Category Africa

PICS : Lovely Air Hostesses Lost In the Ethiopia Airways Plane Crash. May Their Souls Rest In Peace.

PICS : Lovely Air Hostesses Lost In the Ethiopia Airways Plane Crash. May Their Souls Rest In Peace.

PICS : Lovely Air Hostesses Lost In the Ethiopia Airways Plane Crash. May Their Souls Rest In Peace.

An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 passenger jet to Nairobi that crashed early on Sunday carried passengers from 33 countries.

The airline said there were no survivors, according to the state broadcaster.

The flight left Bole airport in Addis Ababa at 8.38am local time, before losing contact with the control tower just a few minutes later at 8.44am.

“There are no survivors onboard the flight, which carried passengers from 33 countries,” said state-run Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation, quoting an unidentified source at the airline.

At Nairobi airport, many relatives of passengers were waiting at the gate, with no information from airport authorities.

“We’re just waiting for my mum. We’re just hoping she took a different flight or was delayed. She’s not picking up her phone,” said Wendy Otieno, clutching her phone and weeping.

Robert Mutanda was waiting for his brother-in-law coming from Canada.

“No, we haven’t seen anyone from the airline or the airport,” he told Reuters at 1pm, more than three hours after the flight was lost.

“Nobody has told us anything, we are just standing here hoping for the best.”


How Nigeria’s PHCN acquired its new name!


Nigeria Electricity and Power Agency(NEPA) had such a bad reputation that people nicknamed it ‘Never Expect Power Always’ (NEPA). So they urged parliament to change the name so that it is able to rebrand.

It became ‘Power Handling Company of Nigeria’ (PHCN). On the very day it was being relaunched and rebranded (and I happened to be in Abuja), crafty Nigerians immediately called ‘Problem Has Changed Name’ (PHCN). The bosses were so furious they threatened to sue radio and TV stations making jokes of them. No one bothered!

I sincerely hope Kenya is on the eve of joining her sister Ghana

By Noc’la gaumoy

I sincerely hope Kenya is on the eve of joining her sister Ghana (which does have fairly very identical structural bases) as the vanguard of African democracy development.

Both countries had innitially strongpre independence leader gestalter but, who upon achieving independence, were transformed into monsters that beasted the populations.

In both countries, the leadership torch has been relayed to the sons and daughters of those former heros. In Ghana you had the BIG SIX while in Kenya you had the Mau-Mau bunch.

I believe Ghana has now jumped the hurdle and Kenya soon follows.
But this could be wishful thinking. I never ever underestimate the animal in man of the African!
Hmm, a son of the soil can short circuit just like that and refuse to understand a thing!!


Fellow citizens,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Signed: Hussein Lumumba Amin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I thank you.

Yoweri Kaguta Museveni Gen (rtd)


List of famous quotes by Kenya’s Joseph Ole lenku during the Westgate mall terror attack.

Now that we have seen quotes by our Nabakooba, let us a list of famous quotes by Kenya’s cabinet secretary Joseph Ole lenku during the Westgate mall terror attack.That guy made Comical Ali a pedestrian! Just like Nabakooba, he deserves to be the minister of fortportal, i mean without portfolio!

Joseph ole Lenku

Joseph ole Lenku

1. All the suspects have been arrested. police are looking for them

2. I can confirm, although I am not certain, that we have very good reason to believe that tomorrow is Monday.

3. Yes there were 15 to 20 terrorists. We managed to capture both of them!

4. We killed 5 terrorists, one committed twicide, the other 2 have been blocked by twitter.

5. One of the terrorist who was shot dead last week led us today to the hide out of the other 3 suspects.

6. KDF didn’t steal they just held the valuables hostage

7. We recovered 4 bodies from the rubble. Forensic investigation will determine whether they are really dead or pretending

8. We had control of the building except for 4th floor,3rd floor and 2nd floor, but I THINK we had control of the building.

