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Month September 2016

Dr Kizza Besigye’s Passionate Speech In United Kingdom on 24th August 2016


ALLEGORY

Winnie was in Parliament before me. For the short time Winnie was away I was in prison 7 times.

It is from her that I have learnt. One cannot have a strong and reliable partner in this struggle.

I would like to thank immensely the people that are living out here. Working under difficult circumstances and are making all means possible to make Uganda better. Thank you for that commitment to your country.

I would like to thank all of you that have made a lot of sacrifices.

It has been a long struggle. Many people are happy to celebrate when there’s success. However, when there’s no success many shy away. I would like to thank many of you for standing up and contributing as much as you have for our country including in the last elections.

We went into the last elections in rather a disorganised fashion. We went through turns and twists. Our opponent is an entrenched dictator as described. In the last election we received alot of support from all of you in the diaspora.

Please do not pity me. I am one of the lucky ones. Many of our colleagues left this life long time ago. They died of wanting to have a better Uganda. I cannot complain too much when I am here.

It is an error to pity myself.

My remarks will be limited. I will focus on what we are dealing with and how we can get out of the hole in which we are.

Countries work and serve for those who have power. If you have no power you will not be served. unfortunately in our country the bitter truth is that we live in a country where we have no power. Power belongs to very few people.

This has not just happened because of Museveni. He found them there. Collectively as a country, as Ugandans we lost our power to the British with the force of arms. They came with gun powder. Some of our ancestors put a resistence. We ceased to be citizens of our villages but subjects of England. That situation has not changed till today. We are still under those with guns.

This is why the gun is resident. To take away power from these guns you use guns. The control of the country of resources is in the hands of the very few that control those guns.

My wife and I when we went to the bush we thought there could be bad and good guns. We have all realised that we were wrong. The control of guns is through a disciplined system of orders which come from the top.

When you hear people beaten on the streeets you will hear that they were under orders and the control of guns is under one person from above.

During war the civil institutions, communities are further weakened because they are displaced. The social institutions, clan system break down. In Acholi this has happened as there’s a break down of the community system.

Once war has ended there’s a community that is very weak and cannot check the powerful few that have the guns. Although in the war we thought that there were good and bad guns. Those fighting are also wanting to get the same title as those of the few.

Sitting at the fire place in the bush I would hear some of my colleagues saying that I want to drive that vehicle like the other one whom we are fighting is driving.

One came to me as well he said things seem to be working out and the only thing i want to be is a market master of Owino.

Even the young activists are saying that those malls that they are building will be ours some day.

Many of the people you find that those fighting have been eliminated so they are fighting not because of well intentioned ideas.

After revolutions you hear of coups because people’s needs have not been met. We have power in a few hands and still in a few hands. Countries serve those who have power. If you have no power, your daughter goes to the bush to deliver yet those with power go to Germany.

Money, resources go to those who have power because they control decision making in the country. Do not think you have a Parliament in Uganda.

inspite of the crisis in the country, they are arguing of getting 150m to buy a car. I saw Kato Lubwama “Katemba”. He was elected, thanks to efforts of some of us. he said that those who are feeling jealous can go hang themselves.

Kato Lubwama was elected with nothing. The others get those seats bought. They use like 300Million, use those with kiboko. Seats are procured by the dictator himself. He gives them seats to serve him not people.

The 9th Parliament made very important resolution on oil. Next day they were put on buses to Kyankwanzi and put UPDF uniform. They make them run around. Later they bring them to Parliament and changed all the resolutions they made last week.

The police cannot be a people’s police if they are beating up people. People run away from them. The EC is a walking stick of M7. Institutions serve those who have power.

The good people who are there serve those with power. They tell me whenever i go to the prison that you know we support you but we have to put food on the table.

once you have this situation those with power rule. Our mission is not just about removing M7. How we remove him matters. we must remove the control by guns.

If we wanted to use guns it is not difficult. Many in the forces are with us. This is no longer debatable. In the last election where Military voted we won very well.

M7 started the war with 27 guns and it shows it is not the guns it is the people. If we wanted to take that course we would and win.

Many ask me assure us that you will be different from Museveni.

My MP in my area was confronted why he was not implementing the policies.

