Category World history and politics

REALITY CHECK FOR PRESIDENT ERDOGAN


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Friends,

It is interesting to follow how things are unfolding in Turkey. Just a few months ago Turkey’s strongman Erdogan was the bully in the region. But with European’s Union failure to honor her part of the infamous refugee crisis agreement, a coup attempt at home plus ongoing heavy crackdown on the citizens and a growing insurgency, President Erdogan does not only know whom to trust but he does not only know where to from here.

A few days ago President Erdogan did what his colleague did many months ago: visiting Moscow and ask for reassurances if not protection. The smart and yet dishonest and racist people like Netenyahu did exactly that at the dawn of Russia’s intervention in Syria. Netanyahu’s move enabled him keep the absurd Syrian war away from the Israel border while at the same time tried to annex the Golan heights.

Unfortunately, for Erdogan his realization that EU, NATO and USA are unreliable partners to his country has come a little late to save the economy and security if his country. His authoritarian and uncompromising leadership style is totally at odds with that of his partners.

We are just watching the space to see what his new found friendship with Russia’s Putin will lead to. What we know for sure is that things will never be the same in Turkey, thanks to the man who built the strong economy for Turkey and is now on course to ruin it. This is a predictable trait in all dictators. Soon or later Turkey will be looking for economic bail outs. One wonders which country will be next after Turkey. Your guess is as good as mind.

DR.IBRAHIM SENDAGILE
USA

M7 WILL NOT SIGN THE ANTI-GAY BILL. HE IS BLACKMAILING USA AGAIN



Folks:
YKM had said he would not sign the bill. I still think he won’t but is using the threat to get back at the USA for asking him to remove his army from South Sudan. It is a negotiating strategy.At the end of the day, USA will even support YKM to remain in South Sudan and YKM will not sign the bill. In negotiation it is called BATNA: Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement.

Ms. Kennedy is actually pro-gay. She provided YKM with evidence that being gays is genetic.

YKM should actually blame his NRM MPs for putting him into this bind.Now honestly and seriously, there are real problems in Uganda such as the 57% teenage pregnancy rate in Iganga –hello Dr Spe Naigaga Wandira Kazibwe where are you-and Kitgum and certainly elsewhere. That is a problem calling out for attention. And guess what YKM and his cabal of NRM MPs can actually do something about.

For starters and this is why I am baffled by the women MPs, YKM can make UPE and USE mandatory up to the age of 18. That would be default make 18 the age of consent. But I know the religious moralist who are shouting silly while cheating with married women ok, having sexual relationships with several women would have none of it.

I understand YKM will not sign the DRB because it sets the age of consent at 18, something the religious leaders are opposed. And why are they opposed? They want to see women in subservient positions as “mothers of the nation” producing members of their churches and mosques.

They are opposed to making UPE and USE mandatory because faulty a sit is it offers the best shot in the future to liberate women. The day Ugandan women will stand up to their religious leaders and tell them in their face: sir or madam we shall come to your church or mosque but you have no business telling us what to do or put into our bodies body. That is the day the religious leaders and all those conservative men and women will shake and start to take women issues seriously.

YKM’s letter in the Monitor is clear: the bill has not been signed into law.

YKM is trying to show that it is not him, who is unreasonable, but rather the MPs and NRM MPs who put their signature on paper.

And now to Hon Kadaga: she should direct her energies towards fighting teenage pregnancy in her backyard. Granted she is not the women MP for Iganga but Iganga and Kitgum have been reported in the Monitor to have the highest teenage pregnancy rate in the country, at a whopping 57%. We are talking about girls between the ages of 14 and 16 here.

Actually most MPs and perhaps even majority of Ugandans suffer from the same false sense of consciousness. But why is that the case in a country where MPs and other folks are taken to Kyankwanzi for indoctrination. Oh, but is that not the answer! They are indoctrinated so they refuse to see the real problems facing the country and are forced to blame miniskirts, gays etc.

Folks, think about it. How can you mitigate poverty when girls are becoming mothers at 12, 13 14, 16? So Hon Kadaga and yes the women MPs-hello UWOPOA-enough said about non issues that harm nobody. Turn your energy and attention to the real devil in the country; teenage pregnancy.

Yes even YKM. I mean which is more corrupting of Ugandan children he is trying to defend here? And yes which is doing more damage to the fiber of Ugandan society/ Come on YKM and you maziwa lala MPs. And where is Matembe moral outrage on teenage pregnancy?

I wish the Daily monitor could name the rate in all districts of Uganda. So how come the male monsters are not in jail for statutory rape. And yes having sexual intercourse with a 14, 15, 16 or even 17 year old is statutory rape. There is no excuse under the law. The men ought to know otherwise if the law was to be enforced these dudes should be in jail for statutory rape. What is the time for that in that wretched country where judges selectively enforce the law I swear if the law to be enforced Ugandan jails would be full of sexual monsters.

Folks, now it is becoming clear. Ugandan is a country of fornicators. Yep. I mean if 57% of kids who are supposed to be in school under UPE and USE are pregnant where is the NRM? Where are the women MPs? Where are the religious leaders preaching morality to push for the gay bill.

So as we debate the antigay bill and the mini skirt law bear in mind this 57 teenage pregnancy rate. It is real. It harms society in far worse ways than anything else. It is a real problem calling for attention.

And if I may again ask the women MPs, what have they done about age of consent? And what is it anyway given that 57% of girls between 14 and 16 in Iganga and Kitgum have had unprotected sexual intercourse with men.

What is the RDC’s mandate

What is the RDC’s mandate, say in the education sytem? I ask in light of the report in The New Vision about the high rate of teenage pregnancy. Are RDCs empowered to intervene? How come girls, not women, as young as 13, 14 , 16 are getting pregnant after having sexual relations with, a) teachers, b) boda body, c) petty bourgeoisie aka shopkeepers and butcher men, d) taxi drivers/conductors aka manamba, e) air time dealers and other sexual monsters.

What is the government policy on teenage pregnancy? I believe as an RDC you have a role to play one way or the other so what is it RDC can to?

Anybody with Nantaba’s contacts?

Do you have Hon Nantaba’s contacts? She is one of the very few women MPs working for her people. The other credible women MPs seem to be the woman MP from Tororo who told off the men urging her to get married. So is Hon Betty Anywar-maama Mabira-but now should tackle the teenage pregnancy rate in her home district of Kitgum. Hon Brenda Nabukenya-the one who slayed NRM -of Luwero looked promising. The same with Hon Nabillah in Kampala. The rest went AWOL not be heard of until the next election.

W.B.KYIJOMANYI
USA

OBAMA IS BREAKING THE INTERNATIONAL LAW BY DICTATING TO UGANDA


Obama Gay marriage Irk US, World MuslimsI agree that the Ugandan law concerning homosexuality is harsh on its face, but this is typical of African criminal law across the continent. Poor countries with limited criminal justice systems tend to rely on the harshness of the letter of the law to be a deterrent to criminals. In practice, the sentencing is usually pretty lenient. Kenya, for example, has the death penalty for burglary, but burglars are definitely not being executed there.

As for Obama’s veiled threat to Uganda, I’d like to remind him of the actual international law (as opposed to the imagined law).
“(1) U.N. General Assembly Resolution 2625 (XXV) of 24 October 1970, (A/RES/25/2625) containing the Declaration of Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, provides as follows:
The principle concerning the duty not to intervene in matters within the domestic jurisdiction of any State, in accordance with the Charter

No State or group of States has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other State. Consequently, armed intervention and all other forms of interference or attempted threats against the personality of the State or against its political, economic and cultural elements, are in violation of international law.

