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Month June 2012

I told Oyite Ojok to Kill Bazilio Okello but he messed about. Now NRM are in power- Says UAH’s Okello George

Oyite Ojok

Oyite Ojok

Dear Ugandans at heart,
I personally advised the late General David Oyite Ojok to arrest Bazilio Okello and if necessary kill him. This was in a 5 hour meeting I had with him and students of the UPC youth league in Lira Hotel in 1981. I also discussed with him a number of different issues, he was very engaging, a truly nice person and at the end of our meeting, he asked me to write a letter that he would pass on to President Obote since he could not himself make such a decision. President Obote never responded to my letter, I think because at the time I was involved in a student protest at the Law Development Centre of which I was the President of the Student’s Union. But this cancer of Bazilio was allowed to go on with totally disastrous consequences. This is my one major criticism of President Obote. In my letter to President Obote, I told him he needed to do three things:

Professionalize the army and that meant retiring people like Tito Okello and arresting Bazilio or killing him. And I said the army needed more educated people in its ranks, at the time the foot soldiers were mainly Acholi 90% of whom lacked even basic education and were largely illiterate.

End human rights abuses in the Buganda area. I told him very bluntly to remove all Acholi soldiers from Luwero and to replace them with soldiers from other regions of Uganda, particularly from Buganda itself, from Lango and from Teso and to recruit others from western Uganda. My reasoning was that the Acholi soldiers had totally destroyed the image and reputation of the UNLA in Buganda by their acts of vandalism, rape of civilians and plain terrorism. And I also advised for President Obote to arrest a notorious criminal likle Agetta who was responsible for the killing of so many innocent Baganda civilians including a couple at the Wandegeya roundabout after just a simple traffic accident. He shot them dead.

I advised President Obote to change his government in order to give it a cleaner image; for eg I said he needed to get rid of Masette Kuya who was always drunk in public.This is just a summary of what I wrote then.

President Obote implemented some of my suggestions, like for e.g, putting Colonel Ogole in charge of the Luwero brigade and recruitment of a completely new Special Forces unit formed mainly of soldiers from Teso and Eastern Uganda. But it was too late because Bazilio had already begun his rebellion.
After General Oyite died in a helicopter crash and colonel Ogole had defeated the bandit NRA forces in Luwero, Museveni had fled back to Sweden, but President Obote, instead of ordering the arrest or killing of Bazilio Okello did nothing.

I met President Obote at the crisis in 1985 and I told him, it was necessary to crush the Bazilio led rebellion in the north. Otherwise everything that Colonel Ogole had acheived in Luwero in defeating the NRA would be worthless. His argument all along was that he would never allow the Langi and Acholi to fight each, that he would rather leave power rather than see them fight each other. And he was very firm in that belief. Later on when Bazilio and his renegade soldiers stormed Kampala, it was people like Rwakasisi who actually saved President Obote because Bazilio would have killed him. And Rwakasisi payed a very heavy price. A Very heavy price.

I don’t have a copy of this letter because at the time I wrote it by hand and then took it to my sister to type, my sister who was so scared of typing such a document and never kept a copy but posted my letter to David Oyite Ojok. Maybe UPC headquarters will one day unearth it.

First UPC was not intent on murdering Ugandan people. It wanted to save the Ugandan people by improving their social and economic situation but its good intentions were interrupted by NRA bandits led by Museveni who embarked on a terrorist campaign composed of mainly murder. The main reason why the NRA was formed was to murder Ugandans and to loot its resources.

So faced with such a situation where there were several armed terrorists on the loose, creating all manner of havoc and chaos, robbing banks, blowing up electricity pillons, raping women and children, what did you expect the UPC government to do, but except to confront the terrorism? Any responsible government would take the measures that the UPC government did.

In the fight against terrorism, some crimes were committed by UNLA soldiers. And my advice to the government at the time was to improve discipline in the army, to better their living conditions and to professionalise the entire army itself by retiring octogenarian military commanders like Tito Okello and getting rid of Bazilio Okello altogether.

Around 200,000 people were murdered in Luwero, but this figure could have even been higher if Colonel Ogole had not managed to push Museveni and his NRA bandit forces out of Luwero. You have heard several times Otaffirre boasting that they would kill innocent civilians in the night-time and then blame it on the UNLA. Without firm action by Colonel Ogole maybe another 100,000 lives or more would have been lost, courtesy of the NRA brutal campaign of murder and terror.

My struggles within the UPC and against NRA bandit policy of murder and terror certainly saved hundreds of lives. And since then, I have played a very influential role internationally in combating the NRA terrorism, when they finally occupied Uganda when Bazilio and Otunnu handed over power to them. They wasted no time and immediately embarked on a war of extermination in eastern and northern Uganda and put virtually entire peasant communities in internment in gestapo concentration camps. They extended this terrorism to Rwanda, where 1 million people lost their lives and later on to DR Congo where more than 3 million people have lost their lives. This NRA bandit army set out on a course to wipe out entire communities and I did my best to alert the entire world about the program that was being inflicted on totally innocent Ugandan civilians and to help to stop it. I was tireless in these efforts.

As for Dr Mamdani, he was my friend, and I tried to help him out as a lawyer and not as a politician. I have not been in contact with Professor Mamdani for a long time, but I did work with him in the 1980’s when we co-edited FORWARD magazine, on and off quarterly marxist magazine. We had no money to publish the magazine on a regular basis and so a lot of the articles were written either by myself, Mamdani and a few other people in western Uganda and in Kampala, as well as students from Makerere University.
He did some research work on peasants in Lango for may be one month during which time he stayed in my home in Dokolo. Later on, he got into trouble with the UPC government and I remember him bringing some of his documents and stuff to me for safe-keeping on the night he fled again into exile.

I tried to find out from my UPC contacts why Professor Mamdani was considered a dangerous man. And I told them Dr Mamdani is a critic and there was no need to neither restrict nor sanction him. I took some legal measures to defend him when he was in exile. Professor Mamdani recommended me to be Africa Director of Human Rights Watch, when Rakiyya Ommar and others resigned over the dispute on American intervention in Somalia, a job I did not eventually get, I think it was a muganda man based in Washington who was appointed to the post.

Later on Professor Mamdani recommended me to several conferences and it was in one of these conferences in Nairobi, after my presentation on the human rights situation in Uganda, that the late Dr Okii-Ooko Ombaka, then the Director of the newly established Public Law Institute, approached me and told me there was a position for a Human Rights Lawyer in the Philippines if I was willing to take it. I said I would take it, because at that point, I had nowhere to go, I had just completed my Master’s degree in the UK and had no intention of going back to Uganda. Dr Ombaka took me to the late Professor Atieno Odhiambo, who was on the governing board of this international human rights organisation and he agreed to recommend my appointment to his board. They were very impressed with my conference presentation. So I ended up in the Philippines.

Much as I collaborated with Dr Mamdani, I don’t consider myself as his cadre. I have openly criticised Professor Mamdani before, but that has not stopped me from cooperating with him. I don’t think Dr Mamdani himself aspires for political power. But the truth is that he has influenced hundreds of students over the many years that he has been a teacher, and definitely a lot of these students will become leaders, whether in the UPC or other political parties. So UPC has nothing to be frightened of, we should debate him instead. Afterall, as I have narrated above, the man has interacted with me over many years at an intellectual, political and personal level.

