Category History

Mulago hospital was built by the British and expanded by Iddi Amin!

Dr. Emmanuel Lumu, first Ugandan Minister of Health, welcoming Sir Edward Mutesa, President of the Republic of newly independent Uganda, to the opening of New Mulago Hospital, October 1962. Duchess of York to the left.

On 16 October 1972, 10 years after it was opened, then President Idi Amin marked the anniversary by visiting Mulago Hospital to see patients. The expulsion of Asians, including a sizable proportion of senior medical staff, was already well underway.


Ancient Egyptians were closer to Armenians than to Africans

By Rahimu Jabendo via the UAH forum
Egypt is an intensively sophisticated society right from the times of Joseph till now, but aside the little details like the fact that they bury their Pharaohs who then become mummies, what else do you know about this country that is believed to be the richest country ever? Let us run through a few.
1) Egypt presently occupies a land mass of 1million square kilometers making it one of the largest countries in the world. And with a population of over 88million, it is a very dense country. The primary language is Arabic. And their cultural rulers are called Pharaohs.
2) In ancient times, the Egyptians built elaborate structures called pyramids just to serve as tombs for their Pharaohs! And it wasn’t the Israelites that built all of them, the Egyptians used to hire labourers to build the pyramids.
3) It is believed that each pyramid in Egypt houses one Pharaoh and his entire family members and concubines. Therefore when you are in an Egyptian pyramid, watch out for a few ghosts.
4) The Egyptians were the first to believe in the afterlife. Long before Jesus Christ brought the message of redemption, the Egyptians always believed that preserving a dead person’s body through the process of mummification, their soul would live in peace in the world to come. It is still not clear if the mummies used to come back to life though.
5) The ancient Egyptians believed in more than 2000 gods! In fact some Egyptian priests used to spend two years attempting to pray to all the gods and still it was too much. The study of the Egyptian gods too is even more fascinating than that of Greece and Rome.
6) Cats are actually considered sacred animals in Egypt. Every house has a pet cat which brings goodluck and chases away evil spirit, just like the cat from The Mummy.
7) Tue ancient Egyptians invented paper, pens, locks and keys and most important of all, they invented toothpaste!! So when next you brush your teeth in the morning thank the Egyptians for discovering a tool that fights mouth odour. The pens invented were used to write down the ancient Egyptian alphabets which had over 700 characters.
8) The Egyptians also invented the 365 days a year calendar divided into 12 months. This was invented to predict the annual flooding of the Nile. The Egyptians also wrote the first ever book about mathematics in 1650 BC.
9) Equality began in Egypt. In ancient Egypt, women had as much rights as male with some females having even more rights than the males. Women could assume several offices such as the office of Pharaoh!!! So if you are a feminist, Egypt is for you.
10) In ancient Egypt, beer was used to pay labourers,if you go to Egypt and want a job make sure you inform the owner that you wouldn’t want to be paid with beer.

Obote never wanted to hurt Prince Mutebi in 1980s

By George Okello in London via UAH forum,
Prince Mutebi was freely let out of Uganda during Obote 2. I remember clearly that he was surrounded by Col John Ogole who was over-ruled by his boss President Milton Obote at the 11th hour before he launched an encirclement and suppression assault. He told Obote that he was not going to take any prisoners. Obote did not want Mutebi’s blood on hands and so allowed him to escape.

Buganda should celebrate the 14 August!

Prince Mutebi and his brother,omulangira Walugembe, charting to Idi Amin in 1974

By Tony Owana via the UAH forum
33 years ago, senior NRM/NRA operatives slipped Prince Ronald Muwenda Mutebi into Uganda via Busia, ending 20 years of exile and paving for the return of Buganda’s EBYAFFE.Strangely, the 14th of August is not an important day in Buganda and Iam sure most Nkoba za Mbogo and Bazzukulu do not know about it being the date of their renaissance.

I am in possession of NGABO newspaper of 15 August 1986 with the headline ‘MUTEBI YESOZZE KAMPALA MU KASIRISE’ written by Charles
Sinnabulya Mwanje and edited by Grace Simwogerere Ssekkeba and both
men plus Kabaka Mutebi are still alive. ‘New Vision’ reproduced this
old NGABO newspaper during coronation anniversary last year, a copy of which I also have. This reproduction was with permission from NGABO Publisher, Omutaka Ndugwa, Grace Semakula Musoke who is also still alive.