9. There were 15 terrorists, We killed 3 suspects, building collapsed on 5. All of them are dead.

10. All the terrorists were men except about three women

11. We managed to kill all the 5 terrorists, they were 15 in number”



Paul Kagame could eliminate term limits and keep running each time so that as long as he keeps doing a good job and winning through a fair process he would have a legitimate government however giving the immediate past history of genocide in Rwanda, he makes the possibility of war far more likely by imposing himself arbitrarily. Politics is war by other means and if the practice of politics were censored what you have left is war!
kagame has effectively stifled any meaningful opposition, to the point of jailing the last candidate who had a real chance, ingabire, and making it virtually impossible for other parties to mount campaigns.

There is more to life and living than economic prosperity. Kagame is loved in the West and in the eyes of many there, he can do little wrong. He has a bloody past though and it is not certain that he is truly born again. The republic of Congo cauldron is still steaming. Kagame having become Rwanda’s president, seems to have chosen to build that country in his own image. Kagame is an acolyte of Uganda’s President Museveni who is all but an undeclared president for life. He seems to have learned all his politics from Museveni. Will Rwanda go the way Uganda has gone? That is the question.

Kagame may indeed be transforming Rwanda’s economy. Does the manner of this transformation and the real and perceived costs of this transformation to the majority of Rwandans who are not Kagame’s fellow Tutsi not matter? I will argue that they do. Is there a worse way to transform a country than to exclude an ethnic majority of the population- Hutus, talk less of the super minority Twa, from the real leadership of the country? Is this not a sure recipe for crises sooner or later? Rwanda’s recent frictional history should be instructive in my opinion.

Kagame as I remember, is an insurgent apparently in politics firstly, to protect his Tutsi people who were the majority of victims of the genocide in that country. Is he setting the stage for history to repeat itself even if not exactly? The lessons of the genocide and its causes should not be lost on him as he makes himself king in all but name. Rwanda has been on that journey- a long-term Tutsi dominated monarchy/government before and that journey did not end well.



One is worth to be given a title of Doctorate for his/her contribution to the society in terms of knowledge, politics, economy and so forth. For me JK is worth of doctorate for his contribution in education, health services, infrastructure, politics and tolerance on media prejudice. There is his contribution in expansion of secondary education, higher education and medical services. Remember, in the past few years, Tanzanians with heart problems had to go to India for treatment but today people suffering from heart problems are treated by Tanzania medical experts within this great nation. In short, JK has made a remarkable contribution to TZ than the dictator in Uganda who has ruled us for 30 years but some people even fear coming back home just to visit.
Mkapa was never honored from clearing Tanzania’s debt or even bringing back discipline in his first term. For us in Uganda, we are so badly off. Parliament today has tabled a proposal to borrow over 200 million dollars for foreign banks, but we all know its going to end up being misused in Museveni’s campaigns.

Taking Down Andrew Mwenda’s Pseudo-Intellectualism

By Bernard Sabiti

We will start with definitions here:
1. Pseudo-intellectual. Noun. 1. “a person exhibiting intellectual pretensions that have no basis in sound scholarship.” 2. “a person who pretends an interest in intellectual matters for reasons of status.” 3. “a person who wants to be thought of as having a lot of intelligence and knowledge but who is not really intelligent or knowledgeable.” 4. “A person who affects proficiency in scholarly and artistic pursuits whilst lacking any in-depth knowledge or critical understanding of such topics.” 5. “A person who pretends to be of greater intelligence than he or she in fact is.”

