Category POLITICS

A Bobi or Besigye administration wont command anyone to go to exile


BY PETER SIMON OKURUT VIA THE UAH FORUM

There are many more options other than exile. One thing for sure is that the incoming administration cannot command anyone to go to exile or know that so and so has run away as soon as it takes power, only the most scared like president, and family and those close to him will fear and run before the next administration is sworn in.

The one option I imagine is prison with hard labor. Most of the Amin’s soldiers were jailed in Jinja when their regime collapsed. The same happened to easterners and northerners when Museveni came to power, people were rounded up and taken to concentration camps in Kiburara and Nabisonjo for hard labor, kiboko and dehumanization where some unfortunately died.

So maybe Bobi Wine can just help to identify “good areas” in the country for hard labor. Road works, valley dams, reconstruction of buildings and factories destroyed or neglected.

I don’t want to be in Uganda if people like UAH’s Tony Owana or Robert Atuhairwe have to exchange their luxurious pens and laptops with hard labor tools such as blunt pick axes, hoes and pangas. I would rather wait for those running to exile and assist them abroad.

But for the RDCs, aha, forget them, those are ordinary guys like me who are ready denounce the regime in a record time. I know some of them, they are survivors. You really count on them?

We need to reconcile as country citizens, there is no need to scare aware or misuse talent that would help develop the country as many Ugandans are in the diaspora wasting talent.

However, with Uganda, anything and everything is possible!
Peter Simon

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Mrs.Museveni snobbish statements brings tears to our people in Iteso!


By Peter Simon Okurut via UAH forum

JOBLESS UGANDANS ARE LAZY


The problem with our leaders is their inability to explain what they mean. Surely, for most people who are struggling, such statements are very provoking, careless and annoying. For instance, it is a well known fact that before NRM chased Iteso and northerners from their ancestral homes and land, there was no such thing called unemployment. In Teso for example, many youths who did not go far in education married, cultivated their lands and raised their families as they grew richer and richer with their cows and plenty of food. Don’t ask me where the cows went. The once 2nd largest tribe in the country became the 7th in a short time, how would you explain such a situation? It means such tribes are endangered species threatened with extinction.

So, when angry , hungry, jobless and displaced people hear such half statements, they get offended, and rightly so. Leaders should be clear so that they are not misunderstood or misquoted. If it is hard to explain, the best is to keep quiet. I thought ministers and First Ladies have secretaries, don’t they review speeches?

People who are struggling with mental health and other traumas such as witnessing their beloved ones killed, displacement and many significant loses need help. not condemnation and judgment.

OBOTE’S HOUSES: A GLARING REMINDER OF THE EMPTY PROMISES FOR AMIN?


By HUSSEIN AMIN JURUGA VIA UAH FORUM

Pictures: The late Dictator Apollo Milton Obote’s Houses (RIP), one an apartment building in the posh upscale Kampala suburb of Kololo, while the other is in his village in Lira district. How the Museveni regime whitewashes Obote’s Luweero massacre & dances with the late Obote’s relatives on the graves of his victims. They were renovated/rebuilt by the government of Uganda at taxpayers expense. But despite prominent promises, where is President Idi Amin’s house rebuilt by the same regime?