Among those who knew of Prince Mutebi’s secret entry is, Gen Elly
Tumwine, retired NRA/UPDF Brigadier Andrew Lugobe Lutaaya (Omutake w’e Ssese), ex-Director General of Internal Security Maj Gen Jim Muhwezi to name a few.

By the time Mutebi toured the NRA-liberated zones in 1985, Dr. Obote was exiled in Zambia and Col. Ogole exiled in Tanzania. There was no war at Katonga in January 1985 because Obote was still in power and NRA in Fort Portal. Did you mean January 1986? Mutebi visited Masaka in September (I think) 1985 and one of his escorts was
Gen Kasirye Ggwanga. Haji Kigongo was there, Col Amanya Mushega was there, Hon Gerald Sendawula was there and I think Brig Matiya Sewankambo was there too. Those who entertained Prince Mutebi (who arrived in a pickup) included Kalifan Muwonge, father of our late Erias Mulindwa Muwonge.I have video evidence of Prince Mutebi’s public meeting in Masaka soon after the Nairobi Peace Talks started and his visit was facilitated by NRA which was controlling this area.


By Rahimu Jabendo via the UAH forum
In 1801, Joseph Samuel, a British citizen was sent to a penal colony of Australia for engaging in robbery. In Australia, Samuel succeeded in escaping and with a gang, he robbed the home of a wealthy woman and in the process, a policeman named Joseph Luker, who was guarding her home, was murdered. In 1803 the authorities captured Samuel. During the trial, the woman identified Joseph Samuel as on of the culprits. Joseph admitted to the robbery but claimed he had not participated in the murder. The other members of the gang, including the leader of the gang, were released due to lack of evidence but because the woman identified Samuel, he was convicted and sentenced to death by hanging. On 26th of September 1803, Samuel and another criminal sentenced to death for another crime, were taken to Parramatta, where many people had gathered to watch the execution.
The common method of hanging then which caused death by slow strangulation was to fasten nooses around the neck of criminals, then drive the cart away after they had been allowed to pray with a priest. The ropes used were made of five cords of hemp, which enabled one to hold 1,000 lb (450 kg), for up to five minutes without breaking, more than sufficient for human executions.

When the rope was placed around their neck and the cart taken away, the other criminal ultimately died by strangulation but Samuel’s rope broke and he dropped to his feet, sustaining an injury in his ankle. The executioner hastily readied a new rope, also five-hemp, and placed it around Samuel’s neck, forced him onto the same cart, and drove the cart away again but this time the rope became loose and Samuel’s leg was able to touch the ground. The other criminal was still kicking weakly at this point. The executioner was sure to have fastened the noose securely around his neck, and as he stood Samuel up to try again, the crowd had become boisterous, calling for Samuel to be freed.

For the third time, the executioner very quickly readied another five-hemp rope, ordered the cart driven back, forced Samuel onto it, fastened the noose around his neck, secured it very carefully and tightly, and then ordered the cart driven away. The rope broke again, and Samuel dropped to the ground and stumbled over, trying to avoid landing on his sprained ankle.

Now the crowd watching the execution stood around in an uproar, and another policeman, watching on horseback, ordered the execution delayed momentarily, while he rode away to find the governor. The governor was summoned to the scene and upon inspection of the ropes, which showed no evidence of having been cut, and the other criminal, who was successfully executed with an identical rope, the governor and the entire crowd agreed that it was a sign from God that Joseph Samuel had not committed any crime deserving of execution and his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment instead. Parramatta’s town doctor tended to his sprained ankle.

Why the Acholi saying “Idoko bwoc calo Kakungulu”

Semei Kakungulu is thought to have been used by the British to help impose colonial rule in east and north eastern Uganda

By Peter Gwokto La’Kitgum in Canada via the UAH forum

Did the Baganda know that Kakungulu was an Hitler in the making and a mega threat to the Kabaka? Had Kakungulu succeeded in forcefully having the Acholi accept him as leader in the footsteps of Basoga, Adhola, Bagisu, Iteso, and Langi, the Kabaka would have been completely surrounded by enemies including the Banyoro.

