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Month August 2018

Reduce the age people can get their NSSF savings


By Denis Jjuuko

Sometime back, a friend who had been out of employment for many years had a problem. His house was being sold by the bank after failure to continuously pay the monthly installments as a result of a mortgage he had taken when he was still employed. The money obtained from the bank had been used to improve the very house that was now being sold.

While he was still employed, he was a contributing member of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) where 5% of his salary was chopped off before the employer contributed 10% to make it 15% in monthly savings. The money was enough to pay off the bank and save his house. However, he was below 50 years old and therefore NSSF couldn’t give him his money to save the house. The house was eventually sold on the cheap.

The only real asset the majority of people will ever have is their house. Nothing much else. The money they earn goes into paying fees for kids and survival. Yet the money with NSSF cannot help you unless you are 50 year old and above. And there lies one of the problems with the forced saving scheme. Of course NSSF argues that it doesn’t make laws. It is parliament to make that change. And parliament doesn’t contribute to NSSF so they have less interest in the scheme.

There is an ongoing TV campaign by NSSF oddly named Friends with Benefits where somebody who got their money and used it ‘properly’ can win Shs30m. I have watched a few episodes of the current season as it is now annual. The majority of the contestants have used their money to start new ventures. Some have started food cottage industries, others boda boda business, and all sorts of enterprises. This is problematic for those saving and the country generally.

The reason money is given to people who turn 50 years old and above is basically to enable them retire with respect so that they don’t become destitute, begging from one child to another as is usually the case. Instead, the people who get this money go on to start businesses. These are people who, because of age, are supposed to retire not to be running around starting a new business they ideally have not much experience of.

However much one does research while starting a business, there are certain things that one will have to learn on the job. And most businesses are very profitable on paper. Most business plans show profitability at a certain stage. The reality is most times very different due to mainly market and other forces that are sometimes hard to foresee. Although, there is no age at which one can’t start a business and it thrives, success is built over a period of time of very hard work. Of course some of the most successful entrepreneurs started very late in life but they aren’t many. At 50 years and above, there is less flexibility. You are used to doing things in a certain way and therefore change is hard. So if you worked in an office all your life, got your money at 55 and started a new business, the chances of succeeding are very minimal.

In fact at 50 and above, somebody should be concentrating on what they know best. They have matured and have acquired the necessary experience and acumen to succeed in a certain field. Even seasoned businessmen rarely go into new businesses after 50. Their focus is to grow what they have been doing all along. They know that they can’t simply enter into new fields and succeed. Don’t get me wrong, there will always be outliers who defy the norm. The majority of people who start a demanding enterprise like food production or boda boda at 55 will not succeed. There are also very few Ugandans who have started businesses with lots of money and succeeded.

So since people who retire go to starting business ventures that are competitive, there is need to lower the age where one can receive their money to about 40 when one chooses to. So that those who want to do business can do it when they still have the energy, the drive and guts needed to succeed.

At 40, a person has a few years to learn their new trade and master it. They are also still flexible enough to make changes if things don’t work. They have an option to go back into employment as well should things fail which option is not available to a 55 year old.

Money could even be given in installments where at 40 one qualifies to withdraw 50% of their savings to start a business. The other 50% could be kept until one is 55 as the law is now. That would actually ensure that the person isn’t testing the depth of the river with both feet.

The law should also allow anybody who hasn’t been working for sometime pay off their mortgage using their NSSF savings instead of the bank selling the house on the cheap. Otherwise, there is no need in saving. Like NSSF’s commissioned TV show has revealed, the people who are retiring are simply going into business or actually becoming hustlers in Kampala speak. So it is better that people become hustlers at a younger age and if their businesses grow, they will still save with NSSF. They will also be ambassadors for the fund. It benefits NSSF and the country in the long term if people can get their money before they retire to do business and create jobs or save the only real asset they will ever have.

The author is a media consultant and businessman. djjuuko@gmail.com. 0758111409

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Studios (Mizigo) offer better investment returns than bigger houses


Studios (Mizigo) offer better investment returns than bigger houses

By Denis Jjuuko

One of my former landlords used to brag that she builds her houses like she would live in them. That if she didn’t fancy the house herself, she wouldn’t rent it out. Her houses are very spacious and although she doesn’t do as much as she promises, at least she tries. I have also met many people with similar views. They build houses for rent as if they will ever live in them. They spend on a lot of stuff that those who rent won’t really treasure like expensive chandeliers and polished porcelain.

A lot of times, rent is determined by the number of bedrooms and of course the location. A two bedroom house that is so spacious may not be rented at a much more rate than one that isn’t so extravagant. When I lived in my landlord’s so spacious houses, I was paying the same amount others were charging in that part of Kampala. So technically, the other guys were making more money than my landlord because in Kampala, residential houses aren’t charged per square feet. Actually, there is much more money in smaller houses than big ones. This is because unless your house is in one of those top suburbs, you will get very low returns. Even in the top suburbs, apartments are coming up.

It is cheaper to live in an apartment than a stand alone house in its own perimeter wall as that comes with extra costs such as security and garden maintenance. On an apartment block, there are many tenants that it may not be easy for thieves to break in like it is in a house in its own perimeter wall that you lock and go away.

