Author ugandansatheart(UAH)

Southern Sudan and Somalia wars are like a business to Museveni and his family!


By Annet Kobusingye via UAH forum

Sudan is like M7 second home. He creates wars and sponsors them in order to remain big. This is how he benefits from.somemof the wars:

1.His family members are exporting food. Many business men were hoodwinked to supply food to similar place like the first family when they took food to Sudan but their trailers,cars and food packages were confiscated and drivers arrested. Their money wasted and these business men in kla today they are crying over their money that was never paid. That is how he weakened some rich men in Uganda.

2. Some Ugandan business peopple were robbed or killed in Suddan as they attempted to follow their goods in hope they would recover their vehicles.

3. Keep northern region distabilised with guns in circulation.Many refugees entered northern region with them. It’s has been difficult to separate a refugee from a rebel. The local in another region fear refugees more than anything because they are armed. Who is allowing them to enter with guns? the M7 regime. Whom do the refugees salute? Museveni.

4. In times of elections,so many refugees enter through this route of Sudan,they register and vote. No body should deceive you that they don’t vote. They do vote for M7. If you don’t believe my story go to isingiro quotelybd ask the local in Isingiro mbarara District,where so many refugees havebeen captured and you be shocked with details you will find.

5. Makes money from inflated numbers of refugees in the country and gets more donor funding which he channels into his private businesses.

From such deals he cannot allow a war to come to an end.

Now on realising that people have discovered his game, he is so quick to arrange a peace talk deal Sudan.

Another example was Somalia. He has been putting it that the war in Somalia is so bad and the donors pumped lots of money for him.

He once surprised the Anite world when he returned empty COFFINS at Entebbe international and presented them to cameras.Up to now no body has ever been hurried nor printed in news papers to have died or families to have have r received their dead ones…..

National parks have been turned into bidding sports for the regime. Lions have been poisoned and unknown people placed in those national parks.Nobody knows where these people come from nor their motives.The tourism indutry is headed by an NRM man who has no backbone to ask what has happened to our lions.The entire national parks is covered with long horned cows now day.

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Kyanjo wasn’t poisoned by ‘Kayibanda’!


By George Okello in London

Mr Hussein Kyanjo is said to have suffered from DYSTONIA.London University College Hospital(UCL) diagnosed and treated Mr Kyanzo for many years.UCL is one of the top 5 hospitals in the world, and so if it diagnosed Mr Kyanjo as suffering from Dystonia and treated him for it for many years, then I can’t see how the alternative diagnosis of “poisoning” comes into the picture. UCL treats a number of conditions for which currently there is is no cure. I am myself a patient, having been diagnosed with SARCOIDIOSIS, another incurable disease, since 2009, and have been on steroid treatment ever since, which only controls and stops my body immune system from launching parasitic attacks on itself, but does not cure the illness itself.. If I die now, it may be convenient to accuse Kayibanda of poisoning me, but in reality it is SARCOIDIOSIS that would have done me in and beaten Kayibanda Museveni to it.

However pleased he will be with the outcome, Kayibanda will never claim any credit for my death. I mention this point because I want Ugandans to face the reality of their medical conditions and to refrain from the habit of finding convenient alibis for inconvenient conditions. 95% of Ugandans who die of HIV/AIDS for eg never admit it, and will claim other causes of death- usually Heart Attack. This habit must stop. If I die of Sarcoid- I want Ugandans to know it is sacoirdoisis that has killed me, and not poison from kayibanda.

Secondly,the announcement of Abbey Semuwemba’s death was a little bit premature. Apparently it is a wish list by some individuals annoyed with Senuwemba’s constant attacks and criticism of Mr Bob Wine. It attracted debate on his Facebook forum, Senuwemba himself refused to deny or confirm his unfortunate demise, so we assume he is still living, rather than resting in peace!

HUSSEIN KYANJO: A POLITICAL TRAILBLAZER ”POISONED” BUT NOT KILLED!


Hussein Kyanjo eyaliko MP wa Makindye West


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”.

Bobi Wine is like Ben Kiwanuka:From village boy to Prime Minister!


