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Why have insurgents that have graced Uganda ever since 1986 failed where NRA/NRM succeeded?

Guerrilla warfare is not an end in itself. It is a means to capturing state power.If you are an insurgents, your life insurance as individual agents and as organisations is to ensure harmonious relations with the population that shelters you, replenishes you with recruits, feeds you, gives you vital intelligence: bottomline, the population you claim to be fighting for. That is as basic a fact as common expressions such as not “biting the hand that feeds you”, “killing the goose that lays the egg”, “cutting the tree branch you are sitting on”, “knowing which side of the bread that is buttered”, etc.

Let us look at the insurgents that have graced Uganda ever since 1986.Why have they failed where NRA/NRM succeeded?

Uganda People’s Democratic Army (UPDM/A)
Uganda People’s Army (UPA)
Ruwenzururu Kingdom Freedom Movement
Uganda Freedom Movement (UFM)
Uganda Mujahdeen Movement (UMM)
Ninth October Movement/Army (NOM/A)
Allied Democratic Front/Force (ADF)
Force Obote Back Army (FOBA),
Federal Democratic Movement (Fedemo)
West Nile Bank Front (WNBF) I &II
Uganda National Democratic Alliance (UNDA)
National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (NALU)
Uganda National Rescue Front (UNRF) I &II
Holy Spirit Movement/Holy Spirit Mobile Forces (HSM) I & II
Citizen Army for Multiparty Politics (CAMP),
Action Restore Justice (ARJ)
Former Uganda National Army (FUNA),
Anti-Referendum Army (ARA),
Peoples’ Redemption Army (PRA)
Uganda Salvation Force/Army (USF/A)
Lord’s Army
Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA),

Would the existence or non-existence of a guerrilla group in the jungles of Luwero have made a difference to the fact that the generation of bayaye, Kazindas, kusamula, looting etc would at one time take charge of the country?

Kazini:The day he died was not the first time he was carrying out a dawn raid on the home of a woman friend

kazini-james_thumbMurder is a relational phenomenon. There is a murderer and a murderee none of whom should receive disproportionate attention.Many of you have been at it here on the forum indulging in drunken speculation over what may have caused JB Kazini’s death. The day he died was not the first time he was carrying out a dawn raid on the home of a woman friend, neither was it the first time he assaulted innocent persons. The fact is that, each time we involve ourselves in violent altercations, we expose ourselves to being harmed. This is what we are dealing with in the case in question: serial violence, serial risks.

On each of those occasions, he did expose himself to the potential wrath of those individuals he assaulted. On the 2nd March 2008, he could very easily have been harmed by any of those individuals he assaulted: Dr.Robert Kagoda, Winnie(Kazini’s 2nd wife} or Byaruhanga, the b/boda cyclist. On the fatal day, there was no Byaruhanga: there was Draru a name that also means Byarufu.

Quite certainly, even on that occasion if any of those individuals that JB Kazini assaulted had acted in self-defense and injured the General, some people on UAH would have drifted off into the trade mark thoughtless, drunken and asinine conjecture like we are continuing to witness.

Have you heard of any former Army Commander in Africa being taken to prison for stealing a few shillings? Kazini, Major General, S.3 dropout. Otamuweka wapi? Tanzanian retired generals are diplomats, regional governors,etc. Could you trust Kazini with your herd of goats? How did such an individual like Kazini become the embodiment of the values of a very important national instituion? I am told he still had some cases to answer for petty thieving. You know, when he was in Nigeria for senior command training, those officers there always wondered how he became a general. When they went out to look for ladies, Kazini would go in for those that befitted Nigerian Corporals! When he went to Ghana for a staff course, he nad a runin with an instructor. He was thrown off the course, escorted back to Uganda by the Ghanaian Military Police paka Entebbe , then they heard he was Chief of Staff, then Army Commander! Did they laugh or cry?

And with Kazini, when you talk to the average UPDF soldier, he will tell that if all he had left in his rifle were only two rounds of ammunition, and he found Kazini, Kony and Odhiambo in a dark corner, he would shoot Kazini twice in the head………

General Kazini….two words that are a heart-rending oxymoron!

Anyway as I said, ever since 1979, Uganda has tended to lean towards Tanzania in the manner of organising the military…for obvious reasons. Even subsequently when you did away with NRA, you opted for UPDF…mirroring TPDF. To appreciate the Uganda military arrangements, look at TPDF.