No State may use or encourage the use of economic political or any other type of measures to coerce another State in order to obtain from it the subordination of the exercise of its sovereign rights and to secure from it advantages of any kind
Every State has an inalienable right to choose its political, economic, social and cultural systems, without interference in any form by another State.”

By Joseph Amooti

Email: kamootij@yahoo.co.uk

Tahrir Square innovated a new politics-Prof Mamdani on “Jasmine” Revolutions


‘Walk to Work’ in a historical light – Mamdani
http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/-/688334/1149498/-/item/1/-/c39sokz/-/index.html

On Thursday, Prof. Mahmood Mamdani, the director of the Makerere Institute of Social Research at the university, made a passionate presentation at the Rotary International District Conference in Munyonyo. We bring you a full text of the speech;

Those of you who come from outside may have heard of a novel form of political protest in Uganda, called ‘Walk to Work’. Both the opposition that has taken to walking and government that is determined to get them to stop walking are driven by the memory of a single event.

The memory of Tahrir Square feeds opposition hopes and fuels government fears. For many in the opposition, Egypt has come to signify the promised land around the proverbial corner. For many in government, Egypt spells a fundamental challenge to power, one that must be resisted, whatever the cost.

Matters have reached a point where even the hint of protest evokes maximum reaction from government. So much so that a government, which only a few weeks ago came to power with an overwhelming majority, today appears to lack not only flexibility but also an exit strategy.

For civilians, supporters and skeptics alike, the sight of military resources deployed to maintain civil order in the streets, has come to blur the line between civil police and military forces as those in power insist on treating even the simplest of civil protest as if it were an armed rebellion.

If government is losing coherence and unity that it displayed during the elections, the opposition is beginning to find at least a semblance of unity and vision that had evaded it during election season.

If you keep in mind that many in this opposition, many of those who had been in the last Parliament, were complicit in every major turn for the worse when it comes to governance, then you marvel at the nature of this shift.

How can it be that some of the same opposition that only yesterday saw Parliament as passport to patronage and licence to pillage, are discovering resolve and moral courage even though there is no election in sight and the times are, if anything, hard? This single thought is the source of contradictory popular notions, both skepticism and optimism, when it comes to politics.

My purpose today is neither to celebrate the opposition nor to demonise the government. I want to talk about the memory that seems to be driving many in the opposition and haunting many in government. That is the memory of Tahrir Square. It is not too much of an exaggeration to say that the great Egyptian revolution began in Tunis. Where will it end? A decade from now, will we think of it as a local, a continental or a global event? How should we understand its significance today?

Historians admit that there is no single objective account of any event. The account depends, in part, on the location of the observer. For many in Europe, the events in Tunis and Cairo were evidence that the colour revolutions that began in East Europe with the fall of the Soviet Union are finally spreading beyond the region.

In East Africa, there was a flurry of discussion after Tahrir Square, mainly in the press. Many asked whether the Egyptian revolution will spread South of the Sahara. And they responded, without a second thought: No! Why not? Because, media pundits said, sub-Saharan societies are so divided by ethnicity, so torn apart by tribalism, that none can achieve the degree of unity necessary to confront political power successfully.

This response makes little sense to me. For this answer resembles a caricature. Nowhere in the history of successful struggles will you find a people united in advance of the movement. For the simple reason that one of the achievements of a successful movement is unity. Unity is forged through struggle.

To make this point, and a few others, I want to look at the democratic revolution in Egypt in the context of a longer history, a history of democratic struggle on this continent. I want to begin with an event that occurred more than three decades ago in South Africa.

I am thinking of the Soweto uprising of 1976, which followed the formation of independent trade unions in Durban in 1973. Together these two developments inaugurated a new era in the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa.

Soweto was a youthful uprising. In an era when adults had come to believe that meaningful change could only come through armed struggle, Soweto pioneered an alternative mode of struggle.

This new mode of struggle substituted the notion of armed struggle with that of popular struggle. It stopped thinking of struggle as something waged by professional fighters, guerrillas, with the people cheering from the stands, but as a movement with ordinary people as its key participants. The potential of popular struggle lay in sheer numbers, guided by a new imagination and new methods of struggle.

The significance of Soweto was two-fold. First, as I have already said, it replaced belief in power of arms with the discovery of a greater power, that of a people organised in the face of oppression.
Second, Soweto forged a new unity – a wider unity. Apartheid rule had split South African society into so many races (whites, Indians, Coloureds) and so many tribes (Zulu, Xhosa, Pedi, Venda and so on) by putting each under a separate set of laws, so that even when they organised to reform or remove the law in question, they did so separately. In this context came a new person, Steve Biko, a visionary leader at the helm of a new movement, Black Consciousness Movement.

Biko’s message undermined apartheid statecraft. Black is not a colour, said Biko. Black is an experience. If you are oppressed, you are Black. This was a revolutionary message – why?

ANC had spoken of non-racialism as early as the Freedom Charter in the mid-50s. But ANC’s non-racialism only touched the political elite. Individual White and Indian and Coloured leaders had joined the ANC as individuals. But ordinary people remained confined and trapped by a political perspective hemmed in narrow racial or tribal boundaries. Biko forged a vision with the potential to cut through these boundaries.

Around that same time, another event occurred. It too signaled a fresh opening. This was the Palestinian Intifada. What is known as the First Intifada had a Soweto-like potential. Like the children of Soweto, Palestinian children too dared to face bullets with no more than stones. Faced with feuding liberation movements, each claiming to be a sole representative of the oppressed, the youth of the Intifada called for a wider unity.

Even though the Egyptian Revolution has come more than three decades after Soweto, it evokes the memory of Soweto in a powerful way. This is for at least two reasons.

Embracing violence?

First, like 1976 Soweto, Tahrir Square in 2011 too shed a generation’s romance with violence. The generation of Nasser and after had embraced violence as key to fundamental change in politics and society. This tendency was secular at the outset.

The more Nasser turned to suppressing the opposition and justifying it in the language of secular nationalism, the more the opposition began to speak in a religious idiom. The most important political tendency calling for a surgical break with the past now spoke the language of radical Islam. Its main representative in Egypt was Said Qutb. I became interested in radical Islam after 9/11, which is when I read Sayyid Qutb’s most important book, Signposts. It reminded me of the grammer of radical politics at the University of Dar es Salaam where I was a lecturer in the 1970s.

Sayyid Qutb says in the introduction to Signposts that he wrote the book for an Islamist vanguard; I thought I was reading a version of Lenin’s What is to be Done.

Sayyid Qutb’s main argument in the text is that you must make a distinction between friends and enemies, because with friends you use persuasion and with enemies you use force. I thought I was reading Mao Zedong On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Amongst the People.

I asked myself: how should I understand Sayyid Qutb? As part of a linear tradition called political Islam? Is the history of thought best understood inside containers labelled civilisations; one Islamic, another Hindu, another Confucian, another Christian, or, alternately, one European, another Asian, yet another African?

Was not Sayyid Qutb’s embrace of political violence in line with a growing embrace of armed struggle in movements of national liberation in the ‘50s and ‘60s? Was not the key assumption that armed struggle is not only the most effective form of struggle but also the only genuine mode of struggle?

