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Month March 2012

Dr.Byamugisha deserves his compesation but Kabatsi should never have been presidential legal advisor


The head of legal department, Joy Kabatsi was fired.

Folks:

I think Dr Joseph Byamugisha deserves to be compensated for his services to NSSF. He has been on the case for years. Without him, NSSF would have paid a lot of money to crooks claiming to represent Alcon. I actually believe the reason he was suddenly replaced as the NSSF outside counsel is because he was stubborn and refused to settle the case out of court. Some crooks somewhere did not want him there so they terminated his services.

And who replaced him? Kasirye, Byaruhanga advocates. These are known NRM lawyers. Granted, Dr Joseph Byamugisha was and probably still is YKM’s lawyer. But he is also a former chief Legal adviser of DP during the reign of Dr Ssemwogerere. Today DP’s legal adviser, Mbidde Fred, just graduated from LDC! Imagine. DP deserves better than Mbidde.

Dr Joseph Byamugisha deserves to be paid. Whether he deserves 30 billion let the Supreme Court decide. But again if Ms JenniferMusisi is making 36 or 38 m a month, and many junior lawyers barely out of LDC where many failed and failed and failed before finally passing, and are now demanding billions, surely Dr Byamugisha deserves to be paid well a lot more.

Firms like Karugire and Kiryowa advocates are now apparently the firms of choice to handle government files. And you guys wonder why the state is losing billions of money through dubious court rulings. Many of these junior lawyers who barely made it out of LDC have no ability to defend such cases. So they COLLUDE. Yes. COLLUDE to lose cases and take their cut. At the end of the day someone somewhere did not like Dr Byamuugisha defending NSSF because they are pressuring NSSF to pay off ALCORN.

Now Mr Ssekono insists that he wants Mr. Mohamed Nyaoga the lanky kisii lawyer who is the managing partner of Mohamed Muigai advocates-Dr Muigai was appointed Kenya’s AG- to defend NSSF. Surely Mr. Nyaoga is an able lawyer and one of the best litigators in Kenya. But some within NSSF do not want him on board? Why?

Yes if the Karugire, Kiryowa advocates or Muzamil Kibedi advocates are being paid billions for essay deals, Dr Byamugisha should be paid his dues. If it is shs.30 billon should the Supreme Court rule so be it. He saved NSSF billions of money. Blame KCC’s Ms. Musisi for the wage inflation in Uganda.

MIRUNDI INTERVIEW

The Chimreport interview Muhame Giles had with Tamale Mirundi portrays what I have been saying all along. State House is in total chaos. No one is in charge. Those who are there have no clue. The PPS herself has no clue. My bet is that the next person to be sacked will be the PPS MS Grace Akello. If General Saleh is pissed off on UAH, she must know that her days are numbered.

Tamale Mirundi accuses Ms. Kabatsi of portraying State House negatively. Well Tamale Mirundi makes it worse. He illustrates Garbage In- Garbage-Out (GIGO) perfectly.

Listen to him that the legal department is very important and should be manned by women and men of high intellect. But look at the previous holders of that office: all of them were there not because they were smart or competent. . No. they were there because of nepotism: Fox Odoi, One Kashilingi and Joyce Kabatsi. Strange choices but the trend is there: either ‘saved’ be mediocre. Of all Ms Kabatsi is the most intriguing. Granted her husband is a sharp legal mind-did YKM hire her to get two for one-but certainly not her.

The big question remains. Why is YKM afraid of bright, competent types? Only in Uganda do you have a character like Tamale Mirundi as the secretary to the President and someone like Ms. Joyc Kabatsi as Legal advisor.
Hopefully YKM will learn from the Basajabalaba shit. Once again listen to the nonsense from Tamale Mirundi that the legal officials were fired for giving the crook state house secrets. Which state house secrets?

YKM gave everything to the crook, so there are no secrets to leak. Muhame Giles did a good job interviewing Tamale Mirundi and exposing his lack of depth.

MISSING FILE IN STATE HOUSE

It is not funny anymore. Shit keeps hitting YKM’s state house. Someone wrote that YKM’s State House is a den of thieves who stole 300 million and more from Okello House. It is also full of mediocre and incompetent types.

Now YKM claims that the file is missing from State House. Give me a damn break. That is a deliberate act by YKM. The file is missing because YKM wants it missing. Full stop.

How gullible are some of the journalists who swallow every nonsense fed to them by state house to report without asking any serious questions. For example, when did the file go missing? When did YKM know it was missing etc? Folks, the file is missing because it mentioned minister Amelia Kyambadde, so YKM wants to protect her because like the supper crook she knows where skeletons are buried. No wonder Uganda is dysfunctional.
Actually YKM knows that the file incriminates him and his stooges at state House including Minister Amelia Kyambadde and more. So he goes to PAC to clean up his act. My worry is with PAC. Why? Because PAC will write a report and YKM will summon the NRM caucus to expunge incriminating recommendations as was the case in the Governor Mutebile saga.

