By Muzinyabigere Huza via UAH Facebook group
I take time off from Museveni’s lies to business people in the Kampala commercial district to look at a man who created this struggle. Many young activists and opposition players think the world began a fortnight ago but we have real Generals of the Struggle who deserve respect to the meaning of the term.
Uganda first experienced Hussein Siliman Zirabamuzaale Jakan Kyanjo in the late 80s and early 90s at Nakasero Tabligh mosque. He was actually delegated by the then Amiru Dawra Shk. Kamoga as the news anchor for Muslims. His role was to seek for vital news around town and actually inside Islam in Uganda and around the world and give it to the Muslims at his prayer mosque. His day was Monday. Muslims could travel all around Kampala to listen to this talented young boy of eloquence. Everyone was so surprised of how he could collect such vital information just in a week. He was the only boy then in the city who talked boldly against Museveni’s mistakes. Remember by this time, Museveni was Uganda’s sweetheart. But while Ugandans were still celebrating Museveni and the liberators, and while they were still lamenting and cursing the past regimes especially Obote and Amin Kyanjo was already on the podium warning them against this regime. Only for Ugandans to witness after over 20 years that Hussein Kyanjo was worthy their attention.
Eloquent, bold, clever, small size and resilient had opened up a Private design and Printing Company which he named Siphon Arts Ltd in kampala and the best at the time after his graduation at Makerere in 1986. He was the only graduate in his year who never sought employment giving him both freedom of thought and association. I don’t know why these boys who grew up in those big Islamic families are so aggressive! Kyanjo was already married in two years after his graduation, bought a private car, built a home and performed Hijja in Makkah and Madina. He was a lucky hustler since teenage.
My favorite politician caressed the ears of Ugandans after the introduction of political shows on Ugandan private radios ( Ebimeeza). I remember the most popular was that of CBS which my late mother never missed. Everyone could talk but Kyanjo could talk! Everyone was surprised how this boy survived Museveni’s prisons. Here is the reason: He never talked about anything until he had proof that it was perfectly right. He joined public politics in 1996 after they had registered a party with the likes of Muhammad Kibirige Mayanja, Imaam Kasozi, Omar Kalinge-Nnyago and others. The party name was Justice Forum commonly known as #Jeema a short form for Justice,Education,Economic Revitalisation,Morality and Africa Unity. The name Jeema stands for the party well thought of manifesto. He was the chairman of Kibirige Mayanja’s presidential campaign of 1996 which position he held best as compared to all taskforce chairpersons. His role was too perfect that he was identified by the American election observers as the best and consequently he was invited by the American Council of Young Political Leaders(ACYPL) to participate in the electoral observation that saw Bill Clinton return to office for his second and final term in 1998. While there, he underwent special practical tutorials for leadership but most especially self administration. No wonder he is one of the most humble but resilient legislators Uganda has gotten. Most of you began following him in 2001 when he contested with the Late Hon. Yusuf Nsambu for Makindye parliamentary Seat. He lost. He was so respectful that he has no record whether during campaigns or after his loss of attacking his opponent as we witness today’s madness. I remember his loss hurt many people even those outside his party. Ssemujju Nganda who was by then not in politics but writing at Daily Monitor says: “I hurt on the news of Kyanjo’s loss to the extent that I broke to tears. It hurt me more than I’d hurt me to lose my own contest…”! That’s the position of Kyanjo in the hearts of Ugandans. He still participated in all events of the struggle and his voice weighed more than a truck full of sand.
No one knows who taught and how Hussein learned this eloquence. The way he selects his words, his calmness and poise won the hearts of many and made him earn the respect of even those in the government he was fighting except two as we shall unmask them later. Maybe he got this wisdom from Ntuuma Primary school a school on his birth village Ntuuma in Bukomansimbi where he was born on Sunday 20th November 1960 to Hajj Siliman Zirabamuzaale Jakana and Hajjat Nabuuma Mariam? Who between the two parents was this clever!? Omusajja mugezi! Or did he get the wisdom from Bwaise Islamic primary school, Mbuulire P/S or Kako P/S where he sat for his PLE in 1975? I’m soon investigating this Masaka S.S where he went for secondary in 1976 because every old Student of theirs I have met is an outstanding personality!
So our man of the day stood again in 2006 and won the mp seat which he served for two terms. He’s a federalist in great love with his Kabaka. He is the vice chairman deputising Mp Bakireke Nambooze on kabaka’s Buganda Civic Committee that was instated by the King himself in 2007 when Museveni moved to enact laws meant to grab land from Ugandans through law. This one is not the first attempt. Museveni put a team headed by one of his cheap ministers Kinobe to move allover Uganda sensitising Ugandans on the need for the government to be the sole owner of land in Uganda, the Kabaka instated his team too and the Kabaka won this war. The front Generals were Hussein Kyanjo and Nambooze. After that war, in 2008 Museveni moved to give away our Mabira Forest to the Indian investor Mehta to use the land for cane growing. It was Kyanjo and the Kitgum District woman Mp when she was still Pro-People Beatrice Anywar who moved to save the forest. With the support of the people and Buganda kingdom, they organised the first of its kind People’s Demonstration against Mabira give away. Thousands thronged the streets in their support, people were injured and some died due to police’s naughty behaviour. Both of them were arrested. Kyanjo was bailed out by his wife and son. After the awakening of Ugandans, and after the whole country said no, Museveni gave up his plans as then. But later, go tour Mabira!
