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Day October 18, 2013

There is a difference between Economic growth and Economic Development

Ugandans will get a cultural shock!This project was passed during Sebagala's time for the market to be built.Most of the programmes being implemented now are plans from way back, there is no need to thank Musisi, its just that the money saw the light of day under her leadership.This is not Jenifer's Musisi's initiative. It is an initiative of the World Bank and similar markets are being constructed in Jinja, Mbale, Gulu and Lira.

Ugandans will get a cultural shock!This project was passed during Sebagala’s time for the market to be built.Most of the programmes being implemented now are plans from way back, there is no need to thank Musisi, its just that the money saw the light of day under her leadership.This is not Jenifer’s Musisi’s initiative. It is an initiative of the World Bank and similar markets are being constructed in Jinja, Mbale, Gulu and Lira.

There is a difference between Economic growth and Economic Development. Economic growth is like what so called good schools do – put the bright students in one stream and the teachers put a lot of effort to coach them so that they can score excellent grades in the UNEB papers. The duller students are put in other streams and may even be forced to sit their exam from another centre so that they don’t spoil the performance of the school.

Economic development is believing every child can learn. Teachers spend time with the slow learners to empower them and identify and nurture other talents so that they benefit from the time at school. In the good old days people learnt social skills, writing, speech making etc so that even if they didnt have academic flair they had something to show for going to school.

Indifference is natural And as old as creation but has the current gov’t leaned against econ. development or growth? It’s a gov’t full of selfish and greedy individuals. The larger no. of Ugandans live under the poverty line and delivery of social services is at its lowest.

This is the reconstructed New Taxi Park. The park will have multlevel parking. The first phase is complete and the park can now accommodate 350 taxis as KCCA finalise the traffic management plan.

This is the reconstructed New Taxi Park. The park will have multlevel parking. The first phase is complete and the park can now accommodate 350 taxis as KCCA finalise the traffic management plan.

What development does is that it gives people more bang for the effort they make. If I can use another education analogy:I started P1 in a school where our class teacher neither spoke nor wrote English so we never learnt any English the whole year. For P2 I was moved to another school where pupils started learning English in P1. While classmates could read the story of Poor Kapere – I on the other hand was reduced to cramming the story and photographic interpretation. The teachers realised my predicament and put me under the tutorial of the grade 1 teacher and after 2 terms I was at par with the other pupils.

So let citizens exert economic effort but let government also create a development oriented environment. The last 3 weeks the President has been all over the place either laying foundation stones or unveiling plaques of finished projects but the hall mark of these projects is that they underscore the growth mindedness of our government.

Most people who consider themselves successful if they were honest would admit that they are so because of opportunities. My teacher gave me opportunity by taking time to tutor me. There are people who are poor today and others who will be poor a decade later because they have been systematically robbed of their opportunities. Under NRM,the opportunities continue to flow (or to be pulled) in the direction of a few.



What used to be a medical ambulance at Kawolo Hospital. The effects of acts of grand corruption and impunity on delivery of basic medical services

What used to be a medical ambulance at Kawolo Hospital. The effects of acts of grand corruption and impunity on delivery of basic medical services

The priorities for the NRM Government are indeed upside down! It is moment in time, Government can think about sinking shs 250bn into the phone tapping law, when the Civil Servants cannot get the smallest increment in their badly eroded income! Much of service delivery is just in sorry state. The NRM Government today can be equated to those fellows who were constructing a wall to heaven and all of a sudden they could not communicate as each could not understand the others language and communication was cut off. The NRM leadership imagines they are at liberty to come up with whatever they wish and implement whether the people they are supposed to cater for get impoverished. But time will come and their era will be history.

The phone tapping they are implementing has disastrous consequences for the people in Uganda, and you can be sure more people are to die as those involved in phone trapping are likely to take advantage of following up people with money as they will know the movements. Already this trend seems to be on.

