Category Obote and UPC

Obote was a cunning politician!

Never,in the history of Africa, has any politician proved himself as capable of turning national crisises to the advantage of the nation as the President of Uganda Dr.Apollo Milton Obote.When in 1956 he returned from Nairobi Kenya from exile ,he found the Uganda National Congress, the main political party in the country at that time, suffering from a deep division caused by ambitious men within the party who were incessantly resorting to the removal of the leader of the party, I.K. Musazi.These rivaling politicians found that they had created so much confusion in the party that they were not able to clear it and discovered to their dismay that the people were fed up with their machinations ane would not have any of them as the leader leader of the national political party.

The people elected a quiete,disciplined and dependable man to lead the party. They elected Obote. Mr.Joseph Kiwanuka would not have this,and so he formed what became known as Kiwanuka’s wing of the Uganda National Congress (UNC).This wing soon became known as a One Man Congress. The one man was,ofcourse, Mr.Kiwanuka himself who was said to be both the leader and follower. In this way it was laughed out of existence.

In December, 1959, the recommendations of the Wild Commission were published. The majority remmendations favoured immidiate self Government leading to independence. The minority report recommended a delay in the achievement of independence. The British Colonial Government in Uganda accepted the recommendation. There was a crisis. The then Mr.Apollo Milton Obote called the meeting of the only two parties which had members in the National Assembly and announced at the end of the meeting that the two parties represented in the National Assembly, ie the Uganda National Congress and the Uganda People’s Party had decided to merge into one political party to be known as the Uganda People’s Congress, (UPC).




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.


This picture is a detail of a photograph made at Iganga Primary School, September 1979, by Elly Rwakoma. But who is this photographer, calling for prayer for his country? And who can identify any of the individuals behind him?

By Peter Simon via UAH forum

I think Museveni was justified to go to the bush for his personal gains. He wanted to become a president and as the 1980 campaign trail showed, he had no chance of realizing his ambition through the ballot so the only option left was via fighting. That is what justifies his move, to gain what he wanted but NOT for the reasons he publicly claimed to have motivated them to fight.

That is why he stated that if he lost the elections, he would go to the bush; he saw the lose coming, we saw it coming and celebrated as it drew closer, it sent panic waves to UPM supporters some of whom were and have remained my friends though we constantly disagree with one another; I am a liberal man!

I stood for Guild Elections in 1980 but stood down for Werikhe—-UAH’s George Okello

Uganda Peoples Congress’ Milton Obote is sworn in as president after the disputed 1980 general election

About Makerere politics and the so-called interference by the UPC government. I was heavily involved in it between 1979-1981. I was elected, not appointed, as Chairman of Livingstone Hall. The person who stood against me was one Mwene Kahima, a Munyankole who up to today is my very close friend. I got elected on the basis of the Baganda vote because they were the majority of the students in the hall. I had the total support of the students from the north and east, and Kahima had support from the students from the west, so the Baganda were going to determine the outcome of the election and they decided to vote for me.

Of all of the Chairmen who were elected that night, 5 were from my law class, and apart from Werikhe Watuwa in Mitchell Hall, Christine Lakidi, none of the other chairmen were supporters of the UPC. We were the only three that were elected. DP got elected in one hall(can’t remember its name), the NRA got elected in Nkrumah Hall and the others were not supporters of the UPC. So how come you say UPC interfered in student politics?

In the Guild elections of that year (1980) for the Presidency, there were three candidates from the UPC, ie Werikhe Watuwa, Yoga Adhola and myself, and then Herbert Wamala standing for the DP. The NRA never put up up a candidate. After much discussion in the UPC, Yoga Adhola withdrew and I also withdrew because if we had three candidates standing for the UPC, Herbert Wamala would win. The UPC put so much pressure on me to stand down because President Obote was campaigning to be President of Uganda and they said it would not look good for two Lango people to campaign for symbolically powerful positions in Uganda.

