October 2012
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Month October 2012

Who is rally playing the victim here, Besigye or Government?!

One of the myriads of presidential advisors, David Mafabi, recently penned a missive in which he stated his belief that the opposition leader Dr. Besigye is playing the victim and that he has played the role so long he has began to believe it. What was interesting about this argument is that he featured the security apparatus and government of the country as dunderheads who have no choice but to play the role that the Doctor has assigned them in his game of playing victim. Well, one could turn the argument on its head and say that the presidential advisor and his ilk (those in government) are the ones actually playing the victim. Let’s look at the facts:

This is a group of people that has ruled us for over half the time that we have been independent but still have to rig elections to perpetuate themselves in power (after bribing MPs to remove the safeguard of term limits that would have stopped this underhand self perpetuation – at last some of their party members have realized that the self perpetuation was not just a problem at country level but in their party as well and have began to squeal their regrets to an amused populace); they use state resources in their campaigns; intimidate the populace; brutalize journalists; close up media houses if they don’t like what’s coming from them; will not allow their citizens the right to demonstrate freely and air out their grievances; they steal from the national coffers with total impunity; will not avail their citizens national identity cards because this will make it harder to rig elections; have to have the opposition leader under house arrest during jubilee independence day celebrations marking freedom – man the irony!; the list is a bottomless pit!

With all these ills this group has loud praise singers including this esteemed advisor trying to spin to Ugandans and anyone else willing to give ear, that they are the victims of an evil opposition full of terrorists trying to ruin the country worse than the NRM is doing (that is why you keep hearing better the devil you know!)! What is interesting is that these praise singers have been singing rosy odes so long that they have even began to believe all their hyperbolic stanzas despite the obvious horrid plight of most of their citizenry before their eyes every day!

Unfortunately the real victim is the people of Uganda who in the 21st century are still ferreting for sticks to cook their food and cannot even have water (which attracted tax recently to show that this government considers piped water in homes a luxury!) in their homes while their leaders pretend they are victims of an opposition that has stopped them realizing a nonexistent grand vision! Do you remember the claim that the opposition that could not stop the term limits removal supposedly stopped them building a power dam! Maybe you should also blame them for the current debacle with the Karuma Power Dam bids so that we you can continue playing the perfect victims!

Paget Kintu

Mugisha Muntu’s body-guard chased from Airforce

The triple-chopper tragedy has taken its toll and the action reveals a lot: mainly that unless you build institutions on other grounds than profession and competence, catastrophe will follow, come what may.
The C-in-C has at last let go. Brigadier Moses Rwakitarate is no more and so is the highest ranking Chiga officer in the forces, Lt. Gen Jim Owoyesigyire. The reasons are as simple as cutting through butter. Look bellow:

Rwakitarate, a boy from Ruti [The Mzee Byanyima place] is the son of a pioneer engineer in telecoms, turned preacher, Mzee Rwakitarate, who worked in the communications area from 1948 to 1983 and is now a saved, revivalist preacher, in the evening of his life. It is reported that he, together with late prof. Wadada Nabudere [then reportedly a Postal-Clerk student at today’s MMU at Mbagathi, Langata, Kenya [MMU- Multimedia University, for Post Office Higher Training Institute] cause a strike because they did not want to put on uniform like the compliant Kenyans they found there.Rwakitarate Senior retire from service with distinction in 1984.

The history of the two dismissed generals will reveal that the air force has been a ‘sanctuary’ of incompetence, nepotism and a disaster waiting to happen:

A). The air force commanding officer was never an airman, in the first place. He was picked from the former ‘armies’ as an artillery officer. Now, ground artillery and air force choppers/guns are different things.he was promoted bypassing carrier airmen and officers for the sake of ‘ethnic balancing’.

B). Moses Rwakitarate was body-guard to Army commander Maj. Gen then, Mugisha Muntu. He had never been to any air force academy before his accelerated advancement and training. Making a former servant, a master in such a short time was bound to result into disaster. details reveal that his promotions were on other grounds than merit alone.

C). Owoyesigyire’s replacement may, in the long run not be a better choice bit he, at least, is ‘a one eyed man among the blind’ since he, although with a police background, was in the Police Air wing at Naguru. Training and re-training should have been/found fertile ground.

The Mt. Kenya debacle was not un-expected by those in the know. Nepotism and incompetence, bribery have been the ‘modus operandi’ in the UPDF air wing for long. Look at this: the C-o-Staff Rwakitarate, the son of a telecoms engineer had, until recently, his mum as ‘a maid’ at State House [judging by the State House payroll and her physical presence there], meaning the Rwakitarate family may be said to be well connected at State House and therefore to the First Lady [Note: These are not personal affairs since, once you enter the public ‘service’ and start depending on the tax-payer, you are a public figure. The grand-mum’s personal life therefore ceased to be private when she accepted to work in a public place, on a national budget]. Now, since the C-in-C has used the whip in the wake of the tragedy, (probably in view of the weight of the Mt. Kenya catastrophe), the protectors of the young Rwakitarate, who may include the first lady, may feel aggrieved instead of feeling guilty and this is one of the un-intended possible outcomes of the dismissals. A more direct consequence is that a lesson has been learnt and nepotism will no longer be the yard-stick by which promotions will be judged/offered/made. Or, may be, is this still an exercise in window-dressing, to hoodwink the outside, in view of the magnitude of the tragedy? “Me and You”, as Ugandans say.

Christopher Muwanga,

‘Post-Script: Happy Jubilee celebrations, for those not ‘under home arrest’ without court warrants or charges. The police have become the law here, deciding whom to allow to celebrate [batembeeyi, pro-ruling party goons, etc] but not freedom seeking citizens. The 50 years are therefore in vain but that is the theme of another post.

How could Land Commission, and Kampala Land Board miss?!

Buganda Kingdom's new building at Katwe to be opened on 12/10/2012

Buganda Kingdom’s new building at Katwe to be opened on 12/10/2012

There are a good number of laws in regard to and in particular to land use, human settlements, building structure placement, water, drainage, railway lines, road reserves etc, every permanent building structure by law must be connected to a sewer infrastructure. In other words KCCA will tell you were to place your sock pit – (sceptic tank).

Full application of these laws will make all and every single town in Uganda look like any America, European or a modern Asian city!

