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Day November 18, 2013


I think anybody who goes through high school anywhere in any era without knowing about dictatorship, democracy, socialism or communism, is but an educated fool.It’s unlikely that such a person will comprehend weighty political issues of the world later in life, even with the benefit of further education.

I would not call the education I got under President Amin as a privileged education either.However, there was a good deal of activism that went concurrently with Amin’s heavy-handed manner of leadership. Schools were free to teach and debate on whatever they so wished.

I and a classmate, Herbert Masozera, represented Mbale SS at inter-district debating competition at Ngora SS where the topic was, “Which system is better: Democracy or Dictatorship?” And this was in 1978.

At Mbale SS, we got to read and vigorously discuss Animal Farm, A Modest Proposal, The Wealth of Nations, Things Fall Apart, No Longer At Ease, and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. These tomes were not subject matters that you expect “a repressive” regime like Amin’s to allow to be taught in schools.

Contrast that with Kenya under Moi, where university students and lecturers were routinely arrested and jailed for reading such “subversive” materials like The Green Book, by Muammar Gadaffi, or The Prince by Machiavelli!

I knew for example that Amin was not the first dictator in history.If some of our friends on UAH had read about Julius Ceasar, They would have known that the term Dictator was a title, and the first receipent of it was Julius Ceasar. In its original form, ‘Dictator’ innocently meant one who conguered all for the benefit of the people without fear of one’s own mortality. It was only later that the term took unpleasant meaning and misuse.

That debate about what was preferable between dictatorship and democracy was not specifically about the situation in Uganda at the time. It was a discourse on the different political systems in history and their effect on people.

In fact, the debate followed a term-long syllabus on The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire, the French Revolution and the Bolshevik Revolution. Amin’s presence on the national scene was a coincidence.

But again, maybe I went to a special high school. Or I had really radical teachers. Whatever the case, I benefited a great deal of that school and my teachers.’

Edward Pojim.


The problem with our opposition is that they never optimally utilize opportunities. Remember the almost nationwide riots during the Kayunga saga???? How about the masiro fires, and the mabira saga. That was an opportune moment to squeeze the Government. If you had Besigye in the west, Mafabi in the east, Kantuntu in Busoga, the Lukagos in the central, the Casiano Wadris and Betty Anywas up north, all of them simultaneous drumming up noise for mass riots against the government at the same time with similar impact, I tell you things would have ended up differently. But disappointingly, all of them where jammed up in the 180 square meters of Kampala clamoring for media attention.

With the current fiasco in KCCA, Let Lukwago, and the opposition as a whole declare that Lukwago is their presidential candidate now and that the mayoral race is just a launching pad, I can almost guarantee that Kampala will be taken without a fight and the next elections will be a bloody run for the NRM. It does not matter whether Lukwago is FDC or DP or SUUBI or G4C or whatever ideological colour one believes in, the opposition should get principled and forget their individual personal egos and let one idiot get the much loathed M7 out of the way. The rest will follow. At this moment, the race is against M7 and NRM, not love for country. Hate it or love that is the only selling issue. Forget about good schools and bad hospital, Forget about the good roads and the bad corruption. That will never bring you vote. Politics is a game of love me and hate the other. Period.

But as long as the opposition still wants to play hide and seek, they have no chance against the M7’s NRM mastery of the game.Governments don’t change because of ideological clarity. At the end of the day, hooliganism, like you put it, rules. You find sectarian homogeneity, what in elections they block votes, rallying behind not necessarily the best candidate with a clear vision, but because of sectarian attachment to the person. Do you remember “Haji Alagide” movement? Do you think Haji Ssebagala was popular because he had the best development program? Hooliganism!!!!!

Do you really want a government change based on hooliganism? Political scientists will tell you that the primary objective of any political establishment is get power and keep the power. Therefore, the those in power, NRM, will – and have to – do anything within their means to stay in power, with or without M7. If M7 is the guy who will propel them in achieving this cardinal object, they will stick with him. And I am saying that similarly, the opposition should, and must, do everything within their reach to propel them into power and stay there. If Lukwago is the guy and hooliganism is the means, then, they should go for it.

