mabira forest can be compensated for by Mini-Mabira forests dispersed all over the country.

The issue of forest cutting is not going to be limited to this government alone, future governments will face this issue too especially with the rapid increase in population, need for socio-economic development programs, they will always be need for more land and just like all rain forests in the world are facing the world need for timber and more the enemies of the forests are here to stay. We need coordinated and environmentally sound development. We definitely have to get scientist think of the post mega rain forest canopy era.

The issue of the Mabira forest being the catchment area for Lake Victoria waters as the major argument from the activists is another disputable fact if you consider the fact that this lake receives most of its water direct from thousands of small streams the largest stream flowing from the Kagera River which originates in Burundi. So Lake Victoria is not going to dry.

So yes we can have both, the discussion should be geared that way, the activist reasons can be addressed as we meet the need for sustainable development.

Dr.Eddie Kayondo, M.D
Ugandan residing in USA

Mabira deforestation will trigger disaster in Uganda


Eric Kashambuzi

If the rate at which Uganda’s vegetation is being cleared is not checked, Uganda could become a desert in our lifetime, witness increasing thick dust clouds during dry seasons, disappearing perennial rivers, warming local climates, irregular rainfall, shrinking water bodies and dropping water tables.

mabira forest

Visitors to Uganda at the start of the twentieth century were amazed by the extent of forests, woodlands and wetlands. Apart from contributing to Uganda’s scenic beauty, Uganda’s vegetation has many advantages. It provides wild fruits and vegetables, contributes to rainfall through evaporation and condensation, provides materials for manufacturing industries, fuel wood and charcoal, building materials and wood exports, checks wind and rain erosion of the soil, moderates local climates and permits rainwater to sink into the ground and raise
water tables etc.

During colonial administration, commendable steps were taken to conserve vegetation through forest reserves, wetlands and restriction of economic activities in watershed areas and steep slopes. In hilly areas where agriculture took place, terracing or contour farming was
adopted.

Trouble started in the 1970s when Amin’s administration declared an ‘economic war’. Uganda land and vegetation would be used to increase economic growth and improve living standards of Ugandans. Trees were felled, woodlands cleared and wetlands drained en masse. This model of development had many unintended consequences. For example, extensive clearance of wetland affected local climates. The warmer climate attracted mosquitoes which spread malaria to a population that had no immunity with devastating consequences especially among children. De- vegetation exposed soils to wind and rain erosion and floods have become frequent. The rainfall pattern has changed and contributed to lower agricultural productivity.

The National Resistance Movement (NRM) government promised to reverse de-vegetation. This promise is contained in point 15 of its expanded ten-point program. The ministry of environmental protection was created, environmental laws were promulgated and a national environmental management authority (NEMA) was established. Uganda’s economic growth would be sustainable.

The adoption of structural adjustment in 1987 called among other things for increased export production and diversification which resulted in clearing more vegetation, witness clearance of trees and other vegetation to grow cut flowers in areas around Kampala City. The government even allocated a portion of Mabira forest for sugarcane production. The announcement provoked bloody and destructive demonstrations in which some people lost their lives and others were injured. The government dropped the idea of converting part of Mabira forest into a sugarcane plantation.

A few days ago, it was reported that the government still plans to allocate part of Mabira forest for sugarcane production. Many Ugandans at home and abroad and environmentalists have once again opposed the suggestion and will do what it takes to prevent expansion of sugarcane production into the Mabira forest or deforested portions of it which should be reforested instead.

Increasing sugarcane production or any other agricultural activity should use intensive methods of increasing productivity per unit of land rather than clearing vegetation on a large scale. Apart from being a major water catchment area, Mabira forest is a national
treasure that should be preserved for present and future generations. United Democratic Ugandans (UDU) calls on all Ugandans and the people of Eastern and Central Africa that will be adversely affected by the destruction of Mabira forest and the entire international community including development partners such as the World Bank to urge Uganda government to drop the idea of destroying Mabira forest for sugarcane production or other economic activities that lead to Mabira deforestation.