Writer Marcus Geduld expounds on these definitions with examples. Says he: “Pseudo-intellectualism is a social stance. A pseudo-intellectual wants other people to think he’s smart. He will work towards that goal in the most economical way possible. An intellectual will read a whole book, because his goal is to understand the book. A pseudo-intellectual will read the Cliff Notes, because his goal is to convince people that he’s read the book. And you don’t need to read a whole book in order to make most people think you have. Cliff Notes are more efficient.”
Intellectual fraud on the other hand is willful misreading and or misrepresentation of facts, adopting selective approaches in analyzing issues, disregarding facts that make the intellectual uncomfortable depending in his or her interests. The good thing is, we have Daniel Patrick Moyinhan, the legendary US senator who gave us the famous “you’re entitled to your own opinion not your own facts” quote. Therefore, we can take down pseudo-intellectuals and intellectual frauds using the weapon they fear the most: Facts.

One of the most glaring examples of a pseudo-intellectual and intellectual frauds we have in Uganda is Andrew Mwenda. Having been taking this country and the region for a ride over the last several years, he is now being called out, especially after his recent opinion article published on Aljazeera’s website containing his criticism of US president Barack Obama’s speeches during his recent Africa trip (More on this later).


Pseudo-intellectualism, and its more self-respecting cousin, intellectual fraud, have a towering legacy in history. History is awash with world figures whose thrust into national and global prominence wouldn’t have been except for their oratorical and or rhetorical gifts, their penmanship and spell-binding speaking abilities. Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King Jr., Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, etc. Some of these giants of history would, as you know, later use their gifts for evil purposes, with tragic consequences of unseen before proportions. The former two used theirs for good and impacted the world positively. The latter two the opposite. But they all shared one thing in common: they could write, speak, or both, compellingly.

Adolf Hitler’s anti-Semitic invectives and other dangerous views, expressed in his Mein Kampf (My Struggle) biography sounded compelling and even reasonable to some in his day. When he came to power in 1933, the book became a best seller. His oratorical gifts had been identified by some of his superior officers after World War 1, making one of them to remark: “He’s a natural born orator. His fanaticism and populism captivates listeners, forcing one to think as he does.” His propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, knew he had an asset in his master’s ability to hook his audiences with his words. Most of his sweeping speeches however, contained very weak arguments that would not stand on their own if subjected to fair criticism. Except that there was no room for criticizing the Fuehrer as such an act was treasonous. That didn’t stop some critics from afar from criticizing his views. George Orwell, he of the famous “Animal Farm” classic wrote a drubbing criticism of Mein Kampf in 1940, tearing most of Hitler’s arguments to shreds, much to the Fuhrer’s chagrin. But oh, was he popular! You need to watch those WW2 documentaries (available on Youtube) to see the apoplectic and ecstatic responses of his audiences to his speeches, or read about how his Mein Kampf was a must own, given as a special gift to wedding couples, etc. Not all this adulation was forced.

What I am trying to say is that most of the soaring rhetorical stuff, oral or written, once removed from their emotional whirlwinds and platitudinal covers do not stand the test of time when subjected to tough fact-based, academic examination. Some of these views tend to be found incoherent, impractical, or even gibberish.
I hope you will not take this to mean that I am comparing Andrew Mwenda, who has not killed anybody, with some of the evil men of history listed above. All I am saying is that just because one has a way with words whether in spoken or written form doesn’t make them smart, truth tellers or even intelligent.


In his 1,065 word article published on the Aljazeera website a few days a go, Mr. Mwenda castigates Mr. Obama for “lecturing” to Africans during his recent visit to Kenya and Ethiopia and accuses the US leader of “flagrant hypocrisy.” He boiled down with some other accusations on his social media platforms to include Mr Obama’s use of Airforce One, his comments on term limits, and other issues. He has received mostly derision but also pockets of praise for this article. In analysing Mr. Mwenda’s charges against Mr. Obama one by one, I will start again with, just like I did in this article’s introduction, some definitions:

