As I write this piece, the Hon Cerinah Nebanda is being laid to rest in her ancestral home in Butaleja District. Meanwhile, I am devasted further by the abhorrent and galling remarks that the Museveni crude allies continue to spew. I have not read the late Hon Cerinah Nebanda’s autopsy and toxicological report which I have learnt on the NTV News that it has been released. The report was allegedly done in the United Kingdom and that some other samples were sent to Israel. Disgustingly, the report allegedly states that the late Hon Nebanda died of a plethora of drugs including heroin and cocaine. After the festive season I will look for the report and juxtapose it with the report by Parliament Doctors, Hon Dr Medard Bitekyerezo, Hon Dr Chris Baryomunsi and Hon Dr Sam Lyomoki. Thereafter, I will make a very conclusive opinion which I will share publicly. However, I have the following remarks to make:
My dictionary states that “heroin is a powerful drug which is taken illegally for pleasure or is sometimes used as a medicine to reduce extreme pain. It also defines cocaine as a drug used in medicine to prevent pain and taken illegally for pleasure, often as a powder breathed through the nose”.
I highlight and write in bold the word taken illegally as a precursor and antecedent to my argument which I strongly believe without any shadow of doubt is true. Whoever disagrees with me in a civilized society must come out and give a counter argument. I have watched on TV ministers Frank Tumwebaze and Hillary Onek making outrageous statements which are only meant to intimidate the MPs who stated clearly that the government killed Nebanda and by extension intimidate all of us who have made public statements confirming that indeed it is the NRM government – an specifically president Museveni through his hired assassins who have killed the late Hon Nebanda.
I haven’t attended the burial in Butaleja but I sincerely convey condolences to the people of Butaleja who have been deprived of a goose that lays the golden egg, I send condolences to the Democratic Party for losing a political figure who embraced and cherished and fought fervently to promote the ideals of truth and justice – ideals on which our party was founded. Remember, I stated that like Hon Norbert Mao has always remarked DP is a spirit. It doesn’t matter whether one puts on yellow to camouflage for political expediency or for any other reasons, once a democrat, always a democrat. I send condolences to the entire institution of parliament which has lost a luminous member who fought tirelessly for values that parliament stands for; I send my condolences to all the youths of Uganda who lost a pillar that would always inspire them to strive for what they want to achieve. After all if Hon Nebanda at the age of 22 could oust a strong minister and de facto number three in the ruling NRM party, what could forestall other youths from attaining their dreams? I say Dorothy Hyuha was de facto number three because inevitably the chairman Yoweri Museveni is number one, Secretary General Amama Mbabazi is number two and the deputy Secretary General Dorothy Hyuha is number three. I don’t mention the vice chairman because practically that position is just a figure head position.
Let me drive to the gist of my article. I am ready to be arraigned before a competent court of law and I will plead guilty to believing without any shadow of a doubt that Museveni through his crude allies killed the Hon Nebanda. Museveni (and when I talk of Museveni, I mean him and his entire apparatchiks) has guns, poison and Presidential Guard Brigade trained to kill in a professional manner without raising any suspicion. We talk with many of them, some of them are our genuine friends, we have studied in class school with some of them and they don’t hide anything from us. When I say us, I mean myself and some other Ugandans. At least I have mentioned everywhere including at the police stations that I know of two key suspects in the atrocious and treacherous death of Hon Nebanda. At Central Police Station, I stated that one suspect is Museveni and another one is IGP, Lt Gen Kale Kayihura. The initial revelation that Hon Nebanda died of drugs and alcohol overdose, the fact that President Museveni kept online to monitor all the words uttered by the mourners at the late Nebanda’s home – what I mean, is the fact that Museveni called Hon Dr Chris Baryomunsi and asked him since when he had been the police to conduct investigations takes away all the doubts in my mind.