YKM has now found a way with PAC, so PAC should re-rethink. Why is YKM suddenly willing to appear before PAC? He knows that it is saving him rather than pinning him.

Those copies must have been collected and taken somewhere or even destroyed. That is criminal.
PIONEER BUSES

What are the real issues involving Buses? Who is opposed to buses in Kampala? What are the illegalities we keep reading about -ok, no number plates?

I think the buses are a good thing for the city given a) the level of pollution which is a health hazard, b) cost of living C) NRM control of UTODA.

Is NRM opposed to the buses because they wound end UTODA abuses? Remember UTODA is NRM’s cash cow. But so are the people behind the buses. Is NRM split as who to support?

But again, why did all of a sudden did KCCA end UTODA’s monopoly? Was that a hint that the powers that be now wanted Pioneer buses? And what about Kayola train which suddenly started caring passengers this Monday?

Well, Ugandans/Kampalans should be given all the choices they can have: Kamunye/taxis, Pioneer buses, Kayola train and of course piga mugu.

Of course lack of number plates is a big issue. But that tells you that there are bigger forces at play. Ordinarily no car can carry passengers let alone be on the road without number plates.

One wonders about third party insurance. If the buses have no number plates, do they have insurance?

I tell you what; the owners of Pioneer will soon show up at state House. They may had showed up already to talk compensation!

Mark you they include NRM people like Mr Mathew Rukikaire father in law to Nina Mbabazi, daughter of PM Mbabazi. That is to say that only buses with such owners can apply roads without number plates. They are behaving like Kalenjins during Moi, who pissed on everyone. The conditions are in place for another billions scam to be visited on the people of Uganda.
W.B.KYIJOMANYI

Moi’s tribe dominated the army as Museveni’s in Uganda but Kibaki changed all that


Daniel arap Moi The story reported on the link below is fascinating.
http://www.afroarticles.com/article-dashboard/Article/Untold-story-of-the-1982-coup-attempt-in-Kenya–Night-meeting-that-saved-Moi-presidency/211544
It was reported sometimes back in Kenya’s the Daily Nation. Mohamed and Sawe became CGS. Njoroge became Army commander under Kibaki and is now Kenya’s ambassador to Israel. The other majors do not seem to have risen higher.

Not only did Mr Moi become a dictator but also seniority in the army broke down so much so that junior Kalenjin officers could not salute senior officers from other ethnicities.

Major General Kariuki was the air force commander at the time. He was jailed but became Chairman of Kenya Communications Commission by Kibaki. There was claim that the senior army commander were then ones poised to overthrow Mr. Moi, but were beaten by their juniors, whose indiscipline cost them dearly. Many along with university students went to rape Indian women in the nearby Parklands.

Back then it was Mr. Wetangula, the current foreign Minister who was defending coup leaders and those accused of complicity.
The late Kanyotu was onto the air force coup leader but Mr. Moi could not give him permission. Rumour has it that Moi wanted to disband the air force because he did not like its composition.

The army during Mr. Moi was made up of mostly Kalenjin but the imbalance was sort of corrected when Mr. Kibaki came in. Kalenjin areas had their quota slashed while other ethnicities that had been cheated had their quota up.

That Major Njoroge became Major General and later Lt General and Army commander. Him and the immediate former CGS, general Kianga from Ukambani had to purge all known elements who could not salute their seniors on the basis of ethnicity.
The Sawe family suffered a loss when the widow died under mysterious circumstances -burnt beyond recognition.

From what I have heard ethnic parity has been restored in the Kenyan forces. With the Kamba -believed to be the most loyal-once again claiming their rightful place.

Kenya changed after that coup. I got to Nairobi in 1983 when things were still bad and Mr. Moi came up with his Mwakenya to arrest lectures, lawyers, university students and politicians.

Nyayo house had just been completed and Kenyans were being tortured there. You had to be wary of two people in old coats because they were most likely police or special branch.

I remember an incident when they confronted me and started asking me whom I had gone to visit at Ufungamano House near the University. They had followed me all the way from the university area towards Kenyatta Avenue. Many university students were informers so you had to be careful when talking to them even in their Library where I used to go and read.

Moi’s Kenya was bad. Actually that is where YKM’s Uganda is at today. The recent arrest of so called 300 rebels in uganda is similar to Mwakenya.

W.B.KYIJOMANYI

Opinion of the religious Leaders of Acholi on ‘Kony 2012’ Video


Dear ColleaguesGreetings of Peace and Love

Last week Invisible children released launched a compagn #Kony2012 intened to make him famous but not to glorify him. Very many poeple around the world have been calling, writing and tweeting for opinion of the religious Leaders of Acholi.