The picture taken at Kawolo hospital (the main public hospital serving Mukono, Buikwe, Buvuma and Kayunga districts) where admitted patients have no bed sheets, no blankets, food and lack the medical treatment they need to recover from their ailments.Kawolo Hospital is the only referral hospital found in Lugazi town

The picture taken at Kawolo hospital (the main public hospital serving Mukono, Buikwe, Buvuma and Kayunga districts) where admitted patients have no bed sheets, no blankets, food and lack the medical treatment they need to recover from their ailments.Kawolo Hospital is the only referral hospital found in Lugazi town

Those of us using the Internet are already at the mercy of those following up our emails. I can put money on a modem and in a trickle of an eye all of it is consumed, thanks to those monitoring our email communications. In some instances, you try to access a website or page and the Internet connection is cut off! These things will not take the NRM far, soon or later they will pay a big price.

You can talk of National security, but surely, how was the NRM able to complete 27 or so years in power? Were phones not there? Why get consumed in International politics when the country has no ability? It does not make sense to always tell people that infrastructure has to be priority as the workers have to eat and manage their affairs, meanwhile Government is making expenditures that could be avoided. Much of the infrastructure the President is talking about has over 85% of its financing contributed to by organizations that are external which give us the loans. That is the reason the country has an external debt of US $3.8bn or Shs 9.5 trillion. Where does the so many billions or trillions of shillings generated locally go? Is it to the much sang corruption?

Uganda under President Museveni is indeed a sad story, only God can rescue his people.

William Kituuka


Bududa hospital facilities under NRM

Bududa hospital facilities under NRM

ARE U TIRED OF THE DICTATORSHIP? CUT M7 OFF FROM THE BRANCH(ARMY) WHERE HE IS STANDING:Once there was a king who received a gift of two magnificent falcons from Arabia. They were peregrine falcons, the most beautiful birds he had ever seen. He gave the precious birds to his head falconer to be trained.

Months passed and one day the head falconer informed the king that though one of the falcons was flying majestically, soaring high in the sky, the other bird had not moved from its branch since the day it had arrived.

Bududa hospital facilities under NRM

Bududa hospital facilities under NRM

The king summoned healers and sorcerers from all the land to tend to the falcon, but no one could make the bird fly. He presented the task to the member of his court, but the next day, the king saw through the palace window that the bird had still not moved from its perch. Having tried everything else, the king thought to himself, “May be I need someone more familiar with the countryside to understand the nature of this problem.” So he cried out to his court, “Go and get a farmer.”

In the morning, the king was thrilled to see the falcon soaring high above the palace gardens. He said to his court, “Bring me the doer of this miracle.”

The court quickly located the farmer, who came and stood before the king. The king asked him, “How did you make the falcon fly?”

With head bowed, the farmer said to the king, ” It was very easy, your highness. I simply cut the branch of the tree where the bird was sitting.”

Bududa hospital facilities under NRM

Bududa hospital facilities under NRM

Moral :-
We are all made to fly – to realize our incredible potential as human beings. But instead of doing that, we sit on our branches, clinging to the things that are familiar to us. The possibilities are endless, but for most of us, they remain undiscovered. We conform to the familiar, the comfortable, the mundane. So for the most part, our lives are mediocre instead of exciting, thrilling and fulfilling. So let us learn to destroy the branch of fear we cling to and free ourselves to the glory of flight


The state of Jinja hospital areas of convinience

The state of Jinja hospital areas of convinience

At the mention of Uganda’s public health sector some might wonder whether you are really talking about a health sector or a once health sector but now a dirty sector. Many are the times when we have heard of the people that have embezzled public health funds but to the surprise of myself and some other people none of the accused has ever been brought pay back what he robbed the sector with.

Irrespective of the fact that the public health sector has left the crippling stage and is now at its knees, most people have continued to rob the sector even of the little that it has. For one health worker to tell you that he has not received his pay for the last 9 months or the other to tell you that they have been receiving only a fraction of their salary you may not believe because irrespective of these circumstances they are still able to buy soap from the loans they acquire and come to work in clean uniforms.

The state of Jinja hospital areas of convinience

The state of Jinja hospital areas of convinience

Much as some health workers are willing to continue working as they swore an oath of saving lives in all circumstances, some other health workers have laid down their tools because they can no longer stand the poor working conditions.Take an example of Kanungu district as of now.

