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Day April 28, 2015

World Intellectual Property Day: The challenges before Uganda.


BY MAYIMUNA NABAGEREKA VIA THE UAH FACEBOOK FORUM

April 26, 2015, (like April 26 of every year) was the World Intellectual Property Day, a day set apart annually to celebrate human creative endeavours as evinced in original innovations and ideas.

Last Thursday, precisely, 23rd of April, is the World Book and Copyright Day, a day also set apart annually to celebrate literature, literacy and protection of intellectual rights.

The World Book and Copyright Day is organised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), to promote reading, publishing and copyright, while the Vision of World Intellectual Property Day, according to World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) is to “raise awareness of how patents, copyright, trademarks and designs impact on daily life and to celebrate creativity, and the contribution made by creators and innovators to the development of societies across the globe”.

Unfortunately, our intellectual property law and enforcement regime is one of the most relaxed in the world with unscrupulous elements gaining ascendancy over merits and talents; these bad characters keep laughing their crooked way to the banks while the researchers, innovators, literary icons, artistes and other gifted souls are being scorched with fire of frustration. For instance, Harriet Kisakye died but she couldn’t afford money for treatment yet she was a celebrity musician. Musicians,most of them, aren’t rich and don’t save.

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Why have Musicians not formed a strong union to protect their intellectual property and fight for the welfare of members?


April 2015 will never be forgotten. It has claimed our own. My they rest in peace.

April 2015 will never be forgotten. It has claimed our own. My they rest in peace.

How many musicians are members of UAH? Why have not they formed a strong union to protect their intellectual property and fight for the welfare of members? For example, if they were organized, they could secure groups insurance for their members at reasonable rates.

I have to say Ms. Kisakye death hit me very hard even though I had never met her. It was her music online. A lot of things seem to have gone wrong. Mr Mathias Walukagga said it all ” Ugandans bakoowu”.

I am so saddened by the passing of Ms. Kisakye (RIP). The musicians need to come together quickly and form a group that can negotiate affordable medical coverage for members from leading insurance firms in Uganda. they should also engage decent law firm on record to fight for their intellectual property rights and represent them too.
Tell them to anticipate challenges and plan for them.

They also need the services of accountants. They can pool resources and retain one or two firms to help with their costs, receipts and payments. They must not merely entertain others without paying themselves first. Yes they are entertainers but they must also enjoy the fruits of their products. They are also business people.

From what has been written about the late Ms. Kisakye’s condition, there is some sort of medical negligence somewhere. How could she go in Mulago with a septic wound that needed dressing and deteriorates so fast? Something is not right. Unfortunately, in Uganda there will be no post mortem so we will not know what killed her. Multiple organ failure may have been triggered by something done to her in the hospitals. Kitalo nnyo.

WBK via the UAH forum

A LETTER TO GOOGLE ABOUT UAH CLOSURE!


To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing to appeal our group’s closure by Google.My name is Abbey Semuwemba and I’m the founder of the Ugandans At Heart(UAH) group hosted on Google at: http://groups.google.co.uk/group/ugandans-at-heart. The group has been operational since 2007 and it is devoted to matters of interest to Ugandans and East Africans. We discuss political, social, economic, technological and healthy issues affecting Uganda as a nation. It has a membership of 15221 people consisting of politicians in Uganda, journalists, diplomats, Ugandans in exile, Security officers in Uganda, Members of Parliament, e.t.c.

Yesterday on 27th April 2015, we learned that the group had been closed because it ”has been identified as containing spam, malware or other malicious content. Content in this group is now limited to view-only mode for those with access”. This is the first time we have been accused of something like that such that we would specifically wish to know what we are accused of.
UAH Logo.cdr
It was a shock to all of us considering that most of the regular members of this specific group are outstanding members of the community, and think hard before they post anything to the group considering that some of our content ends up in print media and other social medias.

The UAH has got guidelines which every member reads as soon as they join the forum, and we make it a point to post the guidelines at least monthly as a reminder to all new members. These guidelines can be accessed too on our site at: http://ugandansatheart.org/ugandans-at-heartuahforum/

I admit, some posts upset some of our members especially if they seem not to agree with certain facts or theories, but this has always been the case in most political and historical debates anywhere in the world. Yes,one of our members has been running series of the violence during Obote 1 and 2, and some Acholis and Langis(members from Obote’s tribe) were not happy with this, but I don’t see this as a reason to close the forum.

