March 2012
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Day March 29, 2012

Besigye has played the Police Silly but he Should not overexpose himself as they will kill him

General Saleh:

I write directly to you because you can reach the president any time you want to please deliver the following message.

a) The death of ASP Ariong (RIO) is regrettable. But responsibility for his death should be placed on the shoulders of IGP General Kayihura or whoever he deployed to confront the group of politicians.

b) General Kayihura has failed the country with his poor tactics including issuing illegal orders to the police. For example, he has told police to drive their cars into politicians s it happened when Hon Nabila was injured. The IGP has continued to deployed heavily armed policemen who end shooting ‘stray bullet’ that kill and/or maim Ugandans.

c) Let the president declare that from this point on, police would not be deployed to police or confront peaceful marchers. Indeed police should stay away from such activities completely and let those responsible for them take care of security. I know that the politicians in questions can appeal to their mobs to police themselves and keep out unruly gangs. If this is implemented, the unnecessary death of Ugandans or police at the hands of police during duty will be minimized.

d) If there is need for police at such events, those police officers deployed must not carry any guns. The video in which ASP Ariong was killed shows total chaos with police in different kinds of uniforms. It is very likely that such police units hardly know each and could have fired the bullet or the ‘stray item’ that killed the inspector. I repeat there is no need for live bullets at such events.

e) You should tell president Museveni to retire IGP Kayihura and his sidekick Turyagumanawe in public interest. General Kayihura has become a disgrace to the country and should be removed immediately.

f) So the bottom line is this: let Dr Besigye, Lord Mayor Lukwago and their sidekicks walk, inspect projects, or greet the people without any intervention from police. Police should stay away completely from such events to avoid the death of more Ugandans. Because of General Kayihura’s stupidity, he has not allowed the opposition politicians to demonstrate that they are capable of walking or protesting and do so without destroying or looting people’s property. It is time to test the opposition to see if they can keep law and order. But this cannot happen when the IGP provokes them all the time

g) If you meet General Kayihura tell him that there is life outside police or army. On a serious note General Kaiyihura’s stupidity is hurting your ability to sell your Akiba bonds. As long as he is the IGP, the risk and thus demand for your bonds will continued to be at a discount. So tell him to go and do other things. He can go and rear “embatta”/ducks or whatever.

Dr Besigye has played the police silly. They look total fools some of them are. I saw when they stopped Hon Nabilah from walking from her house! But Dr Besigye should be careful-he is exposing himself too much- now that the Deputy IGP and Deputy Police spokesperson have vowed to avenge the death of the late Ariong (RIP). My sense is that IGP Kayihura and his police will plunge Uganda into a calamity.

Judith Nabakooba was caught on the video promising to revenge both in English and Luganda. Like I told General Saleh, IGP Kaiyihura is the most dangerous man in uniform. Him and his sidekicks are out to do damage. Well, you have it now.

And they are not done. But they better be careful because YKM will pounce and fire them. Deputy IGP Ochola is playing with fire. And so is Judith Nabakooba.

Now let those tycoons sue the police. Take them to court. For too long Ugandans have slept on their rights. That must end. Go and sue for damages.

I think the ‘’panda gari’’ was planned by IGP Kayihura, Deputy IGP OChola and legitimized by the police deputy spokesperson who is caught on tape telling the press that police would revenge. If I may ask, what is the police motto in Uganda? It surely cannot be near something like to serve and protect.

But she should never again be seen using ‘’boda boda’’ as we saw in Redpepper. If she is stupid enough to use a boda boda she will pay a heavy price.

Can MPs or whatever committe is in charge of police summon the police to explain their actions. In the meantime those tortured should sue the state/police. Ugandans must stop sleeping on their rights and giving the Nabakoobas, Ocholas and Kayyohuras comfort.

Granted the courts may be in the hands of NRM cadres but there still are a few brave souls on the bench.

The people missing are Ugandan lawyers? Who are the equivalents of Kenya’s Paul Muite, Gibson Kamau Kuria, James Orengo, Kiraitu Murungi, Dr John Khaminwa, Martha Karua, GBM Kariuki etc among Ugandan lawyers?

The police is getting away with murder because the lawyers are not taking them on. They need to sue and sue the police and tie them in litigation. One of these days, they will find a competent judge who will send a message to the police.

Once again Ugandans must stop sleeping on their rights. That is the problem with Ugandans. They get screwed over and over and take no action. Helll wake the people up.

Initially I thought those bazungu were perhaps diplomats kumbe.


Kony2012: It is not enough to want to “do good.”

Dear Ugandans at heart,

I wrote some thoughts on Kony2012, which Sunday Monitor published as ‘Kony2012: Who is Benefiting? ”. Whereas I am thankful, First, it has been seriously cut to the extent of changing the focal point.