And by the way, the Tanzanians (and anybody else) would tell you that the Kenyan system is the one that is confused. Kenya lacks the conceptual grasp between ‘Command’ matters, i.e., everything to do with the general directing of operational matters (the teeth) and ‘Staff’ matters i.e., everything to do with directing support matters (the tail). The Joint Chief of staff in Tanzania is actually called the Chief of General Staff…he is in charge of Staff Officers that support the commanders. Kenyans call their biggest commander a ‘chief of staffs’ which is really funny….like referring to a headmaster as a head prefect. With the Tanzanians, the Chief of Staff is of a higher rank than the respective service commanders, making him the third most senior. The Tanzanians are also silent about the chiefs of staff of the respective services.

Lance Corporal (Rtd) Otto Patrick


ATIAK IDP DEATHS:a 2005 letter from the LC3 chairman of Atiak the county in Gulu that had some of the most dangerous IDP camps

Acholi camps

Acholi camps

I have with me a 2005 letter from the LC3 chairman of Atiak the county in Gulu that had some of the most dangerous IDP camps (…remember Barlonyo?). In the letter (attached for ease of reference), that chairman, Odong William George reported the deaths in the 14 Atiak IDP camps for the period 1-15 September 2005, i.e., 2 weeks, at 54 persons. In other words, the weekly mortality rate was 27 persons.

14 Atiak IDP camps are documented. Here are their names: Elegu, Gunya, Abalokodi, Pacilo, Muruli, Bajere, Laraba, Gordon, Okidi, Lagwe Ringo, Lulayi, Pawiro, Ajukumanyige and K

letter on the link below;


As you may know, Gulu, Kitgum and Pader had 114 IDP camps. If 27 persons died per week in 14 camps with the most adverse living and physical safety conditions, one can infer that on average about 220 persons died in all the 114 in Acholi region per week. So, where did some people get their figure of 1,000 per week from (and of course, earlier on, 1,000 per day)? For about 10 yearS?

1,000 x 365 x 10 years…..3,650,000 souls!

What we see in the fore ground is an IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) camp.There was no such thing as refugee camps for Ugandans before Museveni came to power

What we see in the fore ground is an IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) camp.There was no such thing as refugee camps for Ugandans before Museveni came to power

This is Swari Camp-Soroti:No idea why they called swaria kamp

This is Swari Camp-Soroti:No idea why they called swaria kamp

These camps are mostly found in Northern Uganda only as far as Gulu,Kitgum etc…and this camps are the direct result of the following:

The Karamojong incursions and the LRA insurgencies have had longstanding impacts on the Teso people in the north which shattered dozens of communities and the lives of thousands.

This has resulted in:

The creation of large camps for security
The desertion of the countryside with the abandonment of the long established villages
The destruction of key infrastructure such as schools, water points and churches business premises
The killing of many – notably the men – resulting in many families with one or no parents
The destruction of agriculture and live stock.The long term memory of the nightmare of incursions by vicious armed men in the local people.In 2006, in Katakwi there were an estimated 133,000, 45% of the 2002 Census population.

In the affected areas of insurgency south of Katakwi, better security means that the people feel able to return from the Internally Displaced People (IDP) camps to where they used to live. BUT…

The land has been desolate for 3+ years and is overgrown with weeds and scrub.Family members have been lost from being killed or through disease Infrastructure has been damaged by the insurgents eg schools, Churches, health centres .Water points have collapsed through lack of maintenance.The families have no seed, tools, animals or equipment to start farming again.Their homes have been damaged or destroyed. The money Kazinda, Bigirimana, Mbabazi, Janet M7 and others helped to themselves in the OPM were meant to help these people get better lives, but the selfish ‘Twalwanalism’ took over.

Internally displace Persons came about after LRA warloards raveged through the northern Uganda.These camps are found in Northern Uganda from Soroti to Gulu. The money that was meant to help Northerners get a better life ended up on the accounts of the Kazindas but the Ottos/Musokes/Muzigus don’t want us to expose these things.

Lance Corporal (Rtd) Otto Patrick and Hannah Ogwapit

ABAHADI VS OBUDDU:marginalisation of Muslims has always been an issue leaders want to sweep under the carpet!

I think the manner in which we have handled the question of the position of Muslims in Uganda has tended to trivialise the broader question of group marginalisation in the country, let alone diminishing the real magnitude of the plight of Muslims themselves.

