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Month July 2014

Rwandaphones and the Question of Citizenship in the Great Lakes Region: Arms vis avis Dialogue


In last two decades or even longer in some territories of the Great Lakes Region of Africa the peoples answering to the description of Rwandaphone have often found themselves in predicament in relation to citizenship in the territories of what is modern day Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda. Almost invariably when the question of citizenship comes up for discussion in those territories it’s the Rwandaphones (Kinyarwanda speaking people who are collectively known as Banyarwanda a noun also associated with Banyarwanda of Rwanda who are Rwandan or Rwandese) who take most of the flak arising largely from ignorance and prejudice (the two are co-related, prejudice is largely conditioned by lack of information) against them. I say so because as one who belongs to the Bafumbira ethnic grouping of Kisoro (one of the Rwandaphones in Uganda) I have witnessed firsthand this predicament rather than hearing it from other sufferers. Many Rwandaphones feel terribly discriminated and this has given fertile ground for extremists and militarists to thrive and set the agenda for responses to injustices faced by these persons and in the case of the DRC has given rise to rebellions and counter-rebellions whose victims are the very persons whose human dignity they purport to restore! To this I will return later.

Two foremost writers on Rwandaphones in the Great Lakes Region- an American based social anthropologist Jan Vasina in his treatise “Antecedents to Modern Rwanda: The Nyiginya Kingdom” and Prof. Mahmood Mamdani’s “When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism, and the Genocide in Rwanda” give the extent of the Rwanda Kingdom at the height of its power under Umwami Rwabugiri (1867-1897), as reaching Bumpaka in present day Busongora in Kasese, Karagwe in present day Tanzania, Bushi and Butembo covering the present day Nord (North), Sud (South) Kivu and a few in the present day Maniema province of the Eastern DRC. These areas have “indigenous” (this term is used loosely as issues to do with indigenousness in Africa are not as clear cut a Aboriginal groups of the Americas and Australia in that sense) Rwandaphones populations. Later day immigrants from what is present day Rwanda started in the early 1900s following introduction of cash-crops in Buganda and Tooro (they came to work as wage earners) for Buganda and in the case of the DRC, there was an influx of immigrant Rwandaphones between 1900-1960 to Shaba (present day Katanga) Province following opening up of mineral production in the area and opening up of the rail links by the Belgian authorities. Other immigrants found their way to the European Plantations in what is now known as the Kivus. These later day immigrants, though lawfully acquired the status of citizens in the two territories of Uganda and DRC are not to be confused with the indigenous Rwandaphones.

In the Republic of Uganda- the indigenous Rwandaphones mainly occupy the districts of Kisoro (Bufumbira County), Kabale District (largely in Kamwezi Subcounty) and Ntungamo District. Though these groups continue to identify themselves as Banyarwanda- there are many Banyarwanda from Bufumbira who resent the nomenclature and have opted to identify themselves as Bafumbira largely arising from the confusion from the noun Banyarwanda being descriptive as persons from Rwanda! This comes as an irony, persons from Kisoro were enumerated as Banyarwanda in the 1959 1969 as well as 1980 Uganda Population and Housing Census were enumerated as Banyarwanda and when it came to the 1991 Population and Housing Census the same people were enumerated as Bafumbira as their chosen identity following a storm over introduction of the Kinyarwanda language on the then Radio Uganda resulting into a callus led by the Council Member (CM) for Bufumbira County for recognition of Urufumbira as a distinct “language” from Kinyarwanda and the same CM did represent one of the three constituencies of Bufumbira in the Constituent Assembly thereby ensuring the same identity gained recognition in the 1995 Constitution as an indigenous group of Uganda.

The other Banyarwanda also did gain recognition as being indigenous. More ironically or perhaps not so ironical, the said Council Member is quoted in the parliamentary hansard of 1990 when the National Resistance Council was debating the Mugerwa Report on the Commission of Inquiry into the Nkore (Ankole) – Masaka Ranching Scheme as responding to queries of other members as to the nationality of some Banyarwanda who had been re-allocated some ranches by asking the house not to confuse Rwandan Banyarwanda and Ugandan Banyarwanda like himself! The Banyarwanda who are native to the territories of Uganda as those of Bufumbira became part of the then Uganda Protectorate under British dominion after the Brussels Convention of 1910 and the immigrants became indigenous owing to the “magical” date of 1st February, 1926 being the date of the last border adjustment to what became known as the territory constituting the Republic of Uganda. This recognition was attained without firing a shot!

Enter the DRC, some Banyarwanda there continue to suffer rejection and in many instances have been denied voting rights by the rest of the Congolese populace. The DRC like Uganda has both native and immigrant Banyarwanda and the former are often confused with the later. This is further compounded by attempts by the successive Kinshasa administrations to craft definitive laws on Rwandaphones and citizenship largely based in subjective rather than objective realities on the ground. In one instance a later day Rwandan immigrant into DRC of 1960 had gained prominence at the court of Gbadolite as Chef de Cabinet- Principal Secretary of President Mobutu and influenced the same to pass a decree in 1973 to recognize those immigrants as of 1960, though it was never take effect. Just like the Banyarwanda of Bufumbira chose to identify themselves as Bafumbira in connection to the geographical location of their dwelling place the DRC Rwandaphones too adopted a similar approach- thus you will hear them identify themselves as Banyamulenge (from Milenge Hills), Banyejomba (from Jomba), Bashi (from Bushi), Banyerutsuru (from Rutshuru) and Banyemasisi (from Masisi) etc.