At the time of squeezing the bananas not many people come. When one is at the time of collecting the beer the language changes. This MP was saying like that.

The critical thing that we have to address is how these institutions revert to the majority.

The role of elections:

If the dictator controls decision making. Do you think it is realistic expectation that a dictator organises an election to remove him? it is not. Even when we go to the elections you must understand this.

To change this control we are going to need three things. the majority of the people that we want to have the power must themselves know that they do not have the power. Some of them do not know this. When slave trade was being abolished some slaves resisted. Our people have lived with out power for generations now. They think indeed that a leader is their master.

You see them kneeling and clapping…wangala..because he has given them something. Now people treat M7 as a giver.

M7 did not have any property. No money. All the money he has is from those kneeling before him, clapping. when he gives they feel so blessed.

We need to deal with the people’s understanding of the powerlessness, do not complain that you do not have jobs because you will never get it because you do not have power.

What guarantees good governance is the knowledge and assertiveness of the people. You lead knowing that you have masters. If you hire a domestic servant and you have no power over that person. will they work for you?

We have to recover our people’s minds from being masters of the Queen of England.
We must now become citizens and take our responsibilities. Leaders are servants. We must change. If you hire besigye you are hiring a servant. If he does not serve you fire him. M7 says that the ministers are the problem. That is where it starts, recoving our minds and gaining control of our institutions. We must have people’s institutions.

The second thing is to organise. People use guns to take on govts is because they are organised. When we were in the bush we were very few. Our strength was not the guns but the people. People would not talk. if Lutamaguzi had said M7 was under my hut, history would have been different.

When we were in the bush, we had local councils. The LC1 knows who is who on the village. We need to organise for actions. Organise to struggle. The dictator will not go without a push. That is why we said that we shall win by defiance. We won convincingly. That is how we won everything in Kasese. People remained at the polls untill the results were fully announced. You can only win by defiance. This is where everybody comes in.

Once you link up you can sign each other responsibilities. That is why we had P10. If we wanted to the embassy here just texting one of the leaders of the 10 we get 1000 members.

Lastly, defiance actions. It is a struggle like that in the bush. It has dangers. People are going to be killed. This time you are not the one using violence. It is so powerful. You have seen traders in Kampala close their shops, They become cautious that they cannot fight this. They say together that lets challenge this then they organise together and say that from Monday no opening shops. Who will the police teargas. It took three days and the Govt was on its knees.

Defiance are actions of citizens of those who are not using violence. there are three main types of actions. demonstations, taking active dissatification thtough marches, public demonstantration. Two, non, cooperative demonstrations. You are the one that gives power to any leader. If I said please stand up and you do not then it means i have no power. Obedience is the source of power we give. You can withhold it. You can refuse to cooperate. If we all say lets not take any more food to Kampala. What will happen. Can he last a week.

The other day he dismissed health workers and brought soldiers.

Lastly, you have raids of people. Occupation. if it is what people want we can invite every one then we can invite everyone to all come and occupy Parliament. Parliament is a representative organ and if it is not representing us well we can occupy it and represent ourselves.

I can assure that well organised struggle can never fail. More critically, if we organise this time and make sure that those with guns realise that their guns are nothing then no body will ever again use guns to dominate us. They will become surbodinates of people.

The Commander in Chief does not need to be a soldier because the command is of the people. Now you can see that whenever M7 is in trouble he puts on his uniform and very soon we shall show him that his uniform is worthless in terms of controlling power.

In the last election we said that we shall win by defiance and i have not seen the kind of energy and involvement of our people. It is an election where we used less money. M7 said to have spent 800 billion and that was understated. A lot that they spent is as Govt. In 2011 he spent 2trillion.

The message of regaining people’s power has been appreciated. People were saying here it is. Some things were emotional. I was in Pader. A woman kept pulling me..she untied the sash, inside she untied another she pulled out 500 shillings and she spat on it her saliva she handed over the coin to me. That tells you that lady is willing to part everything she had.

This was in the whole country. M7 can say he is the legal president and people tell him no way you are not.

Of course I was imprisoned on the 19th February, I did not come out untill July. They barracked my compound. They think they have forces but…hehe

The reason they behaved like that. They broke the door. they took over the head quarter they arrested our candidates. They did this because the truth had come to them in spite of the cheating.