The other issue with big houses that may not be in Kampala’s exclusive suburbs is that those who occupy them have more financial needs than people who live in small apartments. If you rent a big house, you most likely have a big family. And nobody will pay rent ahead of school fees for the kids. So the landlord becomes secondary. People who live in apartments especially the smaller ones don’t have as much financial needs or don’t consider themselves to have them.

So rentals that are meant for one person (studios) and one bedroom ones have much more returns than those that are three bedrooms or stand alone houses. This is because they attract bachelors who recently got their first or second job and eager to leave their parents or guardians’ homes. Their money is for them to enjoy and once in a while contribute to social causes. They have no problem paying six months rent in advance. In some parts of Kampala, a one bedroom apartment is charged a small percentage lower than a two bedroom flat. Studios charge as much as one bedroom apartments.

Such people also keep houses in better conditions as they have no kids to spoil the walls and plumbing. If it is a girl, she may even spend weeks without sleeping there as she may be having a boyfriend where she spends more time. Such people don’t usually use charcoal to cook. So houses are kept in good conditions as opposed to those that attract families.

In fact, there is more money in single rooms commonly referred to as Mizigo than the fancy apartments people like to build. They cost less to put up and aren’t kept empty for months if one tenant left. The people who can afford them are many and they don’t make outrageous demands like Kampala’s ‘corporate class’! Of course owning them may not make you become the most admired guy at your social club but as a business, they offer good returns. The only challenge with them could sometimes be management as a tenant may leave at anytime. So a lot of times a manager is necessary to put them in line.

So this may not be an option really for established real estate owners as they may be building for other reasons such as prestige and self actualization. If you are starting out and you want to make a quick return on investment, the Mzigos or at worst studios offer better alternatives. And the beauty with studios is that if the location is accessible, you can quickly turn them into lodges and/or list them on AirBnB for those interested in short term stays.

The writer is a communication and visibility consultant. djjuuko@gmail.com

Mutesa, Prince Mutebi survive angry elephants


Mutesa, Prince Mutebi survive angry elephants

“The Mengo set” was how we came to be known, frequently in a derogatory way: meaning the people who were recognised as the Kabaka’s personal friends, and who some considered were a bad influence on him.

This was unjust to the majority of us because we were not in a position to influence him one way or the other, even if we had wanted to, but there were a few ready to dabble in politics, and even to my simple mind, it was obvious that they were ruled by wishful thinking as opposed to the realities of modern politics on a national scale.

Seeing the Kabaka’s return from exile as a major victory over the mighty British government, these folks, mostly young men of the Kabaka’s generation, expected to go on winning until the kingdom was an independent state.

They were wilfully blind to what was happening outside the Lubiri. They dismissed as fanciful the significant body of Baganda professionals engaged in politics which aimed at independence for a united Uganda.

The Kabaka listened to his cronies instead of taking advantage of the widespread support from the rest of Uganda gained at the time of his exile.

Rather than foster good public relations with the other kingdoms and districts, he was lulled into the belief that a document known as the 1900 Agreement, contracted between one of his forefathers and the British Government, safeguarded Buganda’s right to remain a sovereign state. Later events proved him very wrong.

In some ways, it was easy to understand this complacency, which only really deserted him at the eleventh hour.

The court was still run on lines which were not much altered from what they had been when the first Europeans arrived in Uganda, as the kingdom was called before giving its name to encompass the surrounding regions.

Indeed, it still applied solely to the kingdom as recently as the early part of the reign of Mutesa’s father, Daudi Chwa II, for a framed scroll from the Church Missionary Society, on a wall of the reception room in the Old Twekobe, hailed him as the first Christian king of Uganda.

The princesses always sat to the right of the Kabaka, with Princess Mpologoma seated nearest to him. They were also addressed as “Ssebo”, meaning sir as opposed to madam, a form of address common to all men whether water-carrier or king.

Wives, that is, women who had borne the Kabaka’s children, and there were quite a few of them, came next, with special deference given to a woman who while she had not produced either a prince or princess, and was now married with a young family of her own, had been the virgin who custom decreed was made available to the Kabaka at some stage after he reached puberty, probably immediately before his marriage, to confirm his manhood.
Just as anything or anybody on Kabaka Anj’agala (the Kabaka loves/wants me), the tree lined avenue sweeping between the Lubiri and the New Bulange, traditionally became the Kabaka’s property, should he care to claim it, every woman in the palace was deemed to belong to him while she was there. I can’t say that I ever saw him take advantage of this ancient right.

The princes were more informal as to where they placed themselves, and generally sat among any visitors who happened to be there.

Everybody except the Kabaka, sat sideways on the floor, and knelt whenever he entered or left the room, as well as when one was addressed by him.

Eliva Kiggundu, who was then Secretary to the Kabaka’s Council of Ministers, and Ernest Sempebwa, both impressed upon me that kneeling to the Kabaka was out of respect for the crown as the institution topping the pyramid formed by the administrative and social structure that had for centuries made the kingdom unique in the whole of Africa.

Bidding the Kabaka goodbye was also taboo. You had to be very good at reading the signals when he disappeared: he might have been only going to the loo or to make a phone call when, mumbling “‘I’ll see you later”, he strolled away.

