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Month November 2016

STATEMENT ON RWENZORI MASSACRE OF SUNDAY 27/11/2016


Fellow citizens,

Yesterday the brightness of Uganda’s future suddenly went dim. Another sad legacy in our history.
We still have assaults on traditional leaders palaces with the graphic pictures of mass shootings resulting in dozens of naked bodies, both men and women, piled together.
Isn’t this Oboteism reloaded?

It is sad to note that many of the dead have their hands tied behind their backs. Suggesting that they were shot at point blank while already under custody.
As we approach 2017, we cannot still be on the Obote II path where the Uganda army still points the gun at its own population and fellow countrymen, threatens citizens, shoots at civilians and kills poor Ugandans as it did yesterday.
The people are sovereign.
Sunday 27th November 2016 will now be remembered as another shocking day in the history of Uganda.
Memories of a similar turning point disaster at the Lubiri on 24th March 1966 are flooding the nations conscience as we speak. We all know how that unfortunate crisis started off the chain of wars and rebellions that litter our recent history since independence in 1962.
There is no way that the horrific massacre that occured Sunday morning can be acceptable.
Everything humanly possible should have been done to avoid such a confrontation, including just waiting.
Utmost restraint must have been exercised. Especially given the lessons from history.
Even if a stand-off seige took days, or months, it would have been preferrable.
An inclusive and comprehensive dialogue should prevail rather than any personal emotions that could have led to the massacre.
Restraint is one of the hardships of leadership. But it is also its best tool. Especially for the side that is said to entrusted with protecting lives and property of all citizens.
Political matters can only be resolved politically. Therefore a new, more transparent alternative dialogue process has to take on the Rwenzori crisis.
In 1971 it is President Idi Amin who after meeting a delegation of Bamba and Bakonzo elders, immediately created the mordern Rwenzururu as it is known today. Remember that all Kingdons had been abolished in 1966.

On 5th May, 1971 he announced that it would encompass the Rwenzori and Semiliki Districts. And in 1972, the Banyarwenzururu King Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere Irema-Ngoma who had reached adult age, took responsibility over the Kingdom and appointed Hon. Yolamu Mulima as his Prime Minister.
The BanyaRwenzururu lived peacefully and without any single incident under Field Marshal Idi Amin.
But when Obote returned to Uganda in 1980, that situation changed. The BanyaRwenzururu basically had to seek recognition of their Kingdom afresh. Obote being cunning and with his known dislike for local Kingdoms, appointed Charles Mumbere as Chief elder instead of King, and then sent him on a scholarship to the United States.
It is the NRM that unceremoniously cancelled that scholarship in 1986 and the Rwenzururu King had to return to Uganda.

While President Idi Amin had immediately let the Rwenzururu people quietly be, and clearly established their Kingdom boundaries as it exists to this day, the subsequent regimes flipflopped on the issue.
In fact history shows that from April 1979 when Amin left Uganda, until 19th October 2009 when the Kingdom waa finally recognized, the Rwenzururu people spent 30 entire years being deliberately led on, and then let down, repeatedly, by the so-called “liberators” as they sought official recognition for the Rwenzururu Kingdom and their King Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere Irema-Ngoma.
I suggest it is time for the people of Uganda to see what exactly is being fought over in Rwenzori. Where is the list of issues? What exactly do they want? If there is more than meets the eye to this matter, it could have something to do with the once rampant accusation that the King Charles Mumbere and his people were part of the rebel ADF group. Something that the Kingdom and their King have persistently denied.
However it is only their King, or his officially known representatives, who should be upfront, and present their matters publicly, and in writing, to the people of Uganda.
Why haven”t they been officially invited to the floor of parliament (or the appropriate committee) to bring this national security matter in its entirety to the nation.