Now, in urban centres, it is KCCA that has to give a right to discharge of waste water. The water act for example does not allow discharge of waster water in fresh water streams, river or lake. The same applies to drainage or storm water.

In the electricity act for example, there must be 25 meters reserve that makes 50 meters diameter from High Voltage power lines.

The above applies to railway lines and road reserves. I remember it is a similar law that applies to sewer pipes. People have built in these reserves.

The water act is also supported with NEMA. That you can’t build less than 50 meters from a stream and 100 meters from a major river or lake.

The question therefore is how come that all the above laws could be violated by KCC management and technical team, Physical planning board, the Land Commission, and Kampala Land Board?

In order for the above laws to be render redundant at least the physical planning board must sit and decide on the fate of the said land development i.e. change use.

Did the physical planning board sit in regard to placement of garden city, nakumatt, demolition of shimon etc?!!!

Lawlessness rein and so is the misery in our towns and cities. Otherwise plan the towns and cities and make sure you follow the law – Uganda will be up there -light years away in the sky.

Former Kampala Mayor Ssebaana Kizito has categorically and repeatedly said, Kampala City Land was sold legally. I do also agree with him.

However, he should make clear this position lest people misunderstand him.

I’m also hopeful this too, is a position that could be supported by his predecessor Christopher Iga, Hajji Ntege Nasser Ssebagala and their respective Town clerks.

What Former Mayor Ssebaana Kizito is saying might mean:

1.That land adjacent to Uganda railway lines i.e. land at Lugogo rugby grounds and other types of land in a with similar infrastructure was sold with the consent of the defunct Kampala City council (KCC), Uganda railways the legal owner, the Uganda land Commission and indeed with the consent of the department for Physical Planning Board in the Ministry of lands, that consented to change of use!

2.That land under High Voltage Power lines through Mulago – Bukoto axis was sold with the consent of Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Limited, Umeme, Uganda Transmission Company Limited, National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), and Uganda Land Commission under Mr. Mayanja Nkangi.

3.That Land which is adjacent to sewer lines and water pipers i.e. the one that pass through the Old Taxi Park, the Golf Course and Bunga where sold with the consent of National Water and Sewerage Corporation, NEMA and of course the department of Physical Planning Board in the ministry of lands, which consent to change of use and also the Land Commission under Mayanja Nkagi to whom land must revert and then reallocated.

4.That land along Lugogo bypass with multiple play grounds that have since been sold to developers, KCC mayors and their town clerks and council consented, that such land be sold with the consent of the Ministry of Education (should have had interest), that of Gender and Youth (should have had interest as Nakawa – Naguru residence and youth), National Council for Sports legal owners and through such consent, NEMA, National Road Authority, together with the department of Physical Planning Board in the Ministry of Lands, also consented to change of use and also Land Commission under Mayanja Nkagi to whom land must revert and then reallocated also consented!

5. That roads for example a road in Bugolobi which was built over, road islands and reserves i.e. those which had UMEME, former Uganda Telecommunication (Uganda Telecom Limited) and NWSC facilities, that all responsible organs of the state and agencies agreed to change of use, as provided for by the law and that indeed Uganda Land commission agreed to such change with the help of the department of Physical Planning Board in the Ministry of Lands.

6. That land adjacent to river streams contrary to NEMA rules and regulation was sold off with the consent of NEMA, NWSC and that indeed Uganda Land commission agreed to such change with the help of department of Physical Planning Board in the ministry of lands.

A similar scenario as in the above cases will apply, I will presume to placement or relocation of;

i. Shimon PTC and Primary School
ii. Allocation of Kololo high school land
iii. Garden City placement on Golf course
iv. Placement of Nakumatt a super market in a wetland and on a busy road side
v. Relocation of UBC land for Hilton hotel
vi. Displacement of part Nakivubo primary school
vii. Allocation of Nakivubo stadium to vendors and car parks

Daniel Bwanika
Nakyesawa Luweero.

Should Uganda Be Celebrating Her Dependency?

By Daudi Ndi Mukoowu

Independence – freedom from the control, influence, support, aid, or the like, of others.

Dependence – the state of relying on or needing someone or something for aid, support, or the like.

Normally success (independence) is celebrated and dismal failure (Dependence) is marked or noted, not with pomp and circumstance but with a sober mind to forge away from a parasitic existence. This reminds me of a friend of mine who comes from a wealthy family. His parents urged him to take his studies seriously. He was enrolled at a good university. But he never took his education seriously because he knew he had money and his parents were wealthy. After graduation, his parents built him a mansion, given to him fully furnished, bought him a sleek automobile, paid for his wedding and honeymoon. His Dad used his wide contacts to secure him a decent job with a reputable company in town.

He was never good at what he does at work, but the company tolerated him because his Dad was one of their biggest account. He spent most of his time “enjoying” himself, drinking quiet heavily, getting home very late every day. His relationship with his wife soured, he started to physically and psychologically abuse his wife and kids. Eventually he was fired from his job as his employer had had enough of his sloppy work, coming in late every morning but always the first to leave the office. He had run afoul with the law for DUI and domestic violence.

By now he was increasingly dependent on his parents for day to day living, for the basic maintenance on his house, repairs on his car and sometimes buying food for his household! They were even paying tuition for his kids who were at university. Sometimes he even borrowed from me money for cigarettes and drinks or a quart of milk to take home. Most of his friends now avoid him, he has become a beggar in fact a parasite on his friends. The guy had a very promising future, good family, good job, a nice home etc. All he had to do was to build on the foundation he was provided, work hard, make investment and provide for his family.

This year he turned 50, he begged and borrowed to have enough money to throw a grand party for his birthday. He still lives in the house he received from his parents when he graduated from college. The property is no longer suitable for human habitation, most window are broken, doors missing, plumbing does not work, UMEME disconnected him for non payment, etc. The once beautiful gardens surrounding the home are now a habitat for all manner of poisonous reptiles. His once lovely wife is a shell of her former self, she has seen better days!

I asked my friend why was he spending a fortune to “celebrate” his 50th birthday, when he could better utilise that money by paying UMEME bills, a coat of paint on the house, replace the doors and windows, etc. All he could say was “everyone celebrates their 50th because the average life expectancy is 48”! He was more interested in impressing his friends, with money he borrowed from them – I could not understand his reasoning.