The more I read of Sayyid Qutb’s distinction between Friend and Enemy, that you use violence to deal with an enemy and reason to persuade a friend, the more I realized that I had to understand Sayyid Qutb as part of his times.

No doubt, like the rest of us, Sayyid Qutb was involved in multiple conversations: he was involved in multiple debates, not only with Islamic intellectuals, whether contemporary or of previous generations, but also with contending intellectuals inspired by other modes of political thought.

And the main competition then was Marxism-Leninism, a militantly secular ideology which influenced both Qutb’s language and his methods of organisation and struggle. The first significance of Tahrir Square was that it shed the mark of Syed Qutb and the romance with revolutionary violence.

The second resemblance between Soweto and Tahrir Square was on the question of unity. Just as the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa had uncritically reproduced the division between races and tribes institutionalised in state practices, so too had the division between religions become a part of the convention of mainstream politics in Egypt.

Tahrir Square innovated a new politics. It shed the language of religion in politics but it did so without embracing a militant secularism that would totally outlaw religion in the public sphere. It thus called for a broader tolerance of cultural identities in the public sphere, one that would include both secular and religious tendencies. The new contract was that to participate in the public sphere, you must practice an inclusive politics with respect to others.

This was a move away from inscribing religious identity in politics, away from turning religious identity into a basis of political factionalism and sectarian violence. In the days before Tahrir Square, sectarian violence was often initiated by those in power, but without a convincing anti-dote, it also tended to rip through society. You only have to think of the violence against the Coptic minority in the weeks before the historic assembly in Tahrir Square.

Soweto forced many people internationally to rethink their notions of Africa and African. The convention before Soweto was to assume that violence was second nature with Africans and that Africans were incapable of living together peacefully.

Before Tahrir Square, and particularly after 9/11, official discourse and media representations in the West were driven by the assumption that Arabs are genetically predisposed to violence and to discrimination against anyone different. But in Tahrir Square, generations and genders, milled and marched as we say in Kiswahili, bega kwa bega. So did people belonging to different religious denominations.

What can we learn from this?

New ideas create the basis of new unities and new methods of struggle. The tendency for power is to seek to politicise cultural differences in society and then to claim that this division is only natural. To be successful, a new politics needs to offer an anti-dote, an alternative practice that unites those divided by prevailing modes of governance.

Before and after Soweto, Steve Biko insisted that blackness was not part of biology but a political experience. In so doing, he created the ideological basis for a new unity, an anti-racist unity.
I do not know of a counterpart to Steve Biko in Tahrir Square. May be there was not one but many Bikos in Egypt. But I do believe that Tahrir Square has come to symbolise the basis for a new unity, one that consciously seeks to undermine the practice of religious sectarianism.

In Uganda today, prevailing governance seeks to divide the population by politicising ethnicity. The motto is: one tribe, one district. Inside the district, an administrative tribalism divides the bafuruki from those designated as indigenous to the district. As a mode of governance, tribalism institutionalises offical discrimination against some citizens and in favour of others.

New ideas nurture new practices. Given time, even the most revolutionary idea can turn into a routine divorced of meaning. Think of how we have managed to reduce the practice of democracy to routine rituals.

The remarkable thing about the events we know as ‘Walk to Work’ is that they have followed on the heels of a national election whose results were anything if not decisive. Whatever its outcome, ‘Walk to work’ must make us rethink the practice of democracy in Uganda.

For a start, one is struck by the spread of cynicism among both rulers and ruled. More and more in the population thinks of elections not as the time to make meaningful choices but as a time to extract dues from politicians who are unlikely to be sighted until the next election season!

Similarly, more and more in the political class are coming to think of elections as a managed exercise where the outcome is decided not by who votes but by who oversees the counting of votes. What does it say about contemporary democracy that even an election where those in power can win support of a vast majority of people, over 90% in Egypt and over two-thirds in Uganda, does not give you any idea of the level of dissatisfaction among the electorate?

Consider one remarkable fact. In spite of the growth of universities and think tanks worldwide, researchers and consultants have been unable to forecast most major event in contemporary history.

Why? This was true of Soweto 1976, it was true of the fall of the Soviet Union and it was true of the Egyptian revolution. What does it say about the state of our knowledge that we can foretell a natural catastrophe – an earthquake, even a tsunami – but not a political shift? The rule seems to be: the bigger the shift, the less likely is the chance of it being foretold.

I think this is so for one reason. Big shifts in social and political life require an act of the imagination. They require a break from routine, a departure from convention. That is why social science, which is focused on the study of routine, of institutional and repetitive behaviour, is unable to forecast big events.
Herein lies the challenge for Uganda’s political class.

No matter how small the numbers involved in the developments we know as ‘Walk to Work’, there is no denying its sheer intellectual brilliance. That brilliance lies in its simplicity, in its ability to confer on the simplest of human activities, walking, a major political significance: the capacity to say no.

The irony is that many in the opposition, and perhaps just as many in government, seem to think of ‘Walk to Work’ as a shortcut to power, which it is unlikely to be. The real significance of ‘Walk to Work’ is that it has broken the hold of routine. In doing so, it presents us with a challenge. That challenge is to come up with a new language of politics, a new mode of organization, and a new mode of governance.
From this vantage point, I would like to offer a few reflections by way of conclusion.

We should resist the temptation to think of Tahrir Square – as Soweto before it – as a road map. Rather, let us think of Egypt as a vision, a democratic vision, as both event and process. Remember that it took nearly two decades for the Soweto Uprising to deliver a democratic fruit in South Africa. When it comes to Egypt, the democratic revolution has just begun. None knows how long it will take to institutionalise its fruit.

Today, we need to acknowledge that Tahrir Square has not led to a revolution, but to a reform. And that is not a bad thing. The lesson of Egypt – unlike that of Libya next door – is the moral force of non-violence. Unlike violence, non-violence does not just resist and exclude; it also embraces and includes, thereby opening up new possibilities of reform, possibilities that seemed unimaginable only yesterday.

The challenge before the Ugandan political class today is not to close ranks for a final struggle, as it is habitually prone to doing. The real challenge is to forge possibilities for a new politics, on the basis of new associations and new imaginations. The real challenge is not revolution but reform. The verdict is still out whether it is government or opposition that will take the lead and provide the initiative.

http://www.observer.ug/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=12153&Itemid=59

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I do recall that we had a mini-debate here on the forum on whether it was likely that Tunisia would be replicated in Uganda. I was not of that view and listed a handful of points that were later picked on/plagiarised by one Sabiiti Mutengesa without even acknowledgement. But that does not bother me. Since the gentleman plagiarised me, I think I have the right to respond to criticisms that his article may attract.

Professor Mamdani refers somewhere to media pundits and others “thoughtlessly” rejecting the possibility of a Tunisia-like uprising in SS Africa. He quotes them as implying that “…sub-Saharan societies are so divided by ethnicity, so torn apart by tribalism, that none can achieve the degree of unity necessary to confront political power successfully”.

Then he goes ahead to observe that, “This response makes little sense to me. For this answer resembles a caricature. Nowhere in the history of successful struggles will you find a people united in advance of the movement. For the simple reason that one of the achievements of a successful movement is unity. Unity is forged through struggle.”

Now, by sliding from SS African societies being “….so divided by ethnicity, so torn apart by tribalism..” to arguments about lack of unity, Mamdani is attempting to lose us in rhetoric which I think we need to deconstruct.

