Author ugandansatheart(UAH)

Uganda upside down series – Episode 20 – 2020

By Ismail Nsambu

On the 25th Day of June 2020, an overjoyed 64 year old Safina Namukwaya was blessed with her first born baby. After 47 years in marriage of trying and waiting in vain, the intervention of scientists who subjected her to an IVF procedure helped in making her dream a reality. She had in her early years suffered an ectopic pregnancy which had blocked her fertility passage/tubes. You must be wondering why all this information, it is necessary just so 60 plus years old Jajjas don’t give up on sleep hoping for a late homerun. We Congratulate Safina on eventually becoming a biological mother.

Safina’s story has similarities to some of the 7 new cities that Parliament approved on 1st July 2020. Some of these had suffered from an ectopic pregnancy of sorts like Safina. It is a shame that it’s taken all this long for particularly Jinja, Entebbe, Soroti, Arua, Masaka, Mbale and Gulu to become cities. These were big towns as far back as the 70s and hadn’t it been for the poor economics and leadership they should at the very least have become cities in the 90s. Despite the delayed achievement, just like in Safina’s case, jubilating on this attainment is justified, there isn’t much to celebrate lately after all.

But as we celebrate we should take a moment to reflect that a town doesn’t become a City by mere pronouncement, just like Mothers are not simply declared. One must first have a baby like Safina did. For a town to upgrade to City status, there must be a large human settlement with extensive organised systems of housing, transport, sanitation, utilities, communication among others and with administratively defined boundaries. Am not sure our newly announced Cities make this grade especially the part of systems. May be the plan is to go about it in a backward engineering style, that is to declare the cities first and then work on systems to make them seem like one. Else they’ll remain just big towns with a City tag. Most are Byooya bya Nswa for now.

The story of these new cities reminds me of the many new districts that have been created over the years. FYI we have now reached 134 districts. Over 30 of these don’t even have a proper district headquarter. Last week still, Parliament was attempting to create 15 new counties. All these creations translate into increased expenditure for the government and you wonder why they come now at a time when the economy is shrinking due to Covid19. Yes you guessed right, they all must have representation, Mayors, MPs, Chairmen etc. Of course someone is creating offices for kinsmen to occupy. There’s enough time for cabinet and parliament to make such approvals but not for the long overdue electoral reforms that court recommended 5 years ago. Without these electoral reforms, please stay tuned for the 2016-like drama or even worse in 2021 polls.

It’s the season for political office grabbing, and anyone that cannot find any of these offices to occupy must engineer their own way to survive. In attempting to engineer survival, a one Ssegane Peter and Suuna Jimmy were arrested for encroaching on land in Gomba District belonging to a one Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. It is alleged that these two had fraudulently acquired 5 land titles on this land which was already registered in YK Museveni’s name. I salute you two gentlemen for your bravery. The State House Anti-corruption Unit of Lt Col. Edith Nakalema is on top of this case at the moment. If the President had any doubts on land grabbing happening in this country, now that he is also a victim, his doubts must be cleared. This is daily bread for the wanainchi, not even Museveni’s famous Bamugemereire land commission could solve it.

It is trying to provide solutions to such failures by Museveni’s government that has prompted the young people to want to take over his seat in 2021. In the next election he will have to tussle it out with a plethora of candidates. The famous body guard of Candidate John Patrick Amama Mbabazi(JPAM) in the 2016 polls Aine Christopher Kato has already put himself forward to run for office. He hopes to succeed where his master failed. The story of 2016 elections can never be complete without a Chapter on Christopher Aine and his disappearance antics (only to later reappear at Gen Salim Saleh’s house). Against this background, I struggle to consider him a serious candidate, he seems to be more of someone’s project or at best another Kyaalya or Mabirizi in my opinion. BTW Kyaalya returns to the race in 2021.

Joseph Kabuleta a former journalist turned pastor also officially announced his intentions to run last week. He is a brilliant guy Joseph Kabuleta, he has always excelled wherever he’s invested his energies. In his time as Uganda Sports Press Association (USPA) president, his smooth operations earned the association a blank cheque sponsorship from a one Mike Ezra the only Ugandan philanthropist of that time. BTW where is Mike Ezra Muzira? Going back to Joseph, he announced his candidature with swagger and you could say he’s the JPAM of 2021. Hopefully he won’t replicate JPAM’s results of 2016, though I worry his strategy may not deliver any better. I hope am wrong.

Kabuleta’s key campaign message is unlocking the Financial Liberation of Uganda(ns). He doesn’t consider himself opposition but rather proposition. He is not running against Museveni but the reverse is true he says. He asserts he is the only one with a message/promise (Financial Liberation) to Ugandans unlike his opposition colleagues who he alleges put dethroning Museveni as their message. With this strategy he believes he has discovered the mojo to take office and he has no doubt he is the next president of Uganda. I wonder if Joseph has been following Ugandan politics keenly over the last 2 decades, but if he has like am sure a journalist of his caliber should, then he’s totally miscomprehended a lot about it, particularly underestimating the person of Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. Joseph is certainly young in this arena and it is only fair to allow him teething time. I love his message but am realistic enough to know that things don’t work that easily here, nevertheless I wish Joseph LUCK in this endeavor, his ultimate goal is a win for Uganda.