I recall reading the Acholi MP’s caucus’ numerous presentations in Parliament to Ugandans during the LRA insurgency. They were also active during the 2006 Peace talks in Juba, South Sudan. So while there were surely lots of behind-the-scenes activities, they somehow reported back to the Ugandan people.
Everyone knows that the Rwenzururu kingdom had arms and fighters in the Rwenzori Mountains. Most were initially picked from military facilities abandoned by Uganda Army during the 1979 war. Though those were later cordially surrendered to Obote in the 80’s, the violence that has continued to this day points to some level of armed organization. It must be remembered that it is the NRA that would give the Bakonzo youths weapons and ammunition in 1999 allegedly to fight the ADF rebel group in the Rwenzori mountains, something that they reportedly achieved successfully.
But today, to the leaders in the Rwenzori region I say you have all tried the back deals with handshake photographs. Obviously the agreements and the smiles you made were not genuine. Because clearly you have all failed peace this year.
The subregions leaders, the MP’s, RDC’s, traditional chiefs and Local Councillors, were all given a chance. All have clearly defeated their purposes in this pacification process because of self-centered attitudes.

In fact I am told that since the last Rwenzori violence around April this year, the process was overtaken by unscrupulous opportunism, greed, and abuse.
What you and me know for sure, is that while you the politicians might play your secret games, you cannot surpass the firmness and resolve on the ground. The people of Rwenzururu are historically steadfast in their culture and related decisions. They are ready to persist to the death. That is on record since colonial times. Even Field Marshal Idi Amin new this trait.
As fellow Ugandans we are brothers and sisters with the Rwenzori people. We live together everywhere in this country from North to South, East, West or Central Uganda.
Many intermarriages have occured leading us to live as husbands and wives, uncles and aunts, cousins, nephews and nieces.
We work together peacefully in the army, police, civil service and the private sector. Even abroad we live together as Ugandans.
We are therefore together on every issue that affects us all.
So how else do you intend to resolve the violence and any political grievances besides making your case to all Ugandans at a national level?

Isn’t it also the only way to see that the people of this country have their say on any important matters that concern the peace and unity of this country?
We therefore now need to take on the Rwenzori afresh. There is no other alternative. Put it swuarely on the National table. To the Ugandan people and all their representatives.
They need to see substantive documents, official memorandums or petitions, from the Rwenzori people, duely signed, and containing all your grievances.
The rumour mongering and incitement about any other matters should then stop.
The political representatives can then debate one by one the issues presented on paper, and see their merits, including from a legal standpoint, and also basing on the provisions of the constitution.
They need to do it soberly and extensively before making any comprehensive recommendations.

Civil society and other impartial parties need to be involved. The media and its coverage needs to tackle the fundamentals rather than the sensational.
And most importantly, all parties must abide by any final outcome.
An official public inquiry on yesterdays violence, one that results in an extensive public report, is also called for today.
The gruesome pictures that are currently making their way globally will remain as one more unenviable episode in the history of Uganda.
Last April when one of the area MP’s, a senior woman representative from the opposition, said the Rwenzururu violence was reminiscent of the so-called “Amin days”, I responded with a public letter where I wondered how of all people, someone from Kasese could be so dishonest.
The only time in the almost 300 year history of the Rwenzururu people where they lived peacefully without any aggression from their violent and oppressive neighbours, and without any problems with the central government, was under Field Marshal Idi Amin.
But getting back to present events, justice ultimately has to prevail.

This country, for the sake of avoiding ethnic and political violence, and for the sake of building good governance for our common future, wouldn’t it need to see this matter being adressed comprehensively from the public angle, the politics and also in courts of law?
If the Rwenzori Kingdom has been aggrieved, I would like to see them file charges or at least some complaints.
As Ugandans we all have a stake in all the issues that are seriously affecting this country.

And as we try to grasp what might have happened Sunday.morning, and as we also try to unsee the naked dead bodies of young men and women with horrific injuries, some completely defaced by shots from armoured vehicles heavy gunfire directly to their heads, others clearly with burns and horrible shrapnel injuries from military grade explosives, bodies that were then gathered and strewn right in front of the palace gates under the scortching sun, the pictures of women stripped naked by the army and made to stand in a line before being taken to an unknown destination with the consequences that we can imagine, especially that the world just started this years 16 days of activism against Gender based violence, it is ultherefore upon each Ugandan plus the partners and friends of our beloved country, to use this moment of shock, sadness, and grief, to reflect on a just, transparent, inclusive, and conclusive way forward.
Because regardless of what side one is on, and regardless of who is in the right or wrong, what we witnessed this Sunday 27/11/2016 should never have happened.