We keep most of the articles on our site for further reflection by both members and nonmembers of UAH at: http://ugandansatheart.org/. If you read through the articles yourself, you will realize that its just impossible to please everyone who is in the political spectrum in Uganda, but this should not also be a reason to close such a very important group.

Therefore,I would like to urge you to reinstate the group as soon as possible as this is the main source of online political activism for majority of Ugandans, especially with the 2016 presidential elections around the corner. If the group is reinstated,we will work hard to make sure none of Google’s TERMS OF SERVICE are abused in any way.

I can be reached at: abbeysemuwemba@gmail.com in case any other information is needed. Thank you for considering this appeal.

Sincerely,


Abbey Semuwemba

Stalk my blog at: http://semuwemba.com/

Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/semuwemba

The tragedy of my own sister made me hate NRA/M Forever!


By George O.Pacu-Otto via the UAH forum

My friends,

On changing or reforming the healthcare system in Uganda, I have total loss of confidence in the NRA doing it. I am not going to talk about the corruption and shenanigans that go on everyday that say they can change, or even those who are supporters of the NRA.What I will do is to repeat the tragedy of my own sister, who died of AIDS in 1986. It was her fault that she got HIV, she was only 19 years old. But throughout the time she battled with the disease, the healthcare system was not there to support her. The family quite often had to buy drugs, some totally useless. Towards the end of her life, she was not even admitted to Mulago Hospital because they wrote her
off, so she spent the last weeks of her life in my brothers home in Nakulabye, being fed on a drip by a sister in law who is a nurse. Eventually it was my brother who pulled the drip off and said let her go, she has suffered enough.

I had lost another sister before who was murdered by NRA soldiers in Dokolo, but she is not the one I focus on.

My burning and continuing anger against the NRA regime is why my young sister, who I loved, would be turned away from Mulago hospital, denied medical help and die at home, with just a nurse caring for her, without any medication of any kind.

So I look at these issues politically:

What was the purpose of NRA coming into power if they can not provide even the very basic care for a young girl who was dying? Why would a national referral hospital turn away a critically ill patient? Why should my sister have died at home rather than in the care of the medical services?

Thats why I have so much contempt and indeed hatred for this NRA regime. May be other people have better examples , but permanently my hatred of the NRA became cemented that day when I rushed from London and saw her in her coffin, serene and beautiful and as lovely as we used to play around together as children , but she was dead.

We need to have a national democratic revolution in Uganda. We should never again have millions of people going through the trauma that I have gone through.

George O.Pacu-Otto

VETERAN UAH/UMBS MEMBER WAS APPOINTED KABAKA’S REPRESENTATIVE IN USA


Mr. Moses Gayi Mayanja

Mr. Moses Gayi Mayanja


Friends,

Ssaabasajja Kabaka appointed one of the UAH veteran members, Mr. Moses Gayi Mayanja to be his Representative in the States of Washington, Idaho and Oregon. Moses lives in Seattle,WA, for those who wish to contact him about anything. His email address is: mmayanja1971@gmail.com. He welcomes any suggestions or donations that could help move Buganda to the next level. In turn,he should keep us updated on the good and bad in Mengo,and also give members a direct line to the Kabaka of Buganda,God willing. We wish him nothing but the best for him in this new appointment!

Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba

Stalk my blog at: http://semuwemba.com/

Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/semuwemba

Join me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/abbey.k.semuwemba

—————–
Friends

This introduction makes some of us become way old that we no longer fit into The Abbey Semuwemba generation, you see as we grew up as Ugandans but mostly Baganda, we resented begging. A Muganda never caught a begging cup to sit on a road asking from any one. So how did we survive? We raise up use what we have and maintain our lives and we lived very well, within our means, thank you. When you look at the country as we were growing up, all until the fall of probably Tito Okello, I never for one moment saw an advertisement of an organization begging money for Uganda. Yes Somalia yes Sudan yes those very dry countries, but an organization begging money for Uganda was a shameful act that we never saw. After the Luwero war, we gathered as Luwerorians in Brussels and we raised an issue of creating a fund to rebuild Luwero, and I remember this old man that stood up and vehemently opposed it. His argument was very simple, show me a life standard that has changed through a begging cup. What country has developed for it is begging? Luwerorians have suffered a great deal many have died, but the moment you start to beg for them, you’re going to create a societal shift, from a people that work for their lives to a people that wait for an Oxfam truck. We closed the chapter of raising money for Luwero, what we need money for and what we are going to raise is to run a commission of inquiry in Luwero to understand the damage Acholi Langi and NRA did to our people, create a forum where they can start to speak than using George Okello as their only spokesperson. That is the only fund we will be starting very shortly. Luwerorians must always learn to work for themselves as the rest of people on earth actually do.