In case you didnt know, it was the Acholi that put the “full stop” at the end of this sentence to Kakungulu’s big dreams. How the saying came to was again recited to me by an Acholi elder last evening when I called the village who asked whjy this time I had taken too long to visit the natives. He said sarcastically that if I took too long I will be castrated like Kakungulu.

Yes, again in case you didnt know, it was the Acholi who gave Kakungulu his biggest nightmare of manning him physically by the balls and rendering the pair of manhood obsolete and out of action until he died and never to ever retrace his eastern and north-eastern conquest.

Remember the picture below of the Congo queen, Nzinga, who met Euro colonialist sitting on the back of one of hes Kanyamas for hours?

Kakungulu had done the same in Busoga, Bukedi, Bugisu, Teso and Lango. When the time came to do the same in Acholi, the strongest muscular renown hunter was selected to be his seat. No sooner had Kakungulu sat on his back than the man flipped up to grab, squeeze and squish Kakungulu’s balls – yikessss….! I can feel the man’s pain and the high-pitched screams for help.

Kakungulu conquest ended as he limped back to his final rest in his native Buganda.

Thus the saying, “I doko bwoc calo Kakungulu” (You have become a eunuch like Kakungulu).

The lady Late Kayiira denied having a child with is called Samalie Bamutiire,not his official wife

By Tony Owana via UAH forum,

There was a rumour that Dr. Kayiira had denied this child in the picture below, saying he belonged to the late Gen. Oyite Ojok.This was because of Kayiira’s anger against the boy’s mother who was a senior instructor of the UFM guerillas until she defected to the UPC
government and helped security organs to restore peace by crushing
the UFM.

Your carefully-guarded revelations on this matter are apparently
guided by the need to conceal your part as a member of the UPC
regime’s National Security Agency (NASA) taking cover in the judicial
service. But I earnestly hope I am wrong.

I have never heard anyone describing Madam Samalie Bamutiire as “Mrs
Kayiira” except you, but that is what you wanted her to be when she
deserted her colleagues in the Uganda Freedom Movement (UFM) and
joined the UPC government, later becoming a senior NASA operative. The Mrs. Kayiira the rest of us know is Betty Kayiira, now living in the USA and who was never in the bush war at all. I hope I insult no one but Samalie Bamutiire was Dr. Kayiira’s bush war comforter

One UAH member called Bobby Alcantara said that he reviewed the evidence against the woman he called Mrs Kayiira and decided it was not substantial to warrant a trial. Remarkable! The prosecutor then told court that Samalie and her sister Christine were martial arts instructors in the rebel Uganda Freedom Army commanded by the late Kayiira and that there were very close to the rebel High Command. If this alone did not warrant trial,he must have been a courtroom sloth! However he is no sloth. Because of the deal the UPC government made with Samalie, Christine and their brother Henry Kalema who had been a commander of one of the UFM battalions, the three became very good citizens by joining your ruling party (UPC) and helping them to snuff out what remained of the UFM.

Dr. Kayiira

It is mainly because of Samalie’s desertion that Dr. Kayiira wanted to deny paternity of Samalie’s son, who otherwise very distinctly
resembles Kayiira. The astonishing effort to distance the UNLA Chief
of Staff Maj. Gen. Oyite Ojok (RIP) from Samalie, one of the most
famous UFM commanders, by insisting that Ojok was a soldier and
Samalie a [mere] mother is so far the loudest and most eloquent
testimony that the two were close. It would be very uncharacteristic
of the charismatic Gen. Ojok not to get as close as possible to the
woman who was close to the bush warrior giving him a headache and
which woman had now joined the struggle against Ojok’s sworn enemy.

Kayira’s ex-wife never had a child with Oyite Ojok!