Many thanks,
George O Pacu-Otto

Captain Otto, ‘Kakono’ and FRONASA -all used to murder Ugandans in the 1980s

Dear Ugandans,
I moved from a house in Bweyogerere to mid Kampala because the people killed in Kireka Barracks were sending a very terrible stench towards Kireka Bweyogerere and surrounding places. It was massive. And standing today and some people state that then UPC government was not killing Ugandans then they need to question its ability to control its forces. I want you to ask any one that lived from Nakawa all way to Mukono about the commander that was in Kireka barracks and his name was Otto. Don’t say my name just ask about his history. This man entered a shop in Kireka in day light and instructed his escorts to pull out a wife that was selling in the store, they pulled her out in day light as she was firkin screaming, and he took her into the barracks and screwed the brains out of her. He ended up killing the husband for he refused to shut up.

If you stood on Kireka Seventh Day Adventists Head Quarters after midnight, you would hear the screams of Ugandans getting murdered in Kireka barracks. These were very bad days man. And especially when a man like myself that was arrested and thrown into Makindye for months, yes the government was killing Ugandans. Do you actually know how many people that died in my face?

Why do you think I refused to belong to any political party in Uganda? Because unlike some of you that stand up and make such a terrible statement I cannot love a party to a point of lying. For you are lying for the party right now. We rather stand up and clean up but what happened in Uganda way passed a fuck up. And excuse my French sir. The Obote government failed to show the population the difference between its self and Museveni, thus Ffe kasita twebaka Kutulio.

Yes, Museveni’s FRONASA murdered many Ugandans including The Bob Odong Nayendas the attacks on Doctor’s village which killed very many innocent people, yes The Dr Barlow’s were gunned down, and I can go over many names that Ugandans today do not want to remember for we moved on and their deaths were justified if you ask the Ugandans At Heart Moderator, Abbey Ssemuwemba. But all those deaths as they so happened, they are not the issue we are talking about today. This time and only this time we are discussing a local politics that happened in Kireka trading center, where a single Captain that was commanding a mere army band took it upon himself to be a day light killer. The killings Otto did were not the killings of Kampala, for he was never targeting people with political prowess, he was not targeting people for they were powerful but Otto was killing people for you have money, a nice car, a beautiful wife/woman, you walked into a bar and bought beer and you show up next time as well. This killer killed one man I knew so well for he had army beer that he was selling in his store, but Otto himself brought it to him and asked him to sell it, the family had a problem for it would not refuse to accept it for taking it was an order and selling it ended up being a fatal matter. In Kireka all way from Banda to Seeta no one would breath an air if Otto is in the area

As I continue to raise the names of the killers we have had in Uganda, I have another killer in addition to Captain Otto Congwok that I need to raise. The killer I need to raise this time around was based in Kayunga trading centre, but he was posted from Bombo barracks and his name was called Kakono.

Kakono lived in a building in Kayunga that was on off Wabusaana road, and it was the only night club in Kayunga at a time, I do not know if Kakono was his real name or he was named Kakono for he had only one hand. I cannot tell you why he lost a second hand but he had only one hand and he was driving a Peugeot 404 sometimes a 504 and both were white pickups standard and very clean. The back of that building was used as his residence with a couple of soldiers that were being sent to Kayunga from time to time to work with him on the attachment sort of. Kakono was a very aggressive driver and it was interesting to see how he uses his one hand to manipulate the driving of a standard at that speed.

Most of the people that were killed in Bugerere larger area, and all way from Kyabazaala to Ndesse to Kangulumira were being killed by this single man, and he was killing them from that building, loading them on his pickup and dumping the bodies into River Ssezibwa. And if you commuted that stretch from Bukoloto going Ndese through river Ssezibwa at a time you used to see bodies floating on river Ssezibwa and that was a hand work of Kakono in Kayunga. Now before the Edward Pojims raise up to defend this killer, it is important to note that there is no way Kakono can hide anywhere in Uganda for he has a major mark that is not destructible, the man has a single hand. And if you were in Bugerere at a time you must have knowledge of Kakono and his Peugeot pick up that he was driving which was his mobile killing center. My question tonight is what happened to Kakono, and his son for both were killers, and where are they in Uganda today? And if you were in Kayunga at a time, what were the real names of this killer?

Ugandans we need to stand up and mention these killers and hold them responsible for their actions, for murdering people is stupid. We need to stand up and mention the killers in NRM too because Uganda belongs to all of us. If you know anyone murdering Ugandans today, please post those details here because they need to be exposed.

Edward Mulindwa

Huge sexual appetite and NRM Industrialisation – Part II

Now, European or American countries, and now Asians if not independent organisations, finance virtually all doctoral research projects and programs in Uganda. If Africans in Uganda are lucky, the donor or supporting agency will then come in, yet, to finance implementation of the research result, but in key areas where they benefit!

Do not be surprised that having a doctorate in Uganda is completely useless!Let me exemplify the above:
Karuma – Arua Road
Mityana – Mubende
Mubende Fortportal
Masaka to Mbarara Road
Iganga to Mbale Road
Jinja to Kampala Road
Kampala to Karuma road
Kampala to Masaka Road
Natete to Mengo Road
Nsambya to Ggaba Road
Kibuye to Munyonyo Road
– all these roads have different designs! Designed by donating agencies or a contractor. Has this country any sort of road designing and construction research facility?! The answer is NO.

Bridges in this country have been collapsing and swept away by rain – pity the engineers. How could they maintain and later repair what they never designed in the first place!The story of the Africans and their independence is heart rendering and chilling.

Reach a road heading to Pope Memorial Hotel in Ndebba in Kampala – that is exactly when you see the debacles depth, of being an African in NRM Uganda. The Germany financed facility to repair 18th century train wagons, is just that a rusting and for an African politician, a dead end, that is all right!

They can sing so much about tourism and liberation.Do not mind that Idi Amin initiated the above, introduced cable and colour Television to Uganda. Mpoma streamed pictures before the Internet was here, as if Idi Amin who built Mpoma, had a greater vision.

Orange telecom is providing a faster Internet service. Mpoma is dead! China has stepped in now, with their Star Television, clearly connected to Chinese satellite link to milk this country dry.

Now just think about it a bit, that Uganda has 32 Universities, Yet all them, teaching and skill imparting facilities, physics department have not found a way of digitising Uganda, without using Chinese satellites and technologies. All let us put it mildly utilising the existing infrastructure.

It is a farce of mega proportions. Has Uganda transformed at all, over the past 26 years? Yes! In a purely theoretical economics, it has and this is negative growth, which is also termed as development. It is measurable and can give very positive figures.
Here is another falsehood. Uganda Revenue Authority for example, collects so many shillings from imports and junk cars sold in Uganda and makes 400 billion shilling in the first quarter period. So if Uganda through stealing state funds increase their consumption of the above, items by 10 billion the total will be 410 in another quarter hence

1Q Revenue: UG X 400 billion
2Q Revenue: UG X 410 billion

(410-400)/400 = .025 or 2.5% per quarter. One can then multiply that figure by 4 quarters to get the annual growth. Idiots like Amin and Obote could then start singing about growth – can you imagine!