I see the whole issue being reduced to going through any of the NAKIBUGA schools (Nakibuga meaning both urban – in Luganda- and also an acronym for Namagunga, Kisubi, Buddo, Gayaza)….and all that to do with whether certain big men like UPC’s George Okello and Yusuf Lule went to Buddo etc. I think the question of marginalisation of Muslims looms much larger than that.

There is still that level of basic dehumanisation of Muslims that obtains in some rural areas: A peasant kid will remark: “nsanze abantu babiri n’omusiramu”: I met two people plus one Muslim. In the village, if you had two neighbours, one a catholic called Zaveriyo, and another one a Muslim called Aramanzani, you would be sent to ask for matchsticks from Zaveriyo’s but for salt from “Owomusiramu”: the Muslim’s home. Never from Aramanzani’s.

Even in basic learning, there were always subliminal messages aimed at denigrating Muslims…there was that English language text book with a character called Mr Mutabingwa, and another character called Abdul the shopkeeper who was always portrayed as the crafty thief selling ash as sugar etc)…kids (adults of tomorrow) went to secondary school indelibly instilled with those prejudices against Muslims…

Uganda has politely emerged with strucutural obstacles to the social mobility of anyone that by accident, ended up being a Muslim. From the start, education in Uganda was the business of missionaries. Muslims had none to build schools for them. This matter even came up in the Legco in 1941 when during the 21st session one member, Mr Margarch passionately urged government to set up non-denominational schools to cater for Muslim pupils.

When government decided to establish a school for Muslims, it was erected somewhere in Masindi, where as the majority of the Muslims were in Buganda. In that very year, 1941, the grant for education was £6,631. Muslim education got a platry £252 and shs 18 of that, i.e., 3.8%. As you know, Muslims were over time condemned to the inglorious vocations of being little butchers and taxi-drivers. The roots of the ADF problem partly lie right there. So, one or two Muslims at Buddo is not good ‘ddagala’ for such deep-seated inequities.

Within Buganda itself, when you look back at the settlements of the religious wars and the beginnings of religion-based political alignments, the Muslims emerged at the bottom of the pile, even in the acquisition of living space. The Portal-IBEACo treaty with Kabaka Mwanga gave the Catholics the vast Buddu county, Sesse was shared out between the Protestans and Catholics, Protestants took the rest of Buganda with the exception of the miniscule Busujju, Gomba and Butambala that were grudgingly offered to the Muslims. Recall that the 1893 agitations by Muslims for Busiro to be added to them resulted into chaos as the Nubians under Selim Bey took sides with the Baganda Muslims. When the dust settled, the Nubians had been removed from Kampala to Kitubulu where they still are, and Baganda Muslims had lost Gomba and Busujju, only to be left with the insignificant Butambala….paka leo!

Many times a christian peasant father would always tell his daughter, “ggwe, ggwe bwoliwasa omusiramu sikuraba kulumbe lwange”: if you ever dare to marry a Muslim, I should not see you at my funeral!

For any body who is interested in more details on that matter, can read Prof. Samwiri Karugire’s ‘A Political History of Uganda’ and Badru and A. Kasozi’s ‘Abaasiga Obusiraamu mu Uganda’.

The point being, to reduce the odds stacked against Muslims merely to the level of which school one goes to aggravate his/her intellectual kwashiorkor is to diagnose a long-standing pneumonia as a transient senyiga/nanyiga.

Lance Corporal (Rtd) Otto Patrick
NRM supporter and UAH member


From: Patrick Otto


6 Februay, 1876.

To Sir Canell Gorlden

My Dear Freind Gorden hear this my word be not angry with Kaber­ega Sultan of Unyoro. I been head that you been brought two manwar ships but I pray you fight not with these Wanyoro for they know not what is good and what is bad. I am, Mutesa king of Uganda for if you fight with governour if you fight with governour you fight with the king.

I will ask you one thing but let it may please you all ye Europeion for I say if I want to go to Bommbey if the Governour and if the Goyernour of Bommbey refuse me to past will l not find the orther road therefore I pray you my friends hear this my letter stop for a moment if you want to fight put ships in the river nile take west and north and I will take east and south and let us put wanyoro in to the middle and fight against them but first send me answer from this letter. Because I want to be a freind of the English. I am Mutesa son of Suna king of U ganda let God be with your Majesty even you all Amen.