The Problem is the guys in the opposition are not taking their game serious! And I know this is the statement which will enrage you!!! lamenting and blaming wont deliver the presidency to them. It is not the first we have had of rigging. The opposition knows that. Every one knows that. The opposition should not waste our time telling us what we already know. If the regime is tying your hands, don’t beg them to untie them because you know, and we know, that they wont. Just find a way of untying the ropes and deliver results.

Namakola Twaha.
UAH forumist

A truth and reconciliation and a national dialogue is needed urgently!

A country’s politics is like a river.It keeps flowing on, throwing off some waters and receiving fresh water. It has no break off point where dirt, old water is separated from the fresh and clean water. A river has it is own system where its water is cleaned along the way for us to use it.

Or politics is like a virgin forest with young trees replacing old ones on a self -sustaining basis. It will cease to be a treasurable virgin forest like our Mabira if we decided to cut all the exisiting adult trees at one go. That will not happen to a country’s body-politic even after revolutions. The effects would be disastrous. The alienated old guards who would be your targets for destruction would definitely fight back if only in self-defence and for self-preservation.

A political Party like FDC with a good policies and working internal democracy has a self-cleasing mechanism as it flows on like river Nile. We should focus on awakening Ugandans and building institutions and sysytems to deal with wrong doing individuals and avoid personalizing issues and debates.Targeting and fighting individuals will take us no where.

Even Museveni who has today usurped almost all powers of the State is not just an individual. He has ultravires systems he is using to do that and to terrorise, intimidate and dominate Ugandans. It is those systems we must fight if we want to get rid of him and build a more transparent and accountable governance.”

Yes, I was a supporter of NRM like most Ugandans were for the first ten years but I have never worked for it. As editor of Weekly Topic and later The Monitor,I never allowed a cover up for them.We were always called “The Enemy” by the President and his chronies. I left the headship of both papers because of pressures from the NRM government.

I am sure you are aware of how many battles we fought to keep the government in check. We suffered closures, advertising bans, arrests and regular harassments in courts because we always stood up to them. In the absence of an active political opposition, we in fact functioned as the unofficial opposition to NRM government.

But even if I had actually been one of the builders of NRM.So what, if I realised it was taking a wrong direction and jumped off the bus? It pains some of us to see some Ugandans holding extreme and non-changing positions when it comes to issues of reconciliation. The worst offenders are those I would call foundamentalists in NRM and UPC. They have committed similar crimes against Ugandans but are always pontificating and sounding holier than thou.The reconciliation we are calling for will mostly benefit them more.

NRA as well killed in Luwero as they have done for over 20 years to thousands in the north and East. Who does not know that? As a Uganda journalist for the past 30 years,I may know a bit more.But does it really matter saying it here? Long before Olara Otunnu said it, I wrote that what I had seen in Acholi was “slow genocide”. Nobody asked me why I said so. What we need is truth and national reconciliation. Otherwise the country will never heal.

Right from the 60s up to the 80 we were given the impression that northerners were the killers.Was it right? Since the 80’s it is now the Westerners who are the killers. Is it right? During the colonial days it was the Baganda who were portrayed as the killers.Was it right? That leaves us with only the Easterners as the clean people. But are they? If you say yes, it because they have not yet ruled Uganda.

The answer is in the truth and reconciliation and a national dialogue. We must discuss why we have been butchering each other for many years and even extending the mayhem to our neighbours.

Of course national reconciliation does not prohibit trials of individuals for their crimes committed outside politics. These include economic crimes by the corrupt.

To NRM members on this net, why has your party never said anything about our persistent calls for national reconciliation and a national dialogue conference? Would that be acceptance of failure or guilt?

Wafula Oguttu.
UAH member and a member of parliament.