Eric Kashambuzi
Secretary-General, UDU

Impact of ideological conflicts on Uganda’s stunted development


Discussions of Uganda’s slow development have centered on challenges like rapid population growth, hostile ecological environment and poor governance. While these have had an impact, attention needs also to be directed at ideological conflicts as well. These ideological conflicts have diverted development resources – time, financial and human – to non-developmental activities or led to failure to utilize fully Uganda’s human talent.

Conflicts between Catholics and Protestants denied Catholics to form an independence government in 1962 because Protestants in the UK and those in Uganda were not prepared to relinquish power the chiefs and their relatives had enjoyed since 1894. Qualified Catholics were either sidelined or under-utilized with all implications in loss of morale or reduced incentive to produce to the optimum level. The situation changed with the NRM government since 1986, putting Catholics ahead of some Protestants and repeating the same ideological problem. Many good Protestants are languishing in the ‘dark’. Anti- sectarian law has ensured that little is said about this problem.

Within the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) and Kabaka Yekka ( KY) alliance conservative and radical differences surfaced soon after independence. At the same time, within UPC the conservatives or capitalists led by the late Grace Ibingira conflicted with socialists led by the late John Kakonge. On the other hand, the KY royalists could not stand UPC commoners led by the late Milton Obote. These ideological conflicts wasted time and resources that could have been devoted to economic and social development. At the 1964 UPC delegates’ conference in Gulu, the differences came out in the open during the election of the party’s Secretary-General. The socialists lost and were hunted. The showdown was particularly serious among youth wingers. The socialist were marginalized and under-utilized, forcing many to leave and fight the party.

At the same time capitalists in the government worked closely with royalists in and out of government led by Ibingira and waged a fierce political battle against socialists led by Obote after Kakonge who was feared by both men had been removed. The military leadership was also split with the commander on the side of capitalists/royalists and the deputy commander with the socialists. In circumstances like these, development efforts are severely undermined.

The defeat of capitalists/royalists in 1966 and the new constitution of 1967 which abolished kingdoms and increased powers of the executive president emboldened the reinvigorated UPC to go socialist with the launch of the Common Man’s Charter in 1969. It triggered capitalist forces inside and outside Uganda. A new ideological war between Amin with capitalist guidance and Obote, the socialist leader led to a military coup of 1971 that sent the country into ‘darkness’ for eight years.

From 1981 the ideological conflict between capitalist and socialist groups was expressed in structural adjustment. Socialism had to go. For two years, intellectual war raged in government between those who did not want structural adjustment which minimized the role of the state in the economy and those who wanted it guided by market forces and laissez faire capitalism. Ultimately the pro-structural adjustment group with external backing won decisively and even implemented shock therapy version and some of those against it lost their jobs or were marginalized at best. Subsequent advice against excesses of structural adjustment was regarded as sabotage and those who gave it were penalized in one way or another.

The anti-terrorist act with a very broad definition is now being used to curtail civil, political, economic, social and cultural freedom of those in the opposition to the NRM government. However trained and experienced they may be they have been kept outside of the mainstream. Much time, financial and human effort is being diverted from development to trace dissidents at home and abroad and silence them.

Consequently, Uganda has retrogressed in all areas of human endeavor, witness re-emergence of preventable diseases that include meningitis, cholera, dysentery, plague, human sleeping sickness and jiggers. Against this backdrop, Uganda has been appropriately described as a failed state under a military dictatorship disguised as democratic.

Thus, ideological conflicts should also become an integral part of the development discourse to be able to have a holistic understanding of the situation and recommend appropriate solutions.

Eric Kashambuzi
Secretary-General, UDU

How efficient are sugar producers in Uganda?



Folks:

Sugar which is a health hazard if misused is again in the news. Which begs the question: how efficient are sugar producers especially Nanji Kalidas Mehta group of Lugazi and Muljbhai Madhvani of Kakira Why is this relevant to the debate? Because before they blackmail Ugandans so they can destroy Mabira Forest, Ugandans need to know how efficient they are in terms of utilizing the land they have at the moment. What is the real problem for the tow sugar farms, is it lack of land to grow more sugar cane or inefficient operations? How do Ugandans sugars growers compare with firms in say Kenya? The media and politicians need to ask deeper questions.