This is to release their opinion of the video. Comments are welcome, and those in support of this alternative view should say their mind to get lists of supporting organizations and individuals

http://semuwemba.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/stopkony-2012-acholi-leaders-compaign.pdf

Hoping to hear from you

Thanking

ACAS Press Release/Statement on Kony2012 & LRA


Colleagues,

With more than 79 million viewers, the Invisible Children’s KONY2012 video on Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army in Central Africa truly has gone viral. The national Association of Concerned Africa Scholars (ACAS – founded at MSU in 1977) feels this sudden attention to Africa and American action to help Africa needs to be considered carefully and channeled so that American action should, at least, “do no harm.”

ACAS has sought to be “positive,” suggesting what those millions of US students (reportedly 800+ at MSU) who have been captivated by the KONY2012 video can do for seriously addressing the violence issues in CAR, Congo, and S.Sudan  ACAS also is suggesting where to give to seriously address the human needs of child soldiers, rape victims, and the IDPs.  ACAS will be offering further resources in response to KONY2012 of possible actions and a leaflet for students on “What you can do.”

ACAS also is deeply concerned about:

– The serious misleading of Americans in this campaign (LRA has not been an issue in Uganda for more than six years!; there are worse militias in the Congo with more than 200,000 women raped)          – the serious racism (using ugly racial stereotypes, saying Kony is worse than Hitler and Osama bin Laden)

– The religious messianism that implies we can save Africans from their leaders and that Americans can “change history,” “change the world” in Africa with a few simple actions

– The militarism pressing for U.S. boots on the ground and for action by the Ugandan and other armies who have killed more Africans than Kony’s LRA

– The negating of peace negotiations, which Acholi church leaders in northern Uganda are seeking instead of military solutions

– The suspicious finances of the Invisible Children campaign

– The simplistic focus on this one person and movement (What would happen with this good will if Kony were caught tomorrow?)

– the failure, once again in the U.S., to back and trust the United Nations and 57-nation African Union to address the problems when we already rely on UN Peacekeepers in 16 nations

– the failure to channel resources to the UNHCR and UNICEF, the only agencies with serious and sustained help for IDPs, child soldiers, rape victims and others in all four affected countries.

Please feel free to forward this message with your own comment to any local media or colleagues. The ACAS statement is at http://concernedafricascholars.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/ACAS-Central-Africa.pdf%29.%A0

The press release is at:  http://concernedafricascholars.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/ACAS-Press-Release-3-15-12.pdf Als, up on the website at http://concernedafricascholars.org/our-work/ are the briefs for the three current political action task forces:

 

Dave Wiley 517-332-0333

wiley@msu.edu

michigan state university

I support the ‘Invisible Children’ Video


Dear Kony 2012 Critics,

After watching the Kony 2012 video with all its hysteria and excitement, and then watching the so-called experts on Uganda verbally assault and attack the intentions of the organization, I concluded that I also had to voice my response to the Kony Mania.

First, let me address the video and its organization, Invisible Children. Despite how everyone may feel about the organization, its intents, they way they do business and how they distribute their profit, lets just remember one thing, they are still an organization that has gone out of its way to come to Uganda (years ago) and promote positive change in an area that had previously been ravaged with the some of the worst atrocities that Africa has seen. So despite their Hollywood style, dumb down, made for high school video about Joseph Kony, I believe their intent was still and still is good. And if you don’t think that their intent is positive, than you may want to ask the thousands of Ugandans that have been positively affected by this organization.

Second, let me address the critics who keep complaining about how this video does not address so called REAL Ugandan issues, and doesn’t accurately reflect what is going on in Uganda right now. My response is, “OKAY, SO MAKE YOUR OWN VIDEO!” Is it Invisible Children’s job to create multiple videos about all the issues that affect Uganda now? Of course not. Remember one thing, organizations exist generally for one purpose. It’s obvious that IC created this video to address the issue of capturing a man who’s committed some of the most horrific atrocities the world has seen. So despite its inaccuracies and theatrics, I’m sure that we can all agree Joseph Kony should be captured and tried by Ugandans for his crimes. Despite what you may feel about the method of capturing him, he should and will be brought to justice one day. His victims deserve the right to see justice served. And if you really don’t agree with the video or are confused about the content then go do some research, the internet is out there for your disposal. Or better yet, find people who are from Uganda and ask them how they really feel about the Kony issue (not the video), but the real Kony Issue.