I know the government will stupidly try to prosecute me not with the intent of securing a conviction but with the intent of having full control over me where they can kill me using drugs or any other crude means. They have done that before. I was subjected to psychiatric drugs, injections and was thrown in Ward 10, a ward for the mad while I was in Murchison Bay prison on trumped up charges of assault and threatening violence when in actual sense the charge should have been opposing the deprivation and denial of the right to education to the sons and daughters of the poor. In 2008, I stopped on the verge of the grave as a result of drugs they subjected to me with intent to kill me after failing to kill me from police cells from which I was brutally tortured physically and mentally for many days. I have witnesses to this starting with Prof John-Jean Barya, a celebrated professor of law who was sadly blocked from accessing me when my OB policeman called him at told him I was being tortured from CPS Kampala. Makerere University Convocation Chairman and his publicity secretary Kabaasa Bruce Balaba and Thomas Tayebwa are my witnesses for they rescued me several times from the diabolical claws of the police. Prof Yasin Olum and Mr Bwire Lumumba of the Makerere University political science department can tell you the state in which they found me in Wandegeya police cells on 19th August 2009, two days after my brutal arrest, torture and deprivation of my Sh 1,400,000 (one million four hundred shillings) that I wanted to use to pay fees for an LLB programme after getting my admission letter which I was flatly denied after openly writing to the president opposing the 126 percent increment of tuition fees in public Universities.
I refuse to agree that the increment of tuition in 2009 was 40 per cent as was reported by all media houses because I was admitted for a programme whose tuition was 600,000 (six hundred thousand shillings) and the heartless increment put it at One million two hundred and sixty thousand shillings (1,260,000). Of course that figure excluded functional fees of shillings five hundred thousand and forty (540,000). I got out of bail after the trial magistrate Grade II Magistrate James Wambaya had been facilitated with Shillings 350,000 (three hundred and fifty thousand shillings). Don’t ask me for receipts for no receipt is given for bribes and besides, this was done without my knowledge and consent. I would rather choose to die in jail than bribe anybody to secure my release. While those who facilitated GII Magistrate Wambaya did it out of love for me, the money they used was mine. Mine because, my friend who owed me money brought 250,0000 and the other 100,000 was brought by a person from my employers.
The purchased freedom I got at a price of 350,000 was to remain temporary. It is clear that anything obtained irregularly cannot last and even if it lasts the one who has irregularly obtained it cannot enjoy it. Definitely Kazinda, Oloka, Obey and many others don’t enjoy the multibillions they deprived of the suffering Ugandans. Museveni, Kayihura, Mbabazi, Otafiire and many others in the NRM government are definitely not enjoying the loot they have perfected, orchestrated, perpetrated and perpetuated in this country. They have perfected the art of looting by depriving, dispossessing, exploiting and extorting the poor of the little they have. Like kites, while they are eating, other Ugandans are saying damn and shouting at them. In Runyankore-Rukiga we have a phrase which goes “Norya ebyorwari nkomuca”. While the kite feeds on chicken daily, it never gains weight. Why? It doesn’t eat the chicken peacefully. Museveni and group would only be deluding themselves that with our curses they can ever be happy. I am far happier than them although I always go without meals. I will always be happier than them. They took me to Luzira when I owned a nice looking, comfortable German-made vehicle, Volkswagen Golf Registration UAJ 156K. I was sleeping very well in Kiwatule, I was working with the leading human rights organisation Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI), I was pursuing a Bachelors degree in Law; I was doing so many things and I definitely was making progress. Since 2008 when this government started persecuting me, I would have married and would have a PhD because I was in academia then.
Those who think I am going personal should tell me how they would like to live as individuals because as a human rights expert I stress the supreme importance of both individual and social rights. Many of the rights to which many human rights organisations place emphasis are individual rights largely enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). I am one of the few human rights defenders in Uganda who have strongly argued consistently that if we were to prioritise human rights, we would rather focus on economic, social and cultural rights because they are survival-based rights. They are the rights concerned with bread and butter. That is not to say civil and political rights are less important. In fact both civil and political rights must be promoted and protected simultaneously. Please read UN Fact Sheet 16 titled “The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and Fact Sheet 33 (Frequently Asked Questions on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights).
At a time when the Ekimmezza programme was still broad cast – i.e before the ban of public broadcasts of open air mobile debates on radio, my friend (name withheld), a military officer who happened to have studied with me at the university and happens to be my close friend to date used to frequent Radio One Kimezza at Club Obligato. He told me, “Vincent, if I am assigned to kill you, I will kill you. If someone is assigned to kill you, I will alert you”. The reason he gave for killing me if he was assigned to kill me is that if he doesn’t do that, they kill him. This is a person in the know and if I was assured that if I reveal his identity he will not be killed, on pressure I will reveal him.