We have evidence. I told them in court to stop investigating i can tell you here that I won. If it is treason you now have the evidence. If you win you form cabinet. I said this in court. We have evidence that we won by over 52%. We have all this evidence. We did not have the opportunity to go to court. The election is concluded when those who are not satisfied with the results petition.

Every candidate has that right. Museveni is not validly elected. Since he has taken me to court on treason then lets wait what happens. There is no doubt that he did not win.

This is not something that we were surprised with.

The population has remained defiant. M7 now must close roads when he has a visitor as he now sees the public is the enemy. That is why you saw him run away from his car to make a telephone call. He cannot trust his own car.

We believe that we were legitimately elected and the struggle before us is to defend the people’s will. Mr. Museveni has done everything to show that 2016 is done that we look to the gimmicks of 2021. Nothing will change. in 2021.

The whole talk of age limits is now focusing people on what happens in 2021. We do not care what his age is. He lost an election and he just have get out of the office. Whatever his age is he must sort out from his village.

We must not lose the momentum to assert the people’s will. Getting people to understand the need to understand what is at stake, organising and action.

This cannot be a partisan struggle. The divide is very clear. Those that want to regain their country and their institution and those who do not. You just have to choose which side of the divide you are. This is not the time to fly the colours. Let us all build one front. Once we have done that we will need to have a transitional process. Once we regain power over the country we must have have a transitional process that deals with three things. We must have a constitutional review process. I was poking my friend Betty Kamya. She has fought all these years that the main problem is concentrating the power in one person. When I saw here putting on the updf uniform i was intrigued.

We must formally restructure the constitution including land. If we are not careful this will cause real problems as this is the only thing that people are hanging on.

We shall remodel the state institutions so that they reflect the will of the people.

Lastly amongst the cardinal elements is having free and fair elections.

People need to organise themselves in their own respective parties.

This non partisan struggle is crystallizing now. We have a people’s cabinet. A non partisan cabinet.

This time they did not steal the election it was a straight forward coup.

We are having conversations to smoothen ourselves too so that we move as one. And if we all pull together the regime of Museveni is finished. Even before we push the economy is finished. M7 has been reckless on regime survival. In every village there’s a VISO: village intelligent security officer.

We have two ministers for KLA. We have a city mayor, we have the RCC, he is also there in charge of KLA. he has 5 deputies within Kla. All eating alot of money. This is a crisis of the dictatorship. He has been doing this knowing that it is dangerous. He knows this …he was hoping that he was going to get money for oil. unfortunately for him it has remained in the ground when he is about reach it goes the other way.

This year we have a budget of 27, they hope to raise 13, we are no longer even credit worthy. Now in Kla there are money lenders. These are sharks. They lend at 20% per month. And if you are against the wall you say it is all dying.

Now the Gov is also borrowing from money lenders. That is why you hear people are not being paid salaries. There’s an economic crisis now that affects everybody.

The population has remained defiant. If we do what we need to do the dictatorship can collapse any time.

As Winnie told you, some of us are not going to relax, we are going to push without any hesitation. The danger has been that when the leaders are all not moving with the same kind of zeal, assertiveness, it exposes those who are. They are seen as the problem of the dictatorship. That is why it is important that in this final phase all of us should stand up.

Initially when we started the campaign against M7, you would wave at them and they first look around.

Brothers and sisters you have been everywhere and it is not an exaggeration that Uganda is the most endowed. In 2016 our people should not be with jiggers, nodding disease. In the last election i was calling them NRM diseases. Hepatisis B is wiping our people.

Change is coming keep it up.

Thank you so much everyone that is joining us!


Hi everyone!

Both our Facebook groups have over 180,000 members. Thank you so much everyone that is joining us. I know there are lots of Uganda groups out there but let’s make UAH the best coolest group online(Facebook, twitter, Google and blogs). We haven’t started any Whatspp group yet because there’s fear of the revelation of mobile numbers.