Benedicto Kiwanuka with his family

By G.H.K in Paris, France, via UAH forum

I’ve seen Mr Abbey Ssemuwemba’s points and the accompanying comments. And I’m grateful to all this effort!A previous posting cites names of those men who rose from nowhere to become leaders. I add on the name of the Great Benedicto Kiwanuka,orphaned at 11 her mother had no fair means to pay the school fees he needed to go to Namilyango College where he had been admitted after his junior secondary school studies at St Peter’s SSS Nsambya. He stayed for some years in his native village in Masaka doing ordinary farming until he was enrolled in the KAR to fight in World War II. After this he received a clerical job at the High Court in Kampala. He made some savings and got married. Then after he sponsored his way to Southern Africa in Lesotho (then known as Basutoland) where he enrolled at a newly opened university to do the intermediate ( equiv A-Levels). Had a lot of financial difficulties to complete the course! Fortunately his efforts were crowned with great success when he passed with flying colours and was admitted to do law at London University where he passeed with honours and was admitted to the bar. Subsequently on joining politics in Uganda he was elected to head the DP and he won the 1961 general elections and became Uganda’s first Prime Minister.

From village boy to Prime Minister! Now when people, in particular the numerically very important youth look at Bobi Wine they see in him what we’ve seen in these people who rose from quasi-ghettos to become leaders. And this is where Bobi Wine is drawing support not only in Uganda but also on the international scene. He has succeeded to rise to the highest and be a real threat to Museveni whom he has humiliated in many things including a debate at Makerere and the by-election wins where Museveni’s presence in campaigns was rather unnoticeable in the presence of very charismatic young politician who articulates issues correctly to the point of winning huge applauses from his numerous attendance! He’s a politician without a party! But he has proved that he can move forward thanks to his brilliant approach and contact with the many who matter in the country.Likewise he has succeeded to create a national global constituency already rooted in the philosophy of the deep-seated influence acquired through his musical tones that could draw masses to his audience. And the philosophy of his action lies here : the effort to rise from nowhere to somewhere, the effort to broaden an air of contact at national and international levels, and the effort to to invest all these experiences in his political action. This is where he has won international prestige and respect.

In this case he isn’t a loner but a mobilizer of a following. His motto : People Power : Our Power comes at a very ripe time when another celebrated motto, TOGIKWATAKO,launched by Norbert Mao and group, has already prepared good ground for his work! And everyone knows how the country will move and to which direction it will steer if Bobi Wine and others will be voted to lead Uganda. And their programme can be anticipated in advance from all aspects of the country’s national life. It’s clear the programme will have nothing to inspire from the failed NRM with Museveni at top for over 30 years! The youth as well as the abandoned and the marginalized will be the key beneficiaries.

It’s true Bobi Wine or any other leader who will come in after Museveni won’t need to follow anything to do with an ideology. Very true, it’s only the actions and the sense to rehabilitate the country and the yearn to push forward will be the creators of anything to do with ideology which in this sense will be the urge for positive action in every sector of the country’s national life!

Does Bobi Wine need to talk and negotiate with Museveni as some rumours have indicated? If anything, it’s Museveni who must and who has been advised to show humility and apologize to Bobi Wine! Bobi Wine, in my view, wouldn’t be expected to go and sit face to face with somebody who is quite oppressive to any opposing view. Let’s judge the situation as it is now. On the one hand we see a 74-year-old person, in pôwer for over 30 years, and now at the sunset of that power which is presently being cursed globally for the many mistakes done to the people including changing the constitution to continue clinging to power! And is surrounded by age-mates who only just listen to his views without formulating any argument on them! And on the other hand we can just see a very young brilliant up-to-the-minute statesman enjoying wide support in his country and abroad where he has been reckoned as
one of those who will contribute to the advent of a new spring in Uganda.He’s surrounded by very many serious actors coming from the nation’s much multifaceted global life.And he is a in himself a sort of a symbol standing for the ideas of the many who now see sense in his People Power motto. He’s a multifarious personality tending to gather all currents in one stream. He is in full contrast with the other old man who appears to stand for himself surrounded by a few with hardly any influence remaining on them!

So if dialogue or negotiation, all that will centre on what? Will it be a sort of seeing a Museveni trying to control Bobi Wine’s action with intent on silencing him? Will Bobi Wine accept to submit to Museveni’s harsh-handed paternalism that would in the long run oblige him to abandon what he has so painfully launched aided by opposition politicians and some NRM individuals? If he submits to Museveni’s hegemony how will he be seen abroad and in neighbouring countries where his action is widely and very wildly saluted? And how will he be considered in Africa where the oppressed are now looking to him and his group as a source of inspiration for the launch of the good new days on the entire continent? And his very dynamic and pragmatic action which is mobilizing masses all over the region, should it
be submitted to that NRM decadence which is now seeing a fall in standards on practically every note! There is no need for Bobi Wine to submit to Museveni! It’s Museveni and group who should by any ruse, if possible, try to find through Bobi Wine a safe landing!