Kyanjo had become a factor in Uganda and most worryingly in the hearts of Ugandans. In 2010, he had been elected in his party as the party’s presidential flag bearer but rallied behind the opposition gladiator Col. Kizza-Besigye Wrn in the then loose Inter Party Coalition (IPC) which was not only fought by the Despot but also fellow opposition personalities like Abed Bwanika and Norbert Mao. In Parliament he influenced many people from the speaker to the guards. His debates are the most memorable on the Hansard.
An articulate lawmaker, a rabble-rouser, a sobre leader, a Buganda kingdom enthusiast and staunch Muslim and a sheikh.Rummaging through the records of Parliament, Kyanjo’s name appears prominently in The Hansard. And he was not only exemplary in debate but conduct too. Kyanjo was so disciplined and committed to whatever he does that he keeps time and rarely missed the plenary and parliamentary committee debates where his contribution was well documented.
It was, therefore, not surprising when the African Leadership Institute (AFLI) scorecard placed him amongst the top ten best performing lawmakers. Although on opposition, Kyanjo was the most respected MP during his tenure.
Once in a while he got agitated and unleashed his acerbic tongue. For instance, at the peak of the central government and Buganda attrition in September 2009, after violence erupted in Buganda following the government refusal of the Kabaka to tour Kayunga district, Kyanjo boldly suggested that Mengo, the seat of the kingdom, should secede from Uganda which I supported to date.
Yet Kyanjo is one man who is always ready and willing to reach out across the political aisle and make political compromises. Even after a heated debate, Kyanjo could be seen chatting up a minister, trying to put his point across and mend fences. After Dr Kizza Besigye, the FDC leader, was incessantly sprayed with pepper as security officers brutally arrested him in 2011, emotions ran high in the House. Daudi Migereko, the then government Chief Whip, revealed that he sought Kyanjo’s counsel as to how to handle the highly emotional debate.
“We had spent a lot of time bickering over the video and he advised the House on how to move,” said Migereko.
The Kigulu South MP, Milton Muwuma, who chaired the Internal Affairs and Defence committee, observed that Kyanjo’s sobre views often came in handy to give the committee direction.
“The committee had always been persuaded to follow his objective views despite being an opposition member,” Muwuma said. In cases of a sharp disagreement, Kyanjo’s pacifist nature is often called upon to suggest a way forward.
“He advised and guided the committee,” Muwuma told The Observer in 2012.
The Bukooli Island MP, Peter Okeyoh, another colleague on the committee, agreed with Muwuma, adding that Kyanjo is reliable and thorough.
“He is someone who brings every detail to the attention of the committee,” he said. This kind of influence didn’t go down well for Kyanjo, he was a threat to the junta and their communist plans. He was seen as a person who’d slowly change the house’s opinion at the expense of the despost. The plan against him was hatched:
In October 2011, while investigating the [oil] bribery allegations something bad happened to his life. He was the chairman of the investigations team that was pressing who pulled what from the Oil deal. The scheme was so deadly that his friends and colleagues began warning him of the thought danger to his life.
Kyanjo, says he had travelled to Johannesburg South Africa for Parliament business in early 2011 when two days into the trip, he woke up to realise he was struggling to speak.
“I started feeling something in my tongue and I was failing in my speech. I thought it was something small. I had gone to South Africa with Patrick Amuriat Oboi now Party President for FDC who represented Kumi County in Parliament then. I couldn’t speak well and I thought it was something small that could be fixed easily by a doctor on return home.
I went to see the doctor but he could not identify what my problem was. I had some missing teeth and I thought it was one of the problems, but when I went for that (check), it was not part of the problem until I went to an Iranian-owned hospital in Dubai. There, they diagnosed me with a disease called Dystonia.
They said it was a rare stubborn disease; it resists drugs and is very disturbing to one who has it. They gave me some drugs which I started using but also referred me to a London hospital where they said it was going to be better for me.
So, when I returned, I went to the Speaker and explained to her my ordeal and she gave me a go ahead and Parliament sponsored me to go to the University Hospital of London where I was getting treatment for the last two and a half years.”
Kyanjo says he traveled to London every three months from 2012 to get two toxin injections on the lower part of his jaws to keep the muscles in shape.
Kyanjo says doctors told him his condition could have been caused by any of three factors, an inheritance of the disease, effects of a serious accident or poison.
“I checked and found I could not have inherited it because no one has suffered from such a disease in our family. It also cannot have been caused by an accident because I have never been involved in any. So, I was left with one possibility—poisoning.”
Kyanjo says during a typical attack, he keeps fighting not to swallow his tongue….
Swallow his tongue, I said; swallow his tongue! He was pressed with a battery inside his chest. That battery he charges with another that he fixes in a socket for him to talk every after three months!
So he was poisoned to kill his influence. He was poisoned because he insisted on righting the wrongs of his country. He was poisoned for fighting graft and corruption. He was poisoned for not accepting a position in the junta government after their many trials. He was poisoned because he was a diehard #Besigyevite. He was poisoned because Ugandans believed and trusted him. He was poisoned because he was intuitive. He was poisoned because he’s a federalist. He was poisoned because of you and me. Such are the people who owe us respect. They gave their lives for the struggle we are wasting. Even though he is under such conditions he has refused Museveni’s money. He still stands for what he stood for while still alive. He stands with Kizza-Besigye in all these. He stands for the struggle. He is one reason I can’t forgive the regime. However he says; “You should be happy and grateful to Allah because am not the same but am alive thats why you can reach me. My wife and Afande Kirumira who died a month ago can’t be consulted for any thing”.