December 2011
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Day December 30, 2011

Opening Address at the UPC Youth Conference by Hon. Benson Obua-Ogwal, MP

Dear Congress Men and Women,

Below is the written text of the address I made a while ago. Of course the delivery style brought in new ideas and points of emphasis and inversions of the pattern here and there, but the content was very much the same.




Opening Address at the UPC Youth Conference by Hon. Benson Obua-Ogwal, MP on 30th December 2011 at Sports View Hotel, Kireka

Mr. Chairman, my Hon. colleague MPs, the National Youth Leader, Key Party officials, and most importantly the Youth of UPC here gathered.

I thank the organisers of this meeting for putting together such a very important meeting. It is the first time in my memory to bring together our party youth from the whole country exclusively as youth. Before this we have only had regional youth meetings. I recognize Mr. Benson Ogwang who preceded me as NYL.

I also thank our development partners for the support they have always accorded the party.

I would like to thank the National Party Chairman, Maj. Rurangaranga, the Secretary General Hon. John Odit, Head of Mobilzation Hon. David Pulkol, the Deputy Spokesperson Moses Nuwagaba, the Press Secretary Robert Kanusu who together with many other party leaders and faithfuls have been doing their best to put the party on track by taking it away from Uganda House to the people where it really belongs. Unfortunately, the best form of appreciation they have received has been demonization and alleged sacking. I call it alleged because it is questionable and contestable. I thank Leonard Okello for mentoring so many of us during the NUSU days.

I feel privileged to have been chosen to perform the honorable task of opening this important event. This is a presidential function I have been asked to perform. I could not feel more honored than this, and that is why when I was requested to perform it, I set aside a very big district function that will bring all MPs, all LCV Executives and Councillors, LCLlll Chairpersons and Councillors, Sub-county Chiefs and District staff. That is how much I value this event today.

Am reliably informed that the Party President does not recognize this meeting. I am also informed that an SMS, purportedly from Hon. Fr. Jacinto Ogwal has been sent to most of you saying Cabinet considers this meeting illegal. If this meeting is illegal, then I prefer to be illegal. But nature abhors vacuum. So today, just for a few minutes, I am here to open this event as an undelegated Party President, because somehow somebody must bear that title here. They can go ahead and belittle and underestimate your power, but I honor you, the future of UPC.

Youths are very important to any party worth its salt, and any party that does not take its youth seriously is doomed to fail. It has no future. While you are here today, you need to deeply ponder whether you are really important, or feel important to your party or not. Whether you have been given you space or not. If not, you need to demand your space and occupy it.

At this point, let me give you a few characteristics of a youth:

– Youthfulness is nature’s gift

– Youth are proud of who they are

– The most powerful span of life (strength)

– They see beyond the horizon (the sky is not the limit)

– They see positive in every odd situation

– They are ambitious, have strong feeling to achieve

– They are courageous, do not fear

– They hate insult

– They are aggressive for their rights

– They know how to discharge their duties

– They fight injustice

– They always think of victory

Why the youth have been called here:

The NC made a resolution at the Ankrah Foundation in Mukono about the mobilization, recruitment and reactivating the youth participation as a vanguard for our party. The PP was directed to explore implementation of this.

The PP gave mandate to the National Youth Leader to explore what needed to be done.

NIMD also gave a grant for research, and the researcher is here to present her findings to you, so that your input can be incorporated as youth. The research covered among other things;

– history of youth leagues in UPC

– assessment of the current structure of UPC vis-a-vis youth

– lessons from sister parties, ANC, India National Congress, CCM

You are expected to hold free discussions on these issues as youth and to make recommendations, because this affects you directly. Anyone who is fighting this meeting is against the youth of this party, and against the youth of this country. It is sad that people like Patrick Aroma have allowed themselves to demobilize this meeting. We can reliably inform you that last night he was in Lira mobilizing some youth to come and disband this meeting. Thank God that the youth who did not know exactly why they were being brought to Kampala have felt abused on realizing the importance of this meeting. I hope my young brother Aroma is now sitting in this hall as a converted person willing to peacefully listen and participate, otherwise I’d recommend that he is not allowed to sit here for security reasons. He has to accept publicly that this meeting is legal and good for the party, otherwise he has no business here right now!

This meeting is taking place when a lot has happened in the Party within the last few weeks:

– Locking of UH by a section of youth who could not stomach what was going on any more,

– Promises to handle the genuine concerns of these youth have not implemented hitherto,

– The leadership has since run amok sacking everybody who dares questions anything and refuses to conform to its whims.

I suggest that before you disperse from here today, you should spend sometime to discuss the petition that these youth crafted and submitted to NC and pronounce yourselves on it.