The same night I withdrew from the race, an NRA delegation came to my room and told me to stand as an independent candidate, and that they would get the western vote for me, but that would have meant splitting the alliance I had created in Livingstone. Besides, I thought what they were engaged in was spoiling tactics.
I was the one who negotiated the deal for Mugisha Muntu to stand as Vice-President alongside Werikhe Watuwa in the Guild elections, because Wamala had the solid backing of the Baganda students and I had to deliver the northern and eastern students to secure their victory. Talk to all these people before you make your wild statements Abbey.
You better talk to people like Mugisha Muntu and Henry Tumukunde about this.

The politics at Makerere University Guild presidential elections was fought on purely party basis. I was myself a candidate, standing for the UPC. Herbert Wamala was standing for the DP. The elections in Livingstone Hall were not held on a party political basis, it think it was more personal because we were living together and the students could see who interacted better with fellow students and who would best stand for their interests. This was not the case in the Guild presidential elections. Herbert Wamala is my friend up to today, we were together at King’s College Budo, and I stood against him in the elections for head prefect of the school but I lost. In fact I owe him some money, one day in Kampala, I had no money at all on me and I bumped into him and he lent me maybe 200 shillings which I have never repaid. That is how close we were as friends. I like the Baganda, but particularly the Baganda peasants. They are going to be engine for social change in Uganda.

In my time at Makerere as a leader for three years, there was no political interference and the elections were democratic, free and fair. There was no student killed or murdered in my hall, where they still remember me to this day as their best chairman for all time.We were the people so active in student politics at the time, with Ateenyi Ndamuranyi at Northcote and remember all of my brothers and sisters happened to hold positions, with Augustine Omara a minister in Nkrumah Hall, Helen a minister in Mary Stuart and Christopher a minister in Lumumba Hall.
When I moved to the Philippines I was the same, unfortunately I learnt a very hard lesson when my wife was abducted and then disappeared. I think we took left-wing politics as a joke at the time, but I have changed now completely.Infantile proclivities will never work. It will only lead to the murder of innocent people and will never serve the long term interests of the people we are committed to serve and to liberate.

George Okello-Pacu-Otto via UAH forum

Talks between UPC Party and NRM government

I am still perturbed about the forthcoming talks if it ever takes place. We are being told that the National Council has already given it a blessing. I have two questions which I hope the leadership of UPC will give me the answer.

The first question is who initiated the talks? Was it NRM government or the UPC leadership? Secondly what does the talk aim to achieve? In my opinion before any talks can take place the general membership of the Party should be consulted so that they can give in their input. I saw something on UPC net where the Party President asked members to give their input. I only hope this is being done at the grass root level as well. Secondly the members should also be informed about the agenda. No excuse should be given that the agenda is secret.

The membership of the Party should realise that any secret dealings between the NRM government and UPC Party is not possible. The present politics in Uganda these days is rotten to the core. I was in Uganda for the last five months and I saw it with my own eyes.

The politics of Uganda got spoilt with the advent of the Okellos’ coup. The coming in of Yoweri Kaguta Museveni made it worse. It has been politics of the gun throughout though it has been disguised with some sham elections. What I saw is quite appalling. The NRM has introduced money game in the politics of Uganda. Most political positions go to those who have money. The days where people were voted in by the electorate based on ideas are gone.

In that type of scenario what type of talks can you hold with NRM government concerning democratic practices in Uganda. If the UPC Party leadership care for return of normal politics in Uganda it should be calling for a National Dialogue where all Ugandan can be consulted and they can give their opinion about the type of democracy they want. Anything short of that will not do. The leadership should not take people for a ride by comparing the present Uganda situation with that of British government and Sinn Fien in Northern Ireland some years back. That was totally a different scenario.

The leadership should also stop telling us that because we are not on the ground we do not know the situation as much as they do. They should realise that in this modern age of technology information is at the finger tips of those who care to look for it. Some of us have up to date information on what is taking place in Uganda by the minute.

John Ojok-Akona
UPC Member London


DP lost the 1980 general elections. UPC won the 1980 general elections. NRA launched a terror war on against the people of Uganda on February 6th 1981. DP had one leg in parliament and the other in the bush. Robert Kitarikko knew that.

The 1985 coup was not of Tumwine, it was a deal between DP, NRA and some UPC capricious men using the two Okellos, Tito and Bazillio, the leader.