If anybody tried to take formal farewell of him, they were put off with a few vague words, which often kept them hanging about until some kind soul informed them that His Highness had gone to bed or was no longer in the palace.

Another inconvenience was that nobody, except young children, in the palace, was allowed to eat before the Kabaka had taken food and he was one of those people who can work for a full day without giving a thought to as much as a cup of tea.

The staff in his private office were used to starving. However, anybody drafted in to help, as I was more and more immediately before the independence talks got underway, suffered dehydration besides feeling weak hunger as the day wore on.

It didn’t help that a drink, usually gin and tonic was offered at the end of the working day, which could be any hour after eleven at night, when the Kabaka absently responded to Sarah’s demands that he take dinner, and the workers were allowed to go home.

I used to return to my house slightly high and unable to eat the food faithfully kept warm for me.

The most important person in the Kabaka’s household, apart from Kabaka himself and the Kabejja, was a white- headed old gentleman called Firimala.

I often wonder what happened to him when Obote’s troops shot up the Lubiri, for Firimala belonged to a by-gone age.

Like so many of his social class, meaning the rich landed gentry, as a boy, he had been sent by his family as a page at the court of Daudi Chwa II, to learn court etiquette, and risen to be the person in charge of the pages, the wine cellar and the housekeeping.

Normally, many of the pages, went on to climb the ladder leading from minor chief to Ssaza or county chief, or received government appointments.

Firimala was benign and gentle with the people of whom he approved; he guided me over many pitfalls. But, and there are no other words for it, he had it in for people whom he considered drank too much, laughed too loudly, and showed too much leg.

The taboo
A display of knee was anathema to him. He still lived in the days when to show an ankle was a punishable act.

I know just how punishable, because old Musa, the gardener of the Mukasa family, who was well into his 80s, was scarred from neck to heels as a result of the beating with elephant grass he received for running as a palace page during the infamous Mwanga’s reign and displaying his ankles and the calves of his legs.

Firimala’s form of punishment was hardly as drastic, but the expression on his face, and a certain something in his attitude towards offenders put them beyond the pale.

It was enough for others in the vicinity to curb their own lower instincts and behave quite cowardly in pretended disapproval.

We shamelessly did this because, although it may have been pure coincidence, people out of favour with that old man were seldom again seen at any private parties in the palace.

Through Firimala, I grew to know how the respective clans had adjusted their traditional court functions to the necessities of the day.

For instance, members of the Buffalo Clan, for generations the Kabaka’s personal bearers in that it was their job to carry the monarch on their shoulders on ceremonial occasions, were updated to become his chauffeurs.

Similarly, [another] clan, which was allowed to prepare his food, continued to supply the cooks in his kitchens [the Fox clan prepares the Kabaka’s food on special occasions such as coronation ].

And the Rain Clan still brought the Kabaka’s drinking water from their special well, the water from which was the exclusive right of kings.

When the Kabaka appeared on the throne, it was set on magnificent leopard and lion skins, which could only be handled by members of the Ngeye Clan.

During the Kabaka’s exile, the Ngeye Clan refused to produce the skins for Governor Cohen to stand on over while he addressed the Lukiiko, and this act of defiance resulted in the clan leader spending some time in prison.

Yet another clan were responsible for looking after Lutembe, the sacred crocodile, at the bay off Lake Victoria, while she lived.

She would come and be hand-fed when called by a member of the clan, and she was no legend: the photographer and travel writer, Cherry Kearton, who knocked about East Africa during the 20s and 30s of this century, has a picture of Lutembe in his book Cherry Kearton’s Travels (the old crocodile looks astonishingly pleasant!) and describes meeting Kabaka Daudi Chwa II, who was on his way home from a visit to Lutembe.

Prince Henry Kimera, a younger brother of the Kabaka, clearly recalls being taken as a child to Lutembe Bay and together with his sister riding on her back.

According to history, Lutembe was always so obliging. She is supposed to have been useful to Kabaka Mwanga, Mutesa’s grandfather, in disposing of his enemies.

In the 1940s, when a crocodile cropping exercise was underway, Lutembe’s affinity with mankind cost her her life. She must have provided the easiest of shots.

The clan responsible for her claimed that another tame crocodile had replaced Lutembe, but there was a big rush to introduce the royal children to the replacement.

While there were many other clan connections with the royal family and household, all of them enjoyed more significant links with the Kabakaship. Unlike most African dynasties, Buganda had no royal clan.

The Kabakas were of their mothers’ clans: Mutesa II belonged, through his mother to the Cow Clan, while his sons by the Lady Sarah, and his daughter by the Nabaeereka, belonged to the Monkey Clan, and his children by miscellaneous wives also belonged to the clans of their respective mothers; the rest of Baganda society became members of their fathers’ clans.

Because the Kabaka down through the ages took wives from practically every clan; (as a matter of fact the monkey clan was barred to them, since a monkey clan elder acted as the Kabaka’s father at the coronation, and this rendered any union with a Monkey clan member incestuous), every clan at one time or another, had blood tie in the form of princes or princesses with the Kabakaship.

Until the Christian practice of acknowledging only off-spring from an officially recognised union, many clans could hope to see one of their princes succeed to the throne.