MUGABE VS MUSEVENI: Is Lukwago a victim of the copy cat game?

”Ugandans,If what was reported in the Uganda Observer was true about giving jobs to only NRM supporters or card holders, then the President one time I loved is speedily moving towards the path of Zimbabwe Dictator, Robert Mugabe. Mr.Mugabe has been employing the same tactics to keep himself in power. As one millionaire businessman remarked: ‘Iam rich because I belong to Zanu-PF. If you want to be rich you must join Zanu-PF’, Phillip Chiyangwa boasted one time. The whole purpose is to create a new ruling elite as a means of ensuring their loyalty and underpinning support for the dictatorial regime.

The first thing that Museveni borrowed from Mugabe was the change of presidential term limits in our constitution. At a ceremony on 30 December 1987, accompanied by the refrain You Are The Only One, Mugabe was declared executive president by parliament with powers to dissolve parliament and declare martial law and the right to run for unlimited number of terms of office. Both have ruled through a vast system of patronage, controlling appointments to all senior posts in the civil service, the defence forces, the police and parastatal organisations, gaining a virtual stranglehold over government machinery. One by one, the civil service, the state media, the police and parastatal organisations are now subordinated to Museveni’s will.

Both these politicians took their troops to Congo without consulting parliament. They were both hoping to establish themselves as the region’s principal power-brokers though it exposed both of them as real dictators. The Congo venture changed Museveni’s image as ‘the darling of the west’ and a’ new breed of African leaders’ to a ‘normal African leader’ particularly when his Army got involved in the scramble for Congo’s mineral resources.

Both these leaders threaten voters with war drums during presidential elections. Museveni made a threatening remark in 2007 in Luwero to that effect. There is also the famous ‘Kwotapini ojijamu nanyondo’ meaning ‘the quarterpin can only be removed by hammer’. Similarly, Mugabe also remarked during the 1985 election meeting in Bulawayo to Zapu supporters that: ‘Where will we be tomorrow?’ he asked. ‘Is it war or is it peace tomorrow? Let the people of Matebeleland answer this question’.

Also during the war against the white rule he had become fixated by the power that came from the gun. In a radio broadcast from Mozambique in 1976, summing up his view of electoral democracy, he had remarked: ‘Our votes must go together with our guns. After all, any vote we shall have, shall have been the product of the gun. The gun which produces the vote should remain its security officer-its guarantor. The people’s votes and the people’s guns are always inseparable’.

The way both leaders carry themselves during presidential elections is also worthy noting particularly in name calling their opponents. Museveni throws a lot of insults to opposition politicians. At one point during Mugabe address, he shouted in reference to Tsvangirai: ‘Death to the tea boy’.

I was wondering if mayor of Kampala, Erias Lukwago, was a victim of this copy cat game between Mugabe and Museveni till when one Ugandans at heart (UAH) member, sent the following email to us, and that explained everything. He basically summed up almost everything i thought of this so called tribunal that found Lukwago guilty:
‘’ I has expected that Bamugemereire report would recommend for the resolving of KCCA, But I was surprised that only Lord Mayor is found guilty.

1. If Lukwago was not conducting meetings, how come that councillors were being paid sitting allowances? Bamugemereire did not see this nor did she question the person who was paying them.

2. Evidence was tendered before the tribunal that for number of times Lukwago called for meetings and Councillors boycotted them on this the report would have recommended for expulsion of all boycotting Councillors from the council but instead it is Mayor who is found guilty.

3. Lukwago questioned the legality of the tax being imposed on his people and even requested for meeting for the Authority to discuss the matter and the meeting was failed. Why didn’t Bamugemereire question under what mandate was this tax imposed?

The worst disappointment of it all is the Lawyer “KK” who has now turned himself into the spokesperson of the tribunal, Government and NRMO on this issue.