The trouble here is that there are other ethnic groupings from those areas and exclusively identifying oneself as being of that area often times causes tensions with other communities resulting in ethnic clashes that draws in other militias and the Kinshasa forces. This is coupled with constant suspicion against those Rwandaphones serving the national army who suffer discrimination a result of which they fear serving outside their localities. In one instance, the Kinshasa administration introduced the policy of “mixage” in the army (serving outside ones are of birth) but a few but critical mass of officers rebelled and took to the bushes to protest this alleged discrimination. Here lies the challenge- do one always have to take up arms to enhance one human dignity when where it is obvious the victims of the armed rebellion will be the very persons you intend to protect? The recent M23 rebellion and previous clashes in the Kivus in the past bear testimony to this suffering. This writer, thinks open dialogue based on objectivity (there is heavy presence of Civil Society in the area) ought to be the starting points to address problem at hand and it is incumbent upon all of us Rwandaphone elites to “hijack” the processes from the militarists and set this agenda.

The writer is a native of Kisoro District and practices law with Karuhanga Tabaro & Associates.

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The Banyarwanda Citizenship Question Revisited: There is Need for Inter-Community Dialogue


By, Edgar Tabaro

On the 10th of November 2013 I did pen on this page a missive entitled “Rwandaphones and the Question of Citizenship in the Great Lakes Region: Arms vis avis Dialogue” to inform and deepen the debate on the question of citizenship of the Banyarwanda people who straddle across the territories of what is now modern day DRC (Sud Kivu, Nord Kivu, Maniema, and Shaba/Katanga Pronvices), Tanzania (Ngara, Karagwe- Buhanganza), Uganda (Bufumbira/Kisoro, Kabale- Kamwezi Sub County and Ntungamo Districts). The said missive went into fair detail on the history of the Banyarwanda people in those territories and as to how they became bonafide citizens of the said territories. To my utter shock and consternation, a senior journalist and editor at one of the leading dailies in an ill-advised diatribe wrote on his facebook wall vulgar vituperations against the Banyarwanda Community- labeling them refugees in Uganda who ought to be deported back to Rwanda their alleged country of nationality. The said journo did comment in passing on the KFM Friday panel of journalists on 29 November 2013 where he appeared together with Onapito Ekomoloit, Nicholas Ssengooba, Timothy Kalyegira and James Tumusiime wherein he admitted to making uncharitable comments on facebook that have put him in a spot of bother. When the going got tougher as a result of the backlash from mainly Banyarwanda and Banyarwanda sympaithisers he changed the script to “his facebook account had been hacked into”.

I did post a comment on my facebook timeline calling for fellow Banyarwanda to forgive the said journalist and instead educate (this is on the assumption that he is poorly informed) him on the subject as to how Banyarwanda like any other community (the said journo is believed to be an Itesot- the same are found in Kenya as well) of Uganda can be found domiciled as natives of other countries as well. What followed was utterly shocking, persons I hitherto regarded as enlightened (my assumption is based on the “elite” schools they attended, the religious assemblies they attend and the somewhat cosmopolitan work places and friends they fraternize with) and my friends re-echoed the same opinions of the journalist totally ignoring the message I had put out. The bigotry and phobia against Banyarwanda citizenship is deep and largely based on prejudice itself arising out of ignorance or obscurantism. The same challenge is faced by Congolese Banyarwanda! The questions they posed, were mainly- how can we have Rwandan Banyarwanda and Ugandan Banyarwanda? That Banyarwanda are divided into the tribes of Hutu, Tutsi and Twa, so who are those Banyarwanda in Uganda, and that Banyarwanda in Uganda regard the rest as subhuman and it is the reason they dominate in all spheres of life in Uganda thereby suffocating other communities. It is my intention to throw some light on some of these issues.

Firstly, the stratification of Banyarwanda into Hutu Tutsi and Twa is not tribal or ethnic- it is socio-economic. The class system developed in response to the mode of production prevailing under the pre-colonial epoch in the ancient kingdom of Rwanda. Thus, the cattle keepers became Tutsi and the cultivators became Hutus and the hunter gatherers became Twas. Over the years, depending on one’s means of livelihood there would be mobility between the socio-economic strata. Because cattle keeping was considered nobler than the other economic activities there developed mannerisms associated with this class, perfection of language, poetry, dance and drama, and marrying into aristocracy thereby ensuring the progeny of this class looked a lot more different from the others (I am reliably informed that the present generation of the Chinese population is taller than the previous one owing to improved socio-economic conditions). When the German colonists and later the Belgian ones took over Rwanda, bewildered by the organic composition of the Rwanda Kingdom, they formed the opinion that tribal (etymology connotes primitive grouping) Africans could never have developed sophisticated systems of statehood and as such the aristocrats in Rwanda were a lost community from Europe thereby solidifying the so-called racial theory. Over the years political divisions crystallized upon this false premise hence the Hutu Tutsi rivalry that has been wrongly prescribed as ethnic.

Early recorded migrations of Banyarwanda to Uganda in their hordes was at the beginning of the first decade of the 20th Century when cash crop production was introduced by Mitchel Cotts- the successor to the Uganda Company (incorporated 1896) itself a successor to the IBEACO that had a royal charter. This early migrants are mainly in areas of tea production Namutamba and Tooro areas where they worked as wage earners and a good number took up other menial jobs in other counties of Buganda where their descendants continue to live.