Apart from the problems being faced by the health workers, the hospitals have themselves deteriorated and are just on their “death bed” only mercy to the poor Ugandan who cannot afford a private clinic, because even the beds that are in these ram-shackled buildings are disease agents themselves. Take into account Kawolo hospital as shown in turning round Uganda for 15th October 2013 on NTV. The beds themselves look like they can even make an attendant to the sick person fall ill or the patient die from poor sanitation. The question is, who is to blame?

We the Ugandans are really fed up with the health sector and we need the government to address this or rather declare that there is no public health sector in Uganda. Our leaders in the comfortable seats of the August house please address this matter other wise the people you seem to be representing are dieing slowly. This article is based on the real issues at hand about the public health sector as every one can at-least see this.

Dallen Ampumuza

What is a Dictator? By Robert D. Kaplan

What is a Dictator? By Robert D. Kaplan

What is a dictator, or an authoritarian? I’ll bet you think you know. But perhaps you don’t. Sure, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Mao Zedong were dictators. So were Saddam Hussein and both Hafez and Bashar al Assad. But in many cases the situation is not that simple and stark. In many cases the reality — and the morality — of the situation is far more complex.

Deng Xiaoping was a dictator, right? After all, he was the Communist Party boss of China from 1978 to 1992. He was not elected. He ruled through fear. He approved the massacre of protesters at Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 1989. But he also led China in the direction of a market economy that raised the standard of living and the degree of personal freedoms for more people in a shorter period of time than perhaps ever before in recorded economic history. For that achievement, one could arguably rate Deng as one of the greatest men of the 20th century, on par with Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

So is it fair to put Deng in the same category as Saddam Hussein, or even Hosni Mubarak, the leader of Egypt, whose sterile rule did little to prepare his people for a more open society? After all, none of the three men were ever elected. And they all ruled through fear. So why not put them all in the same category?

Or what about Lee Kuan Yew and Zine El Abidine Ben Ali? During the early phases of Lee’s rule in Singapore he certainly behaved in an authoritarian style, as did Ben Ali throughout his entire rule in Tunisia. So don’t they both deserve to be called authoritarians? Yet Lee raised the standard of living and quality of life in Singapore from the equivalent of some of the poorest African countries in the 1960s to that of the wealthiest countries in the West by the early 1990s. He also instituted meritocracy, good governance, and world-class urban planning. Lee’s two-volume memoir reads like the pages in Plutarch’s Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans. Ben Ali, by contrast, was merely a security service thug who combined brutality and extreme levels of corruption, and whose rule was largely absent of reform. Like Mubarak, he offered stability but little else.

You get the point. Dividing the world in black and white terms between dictators and democrats completely misses the political and moral complexity of the situation on the ground in many dozens of countries. The twin categories of democrats and dictators are simply too broad for an adequate understanding of many places and their rulers — and thus for an adequate understanding of geopolitics. There is surely a virtue in blunt, simple thinking and pronouncements. Simplifying complex patterns allows people to see underlying critical truths they might otherwise have missed. But because reality is by its very nature complex, too much simplification leads to an unsophisticated view of the world. One of the strong suits of the best intellectuals and geopoliticians is their tendency to reward complex thinking and their attendant ability to draw fine distinctions.

Fine distinctions should be what geopolitics and political science are about. It means that we recognize a world in which, just as there are bad democrats, there are good dictators. World leaders in many cases should not be classified in black and white terms, but in many indeterminate shades, covering the spectrum from black to white.

More examples:

Nawaz Sharif and his rival, the late Benazir Bhutto, when they alternately ruled Pakistan in the 1990s were terrible administrators. They were both elected by voters, but each governed in a thoroughly corrupt, undisciplined and unwise manner that made their country less stable and laid the foundation for military rule. They were democrats, but illiberal ones.

The late King Hussein of Jordan and the late Park Chung Hee of South Korea were both dictators, but their dynamic, enlightened rules took unstable pieces of geography and provided them with development and consequent relative stability. They were dictators, but liberal ones.