Third, all of the conspiracy theorist who have these grand ideas that somehow Invisible Children is part of the Illuminati and that the grand scheme is to take over Uganda because of its oil reserves, let me just say that you guys all need to get off the crack pipe. Do you really think that as broke as the U.S currently is (15 trillion in debt and rising), and as high as the gas prices currently are in the U.S ($4.30 avg per gallon), and as weary as U.S citizens are of war overseas (currently pulled all combat troops out of Iraq, and beginning withdrawal in Afghanistan), do you really think that the cheapest smartest place for the U.S to drill for oil is 8,000 miles away in Uganda? When they can drill in their own back yard in the Gulf Coast?? REALLY? Give me a break. Any idiot can see that the American Tax payers will never agree to that type of wasteful spending again, after billions were blown on erroneous spending in the past 10 years since 2001. It amazes me that no matter what there will always be the conspiracy theorists… Keep dreaming guys.

Fourth, I want to address Ugandan’s directly, and say this, “SHAME ON YOU”. For years we have been terrorized by many dubious actors, who had nothing but selfish intents for themselves and nothing for Uganda. When Amin came we watched as he terrorized, when Obote came we watched as he terrorized, when Museveni came we also watched as he promised false hope and false dreams, when Kony came, we continued to watch as he terrorized our children and women. We have become a Nation of observers. How can 30 million people stand by and watch the atrocities committed by just a few, or by one man? How does the saying go? First they came for the communist, and I didn’t speak out because I was not a communist, then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me (Martin Niemöller). We should take all take a note from the book of Arab Spring Uprisings. The Moroccans, Tunisians and Egyptians taught the world one thing, that one man cannot oppress the will of millions. So it is with that, that I write this letter. A famous quote once said, “A cause is worth nothing unless you are willing to die for it.” How many of you harsh critics out there are willing to Die for Uganda?? How many?? I implore you to seriously reflect on yourselves and how we can all rise up and defeat the problems that currently face our Nation. It isn’t up to anyone else to solve these problems, it’s up to us.

Lastly, I want everyone reading this to understand that I’m not writing this letter because I’m a strong supporter of Invisible Children, or that I’m trying to advocate for their Kony 2012 Campaign. In actuality I agree with many of your comments about the video, but also believe its counter productive to continue arguing this instead of producing our own products. The point is, this video has brought recognition to an issue that had, in the past, ravaged Northern Uganda for years. And now those children are a by product of that generation. Because believe it or not, those children and women will forever be the victims of the heinous crimes committed by Kony.

Every interview I have seen on CNN and MSNBC and so forth is a result of this video going viral. If not for the popularity, I guarantee that none of those Ugandan’s being interviewed on CNN would have ever gotten a chance to even voice their opinions on that type of national scale. So I say to those bloggers and activists. Use that momentum to really voice the issues that affect us and continue fighting the good fight for Ugandans.

And to all those anti-Kony 2012 youtube videos from people who obviously don’t live in Uganda and have absolutely no clue about what goes on in Uganda on a day to day basis, except their yearly 2 week visit, please stop embarrassing us. You don’t speak for Ugandans who actually live here. Let us speak for ourselves.

Sincerely,

George Lubwama
UAH FORUMIST

It is time to rethink higher education in Uganda


By Omar Kalinge-Nnyago
Makerere, Uganda’s premier University is grappling with the spectre of falling standards occasioned by a largely demotivated faculty and outmoded teaching methods. Whatever changes the university may attempt should focus on a complete rethink of their concept of higher education. We have argued before that the University of the future will be without walls: a virtual learning community facilitated by technological developments. All students will have their own information technology (IT) bases in their own homes or very near their homes, providing individualised learning programmes managed by an elite group of teachers at satellite education centres.

We have also envisaged a leadership and management of the future university which would centre on a chief executive, possibly, but not necessarily, with educational experience. Future University leadership would be required more to understand the complexities of integrating large organisations. The Vice–Chancellor of the future would be a flexible problem solver, good at delegation and coordination, with full command of information and communication technologies.

We also imagine the university student of the future to have more freedom in the choice of subjects and courses to learn. S/he would have the choice to complete the course in his /her own time. The era of application for “dead years” would be over.

Governments would stop funding a few students doing so called “full time study” but would spread expenditure on higher education over more meaningful elements of the learning experience. Universities that can admit 30,000 full time students now, would be able to teach 150,000 or more distance learning students, most on line, at a fraction of the cost for full time study, at no risk of diminished standards.

There would be mass university education and more people would access university learning for “non-degree purposes.” Young and older people would be students at more than one university at a time. A Ugandan university student of the future would be able to do papers in Agriculture from Gulu University, Management from MUBS and Logical Systems Design from Kyambogo University or Boolean Algebra from the Islamic University in Uganda but finally graguate form any university of her choice.

The walled, fenced university would die and so would the out fashioned professors and lecturers who thought they held the future of the learners in their hip pockets – often withholding the graduation of students. Learners would meet their tutors at the “internet chat room” and not in their dingy, dimly lit offices on the second floor. Other meetings would be via video-conferences.