We, Ugandans At Heart(UAH), should live by a code of honor, respect, education and protecting our human rights.We should live our lives in the best way we know how and forgive ourselves as we forgive others along the way. We should look forward with both eyes and ears open protecting our freedom. We should see opportunity in the face of adversity. We should trust in God and do right by our fellow country men and women. This is the UAH Legacy that we should pass down to our children and grandchildren. No matter where and who you are…….Share what’s in your mind and make friends here!

Abusing others, posting fake news, porn and excessive profanity will not be tolerated. We have ladies as well as some youngsters in this group so have some class. This behavior will get you blocked from the group.

*Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba*

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

“My journey is long and my preparation is so little, and weakness has gripped me and death is chasing me!”

Besigye’s lecture at the New York City Bar Association in New York, United States of America on Thursday


 Wrn Kizza-Besigye after featuring on VOA straight talk Africa hosted by legendary host Shaka Sali.

Wrn Kizza-Besigye after featuring on VOA straight talk Africa hosted by legendary host Shaka Sali.

Opening Remarks

Thank you for the very kind introduction and warm welcome, [Name].
I would like to start by thanking the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice for hosting this historic event.
I would in particular like to thank Mr. Alexander Papachristou for his unwavering dedication to the cause of freedom and democracy in Africa. It’s hard to overstate how important it is to have reliable friends when you are in the trenches fighting for freedom.
Alex has been a source of great inspiration to many of us in Africa. I am particularly grateful to him for his wise counsel and support, always reminding us why democracy and the rule of law matters.
Thank you Alex for your support and friendship to the people of Uganda and Africa. I would also like to thank the staff of the Cyrus R. Vance Center who have worked tirelessly to make this event possible. In particular, I would like to single out Dr. Brenda Kombo for her leadership in organizing this event.
I would also like to extend a special thank you to the African Affairs Committee of the New York City Bar for co-sponsoring this event. I understand from reliable sources that you have been a bulwark supporting the rule of law in Africa. I salute you for your dedication and contributions to a better Africa and a better world.
I see in this audience many friends and familiar faces. Thank you for welcoming me and for making me feel at home. It’s good to be amongst friends. And it’s especially inspiring to be amongst those who labor to promote justice and democracy around the world. Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.

Begin Speech

Introduction It’s a unique and singular honor to stand here today to address this august institution which represents, in its finest form, the ideals and the pillars of an open, democratic society—the rule of law.
In a democratic society—and in a diverse and pluralistic society—it is to the Temple of Justice that we go for the peaceful and just adjudication of disputes.
It is at The New York State Supreme Court Building that it is written, with good measure, that:
“The True Administration of Justice is the Firmest Pillar of Good Government.”
It is also in the founding document of the modern constitutional government, The Magna Carta of 1215, that is written:
“To no one will we sell, to no one will we refuse or delay right or justice.”
These statements go to the very foundation of the rule of law—Justice.

I am an African
And it is justice, at its core, that is the foundation of democratic government, and without which there can be no open society.
It is with this firm understanding of the rule law that I stand before you today to talk about
“Fighting for Justice, the Rule of law, and Democracy in Africa”
I take my lessons from Uganda—that favored land from which I hail.
Despite our many problems, we still like to call it “The Pearl of Africa.”
Whenever I hear “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika”—God Bless Africa—the anthem of Africa
I think of those rolling hills and the rugged ridges of Rukungiri, where I was born.
I think of the verdant valleys of Northern Uganda
The green pastures of the West Nile Mount Elgon and The Mountain of the Moon
I think of the Nile and Bwindi impenetrable forest
I think of the ancient heritage of Buganda and Bunyoro and the Luo
Then I remember, with no small measure of pride—
That it was my ancestors—our people from all across Africa—
That erected the pyramids and invented the hieroglyphics. That the first footsteps of man is to found in the heart of Africa.
When I remember all these, and the rich culture of our people, and the great civilizations they forged and will continue to forge until the end of time—then I find courage to stand here before you.
I find courage in my past and I am buoyed by hope for the future. As Thabo Mbeki would say, I am, after all, an African! A Ugandan, yes! But above all an African!

