Category International


We should all salute President Museveni for the stance he has taken against homosexuality. It takes guts to do what he has done following threats from the most powerful politicians in the world.

I wish the presidents of Gambia and Zimbabwe had handled the issue of homosexuality in the same way Museveni has done so(i.e. telling the world the reasons for their stand instead of calling gay people every name under the sun). A debate has been pumped up internationally on the validity of the scientific research “wrongly” concluding that there is a correlation between homosexuality and genes.

He has also started up a debate among Ugandans on oral sex and it’s impact on our health. In the west, this debate briefly appeared on our TVs after Actor Michael Douglas claimed that his throat cancer was caused by “too much oral sex”. But obviously people addicted to certain things never listen but I think we are getting there. Let us CAUTIOUSLY use our tongues for purposes they aren’t meant for!

In other words, the president is indirectly promoting people’s health and I must say that I’m a bit impressed. I don’t care how much political capital he is getting out of this thing, for now!

Of course, there are going to be consequences for this. Uganda is going to be endlessly in the news because I’m sure gay activists aren’t gonna give up. There will be freezing of aid as a start but I’m sure Museveni must have been prepared for this. But for now, lets raise our glasses to cultural and religious preservation in Africa.

Abbey K.Semuwemba.


It seems the topic of homosexuals was provoked by the arrogant and careless Western groups that are fond of coming into our schools and recruiting young children into homosexuality and lesbianism, just as they carelessly handle other issues concerning Africa. Initially, I did not pay much attention to it because I was busy with the immediate issues of defence, security, electricity, the roads, the railways, factories, modernization of agriculture, etc.

When, eventually, I concentrated my mind on it, I distilled three problems:

1. those who were promoting homo-sexuality and recruiting normal people into it;

2. as a consequence of No. 1 above, many of those recruited were doing so for mercenary reasons – to get money – in effect homosexual prostitutes; these mercenary homosexual prostitutes had to be punished;

3. homosexuals exhibiting themselves; Africans are flabbergasted by exhibitionism of sexual acts – whether heterosexual or otherwise and for good reason. Why do you exhibit your sexual conduct? Are you short of opportunity for privacy – where you can kiss, fondle (kukirigiita, kwagaaga) etc.? Are we interested in seeing your sexual acts – we the Public? I am not able to understand the logic of the Western Culture. However, we Africans always keep our opinions to ourselves and never seek to impose our point of view on the others. If only they could let us alone.

It was my view that the above three should be punished harshly in order to defend our society from disorientation. Therefore, on these three I was in total accord with the MPs and other Ugandans. I had, however, a problem with Category 4 or what I thought was category 4 – those “born” homosexual. I thought there were such people – those who are either genetic or congenital homosexuals. The reason I thought so was because I could not understand why a man could fail to be attracted to the beauties of a woman and, instead, be attracted to a fellow man. It meant, according to me, that there was something wrong with that man – he was born a homosexual – abnormal.

I, therefore, thought that it would be wrong to punish somebody because of how he was created, disgusting though it may be to us. That is why I refused to sign the Bill. In order to get to the truth, we involved Uganda Scientists as well as consulting Scientists from outside Uganda. My question to them was: “Are there people that are homosexual right from birth?”. After exhaustive studies, it has been found that homosexuality is in two categories: there are those who engage in homosexuality for mercenary reasons on account of the under – developed sectors of our economy that cause people to remain in poverty, the great opportunities that abound not withstanding; and then there are those that become homosexual by both nature (genetic) and nurture (up-bringing). The studies that were done on identical twins in Sweden showed that 34% – 39% were homosexual on account of nature and 66% were homosexual on account of nurture. Therefore, even in those studies, nurture was more significant than nature. Can somebody be homosexual purely by nature without nurture? The answer is: “No”. No study has shown that. Since nurture is the main cause of homosexuality, then society can do something about it to discourage the trends. That is why I have agreed to sign the Bill.

Since Western societies do not appreciate politeness, let me take this opportunity to warn our people publicly about the wrong practices indulged in and promoted by some of the outsiders. One of them is “oral sex”. Our youth should reject this because God designed the human being most appropriately for pleasurable, sustainable and healthy sex. Some of the traditional styles are very pleasurable and healthy. The mouth is not engineered for that purpose except kissing. Besides, it is very unhealthy. People can even contract gonorrhea of the mouth and throat on account of so-called “oral sex”, not to mention worms, hepatitis E, etc. The Ministry of Gender and Youth should de-campaign this buyayism imported from outside and sensitize the youth about the healthy life style that is abundant in our cultures. We reject the notion that somebody can be homosexual by choice; that a man can choose to love a fellow man; that sexual orientation is a matter of choice.

Since my original thesis that there may be people who are born homosexual has been disproved by science, then the homosexuals have lost the argument in Uganda. They should rehabilitate themselves and society should assist them to do so.

Yoweri K. Museveni Gen. (Rtd)


24th February, 2014.



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.


Museveni’s response to Obama on homosexuality is class!- Abbey Semuwemba

Museveni’s response to Obama on homosexuality was/is class! Opposition guys, particularly Gen.Sejusa, shouldn’t fight him on this. I think he is handling this issue in the best way expected!Yes, there is definitely some political capital for him but his statement to Obama is class! I like it. I even can’t believe that I’m cheering for him now.

Abbey Semuwemba.

My response to H.E. Barack Obama’s statement on Homosexuality.

I have seen the statement H.E President Obama of the USA made in reaction to my statement that I was going to sign the anti-homosexual Bill, which I made at Kyankwanzi. Before I react to H.E. Obama’s statement, let me, again, put on record my views on the issue of homo-sexuals (ebitiingwa, bisiyaga in some of our dialects). Right f…rom the beginning of this debate, my views were as follows:

1. I agreed with the MPs and almost all Ugandans that promotion of homosexuality in Uganda must be criminalized or rather should continue to be criminalized because the British had already done that;

2. those who agreed to become homosexuals for mercenary reasons (prostitutes) should be harshly punished as should those who paid them to be homosexual prostitutes; and

3. exhibitionism of homosexual behavior must be punished because, in this part of the World, it is forbidden to publicly exhibit any sexual conduct (kissing, etc) even for heterosexuals; if I kissed my wife of 41 years in public, I would lose elections in Uganda.

The only point I disagreed on with some of the Members of Parliament (MPs) and other Ugandans was on the persons I thought were born homosexual. According to the casual observations, there are rare deviations in nature from the normal. You witness cases like albinos (nyamagoye), barren women or men (enguumba), epa (breastless women) etc. I, therefore, thought that similarly there were people that were born with the disorientation of being attracted to the same sex.

That is why I thought that that it was wrong to punish somebody on account of being born abnormal. That is why I refused to sign the Bill and, instead, referred it to our Party (the NRM) to debate it again.

In the meantime, I sought for scientific opinions on this matter. I am grateful to Ms. Kerry Kennedy of the USA who sent me opinions by scientists from the USA saying that there could be some indications that homosexuality could be congenital.

