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Day April 19, 2012

M7 Should give us our £700m from the Queen of England- Bunyoro

Obekitiinisa Ugandans at heart,

You are asking for evidence that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth handed Pound Sterling 700 million to President Museveni for onward delivery to Banyoro as reparations for the atrocities the Anglo-Ganda armies committed in the nine-year war, 1980-99, against Bunyoro-Kitara.

The lawyer handling this case, Ayena Odongo who is also MP for Oyam County, in Lango, is currently in Zambia on official duty of Parliament. He is the one to give you full details on this subject.

However, in the meantime read the memorandum, attached, sent to His Excellence President Museveni last year reminding him of his announcement of Her Majesty’s delivery of this money.

Indeed, the Banyoro have initiated legal proceedings against Her Majesty’s Government. If this case is not settled amicably outside of court, then we shall demand a legal settlement through a full-scale court actionin the UK, not in Uganda, but in London. Plans to go to London are already in full gear.

Now read the memorandum, which is self-explanatory, where it is stated that President Museveni personally made this announcement in 2009 to the leadership of Mubende Banyoro Committee.

He repeated the same announcement to the leadership of Bunyoro-Kitara kingdom. These passed on the information to Rukirabasaija, Agutamba the Omukama, Solomon Gafabusa Iguru.

More evidence will follow as soon as lawyer Ayena Odongo returns from Zambia.

Henry Ford Miirima

Bunyoro Kingdom Spokesperson and a member of UAH


Date: 20th April 2011

H. E, the President of the Republic of Uganda,
State House,

Your Excellency;


We take this opportunity to heartily congratulate you upon your landslide victory in the recent presidential election. The result has spoken volumes of the resurgent confidence the people of Uganda across the country have expressed in your wise leadership.

Your Excellency, as a keen student of the political history of this country, you need no reminder about the historical injustices the people of Bunyoro suffered since the advent of colonialism. Suffice it to surmise that the resolution of the problem was tactfully avoided by the colonial administration until independence. Since independence it has been conveniently glossed over by every successive administration of this country.

Unfortunately, no body, not even the cultural institution of Bunyoro Kingdom, has had the audacity to take the matter head on and challenge the people concerned in the courts of law. It was only in 2004; vide High Court Civil Suit No. 595 of 2004; that some 10 people from Kibaale, filed a representative suit on behalf of all the aggrieved indigenous people of the former lost counties (now Kibaale district) for relief against Her Majesty’s Government of Great Britain and the Baganda sub-imperialists.

Although Justice Okumu Wengi (as he then was), erroneously in our view, struck out the name of Her Majesty’s Government of Great Britain from the above suit on the ground that she can not be sued in the municipal courts of Uganda, we are considering the option of either appealing that decision and reinstating the suit against Her Majesty’s Government or filing a new suit in the court of England. We have already made final arrangements for either option.

However, on the 16th June 2009 during a meeting you held at State House with a delegation of Mubende Banyoro Committee, Your Excellency was pleased to inform us that Her Majesty’s Government had offered a settlement of 700 Million Pounds Sterling to dissuade the people of Kibaale from taking legal actions against Her Majesty’s government for loss and damage suffered as a result of the invasion and occupation of their land. This was meant to avoid the possibility of opening the Pandora’s Box by many former colonial subjects who suffered the same fate instituting cases against her Majesty’s Government.
We have therefore been exercising maximum restraint from proceeding with the case in order to avoid a possibility of embarrassing Your Excellency.
For the records, we wish to remind Your Excellency that the likely consequences of the anticipated suits are not lost on Her Majesty’s Government. A case like this has already been decided by the High Court of Australia in favour of the indigenous Aborigines in the case of Mabo v Queensland (No 2) (“Mabo case”) (1992) HRC 23; (1992) 175 CLR 1 (3 June 1992). In that case, which is likely to be the same in this case, the High Court of Australia determined that the Aborigines were entitled as against the whole world to possession, occupation, use and enjoyment of their lands and that their title to the land was not extinguished by annexation of their land by the invaders. That is why she is quick to have a settlement-out of Court.