This reminded me of the current situation in Uganda. When we gained political independence from the British, we had a firm foundation; better than some countries. In fact our situation was much better than many of our contemporaries that gained independence around that period. We had world class education and health system; envious public utilities infrastructure, a good road and rail network; and a dedicated, professional and committed public servants.

Fifty years later, we are a net beggar nation, in fact a failed state. We have to beg and borrow from our “massa’s” for much of what is in our budget. Our health and education systems have been run into the ground, our public utilities infrastructure are a hazard to public safety, we have no roads, rails or air transport to speak of; and our public service is a den of thieves. The little funds that we have are being spent on impressing the people we borrow from. What are our priorities as a nation, should we be celebrating our failures? There could be individuals who have been very successful in their personal lives over the years; and they deserve to celebrate their individual successes. But when it comes to “us” as a nation, is there anything we are proud of over the last 50 years? In my opinion we have nothing to be proud of, nothing worthy of such grand celebration. We just need to note/mark this milestone in our national journey; reflect and learn from our wayward ways and plan for the future. We should be striving to impress ourselves and not our neighbors or benefactors because they do not give a damn!

If we maintain the status quo, we are doomed as a people and as a nation. The prospects will not allow us to continue as a single nation much longer. Perhaps the “Massa” will come to repossess us and save us from our selfish and destructive ways. The NRM experiment has been a miserable failure. For 27 years society has been regressing, apart from a few households close to the centre of power. If we continue to simply talk about our misery nothing will be done.

A state within a state and its struggle to regain its federal status

Buganda kingdom at 600 years
Towards the end of 1890s, Kabaka muteesa 1 invited missionaries through a letter, to bring what they called “Civilization” reading and writing. He did not request gold, guns and or money as it’s the case with many African current leaders. His dream came true and Anglican missionaries followed by catholic missionaries started floating into what is referred to as the pearl of Africa. The people of his kingdom, scholars and many Europeans say, he brought light to his kingdom which I absolutely agree with. Where were the other kingdoms?

After his reign, Kabaka mwanga resisted the rule of missionaries which resulted to the burning of several martyrs at Namugongo.A point to note, when explorers, missionaries and colonialist came to Buganda, they were surprised to see what they didn’t expect for example, good road networks which were leading to the headquarter where the king sat.(Mmengo),the kingdom had a parliament(Lukiiko),it had a prime minister(Katikkiro),the people had a fast communication network(Ggwanga mujje) ,the people were typical agriculturalists growing bananas(matooke) as its typical food crop ,the list is endless.

Today best schools in Uganda are a result of missionaries invited by Kabaka muteesa 1.Schools include Makerere College which later turned into Makerere University, King’s college Buddo,St marys college Kisubi,Gayaza high school extra. Many leaders in Africa have studied in these Buganda schools like Nyerere of Tanzania extra. Besides that, it was the katikkiro (prime minister of Buganda Kawalya kaggwa who introduced electricity in Buganda his statue can be seen at former UEB headquarters outside, along Kampala road.

In 1942, a young cheerful prince sir Edward Fredrick Muteesa II received the 500 year old throne of his ancestors as a birthday present. Crowned the 37th Kabaka of Buganda. Freddie to his many friends is one of Africa’s aristocratic, cheerful, intelligent, with wide interests and restless spirit .His small body can be ounce alert and dignified. He was destined to be king from his birth, and everything was done to fit him for his great task. (Drum news paper 1955) .At the age of 5 he was sent to Buddo king’s college and then Makerere College the great University of E.A and then Cambridge University England. He used to own a fleet of cars including Rolls Royce.

Despite the lack of a nationalist movement, the main stumbling block to independence of Uganda was the status of Buganda within in a united Uganda.(Buganda did not want to join the union). During the colonial period, Buganda had developed as a state within in a state, and when, in 1953 governor Cohen began preparing Uganda for independence as a united country, the entire process was thrown into crisis. The Kabaka of Buganda sir Edward muteesa II rejected any attempt to integrate Buganda into Uganda and demanded independence of his kingdom.(such a brilliant idea) Drum oct,1957. I prophecy today 6th of October 2012 that any time , the kingdom of Buganda will gain its full independence no matter when, how, and who will lead the struggle but, Buganda is a state within a state and it has all what it takes to posses a federal status. roads,lakes,fertile soils, forests ,good schools, big and good hospitals, it has a parliament, a prime minister, local administrative structures eg gombolola,masaza,miluka,kyalo,etc.

Governor Cohen had him deported and for the two years that the kabaka was in exile in Britain, very little constitutional progress or no progress was made. (This clearly shows each and every person who undermines Buganda to know that Uganda without Buganda cannot do so much economic and political wise. This is because economics is embedded in politics and vice vercer you can never separate the two. (Prof. Philip K.Kottack. Exploration of human diversity)

In 1955 the kabaka was allowed to return to Uganda in terms of a compromise agreement .However, the Buganda government continued to obstruct political changes which treated Buganda as an integral part of Uganda, much to the annoyance of non baganda Ugandans.

In 1961 at the London constitutional conference, the British put forward, and had accepted a constitution which granted Buganda federal status within Uganda, while the three western kingdoms ie Tooro, Bunyoro and Ankole were to have semi-federal status (Drum Oct 1957)

Now, I pity president Museveni who says Buganda did not get its independence. Let his advisers especially on Buganda issues take for him these facts.

Buganda character wise are described as receptive people who do not have a lot of resistance and this has paid a price for their kingdom that’s why today all people from western, northern and eastern are flowing to Buganda to access social amenities which are the fruits of our ancestors.

Lubega.N.C Dar es salaam
Economic AnthropologyAnalyst.

Isn’t 50 The Age Of Maturity?

The recent recognition by all political parties in the ninth Parliament of the contributions of Ugandan leaders in the struggle for independence is in my view a major milestone in the history of Uganda.

The debate over the contributions of individual leaders is one that will definitely continue, however this recognition signals a country whose political class are embracing the future rather than remain stuck in the dark politics of our past.

It is the most unifying event that has come out of this 9th Parliament.

After reading our history prior and since independence, it is clear that the decades of conflict Uganda has seen in its 50 years since independence have been partly caused by our political immaturity upon attaining independence.

It would be fair to note that at the time, we could only start from where colonial rule had allowed us to reach in terms of practical experience in leading and running a modern government.