In our conference, I put these opinions to our scientists from the Department of Genetics, the School of Medicine and the Ministry of Health. Their unanimous conclusion was that homosexuality, contrary to my earlier thinking, was behavioural and not genetic. It was learnt and could be unlearnt. I told them to put their signatures to that conclusion which they did.

That is why I declared my intention to sign the Bill, which I will do. I have now received their signed document, which says there is no single gene that has been traced to cause homosexuality. What I want them to clarify is whether a combination of genes can cause anybody to be homosexual. Then my task will be finished and I will sign the Bill.

After my statement to that effect which was quoted widely around the World, I got reactions from some friends from outside Africa. Statements like: “it is a matter of choice” or “whom they love” which President Obama repeated in his statement would be most furiously rejected by almost the entirety of our people.

It cannot be a matter of choice for a man to behave like a woman or vice-versa. The argument I had pushed was that there could be people who are born like that or “who they are”, according to President Obama’s statement.

I, therefore, encourage the US government to help us by working with our Scientists to study whether, indeed, there are people who are born homosexual. When that is proved, we can review this legislation. I would be among those who will spearhead that effort. That is why I had refused to sign the Bill until my premise was knocked down by the position of our Scientists.

I would like to discourage the USA government from taking the line that passing this law will “complicate our valued relationship” with the USA as President Obama said. Countries and Societies should relate with each other on the basis of mutual respect and independence in decision making. “Valued relationship” cannot be sustainably maintained by one Society being subservient to another society.

There are a myriad acts the societies in the West do that we frown on or even detest. We, however, never comment on those acts or make them preconditions for working with the West. Africans do not seek to impose their views on anybody.

We do not want anybody to impose their views on us. This very debate was provoked by Western groups who come to our schools and try to recruit children into homosexuality.

It is better to limit the damage rather than exacerbate it.

I thank everybody.


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



On the surface one would think that H.E YKM is not taking Obama’s threat seriously. But according to current events in the region, that is far from the truth. Anybody wise must know which side of his bread is buttered.

1. Why else should H.E YKM write a rebuttal (press release). This has not been his practice except when the issue is very serious. None serious issues never attract his attention. Some people might be wrong in thinking that H.E. YKM is not taking Obama’s threat seriously. As usual H.E YKM outsmarts many of us. Things you think are minor he takes them seriously and things you think are serious he ignores. In the end H.E YKM emerges the winner all the time. He is a wise man is all can say.

2. It was out of the ordinary for H.E YKM to consult a panel of scientists and also literature from the USA after the Bill had been passed. One is tempted to ask what is so special about this bill that required all this consultation. Is this the most important bill that has ever been passed by the Ugandan Parliament?

3. The press release did not contain any spitting fire from H.E The President, at least from my own eyes. What I read was a pleading statement. The statement already insinuates that once put in a tight corner, one will have defence to say that “look guys I tried my best but my people would take none of this; you see here is even the supporting document from our scientists”. Very smart!

4. “Obama needs Museveni as much as Museveni needs Obama” for as long as our H.E YKM tows the line of the super power. To the one who is more powerful it is a matter of political expediency. This happened to many leaders in the past such as General Noriega, General Saddam Hussein e.t.c. I think H.E YKM is playing his cards very well; again a very wise man we must all acknowledge.

5. Obama or any other super power would not be interested in Rebecca Kadaga for one reason; she has not been part of the politics of the great lakes region for such a long time. But the super power would be much more interested in our H.E YKM for having been part and parcel of the people who have shaped the politics of the great lakes region for the last 40 or so years. Their interest in H.E YKM remains would certainly be their business and your guess is as good as mine.

6. And finally, to me all this anti-homosexuality bill consultation and press release amounts to a PR thing; a damage control before it happens. And the damage control is not for this anti-homosexuality bill. It is a damage control for the coming unpopular bills (at least to the opposition in Parliament if not to you as well) that are going to be passed in the next 22 months before 2016 elections. If something won’t be right in those bills as long as they meet the objectives of incumbent, they will be quickly signed into law. The PR will be “H.E YKM consults widely”. Again H.E YKM wins. Paying much attention to the anti-homosexuality bill is just missing the point and the big picture that this is PR exercise for the next bills. We shall see more of that in the coming months.

I can’t help but continue smiling how H.E YKM outsmarted two guys Amama Mbabazi and Mike Mukula who had nursed intentions of competing with. Disowning the commitment they signed in Kyankwanzi would be like committing political suicide for both gentlemen. The one remaining to beat now is Prof GBB. He survived by not attending the Kyankwanzi retreat. Politics at this stage is very exciting not to join but to follow. For sure we shall have more laughter along the way.

Ibrah Sendagire

Technical Understandings Related to the Implementation of the Joint Plan of Action of Iran’s Nuclear Program

Summary of Technical Understandings Related to the Implementation of the Joint Plan of Action on the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Nuclear Program

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
January 16, 2014

On January 12, 2014, the P5+1 (the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, and China, coordinated by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton) and Iran arrived at technical understandings for the Joint Plan of Action, which will be implemented beginning on January 20, 2014.

The Joint Plan of Action marks the first time in nearly a decade that the Islamic Republic of Iran has agreed to specific actions that stop the advance of its nuclear program, roll back key aspects of the program, and include unprecedented access for international inspectors. The technical understandings set forth how the provisions of the Joint Plan of Action will be implemented and verified, and the timing of implementation of its provisions. Specifically, the technical understandings specify the actions that Iran will take to limit its enrichment capacity at Natanz and Fordow, as well as the limits on safeguarded research and development (R&D); the actions Iran will take to implement its commitments not to fuel the Arak reactor or install remaining components at the reactor; and the actions Iran will take to facilitate International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) verification and confirmation that Iran is fully implementing these commitments. The understandings also clarify the reciprocal actions that the P5+1 and the EU will take.

Between now and January 20th, Iran, the IAEA, the United States, and our international partners, will take the remaining required steps to begin implementing the Joint Plan of Action on that date.

What Iran Has Committed To Do

On January 20th, the IAEA will report on the current status of Iran’s nuclear program, and particularly on its uranium enrichment program and the Arak reactor. The IAEA will also report on several specific steps that Iran has committed to take by or on the first day of implementation, including:

Halting production of near-20% enriched uranium and disabling the configuration of the centrifuge cascades Iran has been using to produce it.
Starting to dilute half of the near-20% enriched uranium stockpile that is in hexafluoride form, and continuing to convert the rest to oxide form not suitable for further enrichment.

In addition, over the course of the Joint Plan of Action, the IAEA will verify that Iran is:

Not enriching uranium in roughly half of installed centrifuges at Natanz and three-quarters of installed centrifuges at Fordow, including all next generation centrifuges.
Limiting its centrifuge production to those needed to replace damaged machines, so Iran cannot use the six-month period to stockpile centrifuges.
Not constructing additional enrichment facilities.
Not going beyond its current enrichment R&D practices.
Not commissioning or fueling the Arak reactor.
Halting the production and additional testing of fuel for the Arak reactor.
Not installing any additional reactor components at Arak.
Not transferring fuel and heavy water to the Arak reactor site.
Not constructing a facility capable of reprocessing. Without reprocessing, Iran cannot separate plutonium from spent fuel.