Amid this political and moral complexity that spans disparate regions of the Earth, some patterns do emerge. On the whole, Asian dictators have performed better than Middle Eastern ones. Deng of China, Lee of Singapore, Park of South Korea, Mahathir bin Mohammad of Malaysia, Chiang Kai-Shek of Taiwan were all authoritarians to one degree or another. But their autocracies led to economic and technological development, to better governance, and to an improved quality of life. Most important, their rules, however imperfect, have overall better positioned their societies for democratic reforms later on. All of these men, including the Muslim Mahathir, were influenced, however indirectly and vaguely, by a body of values known as Confucianism: respect for hierarchy, elders, and, in general, ethical living in the here-and-now of this world.

Contrast that with Arab dictators such as Ben Ali of Tunisia, Mubarak of Egypt, Saddam of Iraq, and the al Assads of Syria. Ben Ali and Mubarak, it is true, were far less repressive than Saddam and the elder Assad. Moreover, Ben Ali and Mubarak did encourage some development of a middle class in their countries. But they were not ethical reformers by any means. Of course, Saddam and al Assad were altogether brutal. They ran states so suffocating in their levels of repression that they replicated prison yards. Rather than Confucianism, Saddam and al Assad were motivated by Baathism, a half-baked Arab socialism so viciously opposed to Western colonialism that it created a far worse tyranny of its own.

Beyond the Middle East and Asia there is the case of Russia. In the 1990s, Russia was ruled by Boris Yeltsin, a man lauded in the West for being a democrat. But his undisciplined rule led to sheer economic and social chaos. Vladimir Putin, on the other hand, is much closer to an authoritarian — and is increasingly so — and is consequently despised in the West. But, helped by energy prices, he has restored Russia to some measure of stability, and thus dramatically improved the quality of life of average Russians. And he has done this without resorting to the level of authoritarianism — with the mass disappearances and constellation of Siberian labor camps — of the czars and commissars of old.

Finally, there is the most morally vexing case of all: that of the late Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. In the 1970s and 1980s, Pinochet created more than a million new jobs, reduced the poverty rate from a third of the population to as low as a tenth, and the infant mortality rate from 78 per 1,000 to 18. Pinochet’s Chile was one of the few non-Asian countries in the world to experience double-digit Asian levels of economic growth at the time. Pinochet prepared his country well for eventual democracy, even as his economic policy became a model for the developing and post-Communist worlds. But Pinochet is also rightly the object of intense hatred among liberals and humanitarians the world over for perpetrating years of systematic torture against tens of thousands of victims. So where does he fall on the spectrum from black to white?

Not only is the world of international affairs one of many indeterminate shades, but it is also one in which, sometimes, it is impossible to know just where to locate someone on that spectrum. The question of whether ends justify means should not only be answered by metaphysical doctrine, but also by empirical observation — sometimes ends do justify means, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes the means are unconnected to the ends, and are therefore to be condemned, as is the case with Chile. Such is the intricacy of the political and moral universe. Complexity and fine distinctions are things to be embraced; otherwise geopolitics, political science, and related disciplines distort rather than illuminate.


He cant be shocked because it is an established institutionalised practice in his private army. Museveni may have no time to know that there is no medicine in the goverment hospital but would not go to bed before he gets a situation report from even the smallest section of the army. All along he knew about the thieving in Somalia and at home but to him its a means of ensuring personal loyality. He pretends to take action when its the wrong person involved, he wants to make a replacement or he wants to hoodwink donors and Ugandans. He conspired to persecute Maj. Sabiiti Mutengesa who attempted to unearth the ghost soldiers scam. What of Cpl Paddy Gita who was court martialled for making revelations about financial scandals. Lt. Kachope maliciously dismissed from the army for reporting about 3inancial impropriety in NEC-LIME and the beneficiaries Capt Sekidde and company now own a chain of business empires. Rampant creation of ghost soldiers, supply of air, inflated procurement of logistics (helcopters and udersize uniforms), theft of money meant for awidows, pension and gratuity of former soldiers and retired ISO and ESO staff, are some of the few examples he is very much aware of. Moreso, no conviction in 27 yrs.