Personal Confessions

Let me begin with a personal confession.
I stand before you as a man who has been living under the shadow of the law—not in its brilliant and luminous radiance.
I stand before you as a man charged with treason in his land of birth.
I am here today, outside Uganda, by the permission and grace of the Uganda High court, to which I am very grateful.
What treason means
I will begin by explaining the nature of the treason charges against me. There are, specifically, two charges against me.
During the last presidential campaign in Uganda, which culminated in the February 2016 presidential elections, which I contested and which I believe I won convincingly, I campaigned on one radical and threatening idea:
That all Ugandans—all my compatriots—must be citizens and not subjects. That was the core of my campaign: citizens versus subjects.
To understand the force of my argument and the power of our campaign, we must briefly revisit the political history of Africa.

The Colonial State in Africa.

Colonialism in Africa stood for one radical idea: that no African could be a citizen.
And that by the edict of nature and some inscrutable faith, an African was forever consigned to be a subject. Under apartheid, Africans were “drawers of water and the hewers of woods.”
The colonial state—and the entire edifice of the colonial system—were based on the belief and the simple premise that Africans were inferior human beings—beings destined to be governed by a stern state or a stern master.
This is the colonial idea of tutelage. Africans were projected as naturally backwards and in need of tutoring in the art of modernity and civilized existence.
Upon this ideology was erected the concept of people as subjects. In fact, people as chattels. In colonial Africa, Africans were simply subjects—people to be governed from a distant metropolis by unaccountable but “enlightened” despots. Colonialism meant total domination: No power to decide how and by who people would be governed and no power over their resources (including their labor).

The Neo-Colonial State in Africa

After independence, the African elites inherited the colonial state and hardly buried or interred the colonial ideology that Africans are merely subjects. The African elites have
used the same coercive tools to perpetuate monopolization of decision making, State institutions and resources.
The neo-colonial state –and most states across Africa are neo-colonial state—continue to treat Africans as subjects.
The colonial states turned Africans into subjects and the neo-colonial African states have perpetuated that colonial ideology.
Kwame Nkrumah Patrice Lumumba Steve Biko Nelson Mandela—all the heroes of the pan-African liberation struggles—revolted and waged pitch campaigns of defiance against this racist ideology.
They refused—and defiantly did so—to accept Africans as mere subjects and not citizens. They refused to accept that we, as Africans, are children of a lesser God.

Pan-Africanism Redefined

Thus, at the core of the pan-African liberation ideology is the radical belief that every African is a citizen.
That we are children of a benevolent God just as any other race of this earth. That, my friends, is our campaign in Uganda. That is our campaign of defiance.
The campaign that every woman and man and child in Africa is a citizen. That every African—by birthright—is a citizen of our beloved continent. That we, as citizens, determine how and who governs; that we control State institutions and our national resources.
Masters, not Servants—My Act of Treason
Where there are citizens, the people are the masters and the state is the servant. Where there are subjects, the state is the master and the people are the servants. This distinction—between citizens and subjects—is at the heart of our campaign in Uganda. We are simply seeking to democratize Uganda—to have free and fair elections, and to have basic human rights, including the right to free speech and assembly. That is the profound nature of our struggle.
That is the act of treason I have been charged with—that I dare, in the face of corrupt power, to say that Africans are citizens.
That is my act of treason. And to that I plead guilty. It’s an honor to plead guilty. And I carry that charge, as an African and as a human being, as a badge of honor. In the face of oppression and injustice, one must bear witness. Today in Uganda I am a witness. The second treason charge leveled against me is about the outcome of the February 2016 presidential elections.
With almost no exception, all election observers declared that the elections were deeply flawed and comprehensively rigged. For example, the Commonwealth Observer Group, the European Union Election Observer Mission, and United States Government declared as “deeply inconsistent with international standards and expectations for any democratic process.”
The election returns received by my own party, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), show that I won the elections convincingly.
But a thoroughly compromised National Electoral Commission (NEC) declared the loser to be the winner. So I did something entirely radical.
I asked for an independent international audit of the elections.
I said let’s determine the winner of these disputed elections through an impeachable empirical audit.
For that I was charged with treason.
I was charged with treason for questioning the outcome of the rigged elections and for proposing that an objective audit should resolve the dispute.