In 1910 the Anglo – German – Belgian conference was held in Brussels, which resulted in an agreement on Volcano Sabinyo as the tripoint of the territories of the three states, delimited the present Congo – Rwanda and Burundi – Congo boundaries, and delimited the parts of the Congo – Uganda and Tanzania – Uganda boundaries adjoining the tripoint. This Convention between Belgium and Germany confirming the Agreement signed at Brussels, May 14, 1910, settling the Boundary between German East Africa and the Belgian Colony of the Congo. Also signed at Brussels, on August 11, 1910 was a Protocol between Great Britain and Germany describing the frontier between the Uganda Protectorate and German East Africa signed and another at Kamwezi, October 30, 1911. Memorandum attached to the Protocol List of Boundary Pillars on the Anglo – German Boundary, Sabinio to River Chizingo, with approximate Co-ordinates. These two legal documents transferred territories of Rwanda Kingdom’s Provinces of Bufumbira (present day Kisoro District), and Ndorwa (present day Kabale District) and areas of present day Ntungamo District that were inhabited by native Banyarwanda communities to Uganda. It is worth noting that these are the persons referred to Banyarwanda as an indigenous community of Uganda as per the 3rd Schedule to the Constitution. Though the ones of Bufumbira assumed the identity of Bafumbira (the column of 10th November 2013 explains the basis for this) arising mainly from the same prejudices the journalist showed on his timeline, they nevertheless are of the same realm of identity.

For a long time under both colonial and post-colonial administrations in Uganda, the areas inhabited by the Banyarwanda communities did not benefit from any form of affirmative action a result of which the community was heavily impoverished. In fact, it was deliberate Government policy to reserve the areas as a cheap source for labor for the plantations and other richer agricultural regions. However, over the years descendants of these people have been lifted out of the shackles of poverty and ignorance. Many are well integrated and live in harmony with their neighbours but prejudices die hard.

To this end, the constitution of the Republic of Uganda under article 10, reads:

The following persons shall be citizens of Uganda by birth—
(a) every person born in Uganda one of whose parents or grandparents is or was a member of any of the indigenous communities existing and residing within the borders of Uganda as at the first day of February, 1926, and set out in the Third Schedule to this Constitution; Uganda’s indigenous communities as at1st February, 1926 which forms the date to the last border adjustment to the Protectorate of Uganda that transferred the Easter Pronvice to the Kenya Colony which is now the Rift Valley upto Lake Rudolf (Turkana). This 1926 adjustment is at the centre of the conflict over Migingo Islands! In this regard, the question of the Banyarwanda citizenship should not arise in the first and reiterate my earlier stand to forgive the journalist and furthermore foster dialogue between communities so as to forge a peaceful way forward. In conclusion, the great majority of Banyarwanda are citizens of Uganda consequent upon the partition of Africa. Incidentally in Rwanda itself the region of Byumba in the North is inhabitated by Bakiga who provided a President for Rwanda at one time.

The writer is an Advocate with Karuhanga, Tabaro & Associates and can be reached on emtabaro@gmail.com

When Doctors multi-task in rural hospitals. From the surgical ward to mopping the floor?


DOCS
Truth be told, a lot of Uganda doctors used to do that at Hospitals in rural areas but it has its downs – the surgeon often gets very tired especially if you have 3-6 procedures for a day and what about the aseptic conditions that you’d like the patient to enjoy yet u are busy contaminating yourself. The surgeon’s linen ought to be clean and fairly sterile.

In the 19th Century, Joseph Lister discovered antiseptics but there was no knowledge of bacteria. Theater related deaths shot to 80% of all operations because most patients became infected. In fact, the saying that ‘the operation was successful but the patient died’ started at that time. Unfortunately, these conditions are what we have in our operating rooms in Africa in the 21st Century. The operating room should be a ‘place of sanctity’ not a kraal!

While surgeons can go about cleaning the Theatres, Theaters ought to be cleaned in a through way that leads to an aseptic environment. Have you ever conducted a study on how many patients are lost in these village operating rooms due to sepsis? When will Africans stop thinking about traditional medicine all the time and get to invest properly in systems?

'The oxygen tent unit, is presented to the staff of St. Anthony's Hospital. Lions gift to Tororo Hospital.' Uganda Argus, January 1 1966

‘The oxygen tent unit, is presented to the staff of St. Anthony’s Hospital.
Lions gift to Tororo Hospital.’
Uganda Argus, January 1 1966

In the main operating room, everyone should have a mask on their nose – including the Theatre cleaners whether during the operation or not.There are billions of deadly bacteria that come from one’s nose. When surgeons and cleaners go about such cleaning duties without masks, they release all these nosocomial microbes into the air of the operating room. It is only in Africa where we always practice bush medicine that we pay no meticulous attention to asepsis. And the blame is not on doctors – it is to Government for under staffing and under-supplying the health sector.

When we talk about extra-judicial killings, we don’t only mean political assassinations – we should include deaths to citizens due to infections from dirty theatres. One doctor was doing operations in Kayunga recently – they drew water from a rusty metallic drum, in plastic cups to scrub their hands when prepping for surgery; the theatre had an anthill in one corner and a nest of angry wasps in another; plus a broken window covered with polythene. The operating table was stuck in half-length and could neither move up or down due to death of its hydraulic system; despite his height. He had to use that damn table; it was also permanently tilted to the right side because most people are right-handed and operate on the right side of the table – because he’s left handed, he had ‘okukangabala’ throughout the surgery!!!! I don’t know whats wrong with Africans, our rotten systems and our ‘victim’ mentality.

But Statehouse would not shy away to pay a presidential secretary shs.96m per month as salary when hospitals in most of the country are in this state. How many lives would be saved with that kind of money invested in health care? Do your math , please!