But also take note that the conference was being sabotaged by the PP right from the start, just like he successfully did for women. For instance upto yesterday the National Youth Leader was instructed to officially write and dissociate herself from this meeting, otherwise, she should not use her official title. I hope that is not already tantamount to another sacking.

Youth of the Congress, I urge you not to agonize, but to organize

We can no longer burry our heads in sand and imagine we can be a party of the future without giving you the youth a say, your space!!

In 2016 there projections indicate that we will have 5,000,000 new, young voters. Who is more well positioned to reach out to these youth than you the youth? ICT and Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Skype, etc are highly patronized by youth, and they have their own lingo now. We have a duty to empower them to carry out this task.

Finally, I am happy that the first activity in the UPC Strategic Plan on page 37 is to organize a national youth convention. Today has marked a good beginning.

Today, I would like to repeat the public apology I made recently for being part of those who literally forced Otunnu back to Uganda, and ultimately he became the PP. I deeply regret this disastrous move, and this forum is appropriate for me to reiterate that.

I say this for God and my Country.

Alutta Continua!!!

Benson Obua-Ogwal.

Banyarwanda Uganda Citizenship and UPDF promotions is a big problem for Uganda


YKM has no shame. All but one are from the same ethnicity. The exception is Otema Awany who is musangi to Minister Okello Oryem amd besieged minister of Internal affairs Eng Onek, they are married to sistterss. The other high flying sisters married to big men are Ms Mary Mugyenyi whose sisters are married to Eng Nassasira and Mr Enos Tumusiime former Railways MD now turned high powered lawyer representing Hon Bukenya.There is no order in those military promotions in Uganda. It is all done by YKM. well where are the minutes to prove otherwise?

One name caught my attention and reminded me of a funny chap-resident of Lumumba to be exact-who cuckolded a cabinet minister in Obote 2. According to the press, Johnson Namanya of Special Forces has been promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and appointed administration officer in charge of Luwero Industries”. Is it possible this is the same Johnson Namanya Mupenzi, a veteinray doctor then of Lumumba hall? If so why the slow promotion.

Now on the question of citizenship, I think it is up to those Rwandese born in Uganda-what is the cut off year in the constitution-to choose between Uganda and Rwanda. For example, I know that Dr Mbonye, former PS chose Uganda over Rwanda and has not flip flopped since. He is a Ugandan as far he is concerned. He took a stand and picked Uganda and stayed with his choice. The real problems are the silent ones who choose Uganda when it suits them and Rwanda when it also suits them.

The big question is this: should those Rwandese born in Ugandan after 1994 still be eligible for Ugandan status? Why 1994? It is the year their parents went home to Rwanda. The funny thing is that Ugandans through and through -like many of you and me-can lose their citizenship, but not these folks!!!!

Now the other big question: should Uganda emulate Germany and Netherlands where it is almost impossible for foreigners to get citizenship? That is should the bar be raised somewhat?

Another question, what is the population of the people from Kisoro who are of Rwandese origin but born in Uganda? I mean bafumbiira? Furthermore are bafumbiira closest to which group in Rwanda? Tutsi or Hutu? This is not just an academic question-I understand they are closets to hutu-because it has political implications.

But we should try to figure out the cut off year. Majority of Rwandese at least those in power and eating, arrived after 1959. What about those who arrived before and after that date? The burden should be on those seeking Ugandan citizenship to prove that they met their criteria as per the cut off year.

Yes Germany’s law is racist and targets the Turks. But Netherlands too has very tough measures before one can become a citizen. The ordinary folks are Ugandans as far as they know. They are settled in Uganda and are struggling like the rest of the folks.

It is the elite who are exploiting the situation. The other thing would be to publicly withdraw Ugandan citizenship from known operatives in Rwanda and start to treat their children in Ugandan schools as international students and subject to restriction and or higher fees. Their name should be gazetted that under section so and so they are no longer deemed Ugandan citizens. But that cannot happen under YKM.

BTW, even among the Bahiima these issues are hot. They are the Rwandese group and the Ugandan group pure which includes the likes of that former Nyakasura chap Tinye. The pure Ugandan group is pro-bugabae and is not afraid to speak out.

Ugandans slept on their rights and have no recourse. Think about it. YKM went to Ntare. From there he went to Dar and was recruited in intelligence services in the late 60s. He came back under UNLF as a minister and vice Chairman of the military commission. He was cleared to contest for the presidency under UPM in 1980 when UAH’s George Okello was Hall chairman and law student. I wish Mr George Okello would not write about personal stuff because that cheapens him but he likes to do for some reason.

The discussion should also consider Sudanese, Kenyans and Congolese. I do not think Uganda has problems with TZ unless the off springs of wakombozi of 1979. But let us be honest, the biggest challenge involves Rwandese whom many Ugandans wrongly or otherwise feel are loading on them.