Bobi Wine and group have all the cards in their hands! What the NRM regime is now resorting to through the use of force is a very stupid childish venture! Force won’t prevent change from landing in a country that has now won the very much needed sympathy of the entire world community! And world reaction now is in favour of bringing about the necessary change that will usher in improvement in the ordinary Ugandan’s daily lot!

SOPHISTRY AND THE TRAGEDY OF THE MWENDA-LIKE ‘INTELLECTUAL’


By Edward Ssekalo

Sophistry, as defined by the Google Dictionary, is “the use of clever but false arguments, especially with the intention of deceiving.” A person who reasons with clever but false arguments is called a sophist. If you were doing a test and were out of time, you could as well summarise the definition of sophist as Andrew Mwenda. Even if there are a few others like him scattered all over social media, Mwenda is the poster boy of the art of sophistry in Uganda at the moment.

I once admired Mwenda by the way. As a student I followed him with religious devotion, witnessing his transformation over the years from a young journo who moralised, to a more mature commentator who analysed and finally to a former journalist turned businessman that uses his platform(s) to demonise any person who dares to remind us that injustice is a thing to be frowned upon; something to be RESISTED. At other times (most times), his energies will be expended on anyone that presents as a substantial threat to Mr. Museveni’s blood-fuelled hold onto power. Once it was Kizza Besigye. Now it is Bobi Wine.

Yet, I am not here to discuss Mwenda. I will instead respond to some of the fallacious arguments in his “Between Museveni’s frying pan and Bobi Wine’s fire”. First though, I will get one thing out of the way: as expected Mwenda retrieves his anti-Opposition talking points early on, brandishing his much-loved ‘radical extremist’ label which is reserved for pro-change supporters as a tool to blackmail.

As a comms professional, I know the power in disarming the person you are challenging by assigning derogative tags. It is supposed to give you the early advantage. I, however, will embrace that label. If Mwenda believes that by me voicing my displeasure with the state and style of governance of my country I am a disgruntled, talentless, unemployable, radical extremist, I will wear that label he has assigned as a badge of honour.

SO, WHAT DOES BOBI WINE STAND FOR?

The flaws in Mwenda’s piece are first shown up where he argues that “Bobi Wine’s only qualification as an alternative to Museveni is that he is critical of the status quo.” That is a most absurd assumption, because there are hundreds of Museveni opponents on the political stage. Does Mwenda stop to think why some and not others get traction in their campaigns for change? For one that passes himself off as ‘intellectual’, Mwenda should do some thinking, and show evidence of it when he writes.

He continues that “Our ‘intellectuals’ don’t care what [Bobi] stands for, the values he represents, the policy alternatives he proposes, the leadership abilities he has exhibited, the alliances he is cultivating and the organizational ability he has demonstrated.”

If Mwenda isn’t exhibiting willful ignorance, then I would suggest he does a simple Google or Facebook search. It is laughable to impute that Bobi Wine has yet to demonstrate leadership abilities (a man that was so influential even Mwenda’s friend Kale Kayihura turned to him to engage ghetto youth- that was before Bobi was even MP). Mwenda then questions the alliances Bobi is cultivating (he obviously hasn’t heard that Bobi Wine has allied with three different political bases in the last one year and which bases emerged victorious in by-elections in Arua, Bugiri, Jinja and Rukungiri). And then the winner: he dares to question Bobi Wine’s organizational ability. Seriously? A man that swept a by-election competing against an FDC incumbent and a generously-funded NRM candidate in Kyadondo East? Do you start to see the definition of ‘sophist’ in these claims by Mwenda?

Nonetheless, let’s address the suggestion that it is not clear what Bobi Wine stands for. Long before he joined the political fray, Bobi Wine identified himself as one for freedom and justice (political, economic and social), and one whose desire is a Uganda that works for all. Here is one of his quotes from last year: “Our aspiration is to live in a country in which every Ugandan is equal, free and dignified. Where every life is valuable. Where no one is above the law. Where no one can kill a Ugandan and sleeps sound[ly] – knowing that they are protected by the state.”