Mutesa King of Uganda

Februay 6, 1876.

”May her sons and daughters be my brothers and sisters, It is I, Mutesa, King of Uganda”

April 3, 1876


From King Mutesa, the greatest King of the interior of Africa , 3 April 1876.

This letter is from M’tesa, the greatest King in Africa . It is I Mutesa, King of Uganda , Usoga and Karagwe. Listen then to my word which I tell you. Oh! thou European I have become your true brother, I am a Christian, only I have not yet been baptised.

I believe in God the Holy Father, Almighty, Creater of heaven and earth, and in the Lord Jesus Christ, the only true Son of God, begotten of the Father before the creation of the earth, He is God of God.

May your Queen be a mother to me, and may I become her son. May her sons and daughters be my brothers and sisters, It is I, Mutesa, King of Uganda . Formerly the Mahommedans tempted me saying that Mahom­med was the first and last of good people, but we find this is not the truth but a lie. May we both be united.

Oh! Colonel Gordon, listen to this letter which says Oh! God, let there be peace between England and Uganda . Oh! may England be joyful always. Oh! Colonel Gordon, come quickly to me, and, if you do not come, at least send one of your white men, who you have with you, I want the reply to this letter to be printed.

May God be with the Queen, May God be with your Majesty and I beg you to send me paper, ink and pens, because all my paper is finished.

Mutesa King of Uganda

April 3, 1876.


Here is a man after the heart of GOD, he starts with GOD and ends with GOD, how noble! He was also quite industrious and aware of lurking danger, because he asked for metals to forge spears and hoes to till the land, and then cannons and Guns wow!. I often wondered what Kabarega was like? Because he is depicted in history as the King who asked for one of the explorer”s wife!

24 March 1876.

Kabaka Mutesa 1 and Dallington to Gordon,

To Sir Colonel Gordon, My dear, Friend, I wish you good day. It is I Mutesa, King of Uganda who sends you this letter. I wish to be the friend of the white men, Therefore, hear my words which I say.

I. I want a priest who will show me,the way of God.

2. I want gold, silver, iron and bronze.

3.1 want clothing for my people and myself to wear.

4. I want excellent guns and good cannons.

5. I want to cause to be built good houses for my country.

6. I want my people to know God.

Mutesa King of Uganda

24 March 1876.

When I saw the pictures of Gen.Kayihura happy and matching, my mind went back to 1979 when wakombozi from TZ finally entered Kampala

Kayihua wave has got power in it, guys

Kayihua wave has got power in it, guys


Why did General Kale Kayihura inspect a police and not military guard of honour? I mean the rank of general is a military and not a police rank? Some of you may sometimes wonder why I always try to give a brief about people’s past. When I saw the pictures of General Kale Kayihura happy and matching, my mind went back to 1979, precisely April 1979 when wakombozi from TZ finally entered Kampala and the late Professor Lule (RIP) was about to be sworn in as President. It was none other than Mr. Kale Kayihura, yes him, who led Makerere University students through the streets of Kampala to parliament buildings. Mark you then Makerere University students were still well respectable and thus respected and actual admired by the peasants. Not anymore of course but that is beside the point.

If anyone could have predicted that Mr. Kayihura would preside over a fascist police force and try to force editors to sign oppressive agreements to not write about certain individuals, they would have called you mad.

BTW, The Monitor carved in to the regime when it appointed Mr. Asiimwe as its boss. That was a purely political appointment to appease the regime. The moment you appease you have to appease more. Ndiyo

The biggest mistake the Monitor made is contained in the following:

“In Monday’s Observer, when Monitor MD Alex was contacted for comment
on the conditions government is reported to have presented to them
before any consideration of re-opening, he reportedly responded: “We
met the minister but i can’t go into the details or discuss them in
the press.”

The Monitor board tried to buy peace by making a son of the soil boss. But the regime wants more. Therein lies the problem of appeasement.

If the Monitor Board caves in and agrees to the conditions being pushed in their way by the regime that will be the end of the Monitor for real. Better to die now under General Kale Kayihura, LLM and General Aronda, also a lawyer I believe -and you folks blamed Amin’s lesser educated colonels, eeh-than later after appeasement.

The Monitor can die a principled death-yes it will hit the shareholders and employees-or die disgraceful death should it cave in. As the Baganda say “mpaawo magombe gazza”/death is death. Who will buy a paper that guarantees not to write about certain people no matter how news worthy they are?