The workplace would be filled with graduates who have learned to “supervise themselves” over their years of self-study. This would produce employees who know the meaning of self-control, deadlines and personal responsibility.

But what about the learning products? Another distinguishing feature of the future university student will be her interdisciplinary education : an education that puts less emphasis on the compartments of knowledge. A medical student would be able to do a history paper if s/he so wished. A psychology student would be able to pick subjects in communication, or physics at will. Learning will cease to be narrow. The university student would seek knowledge s/he wants and would be able to use, not just a degree certificate to hang on the wall.

The challenge facing universities and colleges in the 21st century is the reconnection of the disciplines through facilitating the creation of meaningful inter-disciplinarily integrated units by university teachers who have the knowledge of required curriculum and the practical experience necessary for implementation. The preoccupation of the whole education system would be to create a culture of learning and promoting education for survival, understanding and wisdom.

Integration of knowledge would variously mean combining, amalgamating, assimilating, fusing incorporating, mixing, or unifying knowledge. While disciplinary work deepens knowledge, interdisciplinary work broadens knowledge by taking into account more variables, more methods, more viewpoints, more perspectives, and more theories (Klein, 1996). The goal of interdisciplinary higher education is the “complete, balanced graduate”.

Today’s undergraduate needs an education that includes five specific elements: communication, human heritage, the environment, individual roles, and values. We now know and are beginning to accept that an education system and culture based on the diverse population’s values and experiences can be a major step towards positive social changes, and that higher educational institutions can and should play a major role in creating these changes. [Levine and Curreton (1998)].

Diversity courses teach students skills they will need to succeed. They challenge students to think in more complex ways and to avoid stereotyping; develop more complex understanding of what shapes their own attitudes and beliefs, where their cultural traditions came from and how they interrelate with other traditions; gain expanded cultural knowledge and become intellectually better developed (Humphrey, 2000).

omarkalinge@gmail.com

Professor Mamdani on Kony 2012 Video


What Jason Did Not Tell Gavin and His Army of Invisible Children: The Downside of the Kony 2012 Video

Mahmood Mamdani

Only two weeks ago, Ugandan papers carried front-page reports from the highly respected Social Science Research Council of New York, accusing the Uganda army of atrocities against civilians in Central African Republic while on a mission to fight Joseph Kony and the LRA. The Army denied the allegations. Many in the civilian population, especially in the north, were skeptical of the denial. Like all victims, they have long and enduring memories.

The adult population recalls the brutal government-directed counterinsurgency campaign beginning 1986, and evolving into Operation North, the first big operation that people talk about as massively destructive for civilians, and creating the conditions that gave rise to the LRA of Joseph Kony and, before it, the Holy Spirit Movement of Alice Lakwena.

Young adults recall the time from the mid-90s when most rural residents of the three Acholi districts was forcibly interned in camps – the Government claimed it was to ‘protect’ them from the LRA. But there were allegations of murder, bombing, and burning of entire villages, first to force people into the camps and then to force them to stay put. By 2005, the camp population grew from a few hundred thousand to over 1.8 million in the entire region – which included Teso and Lango – of which over a million were from the three Acholi districts. Comprising practically the entire rural population of the three Acholi districts, they were expected to live on handouts from relief agencies. According to the Government’s own Ministry of Health, the excess mortality rate in these camps was approximately one thousand persons per week – inviting comparisons to the numbers killed by the LRA even in the worst year.

Determined to find a political solution to enduring mass misery, Parliament passed a bill in December 1999 offering amnesty to the entire leadership of the LRA provided they laid down their arms. The President refused to sign the bill.

Opposed to an amnesty, the President invited the ICC, newly formed in 2002, to charge that same LRA leadership with crimes against humanity. Moreno Ocampo grabbed the opportunity with both hands. Joseph Kony became the subject of the ICC’s first indictment.

Critics asked why the ICC was indicting only the leadership of the LRA, and not also of government forces. Ocampo said only one step at a time. In his words: “The criteria for selection of the first case was gravity. We analyzed the gravity of all crimes in northern Uganda committed by the LRA and the Ugandan forces. Crimes committed by the LRA were much more numerous and of much higher gravity than alleged crimes committed by the UPDF (Uganda Peoples Defense Force). We therefore started with an investigation of the LRA.” That ‘first case’ was in 2004. There has been none other in the eight years that have followed.