NRA had been cleared off Luwero and general elections were pending later that year. The coup could not ‘wait’ for UPC was going to win the elections more convincingly than in 1980 and DP was going to perform worse.DP cannot tell Ugandans why they feared going to the people but instead opted to use Bazillio to short-cut it for them.

The only problem is that for poor Bazillio, after delivering the government, Museveni changed, ‘duped them’ and, with that even Ssemwogerere, Cardinal Nsubuga and all abandoned them. Bazillio died a very bitter man (with Ssemwogerere and Nsubuga) in Sudan. Does anyone know if Uncle Paul attended the burial in Kitgum the other day?

There is a problem; why is it that DP does not like to take direct credit for ‘overthrowing’ the Peoples government but instead some of them what to now give it to Elly Tumwine?

Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that the Okellos and UNLA have been called all sorts of those ‘northern’ names as if Museveni and his brother were never UNLA.

Typical DP, they refuse to join a government of National Unity with Sir Edward Mutesa’s KY and UPC in 1962 and they they go on to cry foul. Uganda’s history was changed by them refusing to sit with the Kabaka.

Instead in 1969, Kiwanuka feeds Sebaduka into attempting to assassinate the president, what does one expect? Kiwanuka to go to Munyonyo resort or Luzira? Lucky it was Milton Obote for had it been Tumwine or Museveni, that would have been another history.

Then 1971, the same Kiwanuka now joins Amin, having refused 10 years earlier to serve with Mutesa and Obote! Sadly, 1972 is another history.

DP guys have played on the record of UPC and Obote hoping that the more you deal, the cleaner DP and NRA rise. It has not happened. NRA and DP are simply jealous of UPC and Obote’s proud record in Uganda. Were they perfect record? Absolutely NOT!

Playing the ‘joker, silly, childish’ is hitting soft spot, just try to form 2 governments on your own and create wealth and strutures in Uganda that takes 30 years of NRA/DP to destroy and loot. Try that.


Fact:NRA overthrew or caused the overthrow of the Obote II government.

I think there is no distortion of history when one says NRA overthrew or caused the overthrow of the Obote II government.On the contrary, the UPC approach of hiding their head in the sand as a major political and military crisis developed has contributed to UPC members being misled about the state of affairs in mid 1985.

It was the same reason UPC’s Administrative Secretary Professor Kagenda Atwooki could leave Kampala in early July 1985 to go to Fort Portal and ‘prepare to contest for elections for parliament in December” without even realizing that Fort Portal had already fallen to the NRA and had to be stopped in Mubende by UNLA soldiers who told that indeed Fort Portal was ‘under the control of the enemy” . That story was all over Uganda House, Kampala and Makerere to the extent that Prof. Kagenda Atwooki actually became a butt of jokes for being someone who could not even read the signs tat is goenrment was collapsing.

The internal collapse of the Obote army was directly related to losses they had sustained in Luwero, where Acholi officers started questioning why the majority of those dying at the front were Acholi.

It was the same reason Brigadier Smith Opon Acak went with a huge wooden bar and nailed shut Brigadier Langoya’s office at Republic House.

These were the events preceding the infamous ‘uncoordinated movement of troops’ as captured by the Vice President and Minister of Defence then.

The bombing of the house of Major Ocero Nangai and the detention of Odong Latek and others, forced Lutwa to take take a decision and call some Lango elders including Yoweri Hunter Wacha Olwol (still alive), to ask Obote to convene a meeting of senior leaders from te two tribes. A meeting was called and guests made to wait till mid nigt only for Obote to turn up and postpone it, forcing Lutwa to lose his. The next day Lutwa took a diversionary trip to Moroto, on the pretext of meeting troops there for a previously arranged program, then went on to Gulu were Bazilio had already hardened his position and was swearing never to return to exile again; which merely hastened the fall of the Obote goernment.

You know fully well that when Bazilio Okello decided that they (Acholi officers and men) were not going to take it anymore and started mobilising troops in Gulu in reaction to orders that were issued to arrest him, Fort Portal had already fallen to Commander Chefe Ali (Elijah Twine) and Commander Fred Rwigyema (Emmanuel Giisa).