Obote’s house in Kololo


In 2012 the New Vision newspaper reported that Museveni was shocked to find the Kololo house in dire condition when he visited Obote’s widow Miria Obote. The roof was leaking and the soldiers who had occupied it for a long time had spoiled the sewage, electricity and water piping systems, plus by breaking all the windows and doors. They had also spoiled the walls with filth marks and charcoal writings, and by drilling holes to create rudimentary demarcations to try and provide for the crowded different families of NRA/UPDF soldiers who must have done everything possible to get some much sought privacy for their nocturnal marital activities.
The other Obote house in Lira was summarily bombed by his own ill-disciplined UNLA soldiers in 1985 when they deposed him. The UNLA was the barbaric army of Ugandan exiles that fought Amin alongside the Tanzanian army in 1979. Once in power, the two allied forces then went on a mad rampage for seven bloody years against the people of Uganda resulting in an estimated 500,000 innocent Ugandans killed and over a million were made refugees.
The government of Uganda rebuilt both Obote’s houses between 2012 and 2015 in respect for the butcher of Luweero even with the hundreds of thousands of human skulls and mass graves of his victims available as reminder of his appalling barbaric human rights record of extra-judicial killings,
tribalism, genocide, religious sectarianism and wanton murder of innocent civilians across the country on a daily basis as evidenced in Museveni’s 10 point program which states exactly why they fought Obote starting on February 6th 1980 (Tarehe Sita).
This date was the start of Uganda’s worst bloodbath ever in the nation’s history with Baganda peasants murdered in the most heartless of ways (a hit with the infamous kafuni club with a six inch nail on their victims heads “so as not to waste precious bullets”). A war which started in 1980 in Luweero for five years and only ended 25 years later in Acholi. While the civil war is largely considered as two separate genocides, in reality it was one conflict starting from 1980, but with the tables turned once the Museveni regime was in charge in the capital Kampala from 1986, and the tribal UNLA army now resisting in whatever haphazard and murderous way they could from their home turf in Acholi, Northern Uganda until only Joseph Kony remained as their last fighting force.
While the rebuilding of Obote’s two houses was branded as a gesture of reconciliation, President Idi Amin’s personal residences, one in Arua and another in the Mbuya suburb of Kampala have never benefitted from any similar reconciliation attention.
For the historical record, the Arua property was used by the Tanzanian forces as their West Nile military headquarters for five years (from 1979 until 1984) when they run the country together with the UNLA junta. During their five years ruling Uganda and propping up the puppet regimes, the Tanzanians provided support for the slaughter in Luweero and also the untold genocide in West Nile for which we only discuss the Ombachi massacre
yet the killings went on for years unreported throughout the entire West Nile region. As they were leaving to return to their country following economic collapse and mass poverty in Tanzania, plus rising discontent of Ugandans at their continued presence in the country, the Tanzanian occupation army bombed the Arua property to rubble for no military reason whatsoever and left the country. The compound remains nice and flat to this day.
And despite having only empty lies and malicious propaganda as accusations against Amin without an iota of evidence, not even John Pombe Magufuli has offered compensation for their vicious act on the Arua property. The one in Mbuya suffered from disuse and rot by the different armies, from the UNLA to the NRA and UPDF to date.
But given that I now have a design and contractor to build President Amin’s house, I ask the people of Uganda should the government rebuild President Idi Amin’s houses as it did for dictator Obote as pictured here after their purported reconciliation, or should I fundraise?

Signed: Hussein Lumumba Amin

———————————–
By George Okello via UAH forum
Jarunga Hussein,

I never realised you are such an idiot- the extent of your stupidity is astonishing. I will be brief and simple with you this time as there is no point writing anything elaborate.

In 1971, President Obote was overthrown in a military coup organised by the UK government, using the Israeli Mossad and renegade elements of the Ugandan army, led by your father. The British installed your father Idi Amin Daddy as puppet president with instructions to protect its interests and those of the apartheid regime in South Africa and of the Zionists in Africa..

President Obote fled to exile soon thereafter, but he did not take his properties with him. In his modest portfolio was a house in Kololo and two houses in Lira. These houses were sequestrated by your father Idi Amin Daddy immediately after the British installed him in power. They were subsequently used as “safe houses” or to house members of the SRB killer squads and other Sudanese mercenaries your father hired to sustain his brutal regime. Idi Amin Daddy took over the house in Lira and used it as his personal brothel for all the time he was in power. This is the place where he would take prostitutes and where he would frequently rape women.

When the NRA came to power, Kayibanda Museveni also took over these properties and used them for housing his NRA military thugs.