In view of the above, we the undersigned litigants in the above suit wish to underpin our claim that we, and not even the cultural institution of the Kingdom of Bunyoro, are the prime movers of the settlement you talked about. For that reason we would respectfully wish to request as follows:

1. We should be fully involved in any settlement regarding the historical injustices meted to the people we represent in the above stated case.

2. The interest of the litigants in the above case be fully taken care of within the framework of the offer of 700 Million Pounds Sterling in order to avoid us proceeding with the case.

3. The litigants would appreciate an opportunity to discuss with Your Excellency the wider dimension of the case that may have the import of legally resolving once and for all the intractable problems of the claim for 9000 sq. miles of land by the Buganda kingdom as well as the issue of the absentee landlords of Kibaale district. The declaration that the 1900 Agreement is Null and Void abinitio, one of the prayers in the suit, would have the effect of a revolutionary land law reform in this country as a whole.

We remain your Excellency,

KYABANGI KATA MUSOKE ________________________

HENRY FORD MIIRIMA ________________________

KAROLI SENTALO ________________________

GEORGE IGA ENDAYANGE ________________________

BATWALE DODOVIKO ________________________

Will Europe Underdevelop Africa Again?

At issue in both Berlin and Brussels is whether or not Africa can be allowed latitude to conduct trade, industrial and development policies for its own development or for the development of Europe. A major difference is that the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), unlike the Berlin Conference of 1884-85, will now be signed by free African people, under supposedly democratic governments, and in contexts where the African people again have neither voice nor choice.

Currently only about 10 out of 47 Sub-Saharan African countries have either signed or initialled the EPAs. Trade ministers of the affected regions – the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries as well as African trade ministers and the African Union – have largely rejected the EPAs. Despite all of these, and the reported public protests in 20 countries against the raw deal, it seems all but certain that the EPAs will be rammed through.

In private whisperings, not many Africans or policymakers are happy with the deal but there is a certain sense of helplessness. Since 2002, the EU has been negotiating the EPAs with the ACP countries as a fully reciprocal trade arrangement to replace the previous non-reciprocal, preferential trade access of ACP countries to EU markets under the various LomÈ Conventions and the Cotonou Agreement governing the relationship between the ACP countries and the EU.

The argument, according to the EU, is that such preferential access violated Article XXIV of GATT, and that a World Trade Organisation (WTO) waiver that allowed such preferences expired in December 2007. Consequently, the ACP countries are divided into seven regions (with five in Africa) for the purposes of the negotiations. As advertised, EPAs are “set out to help ACP countries integrate into the world economy and share in the opportunities offered by globalisation”. The EU points to the “failures” of the previous preferential arrangements to “boost local economies and stimulate growth in ACP countries”. Thus, the new reciprocal arrangement is expected to remedy the failures of the past and usher the El Dorado to Africa.

Specifically, EPAs are expected to be “tailor-made” to suit specific regional circumstances; go beyond conventional free-trade agreements, focusing on ACP development, taking account of their socio-economic circumstances; and include co-operation and assistance to help ACPs implement the agreements.

The EPAs are also expected to open up EU markets fully and immediately (unilaterally by the EU since 1 January 2008), but allow the ACP countries 15 (and up to 25) years to open up to EU imports while providing protection for the sensitive 20% of imports. The EPAs are also supposed to provide the scope for wide-ranging trade co-operation on areas such as services and standards; and are also designed to be drivers of change that will kick-start reform and help strengthen the rule of law in the economic field, thereby attracting foreign direct investment (FDI), so helping to create a “virtuous circle” of growth.

The above sounds quite familiar, and anyone conversant with the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) documents of the 1980s will recognise the language.

Consequently, countries were rushed to initial interim EPAs before the end of 2007, and some went on to sign them later. These have mainly been single countries. Most of the sub-regions, as groups of countries, are still negotiating the regional EPAs (e.g. West Africa, Central Africa, SADC, etc).

Put simply, in order to continue to have access to European markets (on the terms that it had enjoyed for more than three decades), Africa is now required to eliminate tariffs on at least 80% of imports from the EU; in some cases, abolish all export duties and taxes; in others, countries can retain existing export taxes but not increase them or introduce new taxes; eliminate all quantitative restrictions; and meet all kinds of other intrusive and destructive conditionalities that literally tie the hands of African governments to deploy the same kind of instruments that all countries that have industrialised applied to build competitive national economies.