Iran has also committed to a schedule for taking certain actions during the six-month period. This includes:

Completion of dilution of half of its stockpile of near-20% uranium hexafluoride in three months, and completion of conversion of the rest of that material to oxide in six months.
A cap on the permitted size of Iran’s up to 5% enriched uranium stockpile at the end of the six-month period.

Verification Mechanisms

To ensure Iran is fulfilling its commitments, the IAEA will be solely responsible for verifying and confirming all nuclear-related measures, consistent with its ongoing inspection role in Iran. In addition, the EU, P5+1 and Iran will establish a Joint Commission to work with the IAEA to monitor implementation of the Joint Plan of Action. The Joint Commission will also work with the IAEA to facilitate resolution of past and present concerns with respect to Iran’s nuclear program.

The Joint Commission will be composed of experts of the EU, P5+1 and Iran, and it will convene at least monthly to consider the implementation of the Joint Plan of Action and any issues that may arise. Any decisions that are required on the basis of these discussions will be referred to the Political Directors of the EU, the P5+1, and Iran.

Transparency and Monitoring

Iran committed in the Joint Plan of Action to provide increased and unprecedented transparency into its nuclear program, including through more frequent and intrusive inspections as well as expanded provision of information to the IAEA.

The Iranian enrichment facilities at Natanz and Fordow will now be subject to daily IAEA inspector access as set out in the Joint Plan of Action (as opposed to every few weeks). The IAEA and Iran are working to update procedures, which will permit IAEA inspectors to review surveillance information on a daily basis to shorten detection time for any Iranian non-compliance. In addition, these facilities will continue to be subjected to a variety of other physical inspections, including scheduled and unannounced inspections.

The Arak reactor and associated facilities will be subject to at least monthly IAEA inspections – an increase from the current inspection schedule permitting IAEA access approximately once every three months or longer.

Iran has also agreed to provide for the first time:

Long-sought design information on the Arak reactor;
Figures to verify that centrifuge production will be dedicated to the replacement of damaged machines; and
Information to enable managed access at centrifuge assembly workshops, centrifuge rotor production workshops and storage facilities, and uranium mines and mills.

These enhanced monitoring measures will enable the IAEA to provide monthly updates to the Joint Commission on the status of Iran’s implementation of its commitments and enable the international community to more quickly detect breakout or the diversion of materials to a secret program.

What the P5+1 and EU Have Committed To Do

As part of this initial step, the P5+1 and EU will provide limited, temporary, and targeted relief to Iran. The total value of the relief is between $6 and $7 billion – a small fraction of the $100 billion in Iranian foreign exchange holdings that will continue to be blocked or restricted. Some relief will be provided from the first day; most will be provided in installments over the span of the entire six-month period. The relief is structured so that the overwhelming majority of the sanctions regime, including the key oil, banking, and financial sanctions architecture, remains in place – and sanctions will continue to be vigorously implemented throughout the six-month period.

Once the IAEA has confirmed Iran is implementing its commitments, in return the P5+1 and EU have committed to do the following on the first day of implementation:

Suspend the implementation of sanctions on Iran’s petrochemical exports and Iran’s imports of goods and services for its automotive manufacturing sector.
Suspend sanctions on Iran’s import and export of gold and other precious metals, with significant limitations that prevent Iran from using its restricted assets overseas to pay for these purchases.
License expeditiously the supply of spare parts and services, including inspection services, for the safety of flight of Iran’s civil aviation sector.
Pause efforts to further reduce purchases of crude oil from Iran by the six economies still purchasing oil from Iran.
Facilitate the establishment of a financial channel intended to support humanitarian trade that is already permitted with Iran and facilitate payments for UN obligations and tuition payments for students studying abroad.
Modify the thresholds for EU internal procedures for the authorization of financial transactions.

The P5+1 and EU have also committed to take certain actions to facilitate Iran’s access to $4.2 billion in restricted Iranian funds on a set schedule at regular intervals throughout the six months. Access to a small portion of these funds will be linked to Iran’s progress in completing the dilution process for near-20% enriched uranium. Iran will not have access to the final installment of the $4.2 billion until the last day of the six-month period.

The installments will be released on the schedule below, contingent on the IAEA confirming that Iran is fulfilling its commitments.

February 1st – $550 million (installment #1)

March 1st – $450million (contingent on the IAEA confirming that Iran has completed dilution of half of the stockpile of near-20% enriched uranium it is required to dilute)

March 7th – $550 million (installment #2)

April 10th – $550 million (installment #3)

April 15th – $450 million (contingent on the IAEA confirming that Iran has completed dilution of its entire stockpile of near-20% enriched uranium it is required to dilute)

May 14th – $550 million (installment #4)

June 17th – $550 million (installment #5)

July 20th – $550million (installment #6 is on day 180) (contingent on the IAEA confirming that Iran has fulfilled all of its commitments)

A Comprehensive Solution

With this implementation plan, we have made concrete progress. We will now focus on the critical work of pursuing a comprehensive resolution that addresses our concerns over Iran’s nuclear program. Shortly after the Joint Plan of Action takes effect on January 20th, the United States will determine with our P5+1 partners our approach to the comprehensive solution. Discussions with Iran will follow that coordination process.

With respect to the comprehensive solution, nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to. We have no illusions about how hard it will be to achieve this objective, but for the sake of our national security and the peace and security of the world, now is the time to give diplomacy a chance to succeed.

Five of the ICC’s 18 judges are African, as is its vice president, Sanji Mmasenono Monageng of Botswana- Desmond Tutu

October 10, 2013
In Africa, Seeking a License to Kill

CAPE TOWN — MEMBERS of the African Union will meet in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, today to discuss recent calls by some African leaders to withdraw from the International Criminal Court. These calls must be resisted. The continent has suffered the consequences of unaccountable governance for too long to disown the protections offered by the I.C.C.

Those leaders seeking to skirt the court are effectively looking for a license to kill, maim and oppress their own people without consequence. They believe the interests of the people should not stand in the way of their ambitions of wealth and power; that being held to account by the I.C.C. interferes with their ability to achieve these ambitions; and that those who get in their way — the victims: their own people — should remain faceless and voiceless.

Most of all, they believe that neither the golden rule, nor the rule of law, applies to them.

But they know that they cannot say these things in public without repercussions. Instead, they conveniently accuse the I.C.C. of racism.

At first glance, the claim might seem plausible. The I.C.C., founded in 2002 and based in The Hague, has so far considered only cases against Africans.But this is partly because independent tribunals that were established to handle cases concerning the former Yugoslavia, Cambodia and other countries have naturally led to a reduction in the scope of the court’s activities.

So far, 32 people have been publicly indicted by the court, with only one conviction, of Thomas Lubanga, for war crimes in the Democratic Republic of Congo. But many of the investigations were not initiated by the court or a foreign body; they were referred to the court by African governments themselves. The judges and investigators were invited in.