The other aspirant, who is also the most potent of them (youthful aspirants) in Hon Robert Kyagulanyi. He held another live concert dubbed the FREEDOM CONCERT recently. If you missed to watch the show run to Youtube after here, it was a thing of beauty. Part of it was captured on a boat floating on the calm waters of Lake Nalubaale and then on the shores at One love beach Busabala. The show was blessed by a fine, beautiful, bright June sunshine. At the beach, the calm Lake breeze made the flowers and branches of the trees dance as the rays of the sun calmly penetrated through spaces allowed by the light canopy and gracefully reaching the nicely trimmed green grass. Birds are heard in the background joining in the melodies of the live band, what a beauty of nature we are blessed to have in this country. Winston Churchill was spot on to call Uganda the pearl of Africa. We’ll talk about Bobi’s candidature another day. What a talented team he had on this show Nubian lee, Aziz Azion, Hilderman, King Sah, Joseph Sax, Mike Ouma, the guys on the drums, piano, the back-up lady Sharon et al. Wow. Not to forget the guys on the cameras, what a fine recording. The music was awesome, relaxing, inspiring, motivating name it, it’s best to watch and listen through it for yourself. I’ll share the link.

It is unfortunate that Uganda hasn’t capitalized on her beauty to create at least one million tourism related jobs. It is sad that we have to export our young people to the gallows of the Middle East deserts where most of them face all nature of racism, discrimination and exploitation read near slavery. Correcting these mistakes will take youthful energy and the presidential aspirants show real promise.

For obvious reasons the freedom show was aired on line, YouTube and Facebook et al and not on local TVs over which UCC has direct control, regulation and censorship. Truth is that the future of TV is online. UCC crowned the week with suspending the popular Scoop on Scoop Urban TV Program which is said to offend some individuals of the public. There is precedence of offended individuals filing civil suits against presenters and media houses instead of suspending a program that comes with more than just offending a few people. But what do I know. I won’t be surprised to see Scoop on Scoop returning in an online version over which UCC has minimal control.

As we sign out let’s congratulate our neighbors from the south (Tanzania) on reaching Middle Income status as declared by the World Bank last week. We should also continue to pray hard that we achieve the same feet this year 2020 (6 months to go) as was promised to us by our dear President. Apologies for a very long one this time. For God and My Country, see you in episode 21.

Forwarded list of the 2021 presidential aspirants.

2. Mugisha Muntu
3. Nobert Mao
4. Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde
5. Robert Kyagulanyi
6. Francis Elton Nyero Lakalle
7. Dr Moses Khalim Amin
8. Timothy Mugerwa
9. Apostle Ben Israel Sseninde
10. Bob Paul Akileng
11. Isaac Sendagire Salongo
12. Mathias Semusu
13. Joseph Mwambazi
14. Stephen Kaweesa
15. Christopher Rubaga
16. Ambrose Kyomukama
17. Charles Mutaasa Kafeero
18. Dr. Joel Senkimpi
19. Yosam Makooma Tunawooza
20. Fred Mwesigye
21. John Herbert Nkangabwa
22. Moses Byamugisha
23. Fred Chemuko Wakuri
24. Maguru Ruhinda
25. Edward Nyonzima
26. Grace Kabarungi Muluya
27. Darlen Kamusiime
28. Pastor Godwin Sempebwa
29. Dan Matsiko
30. Dr. Amir Kabunga
31. Elton Joseph Mabirizi
32. Joseph Kabuleta
33. Ms. Nancy Kalembe
34. Charles Rwomushana.

Stress killing Africans in USA

By Edward Pojim via UAH forum

The number of Africans who are reported to have taken their own lives in the US, is rising by the day.

The latest are a Kenyan woman and a Tanzanian man.

The woman was reported to have jumped off the San Mateo Bridge, near San Francisco International Airport. Her body was recovered on Sunday morning. She had posted “disturbing” messages on social media, which had attracted the attention of her friends. But it was too late for them to reach her.

Then, on Sunday evening, a 30-year old Tanzanian man drove his car at a high speed and crashed it into a tree, in the city of Tracy, according to police. This young man was still mourning his father, who died about three months ago, in Oakland, CA.

At Stanford University, in Palo Alto, two Kenyan students took their lives last year. African online news service is awash with Africans killing themselves: in Boston, Atlanta, Houston, Denver, Philadelphia, and other places.

Please take the time and reach out to fellow Africans, especially the young fellows who are new to the western world.

Most of these youths had never lived away from their parents, and may feel alienated in the hustle of life in North America. Some get hooked on addictive substances, which impair their judgement and cause them shame, thus further pushing them away from friends who would be of help.

Adjusting to a new culture and clime can take a toll on a young person.

Whereas back home, we are surrounded by community – family, relatives, neighbors, etc – in the western world, you need appointment to visit a neighbor!

I always advise new arrivals that while US is a large country that offers endless opportunities, it’s also a lonely country where no one knows you. The idea of community services, to assist immigrants in their phases of adjustment, is already in place here. In the San Francisco Bay Area, we have the Harambee Society, which brings together Africans from East and Central Africa. They host monthly events for interaction, and names of society officials are distributed, in case someone needs support.

And then there are specific tribal organizations: The Luos, the Kikuyus and the Baganda, among the prominent ones.