Signed: Hussein Lumumba Amin
28/11/2016

{UAH} Statement by Mr. Museveni on the recent attacks by some schemers in Kasese and Bundibugyo


Statement by Museveni on the recent attacks by some schemers in Kasese and Bundibugyo

Nantabuulirirwa asaabala bwabbumba: Whatever a man sows that is what he will reap.

Uganda started off her Independence, in 1962, on a very weak foundation. This was, mainly, because of bad politics pushed by opportunistic sectarian groups and manipulated by external interests. The sectarianism, as we have pointed out many times, was based on religion, tribes and gender chauvinism (marginalizing the women). There were only three women that I remember in the Independence Parliament of 1962 to take one example. Within four years of Independence, the then Prime Minister had to abolish the 1962 Constitution because of the contradictions that were getting ever sharper. Earlier on, there had been the conflict on the “lost counties” of Bunyoro.

A lot of blood was shed in the 1966 crisis, resulting in the abolition of the Kingdoms. Eventually, Amin made a coup detat in 1971 and more sectarianism was generated and much more blood was shed between 1971 and 1979.

The late Mwalimu Nyerere, writing about Uganda, said of that period as follows: “If the Ugandans thought they were on the frying pan under Obote, they found themselves in the fire proper under Amin”. That was the perfect description of that time.

Some of us have the advantage of having been old enough to know and understand everything that was going on and yet we were young enough to live for long after 1962 as we have done. Initially, we, as youth, belonged to those sectarian parties ─ I being in Democratic Party (DP) and some of my colleagues being in Uganda Peoples’ Congress (UPC) and Kabaka Yeka (KY). However, by 1965, we had started developing grave doubts about the direction of that blind, irresponsible, opportunistic sectarian politics. As students, that is how we founded the nucleus of the third force ─ a non-sectarian student body. That student Movement, during Amin’s time, metamorphosed into FRONASA that was part of the coalition that fought Idi Amin and, eventually, evolved into NRM. Right from the beginning, we opposed and despised sectarianism because it was illogical and, obviously, run counter to the interests of the people. As we have said, repeatedly, the core interests of the people are prosperity and security for each individual family and for the entire society. When we talk of prosperity and security, we mean prosperity through production, not through parasitism. When we talk of security, we mean security in pursuing one’s legitimate interests. Legitimate interests mean working, utilizing our legitimately earned assets and enjoying the fruits of your labour.

There are, of course, other interests such as cultural, spiritual, etc. However, the core ones and on which all the other interests depend, are prosperity (especially economic) and security of person and property. Prosperity through production means producing and selling what you produce. Your allies in that battle are the people who buy what you produce. The recent insecurity in South Sudan showed the importance to producers of markets. Many businesses suffered. The prices even went down. The insecurity in Eastern Congo or Kenya usually has similar effects on the producers’ prosperity. Recently, I was in Kanungu and found there prospering farmers because there is now, again, some security in Eastern Congo. Even before colonization, there was interdependence among the tribes ─ as far as the forest of Congo, South Sudan and the East African Coast. It was only some of the tribal chiefs that were inconveniencing this trade as was observed and recorded by the early European travelers ─ John Speke and Henry Stanley.

Therefore, those who have been in the habit of pushing for sectarianism are the real enemies of not only security but also the prosperity of the African Peoples, the Ugandans inclusive. It is this firm belief of ours that propelled us to sow the mustard seed of non-sectarianism that, eventually, became the mighty tree of NRM/NRA and the present peace in the whole country. It was on account of our non-sectarianism and always working for the unity of the people that, starting with a small force, we were able to build a very powerful force. That force enabled us to win all the wars we fought, bring democracy to Uganda as well as peace and development. In bringing democracy, we also restored the rights of the different cultural groups in Uganda, if they so wished, to restore the traditional cultural institutions or even create new ones on condition that they did not meddle in partisan politics, administration and legislation. Why did we insist on this? It was for two reasons. First, in a democracy, the population govern themselves ─ through elections. They are not governed by anybody else except themselves. Yet, when you hear some of the spokesmen of the cultural institutions that we restored speaking, they speak as if it is not the people that govern themselves. Worse still, some of the cultural institutions have, for some time now, been acting counter to our message of non-sectarianism. They have been actively fomenting sectarianism and tribal chauvinism ─ acting and talking as if the only thing that matters are certain tribes to which the respective traditional leaders belong. Yet, the NRM, the Bible and the Koran as well as common sense hold that all people are born equal and must be treated as such. We have repeatedly and politely pointed out this point. Yet, some elements among the cultural institutions have also been repeatedly uttering sectarian and chauvinist words and also acting in that manner.