So the African focus of the court should not be seen as an indictment of its neutrality but of the quality of leadership and democracy in many African countries. When thousands of people are murdered and displaced in any country, as in Sudan, for instance, ideally the country’s own system of justice will redress the wrongs. That is not in dispute. But when that country is unwilling or unable to restore justice, as is the case in many African countries, who should represent the interests of the victims? Critics of the I.C.C. say, “Nobody.” They simply vilify the institution as racist and unjust, as Hermann Göring and his fellow Nazi defendants vilified the Nuremberg tribunals following World War II.

While some African leaders play both the race and colonial cards, the facts are clear. Far from being a so-called white man’s witch hunt, the I.C.C. could not be more African if it tried. More than 20 African countries helped to found the I.C.C. Of the 108 nations that initially joined the I.C.C., 30 are in Africa. Five of the court’s 18judges are African, as is its vice president, Sanji Mmasenono Monageng of Botswana. The court’s chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, who has huge power over which cases are brought forward, is from Gambia. The I.C.C. is very clearly an African court.

Leaving the I.C.C. would be a tragedy for Africa, as leaders like the former United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan, of Ghana, have noted. Without its deterrence, countries could and would attack their neighbors, or minorities in their own countries, with impunity. When Lubanga was arrested to face charges of enlisting and conscripting child soldiers, the threat of the I.C.C. undermined his support from other militias. After the Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo was taken to face justice in The Hague, the country was able to rebuild.

Without this court, there would be no brake on the worst excesses of these criminals. And these violent leaders continue to plague Africa: the Great Lakes, Mali, northern Nigeria and Egypt all give reason for concern. Perpetrators of violence must not be allowed to wriggle free.

Moreover, where justice and order are not restored, there can be no healing, leaving violence and hatred ticking like a bomb in the corner. We know too well that long, painful road to healing in South Africa, as do the people of Kenya. As Africa begins to find its voice in world affairs, it must strengthen its commitment to the rule of law, not undermine it. These principles are part of our global moral and legal responsibility, not items from a menu we can choose only when it suits us.Along with thousands of others, I have joined a campaign by Avaaz, an international advocacy group, calling on Africa’s leaders to stay in the I.C.C. The alternatives are too painful: revenge, like what happened in Rwanda, Kosovo and Bosnia, or blanket amnesty and a national commitment to amnesia, like what happened in Chile. The only way any country can deal with its past is to confront it.

We need loud voices in Addis Ababa to deliver this message, to shout down those who want us to do nothing. We also need the continent’s heavyweights, Nigeria and South Africa, to exercise leadership and stop those who don’t like the rules from attempting to rewrite them. Far from a fight between Africa and the West, this is a fight within Africa, for its soul.

Desmond Tutu, the Anglican archbishop of Cape Town from 1986 to 1996, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his contribution to opposing apartheid.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: October 11, 2013

An earlier version of this article misspelled, at one point, the surname of a warlord convicted by the International Criminal Court. He is Thomas Lubanga, not Lubunga. The article also misstated the year of Mr. Lubanga’s arrest. It was in 2005, not two years ago.


The US Ambassador to Uganda, Scott H Delisi gave a special interview for the listeners of Radio Bilal before Eidul Fitri

Hamza Kyeyune and the USA ambassador in radio Bilal newsroom

Hamza Kyeyune and the USA ambassador in radio Bilal newsroom

The US Ambassador to Uganda, Scott H Delisi gave a special interview for the listeners of Radio Bilal in Kampala, before Eidul Fitri. The Special interview hosted by journalist Hamza Kyeyune focused on social media, United States relations with the Muslim World, Interfaith dialogue, Palestine sovereignty and many more.

Ambassador Scott Delisi, grew up in Saint Paul, Minnesota where there was no single Muslim in the neighborhood, and had never seen a mosque as a young boy. Just as many other Americans, Ambassador Scott has learnt to understand a faith that was new to many Americans.

Below is the full interview;

1.You must be enjoying your stay in Uganda Ambassador, in spite of your diplomatic status, social media seeps into every aspect of your life. How does it feel, all those comments that you get? What kind of questions do you get?

Social media has become a tremendous tool for us, I started using this when I was an ambassador in Nepal, and I continue to use here because it gives us an opportunity to reach to reach out and engage with a broad spectrum of society.

In the old days, the ambassador’s job was to talk to the president, members of parliament and a few business people. But today, especially in a country (Uganda) where 80% of the nation is below 30 years, if we are not reaching out to them, if we are not hearing from them and understanding issues of the young people and the society, I don’t think we are doing our job.

So it’s wonderful to do this, I get all sorts of questions including one such as, are really the American ambassador? And for those of you who are wondering, yes I am. When I speak on face book, when I post on face book, I think it’s important for people to know, that they can talk to us. And that is who we are as Americans, the ability of people to reach out and we talk and we engage, regardless of the status and titles.

2.When I went to the US, as a first time visitor, there were many surprises awaiting me. When you first arrived in Uganda, what surprised you? That lasting impression?

When I came as the ambassador here, it was my first visit in Uganda, but I have leaved and served in Africa in the course of my career. And I have had the chance to engage people across the continent. I think for me, it wasn’t much a surprise, but discovery, to find the tremendous warmth and hospitality of the people of Uganda, I think that was the most striking thing right from the beginning.

And having come from a country, where again the people were known for their warmth, the way they interacted with each other, so constructively, I was worried I would not find the same thing here but I found the same thing here, and a very welcome discovery.

3.USA closed more than 20 consulates and embassies mainly in the Middle East and North Africa. A state department global travel alert, issued on Friday, is also in force until the end of August. Is Ugandan embassy open?

Ours is very open and we are ready for business as usual. We remain absolutely committed, not that our other embassies are not, but as you know today’s world, there are often challenges and threats. And we have a responsibility to deal with them effectively to protect our people.

We recognize that if there is an incidence in the country, its often not just Americans who are hurt, it’s the citizens of that country, and we don’t want to put anyone at risk. In certain countries at the moment, the information available suggests that there is a greater degree of risk, so in those countries we have taken appropriate steps. Here in Uganda, we take security seriously, but we also feel we have got great cooperation and support from the government of Uganda, and we are very confidently going about our business, engaging with the people and the government of this country.

4.In your Ramadan message of July5-2013, you did say that the U.S. Government is committed to engaging Muslims in Uganda on the basis of mutual interest and mutual respect. As President Obama said, true partnerships require cooperation in all areas – particularly those that can make a positive difference in peoples’ daily lives, including entrepreneurship. Is there funds at the embassy to fulfill this?

There is not a fund for entrepreneurship per say, but we are working with all sorts of youths across the country including a chapter of generation change started here in Uganda a year ago, made up largely of young Muslims and through our partnership with these youth groups, youth ambassadors, we are identifying ways how we can provide training, and support those who develop entrepreneur ideas. We can’t fund their businesses for them, but we can give them the training, the skills, put them in touch with mentors. We have done a television program recently on NTV, about young entrepreneurs in Uganda, youth works and it was a tremendous program and we fund these things to give young entrepreneurs the opportunity to grow.