The administrators of the Obote estate made efforts to recover these properties as soon as they were able to do so. They engaged a team of lawyers for this purpose, who served notice of intention to sue on the Government of Uganda. The government was forced to enter into negotiations with the Obote estate and it became clear in the process of the negotiations:

1. The properties had been illegally occupied by the government of Uganda or its agents since 1971.

2. The properties were not in a habitable state but were in fact in significant states of disrepair as they were never maintained by the thugs who used them. Substantial damage had been caused to the interior and exterior of the buildings, requiring major repair and renovation work..

The government of Uganda accepted legal responsibility for the illegal occupation of these properties since 1971, and for all the damage caused to them as a result of the illegal occupation. The government of Uganda agreed as a full and final settlement of the claims of the Obote estate:

1. To end the illegal occupation of the three properties and hand them over to the Obote estate immediately;

2. To promise never to illegally occupy or trespass on the properties again.

3. To abide by the principle of status quo ante, that is to repair and bring the properties back to the state they were in when they were illegally occupied.

4. To compensate the late President Obote’s estate for the loss suffered by non-use of these properties. This would be calculated at a commercial rate, based on the cost of renting similar properties for the entire duration of the illegal occupation. For eg, the Lira property that your father Idi Amin Daddy converted into a personal brothel would be charged a commercial rent between 1971 when he first illegally occupied it, and the date that Kayibanda surrendered it back to its lawful owners.

I can not comment on your own claim that your father should be treated like President Obote. I am not aware that your father Idi Amin Daddy owned any properties in Uganda. What I know is that he looted properties of Ugandan Asians and of thousands of other prominent Ugandans, some of whom have since his overthrow been able to claim back their properties , and others have been compensated.

You are free to fund-raise, but do it knowing that you will never fool me. And I don’t think you will fool a majority of Ugandans with such a hare-brained scheme. Anyone who gets taken in by this obvious scam, aimed at ripping off the gullible, will only have themselves to blame.

Jarunga Hussein, it seems you are broke or have run out of money. May be the pot that your father Idi Amin Daddy left for you is now empty. If this is the case, please take a proper job, just like any hardworking Ugandan. The career path you have chosen, that of whitewashing your father’s blood-soaked record, is clearly not paying you for all the trouble you take, and maybe it is high time you re-assessed your career options and started a real job that puts food on the table. Trying to con people with scams, such as fund-raising, is despicable and will eventually put you in jail.

Nyanzi’s charges will likely be dropped as it happened with President Jacob Zuma’s suit


Dr.Stella Nyanzi

By Peter Simon via UAH forum

If Nyanzi said that the president was a ” pair of buttocks,” is it true? And isn’t a president of any country a servant of his/her people and is it wrong if people pick issue with any leader that denies that simple relationship?

I think the president’s team are over- reacting; this is one of those charges that will likely be dropped as it happened with President Jacob Zuma’s suit. Sometime back, a painter in South Africa drew a hand sketch of four women admiring what he depicted as Zuma’s testicles meaning it seemed to him that all the four wives were attracted to Zuma by his testicles and each one was gazing at the prize. One magazine management bought the picture and displayed it for sale. Then the president’s team filed a case against the magazine owners. The president was advised to drop the case because if it reached court, the president would be prepared to submit his testicles for identification to see if what appeared on the picture were truly his testicles and whether the picture of the women admiring the testicles were the pictures of his wives. I am sure Nyanzi’s lawyers will love this case if she is arrested for instance, whose buttocks did Nyanzi say the president was a pair of buttocks because buttocks belong to somebody etc.

I would argue that those arresteded Dr. Nyanzi are feeding onto her narrative, that there is no democratic governance in the country and her arrest has exposed how intolerant the NRM government has become. Nyanzi is well known to be a government critic and a diehard supporter for FDC’s Dr. Kizza Besigye.