Those challenging YKM’s madness should talk the inefficiency talk. Some people are right about manufactured tax loses. Think about it: if the two sugar companies are making loses year in year out, why should they continue producing beyond the efficient point? The ideal thing would be for them to shrink to a level where they minimize their loses. Now think about it again: they want more land so they can incur bigger loses? Where is the business logic?

And if they are losing money, where is their value to Uganda to justify YKM’s madness to destroy mabira? NK Mehta has been in Lugzai for centuries so why is he risking it all by seeking to destroy Mabira? YKM will not be there forever so NK Mehta is making a grave mistake that could sink it once YKM is off the political scene.

How many Ugandans have died from lack of sugar in the shops? How many please? On the other hand, how many Ugandans have died due to sugar related illnesses?

Yes, the immediate solution is to allow sugar imports in Uganda from more efficient sugar producing countries like Brazil. The two sugar firms should stop blackmailing Ugandans to the extent of seeking to destroy the environment. Let YKM authorize members of his akazu or family if he has to import sugar and make money rather than give away Mabira forest to inefficient producers.

Let me paraphrase what YKM said during the funeral of the late Canon Bikanganga (RIP) in Kibale: ‘’ import sugar if you have to, but stop destroying the environment for future generation’’. YKM should give the mafia the green light to import as much sugar as they want and leave Mabira alone. How about that?

For how long will the sugar firms learn to make sugar more efficiently? How much time do they need to learn to be efficient? It is import substitution gone amok.

If YKM is worried that Ugandans are not having enough sugar, he should let his mafia import sugar and make some big money. The last we heard YKM had liberalized the economy so what the hell is he doing giving away national treasure to inefficient manufacturers?

I am told the two firms report annual loses so they pay no taxes. Then what is the benefit to Ugandans if their sugar is not even cheap? It is not cheap because they are inefficient?

So those in government should pass the message to Sabagabe: authorize sugar imports to make up for the shortages rather than mess with the environment. Ugandans can have both cheap sugar and their great environment.

This is one problem with apron and I dare say efficient and less controversial solution: authorize sugar imports right away.

WBK

Jose Chameleon’s Conversion to Islam Draws a lot of mixed reaction from Ugandans Abroad


Folks,
Joseph Mayanja alias Jose Chameleon is now a Muslim and he is now called Gaddafi Mayanja. However, some Ugandans abroad have received the news with a lot of scepticism. One Peter Okurut Simon who is based in USA said: ‘I don’t see why Chameleon’s Catholic priest turned father-in- law should get mad with him. It is true, the father -in-law is/was a priest. If the father-in-law as a Catholic priest can produce a daughter against the Catholic Church dogmas, why should he get mad with Chameleon who is exercising his freedom of choice? May be Chameleon is targeting a certain “Hajji’s” daughter for a second wife and the Hajji has given a condition for him to covert before! Fathers-in-laws should know their limits’’

‘’….That said, the father-in-law may use his wealth to influence the outcome of the conversion, he has a lot of businesses in Kampala and Nairobi, he even owns a powerful secondary school in Kampala where the daughter is the manager kind of. Chameleone’s wife is a good and kind lady.’’

Richard Mukasa, a Uganda based in London was among those not happy with this development:’’ Religion a kind of technology or invention which is has been used to spellbind and captivate the minds of African people. As such, African people have been made to be dependent on the thinking and creativity of Arabs and Europeans. Money, religion and technology are the three most spellbinding and captivating forces that African people must be LIBERATED from in order to advance and all of these fall under the umbrella of TECHNOLOGY (Applied Knowledge). Religion has been used by the colonialists both Arabs and Europeans to indoctrinate, dominate and then discourage African people from attempting to change so that the dominant people (colonialists) can retain their power and influence over us.’’

Mukasa went on to say:’’….But the Europeans/ Arabs came and informed them that African names, religion, language, social order, kings etc were not good. As such, they baptised them with new names such as Abbey, Richard, Muhammend etc. Then, they stopped them from worshiping their God, they sold them into slavery, and even forced them to speak European languages and Arabic to these invaders, our African languages are not a sign of intelligence. Right now, Abbey, you lost your identity, culture and status. You always look up to the Europeans for knowledge, money, advice etc and then you look up to the Arabs for spiritual needs. Basically, you and I were colonised mentally, financially, physically, spiritually and intellectually. The Arabs / Europeans stand on a higher ground before us because they claim to have a higher moral/ intellectual authority over us.’’