In the rough old days, the princes themselves must have been more than anxious to succeed and not solely from political ambition; when a prince was selected to become Kabaka, the rest were put to death to save any argument.

As the embodiment of the Kiganda clan system, one of the Kabaka‘s main titles was Ssabatakka, Head of Clans, and it was in this capacity that his judgement was sought by people frustrated by the traditional judicial system or simply unable to accept a Buganda Government judge’s ruling.

Litigation was food and drink to the majority of the population, besides being a good source of entertainment to folks who had nothing better to do than pass the time in court.
Land disputes made up the bulk of the court cases, although disputed wills came a close second.

The Ham Mukasa Will was a cause celebre for years, and at the end, nobody was very sure who came out on top.

Ham Mukasa, who died at the age of nearly 100, was a Christian page at the court of Mwanga I, and managed to escape from being among the youngsters who were burnt alive for keeping their faith and their chastity, and subsequently cannonised as the Uganda Martyrs.
He lived to become one of Buganda’s greatest statesman. He outlived his first wife who produced quite a large family, then married again and had another family. Ham Mukasa died while we were still living on Rubaga Hill.

I remember passing his house, a huge, low, rambling place set back from the Rubaga Road, when word had got out that the old man was dying.

The grounds were packed with silent people, and at night the verandah was hung with lanterns.

Before the end came, the Kabaka visited. He went as an ordinary Muganda, not as a king, so there was no fuss.

The fuss came later. The Will was alleged by one side of the family to be either a forgery or altered since being reliably witnessed.

Accusations of foul play flew thick and fast. Forget what was happening on the political scene; everybody was scanning the newspapers for the latest revelation about the Ham Mukasa Will.

Practically, every family of note was involved, showing how determinedly wealth was kept through convenient marriages within the confines of the elite. A good opera script writer would have made millions out of the emerging scandals.

On the lawn outside the Old Twekobe, was a large well-built kennel with a good sized run fenced in with iron railings. The Kabaka’s pet baboon was the present occupant, but the kennel had formerly housed his leopard.

For such an intrepid hunter, the Kabaka was paradoxically a collector of exotic pets, and he was genuinely fond of them.

Besides the baboon, two buffalo calves roamed Lubiri with one of his herds of cattle. Now and again a couple of small deer could be glimpsed, and there was a horse of his which was always in the company of a bedraggled crested crane.

The baboon, however, was undoubtedly the star attraction. When it was out of the cage, it was never on a leash or chain, and occasionally it would find its way to our offices, suddenly appearing at a window and making a grab for whatever was within reach.

Its keeper patiently did his best to lure it home with pieces of fruit, and when he did manage to pick the animal up, it screeched at the top of its voice. The fault was mine, I think.

Every time I paid a daytime visit to the Old Twekobe, I used to spend some time with the baboon and feed it Vicks Lozenges, my own favourite sweets.

If I stayed away for any length of time, say while His Highness was away hunting, the poor thing came looking for me and the Vicks Lozenges.

According to Prince Henry Kimera, the leopard, a female, and two lions – a male and a female, had been the Kabaka’s favourites in the 1940s, when he was studying at Makerere University.
Personally, I find this intriguing in view of his well-known dread of cats.

The Kabaka once visited our house at a time when our cat, Cleopatra, had given birth to several kittens and mother and offspring had to be locked away before he would step inside.

However, his leopard and lions seem to have been remarkably tame and enjoyed full freedom in the palace.

The leopard in particular, travelled in the back of his car, her paws on his shoulders, as he drove himself there and back from Makerere, and all three animals were regularly fed with cake at tea time.

They were treated like domesticated dogs, in that people familiar to them could fondle them, although nobody, on the Kabaka’s orders, was to allow the leopard and lions to lick their hands.

This novel state of affairs was horribly shattered during one of Uganda’s characteristic heavy thunderstorms.

A child ran for shelter in one of the many tiny mud huts dotting the Lubiri grounds, and one of the lions chased after it.

Naturally, the child panicked and screamed, and the lion attacked, resulting in the child’s death.

It was later suggested that the keeper was lax in not confining the animal along with the other two during the storm, and that none had been fed at the usual time.

Whatever the reasons behind the tragedy, the Baganda were angry and demanded the killing of all three animals.

The Kabaka himself carried out the distressing job of leading the lions into their compound and shooting them. But he refused point blank to destroy the leopard.

She accompanied him to Britain when he continued his studies at Cambridge, and was donated to Whipsnade Zoo where she unfortunately perished in a flu epidemic.

At a guess, he might well have become an enthusiastic conservationist, as opposed to being a hunter, because his interest in wildlife extended beyond the killing.

Had somebody taught him to use a camera instead of a gun, his skills in tracking wild animals might have been put to more rewarding use.

His desire to observe them from as close as possible often gave rise to protests within certain sections of the Baganda. They accused him of taking undue risks.

Apart from that, people invited to go hunting with him saw the honour as dubious.

You had to be a James Lutaya or a Robert Ntambi, both of them avid hunters, to appreciate the trek on foot through thorny bush, the ban on smoking and use of soap for washing, and the dreary cold food; a fire for cooking, like cigarette smoke and soap, would give off an alien scent in the bush. A royal hunt was certainly no picnic.