As the internment of the civilian population continued into its second decade, there was another attempt at a political solution, this time involving the new Government of South Sudan (GOSS). Under great pressure from both the population and from parliament, the government of Uganda agreed to enter into direct negotiations with the LRA, facilitated and mediated by GOSS. These dragged on for years, from 2006 on, but hopes soared as first the terms of the agreement, and then its finer details, were agreed on between the two sides. Once again, the only thing standing between war and peace was an amnesty for the top leadership of the LRA, Joseph Kony and Vincent Otti in particular. In the words of Vincent Otti, the second in command: “… to come out, the ICC must revoke the indictment…If Kony or Otti does not come out, no other rebel will come out.” Yet again, the ICC refused, calling for a military campaign to get Kony, joined by the Ugandan government which refused to provide guarantees for his safety. Predictably, the talks broke down and the LRA withdrew, first to the Democratic Republic of Congo and then to the Central African Republic.

The government responded with further militarization, starting with the disastrous Operation Lightning Thunder in the DRC in December, 2008, then sending thousands of Ugandan troops to the CAR, and then asking for American advisors. The ICC called on AFRICOM, the Africa Command of the US Army, to act as its implementing arm by sending more troops to capture Kony. The US under President Obama responded by sending an unspecified number of advisors armed with drones – though the US insists that these drones are unarmed for now.

Now Invisible Children has joined the ranks of those calling for the US to press for a military solution – presumably supported by a mostly children’s army of over 70 million viewers of its video, Kony 2012! What is the LRA that it should merit the attention of an audience ranging from Hollywood celebrities to ‘humanitarian interventionists’ to AFRICOM to children of America?

The LRA is a raggedy bunch of a few hundred at most, poorly equipped, poorly armed, and poorly trained. Their ranks mainly comprise those kidnapped as children and then turned into tormentors. It is a story not very different from that of abused children who in time turn into abusive adults. In short, the LRA is no military power.

Addressing the problem called the LRA does not call for a military operation. And yet, the LRA is given as the reason why there must be a constant military mobilization, at first in northern Uganda, and now in the entire region, why the military budget must have priority and, now, why the US must sent soldiers and weaponry, including drones, to the region. Rather than the reason for accelerated military mobilization in the region, the LRA is the excuse for it.

The reason why the LRA continues is that its victims – the civilian population of the area – trust neither the LRA nor government forces. Sandwiched between the two, civilians need to be rescued from an ongoing military mobilization and offered the hope of a political process.

Alas, this message has no room in the Invisible Children video that ends with a call to arms. Thus one must ask: Will this mobilization of millions be subverted into yet another weapon in the hands of those who want to militarize the region further? If so, this well-intentioned but unsuspecting army of children will be responsible for magnifying the very crisis to which they claim to be the solution.

The 70 million plus who have watched the Invisible Children video need to realize that the LRA – both the leaders and the children pressed into their service – are not an alien force but sons and daughters of the soil. The solution is not to eliminate them physically, but to find ways of integrating them into (Ugandan) society.

Those in the Ugandan and the US governments – and now apparently the owners of Invisible Children – must bear responsibility for regionalizing the problem as the LRA and, in its toe, the Ugandan army and US advisors crisscross the region, from Uganda to DRC to CAR. Yet, at its core the LRA remains a Ugandan problem calling for a Ugandan political solution.

Mahmood Mamdani is Professor and Director of Makerere Institute of Social Research in Kampala and Herbert Lehman Professor of Government at Columbia University, New York City.

http://www.misr.mak.ac.ug/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=188:mamdani-on-kony-2012-video&catid=1:latest-news&Itemid=50

ICC: AFRICAN LEADERS ARE THEIR OWN ENEMIES


Closing the ICGLR summit in Uganda, President Museveni is reported to have suggested a special sitting of the African leaders (through the AU I presume), to discuss the ICC, which seems to target only African leaders. Many glaring facts are testimony that African leaders are their own victims at best, or at worst, enemies of their own people. The ICGLR is the second most useless outfit on the continent, after the AU. Meant to foster peace and stability in the region, its leaders have refused to marshal enough forces to physically flush out the bandits in Congo forests. If at the height of the Kabila Crisis, 16 countries were drawn into the fray, why not marshal the same forces now, and pacify the region, beginning with Congo? The country remains a haven of war lords, guarding and protecting international pillage of the mineral wealth, while the leaders are ever globe-trotting, ‘seeking solutions’ to the region’s problems in five star hotels, akin to what Graham Hancock calls discussing famine over steaks!!. Why didnt this conference convene in the jungles of eastern DRC, where people have been reduced to a sub-human existence, serving as sex-machines and slave labour for the UN ‘peace-keepers’, who are in reality fronts for mineral wealth pillage?