Under the WTO, least developed countries (LDCs) are not required to further reduce their tariffs (at least they have the choice to decide whether and when to do so), but EPAs require at least 80% of them eliminated. Indeed, Africa is being asked to comply with more stringent conditions than Brazil, India and China are required to meet under the WTO.

Almost all the flexibilities in policy choice that Africa and other developing countries won under the WTO are lost under the EPAs. Hitherto, the EU had also (in addition to the Cotonou Agreement) granted a special concession to all African LDCs – the “Everything But Arms” (EBA) initiative – allowing them to export duty-free to the EU. This was the EU’s equivalent of the US African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and African LDCs were not expected to reciprocate. With EPA, it means that the EBA is effectively dead. LDCs would have to provide reciprocal market access opening.

In addition, what the EU has failed to get under the WTO or issues that developing countries have rejected under the WTO are being foisted on Africa under the EPA. For example, the so-called trade-related issues (the Singapore issues) such as investment, competition, and transparency in government procurement, which are dead under the WTO, are being smuggled into the EPA. There are all kinds of studies on the possible effects of the EPAs on African economies. While it is fair to acknowledge that some of the presumed impacts (positive and negative) may be exaggerated, there is abundant evidence that the EPAs would be damaging. Africa’s nascent industrial sector and agriculture (which is the mainstay of the poor) would be damaged by the new import armada and dumping, thereby exacerbating unemployment and poverty. In some countries, imports of sugar, dairy, poultry, rice, vegetable oil, etc, have already increased four-fold. Tariff revenues will shrink; premature and permanent opening up of service sectors including financial services leaves them open to the full hazards of the perennial global financial bubbles; and it will badly hurt intra-African economic integration. Africa would almost be consigned to be specialists in the export of raw materials.

African countries cannot use government procurement and contracts to prop up and promote domestic companies as European companies would be required to be given equal treatment in competition for government contracts. The list of the damages is long and cannot be detailed here. Some independent studies by the EU admit these damages, and one such study predicts that EPA could accelerate the collapse of manufacturing in West Africa. Perhaps that is why the EU is promising “aid for trade” – to sooth and compensate for some of the damages.

What is worrying is that it is difficult to point to any significant net benefit of EPAs to Africa. Already 33 out of 47 African countries are considered as LDCs and therefore qualify to export “everything but arms” to the EU, 100% duty-free and quota-free. So, what is the additional benefit to these countries?

For the remaining 14 African non-LDC countries, it is curious why the EU cannot accede to the request by the African Union to treat Africa as the world’s archetypical LDC region and grant the same EBA to all of the countries. Or, alternatively there are several proposals about benchmarking and sequencing the conditionalities and liberalisation to synchronise with the economic advancement of these remaining 14 countries. So far, these proposals have not been accepted by the European Commission even for discussion.

In any case, the EU’s peculiar interpretation of Article XXIV of GATT is a convenient one. The EU relies on this Article to argue that the WTO outlaws non-reciprocal, preferential trade to Africa under the Cotonou Agreement. But the same Article refers to trade in goods, and so why has the EU brought up all kinds of issues – services, investment, and procurement – into the EPA? Second, it must be noted that this Article, crafted in 1947, is itself still a subject of the Doha trade negotiations. Third, and to be honest about it, the WTO does allow for non-reciprocal preferential trade arrangements if the motivation for the EU’s action is to assist Africa.

Currently there are more than seven active waivers in the WTO provided to the US, EU, and Canada for preferential trade schemes for developing countries and transition economies. For example, the US has a waiver concerning its AGOA for sub-Saharan Africa. Recently, the EU has obtained two waivers to grant non-reciprocal trade preferences to poorer European countries, such as Moldova, and another one to the Western Balkan transition economies (Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, and Kosovo).