His critics failed to understand his rare gift for immediately coming to terms with animals, and they with him. And criticism rose after it was leaked sometime in 1960 that he had taken his son, Prince Mutebi, then aged 5, on an elephant hunt.

A herd of these majestic beasts was discovered within walking distance of the Kabaka’s camp, and, unarmed, he took the child to see them.

Several members of the hunting party followed at a distance, and were horrified to see the Kabaka and his son standing about fifty feet away from the placidly grazing herd.

Some of the elephants glanced briefly in the direction of the Kabaka and Mutebi, but seemed not to mind them.

It was only after the followers drew attention to themselves that the animals grew restive, and one frightened and misguided person fired a shot which, incidentally, passed through the leg of the Kabaka’s trousers.

Consequently, there was a mad stampede of elephant, carefully by-passing the Kabaka and the small boy.

Other members of the royal family were gifted in different ways. Not so much the princesses who, even when married, spent a lot of their time congregating and chatting to each in the Old Twekobe.

But Prince Kimera qualified in Britain as a Royal Air Force pilot, and Prince Ndawula was a talented photographer working with the Uganda Information Office.

The most interesting prince of all was Prince Joseph, an uncle of the Kabaka, who always looked as though he had wandered into the palace straight from working on his farm.

His English was impeccable, despite his never having been abroad, and some of the results of the experiments carried out on his farm earned the respect of the Agriculture Department.

Among the Baganda, however, Prince Joseph was famous for his portrait of Mutesa I.

Mutesa I died in 1884, long before Prince Joseph was born, and the portrait, probably Africa’s first Identikit composite, was produced from verbal descriptions given by some of the old princesses who remembered the man.

It is said that the portrait took 15 years to complete, because the old ladies never stopped arguing over the shape of various features.

Since they must have been either dead or going senile by the time the portrait was finished, there could not have been anybody in a position to say how good a likeness it was.

SOURCE: SUNDAY MONITOR

The historical deaths that rocked Buganda Kingdom


Group portrait made at Ham Mukasa’s house in Nasuti. Without Ham Mukasa and with governor Andrew Cohen

BY G.H.K VIA UGANDANS AT HEART forum

I grew up hearing a lot about the great Baganda chiefs including this late Oweekitiibwa Ham Mukasa. His death was a real shocker to the entire Buganda Kingdom. He was a person associated with many things including the building of King’s College Buddo and the donation of huge expanses of land on which many leading institutions in Mukono are constructed. His death, before we heard it on the then Uganda Broadcasting Service, had just been brought to our notice by the Ssaza Chief ( County chief ) of Mawokota County ( Mpigi district) where at that time my late dad was the Deputy Ssaza Chief, and I was a primary school kid. So whenever the Ssaza chief returned from his safari he would stop at our place and give a brief to dad.It was on that similar occasion that we all heard him say in Luganda : Kitalo nnyo mwattu, Omukulu Ham Mukasa afudde!

Then the two chiefs together with their spouses made arrangements to attend the funeral at Namirembe Cathedral. We the children stayed behind.On their return they told us many things about what they qualified as a very triumphant funeral that assembled thousands of people and hundreds of vehicles. Africans, europeans, and Asians attended the event. And it was indeed a very historic funeral. The aggrieved Kingdom which had just celebrated Kabaka Muteesa II’s very much triumphant welcome from exile and his glorious visit to all Buganda’s counties just a couple of months earlier, continued to land in a spate of further episodes of grief with the deaths of other eminent personalities almost all in the same period ( 1956 – 1957). Buganda was very much saddened with the death of the Kabaka’s mum, Lady Irene Drussila Namaganda who passed away in a London hospital where she had been sent for treatment. Her body was brought back for burial in the compound of Namirembe Cathedral. As soon as it arrived at Entebbe it was taken to the Cathedral for the official funeral service which was attended by the Kabaka, the Governor, and other prominent personalities including religious leaders such as Bishop J. Kiwanuka (then Bishop of Masaka). It was public holiday in Buganda Kingdom but there was no classical wake that invoves an all night watch with lamentations due to the fact that the chief mourner was naturally supposed to be the Kabaka, but whom tradition bars from mourning. So things went on almost as rapidly as possible but in very deep sorrow judging by the overall reaction in the Kingdom and at the Cathedral where countless thousands assembled. the entire neighbourhood acted as a parking lot for the estimated 900 vehicles that transported mourners from all over Buganda.

“Canon Apolo, a great Native Missionary & Pigmee Elders”
Card published by East African Standard, Nairobi. Photograph by Dr. A.T. Schofield. 1930s?


Several hours after the sealed coffin had been lowered in the deep grave whose construction was still in motion some Baganda officials, eager to ascertain that the body in the coffin was that of Lady Irene Namaganda took to the formal but private opening of the coffin. And they shed away their doubts when they gazed at the body of the great Lady who was well-embalmed and well-dressed in a silk dress with the hands perfectly in white gloves. And there arose a murmur of delight for proposals to thank the British Government for this honesty!