This now brings me to my two statements above ─ the Luganda proverb that says: “Nantabulirwa yasabaala na bwa bbumba” and the Biblical statement that “whatever a man sows, that is what he will reap”. The Luganda proverb refers to somebody who defied all the advice and decided to use a clay canoe to cross a body of water. The consequences were disastrous for him and for those who travelled with him in the clay boat.

Last Sunday, a group of people in the Rwenzori region carried out coordinated attacks against security forces and civilians. Altogether, they carried out 13 attacks as follows:

(i) At 3.00 pm, they attacked policemen at the weigh bridge, killed 1 policeman, injured another one and took 2 SMGs;

(ii) At Bigando, a UPDF soldier that was on leave, was killed and all his family burnt in a house;

(iii) In Bigando, they also killed 6 Basongora civilians;

(iv) At Karugutu Police post, they injured one (1) policeman and took one (1) SMG

(v) At Kikyo Police post, they took one SMG;

(vi) At Kirumiya Police post, they took 1 gun;

(vii) At Ntandi they took 2 SMGs from Uganda Wild Life (UWA) personnel;

(viii) At Kibuku, they ambushed soldiers who were taking re-enforcements to Bundibugyo, killed one of them, and took 1 SMG but 3 of the attackers were killed including their so called commander;

(ix) In Bundibugyo town, they attacked Bundibugyo Police Station, killed the OC station and one policeman and took one SMG;

(x) They attacked Stanbic Bank but three of the attackers were killed;

(xi) They, then, attacked, Lakwena style, the camp of 39BN at Kanyamirima, injuring one Captain and killing one soldier but 45 of the attackers were killed and the attack was repelled;

(xii) Attack on the Palace of the Bamba King saw one gun being taken and one policeman being injured; and, finally,

(xiii) The attack on the shrine where 2 soldiers were killed and one gun was taken.

This means that 8 members of the security forces were killed and 51 attackers were also killed. This is a total of 65 Ugandans killed last Saturday by the schemes of some confused or selfish bunch of people. Fortunately, today Uganda has got a capable State that is able to deal decisively and expeditiously with such schemes although, of course, there was a failure of intelligence. How did these people weave such a scheme without being pre-empted? What were the GISOs doing? However, their main effort, which was to enter the camp of 39BN was decisively defeated. In their limited thinking, they thought it was a light matter to attack UPDF.

How did all this start? It started with Mr. Charles Mumbere, now HH Omusinga of the Bakonjo, coming to see me some years ago. He is the son of the late Isaiah Mukirane who, together with Kawamara, the father of the new cultural leader of the Bamba and Mupalya who died recently, started the Rwenzururu Movement in 1962 against the Batooro domination. Mukirane, eventually, died in the mountains and left his young son Mumbere. When Mr. Mumbere came to see me, he wanted to be the King of the Rwenzururu. I told him that the Rwenzururu had been a Political Movement for equality. Why did he want to turn a political resistance movement into a monarchy? His group, however, kept on insisting on the issue of monarchy although there was a big group in Kasese that also opposed the idea. Eventually, in order to create harmony, we withdrew objections to Mr. Mumbere becoming Omusinga especially after people like Dr. Kiyonga and a large group of people who were opposed to the idea of monarchy, withdrew their objection. However, the Bamba leaders of Bundibugyo were totally opposed to the idea of the monarchy.