It is remarkable to note the EU’s argument for applying for a waiver to the WTO in respect of Moldova. According to the EU: “Moldova is the poorest country on the European continentÖ and does not have the competitive strength to take reciprocal obligations of a free-trade agreement with the European Communities” [see WTO document of 29 February, 2008]. But Moldova (the poorest European country with per capita income of about $2,300; life expectancy of 71 years and an adult literacy rate of 99%) is far better than most sub-Saharan African countries, and not to talk of much richer ones like Croatia with about $10,000 per capita income.

Compare this to much of Africa and even the 14 African countries dubbed “non-LDC” (Nigeria has a per capita income of about $1,200; Ghana $1,475; Kenya $1,125; and in all of these countries poverty incidence is at least 50%). Something does not add up here. According to the EU, granting non-reciprocal preferential trade concessions to fellow European countries that are richer than most African countries does not violate WTO rules, but doing so for Africa does. Africa remains the world’s poorest region and perhaps the last development challenge.

The EU needs to come up with a credible explanation. It needs to come clean. It does not have to apologise for it because after all, it can argue that it is the way the world works. From the time of slavery to the Berlin Conference, Africa has either been a source of free labour and profit or a source of raw materials and market. Only the dynamics change but the substance has remained. After all, nation-states hardly act out of love but in pursuit of self-interest. Africans appreciate that the global economy today is rumbling with new tensions and challenges. As the old economic powers are largely broke, the emerging economies with cash are roaring. The BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) are seen as the “new threats”. The global economic landscape is unravelling and recoupling in such a manner that would likely alter the economic, military, and geopolitical power in the medium term.

With these new pressures have emerged a demand for exhaustible natural resources and markets to sustain national security and prosperity. Since the major powers are no longer able to make use of the WTO as they wish to impose new rules on developing countries, they are now resorting to bilateral and regional policies and agreements to try and get their way.

There is a subtle war for “territories”, and neo-mercantilism is the name of the game. The US is locking in its neighbours in Latin America into one form of free trade agreement (FTA) or another. Africa has once again attracted attention as a theatre of the new struggle. China is accused by the West of either “invading” or “exploiting” Africa with its peculiar brand of “aid”.

In this circumstance, it could only be expected that the EU would move quickly to secure its possession – Africa. In the European Commission’s 2008 document entitled “The Raw Materials Initiative – Meeting our Critical Needs for Growth and Jobs in Europe”, presented to the European Parliament and the Council, one can get a clearer glimpse of the real impetus for the EPA. Trust the sophistication of the negotiators, it is being branded as an initiative to “help” or “develop” Africa. History repeats itself in a funny way. Recall that the advertised “benefit” to Africa of the Berlin Conference in 1884-85 that cemented colonisation was to “help in suppressing slavery”. The rest is history!

In terms of the technique deployed to coerce compliance by Africa, it is the old classic: divide and rule, and carrot and stick. The EU negotiates as a bloc, but ACP countries are divided into seven regions, sometimes not exactly matching the regional integration arrangements.

Even within the negotiating regions, each country is literally on its own: that way, it is easy to pick them off one by one. If Africa negotiates as a bloc, it may be difficult for the EU to get its way easily. The principle of the early bird catching the worm is applied to create what economists call the prisoner’s dilemma and thus make collective action difficult. Countries that have “signed” are allowed to continue to enjoy their preferential access to the European market while those that have not signed are under all kinds of threats. Those already in the privileged club do not want to lose their privileges and see themselves as ìspecialî while those excluded struggle to sign on the dotted lines. Different EPAs signed by different countries contain significant differences in terms of tariff lines, sequencing, and speed of liberalisation, depending on the negotiating capacity of the country/region. In some cases, the advisers to the negotiators of some African countries are Europeans!

Most countries still resist and now export under the EU Generalised System of Preferences (GSP); there is EBA for the LDCs; and the standard GSP for Nigeria, Congo-Brazzaville, Gabon and some Pacific countries. South Africa continues with its old free trade arrangement with the EU.

Even the GSP for some countries is now under threat. Power is the issue here. Given the weaknesses of the states and structural vulnerabilities of most African countries, including dependence on aid and trade with Europe for many, it is evident that what is going on is not negotiation but dictation.