More or less in the very same period another great lady passed away in a convent in the USA. This was the great Reverend Mother Kevin, popularly known in the entire East African region as Maama Kevina. She was a very much beloved nun who founded the leading institutions at Nkokonjeru, Nsube,Naggalama, and Nsambya Hospital and the very prestigious Mt St Mary’s College Namagunga! She also founded two religious congregations which
are very active in the region. She built a leprosy centre and a school for the blind. She died at 82 in an American convent where she had retired. She was first buried there before she was subsequently re-buried in her native Ireland. On learning the news of her death which spread like forest fire in Africa plans were made to exhume her body and bring it to Uganda for funeral at Nkokonjeru. One of the initiators of this idea was the then Katikkiro of Buganda
Mr Michael Kintu who at the time of Mother Kevin in Nkokonjeru had once been the ggombolola chief ( sub-county chief ) of the area. My late mum who was at that time a student at Nkokonjeru / Nsube told us that the first time she saw Mr Michael Kintu was when he came as ggombolola chief to visit the place. It seems Kintu was impressed by Mother Kevin’s work and personality which inspired many in the area. When the idea went through thanks to
the many contributions made, the nun’s body was exhumed in Ireland and airlifted to Entebbe. Hundreds of people had pitched camp at the airport. There were tears and crying for dep sorrow as the coffin was moved from the plane and put on an ambulance. Over 100 cars lined in procession to follow the ambulance to Nsambya cathedral where a requiem mass was held in presence of the then Protectorate Governor of Uganda and other dignitaries.

From Nsambya another procession of vehicles, three miles long, accompanied the body to Nkokonjeru Convent where thousands of people had gathered, just as they had gathered all along the route from Mukono to Nkokonjeru! The body spent the night in the Sisters’ chapel. Many OGs of the place, including my mum, held an all-night watch in the chapel. The following day, after another Requiem Mass was the official burial in the convent’s cemetery.
Tens of thousands of people from all over East Africa turned up for the great send off whose impact created a special memorable image in many minds.

In and around Nkokonjeru this nun was usually addressed as a Ssebo ( Sir ) and not as a Nnyabo ( Madam ) ! This type of address to ladies is reserved only to princesses, the Kabaka’s queen ( Nabagereka ), and the Kabaka’s mum ( the Nnamasole ). The local population had indeed elevated Mother Kevin to great heights in appreciation of her contribution to their welfare and prosperity!

Death created another shocker in the demise of a great Buganda Minister of education, Hon Mr Kassim Male, the only Moslem Minister at Mmengo at that time. The whole Kingdom regretted this Buganda statesman who was trriumphantly buried by countless thousands of people. Mr Kassim Male was later to be replaced by young politician Abubaker Mayanja who had just finished his studies at Cambridge. This appointment was a great consolation to the Kingdom as well as especially to the Moslems whom Abubaker Mayanja represented so well in Mmengo.

Death continued to take its toll and Buganda continued with the mourning. This time it was the famous Omutaka Andreya Kyemwa (82) who had been a very notable chief in the Kingdom where he was county chief on many occasions, a Lukiiko member representing Mawokota County, an adviser to the Kabaka, and finally a Regent of Buganda Kingdom appointed by Muteesa towards the end of his exile in London.Kyemwa was also a pious Catholic
who was knighted with the Papal Order of St Gregory the Great! His death was a loss both to the Kingdom and to the Catholic Church.He was a family friend and we were very proud of him! He died at Lubaga Hospital one Monday morning and his body was brought home late in the afternoon. Thousands of mourners assembled there for the two days that preceded the funeral. The day Kyemwa was buried was decreed by the Kabaka as a public day of mourning. All offices in the then Buganda government were closed. Other crowds of mourners, again in their thousands, flocked to his village to attend the burial. Vehicles rolled in from every corner of the land. Dignitaries who included Bishop Kiwanuka, the Katikkiro of Buganda and many Buganda Ministers and very many chiefs and eminet personalities were very visibly present. And of course many members of the clergy including numerous priests of the White Fathers Society to which one of his sons and heir belonged. Omutaka Kyemwa who had the honour to host the Kabaka in his home when he came to visit Mawokota county after his return from exile ( 1955 ), was mourned everywhere in Buganda. And his death was a big blow to Mawokota county where he was once a notable county chief and where he retired as a respected figure of the region.

Now Kyemwa dead and buried, death stubbornly robbed the Kingdom of the person who had been a leading active mourner at Kyemwa’s home. This was the famous Hon Mr Rafaeli Kasule, the very first Speaker of the Buganda Lukiiko, who succumbed to a strong high blood pressure at Mulago Hospital where he had been driven in agony. Rafaeli Kasule was also a native of Mawokota County and his home was near Mitala Maria township. But on his death he was buried at Ggoli village near Ggoli Catholic Parish to which he had donated a lot of land. His burial took place on a Sunday and very many people turned up. Vehicles filled the vast entire parish compounds. From his Mitala Maria ( Buwama ) home to Ggoli the late’s body was accompanied by a very long procession of cars. There was a short service in the Church before the coffin was carried by notable personalities of the Engeye clan ( his clan). The distance from the church to the burial ground was about half a kilometer. Thousands of people including Katikkiro Michael Kintu and all Mmengo Ministers, Lukiiko members, Members of the Legco, and all kinds of chiefs followed the coffin. And there was a lot of emotional scenes when the coffin was lowered in the grave. And, on behalf of the members of the Engeye clan, Rev Père Karoli Lutwama, heir to the late Omutaka Andreya Kyemwa, paid a very touching tribute to the memory of Oweekitiibwa Rafaeli Kasule.So triumphantly was indeed Buganda Lukiiko’s first Speaker buried!