And though we should accept that Britain had put in place a fairly complete system for a civil administration of a territory, what we were not told was that this modern form of government that we were inheriting would supersede whatever other form of rule we had known prior to colonialism.

A simple example is that in a democracy, culture is recognized mainly as heritage while tribalism is actually incompatible with the principles of equality and fairness enshrined in democratic governance.

Yet here we were, left to govern ourselves in a new nation with new boundaries encompassing so many different cultures, and at a time when we had not fully acquired the experience and perspective necessary for running a modern government.

Though at the time of independence a few individuals were already enlightened to democratic governance through their service, education and observations abroad, the Ugandan citizens understanding of the rule of law and democracy at the time of independence was surely incomparable to the level of political and economic awareness today.

I look at the harsh political experience Uganda has had since independence as one of national learning that the nation is still struggling to come to grasps with.

Where leaders would have to learn how to hold the ropes of leadership selflessly and for the benefit of all and where the common citizen nationwide would reach an acceptable level of understanding of how this system called democracy best works.

Both the internal and external pressures have been huge since independence and the destiny of this country has had to contend with considerable individual, tribal, national and international interests.

This is still true as we speak though at a lesser degree.However, today the basic ingredient for political stability is fairly secured and in place and that is the right to self determination.

The population has also become increasingly aware of their democratic and human rights and public opinion is increasingly providing direction to public policy and rightly so.

But from the many historical records available and from what I have heard and read from those who were there since independence, even if we wanted democracy back then, that would not have been possible.

To put it simply, it was like Mama United Kingdom had suddenly let us have our national cake without any more controls of how to share it.

A few people realized overnight that everything was up for grabs and that we were our own referees.That looks like a recipe for anarchy and conflict, particularly when tribalism is still playing a huge role in all social economic and political activities.

Leading democracies have gone through far worse situations than Uganda before their societies reached their present level of political maturity.The anarchy that arose from the French revolution saw retribution and poverty increase before democracy and economic stability was finally established.

In their case, France had no example to learn from as this was the first democratization of any country in history, and it took them almost 100 years before social, economic and political stability was restored.

Today their leaders peacefully access leadership and then relinquish it with congratulations to their opponents.Nelson Mandela persevered after suffering seemingly insurmountable injustice.
Notable is the fact that he achieved leadership while mostly sitting in a prison and unarmed.But he then cemented his name even higher in history when he gave the country the opportunity to continue to choose its direction to prosperity.

As we look ahead with the new generation of Ugandans who have chosen to serve this country, are we sure that they have learned how to guarantee every citizen’s right to have opposing views without anyone having to suffer retribution because of those political views.That intolerance is to me what has been the barrier to our political maturity. And it is still visible in the actual hatred, outright anger, venomous envy and personal grudges some of our leaders have with others today.

After all, wouldn’t we want to see leaders from all parties engage in heated policy and intellectual discussions, and at on the many topics where we are all in agreement?
That, to me, would be the simplest but probably the best contributing factor to political stability at 50 plus.

Hussein Juruga Lumumba Amin

Kampala, Uganda


SUMMARY: The debate on the shifting of the capital city is healthy and not new. After all, Kampala was not always our capital. The British had two reasons not to have it as one: it was hard to change the road system, for example, from the then existing ‘star topology’ to the desired British ‘Garden City’ tradition. Two, it was not convenient to have two sovereigns in one place. The British and Buganda monarch, together, at least according to one of the administrators then. Decentralisation of ‘a capital functions’, e.g. Parliament from civil service, Ministries, is healthy, especially considering the current traffic chaos, exacerbated by the ‘boda-boda’ menace. Others have done it and so can we. Nice reading.

1/5. The issue of a new capital is not new, even if we leave out Obote’s dream of moving to Mbale [after the proposal by a non-member of the Lukiiko , sitting in the gallery] that he should remove himself from Buganda land, since he had broken a mutual agreement….an issue the then PM of Mmengo maintains today, was never debated and passed by the Lukiiko] and the idea of some Amin men to shift to the better centrally placed Nakasongola.

2/5. The historical truth, un-adulterated b our own history of failing to manage our independence, bears out the fact that a shift to a better planned capital is not madness. Even the current Lord mayor of Kampala has once joked that may be the ever expanding parliament should move to Lweera [the empty expanse on K’la -Masaka highway, along L. Victoria].

How did Entebbe become capital?

3/5. In the 1890’s, the colonial administrator noted that Kampala [like Lagos in Nigeria was a pre-existing native city, planned and built according to the needs of the then Kingdom of Buganda. For example, while back in England, the ‘GARDEN CITY’ tradition and practice was very popular, where by streets were parallel to each other, with lend in-between cut into squares], Ganda road-construction was a ‘start-topology’, with the King’s palace as the hub. The Ganda practice was ‘simple-stupid’ but wonderful, as Stanly later came to admit: nothing like this was known even in Europe. How simple was this> In Buganda kingdom, ‘all SAZA [provincial headquarters] had to have a road, best if straight] reaching up to the King’s palace’-as simple as that. The construction was by communal contribution of manpower but maintenance was voluntary whereby each community/land owner or chief maintained that portion of the road passing through his area. Thus was born and sustained the star-road system that the Europeans found a spectacle worth beholding.

4/5. Since this system could not fit in the ‘square-planning’ of the garden city tradition, the local administrator had one option: virgin territory and Entebbe , because there was no other ‘boss there’ and because of proximity to the lake, was an easy candidate. What he did was simple: draw squares in the chosen space, put the governor at the highest point, a military garrison at the extreme end and the Nubian camp followers next. Hence, Entebbe became the first town in Uganda to be well planned and that is why the Post Office has found it easier today to introduce ‘home mail delivery’ [because of existing, predictable plot numbers, etc] here first, not in bigger Kampala.

5/5. CONCLUSION: The shift to a new capital or even the decentralisation of central government functions, to better places that can be better planned, is not worth debating any more. Even the Hon. Min. of Trade and Commerce [Jennifer Musisis’s nemesis] just suggested that, after the ‘caravan site’ [Centenary park] scuffle, giving Abuja, Dodoma, Lilongwe , etc as example. The trouble is still our bad politics: We are not in the sixties where, when the government plans for and budgets 22 hospitals, these will be in place on schedule and as designed/equipped. Today’s projects never achieve their design objectives, that is, when they start at all. The purchase of 30 million ID’s delivers only a few copies for the president and his cabinet. 170,000 bicycles [for the still illegal Local council chairs] disappear in thin air, so long as the concerned civil servants and middle men plead they funded the ‘big’ man’s re-election, etc.