The apparent sweetener to the bitter pill is the EU’s “promise” of “EU Aid for Trade” by which the EU is to provide financial assistance to EPA countries to enable them to build capacity, including infrastructure, and facilitate their implementation of the new agreement. This new “promise” for aid is indeed funny, and raises important questions. Is this going to be an “additional aid” or a rebranding of existing but unmet commitments?

Under the auspices of the United Nations, the rich industrial countries in 1970 committed to devote 0.7% of their Gross National Income (GNI) to aid. For 42 years now, it remains an unkept promise. Only 5 countries – Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, and Luxembourg have met the 0.7% of GNI in aid.

One has lost count of the numerous conferences and summits for mobilising resources for development and the numerous “promises” of increased aid. None of the previous “promises” of funding for Africa’s development has been met. Neither the Lagos Plan of Action nor the African Alternative Framework to Structural Adjustment Programme (AAF-SAP) which was approved by the UN’s General Assembly received any support.

The UN New Agenda for the Development of Africa in the 1990s did not receive the promised financial assistance. By 2001, the African Union in Zambia launched its New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD), and at the 2002 G-8 Summit in Kananaskis, Canada, NEPAD was adopted by the G-8 leaders as “a bold and clear-sighted vision” for Africa and pledged financial assistance to ensure that NEPAD did not go the way of previous efforts.

At the UN Conference on “Financing for Development” (held in Monterrey, Mexico), more pledges were made. The result of all of these “pledges” is that aid to Africa has fallen since the mid-1990s in nominal and real terms.

A recent “promise” was the EU saying it would increase aid to 0.56% of GNI by 2010 (aid to all countries, not just Africa). The question is whether the “aid for trade” will be additional to the yet-to-be-met 0.7% or is a new benchmark being “promised”?

Without doubt Africa needs huge resources to develop intra- and inter-regional transportation networks to integrate the national markets as well as to address the myriad of critical supply bottlenecks that were decisive in preventing Africa from fully taking advantage of previous preferential trade arrangements. However, anyone following the developments in the EU as well as its history of delivering on previous “promises” can make some judgements as to the credibility of a new “promise”.

Beside the quantum of aid, the quality of its delivery is critical. The kind of “aid for trade” that Africa needs should be in the quantum and delivery mechanism that should build the infrastructure to integrate the fragmented African markets into a common market.

Currently, it is more expensive for many African countries to trade with fellow African countries than with Europe. But aid to Africa is largely country-specific and neither the EU nor the World Bank has a robust framework for regional aid or lending.

Country-based “aid for trade” even when it is of any significant quantity and quality merely reinforces existing fragmentation, creating a hub and spoke framework whereby Europe is the hub and individual African countries constitute the spokes.

The EU’s agricultural subsidy

On a related subject, is EPA going to happen in the context of the continued existence of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) with its harmful subsidy regime? In 2006, a leading UK newspaper, The Independent, succinctly captured the travesty. According to the newspaper, the EU Common Agricultural Policy “lavishes subsidies on the UK’s wealthiest farmers and biggest landowners at the expense of millions of the poorest farmers in the developing world. The UK government must lobby hard within the EU to agree an overhaul of the CAP by 2008 to put an end to the vicious cycle of overproduction and dumping.

“The £30bn-a-year EU agricultural subsidy regime is one of the biggest iniquities facing farmers in Africa and other developing countries. They cannot export their products because they compete with the lower prices made possible by payments.

“In addition, European countries dump thousands of tons of subsidised exports in Africa every year so that local producers cannot even compete on a level playing field in their own land. Meanwhile, governments of developing countries come under intense pressure from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to scrap their own tariffs and subsidies as part of free trade rules”.

How apt! As at 2011, the subsidy totalled about £48bn (about US$75bn) per year and it is expected to stay at this level until at least 2020. Yet African countries are expected to liberalise NOW. Some analysts have opined that the huge subsidy in Europe is an implicit tariff of hundreds of per cent on agricultural imports. Alternatively, some believe such subsidy amounts to banning imports of agricultural goods and promoting dumping in other countries – especially Africa.