Indeed local UPC leaders in Gulu; Yusuf Adek (still alive and you can call him) and Seerino Lanek told Bazilio they could still reconcile him with Obote but Bazilio said Obote had made the army weak and should come to Gulu if he wanted reconciliation. Adek and Lanek actually were given passage to Kampala but could not see Obote for reasons yet unknown.

Or perhaps you did not know but these were the facts. Indeed, Major Okwera of the surrendered UNLA unit in Fort Portal convinced NRA commanders that he can go and talk Bazilio Okello into some form of another ‘solution’ and went straight to Gulu, via Hoima and Masindi, by-passing Kampala. Unfortunately for him, Bazilio had already ordered that any soldiers coming in groups from South of Karuma Bridge were possibly sent by Obote to arrest him and should be shot on sight. That was how Okwera was ambushed and killed near Karuma.

Forget the false stories that Museveni had already fled to Sweden and NRA was fleeing to Zaire by 1985. Only the previous year NRA had in the most humiliating defeat to UNLA, overrun UNLA’s 15th Battlaion and School of Artillery in Masindi, taking almost the entire armoury of UNLA on 20th Febraury 1984. They actually spent nearly the whole day in town before leaving for Luwero Triangle. I happened to be in Masindi that day and saw with my own eyes what happened and straight away knew that Obote was in trouble despite what his politicians and army officers might be telling him.

Here I am referring to the stories peddled then and later and now by Obote’s supporters, as being being mere propaganda. It is true of course that Museveni went to Sweden in March 1985 to see his family which ad been relocated there several months before from Kampala.

If you read the literature of the war quite well, you can even ask Col. Samson Mande who now lives in Sweden and opposes Museveni, that it was a High Command decision that Museveni goes and does some diplomatic work for the NRM/A in Europe since the war was entering a decisive stage. In fact seeing is family was the lesser in importance for Museveni European sojourn at the time but apparently helped with mitigating costs of his stay in Euroe

The NRA firepower had been increased by nearly half only in the previous months through the overruning of Masindi Barracks on 20 February 1984 and you say such a force was weak and now on the verge of defeat?

On 17th March, 1985, the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Television crew interviewed Museveni on the compound of his wife in Gotenberg, Sweden and he said ” Even now we can kick Obote out of Kampala any time if we want but we do not and will do it at the right time……Tbut there are already signs his own army, having suffered heavily from our victories, may be too tired and can remove him themselves…they may pull it off but but it does not matter to us. We shall remove them when the time comes not too far from now”.

I do know of course that some of us have horned the skills of covering up the truth for so long they actually believe that the more time you tell lies, the more likely it will be believed.

Of course for those of us who studied in Bunyoro and sometimes had to go to Kampala via Luwero to visit family and relatives already had to contend with the spectre of using the road that already been nicknamed by many in northern Uganda as ‘Lam Dogi’ (Kampala-Gulu iway up to around Kafu. Lam Dogi literally meant ‘pray to your God or ancestors before using that road’, because of te numerous ambuses wic killed among oters, my uncle, a UNLA soldier and Ms Achola, sister NRM’s man in Apac District Sam Opio Oceng. Achola was particularly very close to Obote personally.

Again, I happened to be in Masindi and saw just as the Bazilio troops came and took over Masindi without a shot on 25 July 1985 and moved on to Kampala the next day. The talk was that ‘Obote weko Acholi ka too kun Opon tye ka denge ki mato whisky kun mako dok bene nywaro lutino Acholi ki Kampala” (Obote is leaving the Acholi to die at the war front while Opon is boasting around, drinking whisky and arresting and abusing Acholi in Kampala!)

It was never a DP coup because DP had already been emasculated in Kampala and all their Busoga MPs made to ‘cross the floor to UPC’ but Andrew Adimola and Fr. Jon Scalabrini in Gulu and Dr enry Obonyo and oters in Kampala, just took advantage of a situation that was already irreversibly bad to stake some claim to the proceedings.

Did you even know that President Obote in a panicky mode actually sent Prime Minister Otema Allimadi and Dr John Luwuliza Kirunda to Dar es Salaam that last week, to ask Nyerere to deploy TPDF to rescue him and instead Nyerere kept the Obote delegation under virtual detention in a Dar hotel?. Ask Peter Otai in London. Major Butiku (Nyerere’s Personal Assistant at the time) is still alive and you can ask him or Bernard Membe or Prof. Philemon Sarungi or Prof Juma Kapuya about why Nyerere did that.