5.There are many Muslim faith based organizations that you are funding in Uganda including; Muslim Centre for Justice and Law, (MCJL), CEDA, AYDL, REC, among others, how do you chose them?

These are partners that we have met along the way, who have come up with ideas that are consistent with the programs and values that we think are very important. They have often come to us and when we are able to find a common ground, we have got grants available for certain activities, MCJL for example came to us and said; we know you are committed to Interfaith Dialogue, we are doing this, we can be good partners, and so we found ways to move forward.

One of the fundamental challenges is, although we are committed to working with young people in Uganda, there is tens of millions of young people across the country, we can’t fund every project, we can’t work with every individual, but we are trying to find ways, to work with organizations that have the capacity to expand our voice and our reach. And if we can support those organizations that in turn have the ability to work with young entrepreneurs, young people who want to be agents of change and build the future of Uganda because it’s their country, that’s great. These young people make up 83% of the population, they will shape this nations future and we want to be as helpful to them as we can be.

6.Let me ask you about the US-Muslim relations. President t Obama delivered a speech on “A New Beginning” on 4 June 2009, at Cairo University, the speech would attempt to mend the United States’ relations with the Muslim world. How far has that been achieved?

I think I would almost be inclined to ask the Muslim community how they see the relationship with the United States since president Obama came to office. I don’t know that he sought to mend so much as to reframe and recast and explain to people in a clear and more definitive way than ever before, the United State’s respect, commitment and desire to build partnership with the Muslim world.

But when we talk about the Muslim world, we have to include ourselves, because we have a significant Muslim population in the United States. Our Muslim population in United States is greater than the Muslim population here in Uganda. It’s a significant part of our nation, and when we look at the world, 25% of the global population, follows the faith of Islam.

We have to engage, but not just on the basis of faith, we don’t wanna engage with someone just because someone is a Muslim, or a Christian or a Jew, we engage because we want to build relationships based upon shared values, about the dignity of the individual, about nature of the world about governance, about how we can shape this planet effectively together. And I think that’s part of what president Obama spoke about but he recognized that there are many in the Muslim world who have looked at the United States with questions, and who somehow feel that we are an enemy of Islam and that is far from the truth.

I was talking to one of your colleagues, a young Imaam from Mbale, who just returned from the United States. I asked him what his impressions were, what he thought, and he said before he left for the United States, he was very doubtful about the reception he would receive, he had many questions and doubt of sincerity of the United States commitment to partnership with Islam, and he came back seeing this differently.

And I was glad that he saw it differently and am glad that this was something that he came to through his own experiences, not because we told him or we are the best friend of Islam but because he saw the nature of our society in which his faith and all faiths were respected and treated with equality and decency.

7. Attacks on the United States served to reinforce the widespread public perception that Islam, is linked to violence in some special way. What is your comment about that?

There is very little we can do at times about public perceptions, like those who have this perception that Islam was linked to violence, and we know this is not true. Government leaders and officials, we try to recast that argument. And it’s the same thing that we see when so many in the Muslim world perceive the United States as Islam’s enemy and also that is not true. So, we work through engagement, through discussion, through demonstrated actions to show that there are things not true, and we begin to shift it, but I will say this to you, one of the things that is striking me, is the figure that I saw recently, that the Muslim population in united states has almost doubled since the 9/11.

I find that very interesting, and even if there has been public concern for the Muslim world and the Muslim citizens of our country, still many more have come to America, that number has grown, and they are living in peace, they are leaving in harmony able to exercise their faith and be part of the fabric of our society, despite those perceptions, that were shaped after 9/11, but I think we moving beyond many of those.

8.It is interesting to learn that Islam is the fast growing religion in the United States, but on the other hand, Islam is probably the fast depleting religion in the world. Look at Syria, many Muslims dying daily, Iraq, Afghanistan, in Egypt, more that 150muslims have died since the ouster of Muhammad Morsi. Given the role of America in the international affairs, what are you doing about this?

There are people who die in countries all around the world, all the time. And every human life is important and we have all to value this, and we all have to try to find ways to ease conflicts wherever they are.

I served in Sri Lanka, and I watched Sinhalese and Tamil dying every day and in a horrid conflict that never should have reached the point it did, that should have ended sooner than it did. But while we work for peace and we are committed to peace, we are only one country and the world is vast and we cannot work and manage every problem in every nation even if we sought to. These nations are sovereign states and they have to find their own answers, we will do whatever we can to try and help, but as you know as well as I know the way of the world, if the US seeks to insert itself, what will we hear? We will hear oh! USA you are seeking to meddle, you are seeking to dictate to us, that’s not our goal. Our goal is to help bring peace and we have done this in many countries, and we have worked effectively, as a bridge for peace at times and secretary Kerry today is very actively engaged, as is president Obama, as is our nation, trying to once again find a solution to the intractable problems that have plagued the Middle East for so many years, recognizing the dignity of all people of the region. We have to find a solution, that addresses the aspirations and concerns of all the people and that is something that we are committed to and we are working hard at. And yes when people die, this is a sad thing, but we are committed to addressing this, and I hope that our colleagues around the world including our Muslim brothers will join us in trying to address these problems, because it takes all of us to solve them.

9.There is a new concept; interfaith dialogue, which is an ongoing process in which different religious traditions learn to interact positively with each other, According to Dr. Rashied Omar, PhD, a research scholar in Islamic studies and peace building at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana.
The concept of interfaith dialogue emerged in response to situations of conflict specifically after 9/11. In Uganda, we have Inter Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU) which USAID funds. What do you aim to achieve?

First of all, am just struck by the distinguished professor whom you quoted, when you talk about these different religious traditions, finding a positive way to interact with each other, I note that he is speaking as a faculty member from one of the prominent catholic universities in the United States of America, Notre Dame, and I think there, Catholics and Muslims have certainly found way to interact and share positively and those many people besides Catholics in Norte Dame.
About IRCU and other entities, we have a lot of money that we devote to our partnership in Uganda, in the health sector alone, we spend over a trillion shillings annually. But when we are partnering with IRCU, it’s not about having to give them tones of money, because leadership, vision, belief, faith, partnership doesn’t require a lot of money. What we seek to do though is to support IRCU as a body that represents all the major faith communities in Uganda, with whom we are partnering effectively to address the greatest challenge that the nation is facing that includes the health sector. Our partnership with IRCU is based partly on the fact that faith based communities are tremendous service providers, when it comes to health issues in this country.

We seek to fight the scourge of HIV, to help protect people from malaria which kills three hundred Ugandans every day, we need to do this not only in partnership with the Ministry of Health, but with the faith leaders of this nation whose voices are so important, to whom people listen because we know that it’s not enough for us to come as a bunch of “MUZUNGU’S” and say, here is what you need to do about your health, we need Ugandan leaders, we need voices from Ugandan partners that we can support, and that is what we do with the IRCU.

10.I believe in interfaith dialogue as an effective tool of sowing seeds of peace and harmony in the community. But the Critics of this concept are skeptical, that your aim is to reform Islam, and have Islamic tenets opened up for criticism. For example, if Christians can endure the attack on the person of Jesus Christ (peace be upon Him), and Christians find nothing in it, it stands to reason, therefore, that Muslims should be able to tow the same line whenever Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon Him) is attacked.