This lady who jumped off the Bridge, belonged to the Kikuyu group, and was the immediate past Treasurer of that Harambee Society!

The Joseph Kabuleta I know

Joseph Kabuleta kissing the feet of preacher, Mboonye

By John Njoroge

Joseph, heaven (which I believe you are familiar with) and earth can testify I have totally nothing against you. I thought I should start from here because what I am bring back, many may not know and you will not like it.

We studied Mass Communication together, same class. Our classmate are here, most of them. When we first met, I didn’t know you were a big shot. I later got to know in our second year, you were a sports editor and the President of USPA- 2002. There was also a one Mr Mutumba who was also a big shot in the media. We admired you guys. We were studying with professionals who were already in the field. We looked at you as upgrader in this field.

Joseph, do you recall your associate Mike Ezra? You and him went to Emin Pasha Hotel and displayed “$100 million” in cash, $ 3 million on table and 97 in the boot. You later paid journalists UGX 50,000 for coming and fed and boozed them to oblivion. You and Ezra left only paying half the bill, promising to clear the rest after forex operations the next day. The guarantee was simple, your man was renting next to the NRM HQ a few metres away from Emin Pasha, a house he rented for 2 year, only paying 6 months rent. We discovered later the money you displayed was more worthless than toilet paper.

You chartered helicopters from Nairobi to fly Ezra into football games, hired muscle men from Kisenyi whom you gave hair cuts and dressed them in tracksuits your acquired from Katumwa sports, which your man never paid.

Then your man gave a blunk cheque to the organisation you were honestly elected to, USPA. These sports men and women elected you in trust and you finally delivered the saviour Mike Ezra. USPA’s problems were over.

What your people didn’t know is the plan you had cooked with Mr Money bags. He was escaping but he left you something little. You took the cheque to your cabinet, you fed figures into that cheque and the cheque bounced.

You came to me, Becca Kabanda, Andrew Seka, Mwalimu and others I will leave out. You were being looked for by CID. We hid you in Livingstone Hall, later Nkrumah and later other small places for 3 months as they looked for you mercilessly. We did your course works.

When the storm died off, you emerged, redeemed your money and married your first wife, never to invite any of those who helped you, never to refund all the little campus student money we used to feed you in hiding.

Suddenly, we discover you with Mr Elivs Mbonye. I have a feeling Mr Ezra is in prison in Kenya because of your ideas, the same kind you have fed Mr Mbonye whom you discovered somewhere. I believe you are a brilliant manupilator and Mbonye must be a victim like Ezra was. I see you kissing shoes, speaking English and I believe you are now working for someone else. Poor Elvis we have been hitting him.

Joseph, turn your brilliant ideas into business and stop distorting this young nation. Please.

Dr Roy Mayega unleashes sucker punch for Kabuleta

Joseph Kabuleta

By Dr Roy Mayega
The week after Pope Francis’ visit to Uganda, Joseph Kabuleta went on the airwaves of one of the radio stations and this is EXACTLY what he said: “I do not give a damn about the Pope. Even if he were in the room just next to me, I would not bother to say hello. He is totally useless and inconsequential.” During his entire talk that morning in which he spat fire at all other faiths that did not harbor ‘remnants’, he sounded very very angry – like the ‘non-remnants’ had done something so bad that short-circuited a nerve in his nut.

A few months before this incident, he was on record to have smooched the feet of his religious fetish, a self-styled Kampala prophet.

Now, imagine, this same intolerant man wants to became Uganda’s leader. He sounds every inch like an immature political novice that has never heard of the words ’emotional intelligence’. He has a record of hatred for those who are not like him. He often sounds like a rabid, angry, hotheaded, jilted lover with an exaggerated sense of self-importance. If one cannot deal with small things like inclusivity, how can one tackle large aggregates like the aspirations of a very diverse nation; how would he for instance handle religious leaders who are non-remnants. He would force every one to become part of a religious minority group, and with that anger he harbours, he’d kill all those who don’t comply! After all, the people who subscribe to his religion have prophesied thus: “The time has come where no one can win a contract above 100 million when he/she is not a remnant”. Would we, the infidels, win any contract in his regime?

There is no other opposition politician who is as intolerant as this ka-man and I have always wondered why every general election brings up at least one confused mentally imbalanced candidate. Last time we had Maureen Kyalya; now we have this hate-filled wimp. He represents a clueless privileged elite who have no idea about the lived experiences of common people. OK, it is totally OK to have your opinions and everyone is entitled to them – but why would you abuse a group of people then come to seek their votes? Isn’t that plain old stupid? I mean, don’t these crunkheads listen to themselves before advertising their obvious deficiencies?

Why You Need to Lodge a Caveat on Your Land


Margaret Mitchell, an American novelist, once said that, “The land is the only thing in the world worth working for, worth fighting for, worth dying for, because it’s the only thing that lasts”.

The above quotation reflects the current socio-economic tensions revolving around land, not just in Uganda but across the globe. It is no surprise that the state has set up committees to investigate land grabbing and other injustices concerning land in the country today. The on-going land commission of inquiry headed by Lady Justice Catherine Bamugemereire, for one, has exposed many stories of people losing their land to land grabbers who hold influential positions in the government. The rage is high, and the people are now alert.