WAFULA OGUTTU: OUR POSITION AS PEOPLE’S GOVERNMENT ON POLITICAL TRANSITION


This is our focus for the immediate future.
After Museveni, we must have an all inclusive Transitional Administration for at least five years within which period, we must among other undertake the following tasks :

1. Review the Constitution.

2. Rebuild and strengthen State institutions and political Parties

3. Heal the country by carrying out truth telling, justice and reconciliation

4. Organize free and fair elections as required by our Constitution.

For the elections, we propose that the three top most leaders, i.e., Head of State and Government, the Deputy President and Prime Minister must agree publicly and sign it off accordingly that they will not contest for any elective public office in the general elections organized by the Transitional Administration.

Wafula Phillip Oguttu,
Minister for the Presidency,
The People’s Government.

Accepting money/gifts from people and organisations we cover


By Edris Kiggundu

Journalism ethics world over stipulate in BLACK and WHITE that journalists are not supposed to accept any gifts/money/facilitation from the people or organisations that they cover. The genuine fear is that this money/gifts will compromise the journalists who may not be able to deeply scrutinise the activities of these people/organisations.

To a large extent, I agree with this assertion. What defines people is their reputation and for journalists, the standards are higher. You cannot be the one pointing out how corrupt some public officials are,when you are stuffing your pockets with money left, right and centre. Your reputation will take a hit and few people, including the organisations/people that give you money, will take you seriously.

Yet having stated that, we must also place into context the situations under which some journalists accept money or gift from people and organisations they cover. Here, I am being a REALIST not IDEALIST. I once asked a respected senior journalist what, in his view, constituted a bribe from a news source?

After a long pause, the award-winning journalist told me that “you can know that a news source is trying to influence your coverage of a story through offers of money/gifts. It is an instinctive feeling… But there are people/organisations that could give you money out of appreciation for what you have done. That may not constitute bribery.” That was the view of
the senior journalist who us still active and occupies a very senior position in one of the most influential media houses in Uganda. He is also one of my mentors.

In countries like Uganda where you cannot easily divorce journalism practice from the social and political context, the issue of taking/receiving money from people/organisations must be looked at from many angles. Journalists become susceptible to bribes the moment their organisations neglect to facilitate them or pay them well. Many journalists who work for local FM stations in Uganda fall in this category. Some organisations cannot afford to facilitate their journalists to cover basic functions and organisations will step in. Some news organisations simply don’t make money (In the TV Broadcast industry only three TV stations in Uganda turn in a profit). In other cases proprietors of some of these media organisations are only business oriented with little regard for funding journalism. Thirdly, some stories in Uganda cannot be covered without some form of facilitation from the interested organisation/news source. They may involve huge expenses and risks. Take election coverage for instance.

Have I taken money/gifts on some occasions from people or organisations that I have covered? Yes I have. I even pointed this out in one of the posts here last week. I have attended workshops and trainings where per-diem is offered and I have pocketed it. I have also been “appreciated” several times for the stories I have covered by people I know. I have accepted facilitation and taken the ambiguous “transport refund” from FDC, NRM, UPC and DP, including food and refreshments at their functions. I have been facilitated by organisations within and outside Uganda in the course of my work. The UPDF once flew me and other senior journalists to cover floods in Soroti. They in addition “refunded our transport”. The US State Department facilitated me generously to attend a journalism fellowship at the University of Southern California in 2006. I came back with some good money which I never declared to my editors at the The Observer. The UK government/Reuters facilitated me to cover UK elections in 2015. One NGO met my bills for a trip to South Africa in 2011. The Turkish government funded me and other journalist for a benchmarking trip. I have also been handsomely paid as a facilitator by some organisations to train their people in media related matters. I have also given money/gifts to some of the news sources to obviously buy their favour ( I once gave fuel to an MP…a story for another day). This, many media analysts will tell you, is also wrong. One thing I have never done is to extort money/ put someone at gunpoint from a person/news source/organisation under the threat: If you do not give me this..I will do this..” I don’t think these facilitations/appreciations have influenced the way I cover these organisations and people. But this may not be for me to judge. Like I said, in countries like Uganda, the issue of what constitutes bribery is thorny and divides debate. I have seen editors chastise reporters for accepting 20K (a pittance really) as transport refund from an organisation, as they accept gifts and gift hampers worth millions from the same organisations. I have also seen some senior news managers fight juniors for foreign trips funded by private organisations, simply because there is some monetary benefit. I have also seen and witnessed situations were some editors have sat on stories simply because they hit out at people/organisations that regularly fund them. I have seen news organisations drop stories in exchange for adverts from an organisation which is being scrutinised (which I think is a direct form of bribery clothed as a business transaction). The managers are quick to retort that “these are the people who pay your salaries.” In short the practice of accepting money/gifts and other forms of facilitation by journalists and media organisations is rife in Uganda and elsewhere. This is not about to end. In my view individual journalists have the responsibility to exercise sound judgement in situations where they think they are being compromised by a news source/ organisation and act accordingly.