(Laughs) am almost speechless Hamza. Let me just tell you, we have “NO DESIRE” whatsoever, to have the prophet peace be upon Him be subject to criticism. This is not our goal, we respect the holy figures of all faiths and anyone who seeks to degrade or attack those figures, whether in Christianity or Islam, or Judaism, or Buddhism, any of these holy figures, we have no room and time for that.

What we would say is that a violent response to such actions, of criticizing the holy prophet, the answer to these sorts of acts for which we have no respect is not violence in response. That’s our only message. We would never say all of these figures should be held up for criticism, but I would hope that as members of the faith community, we can all talk constructively to each other and learn from each other about the tenets of our faith, about how we perceive those important figures in our faiths differently, and similarly in many cases.
For many Americans, for me as a young boy growing up in saint Paul, Minnesota, I knew no Muslims, they weren’t in my community, no one in the neighborhood down the block, I had never seen a mosque, but all that is changing today. As a society, we are learning to understand a faith that was new to many of us. We are learning and growing together, and it takes time, as you know in any country where we see these changes taking place, we always have to learn.

11.Absolutely, there are always new experiences, while in the US last year, Dr.Muhammad Elsanousi, the director of community outreach at Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) invited me to the 15th annual Interfaith Unity Banquet, by ISNA. I dinned with a Rabbi, I had never in my life seen how a rabbai looks like, surprisingly, she was a woman like all other women I have seen.

That’s how we learn Hamza, but the idea that we somehow seek something else, that we have a hidden agenda is not true.

Our hidden agenda for Uganda is a very simple one, it’s not in an envelope, sealed, it’s very open, we want Uganda to succeed. We want this nation to be a prosperous, stable, and democratic in which people’s voices are heard and respected. And if Uganda is strong and successful, America is happy, because that what we want for Uganda. That’s our hidden agenda, people don’t have to believe it, but am telling you that’s all I know and that’s what I work for everyday.

12.About Islam in the United States, hate incidents in Massachusetts and New York occurred following the deadly bombings at the Boston Marathon. Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman the Council On American-Islamic Relations CAIR reported that a mother of Middle Eastern heritage wearing a hijab, was assaulted in Malden, Mass., by a white male shouting anti-Muslim slurs. She said the alleged attacker shouted, Muslims, you are terrorists,” and he blamed Muslims for the Boston Marathon bombings. What can you say about that?

First of all, that individual if he was captured by the police, he is probably in jail. We have laws against this sort of thing, we protect our citizens. You talked earlier about a public perception after 9/11, there are individuals who have hate in their hearts, and I cannot change that, a government cannot change that. We see hate crimes in many countries including here in Uganda, including throughout the continent and across the world, this is not something that is confined in the United States. I would say to you that in a country that is vast as America, with this large population, when we have a traumatic attack like the one at Boston marathon, that touches people around the world.

There were very few hate crimes, and I would say that I am sorry if anyone was blamed for the acts of an individual that have nothing to do with faith. I would also say to you that in a population of two hundred and sixty million people, the number of these incidences is actually very small, and for everyone that you can give me an example of, if you give me a few days I can come back to you, and I can tell you a story of a Muslim family, who found friendship, who found support, who found people who reached out to them and told them, we know that this is not your faith. I don’t condone this incidence and I wish we had none of them.

But I do not think that it’s a representation of the fabric of American society, I don’t think it’s typical of the way Muslims are received in America, how our fellow citizens view each other, and how the Muslims citizens are treated. People who engage in hate crimes will be sought by the police and will be arrested if they are found, they will be tried and will be convicted because we are a nation of law and we respect the rule of law, and we expect our citizens to adhere to it.

13.About Palestine, while at your residence during the Iftar dinner, in a message from President Obama to us your visitors, president Obama mentioned his support for a two state solution.

Again when president Obama visited Palestine in March this year, he made such a beautiful speech, and I quote. “The Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and justice must also be recognized. Put yourself in their shoes – look at the world through their eyes. It is not fair that a Palestinian child cannot grow up in a state of their own, living their entire lives with the presence of a foreign army that controls the movements of her parents every single day. It is not just when settler violence against Palestinians goes unpunished. It is not right to prevent Palestinians from farming their lands; to restrict a student’s ability to move around the West Bank; or to displace Palestinian families from their home. Neither occupation nor expulsion is the answer. Just as Israelis built a state in their homeland, Palestinians have a right to be a free people in their own land”
So, my question to you is, Will USA accept full Palestinian sovereignty and statehood? Because this would give Israel a genuine negotiating partner.

I don’t feel comfortable in speaking for my president, on this very significant issue, I leave it to Washington because am here in Uganda, and my focus is on Uganda and I know that in the middle East, when we talk about these issues, every little word becomes very important and people interpret it differently, and I would not want to create a wrong impression.

Let’s go back and just look again at what president Obama said about his commitment to self determination and justice for the people of Palestine, I think that gives you a good sense of where he is going, what our beliefs are and I live it to secretary Kelly and the president to more fully articulate how that will unfold.

{UAH} To be black, to be African


Since 1619 at least, Americans of sub-Saharan African ancestry have had different racial classifications. The first was “negars.” Other classifications have included African, Afro-American, Black, and Black American. According to Collier-Thomas and Turner, in “Race, Class and Colour: The African American Discourse on Identity,” published in 1994, “From the 1830s to the middle of the 1890s, Coloured American and the more commonly used derivation Coloured were the most popular terms. At the beginning of the twentieth century, Negro gained considerable support as a generic term, becoming by 1920 the most commonly used expression of race. Increasing dissatisfaction with the term, Negro, most noted in the late 1930s culminated with the Black Power movement of the 1960s.”

But by 1988, all these changed when Rev. Jesse Jackson reclassified the group: “To be called African-American has cultural integrity. It puts us in our proper historical context. Every ethnic group in this country has a reference to some land base, some historical cultural base. African-Americans have hit that level of cultural maturity. There are Armenian-Americans and Jewish-Americans and Arab-Americans and Italian-Americans; and with a degree of accepted and reasonable pride, they connect their heritage to their mother country and where they are now.” In the years since, the majority of Black Americans have embraced this categorisation; while many others have rejected it: they want to be known simply as American, or Black.

The most common argument many who reject the African-American label have made is that they do not have any kind of physical or mental affinity with the continent. For such individuals, slavery was a historical fact – a fact they nonetheless do not want to identify with. The fact that sub-Saharan Africa is their ancestral home is a non-issue. America and being American is all that matter. Perhaps, it is this line of thinking and attitude and expression that prevent many Blacks — outside of the African continent – from identifying with the Pan-African ideal and movement. In one’s everyday life, it is not uncommon to meet or hear of Blacks who, either out of ignorance, sour experience, or indifference, do not want to associate with the continent and or its people. Africa is an afterthought for many of them.