Therefore any military strategist would tell you that it did not matter by whose bullets Obote was forced out. His army could not have forced him out if they were having it well against the NRA. The only argument could be that perhaps a united UNLA would have taken the NRA a little longer and a few more months to dislodge. But UNLA, whether under Obote or Lutwa-Bazilio, would have fallen all in good time. I had so many relatives in that UNLA and that was their assessment too, though the politicians in Kampala at the time behaved as if nothing serious was going on.

Did you know that even after Kampala had fallen many UPC leaders in northern Uganda never understood that there was a big fallout within UNLA?

This unseriousness could be seen by the farcical visit to Masindi on 20th Februay 1985, by Peter Otai, Chris Rwakasisi, Brig. Smith Opon Acak, Prof Ephraim Kamuntu and Ogenga Otunnu, to ‘commemorate’ the humiliation of UNLA the previous year by NRA at Masindi where their prescription for the humiliation was to appoint a ‘UPC man’ Captain Robert Ssekidde as the new battalion commander to replace the disgraced Major Tom Mukwana, and giving everyone who turned up at Masindi Hotel free beers. They were addressing the symptoms of the malaise, in my view.

For your information, I have many friends who are DP supporters but I have never been a DP supporter just as I have never been a UPC supporter though I have relatives who supported or support UPC. Joseph Ochieno is my friend and I follow his comments in and on European TVs and radios and he even bought me dinner sometime in London.

By the 1980 elections, I was too young to vote but the elections found me visiting a relative somewhere in Apac South Constituency. Truth be told, if I was of voting age, I would have voted UPC in 1980 because of crowd mentality and all that and because I actually thought then that Obote was the answer to our problems, especially after Amin.

But even then no nobody in that constituency exercised their vote because somebody detained DP candidate (and Moses Ocen’s father (Akbar Adoko Nekyon) at a ‘person-specific road block’ on the nomination day soh e could not get nominated and Henry Bobson Milton Okello Makmot ‘went through unopposed’ , as John Peter Onebe read out results on Radio Uganda.

Point being that whether one likes and support Museveni or not, it does not cover up the fact that he caused the fall of Obote, directly and indirectly. The generals he finally kicked out in 1986 were only months before ‘Obote’s generals’ only reinforced by a motley crew of Amin generals, Buganda federalists etc keen to join anything anti-Obote, who promptly changed sides!

This false belief in the strength of a leader made some local UPC leaders in Lango to go around getting cows from locals promising that Obote was coming back in a few weeks and had indeed made it easier by luring Museveni from the bush into Kampala and Museveni would now be removed even more easily.

Emmanuel Amute, Okello Etot, Otim Opul, Boi Oli and others actually did this, even when their rebel group operating in Lango had already been nicknamed by locals as ‘Cel Ibong’ (shoot and ransack the pockets).

They would tell people that proof that Obote was about to return was that he had in a coded message, sent thousands of bicycles then being sold in Lango region with the trademark name Road Master Industries (RMI). They said the RMI mark actually stood for ‘Remove Museveni Immediately’ and the Luo coded version was ‘Ryem Museveni Ilo'(RMI) or ‘case Museveni from Power’.

Billie Kadameri
UAH in Paris

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My Take on the events leading to the Coup of July 1985!


There are many floating questions out there trying to analyze and understand the events prior to and subsequently leading to the July 1985 Coup d’etat against the then sitting UPC government.My brother Billie Kadameri has tried to shed some light but for some reason he concentrated on the effects and not the cause which were numerous as to why the UPC government fell.What I am presenting here are my views as perceived by me and are open to correction by anybody else who has better information than I do. My views are as follows:

1) Most people do not appreciate what a precarious situation the Obote II government inherited after the elections; the country was broke, there was rampant insecurity and non of the key sectors of the economy were functioning.The reason it is important to note this is because some people have given the impression that insecurity and mayhem began only when UPC came back to power. We quickly forget that Nile Mansions had become the place of residence for ministers, NCC legislators and their family’s for security reasons-It was mostly Senior Army officers of UNLA who lived in their residences;
2) Security at the time was maintained by the 40,000 strong TPDF, Tanzanian Police which was not only better armed, trained and disciplined than their Ugandan counterparts but had a better sense of mission. So if security was problem with TPDF how about a young UNLA on it’s own? Would have DP done a better job if they had ascended to power?