Free and Fair Elections and the Rule of Law

You might ask, rightfully, what do free and fair elections got to do with the rule of law?
The Rule of Law v. Rule by Law
You can have oppressive laws and you can have undemocratic laws. Nazi Germany and apartheid South Africa illustrate why the phrase “the rule of law” can be meaningless, even dangerous, without the constraints or the requirements of justice.
The rule of law alone, in itself, is not sufficient in a democratic society.
The rule of law, to be beneficial and enlightened, must be undergirded by justice. That is, the rule of law must be morally defensible. In modern terms, it must be democratic; it must satisfy certain core requirements of an open and democratic society.
The two—the rule of law and democracy—are inextricably linked. You cannot, in an enlightened society, have the rule of law without democracy; and you cannot have democracy without the rule of law.

Democracy and Citizenship

But what is democracy in the modern context? Simply defined, democracy is rule by the people. It means that the people are the masters. It means that a community of citizens and not a community of subjects.
It means, at its core, universal suffrage and the accountability of the government to the electorate.
But the people cannot govern as a mob. Democracy is not an exercise in mob rule. It must be structured through free and fair elections.
Free and Fair Elections
It means, therefore, that the will of the people must be expressed through regularly scheduled free and fair elections.
So democracy means, in brief, rule by the electorate through universal suffrage expressed through regularly scheduled free and fair elections. That is also the definition of citizenship: the people as the electorates.
For elections are the instruments through which the people—not acting as a mob—exercise their power and will.

Where there are no free and fair elections—the process by which the government is held accountable—there can be no citizenship, and there can be no democracy.
In Uganda, we have not had genuinely free and fair elections since 1963. Democracy and citizenship are inextricably linked. We can therefore redefine and restate what democracy means.
It means government by citizens who exercise their rights of citizenship to hold their government accountable through regularly scheduled free and fair elections based on universal suffrage.
The Rule of Law Restated
Allow me, then, to redefine the rule of law as I understand it. As a civilian.
The rule of law must be based on rules made in a democratic society by citizens who exercise their rights of citizenship through governments that are elected through free and fair election based on universal suffrage.
That is the basic requirement and the foundation of the rule of law: free and fair elections based on universal suffrage.
But our restatement is still incomplete. It is still not sufficient.
The modern rule of law must, at a minimum, have protections of minorities, and must enshrine and respect the freedom of speech and assembly and the free exercise of religious beliefs.
For without these freedoms—freedom of speech, of assembly, and religion—you cannot have free and fair elections or a free society. Without these freedoms you cannot have a government that is accountable to the electorate.
And there is one other requirement: that good laws must be impartially enforced. In our case, we have on several occasions challenged presidential election rigging. Unfortunately, the courts have failed to enforce the law so that the candidate that rigs does not benefit from rigging.

Citizenship and the Rule of Law

We have defined citizenship as the right to hold the government accountable through regularly scheduled free and fair elections based on universal suffrage.
And you cannot have free and fair elections without the basic freedoms that I have just enumerated.
The rule of law, therefore, must be firmly based on the freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion—the pillars and foundations of a free, democratic society. They are also the foundations of citizenship.
Without citizenship you cannot have the rule of law—understood as laws based on substantive justice.
These, then, are the theoretical and ideological foundations of our struggle in Uganda and Africa: the rule of law as the quest for justice and democracy.

The rule of law as the product of citizenship, and as the product of free and fair elections. The problem of democracy in Africa

As I have stated earlier, the problem of democracy in Africa is the problem of elite politics divorced from the masses.
Effectively, in Africa, it often is the rule by minority—family, ethnic, racial, religious, Or a criminal syndicate, that has monopoly of coercive forces.
In Africa, the state has been the master, and the people have been the servants. Instead of citizens, we have subjects. Instead of accountability of government, we have a predatory and parasitic government.
We have had a society of subjects and not citizens. This is the colonial legacy in Africa—a legacy our political elites have heartily embraced.
The people of Africa have, for the most part, remained supplicants to their governments. The strong man owns the country. The resources of the country are his own. “My army”;” my oil.”

Legitimacy and the Rule of Law

In a society of subjects, the concept of legitimacy is reversed. Instead of the government being accountable to the people, it’s the people who are now accountable to the government. It is no longer government of law but government by law. More appropriately, government by fiat and dicta.