No KB supporter is in prison who is not under the care of Besigye


By Ronald Muhinda, FDC supporter,
No one is in prison who is not under the care of Besigye. He provides with lawyers, supports their families etc. I can assure you that it’s well known where Mugumya Sam and others are, their condition in Ndolo Military Prison and there is direct contact with them for years. They also receive monthly financial support of $500-1,000 to take of their basic needs in prison.

Mugumya and others will be freed without making any compromise with Museveni. Those methods of compromising with Museveni are a preserve of DP members. I am telling you this so you can stop this blackmail against Besigye. What he goes through to keep even your DP members afloat is unimaginable.

In 2016, they were saying Museveni looks at Besigye as very vengeful and therefore will not hand over power him in fear of retribution foe all Museveni has done to him.

So they proposed Museveni can only hand over to Mbabazi or Muntu. No when Museveni didn’t hand over to them, the narrative has changed to Besigye and Museveni are the same.

When journalists came to the rescue of Balaam Barugahara


By Edris Kiggundu of the Observer

*When journalists came to the rescue of Balaam Barugahara*

Political campaigns are some of the most hectic events not only for the candidates but also the hordes of journalists who trail these candidates. Personally, I have covered three presidential campaigns (2006, 2011 and 2016). In 2006 and 2011, I trailed Dr Kizza Besigye for The Observer. In 2016, I covered President Museveni for the same newspaper. In all those campaigns, I moved with the candidates virtually every inch and space of this country. The most eventful campaign for me was that of 2006 when Dr Besigye, fresh from South Africa, took the country by storm. His rallies were ecstatic but were also filled with tension given the kind of challenge he had put up against the incumbent, Yoweri Museveni. Every now and then at his numerous rallies, there would be shouts of “spy, spy” from his supporters especially when they saw unfamiliar faces in the crowd. One day while campaigning in Busoga, my friend Balaam Barugahara was identified as a “Museveni spy” by some FDC youths. Balaam, still largely unknown then, had hitched a ride in the press van with a number of journalists including this columnist. He told us he was a genuine supporter of Dr Besigye and wanted to find ways of promoting him. In fact on several occasions, he tried to seek audience with KB through his aide Sam Mugumya but he had not been successful. So back to that day, a group of youths chased Balaam from a rally, ready to lynch him. He quickly found his way into the Press Van as the angry youth bayed for his blood outside. When he entered the van, Hussein Bogere, a senior journalist from Daily Monitor and I immediately shielded him (Some FDC youth then including the current Makindye East MP, Ibrahim Kasozi, never forgave me for this). As the van made its way from the rally, I practically sat on Balaam until after a safe distance of about 2 KM. Never the person to give up, Balaam returned to the campaign (something I thought was suicidal) and soon, he was manning Besigye’s car with Mugumya. They would guard the car in turns. Today, the fortunes of the two have changed. Mugumya is incarcerated in jail in DR Congo, while Balaam Barugahara, is a budding young millionaire and proud supporter of the NRM. I still don’t believe that back in 2006 Balaam was a Museveni mole. Until up to around 2011, I think he was a genuine Besigye’s supporter but as his business profile grew and realised that to make it bigger you had to be in the good books of government, he made a strategic decision to support NRM, which controls the state coffers. That was entirely his personal choice, which I respect.