Initially, in order to hoodwink the public, the NRM/NRA potrayed itself as an incorruptible organisation. However, in recent years corruption, abuse of office and misuse of public resources by the Museveni regime has come to the limelight. By the time he took over power, his NRM/NRA was composed of the men in army uniform who had fought the goverment to bring him to power. After capturing power many civillians were brought in to mann different structures of the government. Because there was alot of mass indoctrination (politicisation) by NRM cadres, those civillians were fearful of getting involved in theft of public resources. The few who did were either historically associated with the bush war or had to hide behind the men in uniform. That is why those cabinet ministers and District Commissioners who served under the regime during 1986 – 1990 did not enrich themselves.

Within the men in uniform (NRA), politicization condemned theft and misuse of public resources. It was the responsibility of Political Commissars (PCs) and Military Intelligence Officers (I.Os) at different levels of the army structures to check the vice. Military Intelligence and Political Commissariat Departments were highly respected within the army. However, some very powerful senior army officers who knew Museveni’s secret agenda did not waste time for they immediately embarked on enriching themselves through shoddy deals and outright diversion of resources meant for their troops. Some commanders looted personal and public property from the northern and eastern region. Matayo Kyaligonza ferried truck loads of cattle from Teso to his home in Hoima. Jim Muhweezi and his Lieutenants swept ISO clean. Those in the Finance, Supplies, Barracks and stores stole what ever they could land their hands on. Those who decided to remain clean or tried to rise these issues would be branded subversives seeking cheep popularity. PCs and I.Os who risked to investigate and forward reports to higher echelons were disappointed and frustrated for lack of action. Many joined the looting spree while some simply quit. The once powerful and respected Political Commissariat department in the army faded out. Military Intelligence became preoccupied with the lead task of ensure that Museveni remains in power.

By mid 90s, it had become an official policy of the privileged NRA personnel to grab anything that could give them personal wealth. Both senior and junior officers accumulated immense wealth. The scramble for quick wealth bread intrigue and the ordinary soldier suffered. Strict disciplinarians like Mugisha Muntu were frustrated by Museveni’s reluctancy to fight the vice. As Army Mommander, had taken steps by suspending some senior officers but Museveni could not sanction prosecution and recovery but instead introduced the system of indefinite suspension (Katebe). This bred hatred, contempt and ridicule against Muntu and Museveni could not come to his rescure. The frustrated Muntu opted to retire. He refused a Minister of Defence portfolio and as a send off Museveni offered him fifty million cash send off to inject into his stone stone quarry project. Museveni knew that Muntu allmost owned nothing completely while many senior and junior officers held immense wealth. This accumulation of wealth has been used to attract new entrants into the NRA.
Learning from the examples set by the ‘vanguards of the revolution (NRA)’, the civillian NRMs picked the courage and also went on a looting spree.

Museveni by separately meeting ordinary soldiers and pretending to be shocked by their revelations is trying to play cheap popularity. The move will cover the entire army just to win back lost confidence at a time when the force’s cohesion is shaky.




A good number of NRA officers who have been involved in thieving and outright robberies have been rewarded by Museveni with promotions and and re-appointments to positions of greater responsibility. This has been possible only to those whose personal loyalty to Museveni is not in doubt aka political clarity in NRM circles.

The few examples are as follows:-

1. Gen Salim Saleh who confessed to taking bribes from the purchase of junk helicopters is a senior Presidential Advisor and Museveni’s closest confidant.

2. Gen. John Mugyenyi started by supplying air to the NRA in the late 80s when he was the Director of Administration. He went on to aid drug trafficking when stationed at Entebbe airport as anti terrorism officer under CMI. He is one of the wealthiest officers. Was recently elevated to the rank of General.

3. Maj. Otema Awany was the Director of Transport who stole a lot. He is now a Brigadier, Division Commander and Museveni’s confidant in Acholiland.

4. Lt Mawa Dula was the O.C of the Military Police Detach based at Karuma when he robbed from Arua destined goods truck. He was charged in the Court martial but jumped. He sought Kaziini’s protection who in turn appointed him commander of the Alpine Brigade in Congo. While in Beni he stole a land-cruiser which he airlifted to Uganda. He is now a Colonel and a top NRM leader in Kasese.

5. Capt Patrick Kiyingi robbed from a truck load of mechandise destined for Arua. He was court martialled and sentenced to 2 years imprisonment which automatically meant dismissal from service. Instead, he was reinstated, deployed in Congo and promotted to the rank of Lt. Colonel.