Amid all these tensions, seeking legal redress may not look like the best alternative considering the time and resources spent during trials. For many who cannot afford legal services at the established cost, seeking justice is a dream in Uganda. According to the Case Backlog Reduction Committee (CBRC) report, 2017, there are many odds that your case will be heard in time. But, how much money will you need to spend? However, you can safeguard your interests in land for as little as Shs.30,000/= (Ugandan Shillings Thirty Thousand) by simply lodging a caveat.

What is a caveat and how does it operate?

‘Caveat’ is a Latin phrase which means ‘let him know or beware’. A caveat works as an encumbrance on the Certificate of Title. An encumbrance literally means an obstacle. Therefore, once a caveat has been registered against the title, third parties cannot transact against your title/land. Any search on the title as kept in the Land Registry will show the applicant that someone else claims an interest in the land.

NB: A caveat operates in rem which means it is against the whole world therefore everyone is put on notice of that encumbrance.

Registering a caveat is as effective as notifying any person intending to transact on your title/land of their inability to do so without your expressly written consent. In addition, a caveat can also protect your equitable interest in land.

An equitable interest arises when you deposit part of the agreed sum with the intention of purchasing land. Imagine you have agreed to buy a house in Muyenga from a one Kato but due to financial constraints you cannot complete the purchase for another year. What if Kato decides to sell the land to Babirye who is offering to pay the full amount at once? How will you prevent this sale from happening? Or have the parties settle your finances (should you agree to let the subsequent sale proceed) before any transfer of interest occurs? You can lodge a caveat such that third parties like Babirye will be put on notice in case they want to buy that land.

What detail does a caveat require?

-It must have the names and address(es) of the person lodging it;
-The description of the land to be caveated (it is necessary that a search is conducted to ascertain the exact details of the land, more so the location, title, measurement and ownership);
-Particulars of the legal or equitable estate of interest (in a registered statutory declaration);
-Signature of the caveator and his/her lawyer;
-Attach two passport photographs of the caveator.

How much does it cost?

Like earlier noted, lodging a caveat is very affordable. According to the Ministry of Land, Housing & Urban Development Transactions Procedures Series 8, one is required to pay stamp duty of Ushs.20,000/= and Registration fees of Ushs.10,000/= bringing the total to only Ushs.30,000/=.

Key considerations

A caveat will protect an interest in land. However, before lodging a caveat, you need to find out whether you have an interest that can be protected by a caveat. Otherwise, you may be liable to paying compensation in form of damages to the people who have been affected by the caveat.

Ensure that you entrust a qualified lawyer to handle your transaction.



Joseph Kabuleta

(Joseph Kabuleta’s Weekly Rant)

‘Find Me Guilty’ is a 2006 comedy thriller based on the true story of what was the longest mafia trial in American history. The main protagonist was a felon called Giacomo DiNorscio, a member of the Philadelphia crime family (acted by Vin Diesel), who defended himself, and turned the trial into a protracted comedy.

In one of his lines he tells a story of a stingy man who never left money home for his housewife. Every time she asked for cash, he would pull out a new 100-dollar bill, stretch it out in front of the mirror and say: “Do you see that money (pointing to the reflection), that’s yours. But this one —- as he folded the note and put it back in his pocket —– is mine. And off to the bar.
And so he always did; offered her the reflection and took the real note.
One day he came home drunk as usual and found dinner of steak, plenty of it.
“Where did you get the money to buy this meat,” he asked.
His wife walked to the same mirror, threw off her clothes and spread her legs.
“You see that **** (pointing to the reflection), that’s yours.
But this one belongs to the butcherman.

I can’t think of a better metaphor to describe Uganda and its rich natural resources.

As someone who comes from Hoima, but perhaps more as an observant Uganda, I have keenly followed the story of Uganda’s oil and all its incongruences. About ten years ago, the oil speculation reached a volatile peak, as a bevy of wealthy Kampala speculators swarmed around the Butiaba regions of (what was then) Hoima district causing inflation. Acres of land that had only been good enough for cassava gardens were fronted as sh80m take-it-or-leave it propositions.
In the run-up to the 2006 elections, the president had promised people of the “Oil City” that the refinery would indeed be built in Hoima. Using flowery brewing imagery, he told them that the hole where bananas are squashed to make ensande (eshande, or omubisi) cannot be dug far away from the plantation.

In the years that followed, oil stories dominated the papers, with New Vision famously having a Front Page picture of Museveni sniffing at it from a tin, with the exuberant look of a gambler smelling new banknotes after a good round at the table.
But around 2012, something changed. There was a sudden hush. Oil stories died out, and the president went about dampening expectations; all of which climaxed with his recent speech in Masindi where, with a sneer, he told Banyoro to stick to whatever it was they’ve been doing and not put their hope in oil.

But in reality, that’s when the action started. That’s when trucks of nondescript people, trained combatants it would seem, arrived in Hoima town and kick-started a katayimbwa reign of terror. The benefits of the oil might come later — if at all – but the proverbial curse began about six years ago.