Agriculture is the sector where Africa has comparative advantage and with the right policies and incentives, can feed Europe cheaply. A regime that keeps the status quo of harmful agricultural subsidy and the pittance of misguided and largely consumption-oriented aid, and hopes to “develop” Africa is, to put it mildly, suspect. The EU refuses to put the reduction or elimination of their agricultural subsidy on the EPA agenda. A clear signal from the EU here is that whenever its own interests are affected it is unwilling to make any concession. To make EPA a development agenda, agriculture must take centre stage.

But humanity has experience in delivering aid that works. We can replicate it for an effective and truly development-oriented EPA. The most effective aid in human history was the US aid to Europe after the Second World War – the Marshall Plan to rebuild the European infrastructure. The US felt a sense of obligation (given the historical ties with Europe) to provide a “big push” to lift Europe up after devastation by the war. One is not sure if the EU feels the same sense of obligation to Africa (given the history we all know too well).

But just imagine for a second that the EU feels a need to support Africa through a Marshall Plan kind of aid. Imagine that the EU were to stop its subsidy to agriculture and divert just three years’ subsidy fund to create an African Fund for Transformation – call it the “Brussels Plan for Africa” – and this would come to about $225bn.

Alternatively, instead of stopping the agricultural subsidy abruptly, the EU could go for a phased process, diverting just 50% of the subsidy fund into the Africa Fund over the first six years before finally phasing the subsidy out. If this Fund (akin to a sovereign wealth fund) was invested and the annual income proceeded (estimated at about $20bn per annum in perpetuity), you could over time build highways and train networks linking all of Africa, and increase the irrigation of its arable agricultural land from the current less-than-5% to more than 50%.

The point of the foregoing is that an alternative future between Africa and Europe is possible. Pervasive leadership failures have been at the heart of African underdevelopment in the last 50 years. Finally, there seem to be some flickers of light, and Africa is gradually pulling itself up by its own bootstraps. Africa has never had it better than in the last one decade, and compared to the lost decades it has begun to at least crawl. If the EU cannot assist Africa to walk and run, the least it should do is not to hinder the nascent progress.

The aggregate African economy is less than 2% of global GDP, and thus as a small open economy, it needs to integrate within and without. Africa needs the global market. But the lessons of the last two decades have reconfirmed that there are right and wrong ways to integrate into the global market, especially for poor and fragile economies.

While the world is yet to invent anything better than a market economy, it is also true that extreme market fundamentalism – that denies the existence of market failures and missing institutions – has brought more ruin than remedy.

A more balanced approach has been the winning strategy for all countries that have developed in the last century. But EPA, as currently designed, is a poisoned chalice. Fragmenting Africa and ramming through deadly trade arrangements in a manner that undermines internal African integration, ties the hands of policymakers and circumscribes the policy space, and literally enslaves the African economy. This may be smart for Europe in the short run but not wise in the long term.

If EPA is meant to develop Africa, it needs to be owned by Africans. Currently, even in countries that have “signed” or “initialled” the document, there is little or no public discussion by the private sector, parliaments, and civil societies. One hopes that if EPAs are to be domesticated, it will not be the kind of charade of “rent a crowd” consultations that were designed to rubber stamp the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs). We now know better and must therefore do better.

Learning from history

Africa and Europe need a “Development Summit”: we need to talk to each other frankly and directly. If the issue is ìdevelopmentî of Africa, there are certainly superior alternative proposals for a more beneficial relationship between Europe and Africa. The African Union, various sub-regional groupings, and even the ACP ministers of trade have canvassed alternatives to EPA. History should not repeat itself.

In the mid 1980s, Africa came up with the African Alternative Framework to Structural Adjustment Programmes (AAF-SAP). All African governments endorsed it; the United Nations General Assembly endorsed it, but the conventional SAPs were rammed through by the donor agencies which had the power of the purse. It took almost two decades of destruction for most development partners to admit that “mistakes were made” and that “no one had all the answers”, and before the major elements of AAF-SAP became part of the Washington orthodoxy. This kind of costly experiment must be avoided. It is the lives of hundreds of millions of Africans that are at stake again. It is time to sit down and talk.

Other partners, such as China, India, and the US can join the Summit. So far, the EPA process and outcomes have more of the characteristics of a second Scramble for Africa (that is, a second Berlin Conference) than a development (Brussels’) initiative. That may not be what many stakeholders thought it was, but de facto, that is what is being delivered. We believe there is sufficient goodwill and technical capacity on both sides to craft a new rather than a raw deal.