If at all Mutengesa made reference to ethnic divisions, he was, I think not referring to mere lack of unity. Ethnic/tribal cleavages are a symptom of absence of socio-political integration in the sense of the basic forging of national communities. It is a more crucial variable than mere unity of social movements, unless Mamdani may want to imply that nations are “social movements”. Mutengesa is free to correct me if he thinks I am putting words in his mouth, and if indeed he is a member of this forum.

If we mix “lack of unity” with “absence of socio-political integration” like Professor Mamdani is doing, we face the risk of conflating arithmetic with integral calculus. UPC and FDC can lack unity as organisations. Baganda and Acholi will lack horizontal integration as communities. I think that man who plagiarised me, whatever, Mutengesa, was referring to the latter, yet Mamdani is talking about the former, but mistakenly implying that it is the same thing as the latter. That is the extent to which he misses the point, and the sense in which he trivialises the uphill task Sub-Saharan Africans face in learning to live with each other, let alone putting up with their rulers.

Lance Corporal (Rtd) Patrick Otto

Benjamin Banneker- The Black Man Who Designed Washington DC


Benjamin-BannekerIn the Stevie Wonder song “Black Man,” the Motown marvel sings of Benjamin Banneker: “first clock to be made in America was created by a black man.” Though the song is a fitting salute to a great inventor (and African Americans in general), it only touches on the genius of Benjamin Banneker and the many hats he wore – as a farmer, mathematician, astronomer, author and land surveyor.

Like a lot of early inventors, Benjamin Banneker was primarily self-taught. The son of former slaves, Benjamin worked on the family tobacco farm and received some early education from a Quaker school. But most of his advanced knowledge came from reading, reading and more reading. At 15 he took over the farm and invented an irrigation system to control water flow to the crops from nearby springs. As a result of Banneker’s innovation, the farm flourished – even during droughts.

But it was his clock invention that really propelled the reputation of Benjamin Banneker. Sometime in the early 1750s, Benjamin borrowed a pocket watch from a wealthy acquaintance, took the watch apart and studied its components. After returning the watch, he created a fully functioning clock entirely out of carved wooden pieces. The clock was amazingly precise, and would keep on ticking for decades. As the result of the attention his self-made clock received, Banneker was able to start up his own watch and clock repair business.
Benjamin Banneker a Multi-Genius

Benjamin Banneker’s accomplishments didn’t end there. Borrowing books on astronomy and mathematics from a friend, Benjamin engorged himself in the subjects. Putting his newfound knowledge to use, Banneker accurately predicted a 1789 solar eclipse. In the early 1790s, Banneker added another job title to his resume – author. Benjamin compiled and published his Almanac and Ephemeris of Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland (he would publish the journal annually for over a decade), and even sent a copy to secretary of state Thomas Jefferson along with a letter urging the abolition of slavery.

Impressed by his abilities, Jefferson recommended Banneker to be a part of a surveying team to lay out Washington, D.C. Appointed to the three-man team by president George Washington, Banneker wound up saving the project when the lead architect quit in a fury – taking all the plans with him. Using his meticulous memory, Banneker was able to recreate the plans. Wielding knowledge like a sword, Benjamin Banneker was many things – inventor, scientist, anti-slavery proponent – and, as a result, his legacy lives on to this day.

M7’s presidential jet should have a room for journalists and Kayihura should be dropped immediately


Basil Bataringaya (RIP) was a thorn in the past governments of Uganda


I noticed that Somalia and the success of AMISON/Ugandan/Burundi is hardly newsworthy in Ugandan papers. Why? The papers are full of garbage and petty stories but cannot find room in their pages for serious stories like Somalia. When history about Somalia is written AMISON /Uganda/Burundi will figure highly. The rest of the world including the Muslim world, shame on them stood by and did nothing. Now they are landing in Somali to open embassies and distribute cash. But who secured that damn country? It was the blood of Ugandans and Burundians and much later Kenyans and Ethiopians. I do not want to mice my words, the Muslim world did nothing o help Somalia.

But they were quick to go and destabilize Libya so much so that Qatar’s flag is the one flying in Tripoli. Of course Libya is in total mess, not to mention the tons of depleted uranium dumped in that country. May be it was a good thing the Muslim/Arab countries are out of Somalia given their lack of clarity on anything

Where is leadership from the Muslim world. None. Why? Egypt used to lead the Muslim/Arab world but is now on the verge of total chaos. The Muslim/Arab world has no leader anymore.

To go back to the inability to cover stories abroad, why can’t the presidential jet have room for at least pool reporters? If they were open, which they are not, they would have accommodated Ugandan journalist on every trip. May be parliament can pass such law mandating openness by including journalist,

But the media too can send a message. Stop or refuse to print the lies fed to you by Mirundi. Of course the New Vision cannot dare given that t is led by a cheer leader in the name of Robert Kabushenga.

Tell us something: why have Ugandan papers collectively under covered the Somali success story? Your papers are full of naked pictures and phone numbers of women looking for sex. Shame. In plain English the press in Ugandan is more like tabloid. Nothing serious. Again why given that Mass Communication graduates who now populate the press were among the top performers. What is the matter with the Ugandan press?

Because you have done such a terrible job, the Kenyan pres is giving their forces all the credit. How many journalists are in Somalia from Uganda? From New Vision, Bukedde or Monitor?

Kayihura

Yesterday , one of the UAH members posted the picture of former minister of Internal affairs, the late Basil Bataringaya (RIP) being taken by Amin’s soldiers to be killed. Kayihura should look at that picture over and over and then reflect on his actions. Ugandans including the media have treated Kayihura with kid gloves when he is the MOST dangerous man in uniform in Uganda. Kayihura has his own team of the equivalent of Amin’s Safety unit which includes the likes of Turyagumanawe who shows up to cause trouble and shoot at people everywhere including Amuru. The other members include the police officer who shot at Dr Besigye recently at Namasuba.

Kayihura may be educated but he is worse, far worse than Iddil Amin’s Kassim Obura or Ali Towilli. In fact he is the worst monster-read murderer- to ever wear a police uniform.

It is hard to believe what the so called Uganda police is doing. YKM may have promoted General Kayihura but he is doing his regime the most damage internationally. The sooner he realizes that the better.

Some fellow called Giles Muhame said without even blinking or thinking through that YKM’s plane is monitored by USA and Israel radar. Hmm. What to make of such revelation by a journalist who is supposedly friendly to the regime? In any case why reveal the obvious?

Funny thing Kayihura’s late father was progressive but the son is now worse than Towilli or Kassim Obura. That is scary.

Tinyefunza

General David Sejusa formerly David Balyejjusa Tinyefuza is an interesting personality. At least some people knew that his other name was Balyejjusa or Sejusa. YKM will keep General Sejusa for as long as he is in office because the general is one of the Generals in favor of Obugabe. The other Generals for are Salim Saleh and Elly Tumwine.

General David Sejusa is also fairly disciplined. For starters he is not a womanizer. He is happily married to his Nyakasura kyana with whom they joined Makerere together.

The Monitor journalists missed a real opportunity to tell their readers about General David Sejusa. For example, David Sejusa was an active student leader at Makerere university who scaled the ranks of hall governance. General Sejusa then joined the police.

I compare General David Sejusa to Prof Khiddu Makubuya in some aspects. They are bright people who had to play second fiddle to survive the system where there is only one Ssebagabe. I have a feeling that the YKM cabinet is anti-intellectual . He prefers yes men and women and of course crooks.