JOURNALIST KIGGUNDU’S ASSESSMENT OF BESIGYE


By Edris Kigundu,
Throughout my journalism career, one question I have constantly encountered from colleagues and other people concerns my political inclination. Which political party do you support? I have been asked.
Many people have said I support FDC. Others, have broadly classified me as an opposition supporter. I have also met some opposition supporters and friends who suspect that I support NRM. Once during an internal NRM meeting called to design a media strategy for the 2016 elections, a senior party official was asked “why she often defends Kiggundu” against the charge that he is an FDC supporter.” The senior member, obviously leaked to me this info.

The truth is that having worked for a relatively independent media house for a long time (The Observer), my political views have been shaped largely by what I have seen and covered. I have covered more stories on local politics and its injustices suffered mainly by the opposition (including violent demos). This also means that there are more people on the opposition side that I freely associate with than those on the side of the NRM. This means that I am far from being considered an objective person. I am not because my views are tinted with a certain bias. I however try to be fair. In the opposition I have a soft spot for…some of you have guessed right… Dr Kizza Besigye, the former FDC leader. I have seen him at some of his lowest and highest moments and I have seen many people who have made conclusions about his personality without really understanding him well. I have interviewed him more than 10 times (and he can be a handful for an unprepared journalist). I have also held private conversations with him countless times on a wide range of issues. He is one of the few people I know who reads widely in fact, more than many academics I know. He is very cerebral and very organised in the way he approaches issues. He keeps time to a hilt and will call early to apologise if he cannot make it in time for an appointment. He is also literally a moving ATM machine and has contributed to so many causes (tuition, cars for officials, houses, funded journalists). Being an opposition leader certainly comes with many responsibilities. That said, Besigye is not perfect. He has a million and one weaknesses, like all of us. He can be intolerant to divergent views and I know some party officials who have been on the receiving end of his tirades in internal meetings. Even journalists or media houses he perceives to be critical of him have not been spared either. Then he has the habit of denying, sometimes shockingly, what he has said using the common refrain: “I was quoted out of context.”

I remember the U-turn in 2015 over contesting in the elections and The Nile Post interview when he downplayed Bobi Wine’s presidential chances. Lastly, having “fought” and “sacrificed” heavily for political freedom over the last 20 years, he believes he is entitled to “his territory” will not treat whoever tries to encroach on it lightly. That is my personal reading of his current tension with Bobi Wine. He thinks people should be appreciative of what he has done and accord him the respect he deserves. Overall, I rate Besigye very highly compared to the calibre of politicians we have on either side on the political aisle. He is extremely intelligent and has a high degree of integrity. I think he (and Gen Muntu) could be the most genuine opposition politicians I have encountered in my career. But I am not blind to some of his personal weaknesses (and those of his ardent supporters).

I think President Museveni must be laughing his head off


Bobi Wine


By Edris Kiggundu, The Nile Post Journalist

I have heard supporters of one of the presidential hopefuls echo his call for people to go and register for national IDs ahead of the election. Mbu, this will guarantee that they will vote come 2021 and remove Museveni. I think President Museveni must be laughing his head off. So someone thinks with a mere ID, he can remove Museveni’s government which designed the national ID system, controls the data base and can still change rules of engagement at the last minute? Some of these gullible fellows have never found out why voting materials in parts of Kampala and Wakiso could not be delivered in time at the respective polling stations. The same fellows think one will just flash a national ID in the faces of the polling officials, vote and bang! Museveni will be history. If that is their main election strategy then the son of Kaguta still has many years at the helm of this country without breaking much sweat.

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