Another friend of mine (name withheld) – an ISO operative who belongs to the Dirty Tricks Unit deployed in the Uganda Revenue Authority revealed to me of the Dirty Tricks Unit (DTU) which comprises some military men, police and high level spies. He told me what they have done to prominent politicians. He told me of a prominent opposition politician who was followed on a trip to one of the first world states. When he put his briefcase on a table to do some clearance, the DTU members who were around and he couldn’t discern them removed the opposition politician’s brief case and placed there theirs. The unsuspicious politician was awestruck to find all his documents had been taken. You may wonder how newspapers get security briefs when ordinarily they are classified.
I have put my life not in danger but I have thrown myself in a den of lions. Like it happened with Daniel, if my suspicions hold water, my God whom I serve will protect me against the lions. I have also thrown myself in a furnace. If my reasons to believe that the government killed Hon Nebanda are factually right, I will rejoice like Meshach, Shedrack and Abidenego did when they were thrown in a furnace by King Nabuchadenezer, those who throw me in the furnace, will be consumed by the blazing fire and I will come out alive.
The foregoing is not to say that I want to die. I, just like all others want to live and die of old age. I want to at one time to be the oldest person not only in Uganda but in Africa and the entire world. This exactly is the reason as to why I am blowing the trumpet. I am drawing the trumpet to call upon the entire world to not only come to my defense but to come to the defense of all patriotic, peace-loving, visionary and big-hearted Ugandans who are now facing the imminent danger of extinction.
In 2010, I spent nine months in Murchison Bay Prison Luzira. My crime was opposing the increment of fees in public universities up to 126%. Never mind that Uganda’s constitution upholds the right to education in Article 30. Never mind that the Universities and Tertiary Institutions Act is clear in section 2 that public universities are maintained out of state funds. I argued logically that public universities are state institutions and must necessarily be funded by the state just like it funds the police, the military, the electoral commission and the courts among others. I have carefully mentioned institutions that Museveni uses to maintain his grip on power.
Not long ago, MPs John Ken Lukyamuzi, Samuel Odonga Otto and Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda championed a move to impeach the president. All NRM MPs chided them and some reached the point of saying that they had lost their heads. To me it wasn’t surprising that the NRM MPs treated the opposition MP’s move. I was however utterly disappointed by FDC’s MP Abdul Katuntu who rubbished the whole move basing on legalese. I would be finishing my law degree had I not been crudely persecuted by the state. I am not a lawyer but a paralegal. However, I have read widely the laws of Uganda and international law. I have read constitutional law but also I know all the basics in law. I don’t have to labour explaining that there are two kinds of laws – unjust and just laws.
All of us are legally and morally duty-bound to respect, uphold and promote just laws. But all of us have a moral and social responsibility to fight unjust laws strenuously, vehemently, vigorously, tirelessly, energetically, persistently, actively, radically, and intensely. I have already stated that I am not a lawyer but I would like to beg that Hon Katuntu revisits his notes on natural law. Let him also revisit the maxims of equity.
I have abandoned my law programme notably because of two things: 1. The government of President Museveni will consistently and has consistently persecuted me with the aim of stopping me from proceeding with the programme simply because they want to cut me out of the Makererean community lest I use it as a launch pad to oust the regime. Museveni knows how dangerous university students are to dictators. 2. The other reason for my withdrawal from the programme is that I have found out without any shadow of doubt that lawyers, certainly not all of them are the leading crooks. Sadly, in crookedness, they are followed by journalists. I knew that if I enrolled as an advocate I would concentrate my energies fighting crooked members of the otherwise noble profession and have no time to fight Museveni who is a worse evil. Ultimately, opening so many battle fronts would tear me apart for the crooked lawyers would want me dead and the satanic regime would equally want me dead.
While I have stated that journalists are crooked, they are not to the level of lawyers. Definitely all professions and trades are almost full of crooked people because the system is itself crooked so it is the crooks that survive and thrive in a crooked system. You must have read about a lecturer who hires mercenaries for his students in exchange for money and also writes theses for his students. I talk about lawyers and journalists because they are the most powerful people in society. Edward Bulwer-Lyton states that “The pen is mightier than the sword” while Richard Wright rightly observes that “words are bullets”. Journalists have all platforms and fora to use their tongues and to use their pens to transform society, fight social ills and realise a just society. Sadly what many of them have chosen to do is to become public relations “experts” and spin doctors for dictators. I know what public relations officers do. Ninety nine if not 100 percent of them are propagandists. I hope we all know that propaganda means lies. I know for a fact that many journalists in Uganda are paid to run or throw some stories in the dustbins. I have seen several times in workshops organised by civil society organisations journalists being paid money when the other participants receive no transport refund yet the journalists attend those functions as an assignments from their media houses. For every rule, though, there is an exception. Thus, it is not true that all journalists and all lawyers are depraved.