6. The 28 senior officers were suspended for swindling of billions through the creation of ghost soldiers. The move was meant to hoodwink the public and no one was conclusively tried. Save for Brig. Tumukunde whose political clarity was questionable, all the rest were promotted and redeployed.

7. Capt Kayanja Muhanga was the head of JATT when he extorted from victims. He was simply replaced and is now a Colonel and Commanding office of Military Police.

8. Lt Segamwenge and Lt Memory Bariyo robbed Congolese coffee transitting through Uganda. They were simply arrested, released, promotted to Lt.Col and Major respectively and redeployed.

9. Maj Bright Rwamirama the former Chief Controller of Finance swindled billions. He was suspended and the case amazingly taked to the civillian Court where it was dismissed. Rwamirama was instead appointed a cabinet Minister.

10. A number of Junior soldiers stole alot of money but were instead promoted and many now hold positions of responsibility under what is termed as the ‘new blood’.

The list is endless. It is very common to find the city of Kampala divided into zones i.e those working in the NRA Finance department owning estates in Busega, those from Supplies department owning estates in Kyebando, those in Medical owning estates in Bweyogerere etc.

To Museveni, these are the kind of officers he hopes will defend him to retain power because they have property to protect. He believes that the past armies would simply withdraw from Kampala because they had nothing to loose since they owned no property but stayed in goverment houses.Therefore, Museveni favours thieving by NRA officers.




Pardon me, but I know Mugisha Muntu better than some of you. His father was a strong supporter of the UPC and was very close to President Obote while in exile in Tanzania. His sister was married to a UPC Lango man. But Muntu himself was not a member of the UPC. In fact he was a very fierce opponent of the UPC.

Why do I say this? Muntu was one of my subjects at Livingstone Hall where I was the Chairman of the Hall. He lived immediately below me on the ground floor so I saw him every day and observed all the going ons in his room, just as he did the same with me. The two of us operated our rooms as offices-mine was open 24 hours.

Muntu was my fierce political opponent through-out my three years at Makerere University- our paths crossed almost every day. Just like me, he was opposed to the fascist dictatorship of Idi Amin and welcomed Amin’s overthrow, but he never recognised the role that the UPC played in removing Idi Amin from power.

From 1979-1980, he was a very strong opponent of the UPC and did not hide his sympathies for Yoweri Museveni. I had numerous battles with him on the question of what Museveni actually stood for in terms of transition of Ugandan society- I told him what Museveni was espousing was not a concept of new democracy as I understood it- it was a bastardisation of the national democratic aspirations of the people of Uganda as I saw it. Muntu claimed to be a “progressive” at the time, espousing what was in fact a confused mish-mash of social democracy, a policy which in his view could be achieved through militaristic means which by-passed the masses. I pointed out to him then that such a polity would lead to a restoration of fascism. As a marxist intellectual, I tried my best to make Muntu open his eyes to the teachings of dialectical materialism and to see all of the rhetoric being spewed by Museveni lacked not only intellectual content but was also very dangerous in that, so far, Ugandan peasants had been largely untouched by the violent changes of power amongst the petty bougeoisie ruling classes that characterised that phase of our development. The talk of “going to the bush”, I told him was infantile- it is not what Uganda needed at that time. Both the objective the objective factors for ARMED STRUGGLE as a strategy for NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC CHANGE did not exist in Uganda. I debated this question with Mugisha Muntu for more than one year and later on with Professor Mahmood Mamdani. He must now be asking himself who was right in that debate, and the fact that by choosing the militaristic route, he helped set back by so many years the struggle for socialist transformation in Uganda.

But even then, alongside myself and people like Ndamuranyi Ateenyi , Herbert Wamala and Werikwe Watuwa, we dominated Makerere University student politics at the time. Mugisha Muntu played a huge role but he was always in opposition to me. From when I stood as Chairman for Livingstone, he supported and sponsored another candidate from western Uganda to stand against me, but I won with a landslide with the support of the Baganda students. Later on, I was responsible for putting the coalition that brought Werikhe Watuwa in as Guild President with Muntu himself as Vice-President. I was the one who put together that coalition, a task for which the Baganda have never forgiven me because they felt I betrayed them as they had put me in power in Livingstone.

