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.


One Comment so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. The Land grabing Issue is still derived from the Colonial Mentality implanted in our African Minds anyway :

    In this land of Lado ( Heart of Africa ) we have Our – story by the way as an example in protecting our Land Issues but the Colonialists both White or Black continue to say – Our STORY IS NOT THEIRS , WHY ?

    The tricks perpetrated by the global masters come in various shapes and variations, but they all take their root in the one core truth : slave masters need slaves.

    The enslaved have no need to be forced into slavery, in fact they have a desperate need to be freed from their bondage, even though at times, they do not recognize this. Generally, due to the effective reprogramming of their minds, into becoming bearers of a mentality of inferiority and self – hate.

    Slave owners on the other hand, require someone to do all the dirty work, they themselves are not willing to undertake, in order to generate wealth.

    These two facts are the basic pillars in the repression and genocide we suffer and have suffered in Africa. They are the ideological basis for the processes of slavery, colonization, neo-colonization and today`s globalization process , which is in its essence re-colonization .

    Western Europe – I include the USA under that heading – didn`t just work hard and get prosperous .The American Indians were murdered and robbed of their land. Then Africans were enslaved and forced to work for free in the so – called new world .

    Following this , Europe attempted to take the land of the Africans , through military force and establish new European societies , intending to use those Africans who survived the onslaught as slave labour .

    Colonization became a process of military occupation of African land , forced labour of Africans for Western Interests and mass indoctrination of Africans through

    1) the school systems

    2) religious propaganda. It became a policy of theft, of African raw materials and intellectual property, as well as a means to create markets for Western goods. It was here the current African dependency on the Western world was enforced upon us.

    In Asia the processes of domination , brutilization and theft were practiced with a similar barbarism .The same in South America . No corner of the world was safe from Western Un-civilization .

    It was the “ primitive accumulation ” of capital through slavery that built up the capital base needed for industrialization . It was the colonization process that supplied the raw materials needed by Europe to complete its industrialization process . In effect supplying the real foundation for the current Western affluence and power .

    Preceding the official initiation of the process of African colonization in the 1800´s , the Western European Industrial worker threatened outright revolt .

    In order to maintain social order the capitalist elite of Europe agreed to hand over a little more of the profits to the worker , guarantee a minimum of social and economic security and the worker agreed to relinquish the revolutionary socialist project of transforming society and instead focus on getting their piece of the
    pie , through representation – within the capitalist system – by the unions and their political offspring . It was a compromise that gave birth to the Western European welfare state and Western social democracy .

    It is important to understand that this was an internal class struggle , both capitalists and socialists were in agreement in the thinking , that the rest of “ uncivilized ” world should be colonized and under the guidance of an enlightened Europe, taught the ways of civilization . They merely differed on which class in society should benefit from this , the worker or the factory owner.

    The entire Marxist economic theory is based on classical British economic theory – the basis of exploitative capitalism . In short the Marxists believed that the wealth amassed through the processes of production , as well as the means of production should be in the hands of the working class , instead of being monopolized by the capital owning class .

    Generating this wealth required colonization , which 19th century socialists where in favour of . The second communist International in 1907 declared in a majority resolution that “under a socialist regime colonization could be a force for civilization .”

    Though it is true European socialism both before and after this resolution rejected this train of thought, there is NO DENYING that the imperial thought, is/was part of the historical baggage which European socialism is/was a carrier of and which formed/forms its practice. Especially the socialism that developed within the Western colonial powers.

    The fact of the matter is that there is NO WAY, any promise of wealth , freedom or democracy offered to us by the West has any truth to it , regardless of whether it is from the Western political right-wing or left-wing . For Western wealth , freedom and democracy is based on our African lack of the same , it was then and still is today.

    All the wonderful declaration of human rights , democratic constitutions and humanistic ideals of the West were never intended for the non – European portion of the world and especially not for Africans . They have never been applied to us , in the dealings of the West with Africa .