Folks, the actions by an LLM general IGP illuminate my thesis about Uganda, which is that all LEADERS y are all the same, Museveni, Amin, Obote, Okello, same . You show me the difference. For me there is no REAL difference. Sure there are small differences here and there, but overall, Museveni, Obote, the educated are no different from lesser educated souls of Amin and Okello. Erase that. Actually in some cases the latter were far better than the former. I know this will rub defenders of the former the wrong way, but it is the truth.

Let me repeat my thesis: the educated and uneducated Ugandan leaders have behaved the same. If you still have any doubts, look at the actions of General Kale Kayihura under YKM. We have to exclude General Aronda so far from this saga because he was named minister when it was underway. It was Minister Onek who gave orders. Yes in Uganda having morons or educated leaders leads to the same outcome. Phew!

Well if I were leading the Monitor, rather resign than burry the paper. I said in the Kiganda saying “mpaawo magombe gazza”. The odds facing the Monitor are honestly not good. If it caves in to the govt demands it will die a miserable death. I guess if it refuses it will be killed by the Minister of Internal affairs and the IGP, but that will be an honorable and principled death. . I say better to die on their orders than through self-inflicted death. The decision is up to the Board of directors holding brief for shareholders-the residual claimants.

I know the likes of Hon Wafula Ogutu are reading, so it is up to them to determine the fate of the Monitor. I am telling them that if they carve in they will accelerate the death of the Monitor. Yes they are caught between a rock and hard place. That is why I say that all Ugandan leaders, educated or not are the same.

Sad but true.

So you have some of you-I mean media people-salivating at the woes facing the Monitor. Recall the kisoga saying “ekiri kummwino nekirungi okuwaaya/okuseka or the Kiganda one that “eryokanga netoonya ….”

I saw in the pictures Mr. Kale Kayihura of 1979, happy, being mobbed by ordinary wanainchi. The only difference is back then there was no massive security and unfit policemen based on their tumbo.

So I try to give brief so Ugandans can see how power corrupts and changes people. General Kale Kayihura’s transformation is quite something. Another chap who went through the same is Mr David Pulkol, from being SAVEED to heading ESO and certainly killing Ugandans. I have no clue whether Mr Pulkol is still SAVEED but that is also neither here nor there.

Yes power is sweat but it also corrupts. Like i said ‘atakulaaba akunyoma’/those of you who only know General kale Kayihura the General are probably not amused. But no, he had a very descent, admired and respected life.

I have said that the overthrow of Amin was catastrophic for Uganda in many ways. For starters Ugandan has never been at peace since. Think about it. Since 1978 when Amin blundered and went to Kagera and gave TZ and the so called liberators-not sure what they liberated Uganda from when Monitor and Red Pepper are occupied by police led by an LLM holder-the excuse to invade Uganda.

Uganda as a whole has NEVER known peace. Think about it again, a peaceful Uganda, I mean peace and happiness in all of Uganda, ended with Amin. Well that is the change for you.

National schools ended with Amin. National railways ended with Amin. Everything national died with Amin. What replaced it has always been parochial Teue dat.

So as the rest of you congratulate General Kale Kayihura, some of us mourn, his demise.Let Ugandans compare the actions of the Uganda police under Kassim Obura (Amin), Okoth Ogoola (Dr Obote 2) and General Kale Kayihura, LLM (YKM). In terms of education and rank, General Kayihura is way above them, but what about sadistic actions? Start with press freedom. Do you see any difference?

Times like these demand that we tell the truth, bitter as it may be. So UAF folks stop sugar coating shit or trying to appease. This is not the time for imbecilic debate. No

General Ssejusa is responsible for the wider changes in UPDF. The winner is actually General Ssejusa. The biggest losers are General Nyakairima who becomes minister of internal affairs and becomes the lead minister for another loser, UAH’s very own IGP, Lt General Kale Kayihura. Basically General Ssejusa’s letter and the IGP’s moronic reaction cost him the CDF post, which was his to lose.

So General Aronda is now technically speaking General Kale Kayihura’s immediate boss, but given recent developments General Arond will realize what general Sejjusa’s letter was all about. To be blunt, IGP Kale Kayihura ain’t gonna report to General Aronda. Hell no.