By Bobby Alcantara via UAH forum

Kayiira’s son shakes hands with Yoweri Museveni

I think the rumour that Dr. Kayiira had denied one of his children, saying he belonged to the late Gen. Oyite Ojok, is exactly what it is- unadulterated hogwash or horse manure. I knew Kayira’s ex-wife and she was a very decent woman. I first met her via a criminal case referral by the Police CID to the DPP’s office where I was assigned to a desk prosecuting terrorists and dangerous criminals. Our unit prosecuted the Amin era criminals and bandits and cut-throats who held hostage large swathes of the country including Luwero and Kampala. I think there were 17 bandits altogether,, including Mrs Kayira, who had been captured, suspected of engaging in terrorist activities, namely killing, robbing and raping innocent civilians. We reviewed the evidence against Mrs Kayira, and decided it was not substantial to warrant a trial. We recommended that she should be released on bail. She was later discharged and set free. Later on I learnt she had become a member of UPC and I met her once or twice as a party activist, not as soldier or armed combatant. As far as I knew her, she was a committed and dedicated member of the party and had very little contact, if any, with the late Oyite Ojok. There was no time for the two to meet or socialise because Oyite Ojok was a soldier commanding a war, whereas Mrs Kayira was a UPC party activist and mother. There was nothing to connect the two.


Yoga Adhola.

Andrew Mwenda recently wrote: “Our country was handed over to persons who had grown up in grass thatched huts, shared their bedrooms with goats and chicken and who had no previous experience in leadership. When given power, they brought the worst of village habits to leadership. Botswana which got its main king, Sir Tsereste Khama, to lead it after independence bears testimony to the view that you needed grounded leaders to prosper.”

Thereafter he mourned that Kabaka Mutesa should have led the struggle for Uganda independence.

These remarks are clearly in reference to Apollo Milton Obote (RIP).

However, contrary to this opinion of Obote’s political skills, Obote has received very good reviews from people who know what they are talking about.

Ironically, the first good review came from the royal family of Buganda itself. This was in the period leading to independence. Professor Kenneth Ingham, who wrote a biography of Obote has recorded thus: “Obote’s speeches were to have repercussions in an unexpected quarter. Towards the end of the year, Obote received a telephone call from a nominated member of the legislative council, Ms Pumla Kisosonkole, the step mother of the wife of the Kabaka, inviting him to call on her in her office. When he did so she told him that a number of people had been impressed by the tenor of his arguments, among them the Kabaka himself. She thought that much might be gained if Obote were to have a private meeting with her son-in-law. Obote was excited by the prospect, but while recognising the need for a measure of secrecy at this tentative stage in the discussions, he was wary of becoming involved in any activity which might not have the approval of his party.”

More directly, Edward Mutesa was to write in his book, The Desecration of My Kingdom thus: “The opposition party (the Uganda People’s Congress always known as UPC), received more votes than DP, but secured only thirty-five seats. It was led by a man from the north named Milton Apollo Obote. At the time I had heard little of him, and certainly never met him. There were a number of stories about him.

He was said to have been a herd-boy and been wounded by a spear-throw. Deciding that life was too vigorous, he went to school, and followed that with a brief career of one year at Makerere. I do not know why he cut short his studies. A spell in Kenya as some sort of clerk under Kenyatta during the time of Mau mau came to an end, and it was on his return to Uganda that his fortunes began to mend. Up to this point his career had not been a conspicuous one. Elected to the Legco, he became the head of a powerful party, and even then I do not think his undoubted ability was recognised.”

Professor TV Sathyamurthy who wrote the encyclopaedic book on Uganda politics, Political Development in Uganda, had this to say about Obote’s political skills: “Obote’s political enemies, believed that it was a matter of time that he would return to Uganda to assume power. Despite the fact that Nyerere took great care not to be involved in Uganda politics as a partisan of Obote, Ugandan politicians knew that, in experience and organisation, Obote was unquestionably the best of them. While making sure that the interests of UPC were well represented in the UNLF, Obote had nothing to do with it personally. He was shrewd enough to realise that, within a very short time, such a heterogeneous unit was bound to hoist itself with its own petard, thus leaving the way clear for him to re-enter the Uganda political scene at the top. If ever there was a Pereto’s fox in African politics, it was Obote.”