Another great departure that shocked so much the whole of Buganda was that of a very heroic Lukiiko member from Masaka, Mr Ssendikwanawa who was one of the founder pillars of DP in Masaka and one of the richest persons in Buganda. He was a coffee magnate marked for his colourful generosity.My parents attended his funeral in Kabwoko township. On their return back home they described the funeral as having been a real triumph with an attendance numbering countless thousands of people and an unusually large number of cars, lorries, and buses.

Sometime later, a great Buganda chief living in Mubende Town passed away. That was the famous Mukulu Ssenkaatuuka Kiyimba who had been a notable county chief in many places in Buganda. Ssenkaatuuka had lived Kabaka Mwanga’s days and was one of those who narrowly escaped Christian martyrdom. However Ssenkaatuuka had later on to undergo castration under Mwanga’s orders and he lived this dehumanization till death at 85. He had built a near palatial bungalow near Mubende city and he was buried in that same house. His funeral was a real glorious ceremony presided over by two bishops, Archbishop J.L. Cabana of Lubaga, and Bishop Joseph Kiwanuka of Masaka. He had willed a lot of land to the Church for special projects among which was the famous Ssenkaatuuka Fund to raise sponsorship for the education of the poor!

Another death which had to be felt as a real shock was that of Mrs Mulyanti, a pragmatic lady very well known in many circles. Thousands of people including my parents attended her funeral. News of her death was also brought to the attention of my father by the Ssaza Chief who was returning from his mission in Kampala. All chiefs at that time knew very well Mwami Mulyanti who had one time been a dynamic Chief of Kyaddondo county ( the Kaggo ).
And very many chiefs from all over Buganda were at the funeral.

Forumists recalling this 1956 / 1957 period can add more names on the list of the eminent personalities Buganda lost in that period! A very sad milestone in Buganda’s history because it marked a period that cost buganda of some of her very heroic individuals.

WAS MUSEVENI JUSTIFIED FOR GOING TO WAR AFTER THE 1980 ELECTIONS?


This picture is a detail of a photograph made at Iganga Primary School, September 1979, by Elly Rwakoma. But who is this photographer, calling for prayer for his country? And who can identify any of the individuals behind him?

By Peter Simon via UAH forum

I think Museveni was justified to go to the bush for his personal gains. He wanted to become a president and as the 1980 campaign trail showed, he had no chance of realizing his ambition through the ballot so the only option left was via fighting. That is what justifies his move, to gain what he wanted but NOT for the reasons he publicly claimed to have motivated them to fight.

That is why he stated that if he lost the elections, he would go to the bush; he saw the lose coming, we saw it coming and celebrated as it drew closer, it sent panic waves to UPM supporters some of whom were and have remained my friends though we constantly disagree with one another; I am a liberal man!

Karamagi Andrew writes to Wanyama Don Innocent


Dear Wanyama Don Innocent,

My friend Yasiin Kawuma’s life was brutally ended last night in the same way that many innocent Ugandan lives have been ended by your blood thirsty master, Yoweri Museveni, and I realize that I could have very easily been the one sitting at the steering wheel of that vehicle for reasons I’ll give in subsequent paragraphs of this crier de coeur to you.

Whenever I have the time, I regularly offer to drive my friends who are political leaders during campaigns, processions and/or long trips to and from the countryside for a number of reasons—some tactical, others strategic. At times, a candidate or leader needs to concentrate fully on planning for the day’s activities, sometimes their official drivers need to rest and on other occasions, it is a good gesture to make oneself available to assist a colleague by chauffeuring them about while they make speeches, meet their voters and chat with their campaign managers and so on.

In my modest experience volunteering for election processes so far, I can state, without any fear of contradiction, that the armed personnel that your masters deploy in elections are responsible for the shootings and injuries meted out against unarmed civilians. This has for long been a common feature of elections.

Examples abound:

When I volunteered for Brenda Nabukenya’s re-election in Luwero, the amount of gun violence that was wrought by Kayihura’s Police created a situation akin to civil war. Were the voters of Luwero pelting the president’s motorcade with stones?

During the Campaign for Free and Fair Elections in 2015, Mathias Mpuuga narrowly survived a bullet to the shoulder thanks to the quick reflexes of a young man who shoved him away into a nearby building whose wall exploded as the killer round shattered the brick and mortar. Was Mpuuga throwing stones at your master Museveni?

Without provocation, Mwijukye Francis, Kalema Shaban Senior, Nyanjura Doreen Nyanjura Doreen Amooti, Bobi Kyagulanyi were (and still are) routinely beaten and the former was once shot in the femur—were they ever found throwing stones at your president? How about the two-year-old baby Javiirah Nalwanga who was shot dead in Masaka by a “stray” bullet?!