The permanent secretaries are interesting. Congratulations to Nnalongo Guwatudde Kintu Christine, who goes to the thieving OPM. Incidentally, she is probably one of the longest serving Permanent secretaries. She became PS at a very young age. That Budo lady (1975-1978), Makerere College School (1979-1981), MUK 1981-1984 is very lucky. Be firm.

Why has YKM refused to promote Mr. Matia Kassaija who has stood with him since their tough days in UPM to full minister?



nalEvery year government spends at least $150 million (about Shs377 billion) on treatment of mostly top government officials abroad,They include Government official, Members of Parliament, Senior Army Officers and other Civil Servants. It’s total madness for Uganda officials to go and seek for medical assistance in Nairobi Kenya while Uganda hospitals are rotten without medicine, staff and other medical professionals.

When you think about Kenya to have the best medical facilities and Uganda spending Millions of Shillings on Kenya hospitals it does not make any sense at all.You need to ask yourself why Kenya and how a normal man can pay school fees for the neighbour’s child while his are out on the streets even without books.

It cannot go on like this because Kenyan’s and Nairobi hospitals are not made in heaven, that we Ugandans we cannot reach.
A number of government officials have been in Kenya and around the World for medical treatment, while they are leaving Mulago Hospital and other health services without medicine. Take an example Former East Africa Minister the Late Hon Eriya Kategaya died in Nairobi, Late Brig Noble Mayombo died in Nairobi, RIP.While still in Uganda Winnie Byanyima gave birth to Dr Besigye’s son in Nairobi hospital. Hon Hillary Onek just has been in Nairobi for medical treatment.Hon Hussien Kyanjo just been to London for medical treatment, Hon Sam Kuteesa was in America for medical assistance, the list goes on and on. Just ask yourself why while we have hospitals in Uganda.

The money we spend is almost equal to Shs397.31 billion contributed towards the country’s Shs985.5 billion health budget, by donors.The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health Doctor Asuman Lukwago, said that Uganda government spends $50,000 (shillings 130 million) on a single government official flown out of the country for treatment.

He says sometimes this excludes money for air tickets, hotel and other facilitation sometimes additional $30,000 may be added.
How can Parliament pass this Budget and MPs who claim to be representing people keep silent without informing the voters it’s quite utterly out of this world?

When the Government encourages investors to come and invest in Uganda they come to pay taxes, create jobs and build the economy, but not the same Government to take out the taxes they have paid to spend it on costs that are not helping the Ugandans and the economy.

The Government gave Sh32b for graduates to start business after University or other academicals qualifications, but just imagine how many jobs and business will be created if Shs377 billion that we spend on medical bill overseas was given out to graduates.

We cannot spend the little money we have on other people’s economy while ours is struggling; there is a need to improve on the health of our people by building at least one min Mulago size hospital in every religion of the country. And we must create a clean system where Doctors, Nurses, Midwives and other health workers are paid fairly so that they do not run away to other countries, and to stop them from stealing drugs from the hospitals where they work. Shs377 billion can be part of the new system that will help our people.

The President stated the need to reduce the medical bill spent overseas, but reducing is not the answer the answer must be to scarp it and stop it completely. Let’s spend this money back home and we will modernise our hospitals as our neighbour Kenya did and we will not run to them anymore.

A wise man asks why to buy cooked food in the restaurant while you have all what it takes to cook it yourself. Let’s stop spending Shs377 billion on medical bills abroad and let’s transfer our health system and give Ugandan taxpayers valve for their money and improved health that will help save lives.

Written by Peter Marco

ROOTS OF THE 1966 CRISIS:Initial troubles centred on the financial position of Buganda

I see some people giving their own historical reading of the genesis of the 1966 fiasco in Uganda but Let me try to give the facts as I was made to understand them in my P4 civics classes. Initial troubles centred on the financial position of Buganda, leading to protracted wrangles between Entebbe and Mmengo over the interpretation of Article 1 of schedule 9 of the 1962 constitution (See pp. 173-4 1962 Constitution at compatriotto, The Central government sought to deduct from its grants to Mmengo additional revenue accruing to Buganda from graduated tax on non-Africans, rents received from public land, leases to urban authorities etc.

Earlier on, the Relationship Commission (Munster Commission) had laid out the means through which the central government would maintain firm financial discipline over local authorities but curiously, Mmengo did not think that those stipulations applied to Buganda insisting that its relationship with the centre was special and different from that of other local authorities. This (mistaken) view was largely informed by the leverage Buganda had over the UPC government, having eased it into power through the UPC-KY alliance. In spite of that, though, AM Obote is remembered to have insisted that, “we refuse to sign a blank cheque to the Buganda Government”.