Bobi Wine does not need a fancy 10-point program, framed, to make these points (besides, we know how well those who came with 10-point programs and blackboards have turned out 32 years later). The millions of Ugandans he inspires know it too. He doesn’t need to identify as Marxist or clothe himself in the elitist “liberal democrat” dress the Mwendas pretend to champion for us radical extremists to agree with him that we need change.

For crying out loud, when Salim Saleh joined Mr. Museveni in their Bush War I bet he couldn’t even spell the word ‘Marxist’, let alone explain the ideology. I would bet the likes of Elly Tumwine and Abdul Nadduli followed Museveni to the bush because they had had enough of the status quo, or, quite possibly, sensed an opportunity to enjoy a life of largesse if their gamble paid off.

If Mwenda were truly the impartial analyst he purports to be, he should at least acknowledge that Bobi Wine has shown an admirable ability to read the political mood and recognize that there is a growing shift from a belief in parties (at least for pro-change Ugandans) to a growing faith in non-partisan/cross-partisan initiatives. It was that vehicle that delivered Kyagulanyi the MP. A similar approach delivered Emmanuel Macron to the French presidency, just saying.

IT’S THE YEARNING FOR FREEDOM, STUPID!

So, like Saleh was in 1982, many 22-year-old Ugandan youth today relate with Bobi Wine’s struggle for their freedom if not to do anything else, at least to WhatsApp and share their nudes in peace, without the unnecessary impediment of OTT tax. That freedom has been taken away by a government that taxes them unjustly, and impoverishes them slowly but steadily by yanking out of their hands the power to make a living as ‘hustlers’ online, or as Mobile Money agents offline.

Mwenda, these Ugandans don’t need ideologies. They don’t need a mastery of macroeconomic policy. All they need is to hear words of inspiration and Bobi Wine provides those, like a good leader does, or should, and like your sugar daddy Museveni once did. If Bobi Wine needs top class economists to guide his policy, Uganda has enough of them, and at least he has shown that he is willing to seek and use expert opinion. That cannot be said of Museveni (anymore). The likes of Bobi Wine signify vanguards in Ugandans’ daily struggles for freedom and justice; social, economic or otherwise. It’s the freedom, stupid!

The one submission Mwenda made that I truly believed was honest (even if it reeked of ignorance) was the one that about Bobi Wine having to reward his supporters with jobs if he became president. If that is an idea coming from Mwenda, it shouldn’t be surprising at all. He has been around Museveni for quite a while now that the only standard he knows is the one Museveni has set, (which is also why it difficult for him to envision a Uganda where security agents don’t brutalise citizens).

But back to the point on jobs; as an analyst, the easiest way to attempt to predict what kind of president Bobi Wine would potentially be should have been for Mwenda to examine how Bobi Wine has run his constituency of Kyadondo East. But who needs the facts on the ground when there is an anti-Opposition demonisation template to feed ‘Bobi Wine’ or ‘Kizza Besigye’ into and hit the ‘Post’ button?

*The cry baby antics about being cyber-bullied were truly laughable though. If one calls you out for the intellectual fraud you are, don’t turn around and claim it is cyber-bullying. Or should we expect that you will advise your daddy to create a division of social media police to whip us (pun intended) into line?

Britain’s New African Empire


Britain’s New African Empire

by Mark Curtis

Companies listed on the London Stock Exchange control over $1trillion worth of Africa’s resources in just five commodities – oil, gold, diamonds, coal and platinum. My research for the NGO, War on Want, which has just been published, reveals that 101 companies, most of them British, control $305billion worth of platinum, $276billion worth of oil and $216billion worth of coal at current market prices. The ‘Scramble for Africa’ is proceeding apace, with the result that African governments have largely handed over their treasure.

Tanzania’s gold, Zambia’s copper, South Africa’s platinum and coal and Botswana’s diamonds are all dominated by London-listed companies. They have mines or mineral licences in 37 African countries and control vast swathes of Africa’s land: their concessions cover a staggering 1.03million square kilometres on the continent. This is over four times the size of the UK and nearly one-twentieth of sub-Saharan Africa’s total land area. China’s resources grabs have been widely vilified but the major foreign takeover of Africa’s natural riches springs from a lot closer to home.