Ugandans becoming beggars started from Northern Uganda, after the war and people have been camped, Langis and Acholi stared to ask for funds to run their region. And here is the danger, when you start to beg you never stop, my God to today there are people that are still registering organizations to beg money for Northern Uganda. Reverend Charles Okello is about to start being on 100 Huntley street television appealing for money to buy tractors for Northern Uganda, he does this every summer, and one reaches a point to wonder just how many tractors are in Acholi land today. The money that has been piled up for Northern Uganda has never reached there but it has created some of the very rich Acholi Langi for they use it for personal gains, and right so. But that begging has created a societal shift with in Acholi Langi population that we feared to create in Luwero, many of their people have become the most lazy bums in the country and scattered all over the country. Acholi have actually replaced The Rwandese that were farming in our land, for now they are the new system of cheap labor in Uganda. And who created that category? The Acholi and Langi that believe that everyone has a responsibility to maintain their lives. So we wake up and work as hard as we work, we pile up the money for some Acholi or Langi in Dokolo has a right to live in a set up life style.

In the Kingdom I grew in, I never saw Mengo having representatives out of Buganda, never. But again in this life style of The Semuwemba, everyone must have a representative and now The NRA kingdom has representatives. Then you wonder why we needed them? Till when you realize the undertone of the introduction, Buganda needs fund raising. So to whom is it is done? Who takes the money? Who is accountable to that money? How does it help my mother that is a true Muganda? Abaganda tebakola bwamasiikini. And that is what makes us different. Donation systems in these countries where created to help those in disasters, I have just got a phone call from London and we need to start an immediate fund raising for Nepal, they have been hit with a massive earthquake and hundreds are dead, the initial photographs I have just received are mind boggling. Yes a fund raising is valuable. What disaster has Ssabassajja seen in Buganda? War? Famine? Terrorism? A Pandemic? What has befallen our people to qualify becoming beggars today? There are professional beggars in our society and one of them has just wondered how he can become the Buganda beggar in United Kingdom. But the rest of us as Baganda work hard for what we have, we earn it and we enjoy it little as it may be. The Abbey Semuwemba generation, the NRA kingdom life style, has shifted us a great deal from what we believed in, and what we grew up educated as. May be we all need to sit on our hands and simply wait for donations to flow in and we drink our livers firkin dry !!!!!!!!!

That culture of our lives is owed to other people is going to come back and hit that society so hard that you will think it is a ton of mud. Awo genda ku wangatto.

Edward Mulindwa
TORONTO

WHY PRESIDENT MUSEVENI WANTS AMURU LAND


By Okot Nyormoi, March 13, 2015

In January 12, 2015, a land agreement was signed between the government, Madhvani, Amuru Community leaders and lawyers who drafted the agreement. The signing of the agreement touched off a storm of opinions ranging from outright rejection to complete acceptance. Since the dust has now settled down a bit and the focus has shifted on Apaa, it is time to reflect on why people reacted to the agreement the way they did.

To appreciate the variety of opinions, it is important to understand the context in which the Amuru land agreement was negotiated and signed. There were competing interests including the President of Uganda, the Madhvani Sugar Estate, the Amuru Communal Land Owners and political parties. Since for a variety of reasons, the process leading to the signing of the Amuru land agreement was not completely transparent and because the signing of the agreement was deliberately staged in Rwakatura of all places, it could not escape from arousing intense suspicion and scrutiny.

Ordinarily, government is supposed to build and maintain infrastructures such as roads, medical facilities, schools, electricity, governance etc. However, for over 20 years northern Uganda witnessed the complete opposite. The NRM government marginalized the region in every way possible including war, looting of livestalk, incarceration of up to two million people in horrendous conditions in concentration camps, and misappropriation of funds intended for rehabilitation and reconstruction. When the NRM took over the government, President Museveni was reported to have vowed to teach the people of northern Uganda a lesson they will never forget. This is what appears to have given birth to marginalization of the north.