It should be noted that Black Americans are not the only ones with marked indifference and distance to the continent. Many Blacks from the Caribbean Islands, Asia, Latin America, and Europe, also feel and behave this way. Perhaps, the saddest part of this narrative is the fact that many Africans – especially Nigerians – who came to the US as toddlers or as teenagers, also tend to deny their African heritage. Many have gone on to anglicise their African names. It is also not uncommon to find those, whose parents and grandparents are Nigerians, say “my parents are Nigerians, but I am an American.” It is as if to be a Nigerian is a sin. To prefer the Black or American classification is one thing; but to deny one’s heritage is quite another. One rarely finds Americans of Asian, Latin America, or European origins deny their blood line.

Why do many Blacks, across the world, shy away from Africa and its people? Why do many non-Blacks across the world have contempt for the continent and its varied people? And why do many White Americans not think highly of Black Americans or blacks from other parts of the world who call America home? The answers are not as simple as one might think. And in fact, it may require a broader treatise to convincingly answer these questions. In general, however, one could posit that 500 years of slavery and 100 years of colonialism remind many of the weakness and impotency of the continent. After all these years, many have yet to overcome the residual effects of these inhumanities. And many more have not forgotten the agony and its misery. Why visit or revisit a place that caused so much pain?

In the last 50 years, at least, there has been significant improvement in race relations and racial equality in the US. Even so, America still has a long way to go (just as Europe has a million miles to travel in terms of racial equality and its goal of multiracialism). To be Black in the US is to be thought of as having a low IQ; of not capable of complex tasks; and of needing constant direction and supervision. In many cases, to be African is to be patronised and looked at with pity. It is as if the non-Blacks feel sorry for you; as if to be black is to be less human. Although one must admit that not all Whites, Asians and Hispanics are guilty of such disdainful attitude, still, the aforesaid mind-set is routine. At almost 15 per cent of the 309 million people in the US, Blacks are at the lower rung of every positive ladder.

At home and abroad, Africans are hired hands. In some African countries, the Indians and the Lebanese run the economy. The Lebanese especially are in charge of some of the most sensitive sectors of the economy. They hire and fire. In other African countries, the French and the Americans are in charge and they also hire and fire. The Chinese are beginning to make an inroad. It is also a fact that in many African countries, the elected or imposed presidents can’t make important decisions without seeking permission from Paris, Washington DC, or London. And lastly, Africans themselves do not make the continent attractive.

Images from Africa can be ghastly and disheartening. The images one see is of a continent and a people who are incapable of governing themselves, incapable of self-sustenance, and incapable of providing the most basic of all human needs. When the western media speak of war and excesses, they mostly speak of Africa. When they speak of dastardly acts, they mostly speak of Africa. And since 1980, there have been some 28 intra and interstate wars. There seems to be no end in sight to the rubbish that pervades the continent. But really, this needs not be our destiny; it need not be our collective fate.

Statement by H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni President of the Republic of Uganda to The meeting with the Development Partners

19th November 2012

Greetings to all of you, Excellencies.

You cannot talk, seriously or credibly about the fight against criminality and corruption in Uganda in the last 50 years and the period before without talking about the vanguard role of the NRM in that fight.

Until 26 years ago, stealing Government funds was the least of Uganda’s problems. The main problems were: extra-judicial killings (that resulted into the death of 800,000 Ugandans between 1966 and 1986); looting of property of the population by the soldiers; raping of women; brutalizing of the population through beatings by the soldiers; uprooting of whole communities by the soldiers, like Idi Amin did with the Indian community, or like the colonial system did with the Banyoro, Baruuli, Banyala and others; the poaching of animals by Government soldiers in the National Parks; the grabbing of private and communal lands by those in power; and, of course, the stealing of Government funds. The NRM, which started as a student Movement in the 1960s, was the vanguard and pioneer of the fight against all this criminality and corruption since, at least, 1965 todate.

We started by defending the land of the peasants between 1966 and 1970 ― at least, in some parts of the country. Who were the agents of criminality, corruption and extortion? It was the State ― both the Colonial and the post-Colonial State. During the colonial times, for instance, the system of mailo was created where 8,000 square miles was taken away from the indigenous owners and was given to 1,000 collaborator chiefs, each one getting 8 sq. miles. When this grand theft almost caused an uprising in 1924, the Governor, Mitchell, appointed a Commission of Enquiry, which resulted in some reforms of 1928. However, the problem was not fully eliminated. We are still grappling with it. We shall definitely solve it.

Apart from the grabbing of land, extra-judicial killings were massively used, especially between 1966 and 1986, as already pointed out. There are 37 mass graves in the Luwero Triangle, preserved to capture this criminality. Your Excellencies could go there and visit some of them. Therefore, the main task of the revolutionaries was to destroy the rump of the colonial State ― the colonial Army, headed by the likes of Idi Amin and to build a people’s Army. It is this intervention that made Uganda to resurrect and chart a new course. Many people have been praising the conduct of the UPDF in Somalia. That is a consequence of that Revolution ― destroying the colonial Army and replacing it with a people’s Army as part of reforming the colonial State. Incidentally, this was not unique to Uganda. Throughout the whole of Africa, this was the problem. The terrible civil war in Nigeria, Mobutu in Congo, Siad Barre in Somalia, Bokassa in Central Africa, Eyadema in Togo, the recent problems of Ivory Coast, the genocides in Rwanda and Burundi can all, in one way or another, be traced to the colonial State and its Armies. Some go a bit further to link up with the African feudal systems of the pre-colonial times as exploited by colonialism.

Therefore, our revolution was both anti-colonial and anti-feudal. The most dangerous element of the Colonial State was the Colonial Army and its post-colonial mutants ― Uganda Army (UA), Uganda National Liberation Army (UNLA), etc. This Army was sectarian, illiterate, unpatriotic, etc. Our Revolution, on the other hand, was based on four principles:
(i) Patriotism;
(ii) Pan-Africanism;
(iii) Socio-economic transformation; and
(iv) Democracy

By destroying the colonial Army and replacing it with the Revolutionary Army, we, immediately, cured the following criminalities:
1. Extra-judicial killings;
2. Raping of women;
3. Looting of people’s property;
4. Brutalizing of people and rudeness to them;
5. Poaching of animals from the National Parks; and
6. Grabbing people’s land; etc.

That is how Uganda resurrected and started the recovery process, which has been witnessed in recent years (the last 26 years).

The colonial Army, however, was not the only element in the colonial State. There were other elements:
(i) The civil service;
(ii) The Police;
(iii) The Judiciary;
(iv) The Professional services (medical, veterinary,
teaching), etc.

It was actually a bit easier to reform the Army. What that needed was a correct ideological-philosophical outlook. As already said, our outlook is: patriotism, pan-Africanism, socio-economic transformation (modernization) and democracy. To these, or even as a consequence of patriotism, if you add heroism and courage, given the comparatively Uganda’s good educational standards even during the colonial times, it was easy to build a good pro-people Army.