UNLA on the hand was originally built by hurriedly amalgamating 22 fighting groups that were working cross purpose with each other into one one ‘National Army.” The truth of the matter was that other than ‘Kikosi Maalum(KM) and Fronansa, the rest were briefcase “fighting groups.”

At the event of the Obote II, it’s (UNLA) numerical strength was about anywhere between 10,000-15,000. For all intent and purpose it was ill trained, under manned, underfunded and under armed for protecting the country’s borders.

For an internal rebellion to happen a few months after the elections within the precincts of the Capitol city was most unwelcome. National armies are usually professionalized during peace times because the setting up of effective chains of command and training requires it so.

3) Due to economic and political pressures at home Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, decided to withdraw the remaining 20,000 TPDF troops. This could have not come at a more inopportune time for the newly installed Obote II government which viewed the rebellion launched by remnants of Fronansa as an existential threat. As a reaction; a massive drive to recruit any willing bodies into the army was launched and that may partially explain the dominance of the Acholi and Langi and to a lessor extent a number of tribes from the East. This rush to recruit also meant that a lot of unsuitable rabble were also absorbed.

With only a few weeks of training many were thrown into the battle field or areas of insurgency and anyone who knows about the time period needed to train a foot soldier, that was a recipe for disaster.

The regrettable events at Ombachi and Luwero could partially be explained away by ill trained and poorly disciplined soldiers at work. I will acknowledge the fact that revenge may have driven some of the soldiers due to Idi Amin’s misrule-It had not happened earlier due to the presence of TPDF;

4) With all the bad cards dealt to the Obote II government, the task of painstakingly creating a National Army could not have fallen to a better person than then Brigadier David Oyite Ojok. The fellow was charismatic and dynamic to say the least, who executed his duties with the required ruthless efficiency.

Two of his known attributes was his respect for his elders and affable character. The secret to his being able to turn the administrative wheels of UNLA was his relationship with Tito Okello. He publicly and privately deferred to Tito Okello even though he was much better educated than he was. Most decisions in the Army were made by Oyite Ojok, who tacitly gave the credit to his Commander who did not contradict him.

Unfortunately his (Oyite’s) successor for whatever reason never saw value in treating the old man with the same respect as his predecessor. Acholi soldiers were dying even under the command of Oyite Ojok, so there was nothing new. So those deaths were used as an excuse to split the Army.

5) During the first year (1981) or thereabouts, three Colonels, Ndaherikire, Peter Oboma (who was Oyite’s neigbor) and someone else were arrested for carrying out treasonous activities. The first two gentlemen for less of a better word were “smoked,” while the third survived because his cousin saved his neck by personally interceding on his behalf.

The third gentleman was none other than Lt. Colonel Bazilio Olara Okello, then Commander of the Central Brigade. This arrest was one of two or so of Bazilio Okello, whose loyalty to the then sitting was questionable from the very beginning on religious and political affiliation grounds.

Tito Okello, who was Bazilio Okello’s cousin using his good rapport with Oyite Ojok, continuously interceded to save his neck. One of the mistakes self admitted by AMO was he did not forcibly retire Bazilio Okello, as the price for not at least charging him with treason. So please ignore what the buffon-in-residnce up in Canda is saying about Bazilio Okello and Oyite Ojok being friends.

Why is all this important to note? Whatever the ethnic imbalances in UNLA Oyite Ojok’s authority was unchallenged. Many of his key Lieutenants were Acholi officers and if one is doubting me, please try and find out about the events around the killing of Oyite Ojok’s younger brother after a freak accident involving a tractor by a Major in UNLA;

6) By 1983 with a lot of of organization and training, UNLA had got its act together and had started scoring major victories against NRA. The running of battle field operations were now under young and educated officers who had returned from Military Academies in Tanzania, UK and India.