Many African governments depend on mineral resources for revenues, yet the extent of foreign ownership means that most wealth is being extracted along with the minerals. In only a minority of mining operations do African governments have a shareholding? Company tax payments are minimal due to low tax rates while governments often provide companies with generous incentives such as corporation tax holidays.

Companies are also able to avoid paying taxes by their use of tax havens. Of the 101 London-listed companies, 25 are actually incorporated in tax havens, principally the British Virgin Islands. It is estimated that Africa loses around $35billion a year in illicit financial flows out of the continent and a further $46billion a year in multinational company profits taken from operations in Africa.

UK companies’ increasingly dominant role in Africa, which is akin to a new colonialism, is being facilitated by British governments, Conservative and Labour alike. Four policies stand out. First, Whitehall has long been a fierce advocate of liberalized trade and investment regimes in Africa that provide access to markets for foreign companies. It is largely opposed to African countries putting up regulatory or protectionist barriers to such investment, the sorts of policies where have often been used by successful developers in East Asia. Second, Britain has been a world leader in advocating low corporate taxes in Africa, including in the extractives sector.

Third, British policy has done nothing to challenge multinational companies using tax havens; indeed the global infrastructure of tax havens is largely a British creation. Fourth, British governments have constantly espoused only voluntary mechanisms for companies to monitor their human rights impacts; they are opposed to enhancing international legally binding mechanisms to curb abuses.

The result is that Africa, the world’s poorest continent, is being further impoverished. Recent research calculated, for the first time, all the financial inflows and outflows to and from sub-Saharan Africa to gauge whether Africa is being helped or exploited by the rest of the world. It found that $134billion flows into the continent each year, mainly in the form of loans, foreign investment and aid. However, $192billion is taken out, mainly in profits made by foreign companies and tax dodging. The result is that Africa suffers a net loss of $58billion a year. British mining companies and their government backers are contributing to this drainage of wealth.

We need to radically rethink the notion that Britain is helping Africa to develop. The UK’s large aid programme is, among other things, being used to promote African policies from which British corporations will further profit. British policy in Africa, and indeed that of African elites, needs to be challenged and substantially changed if we are serious about promoting long term economic development on the continent.

Mark Curtis

Mark Curtis is an author and consultant. He is a former Research Fellow at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) and has been an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Strathclyde and Visiting Research Fellow at the Institut Francais des Relations

WHAT EXACTLY HAPPENED IN ARUA? MY STORY!



WHAT EXACTLY HAPPENED IN ARUA? MY STORY!
(As narrated by Hon Kyagulanyi/Bobi Wine)

Fellow Ugandans, friends and well-wishers from around the world,

I am sorry, I have taken a bit long to write to you about the trials and tribulations, for which you all stood with me. It’s been tough days, as I recover from the physical and mental trauma I endured. I am overwhelmed by your support and words of encouragement. I cannot repay you in any other way, except sticking to those values which bind all of us together- justice, equality and human dignity.

I will be communicating more in the coming days and where possible send my appreciation to the different individuals and organizations. In this post however, I want to recount what exactly happened to me. I am very grateful to my wife Barbie, and my lawyers who narrated to the world these events, but I also wanted to tell this sad story PERSONALLY. I felt more compelled to speak out after reading the many posts written by President Museveni and other government officials about what happened.

I read the things they were saying while I was in detention, and found them absurd to say the least. I was shocked on how they tried to downplay the atrocities committed by security agencies on innocent citizens.
So let me set the record straight.

It was 13th August and it was the last day of campaigns in the Arua municipality by-election. As always we had a great campaign day. As I left the rally, I was convinced that our candidate Hon. Kassiano Wadri would win the election. So we moved from the rally at about 5:30pm and the people followed us, singing songs of freedom and chanting “People Power – Our Power.” Together with Hon. Kassiano and a few other leaders, we parted with the multitude, bade them farewell and went into Royal hotel where Hon. Wadri was staying.

We watched the 7:00pm news from the hotel lobby as we took tea and took stock of the day’s events. It was of course very exciting to watch that day’s news. The anchor said we were clearly ahead of the other candidates and the television relayed images of the massive rally and procession we had had on that day. Shortly after, I decided to move to Pacific hotel where I was staying so as to rest after the very busy day. It was at that point that I sat in my tundra vehicle, in the co-driver’s seat. The gentleman who was driving the tundra that day is one of our drivers (not Yasin). He moved out of the vehicle to call other team members who were supposed to drive with us. He took a bit long and I moved into my other vehicle (a land cruiser) which was right next to the tundra and whose driver was already seated on the driver’s seat. We immediately set off for Pacific hotel. I did not even see what happened after or how late Yasin ended up on my seat in the tundra. For clarity, he had been driving another vehicle that day.