Several people were clobbered to death with metal bars on their way home, several of them at dusk, as early at 7pm, one of them a renown nurse ambling home from a shift at the hospital. The curious thing is that these assailants never stole anything; wallets, phones and tabs were found beside the corpse the following morning.
The town was struck with terror. Police was as bewildered as residents.
What could possibly be the motive for these mindless murders?
Nobody dared to step out of their house after nightfall. But the few who did swore that they saw queues of huge trucks, heavy with some kind of product, passing through the town from the direction of the oil wells. How ironic that at the time when everyone stopped fussing over oil is when it started flowing in earnest.

TOTAL was doing most of the drilling and Transtrac did the ferrying of crude across the border to Kenya, escorted by military cars. These chaps mustered the art of disguise. The cylindrical tanks that ferry crude are built into 40-feet containers in such a way as not to rouse suspicion. It’s a well-oiled heist (pun intended).
Other companies involved are Watertech (which does all the water works), MSL (which transports food items, personnel, especially engineers), and Civicon, which handles heavy machinery. The one thing they have in common is they are owned by the ruling class.

The actual drilling is done with the dexterity of a pickpocket. There is special equipment that is used to carefully lift the vegetation off the surface and neatly place it at the side. Then the soil beneath it is also removed with plenty of care before the pipes are sunk and drilling starts. When that ridge (or well) is finished, the soil and the grass are placed back in such a way that nobody could notice that they were ever removed. Then they move to the next ridge, and the next — thousands have already been dug up —- and the fuel tanks concealed in containers continue to drive across the Kenyan border.

At some stage, the locals around the Kabale area of the wells started showing signs of agitation when all the stealthy activity never showed signs of improving their lives. Within a short time piped water and electricity arrived in the locality and the people were placated for a while. If they threaten another revolt, they might get a couple of UPE schools, possibly a hospital, and a few more lectures on wealth creation (insert appropriate emoji). If that doesn’t calm them down, the regime might be tempted to withdraw the carrot and bring the stick of military red berets.

But the system ain’t leak-proof. In spite of the decent pay at the wells, the turnover of employees is very high. One of them whom I met in Hoima told me that he quickly resigned into unemployment after he noticed that a couple of his colleagues, chatty folks who were thought to be too garrulous to keep the secret, were sent for ‘medical check-up’ and returned as cabbages with saliva dripping from their mouth, permanently consigned to a psychotic life. One of them died soon after.
In my search, I met a number of these former employees in diverse places and they collaborated this information. The consensus is that the only way to survive in that place is by acting dumb and asking no questions. Even then, timing your exit is crucial.

But now the richest ridges are no longer in Buliisa; they are in Pakwach, mostly in the Murchison National Park area. Tourists who visit the park for wildlife are now given a strict route to follow away from the drilling, all enforced by the military. The Pakwach crude travels through Lira, Soroti and to the border. It has been doing so for several years.
Many people who worked at those wells know these things but dare not say them. One of my sources, a gentleman from Gulu who was employed as a driver, told me that a French engineer once said to him: “You don’t have a president, you have a thief.”

But that’s not the worst thing he said. Even if he was one of the biggest beneficiaries of the whole process, he often suffered morality attacks and expressed sorrow over the fact that Uganda is selling its crude at a giveaway price, far less than the market value; almost like a phone thief selling the latest I-phone at 100k.
But he also had some good news for Ugandans. My source asked him if the oil would soon run out and he laughed out loud. “It will take about 25 years for it to even start reducing,” he said.
And those are just the wells that have been dug so far. In parts of Amuru district, the swamps are soggy with black water, a sign of what lies beneath. Most of the land in that area has been bought by the ruling class, including Jezebel, Saleh and them all. The rest is being given to Indians for sugarcane growing; that being the guise often used by the avaricious regime apparatchiks to claim land rich in extractives.

Museveni is so comfortable telling lies that the truth escapes him like a loud fart in public. When he said it is “my oil”, and recently when he told people in Masindi to forget about the oil are one of the rare times his heart and his mouth were in concurrence.
The personalization of national resources has been smoldering beneath the surface for twenty years through the well-marketed chimera of foreign investors; who are in actuality nothing more than mostly-Asian custodians of the regime’s various business interests.
And Museveni’s ‘wealth creation’ national tour is all about showing desperate Ugandans the crisp 100-dollar bill in the mirror, as he folds the real note and puts it in his bottomless pocket.

But of course Ugandans will stick their heads in the sand and pretend that we have a proper nation. Members of Parliament will continue acting like their verdict matters, even if they rubber-stamped a decision to award $380m to an Italian hospital ‘investor’ long after the money had been handed out without their consent. And it just got worse. They passed the 2019/20 budget without the usual charade of a debate. We have always known that what the regime wants is what ultimately passes the floor, but at least in times past our legislators gave us the illusion of a debate, after all, even a beautiful belle smitten by her suitor first puts up some desultory resistance before she gives in. It’s part of the game. But our MPs jumped in bed at the first hello.

Yet we can hardly blame them. They aren’t the only thespians.
The judiciary continues acting like they are unaffected by the not-so-subtle pressure from the executive, as if anyone ever expected them to overturn a presidential election or even the Age Limit decision. Nobody thought those verdicts could go any other way, but we still held our breath because that’s our scripted role in this giant movie that is Uganda.
The media continues reporting like their stories matter and discussing agendas that have been handed down by the political elite. When they dare to step out of their kraal to discuss real issues, Mutabazi and his UCC show up to remind them of “minimum broadcasting standards”.