The question though, will be on what items is Ms. Kigina’s URA getting the UG 400 billion? On Mivumba (old cloth), old cars imports, Chinese industrial junk, Kakira sugar and steel products etc!

This is interesting, because we are taught in economics that Gross Domestic Product is the total market value of all final goods and services produced in a country in a given year: Consumer, Investment, Government Spending and Value of exports minus the imports.

What is composed of Uganda’s Gross Domestic Product of the above really? What is Uganda producing? What are the investments in Uganda? Hotels and weapons. What is government spending on? Healthy care, Roads Uganda by the way has less than 250000 public workers
What is Uganda exporting? Still coffee, foodstuffs,

In Europe, unlike Uganda they have the technical know how, technology, industrial infrastructure and the skilled manpower.
Is Europe failing – my answer is an absolute no.

What is happening in Europe is a situation where negative growth is taking place, but the real value of wages has been increasing. Workers and consumers may feel as if the economy is getting worse.
In Hungry, Poland, Albania the industrial structure has never been better since firms and companies that have migrated to china from Europe are actually relocating here.Negative growth in European countries is causing adjustment in wages and hence lowering production costs in the long run.

NRM’s divestment from major industrial infrastructure spelled doom for this country. And the only way this country can be resurrected is to reanalyses the debacle and the government start reinvesting in all meaningful industrial infrastructure they eliminated in the fundamental change.

But even then, it will be difficult to do the above unless there is total reorganisation of all our urban areas, fully equipped with the necessary infrastructure (proper urban planning infrastructure and national roads, electricity, landlines phones, internet facilities, commercial buildings, cheap transport infrastructures, skilled and competent work force, workers housing, ware houses, produce marketing agencies, produce storage facilities).

Sorry to note that the social fabric that NRM has created is lumpen therefore will never be able to develop this country. It is too late.
For instance if you close down Nytil textiles (negative development) there is a positive economic development in alternative sectors like used cloth imports which are taxed in millions of shillings to bring about the 8% growth.

Light industries include the manufacture of; clothes, shoes, furniture, consumer electronics and home appliances. So far none is actually manufacture for even NRM politicians are no longer sleeping on beds made from Uganda trees!

There is no investment world over, unless it Mercantilists and an extortionist economy: investment in commercial building constructions at more than ¼ a million dollars and the same building is not occupied for months on. This happens in Uganda! The question will be who pays for the premium on land, where the building is seated and other running costs for the unoccupied building?
Some question comes to mind in the above circumstance. Is the money invested borrowed or simply stolen?

Pure economic theory has little to do with development of a nation state. European economic transformation was brought about by; zeal, pragmatism, rather than recent financial and fiscal prudence.

Brazil and India have the worst poverty levels in emerging nations; yet have developed the most visible indigenous technological, and scientific practices. They still lack the distributive and implementation capability.

Norway (tinned fish and Oil) , Denmark (milk , Bang Olofsson) and Finland (Nokia) had nothing substantial on the world export markets before the 1980s. Small countries like Singapore, South Korea, Malaysia and Japan, North American markets aside, have developed substantial technological, and scientific practices that have transformed their societies.

Is Europe declining – NO! Europe is readjusting. The problems of Europe are exactly the same as “Veblen Effect” of conspicuous consumption that has made production so costly.

NRM’s Uganda economic cannibalism is amazing. Don’t mind how it happens. There are chilling examples though.
Banks, insurance companies on realising this flaw in Uganda’s economic status and are therefore making windfall profits.

The same goes with Ugandan so called investors. He will for example set up an AGOA factory, don’t mind what that means, so long as it will promote the investors social status whether AGOA produces anything or not! This same factory, on close examination might be filled with scrap machines.

The business will takes a loan and of course an insurance policy! Such businesses must pay very high premium and interest rate on each shilling borrowed. In a way the above economic sectors, are benefiting highly from this negative economic development.
In essence NRM economic miracle exist by a defacto socio-political and economic corrupt grouping. Mafia economics. Swept aside by history, Uganda as a whole is destined to an absurdity and tougher times ahead.

Uncertainty. Risk! Ugandans who are living or have lived in developed organised economies of the world will ask – what is leading to the growth of shopping malls and who does the shopping in them for example? The answer is a “Veblen Effect” rather than pure economic development.

Ugandans with NRM have developed a skewed way of life and perception of their world. Every morning, a bodaboda rider, a milk vendor or road sweeper for example puts on a nice cloth, well polished shoes, a class bracelet or shoes and head to work, instead of an overall or working cloth. Reaching the workstation stand for an hour discussing Villa or Arsenal, or her fights with a lampooned husband. This same individual will later have time to seek supranormal profits characterised by sheer demand for it rather than applied effort to acquire the same.

Do an experiment i.e. on William Street or Kampala road and ask for a shoe or a dress at a higher price and when brought you later decline to buy. The seller will instantly want to committee suicide as if it is a guarantee that you had to buy by all means! If in any case this person had nothing of the item, which you needed in his, or her stock, will convince you to buy an alternative despite the fact that is not what you exactly needed or demanded for. It is all robbery on a national scale.

Bwanika, Nakyesawa Luweero







At Kampala’s Mandela National Stadium this morning, 25 Fulham programmes and magazines were presented to the Cranes’ Captain, Andy Mwesigwa, for distribution to the Ugandan squad. A low res photo of Kevin O’Connor making the presentation to Andy is attached.



O’Connor, an athletics coach and Fulham supporter, said: “These magazines have been airmailed to Uganda by Fulham supporters in order to benefit Ugandan footballers. This is the second such presentation, and has been made possible with the assistance of National Football Coach, Bobby Williamson.”



“For me,” O’Connor continued, “today is a rather sentimental occasion. The photo shows me wearing a scarf (in Fulham’s black and white colours) that was knitted by my mother around 50 years ago, not long after my Dad had taken me to see my first match at Fulham’s Craven Cottage in November 1959. What with last Saturday’s 1-1 World Cup Qualifier draw against Senegal, and this coming Saturday’s African Cup of Nation’s Qualifier against Congo Brazzaville, this is a huge week for Ugandan football, and I do hope the magazines provide a little encouragement to the Cranes.”



Media houses requiring the photo in high res should email kevin@imul.com. Please credit Sue O’Connor.




Ugandans Should Promote their culture and languages

I am ashamed to write in Anglophone in order to discuss with Africans the matter of language, but I do so in the same spirit as the African Americans who walked to work for a year, not for themselves but in order that their children do not suffer the same deprivations. I am well aware writing in Anglophone to communicate with Africans perpetuates the status quo that endorses groups of humanity that cannot communicate except through Anglophone or Francophone. I am equally aware of the entertainment Europeans get when Africans talk to each other in distorted Anglophone or Francophone for lack of a common language.

The debates concerning language which “educated” Africans have engaged in so far confirm Robin Walker’s observations which he made in 2006. He writes “The profile of Black history is still low and astounding levels of ignorance persist.”