The tragedy of this region and continent was summed up to us by a UN ‘peace-keeper’ in DRC, with whom we struck a rapport during a business lunch at Goma’s Stella Matutina Hotel. A young guy in his early 30s, he argues that he cannot imagine himself suffering in the jungles of wild Africa, leaving his young family, while the ‘leaders’ of the country and the continent are the actual engineers and beneficiaries of the conflict. His verdict therefore, was that his ‘suffering’ in the jungle must be paid for, thus the ‘femmes de confort, ( some as young as 10) and the incessant flights of ancient ugly Russian planes from Goma Airport.These are the two major activities of the forces in eastern DRC: it is an entire chain, each force exacting its authority according to its level in the hierarchy. Despite being a jungle airport, Goma is the second busiest airport in the region, after Nairobi’s Wilson.

The ICGLR, has among its goals, non-aggression and mutual defence. If this is the case, why then the arms race that we see among its individual member states? The resources squandered on arms would go a long way in strengthening the economies of the region, thus reducing the causes of instability and its consequences: what has been termed ‘ sex and gender based violence’ is a product of such instability. Eastern DRC is in a state of bellum omnium contra omnias( war of all against all, where you either eat or you are eaten). And this can never be solved by condescending speeches in five star lakeside resorts. DRC and her immediate neighbours are led by generals, yet the region remains unstable.

The ICC therefore is the only saviour for the suffering African peasant. You cannot protest neo-colonialism while running along the pillagers and rapists of this continent, in the name of investors. We have seen it all. Since we have seen African leaders for what they are, we shall lose nothing if we petition the ICC to expand the definition of crimes against humanity to include kleptocracy in all its manifestations: pillage of resources ( as in oil and the DRC scenario), primitive stealing as we witness in Uganda, et al. In this way, ordinary Africans will lose nothing by having an ‘imperialist’ institution protect them against their own home hyenas. Both are hyenas, where the one from your village or the foreign one.

African leaders can only save their necks if they take a leaf from Cuba’s Castro. He has been a living testimony of leaders sharing the plight of their people. He practices what he preaches. The moment we detect this spirit in our leaders, we shall rally behind you and condemn neo-colonialism. But as matters stand now, you are merely agents of competing forces seeking to rape the continent, as you take your own piece of the pie, stowing it away in foreign capitals and banks for your progeny. Mme Bensouda, les voici….!!!

Amon b mbekiza
kla

KAMPALA CITY: LET’S GO THE MOI WAY


Professor of politics indeed he was. Now glorified for his hitherto chastised obstinacy, Kenyan Baaba wa Taifa, Mtukufu Daniel arap Moi used his ‘dictatorship’ to solve the Nairobi Mess, which Uganda can learn from to fix the Kampala Mess. Faced with a fracas worse than what we see in Kampala, he set up The Nairobi City Council Commission, akin to KCCA here. One unique feature about the NCCC was that it was under a purely technical management dispensation. No mayors. No councillors. No politician whatever. The NCCC, created by one man harangued for his dictatorship, set the agenda and foundation for the marvel that we see today in Nairobi. The new reforms that brought in the mayor and councillors found systems too entrenched to be shaken by political squabbles a la Lukwago, Munyagwa versus Musisi. The Minister for Nairobi, a compromise office under the co-habitation government, equally has his supervisory roles defined. And The City in the Sun is shining.

Kampala must go the same way. We must start afresh. The current ‘technical’ team and ‘political leaders’ are all too power-obsessed to have any impact. We have men and women in this country who can do us better than we are getting now. And the current law ( KCCA Act) must be scrapped totally. It is the source of all this mess. If Kampala Capital City is under the central government, it cannot be a local government again, with mayors, councillors, RDCs, et al. As we seek a better law, let the PS Public Service take over as signatory to the World Bank funded Kiteezi Garbage Project. Hiding behind ‘interpreting the law’, the protagonists in the KCCA feud are primary fighting over the billions under this project. Started during Ssebaggala’s times, the terms of the project are that the mayor is the signatory to the account. Musisi wants to sign. Lukwago wants to sign. The project has stalled. Garbage is flowing. Residents risk catastrophic epidemics. The workers there were sacked under the new KCCA arrangement. The peasants, whom each side in the KCCA feud claims to be fighting for, are the victims, both in Kampala and in Kiteezi. Musisi’s children have a better life. Lukwago’s children dont go to Nakivubo Blue Primary School.

Parliament, lawyers, civil society, please, help. Else, the Luzira deaths seem a precursor for worse times.

Every waking day in Kampala dips our hopes even further, of ever living in a decent environment. What exactly is the problem? I have not read the KCCA Act but from the actions, behaviour and comportment of those whose roles and functions it defines, one can safely conclude that we are governed by a very bad law, inadvertent or otherwise. How does one explain an entity that has a lord mayor and councillors, mayors and councillors, a minister, an RDC and deputies, as political leaders; with a technical team that directly reports to the national head of state? Is it a local government, a ministry, a parastatal, an authority, an NGO, or a movement?