R.JABENDO

Something good was happening in rural Uganda through empowering local communities


The issue of sometimes ‘disgusting’ hygiene standards in some public hospitals in Uganda has more frequently been popping up in the local media than ever. It is indeed a serious issue that needs to be addressed right from the village level. I would like to emphasize the village level in this context because of what I witnessed during my recent international development project monitoring visit to Bushenyi and Nakasongola Districts in Uganda. In both districts there were, of course, challenges commonly associated with healthcare provision in rural settings. However, it was very encouraging to know that basic hygiene was not among the most pressing issues in health centres participating in the target projects. The medical facilities I visited were far from being on par with those we see in Canada, the US or Western Europe and similar regions, but they served the purpose based on local realities.

One of the things I noticed in both districts was that there were dynamic village health teams (VHTs) working side by side with highly qualified Ugandan medical professionals. Among other things, the VHTs actually served as informal external monitors regarding how things were going in their health centres, let alone hygiene standards in their villages. They were locally organized, and had no remuneration for their work. In fact, they had even created local funds from their extremely meagre incomes to help with patient transfer, as remote and hard-to-reach rural communities virtually have no access to publically funded ambulance services.

Something good was happening in rural Uganda through empowering local communities; and with that kind of empowerment, images like those I believe many have recently seen in the local media may simply have no place. (Please see: http://119.82.71.117/bukeddedemo/news/79146-Embeera-y-eddwaaliro-ly-e-Kayunga-ekaabya–Livunze.html ) These unacceptable images have been seen in Kayunga and Bugiri. There was even one report out of somewhere in Rakai where patients and snakes shared residence. I believe it was on Bukedde TV’s Youtube channel, many months ago.

The things we see in life either teach us, remind us, or reinforce what we have already learnt in some way or another. If the monitoring visit to Bushenyi and Nakasongola reinforced anything to me, it was the fact that broken things do not fix themselves; they are fixed by people who take both individual and collective responsibility to a level that transcends petty egotistic interests. A medical professional, a local politician or a self-respecting mwananchi needs to speak out when they see unacceptable things happening in their health centres, if they really care. We are very fortunate that in this digital media revolution, even those whose voices never used to matter now do have a chance to be heard. In fact, with this newfound voice, I even get the feeling that it won’t be long before the title ‘Honourable’ is demanded to be taken away from MPs in whose constituencies highly ‘dishonourable’ things happen, including deteriorating healthcare standards and services.Like Brother Kibedi pointed out in a recent contribution, I do not think that everything needs to go to the President to get fixed. We need to give local systems a chance to serve local communities. There is simply too long a distance between Kampala and Kayunga or Bugiri. Let it be only when things cannot locally be resolved meaningfully, e.g., very serious land wrangles, that State House should be petitioned.

Before I sign off, and still on the issue of public facility hygiene, and in the context of the monitoring visit mentioned above, my travel companion and I made an emergency stopover at a petrol station in Masaka Town. While he consulted the local mechanic on an unexplained ‘low engine oil’ alarm, I decided to renew my wudhu / ewuzu. There was a public washroom a few meters away; and I must confess I almost always dread visiting such facilities especially in unfamiliar localities, geographic considerations notwithstanding. Masaka was no exception, but I had no choice. Was I surprised when I concluded my ‘Allahumma inni a’uthu bika minal khubthi wal khaba’ith’? You bet I was.

First, there was a young man on a white plastic chair with a cashbook and a bucket full of local currency coins and notes. Upon payment, I was cleared to explore the spotlessly clean facility with running water, toilet paper, functioning sinks with liquid soap on the side, in addition to small and medium size jerry cans full of water for emergencies. Above all, the facility was well-lit and well-ventilated. There were no disgusting smells usually associated with public washrooms whatsoever. Perhaps this is one ‘made-in-Uganda’ approach to facility maintenance that public institutions in Uganda, including some health centres, can learn from. (To one young program director on this forum, you know who you are; your administrative premises at Mengo where I was also hosted in the same monitoring context were very impressive in all respects, despite the fact that no user fees are collected. This is further proof that you practice what you preach on the forum!) In any case, the truth is there is no shortage of young people (both urban and rural) looking for employment opportunities in Uganda, and I am sure many would rise to the occasion if a hospital, university or ministry edifice contract is given to them with clear terms and conditions; and where performance expectations are not met, simply give another young person a chance.

Wassalaam Alaikum,
Yunus
*** *** ***
Yunus Lubega.
OTTAWA
CANADA

Chicken thief gets to die and billions thief lives freely in Uganda!


Matress in one of the wards at Jinja Hospital

Matress in one of the wards at Jinja Hospital


The so-called ‘Medicines Monitoring Unit’ (headed by a one Dr. Diana Atwiine) is so palpably quiet on the attempted theft of billions of drugs money by Ministry of Health and NMS big-wigs. To them, the only people who steal drugs are the distraught medical doctors and nurses who work in the ramshackle death-holes that characterize our pathetic primary health care system. It was so clear that someone attempted to siphon Global Fund money into a bogus account in a certain bank, purportedly paying for some ‘ghost drugs’, yet the same Diana who went blackmailing her own colleagues has hardly made any statement to the public’s interest.

Nobody seems to be taking issue at this.This is Africa where the chicken thief gets to die and billions thief lives freely.Ugandans have been made to believe that its health workers frustrating the the health sector,teachers responsible for the failing education sector and civil servants for rampant corruption in public offices!mbu them the revolutionaries are innocent.
MBABAZI2
Doctors and Nurses were arrested and embarrassed for a handful of drugs, and were blamed for the entire shortage of drugs in the country, yet the ‘Kamabaales’ of this world (the so called NMS CEO) go Scot free when caught pants down attempting to steal billions. Funny thing is that all this ‘filth’ call themselves ‘born-again Christians’, somehow appointed by God to clean our world.No wonder Lord Mayor described their legal mavericks as ‘Flimsy, Frivolous and Vexatious’.It is more like ‘Murphy’s Law’, which states that: ‘Everything that can go wrong will go wrong’.