Without information we lack knowledge and without it we do not have the wisdom with which to urgue with competence. We need all three in order to debate and discuss. The first thing to understand is that Africans were rendered imbecile for 400 years, by the very people from whom we borrow the use of their language in order that we communicate. Up till 1968, the year Martin Luther King was killed, the Africans in America were fighting to be allowed to get a decent education. The education system that was allowed them at that time is the very same continued in Africa.

Prof. Cheikh Anta Diop writes “The climate of alienation finally deeply affected the personality of the Negro, especially the educated black who had had an opportunity to become conscious of world opinion about him and his people. It often happens that the Negro intellectual loses confidence in his own possibilities and in those of his race to such an extent that, despite the validity of (evidence of Recovered Black African History Data) it will still not be astonishing if some of us are still unable to believe that Blacks really played the earliest civilising role in the world.

The first president of Senegal Leopold Senghor observed that all they (Africans) wanted was to look like Black Frenchmen, the African language and hair made them so ashamed (same as today judging by the hairstyles of African women, and a ban on teaching African languages in schools).

I joined this group at a point when subscribers are debating an African language. We owe it to the whole African nation. The Africans are people of faith. Most believe in the Prophets of old, thus follow in the footsteps of the Son of Mary, Christo and the one that came after him Muhammad (SAW). What languages did these speak?

Not our mother tongues. Then there is the matter of original parents which all who profess faith believe in. What language did they speak? This must be the foundation from which we start our discourse. With information comes knowledge, from knowledge we get wisdom and intelligence.

Here are a few facts most certainly not found in history books in Africa, which might help put us on the right track, just so no African ever thinks of another as immigrant or inferior.

1. The human race is of African origin. The oldest known skeletal remains of anatomically modern humans (or homo sapiens) were excavated at sites in East Africa. Human remains were discovered at Omo in Ethiopia that were dated at 195,000 years old, the oldest known in the world. This our ancestor was named Dinquinesh (meaning You are Wonderful) but Europeans named her Lucy from the Beetles song that came out that year. So, are you going to call her Dinquinesh or Lucy? Incidentally, evidence came to light that “Mitochondrial DNAs from 147 people, drawn from five geographic populations have been analysed by restriction mapping. All these mitochondrial DNAs stem from one woman who is postulated to have lived about 200,000, years ago, probably in Africa.” With such knowledge, how can whatever African language is spoken pose a problem?

2. Skeletons of pre-humans have been found in Africa that date back between 4 and 5 million years. The oldest known ancestral type of humanity is thought to have been the Australopithecus ramidus, who lived at least 4.4 million years ago.

3. Africans were the first to organise fishing expeditions 90,000 years ago. At Katanda, a region in northeastern Zaïre (now Congo), was recovered a finely wrought series of harpoon points, all elaborately polished and barbed. Also uncovered was a tool, equally well crafted, believed to be a dagger. The discoveries suggested the existence of an early aquatic or fishing based culture. African children would win medals at Olympics if they grew up feeding information relating their ancestors achievement the same as Europeans do. Imagine, Nigerians dive underwater, and with bucket scoops building sand with which he fills his canoe, rows it to a building site. He does this many times in a day. With knowledge of achievements of his ancestors, why would not such man win Olympic medals? Instead, parents put barriers in children’s way, feeding them on a diet of television in the hope they become European in order to succeed in the world.

4. Africans were the first to engage in mining 43,000 years ago. In 1964 a hematite mine was found in Swaziland at Bomvu Ridge in the Ngwenya mountain range. Ultimately 300,000 artefacts were recovered including thousands of stone-made mining tools. Adrian Boshier, one of the archaeologists on the site, dated the mine to a staggering 43,200 years old. To think that in Congo, Europeans today are mining every kind of resource claiming that Africans have not the knowledge nor technology. Congo Week 2012 is the fifth anniversary of Congo Week and will take place from Sunday, October 14 to Saturday, October 20, 2012. Since 2008, activities are organised for purpose of raising global consciousness about the situation in the Congo and advocate for peace, justice and human dignity in partnership with the Congolese people. Which year did Ugandan neighbours join in solidarity? Ten million Ugandans use mobile phones and many more access computers, little realising the coltan mined in their neighbourhood is a resource Africans have more claim to than the Europeans. Sixty countries organised this year’s Congo Week Activities at more than 300 universities and community campuses. Uganda and Rwanda miss from both lists of universities and campuses. On an individual level, the Ugandans who access internet regularly, many with face book profiles, also fail to subscribe to Friends of Congo website, including spouses.

5. Africans pioneered basic arithmetic 25,000 years ago. The Ishango bone is a tool handle with notches carved into it found in the Ishango region of Zaïre (now called Congo) near Lake Edward. The bone tool was originally thought to have been over 8,000 years old, but a more sensitive recent dating has given dates of 25,000 years old. On the tool are 3 rows of notches. Row 1 shows three notches carved next to six, four carved next to eight, ten carved next to two fives and finally a seven. The 3 and 6, 4 and 8, and 10 and 5, represent the process of doubling. Row 2 shows eleven notches carved next to twenty-one notches, and nineteen notches carved next to nine notches. This represents 10 + 1, 20 + 1, 20 – 1 and 10 – 1. Finally, Row 3 shows eleven notches, thirteen notches, seventeen notches and nineteen notches. 11, 13, 17 and 19 are the prime numbers between 10 and 20.

This is the kind of learning that we have to base on when we discuss matters African, and language in particular. You can subscribe for Black History Studies newsletter, course, or events to educate yourself. Their motto is educate the community to educate themselves. It not about one person getting a degree, getting a job. It is about the community being educated, in matters that concern them, learning to read and write their mother tongue, learning true facts about their ancestors. Robin Walker says history encompasses all disciplines, political, cultural, literature, religion, the social sciences, arts, technology and mathematics.

I will quote the words of Prof John Henrick Clarke to emphasise the importance of debating intelligently concerning an African language, who says “History is the clock that people use to tell them their time of day. It is also a compass that people use to find themselves on the map of human geography. The role of history is to tell a people what they have been, where they have been, what they are and where they are. The most important role that history plays is that it has the function of telling a people where they still must go and what they still must be.”

Aida Majesi

Aircrafts disasters in Africa are due to irresponsibility and greed not their age

We are often too quick to blame air disasters on aging of the aircraft. The true age of an aircraft is measured more by the number of take-offs and landings which is translated into life cycles rather than the number of years in operation. The Airframe primary structure suffers its greatest wear and tear during takeoff and landing. Two similar aircraft – one of which is used for regional or domestic flights will age faster than the other which is used exclusively for international flights because the latter makes fewer takeoffs and landings. The environment in which an aircraft is operated is also a factor. For instance, an aircraft that flies over sea water frequently will be subjected to corrosion fatigue from the effect of salt in the sea. Thus, operators of such aircraft are advised to have more frequent inspection of the airframe, and to take necessary corrective and/or preventive action when a scratch or corrosion is observed. Fatigue cracks start as small scratch or flaw which we sometimes have the tendency to ignore. Every time a plane lands it is thoroughly inspected for any suspect scratch. If any is observed, it is quickly taken care of to prevent it from further developing into a fatigue crack. In the late eighties or early nineties, a Hawaiian airlines plane flying between islands had its top unexpectedly blown open in mid flight. Fortunately, the experienced Pilot was able to get the plane down safely suffering only one fatality. Investigation later showed that this was due to corrosion fatigue from frequent flights over sea water. Clearly, this was a case of human error as some little cracks or corrosion signs should have been discovered when they were small if required walk around inspections had been carried out properly. During the assembly of aircraft, assembly line workers are not allowed to wear any jewelry on their fingers or around their neck or anywhere around their body to prevent, among other things, accidentally or otherwise scratching any of the structural parts used for the assembly.