Please do not take my word for it but read the accounts of one Dr Warren Kiiza Besigye, who narrates that NRA had been pushed into a corner and had only been protected by the River Kafu as a natural barrier. That changed in 1983, when UNLA crossed with a huge contingent and was preparing for a massive assault which was viewed by many as one that could have been a game changer for both sides with the Obote II government reaping positively.

While on a State visit to India, AMO received a call in the dead of the night that changed his political fortunes from then on. Chris Rwakasisi, then Minister of State for Security, informed AMO that David Oyite Ojok and a number of Senior Army officers had perished in a helicopter crash.

To say that AMO was never the same after that would be an understatement- it was now not a matter if but when. I have heard from some intimate sources that from then on most National Security decisions were actually made by Peter Otai, Chris Rwakasis and John Luwuliza-Kirunda, with Rwakasisi as first among equals. The problem was none of the three held the title ‘President of the Republic.’

7) The killing of Acholi soldiers in Luwero and the succession for the post of Chief of Staff cannot be separated because they were used as an excuse to erode AMO’s authority.

Bazilio Okello, felt that he was the right person to be appointed to the position. Problem was he did not have management skills nor the pedigree to be appointed. What most people do not know was Bazilio Okello was kicked out of the Monduli Military Academy in Tanzania for poor academic performance.

When the new Chief of Staff decided to move against Bazilio Okello, for now reviving his treasonous activities, he did not have the same leeway as Oyite Ojok and thus the down spiral into the events of July 1985.

The falling of Fort Portal and Masindi were due to secret pacts that were sealed by turncoat officers working with Bazilio Okello and company in collaboration with NRA.Proof of UNLA’s improved fighting proficiency can be seen in the fact that the Mbarara and Masaka Garrisons only surrendered to NRA after the fall of the Tito Okello Junta;

8) An uncle of mine by marriage who helped finance NRA during the war told me two fascinating things:

a) at the time of the July 1985 Coup, for every 3 NRA soldiers, one had a gun. By December of that year for every NRA soldier, each had 3 guns, which sounds to high but it explains a total reverse of fortunes within only six months;

b) After capturing power; the NRA Military planners were totally shocked by how much accurate Military and Political intelligence, the UPC government had on them. The only plausible explanation they could come up as to why it was not used against it(NRA) was internal intrigue prevented or undermined effective use by the Obote II government ;

9) As for Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, a man I still highly regard was not blameless at all and actually deserves much of the blame although AMO played his part.
I have had long talks with two of Mwalimu’s Nyerere’s nephews who are very close friends of mine and also a former Prime Minister of Tanzania.

The picture that emerges is a very sad and bitter fallout between two long personal friends and its instructive that the close associates of the two gentlemen have NEVER publicly criticized the other.The reason is that they have been sworn by the two men not to do so and to their credit they have kept their word. That is a story for another day.

10) On hindsight; is there regret by the planners of the 1985? Let me put it this way, if the complaint then that the burden of fighting the NRA was shared unequally and used as a reason to remove a sitting government,it did not take long for the prime actors to realize they had made a huge mistake.

What came next made the complaints against AMO seem mundane.There is a lot I have left out because of time and space.The difference between Obote and M7 is that Obote did not know how to fight his political friends, while M7 does it with gusto.When it comes to power, you do what you have to do to maintain it.The Obote of pre-1969 was psychologically a different person from the one after 1969.

The historical between tension the Acholi and Langi was not unique to the two tribes, all neighboring tribes have issues over land, grazing ground and cultural supremacy.‎ You need to look around most African countries to see what I am saying in practice and I will give the Luo and Luhya in particular as an example.They have their tensions which later translated themselves into ‎the Football arena when AFC Leopards played Gor Mahia but politically especially lately they have the same voting patterns.

Who made the decision to move Bazilio Okello? All I can say it was made in the name of the C-In-C.

I do not know about Lt. Col Peter Obama’s detention in Moroto although it may have been as a result of his treasonous activities which had been found out.

I had never heard of Justine Odongo Latek, until he was appointed to the Military Council.

The fallout between AMO and Mwalimu Nyerere has its roots in the death of the 150 men of Kikosi Maalum in Lake Victoria, Moshi. Conference and haggling over War reparations;

The regrettable activities in Luwero was the political convenient way ‎of explaining away the fallout.

Moses Ocen Nekyon

FROM THE PAST[BBC Panorama Programme (1981) : From Tyranny to Disaster (By Jeremy Paxman)- OYITE OJOK



Jeremy Paxman: Really, why all the gunshots and death around Kampala almost on a daily basis?

Oyite Ojok: There are a few bandits who are giving us well…a bit of a difficult time.
Paxman: Surely Brigadier, if these were just a few bandits why would you have have road blocks all over the place?
Oyite Ojok: I told you before, that there are bandits robbing guns, with guns!…robbing people with guns!
Paxman: We saw a soldier robbing a civilian’s bicycle and another robbing money from a woman. Now this may be an isolated cases but there are complaints everywhere of soldiers not only robbing people but killing some and this reflects badly on the image of the army, does it not?

Oyite Ojok: That depends how you want to put it…depends how you want to put it. If your business is going around looking for which soldier is robbing whose bicycle, may be you will find a soldier robbing a train!.

Paxman: But these are issues that should concern you.
Oyite Ojok: Sure! You show me which soldier is doing whatever wrong thing and I will take a severe disciplinary action against that soldier.
Paxman: Have you actually taken such actions?
Oyite Ojok: Absolutely. The jail is full up!.
Paxman: Of Uganda soldiers who have killed civilians?
Oyite Ojok: A few soldiers who have misbehaved.


Billie O’Kadameri
UAH member in Paris.

School Physics better in Uganda or in Canada?


We have to celebrate our stunning success in Uganda’s School Science Standards – specifically Physics, and Chemistry not far behind. Teachers, Parents, Watoto, etc.. we should all march in a ticker-tape celebratory parade along Kampala Road for this success after an effort of forty years.

Also as I have stated several times we are ahead of Canada at least in School Physics.

On the surface, even to me, that kind of claim seems outrageous; even silly.

But here are the facts:-

In 1964 or thereabout President Milton Obote, out of the blue and with no prior public debate, outlawed the Imperial System of Units and Measures and ushered in the UNESCO (Metric) MKS System. He did it “Cold turkey” !! All the old Al-mizane were collected for scrap metal.

The law that Dr Obote made had a very stiff sentence: Luzira for any saboteur caught selling, say meat, there in Nakasero Market using the old Al-minzane of lbs (pounds).

To look at it now we should thank our beloved Dr Obote for pulling us out of barbarism into civilization.

(I have since fallen in love with the Acholi kids who at height of tribulations still were so clear in their speech regarding Units- how far they had walked, the time it took, the speed- in km per hour…………beautiful kids those Acholi kids. They make me very proud.)

We also note that a year or so later after Obote’s move the then British PM Edward Heath copied Obote and introduced MKS in Britain.

Soon after Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trdeau also made the Metric System the Law of Canada. But unlike Uganda Canadians never accepted the MKS System.

To the peril of children they vehemently rejected it.

And unlike Obote Trudeau could not force them at the point of a gun.
Trudeau accomplished so much for Canada but the Metric System proved his Achilles heel.

The compromise was to use both systems simultaneously. And that was the tragedy. The two are incompatible and many kids end up mastering neither. Even worse at the basic psychic level the Imperial System becomes destructive “noise” to the Metric.

And this is serious stuff. If you set 250 as the temperature of a Boiler it really matters whether it is 250 deg C or 250 deg F.

If you look through the Canada Grade Thirteen (equivalent Uganda’s S.6) School Textbook you would agree with me that it is just trash. I never keep this book at my place. I always toss it into the garbage bin.

Where Canada beats us is in Maths.

Indeed there is no Maths in Uganda. None at all. That is why even our success in Physics is meaningless.

In the 1960’s Uganda had Double Maths. Today Uganda’s Maths is below General Science.

It has even been made subordinate to the fleeting fad of so-called IT. ( Physics, Chemistry and IT are now compulsory at Budo. Maths is not even mentioned, imagine the shame)

So folks, this is a partial explanation why Uganda’s School Physics/Science is a higher grade to Canada’s. Just partial.

Mitayo Potosi.

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