Fellow Ugandans At Heart,
There is no doubt that ‘not all is rosy’ in Uganda and that there is much to be desired. With this in mind, I have also to think very carefully about whatever step I take, or whom I have to follow for the good of our country, Uganda.
The lady who caused a bit of commotion at Gen. Tinyefuza’s speech is said to be from Northern Uganda. The people who calmed the lady down are also believed to be from Northern Uganda and Gen. Tinyefuza is delighted and calls that, “a fundamental shift.” To him, that was an attack by a Northerner from which he was protected by other Northerners!
Gen. Tinyefuza talked about what the people are asking. “So, what is the way forward? Therefore, are you going into elections, or are you going to fight?”
There was no direct answer to the question. However, all the words used to circumnavigate the question indicate that he, Gen. Tinyefuza pointed at the elections.
I watched the video posted here at the UAH and read through the text here below. All this only reminds me of yesteryears when I was led to believe that the situation in Uganda was terrible. The people who told me what was supposedly happening in Uganda were politicians who claimed even to have a large following inside Uganda. I respected them and listened to them like a student listens to a teacher.
By 1989 I had developed a good relation with the UG. authorities through the Ugandan Embassy in Copenhagen, Denmark. My mission was to see Ugandans learning from our past experiences in order to create a harmonious country in which we would have equal opportunities and the ‘Democracy’ that had been denied by lack of national integration and the politicians who only enhanced their personal agendas.
The Uganda Human Rights Activists in Scandinavia, I think it was in conjunction with the Organisation of Ugandans in Sweden, organised a Seminar on Uganda. That was in June, 1989 and the Seminar’s venue was in Stockholm, Sweden. The Uganda government was to be represented by the UG. Ambassador to Scandinavia. At the time, I had travelled to several countries around Europe, meeting some officials of organisations. The purpose of my travels was to find ideas about how a Ugandan organisation could be formed, to unite the people without any link to political parties. Simply, a Ugandan family.
I think that the Ugandan authorities had already known about my mission which had no political agenda whatsoever, but to bring the Ugandan people together as a family. By so doing, I hoped that we could be able to discuss the issues of our country as one people and that together we could always find ways to errect projects that could economically benefit our people and country at large.
I first heard about the Seminar from some Ugandans who had come to Copenhagen for a Weekend. They did not say much about it and I did not inquire much about it because to me, it sounded like a political meeting that I surely did not want to attend.
One day the Ugandan Ambassador to Scandinavia, H.E. Edith G. Sempala telephoned me and also told me about the Seminar to be held in Stockholm, Sweden. She asked if I had been invited. I told her that I had heard about it from some Ugandans, but did not even ask much what the Seminar was about.
Several days later, I received some Ugandan politicians at my residence in Copenhagen. They claimed to have just passed by, but had a lot to say. They talked a lot about the “killings” going on in Uganda and the plans President Museveni had in place to make himself, “Ssabagabe” (King of Kings) of Uganda. By the time they left, I had a different feeling about the situation in Uganda.
Several days later I received another telephone call from the UG. Ambassador. She again asked me whether I was going to the Seminar in Stockholm. I told her that I was not. She requested me to attend the Seminar as a representative of the UG. government. I told her frankly that it was her duty as the UG. Ambassador. I also told her that I had a ‘Refugee’ status and representing the UG. government would contradict my status. I told her to let me think about it.
The next day I received a telephone call from Mr. Lance Sera Muwanga, then Chairman of the Uganda Human Rights Activists in Scandinavia. He warned me against representing the UG. government at the Seminar. I received threat calls and by the time H. E. Ambassador Edith G. Sempala called, I had through fear made up my mind not to represent the UG. government at the Seminar. In stead I was invited personally by Mr. Lance Sera Muwanga, who was also to Chair the Seminar.
At the Seminar Mr. Omwony Ojwok, an official of the UNLF-AD told the Seminar the history of Uganda and wanted the audience to know the genesis of Uganda’s problems.
My shock and disbelief was when I again received some guests at my residence, only to inform me that the UNLF-AD had dissolved and that they had accepted to work with the NRM government to find a solution for Uganda’s problems. Mr. Omwony Ojwok had been appointed Minister of State, Office of the President. Mr. Dani Wadada Nabudere told me that he had decided to retire from politics and that he would be teaching at a certain College in Mbale. Prof. Edward Rugumayo and Mr. Yash Tandon had also decided to quit politics. My shock was because these are some of the people who had warned me against representing the UG. government at the Seminar, but had not only decided to return home, but also to be part of the government.
Mr. Nabudere returned to Denmark for some of his belongings which had remained behind, but also came to visit me. He came with another Ugandan professor, Baalam Kweri. They advised me to form a political party in order to remain “relevant” to the Ugandan political scene. I only noded and had no comment to the suggestion.
The purpose of this revelation is to warn fellow Ugandans not to be used as “stepping stones” for the people who want to climb Uganda’s political ladder. We must not accept any more wars in our country. We should do all we possibly can to encourage dialogue in search for peace and harmony, for that is the foundation for any achievements we need for our country, Uganda. We must not be overwhelmed by our emmotions so as to make unwise decisions.
We must learn from the past the mistakes we should avoid, if we truly need our country to heal. I wish only the best for our country, the Republic of Uganda.
Byaruhanga John Rubin.