The Dana Airlines Aircraft MD83 (a stretched version of the old DC 8) involved in the latest accident, first sold in 1990, about the same time the current Air Force One went into operation is not considered old by industry standard. Early reports on the Dana accident suggest an engine problem when the Pilot made a distress call to the tower about 11 miles to the destination runway, and finally crashed about two miles to the runway. Unless both engines fail at the same time, or one of the engines falls off, (which is highly unlikely, but not impossible), aircraft are designed, (as required by FAA), to be able to carry on with one surviving engine and land at nearest airport. During the civil war in Angola, a DeHavillan Hawker 800 Aircraft had one of its two engines blown up. The pilot, unaware he had been shot but noticed the engine had quit simply turned the disabled engine off and continued on to his destination, landing without a hitch. He later found out he had been shot after he got off and looked at the engine. In the summer of 1979, a DC 10, upon taking off at the Chicago O’Hair airport had its left engine detached from the wing, ricocheted across and hit the right engine knocking that one off too, resulting in one of the most disastrous accidents in US history. DC 10 is a three engine wide body aircraft with the third engine embedded in the vertical tail. If the LHS engine had merely quit, and didn’t fall off or knock the other engine off, the pilot would have had a chance to return to the airport. Investigation later revealed that the left engine had been taken down for some minor repairs. The mechanic on reattaching it neglected to tighten the attachment screws properly. Among other changes, this incident forced McDonald Douglas Aircraft to reconsider the way it names its planes – from “DC” to “MD”, a tactic to erase the negative image from the minds of travelers, as travelers became reluctant to fly anything associated with the initials “DC”. I say all this to demonstrate that an aircraft doesn’t fall off the sky because of one thing going wrong, it has to be a series of things. The Aircraft Airframe primary structural design has a lot of redundancy built into it such that if one system fails, there is another one ready to pick up the load. Perhaps one system that does not have a back up is the landing gear system, but pilots have been given adequate training in “Belly Landing” in the unfortunate event that the gears fail to deploy. Recently, one such landing was successfully carried out by a Pilot some where in Eastern Europe, I believe Romania. .

Rather than focus on the age of the aircraft, attention should be focused on the maintenance record of this particular aircraft and the responsibility or the lack there of, of the regulatory bodies that govern the airline industry in Nigeria. Statistics have shown that close to 98% of aircraft accidents occur due to human error. This includes pilot error, poor maintenance, or the lack of it. Looking through a list of Nigerian Airlines and average age of their fleet provided by a colleague from Nigeria, I was shocked to notice that some airlines have 1 aircraft fleet – Air Tarawa and Axiom. There is a type of service recommended by manufacturers called “Tear Down Inspection” (or D check as it is sometimes called) whereby the aircraft is opened up from the inside and all the structural components – frames, stringers, spars, ribs, etc- are closely inspected. This check occurs every 7 or 8 years depending on the manufacturer or the Aircraft type. If any structural damage is observed, that part is repaired or replaced. This procedure takes from 45 to 60 days, after which the aircraft is almost as good as new. Will Axiom or Air Taraba part with its only aircraft for 60 days without any income? My guess is the answer is “NO”. That means they will continue to operate the only aircraft without the recommended maintenance. How did NCAA give these airlines operation permit? The MD83 first sold to Alaska Airlines in 1990 was probably D-checked at least twice before selling to Dana in 2005. It is just about due for another one. Do we know if Dana did this before the accident?. When Alaska Airlines sold this aircraft, it was for age reason. Alaska made a business decision to replace all its MD83 with the more fuel efficient and technically more advanced Boeing 737-800. This is a common practice in the industry. Another common practice is that after about 3 or 4 D-checks, an airline more not consider it economically viable to keep it because of the high cost of D check. A D check can cost in the millions depending on type of aircraft.

While we await the results of the investigation of this accident, I’ll like to suggest NCAA consider doing the following to keep the airspace safe, most of which are currently in force here in the US:

1. Establish a minimum number of aircraft requirement for a new Airline and set a limit to the number of flights until the Airline establishes a good track record as to on time departure, up to date maintenance/service record, and others.

2. Require that each Airline keep a maintenance/service log on each Aircraft to be duly signed by a certified A & P (Airframe and Power Plant) mechanic from a reputable service/maintenance centre.

3. Require that each Airline have a minimum number of certified A & P mechanics on its staff

4. NCAA should make un announced visits to Airline headquarters and demand to see the maintenance log on each of the Aircraft. Ground any aircraft that lacks the proper service maintenance, and publish the results of your visit for the public to see.

5. Establish a satellite NCAA office at every Airport where NCAA staff can monitor and record on time departure/arrival for each airline, and publish the results on a monthly basis.

6. NCAA should be given power to levy a heavy fine on any Airline that cancels a scheduled flight for reasons other than safety related ones beyond its control and/or make the airline compensate stranded passengers over and above the cost of the tickets.

I had a rather bad experience this last Christmas period when I went to Nigeria for a visit. I had a reservation on a scheduled 12:00 noon Ibadan – Abuja flight on January 2nd , 2012 on Arik air that didn’t take off until a little after 3:00PM. One would think that was bad, but it could have been worse. The flight from Abuja to Ibadan had been cancelled for lack of enough passengers, and though Arik had a full flight bound for Abuja, Arik was going to cancel my flight because it was going to use the same plane for my Abuja flight. With the Airport lobby overflowing with passengers, the Ibadan Arik officials convinced Abuja to send down an empty plane. This is why I am including the item 6 above. Arik in the end wasted fuel in an empty plane rather than bring the Abuja passengers no matter how few, and have that extra income. An Aircraft, when operated and serviced properly is a very safe form of transportation. With today’s technology, the Aircraft industry has the tool to design against any failure mode known to man. The only failure mode we cannot design against is Act of God. I bet the results of the investigation of this accident will show that “It is NOT AGE. It is IRRESPONSIBILITY. It is GREED.
Kolawole Adegbola

Huge sexual appetite generating NRM Industrialisation – Part I

If you visit any state agency, from the police, medical care, Uganda Gaddafi Telecom Limited (UTL) to a sophisticated security facility – a worker, if he or she can get you around the corner, will ask you for money termed as facilitation before any services or no services, you pay for with your tax money, are offered to you!

Even if it is a dying child, they will ask for facilitation – that is NRM Uganda economic and industrialisation philosophy. So between 1986 and now, Uganda has lost more children and adults, besides more business opportunities, innovations, technologies than it has ever lost in 24 before 1986.