    The ideas make sense , Justice, Liberty , Prosperity , Equity etc. But when these declarations were written , people from Africa weren`t considered human . That is why the same people who spoke of universal human rights could own slaves without seriously pondering the contradiction and why people who advocated socialist revolution could be in favour of a process of colonization that murdered Africans by the millions , e.g. the Belgian colonization of Congo and Lado .

    As long as the myth of European enlightenment and the false history the West teaches itself , about the motivations of its actions , through the past 500 years is propagated , the West cannot change . As long as Africans accept , this version of history or their History as world history – a world of which we are a part – we accept ourselves as inferiors .

    In Lado ( Heart of Africa ) we do not tolerate this Behaviour since from 1871 till todate . When we talk , the same people say we are Bad people , yet we say the truth , and that is why they say we must be controlled which they have been doing and still go on with their Monkey Tricks occupyimg us with Impunity through their Military Mighty Force . The result till todate is ” LADO OCCUPIED IN THE HEART OF AFRICA . ”

    The State of Lado is on the Road to Independence…

    The present turmoil and unrest in several African Countries, Like taking place in Uganda , Kenya , Democratic Republic of Congo , Ethiopia , Central African Republic , South Sudan ( formerly part of United Republic of Sudan as an immediate neigbours example is naturally disturbing and sad because many People are affected by Death, Violence and Loss of Property .

    However, according to the Agofe of Lado, King John Bart Agami, in the midst of all this Misery and Injustice against the African Population , there is a glimmer of Hope for the African Peoples and Countries in shaping their own Future .

    The Agofe, of Lado has been fighting an untiring battle to put the State of Lado in Central Africa back on the map since the forbidden name of “Lado” was erased from the Maps of the World by the European Colonial Masters.

    Lado was and is still kept in Stranglehold of Joint Illegal Occupation
    since 15th May 1947 ——-

    Since 1947 Lado – the “Lado Enclave” or “Equatoria” – which is situated in the Great Lakes Region in the Upper Nile Valley, has been kept in a Stranglehold by the European Powers Britain and Belgium who have joined in an Occupation of Lado .

    The Joint Illegal Occupation of Lado by Britain and Belgium in 1947 has made the State of Lado into two Cultural Sectors: :

    a) the French Speaking Lado to the West (Belgian),

    b) the English Speaking Lado to the East (British)

    Here it is noted that The Act of Occupation alone is not consistent with the Treaty of Berlin 26 February 1885, Articles 6, 12, 15, including article 34. However , the British/Belgian Occupation of Lado was not translated into complete Colonial or Protectorate Status by Treaty of 1892 signed by the Agofe of Lado with Belgium for International Relations .

    European Colonial Masters with their Satellite African Countries
    Cannot Inherit the State of Lado

    Consequently, the Former Colonial and Protectorate Countries of Belgium and Britain cannot inherit the State of Lado, which still exists as a Political Entity and as a Nation State of Lado.

    However, it is a Fact that the State of Lado is an Occupied Territory , first by the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) on 26 May 1871, and by Belgium-Britain jointly from 15th May 1947.

    The King or Agofe of Lado emphasizes that Lado People have never accepted Foreign Rule , and that Lado is the only African Nation that never signed over her Sovereignty to Colonial Powers.

    By standing firm and demanding our Right to Exist and to be Recognized as a Sovereign Nation State by the International Community, Lado has stood and stands out as a Beacon and an Example for the People all over Africa who will no longer tolerate Suppression and Enslavement in their own Homelands.

    After four hundred years of Slavery (during 1440-1840), Degradation and Poverty, the African People were left in a State of Shock . And it is little wonder that they chose to lull themselves into Apathy in order just to try to Survive But seen today the Unrest in Africa howver is a true and as a sign that the African People are Awakening from their Sleep , and are taking charge of their own destinies.