There are many wonderful journalists and many wonderful lawyers. I know of many lawyers who purely offer pro-bono services and have concentrated on public interest litigation as opposed to say commercial law which is a cash cow. I also want to state that it is not only these two professions that have betrayed us but they are the ones that have greatly betrayed us. Definitely I know depraved NGO including but not limited to human rights NGO workers. I know of Civil Society Groups that make too much noise, win too much donor funds but are not interested in social change but Fuel Guzzlers, huge mansions and constant trips where they stay in the best hotels in the world. This explains why critical Vincent Nuwagaba can hardly be accommodated in such organisations. I must salute Foundation for Human Rights Initiative and Centre for Basic Research for accommodating me and paving way for my very critical views to flourish. We need to note however, that lawyers and journalists being the leading hypocrites, dishonest, diabolical, crooked and treacherous is not something new. Even during the days of Jesus scribes and lawyers and law makers were the most hypocritical lot. My Runyankore Bible addresses lawyers and law makers as Abahangu Beiteka and lawyers in Runyankore are called Abanyamateka.
As I write this, the executive arm of government says that MPs including but not limited to three medical doctors, Hon Dr Medard Bitekyerezo, Hon Dr Chris Baryomunsi and Hon Dr Sam Lyomoki are suspects and must report to police for saying what they said, doing what they did to come up with an expert report and standing for the truth. On the day preceding the final session as Hon Nebanda lay in state, the three doctors slept in parliament. Dr Bitekyerezo and Dr Lyomoki showed me several textbooks which they read to arrive at their conclusion. Thus, theirs was an expert report.
As I come to the conclusion, the government arrested Dr Sylvester Onzivua and impounded the samples that he was taking to South Africa for an independent toxicological examination, why should we accept that the alleged report of tests allegedly done in the United Kingdom is true? How can the suspects man the investigation process and come up with a report accepted by right thinking members of society?
Is it a coincidence that what the police said had killed Nebanda – I mean drug abuse is what the report says yet the Inspector General of Police is not a pathologist nor a toxicologist? Assuming IGP Kale Kayihura was a pathologist or a toxicologist (forgive me if I make any mistake for I am no doctor), would he draw conclusions without carrying out the report? Museveni threatened to arrest whoever speculates that Nebanda was killed by the government, why then didn’t he arrest Gen Kayihura who prejudiced the investigation process by stating that Nebanda was killed by drugs? Nobody of the family members of the late Nebanda was there as the autopsy and toxicological investigation was done yet the process was manned by suspects, should the family accept the report as true?
Owing to the police remarks that the Honourable Nebanda died of drugs, it means the Police and I mean General Kayihura had prior knowledge that the Hon Nebanda was a drug abuser and he didn’t arrest her as a criminal. That in itself makes Gen Kayihura a criminal who should have no place in a free society but maximum security prison Luzira.
Finally if the process of the investigation was suspicious, why shouldn’t we be suspicious about the outcome? I never used to pass mathematics and physics because whenever I applied wrong formulae I would automatically get wrong answers. Thus, suspicious processes beget suspicious outcomes, wrong formulae beget wrong answers, incompetent leaders deliver incompetence, and those who capture government by way of murder maintain themselves in government by the same means that brought them.
None is safe and secure
Let me repeat the poetic words of Pastor Martin Niemoller, “At first they came for Jews, I didn’t speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for communists I didn’t speak out because I was not a communist. Then they came out for trade unionists I didn’t speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for Catholics I didn’t speak out because I was a protestant. When they came for me and there was nobody left to speak out for me”.
These words put the primary responsibility on NRM Members of Parliament to speak out against injustice, against brutality, against torture and against extrajudicial killing even if the victims are members of the opposition. First of all the NRM MPs are our brothers, our former schoolmates and classmates, our neighbours, we pray from the same churches, buy goods from the same supermarkets, drive on the same roads and do many other things in common. While studying the unification process of Germany and Italy in A Level, there was a common phrase, “Germany and Italy were faced with similar problems so they had similar means to solve them”. Right now, opposition and NRM are faced with the same problem – Museveni and they must adopt similar means to eject him.