Second, and perhaps more important, what I wanted to say has been changed into another perspective such that the article reflects a viewpoint quite different from what I wanted to state. That is, highlighting the question of “benefit,” which is an inescapable inevitability in the large picture anyway. To me, the question of a range of information and the usefulness of being aware broadly about this long standing problem is more important.

To be fair i wrote back to the editor who got back to me just as soon. Now, bear with me but here is my take in its original form from title to content. Here is hoping UAH will publish it on its forum.

Kony2012 is a viral American inspired issue, but echoing Mahmood Mamdani, Joseph Kony is a Ugandan problem. If so, what is to be done in the face of a hard to ignore duel of sorts between an American young man and a Ugandan man fought along the fault lines of a misbegotten Ugandan political history for an audience of global proportions?

Bottom line, Children, be they adults now, have paid an almost irreparable price in this two and a half decade case. Ultimately, it is up to every one behind the 70,000,000 million plus hits to decide where they stand with such a reality.

Personally, I doubt the Jason Russell stance that simply remove Kony and the rest will fall in line. I am uneasy about Invisible Children or even Kony 2012 given the “you are because we are” packaging of the problem. I prefer Kony taken alive rather than dead, lest we succeed in dancing on his grave but fail to learn anything useful. I believe in humanity and I believe in Uganda. I believe too that more than Kony the problem is the recurrence of warfare, and it is fair to say it is a going concern. I also believe point of view matters profoundly when it comes to questions of presentation and representation.

Even then, Kony 2012 bears pros and cons. Yet a question lingers: what is Jason Russell’s goal?

The claim by Samuel Olara that, “Kony is Invisible Children’s means of attaining Hollywood recognition” is believable (Daily Monitor, March 12, 2012). To add, I too bumped into the original version of Invisible Children, “Rough Cut” far away from home, in Providence, RI. The title plus the image of a black child with a big gun compelled me to go to the show. A lot of what I saw did not sit well with me. But two things stood out: Jason Russell, Booby Bailey and Laren Poole rather than the “Invisible Children” became the focal point and as we are learning, the main beneficiaries. After the show, the student representative in charge of the event announced with fervor that the video was going to be turned into a big Hollywood blockbuster in a matter of two months.

Evidently, it took longer but Yahoo news reports that Jason Russell (Bailey and Poole have been silent and invisible) has hit his mark anyway, “The company owned by powerful producer Harvey Weinstein has contacted Russell to buy the film.” Reportedly, “Celebrities including George Clooney, Rihanna, Justin Bieber and Oprah Winfrey have announced their support for the cause.” Add to the list Angelina Jolie, who appears in a couple of YouTube clips regarding the phenomenon.

Here is hoping Jason Russell, participating and intending celebrities, and interested filmmakers will bother to become reasonably informed about the nature not of only the beast, but also the crisis.

Accordingly, I want to recommend the following sources: Adam Branch starting with Neither Peace nor Justice: Political Violence and the Peasantry in Northern Uganda, 1986-1998, Laura Edmondson, Marketing Trauma and the Theatre of War in Northern Uganda, Heike Behrend, Alice Lakwena & the Holy Spirits, Phares Mutibwa, Uganda Since Independence, Mahmood Mamdani, Imperialism and Fascism in Uganda. Outside of scholarly context, consider Robin Soans’ Royal Court Theater play, Talking To Terrorists; Ugandan journalist Rosebell Kagumire’s response to Kony 2012 on YouTube, and the excellent Canadian documentary by Pete McCormack and Jesse James Miller, Uganda Rising.

I hold that what matters more than who tells our story is where the individual agents stand with issues concerning our existence. But like other African people I am sensitive to narratives about us. For instance, I once told one of my brothers that I had just read an utterly impressive play with a fine take on Idi Amin, Blue/Orange, by Joe Penhall, a British playwright. “Read, not wrote,” he derided, “You ought to be the one writing that stuff.”

Things do not always work one way, but his challenge is considerable. So too are some viewpoints of certain Uganda journalists on the matter of right over narrative. Kalungi Kabuye has declared that we do our own stuff instead of ripping into Invisible Children; Charles Onyango Obbo has intimated that Ugandans do not have a copyright to Kony’s excess; Daniel Kalinaki has argued that we are the Invisible generation of Ugandans who do little to tell our stories or hold to account those who wrong us. Right: the crisis is not down to only Kony.

I hasten to add, Kony is impossible to defend, as my professor and friend John Emigh opines. I wont try. But to ignore the other political actors in the crisis is to behave like the legendry Ostrich, in the face of trouble. That is, bury the head in the sand to avoid seeing the problem. The example is widely known, yet it is faulty. The ostrich does not bury its head in the sand.

Joseph Kony or Kony 2012 cannot be seen in isolation of other political actors, or remotely, without recourse to due information. That would be a folly, for after an Amin came a Kony.

Charles Mulekwa is a UAH forumist based in Kampala and can be reached at

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