‘’……LIBERATION from oppressive entities may require physical conflict, but African people must create African technology including our own religion, which is competitive with, or better than those of our oppressors. Engaging in a physical campaign for liberation is understandable from an emotional standpoint, but premature in terms of being sincerely practical resulting in a positive outcome………..The aim of the liberation is to ensure that African people are not colonised, enslaved, exploited, or taken advantage of and ensuring that traditional African culture is preserved.
Technology in form of weapons (guns, bombs, missiles, lasers etc) which threaten the survival, existence, and wellbeing of Africans are just fear inducing, supporting and driving forces of success of other technologies such as Law systems, Religious and Economic Systems of the Europeans / Arabs and would quickly abandon them.’’

But one of the Ugandans based in Kampala and works as a journalist at Newvision, Ahmed Katerega, rebuked Mukasa’s utterances: ‘’l think even our own people, like Baganda, who were worshipping one God, Katonda (The Creator) with a shrine at Butonda in Kyaggwe, were monotheists. Katonda had other names like Lugaba (The Giver), Dunda (The Shepherrd), Namugereka (The Designer/Planner/Builder of the Earth), Liisoddene (The Big Eye), etc…

”In the West, they had Ruhanga, and in the North He was Lubanga. But monotheism stopped in Buganda in the 16th century when Kabaka Nakibinge was defeated by Bunyoro under Omukama Winyi and Buganda was fully occupied. Baganda fled to Ssese where they hired mercinaries including lubaale (gods) like Kibuuka, god of war, and drove Banyoro out of the country. No wonder Baganda embraced Islam and Christianity and even died for them. Some went far and even embraced Judaism, which is a religion for the Jewish nation but not for the universe.’’

Are Ugandans in the UK safe? Come back home!!!!


I am surprised at the way genuine Britons who are protesting against the unfair capitalist system are being called criminals! Those so-called criminals are the ”wretched of the earth” and they are simply trying to be heard. Yes! they may be criminals for trying to resist the vulgaries of capitalism – but to me they are real revolutionaries. And let me warn the Britishs and others, what they are seeing is just the beginning of the end capitalist sytem as we know it. There is yet more revolutionary chaos to come that will bring the rotten capitalist system to its knees. What will save it is reform. These are prophetic warnings!!

Karl Marx, Engels, Lenin and Mao Zedong among others must be proudly turning in their graves for what is hitting the capitalist world. When socialism appreared to have collapsed in the late 1990s, capitalist intellectuals celebrated the purported ‘end of history’ which was claimed to be the triumph of capitalism over socialism. But has what followed? The global economic crunch, severe debt burden on the leading capitalist economies of the USA, Britain and now the rest of Europe i.e Greece, Spain, Italy, mass poverty around the globe etc. Now riots have reared their ugly head in the cradle of capitalism – Britian!!!

On a curious note, why is that when there are similar riots in Africa and the Arab world, the rioters are called pro-democracy activists, un armed demonstrators by the western media even when they are using crude and real weapons as is the case of Libya. The leaders are declared autocrats who have ‘lost’ legitimacy and must go to exile! But in the UK the rioters are called criminals without a cause, blacks, Caribbeans etc. No one is allowed to dig under the surface to find out the real cause of the problem.

Now some Ugandans in the UK are trying to rationalise the riots by agreeing with Cameroun (Okellos) that these are mere criminals etc. Their fear is that if these riots continue, some people might demand that all blacks must leave Europe and all hell will break lose for them. So the best thing to do is to side with the capitalists in these battles!

Unfortunately, when there were similar riots in Uganda, the same Ugandans in the diaspora were encouraging them calling the rioters democracy advocates who were fighting for regime change, un armed and peaceful protesters etc. Now the chicken have come home to roost, in the UK and Europe, will you also encourage the rioting and regime change there as well? I hope you will!!!!