Diana Atwiine and Lukwago(PS minister of health) are both system “cadres”, Mbarara University contemporaries,it is even rumoured mbu Diana was supposed to be Ag. P.S or P.S, then the person she helped(recommended) to get a presidential ward became and is now a D.G, around the same Mrs. J.K M7 was supposed to be Minister of Health. I only make my reserved comments on Lukwago because he is the only Muslim PS in the country, but kitalo nyo!

We should not sugarcoat the bad health system in Uganda. This affects everybody including Muslims. There is no substitute to building a better functioning health system supported by adequate infrastructure and a well motivated health workforce. All the other vertical programs (like the daily behavior change adverts that assume we are so duffed hence the need to repeat them all the time at a cost in millions, like the so called ‘mass immunization’ and ‘family planning’ campaigns, the ill-timed addition of new antigens to Uganda’s immunization schedule, the vertical malaria/TB/HIV programs, etc) are a waste of time because they do not address the root cause of the problem.

You cannot verticallize immunization, and assume that whenever we need to immunize everyone, we shall rely on mass immunization – we need to strengthen routine immunization instead and pay the GAVI incentives to the last-mile staff – not the so-called ‘champions of child health’ who are based in Kampala, and are responsible for the death of millions of children because of corruption, poor programming and a self-aggrandized vision.

We need to carry forward Dr. Crispus Kiyonga’s hypothesis of investing significantly in the health system and empowering the District and Sub-District Health Teams to drive the health system. We need to place our gamble on the lower system, even when it fails repeatedly, because repeated failure is what nurtures innovation.

They are spending billions on adverts, posted on their own FM Radios based in Kampala, and creating the impression that Ugandans are so stupid they need to be reminded 5 times daily for 20 years that they need to wash their hands after the toilet – why not take the message to the rural folk by providing sufficient funding to the health assistants and nurses in the lower health units; these are closer to the people than the FM radios which run their adverts in English; Mbu ‘this message is brought to you by XXXXX’.Yes, the nurse in the lower level unit is closer to the people, and even more able to communicate with them in the local language they understand. Besides, most of these radio stations have limited (have to climb a tree to access airwaves) or no coverage in these areas.

I remember the last time they had a measles mass immunization drive and kampala town was filled with colorful posters telling people to go immunize their children. Interestingly on the allotted days some facilities didn’t even have the vaccines….you can clearly see these people (strategically) think in reverse!!!

Imagine there is a village in Kamuli,Precisely Kibuye Parish. The Health Center was closed for close to a month in May 2013. I was surprised whether the DMOs office was still functional or the Ministry never gets to know when such things happen. These poor peasants have to walk miles to access health care.

Some of these matters are slightly beyond my competence but I can tell the Ugandan health system is indescribable!!! The strengthening of the health sub district system is crucial for the improvement of our health system. I have had a chance to study quality of health care and patient safety,but i am always crying deep inside my heart because of the poor organization of our health system. we are fond of bombarding new systems (like the PCV) vaccine without sensitizing the primary implementers of such systems who at the end can deliver well. This has on many occasion failed the new technologies. We have also failed to work on the motivation of the health workers whom we keep piling more work and taxes and in the end they themselves will fail the system.

I am a product of community driven initiative to over come health problems. Indeed lets expound on this launchpad! Lack of political commitment is the real problem in this country. Our brothers in Rwanda have proved more committed and the results are now good enough for us to spend sector funds in the name of reaching out to appreciate their best practices.Rwanda is expanded to 13 antigens in their routine immunization program while conducting the mass immunization campaigns (including the most recent Measles/Rubella vaccination in March 2013). We only need to get our priorities right and let professionals lead the how rather than political mediocres running our country.

If children can be protected from pneumonia and diarrhoea, and effective vaccines are available, so be it. Anyone who has seen, lived or buried a cervical cancer patient, and/or has a daughter will appreciate the introduction of cervical cancer vaccine to prevent such deaths. As a country, we can surely do better in the way the health system is managed. The starting point I guess is to answer the question: whose interest comes first?

RAHIMU JABENDO

This is what a country gets when health is not viewed as an urgent investment


NAKASEKE HOSPITAL ALSO DOWN UNDER NRM. IT NEEDS SAVING. The building is OK outside but there is no equipment and there is total shortage of medical staff.

NAKASEKE HOSPITAL ALSO DOWN UNDER NRM. IT NEEDS SAVING. The building is OK outside but there is no equipment and there is total shortage of medical staff.


Uganda’s bogus attention to health services and disease prevention is reflected in the country’s record high levels of epidemics. There is no where in the world (except DRC) that we see so many deadly diseases occurring so frequently – Ebola, Marburg, Hepatitis B, Yello Fever are back.

In 2007 the year of CHOGM alone, we had 6 epidemics in an 8 month period (Ebola, Marburg, Yellow fever, Cholera, Dysentery,’Nodding disease, Hepatitis E). Gigger epidemics in the 21st century. Half of these epidemics are due to eating faecal matter; the other half are zoonoses, for which the index cases are from interaction with wild animals, suggesting widespread hunting and gathering. And an epidemic of ghosts. The word of the Lord is upon me; let my people go, thats Moses to Pharaoh.And the Lord told Pharaoh, let my people go! But Pharaoh was too stubborn… (you know the rest of the story).