Land Evictions

How come some ‘land owners’ are allowed to evict so many people from their land and not others? I mean how come Mr Imodot get permission to evict 3000 people who have lived on that land well before the land Act came into effect? If Mr Imodot lived in Kayunga , would he have been issued with that eviction order. Yes I am talking about double standards by the NRM regime. Could Mr. Imodot be an NRM supporter?

The other interesting story is that the order is signed by the Soroti magistrate/commissioner for oaths? What is wrong with that statement by the New Vision? Could it really be true that a sitting magistrate in Soroti swore Mr Imodot in his or her capacity as commissioner for oaths? If that is true the JSC should move in and summarily dismiss that magistrate. The New Vision and those evicted should first take their case to the JSC because the order was obtained in funny ways.

Can those in Ugandan tell us” can a sitting a magistrate do what is alleged in the Newvision story? Are magistrates now also serving s commissioner for oaths? I know anything is possible in YKM’s Uganda, but that story has several strange things.

Listen to Mr Imodot that he was given 20 acres by Mr Mutaliya Asuman in 1969 and bought the rest in 1988.

Mr Denis Obbo of lands Ministry if you are reading, can you clarify for us. Why is Mr Imodot allowed to evict 3000 tenants -same with Madhavani in Amuru-on his alleged land but people in Buganda in particular cannot do the same? Does the law discriminate on the basis of location? That is if you own land in Soroti, you can do what someone who owns land in Kayunag or Siingo cannot do. What is the truth?

The evictions in Buganda are by those with connections to NRM especially senior UPDF officers who are the largest land grabbers in Uganda today. The land holders CANNOT do what Mr Imodit is doing in Soroti. He claims he went and swore an affidavit before the magistrate/commissioner for oaths. I know some people with land titles but cannot do anything about their land.

W.B.KYIJOMANYI
NEWYORK

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) Between Malaysia and the Republic of Uganda


JOINT PRESS RELEASE

Department of Standards Malaysia
(STANDARDS MALAYSIA)

&
Uganda National Bureau of Standards
(UNBS)

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) Between
Malaysia and the Republic of Uganda

————————————————————————————————
(AUSTRALIA, 27 OCTOBER 2011) A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed today at the Pan Pacific Perth, between the Government of Malaysia and the Government of the Republic of Uganda in the areas of standardization in the margins of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). The Government of Malaysia was represented by Puan Fadilah Baharin, the Director General of Department of Standards Malaysia (STANDARDS MALAYSIA) while the Government of the Republic of Uganda was represented by Amb. James M. Mugume, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on behalf of the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS). The signing ceremony was witnessed by YAB Dato’ Sri Haji Mohd Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia and H.E. Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi, Vice President of the Republic of Uganda.

This MoU is a follow up of the Langkawi International Dialogue (LID) held in Putrajaya from the 18th to 21st of June 2011, whereby a technical visit was arranged between the two countries. The purpose of the MoU is to enhance trade between the two economies through recognition of the product and service standards. Through this co-operation, it is hoped that the the volume of trade between both countries will increase.

To date, Malaysia has developed 6411 Malaysian Standards (MS) which encompass products and services. Through this MoU, It is hoped that both parties will endeavor to take necessary steps to encourage and promote technical co-operation between the two countries. Furthermore, Malaysia has identified standards as enabler to reduce trade barriers between countries. This is also part of the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) whereby International Standards and Liberalisation (ISL) under the Strategic Reform Initiatives (SRIs) were announced as the enablers to the New Key Economic Areas (NKEAs). ISL is lead by the Department of Standards Malaysia (STANDARDS MALAYSIA) under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI).

The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) is the National Enquiry Point on World Trade Organisation (WTO) agreements on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and sanitary and phyto-sanitary Measures (SPS) as well as the National Codex contact point. UNBS is also a member of the International Standardisation Organisation (ISO)
At the regional level, UNBS is actively involved in the development and elaboration of regional standards at the East African Community (EAC) and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). The harmonised standards and codes of practice are geared towards facilitating trade within the region.
Lastly, this MoU is an initiative by both governments to improve the quality of goods and services, as well as, improving access to international markets.

For further information about Department of Standards Malaysia (STANDARDS MALAYSIA) please visit website : http://www.standardsmalaysia.gov.my or contact Mrs Kee Lai Sien on Tel. +603-8318 2211 ; e-mail : kee@standardsmalaysia.gov.my

For Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) please visit website : http://www.unbs.go.ug; e-mail : info@unbs.go.ug; Tel : +256-485-21644.

The Real Reasons why the West wanted Gaddafi to go


By Aggrey Wanamamah

Africans should think about the real reasons why western countries are waging war on Libya, In an analysis that traces the country’s role in shaping the African Union and the development of the continent.

It was Gaddafi’s Libya that offered all of Africa its first revolution in modern times – connecting the entire continent by telephone, television, radio broadcasting and several other technological applications such as telemedicine and distance teaching. And thanks to the WMAX radio bridge, a low cost connection was made available across the continent, including in rural areas.

It began in 1992, when 45 African nations established RASCOM (Regional African Satellite Communication Organization) so that Africa would have its own satellite and slash communication costs in the continent. This was a time when phone calls to and from Africa were the most expensive in the world because of the annual US$500 million fee pocketed by Europe for the use of its satellites like Intelsat for phone conversations, including those within the same country.

An African satellite only cost a onetime payment of US$400 million and the continent no longer had to pay a US$500 million annual lease. Which banker wouldn’t finance such a project? But the problem remained – how can slaves, seeking to free themselves from their master’s exploitation ask the master’s help to achieve that freedom? Not surprisingly, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the USA, Europe only made vague promises for 14 years. Gaddafi put an end to these futile pleas to the western ‘benefactors’ with their exorbitant interest rates. The Libyan guide put US$300 million on the table; the African Development Bank added US$50 million more and the West African Development Bank a further US$27 million – and that’s how Africa got its first communications satellite on 26 December 2007.

China and Russia followed suit and shared their technology and helped launch satellites for South Africa, Nigeria, Angola, Algeria and a second African satellite was launched in July 2010. The first totally indigenously built satellite and manufactured on African soil, in Algeria, is set for 2020. This satellite is aimed at competing with the best in the world, but at ten times less the cost, a real challenge.

This is how a symbolic gesture of a mere US$300 million changed the life of an entire continent. Gaddafi’s Libya cost the West, not just depriving it of US$500 million per year but the billions of dollars in debt and interest that the initial loan would generate for years to come and in an exponential manner, thereby helping maintain an occult system in order to plunder the continent.

AFRICAN MONETARY FUND, AFRICAN CENTRAL BANK, AFRICAN INVESTMENT BANK

The US$30 billion frozen by Mr Obama belong to the Libyan Central Bank and had been earmarked as the Libyan contribution to three key projects which would add the finishing touches to the African federation – the African Investment Bank in Syrte, Libya, the establishment in 2011 of the African Monetary Fund to be based in Yaounde with a US$42 billion capital fund and the Abuja-based African Central Bank in Nigeria which when it starts printing African money will ring the death knell for the CFA franc through which Paris has been able to maintain its hold on some African countries for the last fifty years. It is easy to understand the French wrath against Gaddafi.

The African Monetary Fund is expected to totally supplant the African activities of the International Monetary Fund which, with only US$25 billion, was able to bring an entire continent to its knees and make it swallow questionable privatisation like forcing African countries to move from public to private monopolies. No surprise then that on 16-17December 2010, the Africans unanimously rejected attempts by Western countries to join the African Monetary Fund, saying it was open only to African nations.