The civil service is awash with highly qualified people who joined with noble intentions and novel ideas but were trimmed to size by the system they found in place. Most of them picked up the movie script and settled into their roles without a fuss.
The businessmen, voters, clergymen all grew weary of fighting and also found their scripts, memorized them and joined the show.

Just like that we became a nation of actors; a few lucky people are stars, the rest of us are support cast. This enthralling drama series is written and directed by … you know who.

The Fallacy of People Power


The concept of people power remains elusive both conceptually and empirically, and is the ‘most hidden’ part of human relations, and the very concept may be ‘essentially contested’, meaning the subjective assumptions needed to analyse it are inherently value-dependent.

This suggests the term itself is ‘polysomic’ and can be defined to include or exclude a range of phenomena such as authority, influence, coercion, force, manipulation and domination. So the discussion should be on whether the voters have power beyond voting? If people’s votes are likely to be purchased doesn’t that demystify their concept of community participation?

Representative democracy

This concept is engrained in Uganda’s constitution in Article 38 which states that, (1) Every Uganda citizen has the right to participate in the affairs of government, individually or through his or her representatives in accordance with law. (2) Every Ugandan has a right to participate in peaceful activities to influence the policies of government through civic organisations.

Many Scholars have argued that the challenge with Representative democracy is the enormous cost. Article 63 of the Constitution provides the following guidelines for demarcation of constituencies; (i) Uganda shall be divided into as many constituencies for purposes of election of members of parliament as parliament may prescribe. (ii) Each county as approved by parliament must have at least one Member of Parliament. (iii) No constituency shall fall within more than one county. With this demarcation throughout the country, there have been new additions to the constituencies.

The power to recall leaders

big question though is whether registered voters can recall a Member of Parliament under the current legal political regime. There is an interesting procedure whereby the electorate has the right to recall their member of parliament if dissatisfied with what the elected member is doing; a number of grounds are laid out in Article 84(2) of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda.

The challenge is that while debating the Constitutional Amendment Bill No 3 at the committee stage on, 191 MPs voted to amend Article 84 of the Constitution by adding that the right to recall an MP shall only exist while the Movement system is in operation. As it stands now, Uganda is under the multiparty dispensation and it means that the right to recall a member of parliament is simply non-existent.

This implies that political participation for the voter stops only at voting and the voter has no other means of checking a legislator or trimming their powers by recalling them from the house. Thus with the pitfalls of the voting process which is marred by rigging, the citizen is deprived of a second chance to participate in case they want their MP out before their term ends. But as it stands now, the article is without force of authority as we are in a multiparty democracy.

Is community participation relevant?

Community participation loses its meaning if the voter only has power to vote, and in most cases where the elections are bloated and disputed, and stops at that.

MPs are ex-officios of District Councils but they rarely attend such council meetings to follow up the government activities. This is against a challenge that the electorate is always blackmailed to vote for the right Party Members who will work with the head of the Executive. This is wrong on all fronts, first it defeats the process of elective democracy because the voters don’t want to defy the head of the executive and suffer lack of service delivery.

What is the purpose of recall? A recall keeps the members elected in check and keeps the citizenry active looking out at whether their representatives are delivering. Furthermore, it helps to empower the true meaning of community participation as participation remains continuous and not something to wait for, every five years.

A recall also has its downsides; those against it argue that it could be used by the losing candidate to get the two thirds signatures for any flimsy reason. However this concern is cured by article 84 which states the reasons for a recall. The Electoral commission is mandated with carrying out investigations and reporting its findings to the speaker and if satisfied with the petition, the Speaker shall declare the seat vacant. The framers of the constitution were mindful of the fact that there could be malice and intrigue and that’s why the process is elaborate and fair.


Clause 6 of the same article states that Parliament shall by law prescribe the procedure to be followed during a recall and I guess rules of natural justice would be included. Aspects like right to be heard and right of reply to a petition for a recall would feature for the process to pass the test of a fair hearing.

Of course this is one area that would bring the MPs together, and they would not pave way for their recall. And so, article 84 will remain redundant as it is. This clearly defeats the concept of people power and makes elective democracy an illusory practice.

I always cynically refer to elections as the process of getting campaign funds from the rich, then buying the poor while promising protection to both groups against each other.



Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto joins President Yoweri Museveni at a campaign rally at Kapchorwa town in eastern Uganda on December 9, 2015. PHOTO | DAILY MONITOR | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By Abbey Semuwemba

There is a massive difference between the leaders and the masses they lead. Most of the leaders in Uganda peddle their offices to wealthy donors who want favors in return. It is difficult for a commoner, like me and you, to give our views directly to the president of Uganda or Katikilo of Buganda, without a middle man, and that is causing us a lot of problems, hence the introduction of platforms such as Ugandans At Heart(UAH). Leaders must feel people’s anger which is easy to express if President Museveni is not in your face. Unfortunately, President Museveni doesn’t want this, and that is why we have the COMPUTER MISUSE ACT and the social media tax—both meant to reduce on the number of people accessing internet.