Cholera has become a way of life even in urban areas of Uganda, while in the West Nile, plague, a disease acquired from fleas and rats is the norm. This is what a country gets when health is not viewed as an urgent investment. These primitive epidemics last occurred in the Bible in Egypt when God sent 10 scourges. Is this what we are proud of at 50?

NAKASEKE HOSPITAL ALSO DOWN UNDER NRM. IT NEEDS SAVING. The building is OK outside but there is no equipment and there is total shortage of medical staff.

NAKASEKE HOSPITAL ALSO DOWN UNDER NRM. IT NEEDS SAVING. The building is OK outside but there is no equipment and there is total shortage of medical staff.


This is what you destined for the moment you start rationing within the minimum (i.e UNMHCP). Our strategic plans at the Ministry of Health have been copy paste with a few changes reflected in the names (HSSP to HSSIP).

Statehouse has also influenced the procurement policies of the MoH – NMS has already failed the procurement cycle of EPI supplies. With the current stock out rate of vaccines at the service sites, we hope to register more deaths among children under five years!

Staff houses , one room is shared by four medical officers

Staff houses , one room is shared by four medical officers

Unfortunately, because the health system did not fight in Luwero, it has not been prioritized by the militarily government. If the health system required guns and bullets to improve it, we wd have noted the difference.

JABENDO RAHIMU

The Sleeping Govt is what we voted for in 2011!


A few years back, President Museveni remarked that he did not mind having MPs who slept in the Parlliament, as long as they wake up in time to vote for his agendas!

A few years back, President Museveni remarked that he did not mind having MPs who slept in the Parlliament, as long as they wake up in time to vote for his agendas!


This issue of meditating in public may be explained by the ambiance in Serena hotel.The aesthetics of that conference room are set in the 60s and so is the Parliament – Dull, un-stimulating. The whole place has not been revamped for 50 years.

The second cause though of sleeping is the presenters. These un-exposed presenters use the same colonial style of presentation, from the Head of State to the Ministers – creating a toxic cathartic effect on the brain. The only solution is to stand up and walk away, means u r ready to be dropped in a re-shuffle.

The third cause is senility: By 50, many Ugandans have features of senility, because of the very harsh realities they’ve faced in life. Too many great grand-fathers in our parliament.

Beyond Serena; YKM, i remember was meditating at an International Conference in Kigali while other leaders were up and listening with much zest.

I think, next year Madam speaker should organise National Budget and state of nation address somewhere else where they can get access to unlimited fresh air.
sleep
This is very embarrassing but that is our reality. Our ministers and president are too old and tired and we look to them to solve our young nation problems.Contagious Sleeping Disease Syndrome is secondary to malignant narcolepsy, induced by aging-related brain atrophy, acute captive boredom by the boss, recycled speeches, lengthy ruling-related retrograde amnesia, grade 3 obesity and hyperglycemia, early Alzheimer’s disease, neuro-syphilis, HIV related encephalopathy, chronic inhalation of dust from the AC, chronic corrupt intentions, toxic waste from ammunition, manic-depressive disorder, and political prostitution.

Prescription:…………………u decide!

Unfortunately,those guys don’t go to Mulago, except for supra-pubic taps; they often fly out of the country when they develop diabetes, heart disease, and all the ‘eating’ related diseases.

But If you want these guys to wake up so fast and even deny the evidence that they ever dosed, just mention Uganda has been asked to host CHOGM once again!!!!!!!When you look closely, there are 3 women dosing in the back row. So the narcolepsy is not gender specific – however, it follows political affiliation.

JABENDO R

DOCTORS OPERATE USING LIGHT FROM MOBILE PHONES IN UGANDA


Kayunga hospital architectural impression but the NRMs have destroyed it without any mercy

Kayunga hospital architectural impression but the NRMs have destroyed it without any mercy


The death of Hon.Latif Ssebagals’s son is sad. The boy probably had a heart attack.A heart attack and cardiac arrest kill in minutes. In the case of Muwambo the English Premier League skipper, a skilled team of paramedics were able to save his life though quick resuscitation involving fairly rudimentary maneuvers (chest compressions, with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and defibrilation), after which he was rapidly transferred to a well equipped Intensive Care Unit. He was ‘dead’ for 78 minutes to be precise.

Resuscitation is not rocket science, and does not require someone to be flown abroad. Even lower cadre health staff can do it if trained! Fast forward to Malawi, where the President died of a heart attack, while his minders were fidgeting to take him to South Africa. Shame upon African Presidents. The amount of money used to treat one high ranking officer for a moderate illness abroad can set up a state-of-the-art Intensive Care Unit in their countries. How can you fly someone with a heart attack to be treated abroad.

The same happens here – daughters of high ranking officers are flown to the UK to have a normal delivery, when there is no indication whatsoever that they will have an obstetric emergency; Mayombo was flown to Nairobi when he had acute pancreatitis and he died on arrival.

Emergencies need to be tended to immediately – 30 minutes or less is what you have got – by the time a plane lands after several hours of flying, a person will have lost their life – it is pretty stupid to fly a person with a heart attack to receive ’emergency resuscitation’ abroad, as if we do not have doctors or paramedics here!

City bisinessman Meddie Sebagala's son Umar Sebagala collapsed and died in the United States. Meddie is the owner of Sebagala and sons Electricals.

City bisinessman Meddie Sebagala’s son Umar Sebagala collapsed and died in the United States. Meddie is the owner of Sebagala and sons Electricals.