I had started taking the stairs to my room when this driver came running to say that Yasin Kawuma had been shot. I could not believe it. I asked him where he was and he told me they were parked outside the hotel. We paced down and I saw with my own eyes, my friend and comrade Yasin, giving way as he bled profusely. I quickly asked a team member to take him to hospital and another to call the police. We had not stepped away from that place when angry looking SFC soldiers came, beating up everyone they could see.

As soon as they saw me, they charged saying “there he is” in Swahili. So many bullets were being fired and everyone scampered to safety. I also ran up into the hotel with a throng of people who had gathered around. Inside the hotel, I entered a random room and locked myself in. It is at that point that my media assistant shared with me Yasin’s picture which I tweeted because the world needed to know what was going on.

I could hear the people outside and in the hotel corridors crying for help. I could also hear the soldiers pulling these helpless people past the room in which I was, saying all sorts of profanities to them while beating them mercilessly.

I stayed in the room for a long time. At some point, I heard soldiers pull some woman out of her room and ask her which room Bobi Wine had entered. The woman wailed saying she didn’t know and what followed were terrible beatings. I could hear her cry and plead for help as she was being dragged down the stairs. Up to now, that is one experience that haunts me; that I could hear a woman cry for help, yet I was so vulnerable and helpless. I could not help her.

I stayed put for some hours, and I could hear the soldiers come every few minutes, bang some doors on my floor or other floors and go away. At different times I would sleep off, but was always rudely awakened by the banging of doors and the impatient boots that paced throughout the hotel for the whole night. In the wee hours of the morning, the soldiers started breaking doors of the different hotel rooms. With rage, they broke doors, and I knew they would soon come to my room. I therefore put my wallet and phone into my socks. I also had with me some money which I had earned from a previous music show. I also put it into the socks.

A few minutes later, a soldier hit my door with an iron bar and after two or three attempts the door fell in. We looked each other in the eye as he summoned his colleagues in Swahili. Another soldier pointed a pistol on my head and ordered me to kneel down. I put my hands up and just before my knees could reach the floor, the soldier who broke into the room used the same iron bar to hit me. He aimed it at my head and I put up my hand in defence so he hit my arm. The second blow came straight to my head on the side of my right eye. He hit me with this iron bar and I fell down. In no minute, all these guys were on me- each one looking for the best place to hurt. I can’t tell how many they were but they were quite a number.

They beat me, punched me, and kicked me with their boots. No part of my body was spared. They hit my eyes, mouth and nose. They hit my elbows and my knees. Those guys are heartless!

As they dragged me out of the room, they continued to hit me from all sides. After some time, I could almost no longer feel the pain. I could only hear what they were doing from a far. My cries and pleas went unheeded. The things they were speaking to me all this while, I cannot reproduce here. Up to now, I cannot understand how these soldiers who I probably had never met before in person could hate me so much.

They wrapped me in a thick piece of cloth and bundled me into a vehicle. Those guys did to me unspeakable things in that vehicle! They pulled my manhood and squeezed my testicles while punching me with objects I didn’t see. They pulled off my shoes and took my wallet, phone and the money I had. As soon as the shoes were off, they started hitting my ankles with pistol butts. I groaned in pain and they ordered me to stop making noise for them. They used something like pliers to pull my ears. Some guy unwrapped me and instead tied the thick cloth around my head. They forced my head below the car seat so as to stop me from shouting. Then they hit my back and continued to hit my genitals with objects. The marks on my back, ankles, elbows, legs and head are still visible. I continued to groan in pain and the last I heard was someone hit me at the back of the head with an object – I think a gun butt or something. That was the last time I knew what was going on.

By the time I became conscious again, I was somewhere in a small room with a small window. My legs were tied together with my hands with very tight cuffs. I was bleeding from the nose and ears. I was in great pain. My whole body was swollen. I was shaking uncontrollably.