The spokesperson for state house or Mengo would read the official script put out there by the president or Katikiro respectively, and in most cases, it never answers the questions people want to ask their leaders. The script is not different from the menus one finds in fancy restaurant or MacDonald. The waiter or waitress will come to the customer with a smile and a standardized message: ‘we have got wine, burgers, mukene, fish pie, chips, chicken wings in a BBQ sauce, ………………, and you as a customer you have got no choice to ask the chef to prepare something differently( that is outside the menu). Why should we want to run our countries like standardized restaurants? That is why we have got forums like UAH, brother, and we want all leaders in Kampala to drop that ‘biggy’ Kampala syndrome and start participating in these forums.

Up ahead, the public sees enormous challenges and huge threats, and a national leadership that doesn’t care a fig about the communal big picture. Most of our leaders are what I call “Limousine Leaders”, that is, they drive into the ‘hood in their limo stand next to the local demagogue (such as Abdul Naduli in Bulemezi) and agree with what he says. Then get into their limo and go to their gated suburban enclave. They won’t live in the ‘hood, barrio or slum but want you to live there to promote political harmony. This is the very reason that has led to the raise of so called ghetto leaders such as Bobi Wine—people look at them as part of them, and their stories are inspiring to the youths who are suffering.

Limousine leaders derive power from the space between groups– they aren’t leaders who lead a unified people. Closing those gaps diminishes their power, and they aren’t going to let that happen. These are the kind of leaders that are afraid of participating in forums like UAH, because they believe that people will start spotting their weaknesses. They are afraid that people will start looking at them as ‘normal’. They would rather prefer to wait for a radio program somewhere in Uganda with a specific topic, where they are informed in advance, and then come up with their intellectual dishonesty. They prefer people to look at them as ‘superhuman’ and so highly respected.

For me, I find that so wrong. This is the reason why I was so appreciative of Hon.Beti Kamya, Gen.Salim Saleh and Kayihura despite my differences with them. They used to make time to participate in some debates on UAH. Kayihura went ahead and assigned a full lady policeman to act as his liaison on UAH.

There is a difference between fighting for what is right and refusing to see what is wrong. Just because somebody has an accent, a nice suit, and a good table at a fancy restaurant, a nice office, nice car, bodyguards, does not make him better than others.


By Patrick Otto via the UAH forum

Initial troubles centred on the financial position of Buganda, leading to protracted wrangles between Entebbe and Mmengo over the interpretation of Article 1 of schedule 9 of the 1962 constitution (See pp. 173-4 1962 Constitution at compatriotto, The Central government sought to deduct from its grants to Mmengo additional revenue accruing to Buganda from graduated tax on non-Africans, rents received from public land, leases to urban authorities etc.

Earlier on, the Relationship Commission (Munster Commission) had laid out the means through which the central government would maintain firm financial discipline over local authorities but curiously, Mmengo did not think that those stipulations applied to Buganda insisting that its relationship with the centre was special and different from that of other local authorities. This (mistaken) view was largely informed by the leverage Buganda had over the UPC government, having eased it into power through the UPC-KY alliance. In spite of that, though, AM Obote is remembered to have insisted that, “we refuse to sign a blank cheque to the Buganda Government”.
For all its feeling of being special, Buganda was however not assisted by the never-ending financial misdemeanours by the Michael Kintu ministry (Kintu was the Katiikiro until he was deposed in 1964 after Buganda lost in the referendum over the “lost counties”). While Buganda had £1 million in its coffers by the end of 1958, this had dwindled to a mere £465,000 in 1960. In 1963, it was in the red by £226,863.

In 1965, the Planning Commission of the Buganda Government warned that the Kabaka’s government was on the brink of bankruptcy and that the ministers whose nepotism had reached new limits were the worst offenders. The report also sent out danger signs on the state of morale of the Buganda civil service which it warned, had reached a very low ebb. Another report of a committee led by a Makerere academic, DP Ghai, warned that the feeble control by the central government on public expenditure in the kingdom had resulted in a perilous financial situation at Mmengo.
In 1965, Buganda finances were already in a considerable overdraft but even then, Mmengo went ahead to craft a budget that right from conception, suffered a deficit of £430,000, all this on top of a sum of £200,000 loaned internally to key officials at Mmengo for personal use.

Through all this, the services that had been transferred to the Buganda government as a federal authority were being heavily subsidised by the central government. Even in the face of that reality and evidence of financial indiscipline, Mmengo wanted the payer of the piper not to have anything to do with calling the tune: the Kabaka Government insisted that in spite of Central government subsidies, Mmengo was entitled to spend according to its own policies and legislation. Entebbe on the other had insisted that it was not obliged to subsidise schemes over which it had no control, particularly in light of reports of serious financial impropriety on the part of the Kabaka Government.

All this tussling was happening against the backdrop of the pending resolution of the thorny question of the “lost counties” (Buyaga and Bugangaizi) of Bunyoro; which the 1961 Constitutional Conference, attended by Buganda, was supposed to be resolved by a referendum to be held by the central government on a convenient date not earlier than two years after independence, i.e., after 8th October 1964. Thus, the stage was set for a serious political stalemate between Entebbe and Mmengo……
We hinted on the ugly encounter between the 1964 referendum and the virus of financial discipline of the government at Mmengo. It is important that we take the question of financial indiscipline to its conclusion, not just as an aspect of the administrative incompetence of the Michael Kintu ministry but also to highlight the sheer inability of Buganda to manage on its affairs on its own. At this stage, we mention the question of the referendum only secondarily: it will receive special attention later as a principle aspect in the subsequent rupture between Entebbe and Mmengo. Money first!