It is increasingly obvious that after Libya, the western coalition will go after Algeria, because apart from its huge energy resources, the country has cash reserves of around a 150 billion. This is what lures the countries that are bombing Libya and they all have one thing in common – they are practically bankrupt. The USA alone, has a staggering debt of $US14,000 billion, France, Great Britain and Italy each have a US$2,000 billion public deficit compared to less than US$400 billion in public debt for 46 African countries combined.

Inciting spurious wars in Africa in the hope that this will revitalise their economies which are sinking ever more into the doldrums will ultimately hasten the western decline which actually began in 1884 during the notorious Berlin Conference. As the American economist Adam Smith predicted in 1865 when he publicly backed Abraham Lincoln for the abolition of slavery, ‘the economy of any country which relies on the slavery of blacks is destined to descend into hell the day those countries awaken’.

REGIONAL UNITY AS AN OBSTABLE TO THE CREATION OF A UNITED STATES OF AFRICA

To destabilise and destroy the African union which was veering dangerously (for the West) towards a United States of Africa under the guiding hand of Gaddafi, the European Union first tried, unsuccessfully, to create the Union for the Mediterranean (UPM). North Africa somehow had to be cut off from the rest of Africa, using the old tired racist clichés of the 18th and 19th centuries ,which claimed that Africans of Arab origin were more evolved and civilised than the rest of the continent. This failed because Gaddafi refused to buy into it. He soon understood what game was being played when only a handful of African countries were invited to join the Mediterranean grouping without informing the African Union but inviting all 27 members of the European Union.

Without the driving force behind the African Federation, the UPM failed even before it began, still-born with Sarkozy as president and Mubarak as vice president. The French foreign minister, Alain Juppe is now attempting to re-launch the idea, banking no doubt on the fall of Gaddafi. What African leaders fail to understand is that as long as the European Union continues to finance the African Union, the status quo will remain, because no real independence. This is why the European Union has encouraged and financed regional groupings in Africa.

It is obvious that the West African Economic Community (ECOWAS), which has an embassy in Brussels and depends for the bulk of its funding on the European Union, is a vociferous opponent to the African federation. That’s why Lincoln fought in the US war of secession because the moment a group of countries come together in a regional political organisation, it weakens the main group. That is what Europe wanted and the Africans have never understood the game plan, creating a plethora of regional groupings, COMESA, UDEAC, SADC, and the Great Maghreb which never saw the light of day thanks to Gaddafi who understood what was happening.

GADDAFI, THE AFRICAN WHO CLEANSED THE CONTINENT FROM THE HUMILIATION OF APARTHEID

For most Africans, Gaddafi is a generous man, a humanist, known for his unselfish support for the struggle against the racist regime in South Africa. If he had been an egotist, he wouldn’t have risked the wrath of the West to help the ANC both militarily and financially in the fight against apartheid. This was why Mandela, soon after his release from 27 years in jail, decided to break the UN embargo and travel to Libya on 23 October 1997. For five long years, no plane could touch down in Libya because of the embargo. One needed to take a plane to the Tunisian city of Jerba and continue by road for five hours to reach Ben Gardane, cross the border and continue on a desert road for three hours before reaching Tripoli. The other solution was to go through Malta, and take a night ferry on ill-maintained boats to the Libyan coast. A hellish journey for a whole people, simply to punish one man.

Mandela didn’t mince his words when the former US president Bill Clinton said the visit was an ‘unwelcome’ one – ‘No country can claim to be the policeman of the world and no state can dictate to another what it should do’. He added – ‘Those that yesterday were friends of our enemies have the gall today to tell me not to visit my brother Gaddafi, they are advising us to be ungrateful and forget our friends of the past.’

Indeed, the West still considered the South African racists to be their brothers who needed to be protected. That’s why the members of the ANC, including Nelson Mandela, were considered to be dangerous terrorists. It was only on 2 July 2008, that the US Congress finally voted a law to remove the name of Nelson Mandela and his ANC comrades from their black list, not because they realised how stupid that list was but because they wanted to mark Mandela’s 90th birthday. If the West was truly sorry for its past support for Mandela’s enemies and really sincere when they name streets and places after him, how can they continue to wage war against someone who helped Mandela and his people to be victorious, Gaddafi?

ARE THOSE WHO WANT TO EXPORT DEMOCRACY THEMSELVES DEMOCRATS?

And what if Gaddafi’s Libya were more democratic than the USA, France, Britain and other countries waging war to export democracy to Libya? On 19 March 2003, President George Bush began bombing Iraq under the pretext of bringing democracy. On 19 March 2011, exactly eight years later to the day, it was the French president’s turn to rain down bombs over Libya, once again claiming it was to bring democracy. Nobel peace prize-winner and US President Obama says unleashing cruise missiles from submarines is to oust the dictator and introduce democracy.

The question that anyone with even minimum intelligence cannot help asking is the following: Are countries like France, England, the USA, Italy, Norway, Denmark, Poland who defend their right to bomb Libya on the strength of their self proclaimed democratic status really democratic? If yes, are they more democratic than Gaddafi’s Libya? The answer in fact is a resounding NO, for the plain and simple reason that democracy doesn’t exist. This isn’t a personal opinion, but a quote from someone whose native town Geneva, hosts the bulk of UN institutions. The quote is from Jean Jacques Rousseau, born in Geneva in 1712 and who writes in chapter four of the third book of the famous ‘Social Contract’ that ‘there never was a true democracy and there never will be.’

Rousseau sets out the following four conditions for a country to be labelled a democracy and according to these Gaddafi’s Libya is far more democratic than the USA, France and the others claiming to export democracy:

1. The State: The bigger a country, the less democratic it can be. According to Rousseau, the state has to be extremely small so that people can come together and know each other. Before asking people to vote, one must ensure that everybody knows everyone else, otherwise voting will be an act without any democratic basis, a simulacrum of democracy to elect a dictator.

The Libyan state is based on a system of tribal allegiances, which by definition group people together in small entities. The democratic spirit is much more present in a tribe, a village than in a big country, simply because people know each other, share a common life rhythm which involves a kind of self-regulation or even self-censorship in that the reactions and counter reactions of other members impacts on the group.

From this perspective, it would appear that Libya fits Rousseau’s conditions better than the USA, France and Great Britain, all highly urbanised societies where most neighbours don’t even say hello to each other and therefore don’t know each other even if they have lived side by side for twenty years. These countries leapfrogged leaped into the next stage – ‘the vote’ – which has been cleverly sanctified to obfuscate the fact that voting on the future of the country is useless if the voter doesn’t know the other citizens. This has been pushed to ridiculous limits with voting rights being given to people living abroad. Communicating with and amongst each other is a precondition for any democratic debate before an election.

2. Simplicity in customs and behavioural patterns are also essential if one is to avoid spending the bulk of the time debating legal and judicial procedures in order to deal with the multitude of conflicts of interest inevitable in a large and complex society. Western countries define themselves as civilised nations with a more complex social structure whereas Libya is described as a primitive country with a simple set of customs. This aspect too indicates that Libya responds better to Rousseau’s democratic criteria than all those trying to give lessons in democracy. Conflicts in complex societies are most often won by those with more power, which is why the rich manage to avoid prison because they can afford to hire top lawyers and instead arrange for state repression to be directed against someone one who stole a banana in a supermarket rather than a financial criminal who ruined a bank. In the city of New York for example where 75 per cent of the population is white, 80 per cent of management posts are occupied by whites who make up only 20 per cent of incarcerated people.