As we prepare to mark the 50 years of failing to rule ourselves [like per UNC/ Musaazi’s slogan in the 50’s: ‘Abazungu baddeyo ewaabwe. Twefuge bubi naye nga twefuga’ meaning: “let the colonialist go back. We better be free, even if we may mis-rule ourselves” [how true his prediction became], …a few things can be noted:
1. the green of the ceremonial grounds had been destroyed, replaced by concrete.
2. The green parks [near Lugogo Shell, to the east and to the south of the airstrip] have been developed into concrete jungles. No wonder, buses from karamoja, Acolil, Kisoro, etc have to borrow parking space at a School [City High, whose land is already parcelled out], a distance a way.
3. the place is fenced, making it risky, in case of chaos.
4. Like musazi was imprisoned in moyo and binaisa in karamoja, the freedom fighters of 2de like Hon. Nsereko, Dr. besigye, Hon. mpuga, mayor Lukwaago, etc are imprisoned in their homes by the PGB, without court order. the police are the accuser, the judge and the executioner.

Good side:

the good side of the self-congratulatory exercise is:
1. There will be free food at Kololo, come 9th october.
2. All lawns and road-reserves around Kololo have been mowed free. Indeed, to those who have, more will be added. CONGRATULATIONS..

Christopher Muwanga,


In political terms, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney come from two different ideological worlds. However, they have been pictured hugging each other, smiling and openly criticizing each others’ policies, and this has not led to any stone throwing on the streets of New York. Question; are Americans not born of a woman like us Ugandans? If they are, just why do we think we must take to the streets and engage in running battles in order to show our discontent with each other?

In recent times, Ugandans have been very unhappy with the biting high cost of basic products including fuel. Others just can’t wait for the day when President Museveni ceases to be President of Uganda. Sadly, the tactics used to address these two problems for example, are grossly off target; you take to the streets, well knowing that prices are determined elsewhere; and you also decide to spend so much money on workshops to discuss how Museveni should go, yet you very well know how he came to be. In the end, so much time and resources are wasted on wrong strategies, innocent people get injured and others die in aimless scuffles.

Just the other day when FDC leader Dr. Kiiza Besigye and Elias Lukwago took to the streets under their walk to freedom slogan, they obviously knew that freedom would not be attained that way. In any case, they did not have the numbers to forcibly achieve their motive like it was elsewhere in the Middle East. They were in other words seen to be disrespecting lawful orders not to cause disorder in the city. Lord Mayor Elias Lukwago was captured on camera saying to a Police Officer that, “I have kept my cool for long…”. By implication, Lukwago was insinuating that at the slightest further provocation, he could have assaulted an officer on duty! Of course as it were, the opposition leaders were quickly rounded up and arraigned as their supporters looked on.

Now I wonder; what kind of example are our leaders setting for the young generation? That when you have a disagreement on policy, you should induce a fight! Soon after he was released, Lukwago boarded the plane to Sweden for his scheduled engagements, leaving behind his hapless constituents on needless alert after some lost their businesses due to the running battles with the police.

A few days ago, I watched a ceremony in which the Presidents of South Sudan and Sudan were attempting to end the animosity between the two countries. In his speech after the function, H.E Salva Kiir mentioned of how he had to cancel his trip to the United Nations meeting in order to ensure that he signs an agreement with his counterpart. Such an agreement was dear to both sides as it is bound to save the two countries from damnation. Similarly, I would have been happy to see the Lord Mayor hang around to empathize with his people still nursing the effect of tear gas.

My humble suggestion is that leaders should desist from engaging in cheap politics because it does this country no good. What we need are alternative ideas for transforming our country-and once the populace is convinced about these ideas, they will certainly rally behind them and cause the desired change in whichever way. Otherwise, these pockets of induced running battles with the police will only serve to blackmail Uganda as a chaotic country.

Tumusiime Deo

Hon. Nambooze Speaks to Ugandans in Sweden- Uganda@ 50 years of Independence



In 1987 when president Museveni was addressing elders and leaders from Acholi and Lango he had this to say; “I feel so silly that I have to address you in a foreign language as if I am a colonial Governor. This is the Price of the bad leadership we have had in the country for the last 24 years of independence. Because of the bankruptcy of our leaders we failed to coin a National language out of the Local languages we have that is why I have to address you using English”.

Today as I stand here to address you I must borrow the words of President Museveni but this time to add that I feel so hurt that @50 years of independence I after travelling thousands of miles am here greeting my own sisters and brothers in a foreign land using a foreign language not out of choice but because as Ugandans we have no local language that unites us. I know it would have been so sweet and energizing to celebrate Uganda’s Golden jubilee with words and commentaries which a Ugandan in the true sense of the word. I wish also to inform you that shortly before I left home the Ministry of Education had unveiled a plan to abolish the teaching of Luganda in Ugandan Schools. As they explained Luganda is to be substituted with Swahili understandably to equip Ugandans with a better language in order to compete favorably in the East African region. I stand to be educated by you living here if Sweden had to abolish the teaching of Swedish in order to fit into the European Union.

In Uganda the official language is English and the second official language is Swahili. Brethren are we really living the dream of the founding fathers of our Nation? Do we want to say that it was the wish of our fathers to have a country with no clear identity?


I believe a number of technocrats have already done justice to the circumstances surrounding the 50 years of Independence that Uganda is due to celebrate. I believe you all concur with me that I don’t measure up to the competence required to speak after or discuss their presentations especially as their careers in Post Independent Uganda are truly commendable. They have to their names immeasurable experience as academicians, lawyers, legislators, cabinet ministers and stakeholders with firsthand accounts of the events surrounding Uganda’s Independence. However, I have an opportunity to invite you to join me explore my opinion of what I think has been our biggest mistake in the independent Uganda, a mistake which has denied us the fruits of independence a nation and also to view Uganda’s “Independence” from the eyes of the ordinary Ugandan.

Uganda as a nation is made up of a diversity of people, each so unique in ethnicity, ideology, culture, religion…..name yet wrapped in one as Ugandans. Uganda’s Independence Constitution was founded on the idea that all these ethnic entities could be merged into one body unity that was accordingly christened Uganda. The departure from appreciating this diversity has spelt disaster as has been proved over the last 50 years.