The government makes the law as it pleases. It holds the people accountable to its edicts, however grievious, bizarre or oppressive or predatory. Even the constitutions are merely indicative. In a non-democratic society, there is no government of law.
For without citizenship, defined as participation in governance through free and fair elections based on universal suffrage, undergirded by the freedom of speech, assembly, and religion, there can be no rule of law.

Africa, Pan-Africanism, and the Rule of Law

The struggle in Africa is the struggle to reclaim citizenship and, therefore, to develop and enshrine the rule of law.
The colonial powers saw Africans merely as subjects. The African elites have continued that racist ideology of treating Africans as subjects and not citizens.
Let there be no doubt that no one can credibly claim to be a pan-Africanist or a defender of the African people who does not defend the right of every African to citizenship. Please allow me to redefine pan-Africanism.

Pan-Africanism is an ideology which insists that every African is a citizen with indefeasible rights, which must include the rights to free and free and fair elections through universal suffrage, and the freedom of speech, assembly and religion which make possible the rights to free and fair elections.
Let no African dictator claim, therefore, to be a Pan-Africanist.
Lessons from Uganda

Our struggle in Uganda has been singular. How to restore the citizenship of our people. That is my only commitment in politics: to finish the struggle for the African liberation. To allow every African to be a citizenship.

And freedom begins with reclaiming one’s citizenship.
Kwame Nkrumah was right: “seek ye first the political kingdom.”
I say, seek ye first to be a citizen before other blessings can be bestowed upon you. Seek ye first to be free.

That is our campaign of defiance in Uganda—to complete the vision of Kwame Nkrumah and Patrice Lumumba and Steve Biko.
Just as during the struggle against colonialism and apartheid, we do not beg to be free. You must walk for your freedom; you must march for freedom, and you must fight, with every senew, for freedom if you are to be free.
Freedom is not given. Freedom is earned.
You go to jail for it, as did Mahatma Gandhi;
as did Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr;
as did Rosa Park;
as did Vaclav Havel;
as did Nelson Mandela;
as did Wangari Maathai;
as did Aung San Suu Kyi; among the great heroes of the universal struggle for freedom.

Totalitarianism and Oppression Require Silence

Totalirarianism and oppression succeed by enforcing silence. ·
They want to silence the victims · They want to silence the people of conscience · They want to silence the witnesses ·
They want no testimony or evidence against their evils
That is why totalitarian regimes and dictators rule by fear. They want to force the victims to police his or her conscience and remain silence.
They oppose freedom of speech and freedom of assembly because they want silence.
They muffle the press and the voices of freedom because oppression can only thrive where there is silence.

They jail their opponents because they want silence. So I refuse to be silent.
Because there is only one moral response to oppression and injustice: you must stand up and bear witness.
The path to serfdom is paved by silence.
We must refuse to remain silent in the face of injustice and oppression.
§ Mahatma Gandhi refused to be silent
§ Kwame Nkrumah refused to be silent
§ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr refused to be silent
§ Jomo Kenyatta refused to be silent
§ Julius Nyerere refused to be silent
§ Jaramogi Oginga Odinga refused to be silent
§ Patrice Lumumba refused to be silent
§ Leopold Senghor refused to be silent
§ Steve Biko refused to be silent § Rosa Park refused to be silent
§ Vaclav Havel refused to be silent
§ Nelson Mandela refused to be silent
§ Elie Wiessel refused to be silent
§ Aung San Suu Kyi refused to be silent
Please stand up and bear witness. Please refuse to be silent in the face of oppression. Refusing to silent is our campaign of defiance in Uganda.

DEFIANCE: This means that our people minds must be freed for them to take on the new status of citizens; they must acquire organizational tools that allow them to speak and act together in challenging domination; and lastly, they must together deny the dictators their cooperation until they concede that people are supreme.

Let me end by quoting a great African hero: “It’s the little things citizens do. That’s what will make the difference. My little thing is planting trees”
That was the late Professor Wangari Maathai.
Please do your little thing. In Uganda, I am doing my little thing by refusing to be silent. And that is how we defend the rule of law and freedom and justice and democracy.

Please do your little thing!
Thank you!

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