UPDF should be called ‘Runyakitara Army’?

Museveni and his generals view a recent para trooping display

From the names mentioned and promoted in the UPDF recently, It looks this outfit does not deserve the name UPDF but something like Runyakitara Army? Whatever the reasons for the so called changes, they should desist from using the name UPDF because it does not mirror the rainbow country that Uganda is.

I went to school with some of these chaps in the 60s and by Amin’s time, they were already declaring themselves most “educated”/schooled in Uganda and so per academic achievements, they deserve everything there is to offer. What Museveni has done is to reinforce this primitive stereotype and entrench it in society.

Mr William Oketcho the immediate past MP for Budama north,could not become chairman of the Privatisation unit because a one Rutagi was “more’’ qualified than him. Inspite of most of them being academic mediocres, they will still go around chest thumping as being very educated. If in fact they were even half educated, their conscience would make them shy away from some of these outright nepotistic appointments. Unfortunately the majority are only schooled.

So, when Museveni gets uprooted, the various militias in control of some of those places where they are now the RDC,CAOs etc will have a field day correcting the social injustices they have borne for decades on. I only hope, then, they will realize they have not after all been very educated as per their label claims.

The so called UPDF is just a dressing to lull Ugandans into thinking they have a military establishment. What is the correlation between promotions within the army and its’ professionalization? So, countries like the US,UK,France,Germany,Russia,etc etc where the military hardly get promoted should be per NRM standards non professional? Uganda is actually reliving George Orwell’s Animal Farm satire.

Ever heard of the Institutionalization Syndrome? The military or the corrections service departments provide the best environment where people get beaten by this bug. First, they may hate the whole institution, but with time, they get to like it and as they begin to feel comfortable around it, they begin to depend on it for literally anything and everything.
In fact the more schooled one is, the more predisposed they are.

So, Brig Mugira’ law training notwithstanding, he has now been beaten by the bug and he will need long sessions of debriefing to make him come to terms with reality. Ask yourself, why are many of the so called US war veterans either committing suicide or becoming homeless after being discharged from the military? It is because, all of a sudden, you have removed their identity and just feel they will not make it to the next day.

In the early 1990s, the World Bank and IMF gave NRA money to reduce their numbers which at the time was said to be between 50-80,000. I found myself involved in verifying the reasons for some of them being discharged. Much as they were being given some roofing material, cement and some “Entandikwa” to start civilian life, most of them by 1996 had gone back to the forces because life appeared like hell to them. Whatever they were discharged with were all sold off even before they left the barracks.

So, please start understanding these fellows from that context. They have virtually been given false identities that they are proud to maintain. Add that to the promotions and you are home and dry with your package of a human zombie!

Whether Mr Museveni is or was Rwandese at this point in time is really immaterial. So much has gone under the bridge that any attempts to re-write them will be an exercise in futility.

Home, they say is where the heart is! You may have been born in Uganda to Ugandan parents but if they chose to acquire another country’s citizenship and you fell in love with that new domicile, Uganda would not mean anything to you. Likewise, there are those persons of Rwandan descent who truly believe Uganda is their country. We should not make opportunistic laws to deny them that heritage.

Many of the Indians Idi Amin forced out of Uganda actually call themselves Ugandans. Should we tell them to back off? What is interesting about these Indians is that the majority of them know nothing about India but everything about Uganda and still speak those Ugandan languages they spoke while there.

As regards to deporting naturalized or adopted citizens to their former countries for whatever “security” reasons, I am opposed to that idea because it is not grounded on reality.Many of these adopted/naturalized citizens tend to behave and act based on their experiences in their new domiciles and therefore deporting them to their so called country of origin is no different from the policy the British monarch used in centuries past by sending criminals to Australia.
Whatever character flaws these new citizens develop, it is best handled in the environment where they acquired it.

Just a point of clarification with regards to German citizenship. It is true some decades back, acquiring citizenship there was very hard for foreigners and those who did get it got it by getting married to German women. Things are now different.They also had a very funny way of looking at the children of Turks, whose fore bearers went to help rebuild West Germany after the end of WWII. They continued to be called Guest workers with benefits minus the citizenship. Their off springs were Germans at birth up to 18 years where they would either revert to Guest workers like their parents or chose to apply for German citizenship.

Now on this Rwanda-Uganda citizenship issue, the majority of the rural Rwandese really do not engage in this oscillation of being either Ugandan or Rwandese pending the circumstances. Most know they are Ugandans even though their forebearers are said to have come from Rwanda.

So, even if laws are to be enacted, this should target the class of political prostitutes who are engaged in this practice. Like I said earlier, home is really where ones’ heart is. So let those whose heart is in Uganda be.

Dr. Owor Kipenji

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