Now some of us get worried by this Aghakan-Museveni partnership verses the opposition. Isnt this the reason why Andrew Mwenda was thrown out of the Daily Monitor?(Read Mwenda’s Resignation letter) . I guess the question on every one’s mind now is that: ‘is President Museveni going to walk that extra mile to meet Mugabe in the race for dictatorship or not?’ Let us just keep watching.

Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba.

Opondo-Opondo P’odel letter to then FDC’s iron lady, Anne Mugisha, on Tue 11/04/03 at 1:13 AM

”Dear Anne Mugisha,

I extend to you my greetings after every long lull and hope you are doing well health-wise of course.

I read your e-zine regularly but with a lot of amazement and apprehension at the level you have sunk in spreading deliberate white lies, when there are real and concrete issues of maladministration you can take our government, the Movement and president Museveni on.

You latest diatribe and lies on security matters especially the rebellion in Teso and your confessed involvement is really an abyss!

We know that it is easy and you are going to manufacture the names of alleged UPDF soldiers killed in Teso and northern Uganda. This will not be
new to us because after all your boss Kiiza Besigye, Aggrey Awori, Winnie
Karangwa Byanyima Besigye in 1999-2001 claimed that Laurent Kabila had killed thousands of UPDF soldiers in DR Congo, and captured 114 PoWs.

Besigye as UPDF Chief of Logistics and Engineering (CLE) was at the heart of leaking selective but false information through Winnie Byanyima to Awori
to highlight them in the Sixth parliament. It is this misinformation that led to their false self-consciousness and the hope that they could be credible presidential candidates in 2001. The result of that misadventure
and falsehoods are at your door-step.

To-date as you have not proved those claims which are otherwise easy to verify through the UN, ICRC, IOM, and Red Cross among others. You have been decisively put to shame.

Do you really expect any reasonable person even in opposition to belive
these lies unless one is in self delusion like Obote, Peter Otai, and UPC
gangs who had falsely believed that the NRM would collapse many years ago?

Just go back and read Obote’s missives from Lusaka to Kampala between
1987-98 now posted on UPC web site, and Otai’s many interviews with the BBC. I know you are proud that we (Movement & government) people read and occassionally have the courtesy to respond to you as Moses Byaruhanga did to your last lies from Dr Munini.

Anne and Munini Mulera, it is our firm belief and method of work to engage in a positive way even the most un-informed, devilish propagandist, and killers like Aggrey Awori if that can contribute to political sanity in our country.

The case of Gen. Ali Bamuze, and Taban Amin are no different from the
return of Awori whose personal debts in the US, and bills in Nile hotel in Kampala were paid by the NRM government and records are available. Nor they different from that of former president Godfrey Binaisa, Gen. Tito Okello,
Moses Ali, Chairles Alai, your Louis Otika, Evaristo Nyanzi and others. Government is not looking for any political capital from their return but
they are Ugandans who ought to free in their country as long as they are law abiding and if the undermine the law, a place for them is available. You are free to be proud that we take off time to respond to you and even claim that we give you “free advertising.”

Anne I want you to remember how you and Winnie Karangwa Besigye got jobs from Museveni without going through any interviews as would be required by the civil service procedures. You both got jobs as foreign service officers
as the pleasure of Museveni. You Anne got a job in the privatisation unit
under Mr. Rukikaire and only ran away to Rwanda when the sell of UCB became stinky and I have every reason to believe that you were a direct
beneficiary although you now put the blame elsewhere-and unfairly on Museveni.

We know you have been trying to attack the family of Museveni with the sole
intention of reducing their integrity as well as isolate them from Ugandans
but without success. You devilish attitudes and actions are galvanising our national resolve to deal with you in a more patient, sophisticated and decisive fashion to your own peril, and for the good of Uganda. (This is not a threat.)

Anne my advise to you is that you are free toe engage in opposition politics including armed rebellion but remember the likely consequences. You and Reform Agenda will not subvert our country whatever the cost we shall need to pay, will be paid to deal with outlaws.

Your friend

Director of information/Movement Secretariat

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