Lastly, the social media was encouraged and hailed by the west and the diasporans for bringing change to the Arab world and Uganda. Now the rioters in UK are also using it with great and the same effect. I am now suprised to hear some voices in the UK calling for the the social media to be controlled in order to stop the rioters from using it. Haa haaa Haaaaa! When the social media is used to create chaos in the Arab world and Africa, it is good but when it is used for the same purposes in Europe, it becomes bad, why?

Diasporans, should that situation become very bad, please come back home and we see how together we can develope Uganda.

John Wang,
Kampala

How the issue of Owiny Kibul came about when Obote was in Exile in Tanzania


1. In March, 1971, Dr Obote received an invitation from the Sudanese Government to go to Khartoum where a European mercenary was due to stand trial but not as a witness to the trial. The background is that in 1970 the OAU passed a resolution which called for the arrests by Governments of the Member States of the mercenaries then known to be operating in Africa and the deportation of any arrested mercenary to the country where the mercenary was known to have been operating. A European mercenary who was known to be operating in Southern Sudan crossed into Uganda and was arrested and deported to Sudan.

2. When Dr Obote discussed the invitation with President Nyerere, the latter expressed much pleasure with it and urged Dr Obote to accept the invitation without delay. The President Nyerere saw the invitation as offering an opportunity to enable Dr Obote to raise a guerrilla army while in Sudan. There were reports at that time of the arrests in Uganda of some people who had tried to travel to Tanzania for military training. Before leaving for Khartoum, Dr Obote contacted UPC leaders in Uganda and discussed with them how best men could go to Sudan for military training. It was not a propitious proposition because there was at that time a war in Southern Sudan between the Southern Sudanese and the Government in Khartoum.

3. It was in that same March, 1971 that Dr Obote went to Khartoum with ten members of Staff. Dr Obote remained in Sudan until June 1972.

4. In Khartoum, Dr Obote asked President Nimieri to allow him to recruit men from Uganda and bring them to Sudan. Dr Obote also asked for facilities for the Sudanese army to train the men as a guerrilla army. The request was referred to the Sudanese army and the response was that it was very unsafe to enter Uganda from Southern Sudan and doubly dangerous to bring men to Sudan through the same route.

5. Dr Obote’s response to the army report, was to ask for his Staff to be allowed to go to Oraba Market (North of Koboko) where Dr Obote knew the people of Uganda, Zaire and Sudan sold and bought goods. This was investigated and was found to be a safe route.

6. Dr Obote then held discussions with his Staff and told them what he knew of the Oraba Market, principally that from the market it was easy at normal times to go to Koboko and then to Arua and from Arua to Gulu, Kitgum, Lira, Apac and Masindi Districts. The discussions led to the agreement that the recruiting area should cover the whole of the Northern region plus Teso and Masindi Districts. But there was one very serious draw-back; There was no money. It was suggested that selected senior UPC members be contacted to raise money. Dr Obote rejected that suggestion to write to Party leaders in the recruiting area and ask for monetary contributions. All members of Dr Obote’s Staff volunteered to go to Oraba and then to Uganda but Dr Obote only selected seven, one of whom was to remain at or near Oraba to receive the recruits.

7. After discussions how the recruitment was to be done was dissected, Dr Obote wrote letters to UPC leaders in the recruitment area. Each letter had something known to Dr Obote and the leader as a way of proving that the letter was from Dr Obote himself. A way to conceal the letters in the clothes worn by the recruiters was devised. UPC leaders to whom Dr Obote wrote were allotted tasks such as either themselves or assigning trusted Party members to escort the recruiters to another leader, return with recruits and escort them towards West Nile to Party leaders there. Leaders in west Nile were, when going to Oraba with the escorts and recruits to wear a designated scarf for identification.

8. The recruitment operation was very successful. None of the recruits or Party leaders ran into trouble and all the six Staff members returned to Sudan safely. 700 men were recruited and they were taken by the Sudanese army to a place known as Owiny-Kibul South of Juba.

Owiny-Kibul means the rest of the party supporters would be alerted when the drum is sounded at appropriate latter time. The whole operation was secretive, not told to all.

Charles Eliba
London

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