I bet these officials can even fly their son who is convulsing due to a malaria attack to receive an anticonvulsant and intravenous Quinine from the UK – yet there is no malaria in the UK and a diagnosis of malaria may take longer in the UK than it takes to do it here.

This all means one thing:our health systems are rotten. There is a lot of wastage of life due to these bogus health systems, and leaders who are selfish. The irony is that while it is the peasants who suffer most our leaders are also not immune to the stupid health systems they’ve set up – as in the case of Bingu wa Mutharika – a man who one time worked for the World Bank.

What makes African leaders so myopic and selfish when they assume power? The funny thing is that ‘individualism’ (the highest form of capitalism nurtured by the likes of Margaret Thatcher) results in creation of an elitist middle class that has too much money they do not know what to use it for – and one of their indulgences is chronic over-nutrition, sedentariness, money related stress and obesity – all these are a good recipe for a heart attack! But can our health systems handle the increasing burden of Non-communicable diseases, when even Panadol is a luxury in Primary Health Care facilities?

A “peasant” in the UK will get a heart attack, and he or she will have a mandatory trained paramedic crew get to him within the govt targeted 8 min on board with a defribrillator. He will also have an ECG telemetry monitor that will relay the ECG to a cardiologist to the designated coronary care Unit by bluetooth technology.So if there is need for intervention its in minutes or an hour at least.Compare this to our system, and you will understand why Abbey Semuwemba, George Okello, and others in the UK don’t want to move their families permanently back in Uganda.

Compared to UK, In Uganda, the Uganda police is the only effective ambulance service because at least they try their best to rush injured persons to hospitals – albeit on the back of a pick-up, their necks twisted, bleeding, with no first aid measures. All those at the brink of death end up dying anyway. I wish our leaders would focus on building a system, rather than the reactionary measures.

In 2012, Uganda hosted the IPU. The theme was on maternal and perinatal mortality. Alas! You can all see what the bald and wig heads discussed. Went off topic.

In Uganda its to be better to be a teagirl than to be a medic or teacher. KCCA reviewed its salary structure. Mbu, the lowest paid person, a tea-girl, gets 1.2 Million per month. However, there was only one exception – Health workers and teachers will not be entitled to this salary structure – mbu ‘it will destabilize the economy’. How can we have such a mindset! Is the input of a health worker and a teacher that much less important than that of a tea-girl. Is the government serious about social services? I think we have parasites, prostitutes and irritants instead of leaders. How many macro-economic mishaps have been bred through mismanagement, corruption, poor planning etc, all the while telling the teachers and health workers to be patient.

In almost all government hospitals, every Medical Officer has had to do a caesarean section using the light from a Nokia telephone – because there was no fuel in the generator. Dr. Obote constructed these hospitals in the late 60s and early 70s. He might have been another bogus leader, but at least these structures are there. All are is a pathetic state of disrepair, while billions are spent on reactionary programs that have no results. None of these hospitals have a reliable water supply, yet at the time they were constructed, they each had a water supply unit – the water pumps have broken down, and nobody is interested in their repair. The only thing they keep blubbering is that the Basawo are stealing drugs – are drugs the only ingredient to a health system, stupid.There are no drugs to steal. No anti-Kochs and no ARVs. Have they been stolen by health workers? Its a gimmick to cover up the lack of delivery.

There’s an extortionist team from state house traversing the country arresting petty drug thieves. Everything leans towards political gain but the reality is different. The real drug thieves are white collared and the president knows them from way back,they prop his government. They arrest doctors if they think you support FDC or Besigye.

Most hospitals under Obote and Amin had a hospital tailor. All doctors needed was to buy a roll of cloth and he would make the theater linen. Now these tailors have been replaced by contractors, who deliver more bogus items at 10 times the cost. The same contractors who constructed bogus theaters in Health Centre IVs. If I had the means, I would slap the Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi. But the last time a man went over his fence to slap him, the man ended up 6 feet under, and Nina Mbabazi defended this action on UAH using all her brain parts before she left the forum.

I onetime saw on TV Police rescue at an accident scene at the crested towers round about, a poor woman with a broken leg was lifted like a hip of ” kasasiro” meaning Police can not even afford a stretcher on their patrol cars!!!!! Ambulances making noise around town without a paramedic or even the lightest first aid equipment!! Then you hear leaders moving around telling the world that it is the west that is keeping Africans backward! Our leaders are worse than the colonialists! that the reason I despise the Pan African movement which destroys what is African ( kingdoms) and puts in place nothing apart from rhetoric,chest thumping, wolokoso.

Until Ugandans recognize and acknowledge that a good health system is the key to economic prosperity, then the rest is down the toilet. Pay the health workers what the rest of WHO does, good governance, respect the law of the land ,and cut down on those bureaucrats. Oh! Sorry I was just dreaming.

It seems to me all African leaders except a few are actually extra-terrestial,coz what they are doing shows as if one day they will run off with all their loot to another planet where they came from!and they call themselves pan Africans,SHAME ON THEM!

RAHIMU JABENDO

Museveni is the biggest tribalist and confuser in Uganda


People being slaughtered and hacked like Animals, innocent children got and put in a house, a blaze of fire is set in it and burnt into ash in Rwenzururu kingdom

People being slaughtered and hacked like Animals, innocent children got and put in a house, a blaze of fire is set in it and burnt into ash in Rwenzururu kingdom


Forum,
The person installing tribal leaders in the Rwenzori region is the biggest tribalist and confuser in Uganda. He is confusing every fool in the region. The other day it was the ”small boy” on hunger strike, now it is mass killing. I think tribal societies are very very primitive and a lot worse than racism. You see them even among the highly educated in Kampala manifesting a sophisticated form of tribalism called ‘nepotistic kakistocracy’ (check your dictionary if u like) – not only through fighting primitive wars but using other syndicates to patronize and propel unqualified people. Some are so openly tribal that the things they do make them look like imbeciles to everyone, yet they do not see it.