For all its feeling of being special, Buganda was however not assisted by the never-ending financial misdemeanours by the Michael Kintu ministry (Kintu was the Katiikiro until he was deposed in 1964 after Buganda lost in the referendum over the “lost counties”). While Buganda had £1 million in its coffers by the end of 1958, this had dwindled to a mere £465,000 in 1960. In 1963, it was in the red by £226,863.

In 1965, the Planning Commission of the Buganda Government warned that the Kabaka’s government was on the brink of bankruptcy and that the ministers whose nepotism had reached new limits were the worst offenders. The report also sent out danger signs on the state of morale of the Buganda civil service which it warned, had reached a very low ebb. Another report of a committee led by a Makerere academic, DP Ghai warned that the feeble control by the central government on public expenditure in the kingdom had resulted in a perilous financial situation at Mmengo.

In 1965, Buganda finances were already in a considerable overdraft but even then, Mmengo went ahead to craft a budget that right from conception, suffered a deficit of £430,000, all this on top of a sum of £200,000 loaned internally to key officials at Mmengo for personal use.

Through all this, the services that had been transferred to the Buganda government as a federal authority were being heavily subsidised by the central government. Even in the face of that reality and evidence of financial indiscipline, Mmengo wanted the payer of the piper not to have anything to do with calling the tune: the Kabaka Government insisted that in spite of Central government subsidies, Mmengo was entitled to spend according to its own policies and legislation. Entebbe on the other had insisted that it was not obliged to subsidise schemes over which it had no control, particularly in light of reports of serious financial impropriety on the part of the Kabaka Government.

All this tussling was happening against the backdrop of the pending resolution of the thorny question of the “lost counties” (Buyaga and Bugangaizi) of Bunyoro; which the 1961 Constitutional Conference, attended by Buganda, was supposed to be resolved by a referendum to be held by the central government on a convenient date not earlier than two years after independence, i.e., after 8th October 1964.Thus the stage was set for a serious political stalemate between Entebbe and Mmengo

It should be recalled that, at this point, the Mmengo establishment had deluded itself into thinking that the referendum on the “lost counties” would never take place and if at all it took place, it would be in Mmengo’s favour. The common view at Mmnego was: the counties were “a god-given our inheritence”:the only way that Buganda would lose those counties would be if a flood or “mukoka” washed them away and carried them to Bunyoro.

Such was the mood of morbid delusion and grievous self-deception at Mmengo that the dawning of the truth was fraught with the possibilities of instability. That instability lay waiting. To shore up the delusion, money had to be spent or rather squandered on what was called the “Ndaiga Scheme”, approved by the Lukiiko and initiated in mid-1963 with the aim of promoting economic development in the “lost counties, improving the road system, but most importantly, resettling Baganda ex-service personnel and their families, along the patterns of Israeli Kibbutzim.

It did not take long for it to become evident that Ndaiga was becoming a bottomless pit. By january 1964, questions were being raised on whether the Minister in charge of Ndaiga (also holding the portifolio of Health and Works) had received Lukiiko approval to spend public money on the scheme. Lukiiko committee that investigated the scheme discovered that,

£120,000 was spent without authorisation
£45,000 could not be accounted for, and supposedly cashed as a cheque made out in Dr Muwazi’s name, in a London bank)
£12,000 had been wasted on the purchase of junk machinery (not tanks or helicopters)
£4,000 had been spent on road surveys which had in fact been already undertaken by Uganda government
An undisclosed (but reportedly obscene) amount had been spent on entertainment.

More was to follow later in 1964 when the fear of losing the referendum led to the of an excess of £30,000, of which, £10,000 was spent on “gifts”. A lot was spent on campaigners deployed by individual Mmengo ministers. Many of those campaigners (like those of Masembe-Kabali) filed fictitious weekly reports on stories of success and squeezed large amounts of money from Mmengo. A few hours before the referendum, £2,500 was released by the Omuwanika (treasurer) “which in that time could only have been spent on converting the thirsty or congratulating the converted”, as one observer noted.

For all that great, if clumsy financial effort, Mmengo lost the referendum massively. The rude awakening that was to give further momentum towards the crisis that was reach its climax in May 1966.

Lance Corporal (Rtd) Patrick Otto

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