1. Whataboutism: a tactic used by the Soviet Union in its dealings with the Western world during the Cold War. When criticisms were leveled at the Soviet Union, for example on Human Rights, Stalin’s purges and executions, nuclear proliferation, the response would be “What about…” followed by the naming of an event in the Western world. This is a classic example of “tu quoque”, (Latin for “you, too” or “you, also”) the appeal to hypocrisy, a logical fallacy which attempts to discredit the opponent’s position by asserting the opponent’s failure to act consistently in accordance with that position, without directly refuting or disproving the opponent’s initial argument.
2. Fallacy (in Philosophy): The use of poor, or invalid, reasoning for the construction of an argument. A fallacious argument may be deceptive by appearing to be better than it really is. Some fallacies are committed intentionally to manipulate or persuade by deception, while others are committed unintentionally due to carelessness or ignorance (Mr. Mwenda, who regularly quotes medieval thinkers in his commentaries, one of his other silly, not-so-subtle ways of demonstrating to his audiences that he is intelligent, will have read Aristotle’s fallacies)
Whataboutism is therefore fallacy because the moral character or past actions of the opponent are generally irrelevant to the logic of the argument. One of the earliest uses of the technique was in 1947 after then NY governor William Averell Harriman criticized “Soviet imperialism” in a speech. A response in the communist party’s “Pravada” (propaganda newspaper) criticized the United States’ laws and policies regarding race and minorities.
Whataboutism is a technique still used by many repressive countries when western nations comment on their Human Rights abuses, bad governance, etc. Indeed the coverage of riots in the US such as in Ferguson, Missouri, following police shootings of black men, was intense in Russian and Chinese Media. Even North Korea released statements condemning the US’ treatment of its African American citizens!

Mwenda’s criticism of Obama’s “meddling” in African affairs by pointing to the ills of that country therefore is an old card that shocks no one that reads an occasional book. It’s a fraudulent, deceptive technique that supposes that two wrongs make a right. Malcolm X’s words become relevant here: “I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against”. Does Mr Obama speaking the truth (on Africa’s corruption, violence, dictatorship) make those issues less important or less true because the person mentioning them is leader of a country that has a not so good historical record on the continent? Yes the CIA murdered Lumumba. That though was in 1961, over 50 years a go. Is that the reason The congo is still in the doldrums? The US also flattened Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan in 1945, the only country since then where a nuclear bomb has been dropped. Hongkong, Malaysia, Indonesia and these other nations currently referred to as “Asian tigers” were once under similarly brutal colonialism. What happened there?

Yes, the West still has issues such as treating immigrants badly. But they admit to those mistakes and a significant chunk of their society rejects discrimination, at least institutional discrimination. That why Marie Le Pen’s FN, UK’s UKIP and other right wing parties have a hard time winning elections there. But even if they treat immigrants badly, how does that make Africa’s big men’s brutalization of their own people ok?

The US president’s trip to Africa cost American tax payers six million dollars, with Obama hopping on Airforce one so Obama is just as wasteful as the Jet owning African despots he criticizes, Mr Mwenda argues. Now, this is the most absurd of Mr. Mwenda’s criticism of Mr. Obama. America’s GDP per capita is $53,000. Uganda’s is $570. The Boeing Company that manufactures Air force One is an American company, so is General Motors, the manufacturers of The Beast, the US leader’s presidential Limo. Lest I forget, the Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, makers of the Gulfstream Jet, a favourite for Africa’s presidents, including our own Yoweri Museveni, is an American company too. There haven’t been reports of a jigger outbreak in an American city of late. Let the US leader enjoy his expensive, high presidential life because his rich country can afford it. The same can’t be said of our banana republic


There are three major factors going for Mr. Mwenda as well as other intellectual frauds in Africa:
1. Very few Africans read
2. Those who do lack the time, means, and platforms of hitting back at them
3. Some do not think it is worth it.