In the dark ages in Europe, these idiots often fought each other until one group of ‘barbarians’ totally annihilated the other group of ‘savages’ and so forth it went until a more ‘civilized’ group conquered all of them and urinated sense into their obnoxious grey matter. But modern societies cannot tolerate such nonsense. Everyone should strive to let go of tribes, however tribal a society is.We see this deplorable behavior in our everyday society.

People being slaughtered and hacked like Animals, innocent children got and put in a house, a blaze of fire is set in it and burnt into ash in Rwenzururu kingdom

People being slaughtered and hacked like Animals, innocent children got and put in a house, a blaze of fire is set in it and burnt into ash in Rwenzururu kingdom


One common thing to mankind is that we never make a choice which mother brings us into the world thus which ethnicity we arr born. We are taught these stereotypes and some take them too far. Unfortunately you see it even in our academic institutions like who becomes the Chancellor, the Dean and comes down to HOD level. So as long us the educated cream is not working hard to uproot such primitive tendencies what about the uneducated led by an educated imbecile with those tendencies. What beats my understanding is that both literates & non illiterates are in the same boat. Where did their humanity go?

In this time and age, tribalism is akin to lunacy. Just need to travel a bit and take in the advancement and development of societies that transcended this vice, to get a better appreciation. Our little tribes as a unit of organization, just do not cut it in this era of modernization, globalization and digitization.We need to deliberately start working on that because we stand to loose the benefits and reason of why we went to school in the first place.

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The beautiful 15 year old girl in the picture above was the first black person in an all white school in the South of the US. She was called Dorothy Counts. She shows a face of courage amid hundreds of cowardly faces around her. They bullied and spat on her, supported by their teachers. Such is the confusing history of mankind. I think Barack Obama represents a very strong change in the logic of humanness.Yet we are still highly divided and hateful – in Uganda, its not even about race – it is about tribe

However, some people argue that desegregation was the worst thing to happen to the black community. In the video on the link below, one is persuaded not to view the civil rights era with sentimentality, and admiration. Unwittingly, blacks dug their own grave.

I have also watched the video, and the guy is very correct: the ‘negroes’ as he calls them lost their identity and franchising spirit when they integrated correct – except on one thing: I think the problem was not the integration and desegregation; rather, the problem is the general attitude of black people to work – Lazy, lazy, lazy, all hidden in self-pity about their condition. He gives a very good example of how the Asians took over the business in the French Quarters – this was not an off-shot of dis-segregation.

I think what Africans and black people NEED TO DO is to wake up, lose the self-pity and sloth and be industrious. The other issue is that black communities need to maintain their identity – I for one have no problem with being called a ‘Nigger’ because depending on how u view it, it can be a source of identity, pride and resilience – but black people need to get out of their slumber and should not wait for ‘no competition situations to compete’. Otherwise, thanks for that insightful video

Mirundi earns a paltry 9M/= per month while his junior earns 27M per month


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The Salaries are abnormal and can not be logically explained. Many of those on the list are those who lost various elections but they earn much more than MPs and the rest of the civil servants in the country!And u still expect this govt to care for doctors & teachers when somebody like Kagingo who add limited value to this nation earn that much.Photos for 27million when a teacher only demands 500K.For 10 tweets and 17 Facebook updates, someone takes home 27 Million UGX. That’s 1 Million UGX per update. How do you explain that to teachers, nurses and the security peoples.While surgery patients in Kamuli hospital carry their intestines in buveera and others are rotting cos doctors have abandoned them due to poor pay and lack of drugs….these goons bagyenzi.

Meanwhile, our parliament was flooding this week after a heavy downfall

Meanwhile, our parliament was flooding this week after a heavy downfall

Sarah denied not earning the shs.27 m but she was also telling lies. Her salary was not a typing error.I still doubt that the Special Presidential Assistant for Communications Sarah Kagingo is earning 2,260,000/=. The Mps version seems to be exaggerated but Sarah’s version looks like under estimates.

I’ve been told that some of these figures have been cooked up by someone to divert ugandans from the rebel activities in the west, though sarah’s salary is correct. for instance, Faridah Najjuma,earns less than 3 million a month. She is still in shock some one cooked up these figures.

What surprised me was after all the Noise Tamale Mirundi earns a paltry 9M/= per month while his junior earns 27M per month. May be he is from a wrong region.

With Najuma Farida and others, their salaries were exaggerated. I think when the real salary is 4m,they portray 27m and a whooping 23m goes to NRM funding.Clearly, those figures are so astronomical it would only point to the fact that those employees could just be cover-ups for a wider scheme to siphon off public funds through such outrageous employee benefit policies.

But generally speaking, Most of the employees under state house and president’s office are the “traditional public service” and transferable to other Ministries when the need arises thus their salaries are graded (scale U1, U2, U3 etc) and the highest paid person (U1) cant go above 3 million. However, if u want to find out the real gist of this cash bonanza, just scrutinize the IFMS payments (made out to individuals) at the Ministerial level and the Procurements therein BUT of course nobody will give u the information.

This issue of salary is a timely tactic to divert public anger and attention from Bundibugyo,Ntoroko & Kasese.And the fact that it is being piped by someone of Andrew Mwenda’s character makes my hypothesis even more believable.

RAHIMU JABENDO

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