In 2016 while a rampant Andrew Felix Kaweesi was all over Kampala arresting political party agents and grabbing declaration forms, three of his guards aimed their automatic weapons at myself and two journalists. None of us had thrown, much less picked up a stone…we were simply taking photos.

In the same year during the election for Ntungamo Municipality Member of Parliament, operators from the Special Forces were deployed and I remember seeing one soldier bludgeoning the motionless body of an old woman who was fleeing the violence—I have never been able to find out whether she survived the savage beating. Tell me Don, was this old woman also hurling stones at your president?

During the recent by-election in Jinja East where I volunteered for Mwiru Paul’s campaign, I was tasked by Gerald K Karuhanga to follow a vehicle that was transporting ballot boxes to the tally centre and ensure that the results aren’t tampered with along the way. A soldier pointed his gun at me in an effort to get me to stop trailing them. I got worried but continued following the car up to the tally centre. This was particularly risky because I was by myself and was driving in a secluded area of the township—had I been shot, they’d have accused me of having confronted them (like they have done with Yasiin) yet all I was doing was vote protection which is a legitimate part of electoral processes more so when rigging is the order of the day.

Barely two months ago, Asuman Basalirwa’s aide was, without provocation, shot dead in the course of a campaign rally. Did he also stone a presidential car?

The incidents are so many but with those few examples, it should be evident that the sole cause of election violence is the bloodlust and insatiable appetite for power that the regime you have sold your soul to possesses and will blindly pursue at any cost, including human life!

Your attempt at spinning the story by parading a damaged rear window of what you purport to be one of the cars on the presidential convoy is not only nauseating; it is manifestly lame and lacking.

While you go about your daily job of defending the indefensible, please rest assured that empires far greater than Museveni’s Junta have collapsed and are now in the dung heap of history, enveloped by infamy and disgrace.

Don’t follow this corpse to the grave my brother.

karamagiandrew@gmail.com.

The Presidential Candidate that Ugandans deserve.


By Dr.Edward Kayondo’ via Ugandans at Heart (UAH) Community

Fellow netters,

A presidential candidate that will win the hearts and minds of Ugandans to bring forth the so much needed change in leadership personnel will not raise from the activists flame and we have seen many hopes shuttered to prove this.

The following are the key factors I will look for in a presidential candidate that will spike my interest and excite me:

The same should clearly acknowledge and outline the positive changes or developments over the last several years even if the count might call for only one hand.

The same should promise to keep the integrity of the current system and make necessary countrywide civil servant changes overtime based on qualifications irrespective of tribal affiliations or the path of ascension to positions in question.

The same must emphasize rule of law not vengeance.

The same must acknowledge that all Ugandans are the same and have a right to privileges they qualify for.

The same must promise necessary changes and express visions based on current state not past or historical precedence.

The same must present developmental programs that are fully supported by teams of knowledgeable people in the field in question.

The same must present a progressive, coherent and detailed plan to the extent they can, addressing all government sectors in the country moving forward.

The same must be open to debate their visions and plans in a public forum when called for.

The same should have a supporting base rooted in a diverse political party or collation of independent fellow citizens.

The same must be chosen by fellow citizens in free and fair elections.

The same must be qualified as outlined in the constitution of the Republic.

The same must acknowledge the services offered by current leaders and propose ways and means through which their accumulated knowledge can be used for the best outcomes of the nation.

This is very depressing to say the least!


By Rev. Joseph Kamugisha

This is very depressing to say the least. As a matter of fact, iam reminded of a similar scenario which i witnessed during my one night stay at Nakasero SRB, during the days of monster Idi Amin.

A Kololo secondary school teacher was brought in the middle of the night, he was clearly identifiable, because we had some students from the same school who knew him very well. He was responsible for teaching Math and French. The man was mercilessly beaten, tied aganist the metal jail bars, in form of a cross. The notorious SRB henchmen, pulle dout their bayonets and started slashing his body exactly as the gluesome pic here below shows. Later in the middle of the night after he had bled so much, one of the goons came in with a pistol and shot him on each arm, legs and finally in the chest.

It’s an image i saw over forty years ago, but still vivid in my memory. If the saying, “History repeats itself…” Museveni, is a surely a good student of Idi Amin and more.

YVONNE CHAKACHAKA SPEAKS ON BOBI’S ARREST!


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*YVONNE CHAKACHAKA*
I have heard that my Nelson Mandela in Uganda has been brutally arrested, tortured & jailed illegally & due to face an illegal court martial. Dear Ugandans, it’s your right to help this boy. We South Africans have heard a lot of bad things about Uganda but believe with such good hearted people like my friend Bobi Wine everything can change. During our time, we didn’t have the social media but we changed South Africa. Right now, you have the social media so use it to free your Nelson Mandela. As for his wife Barbra Kyagulanyi, be strong. God will always protect you no matter what he goes through. Make it a habit of posting his pictures with a simple meaningful message every morning and evening. Trust me, every government is afraid of the pressure on social media. That’s why i heard that the big man there is taxing your social media. As for me, am going to create awareness in South Africa. Don’t lose hope. Hope is vital in every struggle. All those cases against him will go away.
*Oh Mama Africa!*

Official statement from Mengo government about the state of affairs in Uganda


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