Further call for action against the murderous regime
Hon Nebanda belonged to so many families. She belonged to her biological family which includes her father, mother, siblings and all relatives. She belonged to the family of her entire clan. She belonged to the family of her ethnic group; she belonged to the family of her tribe. She belonged to the family of Butaleja, eastern Uganda, and all the schools she went through. She belonged to the family of the mighty Makerere University. As a former leader in the Makerere University Faculty of Social Sciences, I am deeply enraged that I have lost one of the leaders that followed into my footsteps and climbed the steepest mountains with ease. She belonged to the family of Ugandan Youth for which she was a luminous pillar. She belonged to the family of the Parliament of Uganda but most importantly she belonged to the family of humanity. I implore, urge and call upon all people affected directly or indirectly by the atrocious and treacherous extermination of Hon Nebanda to take action. We shall update you on facebook what we need to do and we don’t hide anything. In fact, we call upon the police and the military to join us because a threat to one is a threat to all. The Banyankore again say, “Enkoni eteire mukabaro, wagireba nogishereka hare”. This literary means that a stick that has been used to beat your co-wife, if you come across it you hide it very far away. Who is sure he or she is not next. I hope I speak to people who have ears to listen.
Stern warning to the government
It is a culture in all Africans that nobody talks ill about the dead. Sadly we have a government whose police head says the deceased MP was an immoral person, a criminal who was a drug abuser to the extent of being negligent with her life. Rev Fr Dr Deusidedit Nkurunziza said that the police remarks that Hon Nebanda had died of drugs subjected her to double death. She had already lost her life and those who know what killed her went further to kill her legacy. All Ugandans must demand an apology and resignation from the IGP Kale Kayihura from any public office. If others are not ready to make that demand, I make it alone for I am a citizen in this country not anybody’s subject.
Uganda is presided over by a man from Ankole sadly where I also come from. The Banyankole say “Enyonyi kuri ziba zariire obuuro bwawe zitabushekyeremu”. This means, it is bad enough for birds to eat your millet but it is worse if they start laughing from the millet garden.
There is also another saying in Runyankore , “Okutoza nababwibire”. This means if someone entered your granary and stole your millet, when you call on him to help you trace for the possible thieves he/she will destroy faster all the traces that could lead to where your millet is. I want to salute the family of the late Hon Nebanda for refusing to trace for their stolen millet with the thieves that stole it. Here I am using figurative and metaphorical terms not equating the immortal Hon Nebanda with millet. Hon Nebanda has been immortalized and as a Catholic, she may with time be consecrated a saint if all her deeds come to the public domain. I had reported before that she had built two schools, I have now learnt that they were three.
Let me end with what Hon Barnabas Tinkasimire told me was his public remark about Nebanda’s death on Friday 21, December 2012 as I was with him from the morning mass at St Augustine Catholic Church Makerere. He said, and I quote “Museveni claims he went to the bush to fight extrajudicial killings. Nebanda was not subjected to the due process which found her guilty of a capital offence whose sentence is murder”. Surely if MPs are suspects in the death of Cerinah Nebanda like the executive arm of government wants us to believe, Nebanda’s family members are also suspects and I Vincent Nuwagaba am a suspect because I have made my views very clear. I am taking off a break for Christmas, God willing if I am alive next year, I will continue the debate until all Ugandans who cherish the sanctity of life can come up peacefully and chase away the murderous dictator. Since 2008 they have been brutalizing and infusing deadly drugs in me. The police have stolen millions of money from me and four phones so far. They have destroyed my ten suits and have stolen very many pairs of shoes from me. I used to have fifteen pairs of high quality Bata shoes. They stole Seiko Five watch from me in 2008. Right now, I have only two pairs one of which I bought in 2008 and another one in 2009.
The police have extorted millions of money from me and many possessions. In 2008, they broke into my rented house in Ntinda and took so many things. Of course they cannot deny for they are the ones who stayed with my keys for five days as I was in their dungeon from April 11 to 15, 2008. I will have time to narrate my ordeal some other time. The point to note is “if NRM can attempt to kill Vincent Nuwagaba” who only talks and stops at that, why can’t it kill Nebanda who could talk and had the financial and political wherewithal to mobilize including funding activist groups ready to oust Museveni? That’s food for thought.God bless all of you. God bless Uganda, Merry Christmas and Happy 2013.
For God and my country!
Mr. Vincent Nuwagaba is a human rights expert, human rights defender, political scientist and lover of humanity.