Many scholars, statesmen and women, civil society organisations, etc, may certainly not be fully aware of what is going on. Frankly, as Africans, we do not believe that the UK, France, and the Nordic countries in particular, can, with all the recent talk about a new century for Africa, be part of this set-up. Those who care must rise to the occasion NOW, and not wait for years and then write post-mortem analyses of doom and gloom.

Some 30 years ago, Walter Rodney published his book entitled How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. At the turn of the 21st century, we must sing a new song. With sufficient will on both sides, one prays that our grandchildren will in the next few decades read a response to Rodney in a book to be entitled How Europe Developed Africa.

(Chukwuma Charles Soludo is a professor of economics who has served as the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, and chief economic advisor to the President of Nigeria. He is currently on the board of the South Centre, Geneva; chairman of the board of the African Institute for Applied Economics; and a member of the Chief Economist’s Advisory Council, World Bank.)

Ugandans in South Africa don’t Trust Museveni’s words

As Ugandans in the diaspora specifically in South Africa under the umbrella of AUSA (Association of Ugandans in South Africa), we feel embarrassed by the inconsistence in our president’s words and dishonesty shown to the people of Uganda. At the age of 67, Mr. Museveni is not only a senior adult who ought to respect his words and integrity but also an experienced leader who would not make careless mistakes whilst speaking.

Nowadays his speeches and interviews especially those conducted by foreign journalists are not worthy being listened to as they bang the ears of Ugandans who are too tired to listen to an old man who changes statements every now and then. It is absurd that in 1986, a man we thought was a “messiah” has turned into a “devil”.

The president unashamedly on BBC after being reminded his own words; “…….leaders who stay long in power…” he wickedly changed his statement that he meant those who are not elected! Mr. Museveni should remember that silence is not ignorance and being wordy is not a symbol of wisdom. Recently he repeated his incompetent words about his exit from power whilst talking to CNN journalist. He talked on assumption that Ugandans are still living in the 20thcentury. How dare the whole president who has served for over 25 years peak words of a “toddler leader”! “It is upon your party….” Your excellence we are not short sighted, if you got advantage of us in 1980s, this is 2012, mind your words.

As Ugandans in South Africa, we are making it clear that presently Museveni’s speeches are irrelevant and better off not spoken. He is an imposter and a typical pretender who after owning NRM and almost every institution, he behaves to be respecting them. If Mr. Museveni wants to talk about his departure, he should be brief and precise like all other wise leaders and tell us when he is leaving. It’s nonsensical to throw it to his party which he can’t allow to reason beyond his own understanding. Mr. Museveni there is nothing new you can do for the people of Uganda neither is there anything new you can speak. We don’t need anything from you anymore, all we need and we ask is your urgent departure from your position.

Give a chance to the new leaders and see the harm they will do (if any). The gaps in your government are already more than enough for you to resign. As Ugandans in South Africa, we are assuring you that you don’t have our support as the president of Uganda. We have joined our fellow Ugandans back home to demand for your urgent resignation and restoration of term limits. We shall continue to support all peaceful Ugandans seeking to practice real democracy in Uganda.

Mr. Museveni, all we need from you is to step down and lastly to restore term limits. In your bid to remove term limits, you bribed puppet legislators to scrap term limits. This time you do not need to that, simply ask them to restore them and they will do. We sent them to represent us not your personal interests. Your excellence if you are a patriot and a Pan-African as you claim, step down and stop pretending and being wordy by throwing the ball to your party. We know you know this but as a matter of reminding you, there is no patriot who clings to power, forces him self to the people, calls fraudulent elections, elections and lives a prodigal life on the expenses of his own people.

Mr. Museveni, we are not going to rest until you step down. We call upon all Ugandans to triple the effort and demand Mr. Museveni’s resignation and restoration of term limits.

Tim Mugerwa

Secretary General


+27 837056470/ +27739338400

CC: Aguma Alex (Director AUSA)

CC: Malcom Mastiko (Chairperson AUSA)

CC: Hassen Ssali ( Director of Intelligenc

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