3. Equality in status and wealth: A look at the Forbes 2010 list shows who the richest people in each of the countries currently bombing Libya are and the difference between them and those who earn the lowest salaries in those nations; a similar exercise on Libya will reveal that in terms of wealth distribution, Libya has much more to teach than those fighting it now, and not the contrary. So here too, using Rousseau’s criteria, Libya is more democratic than the nations pompously pretending to bring democracy. In the USA, 5 per cent of the population owns 60 per cent of the national wealth, making it the most unequal and unbalanced society in the world.

4. No luxuries: according to Rousseau there can’t be any luxury if there is to be democracy. Luxury, he says, makes wealth a necessity which then becomes a virtue in itself, it, and not the welfare of the people becomes the goal to be reached at all cost, ‘Luxury corrupts both the rich and the poor, the one through possession and the other through envy; it makes the nation soft and prey to vanity; it distances people from the State and enslaves them, making them a slave to opinion.’

Is there more luxury in France than in Libya? The reports on employees committing suicide because of stressful working conditions even in public or semi-public companies, all in the name of maximising profit for a minority and keeping them in luxury, happen in the West, not in Libya.

The American sociologist C. Wright Mills wrote in 1956 that American democracy was a ‘dictatorship of the elite’. According to Mills, the USA is not a democracy because it is money that talks during elections and not the people. The results of each election are the expression of the voice of money and not the voice of the people. After Bush senior and Bush junior, they are already talking about a younger Bush for the 2012 Republican primaries. Moreover, as Max Weber pointed out, since political power is dependent on the bureaucracy, the US has 43 million bureaucrats and military personnel who effectively rule the country but without being elected and are not accountable to the people for their actions. One person (a rich one) is elected, but the real power lies with the caste of the wealthy who then get nominated to be ambassadors, generals, etc.

How many people in these self-proclaimed democracies know that Peru’s constitution prohibits an outgoing president from seeking a second consecutive mandate? How many know that in Guatemala, not only can an outgoing president not seek re-election to the same post, no one from that person’s family can aspire to the top job either? Or that Rwanda is the only country in the world that has 56 per cent female parliamentarians? How many people know that in the 2007 CIA index, four of the world’s best-governed countries are African? That the top prize goes to Equatorial Guinea whose public debt represents only 1.14 per cent of GDP?

Rousseau maintains that civil wars, revolts and rebellions are the ingredients of the beginning of democracy. Because democracy is not an end, but a permanent process of the reaffirmation of the natural rights of human beings which in countries all over the world (without exception) are trampled upon by a handful of men and women who have hijacked the power of the people to perpetuate their supremacy. There are here and there groups of people who have usurped the term ‘democracy’ – instead of it being an ideal towards which one strives it has become a label to be appropriated or a slogan which is used by people who can shout louder than others. If a country is calm, like France or the USA, that is to say without any rebellions, it only means, from Rousseau’s perspective, that the dictatorial system is sufficiently repressive to pre-empt any revolt.

It wouldn’t be a bad thing if the Libyans revolted. What is bad is to affirm that people stoically accept a system that represses them all over the world without reacting. And Rousseau concludes: ‘Malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium – translation – If gods were people, they would govern themselves democratically. Such a perfect government is not applicable to human beings.’ To claim that one is killing Libyans for their own good is a hoax.

WHAT LESSONS FOR AFRICA?

After 500 years of a profoundly unequal relationship with the West, it is clear that we don’t have the same criteria of what is good and bad. We have deeply divergent interests. How can one not deplore the ‘yes’ votes from three sub-Saharan countries (Nigeria, South Africa and Gabon) for resolution 1973 that inaugurated the latest form of colonisation baptised ‘the protection of peoples’, which legitimises the racist theories that have informed Europeans since the 18th century and according to which North Africa has nothing to do with sub-Saharan Africa, that North Africa is more evolved, cultivated and civilised than the rest of Africa?

It is as if Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Algeria were not part of Africa, Even the United Nations seems to ignore the role of the African Union in the affairs of member states. The aim is to isolate sub Saharan African countries to better isolate and control them. Indeed, Algeria (US$16 billion) and Libya (US$10 billion ) together contribute 62 per cent of the US$42 billion which constitute the capital of the African Monetary Fund (AMF). The biggest and most populous country in sub Saharan Africa, Nigeria, followed by South Africa are far behind with only 3 billion dollars each.

It is disconcerting to say the least that for the first time in the history of the United Nations, war has been declared against a people without having explored the slightest possibility of a peaceful solution to the crisis. Does Africa really belong anymore to this organisation? Nigeria and South Africa are prepared to vote ‘Yes’ to everything the West asks because they naively believe the vague promises of a permanent seat at the Security Council with similar veto rights. They both forget that France has no power to offer anything. If it did, Mitterand would have long done the needful for Helmut Kohl’s Germany.

A reform of the United Nations is not on the agenda. The only way to make a point is to use the Chinese method – all 50 African nations should quit the United Nations and only return if their longstanding demand is finally met, a seat for the entire African federation or nothing. This non-violent method is the only weapon of justice available to the poor and weak that we are. We should simply quit the United Nations because this organisation, by its very structure and hierarchy, is at the service of the most powerful.

We should leave the United Nations to register our rejection of a worldview based on the annihilation of those who are weaker. They are free to continue as before but at least we will not be party to it and say we agree when we were never asked for our opinion. And even when we expressed our point of view, like we did on Saturday 19 March in Nouakchott, when we opposed the military action, our opinion was simply ignored and the bombs started falling on the African people.

Today’s events are reminiscent of what happened with China in the past. Today, one recognises the Ouattara government, the rebel government in Libya, like one did at the end of the Second World War with China. The so-called international community chose Taiwan to be the sole representative of the Chinese people instead of Mao’s China. It took 26 years when on 25 October 1971, for the UN to pass resolution 2758 which all Africans should read to put an end to human folly. China was admitted and on its terms – it refused to be a member if it didn’t have a veto right. When the demand was met and the resolution tabled, it still took a year for the Chinese foreign minister to respond in writing to the UN Secretary General on 29 September 1972, a letter which didn’t say yes or thank you but spelt out guarantees required for China’s dignity to be respected.

What does Africa hope to achieve from the United Nations without playing hard ball? We saw how in Cote d’Ivoire a UN bureaucrat considers himself to be above the constitution of the country. We entered this organisation by agreeing to be slaves and to believe that we will be invited to dine at the same table and eat from plates we ourselves washed is not just credulous, it is stupid.

When the African Union endorsed Ouattara’s victory and glossed over contrary reports from its own electoral observers simply to please our former masters, how can we expect to be respected? When South African president Zuma declares that Ouattara hasn’t won the elections and then says the exact opposite during a trip to Paris, one is entitled to question the credibility of these leaders who claim to represent and speak on behalf of a billion Africans.

Africa’s strength and real freedom will only come if it can take properly thought out actions and assume the consequences. Dignity and respect come with a price tag. Are we prepared to pay it? Otherwise, our place is in the kitchen and in the toilets in order to make others comfortable.