Reference can be made to a year on year, Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) data and see how many of such businesses, including direct foreign investment (DFI), have materialised in a span of the last 15 years! Let me be categorical here, there is no meaningful Global Business Investment can make it in Uganda. NONE!

I have done a mini research on the above and unexpectedly some key social groups are masters of the “facilitation” economic miracle. It can also be seen with necked eyes i.e. who owns which most expensive car, or drinks in which bar in Kampala filthy slums like Kabalagala or Garden City. One time, the shoes they wore identified this NRM class!

You imagine such stupidity – type of shoes??!

It is this money, unwittingly stolen from needy working people, the Tomato, Waragi, Chappati makers, Banana, Chicken and Milk vendors and sellers, which is used to build; expensive villas, conspicuous consumption (drinking, sex, roosted chicken) and some sort of investment i.e. in matatu and the construction sectors (mizigo rentals) by the “facilitation” investors.

Note too that the huge sexual appetite in Uganda, read (Nancy C.M. Hartsock : Money, Sex, And Power) has seen expansive leisure economic growth: nightclubs, bars, lodge and restaurant sector growing by leaps and bounds. This is also boosting auxiliary sectors i.e. in media and church pornography, obscene music industry typical of American black slum gangstering, and ghettorism , (read Thorstein Veblen’s Theory of the Leisure Class)

This is an ever growing primitive mercantilists money circulation system in Uganda, typical of the Colombian and Mexicanian drug money system. This is exactly the same economy, Europeans practiced between 1200 – 1500 by importing; pepper, tobbaco, tea, and cocoa.

Ugandans are importing everything from toilet papers to pastilles!

Mercantilists economy never built those countries but the beholders were filthy rich. NRM’s Uganda is in exactly the same situation of exhortationist economy. Is it any wonder that it is only during this regime many Ugandans have been committed to death due for narcotic drug trafficking and expensive car theft from Europe and South Africa?!

Uganda has basically no industries anywhere. This too implies there are virtually no Ugandan industrialists. Among some Uganda societies, they have paged ones well-being to a mobile phone one has, never mind if it is a fake Chinese Nokia or Blackberry!

In Uganda therefore, there are a lot of rich exhortationist traffic police men/women (sleeping in Naguru or Nsambya shacks), judicial officials, town clerks, police and military CID officers, headmasters and lecturers, medical workers, fake engineers you name it who have gotten filthy rich out of a mercantilists money circulation.

And that is all about it!

NO single economy in the world has ever been developed based on the above NRM logic of middle classism i.e. citing figures on taxation, and production quantities derived from the above economic structure – exhortationist and mercantilists money circulation system. NRM rudimentary use of basic economic theorems is quite surprising. Most politicians and policy makers believe what they read from such scripts and literature or what they see in Kampala, Mbarara, Arua as a truism.

Let me show the falsehood.

Majority buildings constructed by Kampala rich, if we went by real market valuation their shilling value will be less that ½ of their production cost i.e. construction cost. The buildings are filthy, with no engineering structure design, no parking, not spacious – in reality, they are boxes with cubical for the lowery African population. Many can’t be insured as told to me by a one insurance firm. Where they are, the premium is so high, implying they are risk ventures! And that is exactly what they are meant for – owino type business conduct!

On the other side, Light industry, which has by the way, grown out of the above class, would generate technological innovation (packaging, machine fabrication and design). However in Uganda the state is sleeping – typical of all African societies, world over. Katwe local machine fabricators are on their death roll, as they can import all junk and resell making 100% profit yet grounding, NRM economic growth falsehood.

Is there any heat transfer and thermodynamics and dairy engineering specialist among NRM cattle keepers? They need to keep milk cool and fresh!

Uganda for the past 26 years has seen an impalpable expansive growth in the construction sectors. However, and because of the “Veblen effects” alluded to above – Uganda has no corresponding meaningful industry in the sector.

Hae Sung furniture and/or Sumhuk Investments?

Ugandans import everything in the construction sector right from machinery to simple things, like toilet seats and floor tiles. These could be designed by Makerere or Kyambogo ceramic students, who now days do lucrative courses, like entrepreneurship and business administration!
Bwanika Nakyesawa Luweero

James Akena gives his views on contraversial EALA Elections

I had sought to remain out of this debate but now feel it is time to put some things into their proper perspective.
The overall guidelines which were used in accepting candidates to contest for EALA were not determined by the UPC Parliamentary Committee but by the UPC Headquarters. This, in fact caused me a lot of discomfort as I had initiated a process which, in my own opinion was far more accommodating. All who contested or even sought to contest will attest that I did not sign the nomination forms of any of the UPC Candidates who were seeking the 20 signatures from MPs required by the Rules. Having known that there were more than 9 UPC members interested in EALA and the Rules provided that I could only nominate/sign 9 forms I opted to go for a strategy that would allow all who so wished to have an opportunity to offer themselves as candidates. I have therefore retained in my possession a form which has 15 signatures (the remaining 5 were to be the remaining UPC MPs who hadn’t as yet signed) but has no candidate name as it would have been appropriate to fill in the name after primaries were conducted and a UPC candidate chosen. It would also ensure that the UPC candidate would have the signatures/backing of all UPC MPs on their nomination form.
Prior to the close of the gazetted nomination days I had a couple of meetings with Nandala Mafabi (LOP) on the course of action the Opposition was due to take. I had earlier been requested by the UPC Whip to sign an Affidavit for UPC MPs which was due to be taken to the East African Court of Justice. At the meeting the LOP reaffirmed the boycott of the process but at the same time showed me a letter by the FDC SG, Alice Alaso which sought to request more time to conduct ‘primaries’ for FDC. Later that day I was approached by several FDC members to sign their forms as they were interested in contesting for the EALA seats where I assured them that I would not sign as I wished to see an open, transparent and acceptable process within my own Party and taking into consideration the opposition position of a boycott and that I was requested to sign an affidavit on behalf of UPC to that effect, whereby my signing any nomination may appear contradictory to the affidavit. It was at this point that together with Hon. Benson Obua-Ogwal that we appended our signatures on a blank form as a fallback or safeguard position having earlier been part of the spirited efforts to derail a private agreement our ‘opposition’ colleagues had struck with the NRM on the allocation of EALA slots.

I’m truly surprised and amused that our ‘opposition-ness’ is now being questioned yet at the first opposition meeting after the first round of serious disagreements on EALA within the opposition taking place in Parliament, I put it straight to LOP and FDC that I/we felt really betrayed about the deal they had with reached with NRM which would send 2 FDC to EALA yet looking at the Treaty we could at best send 5 opposition members to EALA and at worst send 3! At that stage it appeared possible to be able to get consensus on 3 opposition members to EALA. The disagreements on the floor of Parliament centered on the same issue of representation and we had to vehemently deny that the position by FDC that the opposition accepted 2 slots was the agreed position of all opposition Parties! I at one point was able to disrupt a discussion taking place in the parliamentary lobby where 2 FDC frontbenchers were assuring the Leader of Government Business and NRM Secretary General that all opposition Parties will be taking part in a joint ‘opposition’ primary. The short of it is that there were several discussion going on in and amongst Parties and I opted to carry out discussion with DP and even the Independent ‘caucus’ since at this point both FDC and NRM were arguing against Independents being in EALA. I can honestly state that the delay in endorsing the 6 or 7 NRM & 2 FDC to EALA was brought about really by UPC and DP MPs on the floor of Parliament to argue for their representation. For those in doubt please examine the excerpt of the Hansard of 15 March 2012:

MR ODOI-OYWELOWO: Mr Chairman, Appendix B: “Rules of Procedure for the election of Members of the East African Legislative Assembly.”