Edward Sheehan, the New York Times correspondent who interviewed Obote in the mid 60s compared Obote’s skills to those of his colleagues, Julius Nyerere and Jomo Kenyatta in the following words: “As yet he enjoys neither the prestige nor the personal fame of East Africans other Presidents Jomo Kenyatta and Dr Julius Nyerere of Tanzania but he probably surpasses both as a tactician and as a pure political animal who posseses an almost mystical understanding of the mechanics and sources of power. He does not inspire the awe and reverence that Kenyatta’s charismatic history commands in Kenya. Nor, despite his intelligence and omnivorous reading habits, can he claim to possess the intellectual brilliance of Julius Nyerere, but then, neither is burdened with the excessive introspection, diffidence and indecisiveness which so often seem to have immobilised the President of Tanzania. “In the misty forests of Uganda’s tribal politics, however, Obote has proved himself a manoeuvrer whose foresight and cunning have invariably overturned the most ingenious stratagems of his enemies. When his political fortunes were at their lowest ebb, and just as it appeared he was losing his grip, not only did he surprise his opponents by creating the commission of inquiry, but he took the brilliant gamble that its composition was beyond his political control, free to scrutinise his personal probity as it pleased. Then he turned the attention of the country from the debate over his honesty to the controversy over his new Constitution.”

“In their repeated confrontations, Obote has consistently outwitted the Kabaka, who never really had the stomach for the power game in the first place. The Kabaka was under pressure from his own people to prove that he was running Buganda, and pushed by foolish advisers to take untenable positions from which there was no retreat.” (Edward Sheehan’s article, “Making of a President, Uganda Style,” in the New York Times issue of January 22, 1967). Another evaluation came from a contemporary who used the pseudonym, Andre de la Rue and published an article, “The Rise and Fall of Grace Ibingira,” in The New African–radical review,” published in Cape Town, March 1967. Andre de La Rue wrote: “Dr Obote, Prime Minister and now President, is an astute and exceedingly able machine politician and not a charismatic leader. He is a pragmatist and in social outlook a moderate–in African terms. Ideology is not of central concern to him; the maintenance, consolidation and use of power are. On the other hand, Dr Obote is deeply dedicated to the Uganda’s unity, social development, and economic progress.

“In political tactics, Dr Obote’s pragmatic idealism takes the form of cautious waiting and quick advances at times of his choice. He allows his opponents to muster strength, to let their aims become known, to build up internal factions within their own coalitions, to over extend themselves in grasping for power just out of reach. Meanwhile, he consolidates strength and removes minor weaknesses. At times he gives the impression of losing control over the situation. Then as rumours begin to herald his coming defeat, he moves rapidly and decisively. His immediate objective attained and the whole opposition thrown into disarray, he gains speedy adoption of major changes whose mere proposals could have cost him his office before the crisis.”

Mr Adhola is former editor-in-chief of The People newspaper and ideologue of UPC.



By Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba via UAH

‘I don’t think that the current crop of Baganda are taking themselves to be a superior tribe. Baganda of today even allow intermarriages which used to be rare in the past. Baganda of today are a little bit more understanding than our forefathers when it comes to issues of integration. Their only main weakness is just being too money minded, but they like integration. Baganda of today are not like Jews who are convinced that they are the Master Race, superior, god souls living amongst inferior beasts, such that Israel does not sanction or allow mixed marriages.Historically, some tribes were inferior to others and this was caused by a lot of factors: from collaboration with colonialists to just the cultural set up. In Saudi Arabia, Muhammad (SAW)’s tribe, the quraish were among the more powerful and superior tribes at the time. This claim gave the Quraish a self-righteous divine supremacy over “inferior” tribes, and that’s who the prophet managed to stay safe for a long time because the other inferior tribes could not just attack him without the blessing of the Quraish.

In Africa, some of the superior tribes enslaved other blacks to sell to the white man and these were some of the fiercest defenders of slavery when whites tried to outlaw the practice in the 19th century.

This issue of Obote and most of Uganda’s long serving leaders coming from inferior backgrounds and how it has had an impact on Uganda politics, was extensively written about by Andrew M. Mwenda before he was ‘saved’. While Andrew was more academic in his article because he did not want to step on some toes, I can categorically be honest with you that if probably Uganda had had a PM at independence from a privileged or superior background, we would probably not be in this mess. For instance, when Ben Kiwanuka was the leader in 1961, the Uganda army was kept intact as a professional army, but when Obote entered into the swing of things, he made a mess by upping the number of Langis and Acholis to be recruited in the army. This was the start of tribalism in the army. Now, Museveni is making the same mistake Obote made.’

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