In agreeing to Mr. Mumbere being Omusinga, we, therefore, agreed that that cultural institution should operate in Kasese. Those of Bundibugyo and other areas that were interested in the Obusinga could go to Kasese. Even within Kasese, there are other indigenous groups that did not support these ideas. These are the Basongora, Banyabindi and Bagabo. We encouraged HH Omusinga to have dialogue with these groups. I do not know how far that dialogue has gone. I have, however, been hearing of some chauvinistic positions from some of those who claim to be supporting Obusinga. They seem to insist that the Omusinga, apart from the Omukama of Tooro in his area, should be the only cultural leader in the Rwenzori region. Yet, there are other ethnic groups in the Rwenzori region: Bamba, Basongora, Banyabindi, etc. They have different ideas about this issue and have, in several meetings with me, made this categorically clear.

On account of those chauvinistic ideas being banded around for so long, it seems some groups hatched this criminal scheme that has caused the death of so many people. Apart from killing 51 of the attackers, we have captured 65 others. We shall get to the truth and will punish those involved. In the meantime, the country should not get anxious about this scheme. It was defeated right on the first day of its execution even before the full potential of the UPDF has been mobilized. This scheme is doomed to total failure. It is amazing how wrong ideas coalesce into wrong actions. Nantabulirwa ya sabaala na bwa bbumba. Whatever a man sows, that is what he will reap.

I thank you.

Yoweri Kaguta Museveni Gen (rtd)

PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA

Maj. Mohammed Kiggundu wasnt in ADF according to UAH’s Sarah Nalukenge!


WHAT MAKES SHEIKH KIGUNDU AN ARMY OFFICER?

On 26th November 2016 Sheikh Kiggundu was gunned down together with his driver, Sgt. Richard Mukasa in the usual fashion of killing Muslim clerics. The incident marks a resumption of the trend of killings of Muslim clerics that had been halted by the ultimatum that had been issued by the clerics who threated to fight for their survival if government had failed to protect them but more so the last general elections. As usual the police were quick at pointing at the usual suspects – the ADF rebel group.

As the then Emir of Kampala district, Kiggundu had been one of the leaders of the Jamat Dawa Salafiya/Tabliq Muslim sect that clashed with security forces over the invasion of the Old Kampala mosque in 1991.He fled into exile and formed the Uganda National Freedom Movement/Army (UNFM/A) that set up bases in West Nile, Congo and Sudan whereby he was its Chairman. His group never carried out any attacks anywhere until in 2000 when he returned to Uganda upon being granted
amnesty. As is always the norm for those who denounce rebellion he was placed under CMI (military intelligence) to help with spying on those still in rebellion. In May 2005 he facilitated the return of 16 members of his group from Sudan – being the last batch of his 200 strong UNFM/A.

He resumed his active religious activities under the Tabliq sect at
the Nakasero mosque. He was one of the Clerics that disagreed with the now detained head of the Tablic sect, Sheikh Kamoga who is detained over murder of other clerics. Kiggundu and other clerics fled to Kibuli mosque and joined the faction opposed to the one of Kamoga.

As part of the deal, the intelligence services recommended his being crowned to the military rank of Major which Museveni granted in 2007. Though the army claims to have a policy of restraining it personnel’s involvement in religious activities, Kiggundu was given exception because he helped the regime to ferment divisionism among the Muslim community. He has been a regular panellist at the Islamic affiliated Pearl FM radio station.

On top of his two Sudanese wives, in November 2015 he wedded Sylvia Namutebi aka Mama Fina the Chairperson of Uganda Traditional Herbalists and Healers Association and a strong regime political mobiliser. She converted to Islam and became Sofia Namutebi. While at the scene of crime on Saturday, she directly called Museveni to complain over the delay to remove her husband’s dead body from the scene. It was through her that Museveni gave orders to an army Colonel for ambulances to evacuate the dead body. Museveni should be commended
for managing the scene of crime.

Observations

1. Kiggundu was never a member of the ADF rebel group. Though a fake army Major, his role in the Muslim wrangles put the army in an impartial position.

2. His shooting provided a smoke screen for the Kasese carnage the following day that has left 60+ people dead thus the ADF version.

3. It sends a message that other than Museveni who is guarded by 10,000+ soldiers, any other Ugandan can be shot dead. Therefore Dr. Besigye should be on the watch out.

LINK: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ugandansatheart/permalink/10153898023361338/

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