Ugandans Abroad react with mixed emotions to Gaddafi’s death


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The death of Muamah Gaddafi has been received with mixed reactions from Ugandans abroad. Some are happy while others want this to be a lesson to everybody including the remaining dictators in Africa. One Ugandan, Dr.Owor Kipenji, who is based in Australia said: ‘Much as some are moaning, others are rejoicing the death of Moamar Gaddafi, I think the world is letting go of opportunities that can help future generations from suffering the wraths of the likes of Gaddafi and his brood. Looking at how all these fascist despots came to power, on the belief that they were the “saviours” of their oppressed peoples, it would help us to know what it is that is peculiar to these brood that turns them to become despots.’’

‘’People like Saddam Hussein,Osama Bin Laden,Moamar Gaddafi and those soon to join them like Museveni should have their brains studied so that Medical science can figure out what aberration exist in them and see whether that can be used to predict the fascist tendencies that these fellows end up with. If that can be pointed out, definitely the international community would act to stop such people from gaining power. The megalomania that characterizes these despots should not be left unstudied to save the world from their fantasies.

‘’You now hear Mr Museveni bragging of being ‘’Ssabalwanyi’’. I wonder whether he thinks he is unbeatable. I hope he has not during the years built an underground tunnel to Gisenyi from Rwakitura, otherwise the day Ugandans will agree to beat him up, all those fake titles he brags about will fall off the roadside. Gaddafi’s demise should make Mr Museveni rethink his strategy otherwise he will go worse than Gaddafi has had his life ended, just like a rat thief in a water sewer!’’

Anotheer Ugandan at Heart based in NewYork, Edward Pojim, responded to Dr.Kipenji with his own analysis of the mental disorder that is disturbing dictators:’’The cause of this mental disorder is called hubris: an exaggerated confidence and belief in indispensability. Once he wills himself into believing his own insurmountable might, the dictator will start creating ascending orders of titles to match his ever expanding ego and delusion.

‘’But, as we saw today, no title will save a brutal dictator like Gadaffi when the people finally undress the king and mete out a revenge. History is littered with supposedly untouchable dictators who died similar undignified deaths.’’

‘’The Poet, John Donne said ” No man is an island unto himself and therefore every man’s death dimishes me, for I a part of the mankind.” May be so, but today, will with Victor Hugo’s time-tested warning, “No might of an army can stop an idea whose time has come.” The writing is on the wall.’’

OCAYA Mike pOcure, based in USA, also added:’’ First, none can do some clear researches and, or studies on such persons because, the world is being ruled by paranoia whereby there exists the justice of an eye for an eye which is being peddled by America – the World’s Only Super Power with her allies in Europe!’’

‘’Take the example of how Saddam Hussein was killed because they fear if Saddam were to be brought to the open world Court he would say many things which would entice the American regimes. Again, they have to kill OSAMA, and now they have to kill this brute Gaddafi meanwhile they are leaving Mubarak for their own individual analysis. People in Egypt do know that Mubarak was kept that long in power because of unwritten agreement with the American State and Defence Departments!’’

‘’Second, their justice system is just a mirror of racism as we are seeing on the former Yugoslavia in the ICC but not George Bush Jr and Tony Blair! So brothers, and sisters do not trust this type of study to take place in the near and, or a longer future!’’

While one Charles Kamukama sent a message to UAH: ‘the real question is “when will some people in Europe be ready to accept that Africa is part of the global human family,and not an
irrelevant appendage whose marginalization is un acceptable outcome “The arena through which Gaddafi has been ousted out by NATO under the disguise of the Libyan rebels is true manifestation of vicious neo-colonialism.

‘’Borrowing a proverb from Runyankole that “eziguruka zitamanyiine ziterana amapaapa” which literally means that’ birds which fly without mutual concession hit wings amongst themselves’, this should open eyes to all African heads of states to mutually come together and fight this imperialism that is cropping up in the name of bringing peace and protection of human rights.

‘It is true that peace doesn’t mean stationing soldiers at every locus that seem to burst against the dysfunction of the state but freedom of people to live together and respect each other within the established constitution. Peace is in the hearts of Africans and isn’t based on the guns, but on the sense of humanity. Therefore, our dear leaders; peace is no less than war but rather; idealism and self-sacrifice and a righteous and dynamic faith willingly to accept changes according to the asocial demands. Leaders build this internally and foster it to all African states this will seal off lines of weaknesses and inevitably dismantle this neo- colonialism.’’

Phone Hacking Scandal has Exposed the British PM


The British PM faces real challenges because of one single bad decision he made. It may as well take him down because if the phone hacking scandal widens, the coalition could fall. I think that is why UK is keen on bombing Libya in a desperate effort to distract voters against such domestic scandals. Notice that when the scandal broke, the so called Libya ‘contact’ group came up with more shenanigans, trying to remove the scandals from the front pages.

Yes it is possible the government could fold but I understand Labour leader, Mr Ed Miliband, had not performed well until the scandal broke so he may not be ready. It is great to see UK politicians in such a mess. The PM is visiting Africa but he is reeling, and should be. But why are British voters so easy to dupe? I put it to you that this scandal is far greater than anything Mr Blair is accused of about Iraq. This scandal has shown how Britain is corrupt like no other country on earth. It is the mother of corruption period.

The other possibility is that Murdoch’s media empire could actually collapse. It is hard to keep up with developments in the UK. I read the defense of the foreign Secretary but it was all nonsense. He tried to defend the PM but he knows the shit is much thicker and if it continues, the government will fail. How can some-miseducated-African elite then believe anything from corrupt politicians about Libya? It is the case of wagging the tail to deflect serious trouble home.

I want the scandal to escalate in UK so that there is real chaos because those bastards are busy bombing Libya to cover up for their damn sins back home. What the Newspaper did was despicable. The PM is empty upstairs. He cannot come even close to Mr Blair. UK will soon miss Mr Blair.

I was sad to see the Wall Street Journal sold to the Murdoch family. The Wall Street is actually two papers in one: the general paper is not much different from the New York Times. It is the editorial pages that are really conservative. I understand the family of the founders of the Wall Street Journal now has regrets about selling to Murdoch.

The scandal is deep and Mr. Tony Blair must be laughing wherever he is at. A few people will end up in jail and Murdoch may be sued by several people.

Now what standards are British paper teachings the rest of the world. Remember these are chaps who claim to be moralists.

Mr. Murdoch has a lot to lose and must be regretting why he let the hacking go on. I have been reading that it was actor Hugh Grant who taped someone boasting of hacking phone and blew the whistle.

The winners are CNN and other UK papers. The shareholders may do to Murdoch what the board of Directors did to the chairman of the WWW wrestling mania last night when he was about to fire Jon Csena the most popular wrestler. Those who watch wrestling must have seen the drama unfold last night when a new champion was about to be crowned, the chairman postponed the match till next week, then his son in-law walked in to deliver the bad news from the Board of directors relieving him of any day to day duties with the wresting body.

In UK, it is going to be the social democrats to deliver the news to the PM. But all parties are sort of not sure what will happen at the ballot box. Could the PM fail and be replaced by another conservative to lead the coalition without triggering a national election? I feel for British voters who look well. Duped.

How can a criminal like Coulson work for the PM? Is there no vetting in the UK? The impression I get from the scandal is that there is virtually no vetting of personnel for sensitive offices in the UK. I bet you a criminal like Coulson would never enter the White House. The scandal has exposed the UK as a place where crooks can easily move to the never center of government.

It was hilarious to see Murdoch pied. More is to come because the ordinary people are pissed off even as the PM labors to save his job and perhaps coalition. I suspect a lot more is to emerge.

WB Kyijomanyi

Ugandan in New York

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