(i) Insert the following –

THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON: Honourable Chairman, is it your statement that you have consulted with everybody in this House and that is the agreed position; so that I know what to do immediately.


THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Now we will listen carefully to what he is going to read.

MR ODOI-OYWELOWO: We have consulted both the Opposition and the Government and we have agreed to the position I am going to read:

The consultation the Committee Chairman held with the Government and the Opposition brought about the following redraft:

We propose to insert a new rule to read as follows:
“(1) The ruling party shall nominate at least six candidates from among its Members.

(2) The Opposition shall nominate at least two candidates from among…” Mr Chairman, the phrase “at least” is dropped.

“(1) The ruling party shall nominate six candidates from among its Members.

(2) The Opposition shall nominate two candidates from among its Members.

(3) A person independent of a political party or organisation shall be elected as a Member of the East African Legislative Assembly.

(4) All nominations shall as much as it is feasible reflect and take into consideration the youth, gender and Persons With Disability.”

The ensuing debate brought out clearly that their was no unanimity between the opposition considering the both UPC and DP were not consulted and the position ‘agreed’ with Government was reached by FDC purportedly on behalf of the whole opposition. The original draft had it that the Ruling Party will nominate at least 8 members from which 6 will be voted and the Opposition to nominate at least 5 members (representing the 5 opposition Parties) where 2 will be voted. Despite strong opposition a FDC frontbencher unashamedly went on the Hansard stating the following:

MR EKANYA: Whereas hon. Amongi is seeking clarification, I think that the formulation by hon. Fox Odoi talks about the Opposition and Government. The Opposition under the current arrangement have a caucus, which is an informal arrangement and not necessary to put in the rules. I think the Leader of the Opposition could call a caucus of all the parties in the Opposition and they have their internal nomination and present the two to the House.

The import of the above statement should not be lost considering the the Deputy Speaker had put it to Hon. Fox Odoi: “is it your statement that you have consulted with everybody in this House and that is the agreed position” and clearly some of the Opposition had not been consulted, and the “internal nomination” by the “caucus” would certainly have presented 2 FDC members where the only voting in the House would really be for the Independent Member to EALA. Despite this betrayal and deception, UPC and DP MPs handled themselves with decorum and avoided issuing disparaging statements which sought to undermine their erstwhile opposition colleagues. Soon afterwards FDC now swung from willingly accepting 2 FDC seats on behalf of the opposition to becoming champions of ALL Parties to be represented in EALA with the exception of Hon. Abdu Katuntu who throughout maintained that the Treaty required the various political parties to be represented. Personally I have a hard time believing that this remembrance by my FDC colleagues that others also existed in the Opposition was wholly principled on representation but rather to capture headlines and embarrass Government.

At the time of the opposition walk-out, the disputes were on rule 13 of Appendix B which stated:

Election of members of the Assembly.

The members to be elected to the Assembly shall include the following-
(a)    six members from the party in government whose composition shall reflect gender, the youth and persons with disability;
(b)    two members from the opposition parties whose composition shall reflect gender, youth and persons with disability; and
(c)    one member from candidates independent of any political party or organisation.

The other area of contention was on schedule 4 of Appendix B which provided the for in which the ‘segregated’ ballot paper would take in order to operationalise rule 13 of Appendix B above.

Throughout the debates I argued against propotionalism as the Hansard will attest but all along the cases which had been brought to the EACJ were being quoted that at times the lawyers in the House seemed to make matters more complicated than they were. That said, there were cases which kept cropping up. Among them were Prof. Anyang Nyong’o vs AG and Jacob Oulanyah vs AG. In the Anyang Nyong’o case,  (used by NRM) the formula in determining the slots to EALA was done by taking the number of seats held by a particular Party, dividing it by the total seats in the House and multiplying by 9. Under this formula FDC were at about 0.8 and rounding brought them to 1 seat entitlement. Independents came to 1.03 but raised the issue of how Independents can be determined outside the House and other issues. On this matter, I had to point out that whereas Uganda only has 6 Parties in Parliament, Kenya has 23 Parties and therefore it was not feasible to have all represented in the Assembly.

The Jacob Oulanyah case was being quoted mainly by the Independents because Jacob Oulanyah attempted to stand as an Independent candidate in 2006  and the court found that Appendix B “omitted to provide for ‘consideration of other shades of opinion in the House when electing Members to the East African Legislative Assembly representing Uganda.’ Furthermore the Judgement went on to state “……. this omission is contrary to Article 50(1) of the Treaty which provides that the elected members of the EALA representing a Partner State shall be elected by the National Assembly of the Partner State…….”

Without getting into the political rhetoric surrounding the Mbidde case, it is important that we dispassionately examine the key issues of the ‘momentous’ ruling of 10th May 2012  which ordered that:-

1.    The Parliament of the Republic of Uganda, the Attorney General of the Republic of Uganda, the EALA are restrained and prohibited from conducting and carrying out any elections of members to the EALA, assembling, convening, recognising, administering Oath of Office or otherwise howsoever presiding over or participating in the election of the Representatives of Uganda and recognising of any names of nominees as duly nominated and elected to the EALA until the Rules 11(1) and Appendix B r 3, 10 and 11 of the Rules of Procedure of the Parliament of Uganda, 2006 are amended by the Parliament of the Republic of Uganda to conform to the provisions of Article 50 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community.

It is important to note that in the Oulanyah Case the Constitutional Court on 30th May 2008 declared , inter alia that:

“2.    Rule 11(1) Appendix B rule 3, 10 and 11 of the Parliamentary Rules of Procedure of Parliament are inconsistent with Article 21(1), 2 of the Constitution.
3.    Rule 11(1) Appendix B rule 11(1) of the Parliamentary Rule of Procedure is inconsistent with Article 74(4)(5) of the Constitution and is null and void.
4.    Rule 11(1) Appendix B rule 3, 10 and 11 of the Rules of Procedure of Parliament of Uganda is inconsistent with Article 89(1) and 94(1) of the Constitution and is therefore null and void.
5.    The Parliament of Uganda as the Electoral College did not carry out any election of members of the East African Legislative Assembly as required by Article 50 of the Treaty and Article 89 of the Constitution….”

It should be clear to any seriously minded individual, let alone a law student that Mbidde had effectively secured an Injunction on the process under the 2006 Rules of Procedure. It is also important to note that the Attorney General had applied for a stay of execution of the Court Order (Oulanyah Case) which was granted on 23rd June 2008. The AG also appealed case on 12th May 2009 and the appeal has never been heard to date.