I have read Mwenda’s writings for some time now, both before and after his metamorphosis. I have watched his commentary on Television and listed to on on radio. As a story teller, he is good. As an analyst of issues, he is not that good, even when he is at his best in terms of impartiality. Many people wrongly think that because a journalist can compellingly tell a story, he can also be a good commentator or analyst of phenomena. That is not necessarily true. His weekly, 800-word “Last word” columnn in HIS independent newspaper which I occasionally read doesn’t strike me as overly intellectual. I always marvel at the baseless swooning of some of his shallow followers in the comments section. Those who question his intellect he dismisses as Uganda’s “chattering class.” I guess like his dictator friends, he would rather have close to him only those that tell him what he wishes to hear.
I have also followed Mwenda’s other works including some high profile speeches, writings and presentations over the years, including those he makes at Rwanda’s ministerial retreats. I don’t think anyone has ever critically analyzed them. One that probably thrust Mwenda onto the international stage was his 2007 “TED talk” in which he railed against Foreign Aid. I doubt anyone ever did a critical analysis of that talk. On the face of it at least, it is a very weak, utopian argument that he makes, not dissimilar to many of his other writings. I know what kind of impact these feel good speeches and writings can have on any audience. I used to get that euphoric, utopian feeling whenever I read such kind of works. When I first read Robert Kiyosaki’s “Rich Dad Poor Dad”, I almost quit my sh700,000 a month job the next day. I desperately wanted to make “Money work for me” rather than the other way round. My then girlfriend (bless her) talked me out of it by asking a simple question: “What next when you quit?”. Similarly, I felt mad when I first read Dambisa Moyo’s “Dead Aid”. But I also worked in the Aid Industry and knew of the good that development assistance, despite its obvious limitations, was doing on the very basic level so I had to cool down. These superficial, feel good analyses only impress those that are not far-sighted or critical enough in their thinking or are simply unwilling or uncomfortable to face more cold realities by looking at the full facts.

As you all might know, Andrew Mwenda was not always like this. You can retrieve his “Mwenda’s Prison Notes”, an impressive prison diary he wrote when Museveni jailed him for calling him a villager in 2005, to get an inkling on his thinking then. Or you can similarly google the resignation letter from The Monitor which he wrote to then chief of the Nation media group. In those missives you will find a man that (while a little messianic) sounded as if he was ready to pay the ultimate price for fair, free and independent thought.

So, what happened to him?
That may be the Million dollar (could be Shilling, Franc, Pound, Euro, who knows?) question
Bernard Sabiti is a researcher and policy analyst. He is the author of the recently published Uglish: A Dictionary of Ugandan English . Contact me on, and on twitter @BSabiti



It seems that there has been an over-reaction to Novelist Annelie Botes’ statement that she dislikes black people. She committed a contemporary cultural sin of saying what she really thinks in a multi-racial and multi-ethnic world in which millions of people, within and across nations, most probably share that same thought about members of another racial or ethnic group, might voice that same thought around family dinner tables or within bear parlors, but have learned to be politically correct in public–that is, not to voice their racial or ethnic prejudice/dislikes publicly.

So, how in the world did this come as a surprise to anyone? Does anyone seriously think that Novelist Botes reflects a fringe viewpoint? Thoughts and expressions, such as “I don’t like these people or that people” are commonplace across racial and ethnic communities around the world. Are they not? I am not sure if statements, such as “I don’t like him/her” or “I don’t like this group or that group,” means the same thing as “I hate him/her” or “I hate this or that group.” For instance, most people in my circles no longer like Banyarwanda because of mainly Frank Tumwebaze and Gen.Kayihura. There is one who specifically wrote:

‘Tumwebaze is just a younger version of Mbabazi.Born and bred in a refugee camp. He knows that he is not Ugandan and would not be where he is, if he was not picked up by two Banyarwanda Mbabazi & M7.Note how he justifies the law banning people to talk by claiming that it stops people from holding meetings in markets, hospitals etc.Would they allow Mbabazi into Nambole?’

Though Apartheid, like Jim Crow, was rationalized through a worldview predicated upon notions of African/Black inferiority—and it would appear that Novelist Botes, like Afrikaners of her generation in general, were socialized within that framework—a point still needs to be made that there is a difference between “dislike” and “hate.”

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