What exactly did the framers of this law have in mind as they went about passing each clause? Did they envisage a Kampala Capital City as a geographical entity, with an administrative status of a local government, and then the Authority, a statutory body mandated by the central government to manage Kampala Capital City? What does KCCA as we have parroted it, exactly mean? Is it a fusion of an authority (as in Uganda Investment Authority, National Drug Authority, Uganda Revenue Authority, et al), and then a local government (as in a district, a municipality, or city) or the two are different? Can Kampala, the geographical entity, be a local government and a national statutory body (authority), at the same time?

Just like in other situations where we have sought independent management, isn’t it time we got an independent, professional management company, with no loyalties whatsoever? Something like a Kampala Metropolitan Management Company (KAMCO)? We negotiate terms and their management fees. This arrangement will not have taken away the people’s sovereignty and powers, since people’s councils will remain in the form of Neighbourhood Assemblies, which will demand for services, in consonance with their taxes collected by KAMCO. The Neighbourhood Assemblies will handle local neighbourhood matters. Education, roads, health, water, power, security, planning, public transport, and all other services shall be delivered or supervised by the technical staff recruited and paid by KAMCO, according to the management contract with the Neighbourhood Assemblies. Our obligations and expectations shall be defined in the context of paying taxes and receiving quality services respectively. The Chief Executive of the managing company will be under a different dispensation, with the overall responsibility of overseeing an operations team to deliver services to the city residents. The success of community policing and other community efforts by citizens is an indicator that people can plan their own affairs. This actually is the genesis and true meaning of civil society.

Amon b mbekiza
kampala

Pioneer Buses are likely to be worse than UTODA


By age 5 in my rural Nkore, I already knew that a bus carries 74 people, thanks to the ‘bus song’ that we would sing every evening Wavamunno’s bus arrived from Mbarara, as we begged it to ‘… carry 74 and take us…’. Two decades later, after college and working in the industry, I discovered the ‘mystery’ of the 74: 62 seated passengers and 12 standing passengers. This is a standard large bus.

I have seen the Pioneer buses in the media. Going by their publicized carrying capacity of 31 seated and 30 standing passengers, one can safely conclude that we are into a worse UTODA era: congestion on the road and congestion in the bus. The carrying capacity of a bus is determined by its overall length and the desired sitting configuration. That this bus carries 31 seated passengers, translates into the following plausible sitting configuration:

4×1(1)=4
2×2(6)=24
2×1(1)=2
1×1(1) =1

Total= 31

This simple arithmetic means that the bus has one row at the back with four seats; six rows of two columns, totaling 24 seats in the main cabin; one ‘half-row’ of two seats at the entrance( making provision for the door), and 1 jumper seat opposite the driver.

The permissible standing passenger formula is one passenger per row. Therefore this bus can carry a maximum of 6 standing passengers. Not 30. Not even standard large buses would carry 30 standing passengers, since they have a maximum of 12 rows. Transport Licensing Board, KCCA, beware. Equally to beware should be the travelling public and the Traffic Police. These buses cannot get Third Party insurance. No sensible insurer would cover a bus for excess passengers. Public Health officials should as well get concerned. Squeezing 30 standing, sweating people in a space meant for 6 is recipe for the spread of communicable diseases, in our already polluted Kampala. The Passengers Association should be vigilant, to ensure that these buses are not to carry 61 passengers.

KCCA, Transport Licencing Board, please advise Pioneer to simply fix pliable seats in the aisle, and forget about standing passengers. This will mean a 37-seater bus, back to our congestion. Had the powers that be been keen, instead of the 522 minibuses that Pioneer has imported, we would have 261 large buses, carrying 74 passengers, thus the easing of congestion. As it is now, we are into a double congestion: on the road and in the bus. Ndugu Odanke, please live to the values of the organisations you belong to, and market your buses as 37 seaters, not 61. Not all Ugandans are as ignorant as authorities assume.

And talking of congestion in the bus, KCCA, should immediately do the following with matatus, as it goes to rethink ‘buses’ phase two:

-number all the routes and allocate matatus to designated routes, to be respected
-compute and determine the fares within the city. Have the fares pasted inside each matatu. It is possible. Civil Aviation did it for the airport taxis.
-get all matatus to have PVC seats that are easily washable. Velvet seats do harbour and transmit vermin and diseases.
-get all drivers and conductors branded: uniforms and ID tags displayed

Next, KCCA should invest in a fumigation chamber for all PSV vehicles, including buses on all routes in the country. This is pressurised ‘spray race’, where the vehicle is enveloped for seconds and released, emerging purged of all vermin and germs. We needed this yesterday. It is possible, Madam Musisi. You need to live to ‘The 2,000 Musisis’ attribute. It is possible to lead a decent, dignified life in Kampala and Uganda.

Concerned Resident
Kampala.

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