Two soldiers came in. I can now recall that they were visibly pleased to see that I was still alive. They came close to me. One of them apologized in tears about what had happened. “Bobi, I am sorry but not all of us are like that. Some of us actually like you,” he said. He said that doctors were on their way to treat me. I stayed in the same position and after a few hours, about four soldiers came in and lifted me on a piece of cloth. One of them took a picture of me, (I hope to see that picture some day in my life). As we went out, I read “Arua airfield’ somewhere. I was taken into a waiting military helicopter and taken to a place which I later found out was Gulu 4th Division military barracks. It was at that facility that some military doctors came in and started giving me injections.

At that point I could not even complain as I was not yet fully alert. I was very dizzy and had not eaten or drank anything for many hours. My sight was very weak as well. I spent the night there. Late in the night, I was picked again from this detention facility. With my head covered with a dark cloth that felt like a t-shirt, I was taken to Gulu Police Station where I was forced to sign a written statement by an officer called Francis Olugo in the presence of some other officer who I later learnt is the CID head of Gulu. I can hardly recall what was contained in that statement! I was then returned to Gulu military barracks, put on a metallic bed and handcuffed on it. Very early morning, I was picked from this room and taken to another very secluded and dirty room where I was put on another bed, hand-cuffed again and injected with a drug that immediately sent me into a deep sleep.

The following day I can recall that at some point, Hon. Medard Ssegona and Hon. Asuman Basalirwa came to me. My efforts to rise and speak to them didn’t yield much. The moment they saw me, they could hardly hold tears. I have a faint recollection of what they told me, but their visit was very short.

I was later carried into a hall where I saw soldiers dressed smartly. I would lie if I said I fully appreciated what was going on at that point. I was later told that I was appearing before the General Court Martial!!!

After a short while, I was again carried into a military helicopter.

When it landed, I was put into a vehicle and driven to another place which I later found out was Makindye military barracks.

At Makindye, I was now fully alert and had a drink for the first time after two or three days. I saw doctors come in several times and they gave me all kinds of injections. At some point, I tried to object and these guys would hold my arms from behind and inject me anywhere. If I asked what drug it was, the guy would say something like, “This is diclofenac, can’t you see?” At some point, some guy came in and wanted to stitch my ear which had an open wound. I pleaded with him not to, and he relented. All the while I was spending the day and night with my hands and legs cuffed until a few days later. Thankfully although the scars are still visible, the wound on my ear healed.

It was after some time at Makindye that I was able to see my wife and my brother Eddy Yawe, who came in with some lawyers, some friends and dignitaries from the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC). I will never forget the atmosphere in that room- people started crying upon setting eyes on me. At that point, I could not sit, walk or even stand by myself. I was still swollen and spoke with great difficulty due to chest pains. My teeth were shaking and the headache was unbearable. I am thankful that the UHRC made a report which I later read. At least it captured in part, the state in which they found me. As the government agency mandated to fight human rights violations, I am eagerly waiting to see what actions they will take to ensure that no Ugandan is taken through this ever again. Not even President Museveni. I cannot wish what happened to me upon anyone. Not even those soldiers who violated me as if they were beasts. I remember two other things about that visit. Despite the pain I had that day, I remember forcing a smile when they told me that I had been charged with unlawful possession of firearms.

I was told that three guns had been assembled and said to have been found in my room! I could not believe that the state would torture a Ugandan so bad and then frame him with possession of guns! I did not stop thinking about that for all the days I spent at Makindye. How ruthless, how callous, how inhumane could these guys be? It was also on that day that I was told about the alleged stoning of the President’s vehicle.

The other thing I remember is this- I asked my visitors if we had won the Arua election. They told me we had won with a big margin and I thanked God. That strengthened my spirit because I knew that the people were with us, even in the kind of sufferings and indignities we were being subjected to.

I was very sad as I am today, that they murdered my brother Yasin in cold blood and did not allow me to bury him. They told me about my other comrades who were also incarcerated and I kept praying for them. (Of course every visitor had to speak to me in the presence of military personnel.) Although I was very pleased to see all visitors, when I was released, I read the comments which some of the visitors made to the press (particularly government officials). I felt sad that we have a lot of dishonest, cold people who don’t care riding on someone’s tragedy for political capital. I want to believe that we are better than that, dear Ugandans.