Come to think of this, Uganda was supposed to be born at independence of a relationship between the British Colonialists and Uganda. If at all it was a full term pregnancy then the baby would have been a full ‘federo’ status for those Ugandan societies that desired it, semi federal for those that didn’t feel they needed it at the time but would grow to be mature federal states themselves or in mergers with others later. One then wonders how Uganda became a Republic and the question is whether this was growth or destruction. It is widely after all that constitutions are not abrogated but just amended to fit the constitutional needs of the day. The perpetrators of this departed from the spirit and letter of the constitution. This was a breached contract which necessitated a new contract that we all in an attempt repair the past attested to through our delegates in the Constituent Assembly that culminated into the promulgation of the 1995 Constitution.

However, and unfortunately so, this contractual process was also flawed and highly defective as it sought to consolidate a counterfeit presence – the NRM- and entrench her in power in Uganda. It has been said that that the Late Wapakhabulo Francis chaired the Constituent Assembly during the day while President Museveni chaired his by night to influence the proceedings of the next day. The result has been a new Constitution under whose tenure evils like corruption prevail with impunity.

The end result of all this has been in Ugandans not being true to themselves, pretence. In this sense of pretence many of us have failed to speak out against evils that would bedevil this national for life. The Baganda for example looked on in the Constituent Assembly and the issue of federo was only brought up by Hon. Cecilia Ogwal from Lango and seconded by Eresu from Teso. The belief by the Honourable Buganda delegates was that to appear nationalistic they should not spear head to fight for what Buganda cherished !! In his bitterness against UPC, Besweri Mulondo also compromised by Museveni endorsed the death of the federo issue. Where were the Baganda delegates then? They had hidden themselves in pretence and a golden opportunity not only for Buganda but for the whole country was lost!!

A similar event was when I was illegally arrested and tortured by the government. The Buganda caucus sat to consider my after and that of the Owek. Charles Peter Mayiga. Owek Medard Lubega Segona. They resolved that it would not be Hon. Hussein Kyanjo but Hon. Kaddunabbi Lubega to present the matter before Parliament because the former would be viewed as Opposition. Even when Hon. Kaddunabbi Lubega made it to the floor of Parliament, he didn’t have the motion with him claiming he had forgotten it somewhere and indeed there has never been a Parliamentary resolution on the matter. Such are the seeds of pretence.

Political pluralism has been reduced to political parties which are tribal or ethnic in nature. Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) is viewed as Lango, Democratic Party (DP) Buganda, Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) in a way may become a party for Eastern Uganda and may be so soon National Resistance Movement Organization (NRMO) will officially be Western. Mind you this is not a weakness of the party but one a reality the difference in aspiration by our people.
I have been labeled tribalistic for this stance but this comes through like that because I am not a hypocrite myself. As you can see I am wearing a stripped Multi- colored gomesi so can’t avoid talking about colors and their diversity. In addition I know that this Gomesi cannot be bleached for you never ever apply a bleaching agent to a coat of many colors because coats of many colors are not to be bleached. This is inherent and at the appropriate moment it will always surface. Why suppress identity with a misplaced wish for unity. In my view recorginising our diversity cannot jeopardize the unity of the Country. Ugandans must own up and answer the question asked of our generation; how do we live in peace and harmony in a country that have Kingdoms and chiefdoms? The Presently leaders seems to be occupied with answering a non- marks fetching self- set question of How to do away with what we are and live in a country without a history.

It has been said that Ankole doesn’t subscribe to traditional leadership but this was until the Omugabe Barigye approved away. His death engendered a debate from across the country on the undesirable sate of this Kingdom which many said was in need of being recognized. In fact he was given an official burial by the state; why give a man you denounced in life a state burial?

The Batoro have paid allegiance to King Oyo as thier legitimate King eeven when he ascended the throne as an infant. While drumming up support for Hon. Winnie Kiiza in the recent Kasese by-election, I realized that the Rwenzururu anthem was sung at all gatherings and rallies with a lot of passion than the national anthem of Uganda. All people of Uganda have a diversity of things dear to them and which form their identity which if not recognized, it would be evidence of bad governance in Uganda. It is after this that campaigns against poverty and other evils will be successful.
The Independence Constitution of 1962 would in the actual sense have marked the birth of the Independent nation of Uganda because it was made with a substantial spirit of responsiveness to the diversity in Uganda, then perhaps it would strengthened with relevant amendments to put all regions at the same level. My view is premised on the fact that every citizen is primarily defined in terms of their ethnicity; first then as Ugandan. One is a Musoga, Acholi, Mutooro, Langi, Vonoma, Munyoro or Muganda first then Ugandan. The Constitution was however abrogated a few years later by elements claiming to be Republican and Nationalistic. This meant from the start that the “Contractual” value in the Constitution had been breached and all transactions that would follow therein would have devastating effects on the Political and Constitutional Health of Uganda.

In view of the above wouldn’t be prudent for us to reflect on the fact that the Uganda celebrating as having been born 50 years ago may in the reality be a non existing entity or that if Uganda was born in 1962, then parents absconded on their role and or defiled own child and that it is quite absurd for such parents to celebrate this child’s birth day in pomp?


Viewing Democracy and Good Governance in the eyes of an ordinary Ugandan I wish to strongly agree with C. Kaheru of CCEDU that it is time for us to start measuring democracy and good Governance through simple values like;happiness, satisfaction,fulfillment,harmony,mutual respect,love,hope,peace rather than complex philosophical terms such as Democracy, elections, multiparty system, rule of the law , transparency and accountability among others. These composite descriptions as he argued have lately become subjectively mutilated and seem to remain farfetched for the common citizen to associate with.(Daily Monitor 18 November 2011).

Any attempt to analyze Uganda now will dwell prominently on the NRM because they have been at the helm of power for more than half of the time Uganda has been Independent. Besides, we may pin it on the other past governments and as usual castigate them for many evils like civil war, dictatorship, one party rule and the violation of human rights. I am of the view that we spare them for now since we decided to punish them and we did this by rallying behind the NRA/NRM to oust them. In so doing we were entering a contract with the NRM which has since been breached.