All this was also assisted by the solid martial culture of the people of Uganda the decadent feudal system that tended to smoother the qualities of our people notwithstanding. Why? A recruit course takes six months to nine months, an officer – cadet’s course takes twelve months and a Non Commissioned Officer’s (NCO) course takes four months. This is based on assumption that you have people of the right educational level, age-bracket and health. The ideological aspects can be imparted by the leadership through teaching and by example. This can quickly get you people to lead platoons and with accelerated training, you will get people to lead companies, etc. Anybody with a University degree in general studies or A-level education can be turned into a good soldier, NCO or officer. Specialists for Air-force, engineering and other specialties need science education. Fortunately, these are needed in smaller numbers.

However, with Administration (Accounting officers), professional services (doctors, lawyers, veterinary), Judiciary, etc., you need longer periods of preparation. Some of these courses need science education or mathematics, which are subjects that are not as popular as the humanities. Many of them (the people involved), besides, had a careerist attitude, different from us the revolutionaries whose approach was a revolutionary one ― working, selflessly, without caring about remuneration, never claiming overtime allowances, staying in grass thatched huts instead of clamouring for good housing (just as we did in the bush), etc.

Then, there was also the politics. We could not have massively disbanded the civil service as we did with the Army without alienating the public. At that time, the civil service was not as unpopular as the army. The army’s criminality was much clearer to the masses and our destroying it has given us political capital whose account is not yet overdrawn ― 26 years after. In any case, we did not have others to replace them at that time. We, therefore, decided to tackle the problem piece-meal, quite early on.

In addition to the army, we decided to reform Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) ― the former East African Customs Department plus other tax departments. These departments were very corrupt. In 1986, these corrupt tax bodies, were only collecting 4.23% of GDP as tax for the Government. The rest, they were collecting for themselves. We abolished these departments, created URA, which was manned by the people we got through integrity hunting before professional training. What did this mean? Take Allen Kagina, for instance, the present Commissioner-General (CG) of URA. She was a lecturer in Psychology at Makerere University. In fact, Allen Kagina protested that she did not know anything about tax collection. I told her that somebody would teach her because tax collection was not space science. What was lacking in those tax bodies was integrity and uprightness. By recruiting a new cadreship into the tax bodies, collection rose from 4% of GDP to the present 12.65% of GPD. It has stagnated at that level because of the subsistence nature of the economy but, possibly, also, the lack of a correct personal identification system which will be cured by the electronic identity card.

Then, we turned to the Police, which has been slowly overhauled. This is how the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) is now able to play an active role in the present anti-fraud campaign. I had to bring in two Generals from the Revolutionary Army ― Katumba Wamala and Kale Kaihura ─ to shake up this centre of criminality that was ironically supposed to fight criminality.

Recently, we deployed Jennifer Musisi in the rotten Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA). She is busy sweeping Aegean stables of Kampala ─ corruption, land grabbing, lack of planning, garbage, pot-holes, mud, dust, flooding, flies, etc. In the short time she has been in that office, you can see what impact she has created in spite of the opposition by the corrupt political class and bureaucrats.

Recently, there have been quite a few politically motivated red-herrings, trying to give the impression that the problem of corruption in Uganda is because of lack of “political will” to fight that corruption. Who? Me, Yoweri Museveni, lacking “political will” to fight corruption and criminality when I am stronger now than I was in 1971, when, together with my colleagues, we took the regime of Idi Amin head on, or when in 1981, with 27 guns, we attacked Kabamba? Those who peddle those falsehoods should be treated with the contempt they deserve.

As soon as we had the opportunity, we put all the necessary laws in place ― leadership code, the anti-corruption laws, etc. We also put new institutions in place such as the Inspector General of Government (IGG), etc., in addition to the old ones such as CID, Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), etc. The problem has been the manning of these institutions. As all wars go, the enemy tries to infiltrate our ranks depending on the leadership that may be in place in a given institution. The IGG office, for instance, seems to have been infiltrated by questionable characters. The new IGG seems to be of the right temperament and integrity. She will mop up the infiltrators. Those who have been pushing the red-herring of lack of “political will” have been ignoring Article 174 of the Constitution, the Public Service Act of 2008 and section 188 of Local Government Act, all of which give power over money, contracts and personnel to the civil servants, not to politicians. In fact, there is no area of Government where the politicians can misuse money, make wrong procurement contracts, etc., without the permission of the civil servants (the Accounting officer). Where it happens, it is easy to detect. Therefore, as I have pointed out before, the warriors in the anti-corruption war are: the Permanent Secretary (PS) in the ministry, the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) in a district, the Town Clerk in a City or Municipality and the Gombolola chief in a sub-county. All the others are mere accessories to the crime. They are the ones to supervise the procurement officers, the accountants, etc., below them.

Recently, we had a break through in this war. The whistle blowers in the ministry of Public Service exposed the huge theft of the pension funds. The CID moved in and they are doing a commendable job. Then, the Permanent Secretary of the Office of the Prime Minister became a whistle-blower in the case of the accountant Kazinda. This is what involved money from Development Partners. We are going to methodically unearth all those involved. I suspended the Permanent Secretary of the ministry of Public Service and I will suspend anybody else once I am satisfied that they are involved.

The suspected thieves are very cunning. One of their techniques seems to be blackmail whereby they intimidate whistle-blowers with framing them up or trying to get political patronage. I can assure you none of those will work. I am the elected leader of Uganda for four consecutive terms apart from being the historical leader of the Ugandan Revolution. Anybody who associates himself or herself with these suspected thieves and tries to shield them will come to ruin as did all the enemies of our people. Our points-men in this war are the auditors, officers from CID officers and other security services. I, sometimes, directly supervise them. We shall not be diverted by any smoke-screen. Each issue will be dealt with according to the facts.
As for the Development Partners, kindly inform your home constituencies that you are dealing with capable people who fought the dictatorship of Idi Amin; fought the dictatorship of UPC; defended Uganda from Sudanese – sponsored terrorism; destroyed the colonial Army that was killing Ugandans; stopped the multiple crimes of that Army against the people of Uganda; enabled the Ugandan economy to recover; contributed to regional peace, etc. The recent revelations have been made by people sympathetic to the Revolution. They are the whistle-blowers. We have the capacity to defeat these thieves as we defeated all the other enemies of Uganda.

These accountants have for long been rumoured to be the core of corruption in the Public Service. Fortunately, given the large number of educated people Uganda now has, it will not be a big problem to get rid of this crop of parasites. Their activities even impact negatively on the operations of the foreign exchange. By getting this free money of the Government, they are able to buy large amount of dollars for externalization, thereby, causing the artificial depreciation of the Uganda shilling.

The fight against these thieves is going on well. Give me your support and, please, remember the Banyankore proverb: “Watooza n’ababwibire”. The rich African dialects are very precise and not easy to interpret. It refers to people stealing one’s millet in the night from a granary. The following morning, having discovered the theft, you make the alarm. Among those who come to help track the stolen millet are the very thieves that stole the millet at night. They will do everything possible to divert you from the track that the thieves took so that you do not find the millet and the thieves. All that is said in two words as shown above.

I thank you.

Yoweri Kaguta Museveni
Entebbe State House

19th November 2012

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