It should be recalled that, at this point, the Mmengo establishment had deluded itself into thinking that the referendum on the “lost counties” would never take place and if at all it took place, it would be in Mmengo’s favour. The common view at Mmnego was: the counties were “a god-given our inheritance”: the only way that Buganda would lose those counties would be if a flood or “mukoka” washed them away and carried them to Bunyoro.

Such was the mood of morbid delusion and grievous self-deception at Mmengo that the dawning of the truth was fraught with the possibilities of instability. That instability lay waiting. To shore up the delusion, money had to be spent or rather squandered on what was called the “Ndaiga Scheme”, approved by the Lukiiko and initiated in mid-1963 with the aim of promoting economic development in the “lost counties, improving the road system, but most importantly, resettling Baganda ex-service personnel and their families, along the patterns of Israeli Kibbutzim.
It did not take long for it to become evident that Ndaiga was becoming a bottomless pit. By January 1964, questions were being raised on whether the Dr EMK Muwazi, the Minister in charge of Ndaiga (also holding the portfolio of Health and Works) had received Lukiiko approval to spend public money on the scheme. Lukiiko committee that investigated the scheme discovered that,
1.£120,000 was spent without authorisation
2.£45,000 could not be accounted for, and supposedly cashed as a cheque made out in Dr Muwazi’s name, in a London bank)
3.£12,000 had been wasted on the purchase of junk machinery (not tanks or helicopters)
4.£4,000 had been spent on road surveys which had in fact been already undertaken by Uganda government
5. An undisclosed (but reportedly obscene) amount had been spent on entertainment.
More was to follow later in 1964 when the fear of losing the referendum led to the of an excess of £30,000, of which, £10,000 was spent on “gifts”. A lot was spent on campaigners deployed by individual Mmengo ministers. Many of those campaigners (like those of Masembe-Kabali) filed fictitious weekly reports on stories of success and squeezed large amounts of money from Mmengo. A few hours before the referendum, £2,500 was released by the Omuwanika (treasurer) “which in that time could only have been spent on converting the thirsty or congratulating the converted”, as one observer noted.


‘The Minister of Information and Broadcasting and Tourism, Mr. A. Ojera, receives the ignition keys to the film van which was donated by the Canadian High Commissioner, Mr. McGill, on behalf of his government to the Ministry of Information.’

Published in Uganda Argus, Thursday, October 6, 1966

For all that great, if clumsy financial effort, Mmengo lost the referendum massively. The rude awakening that resulted was to give further momentum towards the crisis that reached its climax in May 1966.
As can be seen, by the time of the 1964 referendum, trouble was already brewing amongst the Mmengo oligarchy over the financial discipline of the chiefly clique in charge at the time. In the normal Mmengoist pattern of always scrounging for a scapegoat, the hotheaded Mmengoists were baying the blood of the Katiikiro, Michael Kintu.

But let us focus mainly on the referendum on the “lost counties”. Recall that the Banyoro had for many decades, from as early as 1921, petitioned the colonial authorities over the issue of territory grabbed by Mmengo with the assistance of the British. By the 1961 Independence conference, it was clear that putting off that issue was bound to cause serious problems. The idea of a referendum was initially recommended in 1961 by Munster Commission; with the Molson Committee of 1962 going as far as recommending a direct transfer of the counties without a referendum to avoid possible communal conflict.

Mmengo flatly rejected all those recommendations. At the constitutional conference, however, it was agreed that two of the seven “lost counties” be transferred to the central government, with the requirement that the holding of the referendum had to be included in the constitution. Based on that requirement, the constitution stipulated that a referendum would be held by the central government on a convenient date not earlier than two years after independence, that is, 8th October 1964.
As early as 1963, Kabaka Mutesa II – also the President of Uganda – had thrown his lot into ensuring that either he sabotaged the constitutional requirement for the referendum or he influenced the outcome in Mmengo’s favour. Accompanied by 8,000 Baganda ex-servicemen, Mutesa moved to the territory that was the subject of the referendum and set up camp at Ndaiga hunting lodge in present-day Kibale district, to the southeast of Lake Albert.


Published several times in Uganda Argus, October 1966

Edward Mutesa immediately set out to settle his followers in a move that was to cause serious tensions with the local Banyoro. He carried out certain actions to assert his presence in Bunyoro as Buganda monarch, and in total disregard for his position as President of Uganda. Many of President Edward Mutesa’s actions focused on terrorizing the local populace. Mutesa notes in his “Desecration of my Kingdom” how, in June 1964 he burned down a village in the lost counties because according to him, “a meeting to whip feelings” against him was going to be held there. To further emphasize the fact that he was above the law and the constitution, he also went ahead to shoot 9 Banyoro peasants on a market day in Ndaiga. He suspected that one of their lot was planning to poison him. This was the President of Uganda, personally terrorizing sections of the population over whom he presided, all in an attempt to flout the constitution.

All those actions did not alter the fact that the referendum had to take place. In September 1964, the bill authorising the referendum was passed in parliament and according to the constitution, President Mutesa was required to append his signature to the bill. His loyalty to Buganda blinded him of the fact that he was head of state of Uganda and was duty-bound to uphold the constitution.

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