We have seen a past of Europeans enacting laws to keep Africans from going beyond Clock Tower in Kampala and this partially formed the impetus for the quest for self rule among Ugandans. However, 50 years later, poor Ugandans are being thrown out of Kampala in “cleaning” exercises like they were garbage, purportedly to decongest the city. Even when Government should be organizing them and regulating their activities the banishment of the poor is not an issue to consider in policy reviews of the nation. No alternatives are offered for such Ugandans who seek to make an honest living.

It is true that an ordinary Ugandan will want to view independence, democracy and good governance in an ordinary manner. How does it feel for them to “kwefuga” especially if they cannot be in full control of the forces that govern their livelihood? All they are faced with are national budgets that are unintelligible to them and elections that don’t meet the basics of their creed. Free and Fair!!! Independence unfortunately becomes meaningless to them.

It is therefore not surprising that many Ugandans would rather identify with their ethnicity than their being Ugandan. They know they are members of their ethnic group naturally and collectively Ugandans with other ethnic groups artificially. They have made political decisions along such lines, for example in the seventies there was the notion of “twagala Lule oba tufa tufe”. We have witnessed celebrations such as when Tito Okello came to power. It is for that same reason that many people would rather be ruled by people of the same family line instead of elected leaders. In the same way we have seen Ugandans use their vote as condolence for a dead relative. The case of Usuk and the election of Hon Proscovia Oramait Alengot (Usuk County MP) is evidence of this. Likewise the people of Kyaddondo voted for Hon. Ssebunya Kasule after the death of his late father Dr. Kibirige Sebunya just like those of Busiro South voted for Hon. Joseph Balikuddembe after the death of Hon Patrick Musisi. In the same courage, the people of Rubaga South voted for Hon. Nampijja when her father Hon. John Ken Lukyamuzi was dropped from Parliament for not “adhering to the leadership code”. Am not saying that the members elected to replace their fathers don’t measure up to the job but what I wish to empathies is that the republican notion that “no person should ascend to office because of birth” does hold a lot of water for an ordinary Ugandan.

It is in fact surprising that if asked to take options, many Ugandans would to go back to the days of colonialism. After all many of the facilities that the British Colonial masters established are still operational and to them nothing has been added to date. The question after independence then is whether Uganda has surely been born alive, still born, born and stunted, miscarried or it is still a case of post maturity pregnancy. It should be known that If it is a post maturity pregnancy, then a normal delivery is impossible and the only option is surgery and an emergency one that must be done immediately.


The pertinent question today is whether national independence means anything for most citizens of Uganda. Apart from the formalities that will form the 50th Independence anniversary celebrations, October 9th 2012 should be a day to reflect about how Independent they are and resolve if they should go on living the way they have living, in the thought that they are independent. In the true sense, when the Union Jack was lowered and replaced by the Black, Yellow and Red flag that we have today, it seemed like a new dawn of self government yet it was a moment for the re-colonisation of Uganda, this time under Ugandans themselves.

At the hands of fellow Ugandans, the word and therefore state of independence have lost meaning to the ordinary Ugandan. At this rate, one fears to think even a little about the fact that we have lived 50 years of self deception since October 9th 1962. We have instead lived through budgets that have meant nothing to the ordinary citizens and been subjected to all this talk about GDP and GNP. To the ordinary man, any performance of the economy should instead reflect in their homes. This is in the ability to put food on the table for their people, maintain healthy families and educate their children. If there was a way, it would seem more reasonable for the economy to be measured in terms of happiness among the people i.e to measure the Gross National Happiness (GNH)

It is unfortunate that after half a century, many of Uganda’s citizens would rather not associate with their Motherland. It is not rare that they have sold land to be able to find a visa and an air ticket to go and try to make a living abroad. The shame in this is that not many people from Europe would do the same with Uganda as the destination on their mind. The same spirit is visible in the way Ugandans will not stop at enjoying foreign soccer at best at worst they could as well support another team playing against Uganda.

As the world races to the pace of advancements in medicine and technology, women in Uganda still give birth to babies whose fathers are alive in the banana plantations. I have come across many of these cases and I have been faced with questions during the course of my legislative duties which are hard to answer.

For instance, when I realized that in my constituency, Mukono Municipality, just a few miles away from Kampala the Capital of Uganda, women and children were dying of very preventable conditions, I decided to give up part of my Parliamentary privilege for a car and bought an ambulance to ferry such cases to referral hospitals. The ambulance owned by the district was rotting away for lack of tyres. Little did I know that this would bring me to the reality of Independence in the Ugandan sense.

At Mukono Health Centre IV, we have one resident Doctor and an operation theatre. One Nnaku Susan was admitted at the facility with labour pains only for the doctor to discover that it was already complicated and required a bigger hospital since the facility in Mukono didn’t have the necessary “equipment” for the surgery to be conducted. They lacked sucheters (Ewuuzi) The ambulance crew after a bit of deliberation with Nnaku’s relatives decided on Kawolo Hospital, 20KM away as a nearer Hospital since the distance would have an implication on the amount of fuel burnt driving her there. Nakku on her side had on 20,000/= (US $8). Kawolo is a hospital that though not very big serves four districts. The story in Kawolo was similar in that they too didn’t have the necessary equipment and none of the resident doctors was on site at the time. The other option was to drive her back past Mukono then to Mulago in Kampala but along the way; her relatives opted for the Catholic Church owned Naggalama Hospital. I left Mukono before hearing from Nakku but I wonder where she will get the 680,000/= required at Naggalama if I were in Uganda she would by now by sending me requests to contribute as her Member of Parliament.

The other case in a few days was that of one Nalongo of Nasuuti Village who was found anyway to be expecting twins and the facility at Mukono could not handle a multiple birth with complications. She was driven to Naggalama where it was found she was badly in need of blood. She was unfortunate that none of the little blood available at the mission Hospital was of her group. One of the twins also died in the process just before Nalongo was put back on the ambulance to be driven to the National Referral Hospital in Mulago. At Mulago, we were told that the person with the keys to the store where the blood was kept wasn’t anywhere to be seen so Nalongo died.

Every day I face similar cases, some people are lucky and survive others are unlucky and they die. And inside I know that it won’t be easy for me to sustain the ambulance for years and anyway an ambulance is only useful when you have good hospitals where you are delivering the patients.