History informs us that this marginalization appears to be rooted in what President Museveni penned in his thesis in 1971 at the University of Dar-es-Saalam.

“To transform a human being into an efficient, uncostly, and completely subservient slave, you have, as a pre-condition, to completely purge him of his humanity, manhood, and will. Otherwise, as long as he has some hope of a better, free future, he will never succumb to enslavement. To become an efficient instrument of oppression, you have to radically de-humanize yourself by forgoing many qualities that are normally found in balanced human beings. You purge yourself of compassion, altruism, consideration of other people’s suffering and the capacity to restrain your greed….”.

Amuru very much mirrors the situation that the young Museveni envisioned in 1971. Having created conditions of abject poverty coupled with police restricted political freedom to organize, the Amuru community is rendered extremely vulnerable. Under such conditions, land vultures are convinced that Amuru communal land is ripe to be had. The NRM government tried different tactics to grab as much of the land as possible. It used the military in the 1987 forced evacuation of the land in the name of security, deception by General Salim Saleh’s 2003 proposed Security and Production scheme and the fraudulent allocation of 40,000 hectors of land to Madhvani for a sugar estate. Furthermore, the government via the Wild Life Authority used force to chase people off their ancestral land in Apaa. Government is also using the Ministry of Land and Urban Development to redraw the boundary between Amuru and Adjumani Districts allegedly to accommodate land sales to foreign investors. However, the Amuru community with the support of other communities found the resolve and strength to resist all these schemes to grab their land under the pretext of paying big money in land sales and promises of bringing quick developments to the under-developed area.

While the community’s resistance to the whole sale land grab has slowed down the process, a new political development has emerged since the NRM/A bush war of the 1980s. During the 5 year bush war, the NRA/M derived its support from southern and western Uganda. In contrast, because of the war, northern and eastern Uganda did not support the NRM government. However, as unfulfilled promises soared in the south and west, the NRM government began to lose substantial parts of its political support. Besides, when the Lord’s Resistant Army (LRA) relocated itself away from the north and east, it removed the element of fear that the government was using to extract support from the south and west. As a result, the 2011 election, as revealed by the likes of General Sejusa, the NRM lost to FDC, but was stolen by massive rigging by the NRM government.

The 2011 election sounded an alarm to the NRM government that it can no longer rely on the west and Buganda for holding onto power. Although the NRM government expected a massive support from the north and east as an alternative to Buganda and the west when the shooting war ended, it was disappointed by the low support it got in the 2011 election. Nevertheless, even if it is assumed that the NRM can always claim victory by bribing and rigging elections, the larger than life ego of the leader remains unsatisfied. It is still yarning for acceptance by people from the north and east, which so far has been justifiably denied.

Another important motivation for acquiring Amuru land is what may lie beneath the surface. It is believed that there is oil and other minerals in Amuru. Therefore, the scramble for large tracks of land may be fueld by the black gold and other minerals.

The government push to secure land for the sugar estate in Amuru is now being driven by both oil as well as a shift in the political fortune of the NRM government. This is why the government has adopted a somewhat softer approach. For example, it accepted to abide by the court injunction against any forceful eviction of people from Apaa in Amuru District, albeit temporarily. It also agreed to delay the construction of the Madhvani sugar estate pending the outcome of the court appeal of the 2012 ruling lodged by the Amuru land owners.

In spite of the softer approach, it is not hard for the people to see why the government is pushing so hard to secure the land for the sugar estate. As they say, bad habits die hard. The President has once more applied deceptive divide-and-rule tactics to extract an agreement. First, during the negotiation, the government announced plans to survey the land as if it was already a done deal, long before the community negotiators had a chance to report to the community. Expectedly, this backfired because it showed bad faith.

Worse still, the government employed a divide and rule tactic to lure 3 out of 5 community leaders to sign the agreement before negotiating the details of the conditions under which the land is to be provided for the sugar estate. Consequently, it raised the questions of legitimacy of the agreement. It is by knowing the political history of the NRM government that one can appreciate why President Museveni is pushing so hard to acquire large tracts of land in Amuru District.

By resisting land grabbing, the people of Amuru are showing President Museveni that they still have hope for a better and free future and that they will never succumb to enslavement. True and sustainable development can only occur with the consent of the people, not by force.

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