Anyway, while at Makindye I was briefed that I was expected in court on 23rd August, about nine days after I was taken there. Some military doctors continued to come in to inject me, wash my wounds and give me pain killers. At night on two occasions, I was put into military vehicles and driven to Kampala Imaging Centre for scans. I could not object or even ask questions. I am worried because one of the machines seemed very dangerous. As soon as I was placed into it and it was switched on, the doctors ran to a safe distance and started seeing me from a small window. It was there that the radiologist told me how one of my kidneys and back had been damaged during the assault. I was however not given any written medical report by the military.

It was clear they wanted me to appear in better shape at the next time of my court appearance and they did everything possible to achieve that. A day or two at Makindye, this guy was candid. He told me it was in my interest to eat well, take in all the medicine and look better by 23rd or else they would not allow the press to see me and I would be remanded again until I was presentable enough! They even forcefully shaved my hair and beards. When I hesitated, this soldier told me, ‘gwe osaaga’ (You are kidding). Two of them held my hands from behind and shaved me by force. At some point, they insisted I must wear a suit for my next appearance before the court martial and asked me to tell my wife to bring me one. I also insisted that I did not have it. At another point I hesitated to allow some eye drops for my right eye which was very red and swollen. I always wanted to know what drugs I was being given. These guys held my arms from behind and one of them literally poured the entire bottle into my eye! Later, the military doctor also provided me with a crutch to aid me in walking. At that point, I was able to stand up, although with difficulty. When you hear all this you may think that all our soldiers are brutal. Far from that, most of them are wonderful people. There are many I interacted with during this ordeal who were extremely professional and sympathetic. It was hard to comprehend how people serving the same force, putting on the same uniform could be very different in appreciation and approach to a citizen of Uganda.

When I was taken back to Gulu on 23rd, I was very happy to see the people who came to court including family members, comrades in the struggle and lawyers. I cannot explain how I felt when the lawyer for the army said that charges of unlawful possession of firearms had been dropped. I did not feel vindicated. I was not excited. I was not moved. I just cannot explain how I felt. I just remembered what these people had done to me and tears came to my eyes. Shortly after, I was rearrested right in front of the courtroom and taken to Gulu prison. At the military prison, I was wearing a red uniform – this time, I was given a yellow one.

Friends, you cannot believe that you can be happy to be in prison but that day I was. I was very happy to leave solitary military confinement and meet up with colleagues who were being held at the Gulu prison. That night I was taken to Lachor hospital in Gulu- other tests and scans were conducted. At that point I was feeling better, especially psychologically since I had reunited with my comrades in the struggle.

Later that night the prison authorities decided to take me into the sickbay as opposed to staying with the other comrades. The other comrades led by Hon. Wadri protested. I could hear them bang the doors of their cell. The following day I was allowed to stay with them. The following day I was allowed to stay with them. This is when I interacted with the other 32 colleagues who had been arrested in the Arua fracas. Being in the same prison ward with Hon. Gerald Karuhanga, Hon. Paul Mwiru, Hon. Kassiano Wadri, Hon. Mike Mabike, John Mary Sebuufu and many other comrades made it feel like a boarding school. It was not a very happy reunion though. Because of the torture some of our comrades had been permanently injured. I cannot forget the pain which Shaban Atiku was going through. He spent every day and night groaning. The doctors had told him he would never walk again because his back had been permanently broken. Sadly, the world may never know him, but he will never go out of my mind. He would later collapse during a court session at Gulu. When I later met the women who were brutalised, it was very painful to see them and listen to their stories.

Many times we joked about the possibility of being hanged if the regime decided to give us the maximum penalty of the offence we had been charged with! This got many of our comrades silent.

Away from these sad moments, the overall prison leader had a box guitar in the ward and together we sang songs of freedom all night. This was the routine every night until we appeared before the Gulu High Court a few days later, for our bail hearing.

My next communication will be a vote of thanks to the world for the overwhelming support and comradeship. I will also talk about what I think we must do together to continue this struggle for liberty and freedom.

I am glad that authorities finally have bowed to your pressure and #HonZaake has been given bond to travel for urgent specialised treatment and I join the world to demand authorities to #FreeEddyMutwe and other political prisoners. WE SHALL OVERCOME.

PS:
1. Please ignore calls from my phone number (0752013306). It was taken from me by soldiers and am told they’re using it to call my friends pretending it is me.

2. Please ignore any communication from other social media accounts and pages under my name apart from this one (with a blue tick) and my verified twitter account (also with a blue tick).

Hon. Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine

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

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

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