The basis of the Mbidde case was that the EALA elections were to be based on the 2006 Rules of Procedure which were: –

“….inconsistent with and contravene Articles 29(1)(e) of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, to the extent that they limit the freedom and right of the Democratic Party and its members including the second applicant (Mukasa Mbidde) in vying for elections to the East African Legislative Assembly.”

“…..inconsistent with and contravene Articles 21(1) and (2) of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, to the extent that they discriminate against the opposition political parties including the second applicant (Mukasa Mbidde) in vying for elections to the East African Legislative Assembly.”

“……inconsistent with and contravene Article 89(1) and 94(1) of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda to the extent that the said Rules of Parliament do not allow the Members of the Parliament of Uganda to elect the members of EALA.”

“…… under Rule 2(2) the interpretation section thereof do not define in its true sense of the word as they provide for approval and not election.”

“….. an infringement of Article 50 of the Treaty for Establishment of the East African Community.”

Order was also sought “to ensure that the Parliament of Uganda amends its laws in order to make them conform to Article 50 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community.”

From the above Mukasa Mbidde’s contention was with the 2006 Rules of Procedure of Parliament and that his specific concerns are as highlighted above. The question would therefore have to be whether the amended Rules of Procedure address the matters which Mukasa Mbidde had brought to the attention of the EACJ and sought its intervention? As I stated earlier, FDC were originally not averse to the 6 NRM, 2 FDC and 1 Independent to represent Uganda in EALA. When they later embraced party representation it resulted in the position which I reproduce below leading to the walkout:-


Rt. Hon. Speaker and Hon. Members, the Opposition had a Meeting today Tuesday 15th May 2012; in respect of the Rules governing the EALA elections and observed that:

(i)    Parliament consists of 6 Political Parties and Independents.

(ii)    From the above observation it is clear that it is feasible for each Political Party to be represented in EALA.

Therefore, our position as the Opposition is:-

(a)    that Political Parties represented in Parliament should each have a slot, i.e FDC, UPC, DP, JEEMA, CP and NRM. The Rationale is Party Platform and Art. 50 of the Treaty.

(b)    What is now in contention is the three (3) remaining slots, which we propose to be shared as follows:

(i)    One slot should go to Independent.

(ii)    the remaining two slots be shared by the Ruling Party and the Official Opposition.

The Parties carrying out elections as above should take into consideration gender and other special interest groups.

Nathan Nandala-Mafabi, MP

For those who may not be familiar with the Treaty Article 50(1) which provides that:-

“The National Assembly of each Partner State shall elect, not from among its members, nine members of the Assembly, who shall represent as much as is feasible, the various political parties in the National Assembly, shades of opinion, gender and other special interest groups in that Partner State, in accordance with such procedure as the National Assembly of each Partner State may determine.”

For the record the ‘offending’ Rule 11 (2006) states:

11. Election of Members of the East African Legislative Assembly
(1) Members of the East African Legislative Assembly representing Uganda shall be
elected in accordance with the rules set out in Appendix B, and such
representation shall reflect the proportional Party Membership based on the
numerical strength of the Parties in the House and take into consideration gender
and other shades of opinion.
(2) Members of the Assembly shall report to Parliament on the activities of the
Assembly in accordance with the rules set out in Appendix C.

The position as it now stands in the amended Rules of Procedure can be got from the Hansard, which states the following:

Rule 11
MR ODOI-OYWELOWO: Mr Chairman, the sub-title is: “Election of Members to the East African Legislative Assembly”. We propose that we delete rule 11 and insert the following:

“(1) The nine Members of the East African Legislative Assembly representing Uganda shall be elected by Parliament not from among Members of Parliament, representing, as much as it is feasible, the various political parties represented in the House, shades of opinion, gender and special interest groups in Uganda;

(2) The election of the Members to the East African Legislative Assembly shall be held in accordance with the rules set out in Appendix B to these rules;

(3) Members of the Assembly shall report to Parliament on the activities of the Assembly in accordance with Appendix C”.

From a layman’s point of view, I do not think the new Rule contravenes the Treaty in anyway or contradicts the wording or spirit of the Treaty. Furthermore the aspect in question, that is whether or not, where feasible, ALL Parties represented in Parliament should be elected to EALA has been transferred by Appendix B to “the political parties and other members of Parliament” dependent on the results of their “consultations and consensus” and where this fails, by a vote of Parliament. My own personal view was that it was possible to reach a consensus for 5 NRM, 1 FDC, 1 DP, 1 UPC and 1 Independent to represent Uganda in EALA or else a 4 NRM, 2 FDC, 1 DP, 1 UPC and 1 Independent. Either of these two formulae would address the matter politically though could not forestall the current return to the EACJ based on interpreting Article 50 of the Treaty. At the time of the opposition walk-out there was a lot of talk that the Mbidde Judgement in the EACJ could prevent the elections taking place until the position presented by Nandala Mafabi was achieved or something close to it but where ALL political Parties represented in Parliament would have EALA members. It was really after discussing with Norbert Mao following Mukasa Mbidde’s nomination that any thoughts of actions hinged on this case fell through since the Court had effectively addressed all that Mukasa Mbidde had brought to it. The strong argument from Norbert Mao was that since the Rules no longer directly infringed on the right to participate, the remaining hurdles lay in the process of elections and only through participation will the flaws become apparent. The only real argument against the Rules as they now stand could possibly the lack of specificity rather than any directly offensive Rule or clause.

There were certain aspects of Appendix B of the Rules of Procedure which remain unchanged and include the procedure of nomination and how a nomination is withdrawn.  On this point I need to state that Olara Otunnu’s letter was two days late and did not take into account the procedure of withdrawal. I personally feel that it would have been far better to summon a joint meeting of the Cabinet, the Parliamentary Committee and the UPC Electoral Commission before writing a total ineffectual letter and following it up with a even more ineffectual letter written by an Acting Secretary General. If advise could have been received this would not have happened.

Let me end with the a couple of quote from the Hansard without much debate taken which have been taking place on the floor of Parliament. At one point the LOP had to resort to reading from the Law  “…  maybe it will help us to understand. It says: “The Leader of “the Opposition means the Member of Parliament who is the leader in Parliament of the party in opposition to government and having the greatest numerical strength in Parliament.” I may not be taking your view but I have found myself in the position by law. ” In my layman understanding this actually means “… the leader in Parliament of [FDC]” and carries with it some perks because of “having the greatest numerical strength in Parliament”.

In answer, I stated the following:

MR JAMES AKENA: Thank you, Madam Speaker. The clarification I am seeking from you, the Leader of the Opposition, is this: Do you, in all honesty, feel you can speak on behalf of all of us who may have come here on a different political platform? We have our own political party and standards.

What I have seen in other parliaments – in the British Parliament – we have the government side, the Leader of the Opposition and other parties responding to issues because not in all instances is our position, as the Opposition, unanimous. Uganda Peoples Congress may have a different view on maybe education and health compared to FDC. We recognise the role of the Leader of the Opposition but we must also be recognised as a separate political entity in this House. We must be able to speak and have our own voice heard on issues that concern us. Thank you.

Hon.James Akena


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