But it is strange that Muntu now claims there were spies put on him by Museveni- he himself put a spy on me when I was the main student organiser for the UPC during the 1980’s elections. My room had become a mini-headquarters for the UPC- Muntu himself was by then a very strong supporter of the UPM and of Yoweri Museveni. I was so surprised that a lot of our campaign materials would go missing until I discovered that a Rwandan student that I had even helped was the one spying on me. He had been planted by Muntu

I saw Muntu when I returned to Uganda in 1989 and he took me to see some of his fellow “revolutionaries”. I had arranged to see him again, but I was soon arrested by his spies and locked up in Lubiri barracks. Up to now, I still don’t know who got me released from Lubiri barracks but I suspect it is either Muntu himself or Henry Tumukunde because the two of them were the only people high enough in the NRA to have the authority to have me released.

George Okello
UAH member in London


1.Q: Why do men’s clothes have buttons on the right while women’s’ clothes have buttons on the left?

*A: When buttons were invented, they were very expensive and worn primarily by rich. Since most people are right-handed, it is easier to push buttons on the right through holes on the left. Because wealthy women were dressed by maids, dressmakers put the buttons on the maids’ right! And that’s where women’s’ buttons have remained since.

2.Q: Why do ships and aircraft use?mayday? As their call for help?

*A: This comes from the French word m’aidez – meaning ‘help me’ — and is pronounced, approximately, ‘mayday. ‘
3.Q: Why are zero scores in tennis called ‘love’?

A: In France, where tennis became popular, round zero on the scoreboard looked like an egg and was called ‘l’oeuf, ‘ which is French for ‘egg.’ When tennis was introduced in the US, Americans (mis)pronounced it ‘love’.

4.Q Why do X’s at the end of a letter signify kisses?

*A: In the Middle Ages, when many people were unable to read or write, documents were often signed using an X. Kissing the X represented an oath to fulfil obligations specified in the document. The X and the kiss eventually became synonymous.

5:Q Why is shifting responsibility to someone else called ‘passing the buck’?

*A: In card games, it was once customary to pass an item, called a buck, from player to player to indicate whose turn it was to deal. If a player did not wish to assume the responsibility of dealing, he would ‘pass the buck’ to the next player.

6.Q: Why do people clink their glasses before drinking a toast?

*A: It used to be common for someone to try to kill an enemy by offering him a poisoned drink. To prove to a guest that a drink was safe, it became customary for a guest to pour a small amount of his drink into the glass of the host. Both men would drink it simultaneously. When a guest trusted his host, he would only touch or clink the host’s glass with his own.

7.Q: Why is someone who is feeling great ‘on cloud nine?’

*A: Types of clouds are numbered according to the altitudes they attain, with nine being the highest cloud if someone is said to be on cloud nine, that person is floating well above worldly cares.

8.Q: In golf, where did the term ‘Caddie’ come from?

A. When Mary Queen of Scots went to France as a young girl, Louis, King of France, learned that she loved the Scots game of ‘golf’. So he had the first course outside of Scotland built for her enjoyment. To make sure she was properly chaperoned (and guarded) while she played, Louis hired cadets from a military school to accompany her. Mary liked this lot and when she returned to Scotland (not a very good idea in the long run), she took the practice with her. In French, the word cadet is pronounced ‘ca-day’ and the Scots changed it into ‘caddie. ‘

9.Q: Did you ever wonder why dimes, quarters and half dollars have notches (milling), while pennies and nickels do not?

*A: The US Mint began putting notches on the edges of coins containing gold and silver to discourage holders from shaving off small quantities of the precious metals. Dimes, quarters and half dollars are notched because they used to contain silver. Pennies and nickels aren’t notched because the metals they contain are not valuable enough to shave.

10.Q: Why are many coin banks shaped like pigs?

A: Long ago, dishes and cookware in Europe were made of dense orange clay called ‘pygg’. When people saved coins in jars made of this clay, the jars became known as ‘pygg banks.’ When an English potter misunderstood the word, he made a container that resembled a pig. And it caught on.

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