I still wonder what independence would mean to these “two” Women (One dead and another one in Hospital with a huge bill to settle) and their relatives because it is only a few days ago that these things happened, at a moment when Government is embroiled in the preparations for the celebrations. It is amazing that we are celebrating 50 years of Independence at a time when Women (Official report) are dying per day while bringing life into the World.

Despite all flashy statements made and statistics presented in reference to Uganda being a “Model” economy, serious economic and political problems still afflict this nation. We seem to be haunted as a nation once again by the very mismanagement of the economy that characterized our past. As such, poverty has risen to such alarming levels that some place is Uganda are standards for poverty, where there is no per capita income to talk about. Gross inequalities have impacted on the education, employability and well being of Ugandans at a rate which is far below average. These are reflected in different poverty levels, and disparities in health and education indicators between communities and regions. The economic and social disparities are widening. Assessments on progress around the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which the government signed up to, have highlighted the unevenness of how the benefits of growth have been shared.

Levels of poverty in the rural areas are more than twice the ones in urban areas, and have fallen less rapidly in northern and eastern regions of the country, which have much higher poverty levels than the rest of the country. Unemployment and underemployment is growing, especially among the youth who should otherwise be the most productive group in society. This is made worse by the fact that many people continue to graduate from tertiary institutions annually, adding to the pool of unemployed and this situation gets worse with the majority who drop out even before reaching this level.
National unrest is growing as the cost of living keeps rising and public resources are redirected towards containing the unrest rather than addressing the underlying disparities that are causing the adversity and dissatisfaction among the populace. According to a 2012 Afro barometer survey, a considerable number of Ugandans have lost confidence; to them the future tends to get worse a situation that the government seems to have lost control over. The failure on the part of government to reduce unemployment and poverty is indicative of a grave governance crisis.

One wonders where the notion of a fundamental change stopped especially as more and more people devise means of expressing their discontent everyday as evidenced in the increased activism among the citizens and some of their leaders. It is obvious that policies have gone wrong right from the levels of formulation to implementation. Such a situation only spells further doom as peace and stability are threatened. Even when taken to task, government won’t ably present cases of the presence of sustainable rule of the law where the highhandedness of some individuals is visible in every sector of society in Uganda. An inventory of the 50 years of Uganda’s independence only uncovers inequalities that are in favor of a very small section of society.

There is no secret of the class of a favored minority amassing untold wealth due to patronage, rather than entrepreneurship. As multitudes of Ugandans wallow in persistent poverty which is even worsening by the day, there are a few who are sprawling in luxury. Government priorities for public expenditure have also featured gross insensitivity to sections of society like the teachers and health workers who earn peanuts even when they are required to be on call 24 hours, let alone the importance of the services that they offer which are imperative for any society.
Society in Uganda is now judged by the weight of the connections one has and the height of influence they can garner to push a project home. While there are tales of an economic crisis in the country, a few individuals will command the transfer of billions onto their accounts fully sanctioned by the signature of the President in apparent being compensated with hefty sums of taxpayers’ money for deceptively made contracts that have gone wrong. It beats common sense and understanding that gross mismanagement and dubious awards still find consideration on the balance sheet of the country.
The vocabulary is taking on the use of sugarcoated misusing public funds, causing financial loss and others when all we should tell the world is that corruption a stealing of public funds is the order of the day. Individuals that have been cited in such notable scandals as CHOGM thefts, Global Fund, oil deals, markets, national identity card project, bicycle deal and others at the expense of public services like health and education, and a ever soaring cost of living are walking of free or with insignificant fines that it is even evident will be paid for them by the government.
Military expenditures are increasing by the day with the leaders being captured in press statements that defense spending should be set above all including health and education where the women and children are victims. It has gone as far as government doing everything possible to vulgarize and compromise Parliament into evil schemes which is a blatant show of how the Constitution is being rendered useless and ineffective in its role as a guiding document for the nation even as we preach patriotism.
The number of Local Governments is also growing and being doubled with the view to creating jobs for some of the cadres of the ruling system even when the sustainability of these entities is not within reach. How does one explain this with an average of eighteen women dying every day due to childbirth-related complications, at a time when government spends at least $150m on treatment of top government officials abroad?

At this time therefore, it is imperative for us to come to terms with the bitter truth that Uganda, Independent Uganda at that has not been born yet. However, we are so fortunate to be living at a time when we can be the birth attendants to a mother that needs to be delivered safely of a Post – maturity baby called Uganda. One that we shall nurture ourselves and rear into the kind of nation we want her to be; i.e. responsive to the diversity of her people and committed to the rule of law and furtherance of any such badly needed practices as democracy and good governance. Let’s stop pretence and answer the question of our Generation, How do we live in harmony and peace with all our diversities? We must accept and embrace what we are; the United Nations of Uganda and give ourselves a constitution that recorginises this relationship. It is only then that we shall be able to leave behind a legacy and hope for our children. This we must do to make those who will celebrate Uganda’s next 50 years of independence (centenarians) proud of our Generation.


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3rd October, 2012

The Proprietor or

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Chapter Two, Article 8 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda lists the National Anthem as one of the National Symbols. It is an obligation for all Ugandan citizens to learn and know, how to sing, and appreciate the message in our National Anthem.

Our National Anthem carries very rich and patriotic messages that guide Ugandans towards performance of our duties, as citizens. As we celebrate 50 years of our independence, and look to the future, Government is enjoining the media to popularise the National Anthem as a noble social responsibility contribution by the media, towards National awareness.

This is, therefore, to request that airing all the three (3) Stanzas of our National Anthem be given prominence in your media house. This should be played at the beginning of every news bulletin.

For God and my Country.

Mary Karooro Okurut (MP)


Cc: H.E. The Vice President

Cc: The Rt. Hon Prime Minister

Cc: All Colleague Ministers

Cc: The Principal Private Secretary to H.E. the President

Cc: The Secretary, Office of the President

Cc: The Permanent Secretary, Office of the Prime Minister



Eeh Uganda, Mungu imarisha

Twakupa ujao wetu

Kwa umoja na uhuru

Tusimame imara.


Eeh Uganda, nchi huru

Pendo juhudi twakupa

Pamoja na majirani

Tutaishi kwa amani.

Eeh Uganda, nchi itulishayo

Kwa jua ardhi ya rutuba

Tutalinda diama

Lulu ya taji Afrika

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