    African People are Ridding Themselves of their Ruling Elites

    What we are witnessing now is that the African People are ridding themselves of the Ruling Elite, who have Betrayed their People, and who have only been kept in Power with the massive Support of the Old Colonial Powers today ; mainly Britain, France and Belgium, who have contributed heavily with Military Expertise and Weaponry. And not least to the pockets and Foreign Bank Accounts of their African Leaders. . The Neighbouring or countries surrounding Lado ; that is to
    say : Uganda , Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo and others are tuned to that to controll Lado for this European powers till todate

    In this way, and by creating a Ruling Class chosen from a favoured group or a Tribe/Clan, who got Positions in Power, the former Slave Traders have managed to Divide and Rule and ensure that the African People have been kept Enslaved in their own Homelands long since the lucrative Slave Trade was Abolished.

    This Policy has led to needless Massacres and Bloodbaths and Tragedies as the one which happened in Rwanda , which are often referred to as ‘Ethnic Cleansing’. However, this covers over Atrocities and gross Human Rights Violations by Government Security Forces who are used to quell any sign of Resistance or Criticism against the Ruling Elite is now going on Lado Land .

    Through Brutal Force these Ruling Elites have managed to keep their Populations in a state of constant Fear and Obedient Silence”, as the King or Agofe John Bart Agami of Lado says

    Ruling Elites have been Rigging Election Results

    Up till now these Elites have even got away with the Rigging of Election Results, which have not only taken place in our neighbouring country Kenya Uganda and elsewhere , but also has been the Order of the Day especially in Ugandan Politics where the President still reigns Supreme with the Backing of Britain and Britain’s Scandinavian Allies who will gladly Support Uganda to suit their own Interests .

    Uganda has for many years been the ‘Darling’ of the Anglo-American Powers and their Scandinavian Allies, who are Running and Controlling the Ugandan Administrative System, and in this way are in a position to use Colonial Uganda as a Stepping Stone to take over and usurp Lado’s Natural Resources and Drive out the Inhabitants : Living today still , The Lado People who have become Refugees and ‘Displaced Persons’ in their own Homeland .

    Refer to the note file of Lado History Memories :


    This situation has become Intolerable to the People of Lado, and they have started to take matters into their own Hands, and to Stand Up for their Rights and for what is rightfully theirs.

    Like their Neighbours in Northern Uganda, the Local Lado People have Bravely Protested and Fought and are fighting the Ugandan Government, who had made a Deal for the Sale of Virgin Forest Land to a Canadian Lumber Company.

    The Lado People successfully stopped and are still fighting the Devastation to their Natural Resources which would have Laid or will lay Waste valuable woodlands into Arid Desert if Big Business had or will have its way .

    Success Stories Throughout Lado to Stop Big Business Plans

    Other Success Stories throughout Lado, such as the Lado initiative to stop Oil Drilling, the UK Indians’ Plans of Sugar Plantations and the Colonial and Corporate Plan to turn Lado into a Giant Pig and GMO Soya Beans Farming Area , which would have resulted in Widespread Pollution , have given the Lado People the Courage and the Determination to fight for what they Believe in .

    Meaning : That is the Territorial Integrity of Lado and the Sovereignty of Lado and the Independence The Days of Imperialism and Colonial Power are gone, and a New Age of Freedom and Independence is Emerging. We want Freedom of Lado.

    The Powers who have held Command of the World for the last four hundred years, are losing their Hold of the World, and the African
    Nations want to Write their own History.

    For much too long the Oppressors have Occupied , Raped , and Erased
    the African History, but the Lado People are beginning to find and
    recognize their Rich Cultural Heritage as the Ancient Kingdom Created
    on the Remnants of the Old Egypt as early as 700 B.C , when Lado was
    founded under the name “Ladoland” and on 9 May 847 AD when the Modern
    Lado was Established.”

    The Restoration of The State of Lado

    Lado People will Stand Firm to see that the Lado Sovereign Nation State is Restored with its Original Boundaries from 1887-1907, and the State of Lado is Recognized by the U.N. and the World Community .

    Writen answer to all


    Okuonzi Ronald

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: