Category Disasters

Conference on ‘Sexuality, AIDS and Religion: Transnational Dynamics in Africa’

Sexuality, AIDS and religion: transnational dynamics in Africa’, School of Anthropology, University of Oxford, 28-30 September 2011.

Organised by: Nadine Beckmann (Oxford), Catrine Christiansen (Copenhagen), Alessandro Gusman (Riga) and hosted by the Fertility and Reproduction Studies Group (FRSG) and the International Research Network on Religion and AIDS in Africa.

Speakers include :Brooke Grundfest Schoepf (Harvard), Suzette Heald (LSE), Robert Thornton (Wits), Reverend Ijeoma Ajibade (Mayor’s Office, GLA). Discussants: Rijk van Dijk (Leiden), Hansjörg Dilger (Berlin).

This conference aims to bring together scholars and practitioners to analyse the ways in which transnational relations influence the interrelations between religion, sexuality and AIDS in Africa. During the last twenty-five years, AIDS has profoundly impacted the African continent, not only at the epidemiological level, but also in the social, political and economic realm. Not least, it has changed the way people look at sexuality. In this process, HIV prevention campaigns located sex at the centre of the AIDS pandemic, and early risk group categorisations, combined with the voices of religious leaders and local networks of rumour and gossip, lent the pandemic strong moral connotations at global as well as at local levels. Hence, popular understandings of the disease and risk of infection frequently refer to an interpretative grid that draws on a religious moral framework, and in many parts of Africa (and the world at large) AIDS is represented as “God’s punishment” for social corruption and moral decay.

Religious institutions, such as churches and mosques, and faith-based development organisations, have been active in promoting sexual education and HIV prevention programs and are at the forefront of providing care for the sick. However, these organisations have been criticised for increasing the stigmatisation of people living with the disease and for promoting ineffective ways of prevention, for example through over-emphasising abstinence and faithfulness while condemning condom use.

While scholars have pointed to the important roles religion plays in the moralisation of sexuality throughout the African continent, the roles of transnational relations in shaping local discourses on HIV/AIDS seem less clear. Most religious institutions and faith-based organisations work together with partners in, as well as outside the continent, but although these relations are known to be crucial for the flows of ideas and resources in relation to HIV/AIDS, there is very limited knowledge on the transnational dynamics of views on sexuality in relation to HIV/AIDS and religion in Africa.

Potential themes to explore include:
•    The politics of HIV prevention – social decay and the moralisation of sex: how and to what extent are new questions around the role of religion in directing sexual choices and behaviour put into practice by people in their everyday lives, and how do flows of ideas and money from the global to the local level influence moralising attitudes and the creation of ‘good religious individuals’?
•    The control of sexuality: religion, power, intergenerational conflict: how are local and global forces driving and influencing intergenerational and gender relations, and how are religious organizations actively directing young people away from ‘traditional’ modes of teaching and regulating sexual orders? To what extent are young people consciously utilising AIDS and sexuality as a means to question established hierarchies and traditions?
•    Negotiating policies on sexuality within faith-based organisations: how do organisations formulate policies on sexuality; who is involved in the process, and who has the power to make the decisions? What feedback loops are there for reconciling organisational policies with local realities and under what circumstances can spaces for debate and transformation open up within different organisations?
•    Sexual networks: which factors influence the shape of the sexual network in a specific location? What role do political, economic and religious considerations at the local, national and global levels play in the shaping of sexual networks? How can we apply systems-theoretical approaches and what methodologies can we use to study the larger structures of sexual networks, taking into account the social nature of sexual relationships?
•    Views from PLHA: negotiating sexual life with the virus: how do HIV-positive people negotiate sexual and reproductive life with the virus? Who is responsible for curbing the spread of HIV? And how do transnational advocacy networks play a role in the local shaping of the disease?

Please email abstracts (max. 500 words) to Catrine Christiansen:, Nadine Beckmann:, or Alessandro Gusman: by 1st July. The organisers will inform about the abstracts selected for the conference by 15th July.

The deadline for conference papers (5,000-7,000 words) is 1st September 2011. Participants who will not present papers are invited to register by 1st September. Conference registration is £25 (£15 for students), payable in cash or cheque upon arrival. This fee includes lunches and coffee/tea.

The conference will focus especially on the following issues:

Politics of HIV prevention: social decay and the moralisation of sex

Religious discourses and faith-based programs have framed HIV infection as a moral issue, aiming to direct people’s actions into socially acceptable forms of behaviour. At the same time, the HIV/AIDS field has become a public arena for imposing religious discourses which strongly condemn sexual relations before or outside marriage on a broader public debate. A reference to “moral decline” is often used to stigmatise “immoral behaviours”, as for example in the recent campaign against homosexuality in Uganda. But how exactly do such discourses flow between the global North and South, and within the African continent, and who are the actors involved?

The AIDS pandemic has opened up new questions around the role of religion in directing sexual choices and behaviour in countries with high HIV prevalence. How and to what extent are these discourses and teachings put into practice by people in their everyday lives? The use of condoms is often discouraged, if not condemned, by religious leaders and groups; what are the effects of such condemnation? Is the moralisation of AIDS creating a new image of who is “a good religious individual”? How and to what extent do flows of ideas and money from the global to the local level influence such moralising attitudes and the politics of HIV prevention in Africa? Finally, how does the emergence of independent churches that actively promote and incorporate views of sexuality which are opposed to dominant religious paradigms influence the dynamics of the moralisation of sex in Africa?

The control of sexuality: religion, power, intergenerational conflict

Young people and women are often considered responsible for moral and social decay. This opens reflections on the field of moral and sexual control: when the control of sexuality is shifted from local communities and traditional authorities to religious congregations, power relations are re-structured and authority may be questioned. These challenges go beyond choices regarding sex partners; they raise questions about gender and generational relations and about the location and formation of authority.

International organisations and programs are giving more and more attention to young people, who are seen both as a resource in terms of activism and as a risk to society. This opens the field to more reflection on the role of national and international AIDS politics to define a new image of youth in Africa. Finally, it is necessary to stress the gendered nature of this process, with men and women often exposed to different kinds of messages and actions.

How are these local and global forces driving and influencing intergenerational and gender relations? How do intergenerational tensions regarding “modernity” and the lifestyle enter the discourse about sexuality? How are sexual choices, and the control of sexuality, related to power issues? How are religious organizations actively directing young people away from ‘traditional’ modes of teaching and regulating sexual orders (e.g. initiation rituals)? And to what extent are young people consciously utilising AIDS and sexuality as a means to question established hierarchies and traditions? 

Negotiating policies on sexuality within faith-based organisations

Research has highlighted a distinction between the faith-based organisations that promote ‘abstinence only’ programmes and those that include the use of condoms. The former are often seen as making HIV prevention part of general religious education, whereas the latter combine rationales of sex education with religious morals. This conference will challenge such depictions of faith-based organisations as static, homogenous wholes by inviting papers that examine internal negotiations over policies on sexuality. How do organisations formulate policies on sexuality; who is involved in the process, and who has the power to make the decisions? Considering the transnational flows of ideas and resources, predominantly from the West, but increasingly also from other parts of the world, such as the Arab countries, to Africa, what are the rooms of manoeuvre for staff in African contexts to reconcile the organisational policy on sexuality with their own views or local circumstances? How do changing practices on the ground – for example Baptist pastors who decide to encourage the use of condoms because they observe that abstinence does not work – feed into policy revision? In other words, what characterises the flows of ideas from the local to the global in terms of altering organisational policy? Do the kinds of negotiations differ between religious organisations, such as churches, and religious development organisations, such as Muslim Aid or Christian Aid?

We encourage discussions about the ways in which policies on sexuality (or possibly reproductive health) are influenced by how organisations work, as well as the ways in which negotiations over policies on sexuality influence the workings of faith-based organisations. Of particular interest are the ways in which HIV/AIDS has changed the reproductive health programs and priorities of faith-based organisations.

Sexual networks

For three decades individual sexual behaviour has been portrayed as the main driver of the pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa, the world’s most severely affected region. Recent studies (e.g. Thornton 2008), however, have started to challenge this narrow focus and highlight the importance of analysing the shape of sexual networks to understand the way HIV (and other STDs) spreads throughout a population. An ecological approach to HIV/AIDS, which attempts to straddle the gap between the social and natural sciences, can bring to light the complex interactions and interdependencies between social and biological worlds and broaden our understanding of sex in which the role of ‘risk’, of individuals, and individual choice has been given too much attention. There are larger social structures—including those of sexual networks, kinship, family and household structure, formal and informal institutions and social networks—that determine overall trends of infection and that respond (or not) to its consequences.

This has far reaching implications for our study of AIDS, and of sexual health more broadly; sexual networks are the primary ‘object’ that must be understood in the investigations of the spread of STDs in any context. What are the factors that influence the shape of the sexual network in a specific location? How does religious discourse and practice affect attitudes towards and patterns of intimacy, sexual relationships, ideas of love, and reproductive goals and practices? What influence do transnational flows of ideas, values and people have on the ways these concepts and practices may change? Sexual networks are intimately linked to mobility; one may only think of the main ‘risk groups’ – long-distance truck drivers and prostitutes catering to their needs – identified as vectors of infection in the early days of the African AIDS crisis. Transnational connections add another dimension to the role of mobility and create new links between existing sexual networks. At the same time, HIV intervention programmes designed by global stakeholders and transnational advocacy networks influence and – perhaps to a lesser extent – are influenced by the local shaping of the disease. These processes are accompanied by flows of money to a heretofore unprecedented extent. What role do political, economic and religious considerations at the local, national and global levels play in the shaping of sexual networks?

 Finally, how can we apply systems-theoretical approaches to the study of sexual networks and reach at an ecological approach to AIDS and sex that takes into account the social nature of sexual relationships? While sexual ideology and individuals’ views on sexuality are usually stated in relatively obvious terms, it is much more difficult to obtain reliable information on sexual practice. If we understand sex as social action involving a small amount of people (most often a couple), which methodologies can help us to gain insights into the ways intimate relationships come about and are lived out? And how do we study the larger structures of sexual networks that arise from the invisible sexual connections between a large number of people?

 Views from PLHA: negotiating sexual life with the virus

25 million people in sub-Saharan Africa are living with the disease. How do they negotiate sexual and reproductive life with the virus? Having children is a central part of men’s and women’s lives, and often the only route to full adult status. How do HIV positive people cope with societal pressures and their own personal desire for offspring? Moreover, in the context of moral panic and condemnation of ‘promiscuity’ and ‘careless’ sex, how is sex for pleasure being re-negotiated, and how do attitudes towards sex more broadly change? Religious leaders dither between calls for restrictiveness and control, and more pragmatic, harm-reductionist approaches, while economic decline and crumbling public services force many to engage in transactional forms of sex. At the same time, the notion of ‘positive prevention’ is being promoted at the global level, despite criticisms of placing an unduly burden onto the shoulders of HIV positive people. Ultimately, who is responsible for curbing the spread of HIV? And how do transnational advocacy networks play a role in the local shaping of the disease?

 Nadine Beckmann



How M7 destroyed economy and livelihoods but he Wont admit it

The Ugandan economy is in doldrums and this is caused by M7 personally and by his fellow plutocrats in power today. Bellow, it is proved that M7 is personnaly responsible for the high prices of FOOD, goods and services Ugandans are facing today. Read on.


Most people, even those in government agree that the following are the main causes of economic breakdown in Uganda today.
(a) High food prices caused by drought, low agrucultural investment, etc.
(b) High fuel prices
(c) Much liquidity in the economy.
(d) Food expports.

1/5. How does M7 cause drought? Very simple: Ever since he came to power, M7 has handed out forests to his political supporters, even forest reserves and mountain water-catchment areas. In Buganda, trees, even own trees, would never be cut without the the knowledge of the Kabaka’s agent [random cutting was mitigated by a tax]. Now, M7 is the ‘Ssabataka’ [in charge of land]. A man like Serapio Rukundo, we are told, cut down even forests planted by the colonialists simply because M7 wanted his support/catholic support in Kabale. The same with one man in Lira [who has at last bought his way to Parliament]. He allowed people in Bududa, Mayuge to settle in the forest reserves. They have harvested sorrow. Most recent: Lubigi swamp was this week cleared by NWSC yeasterday. Today is swammed by veterans and NRMO mobelisers. This means Kawempe and Kazo, let alone Bwaise,are going to flood any day a bucket falls from heaven.

So, if we have less food because of less rain, it is because M7 has cut all the forests, water catchment areas, mabira, etc, against Baganda/Ugandan cultural practices and scientific rationale. So it is unfair for one to blame droughts on ‘nature’ alone.

2/5. M7 has caused high fuelprices in many ways but most predominant is his sell of fuel reserve tanks built by all people, Idi Amin!! There is no curshion to dampt speculators’ prctices, who are his political funders. Another reason is that most fuelsellers/transporters are his campaign funders. No wonder then, that on prices Princess Kabakumba said,”this is a free market. We can’t interverne..”. They ofcourse cannot take the bread from the mouths of the people who have just bought them the so called victory.The multiplier-effect of high fuel prices on the economy cannot be fprgotten,ofcourse, even by a high-school economics student.

3/5: On the issue of how M7’s machinery caused the current high liquidity in the economy, no explanation is needed. He prepared for the just ended election 5 years ago. But 2 years back, he printed more currency notes and pushed them into the economy without withdrawing the old ones. Why? Why?

Second, he reportedly spend 2 billion CASH on buying and facilitating vote-buying. If GoU facilities and all man-hours are included, it is estimated that M7 spent 3.3 trillion shillings to buy and steal 5 million votes. Economists tell us that, any money, not backed by production, causes inflation. That is why, even though the price for a kilo of posho has risen from 800/= to 2000/= in a short time, it still is not available. WHY? There are people who have so much money that they buy it off.Where did this money come from??
So, M7 election liquidity is the major cause of inflation, nothing else.

4/5. M7 is proud that we now have food markets in South Sudan Eastern DRC, Rwanda, etc [What mother can be proud of feeding her co-wife’s baby before hers?]. But let it be so: How do Ugandan farmers gain when they do not export? Expoter licences are held only by NRM supporters or those who bribe. Middlemen, not farmers, gain. In any case, why not ake the example of Tanzania? Last time a food shotage nocked, they imporsed high ‘rice export duties’ and the citizens never went hungry. This,like whet the kenyan Govenment did recently [by reducing taxes of fuel]is what any PATRIOTIC governement, worth its name should do/have done.

5/5.CONCLUSION: Let the reader make his or her own conclusion. We are paying for the sustainance of an ‘I do not care’ non-PATRIOTIC plutocracy, that des not care when 70% of our forest cover [and thereore rain catchment] is cleared as a ‘voter bribe’ and turns around and blames those who can’t affort the resuting high costs for ‘rioting’ and therefore by imposing martial law illegally on the citizens.

Christopher Muwanga,

”Police Have No Right to Stop Besigye or people from Demonstrating”, Nina Mbabazi

Dear Ugandans,
It is most unfortunate when police teargas into a school not once, but twice. I think you will not get a defence out of me. At this stage it would seem someone is smoking something.This amounted to unnecessary use of force and gross violation of the rights of the children. I watched NTV with my sons yesterday and we saw new born babies being evacuated from a health faculty that had been tear gassed. My sons have kept asking me since, what is going on? I am ashamed even to discuss it. Was this Kayihura’s doing? No and yes. No he could not be so stupid to want crimes against humanity charge levied on himself.

Yes, it is his responsibility to train police before giving them dangerous tools. I haven’t gotten over what I saw last night. I am positively feeling shame. Shame especially when Hon. Odongo Otto and Ekanya walked to parliament without any people walking with them and unlike the others, they were wearing branded T-shirts. Almost saying, here I am, yet nobody walked with them. It is more likely that people’s reaction and the huge crowds we saw on NTV last night walking with Dr Besigye were doing so because police was out of order not because they believed in him.

An NRM law that allows you to have processions, demonstrations as long as you inform the police. You do not need to seek permission? They have no right over your right to demonstrate, you just have to inform them. Why don’t you want to take the moral high ground? I see IGP saying you need to discuss routes with him but the understanding I have of the law, you simply present your routing and he safeguards your routing. Muwanga Kivumbi Vs Attorney General judgment in Constitutional court is clear. Police have NO RIGHT to deny a procession or demonstration. Police can advice under Police act Section 32(1) of alternate routes and how to have a procession that is safe but its right to deny Section 32(2) was quashed by court. So Police denying any procession is a gross violation of the law.

The issues being raised by the ‘walk to work ‘are very legitimate issues, let nobody tell you a lie. They are very legitimate. Food prices and fuel prices are high and they don’t require rocket science to fix them.

I wrote here and a foolish person tried to turn it into a Mbabazi vs the system topic in the Red pepper. I wrote and continue to write that escalating food prices is dangerous. In Wednesdays Monitor, there was a warning that because of China’s drought, World food prices are going to continue to rise by 30% by end of year. Reading the Farming diary, I realized, that we can solve the food and fuel problems.
Just to refresh your memory, people don’t buy matooke in bunches anymore. I went to the market on Monday and found that the business community in the market have adapted to hardship. They sell fingers of Matooke. Each finger is 500/=. Without this consideration on business side, we would have already had a problem with Matooke. I figured that it is divine intervention that has saved us so far. I am very proud of the human spirit of the Ugandans that I found in the market. Very thoughtful and considerate people even when they are doing business. It shows you that Ugandans are capable of corporate social responsibility in a big way.

China has already announced reforms because as soon as they realized their people were mobilizing for food demonstrations, they realized that if they don’t nip it in the bud, China Communist Party was going to face the worst threat to its existence since the maniac Chairman Mao Zedong’s Gang Of Four. As such, they announced immediately at the convening of their delegates conference that they were going to carry out reforms. Now everyone is quiet. They are hungry yes, but they have hope that help is on the way.

This by the way is the content of my Sunday thoughts. Our citizens want to live in dignity. They don’t want to hurt anybody, but they can’t live off one meal a day. They become angry and resentful and obviously, the growth of this Walk to work in a few days shows that the problem has no political borders.

I will not join the people who laugh at this or try to use this for politics. I think it is despicable that anyone would want to take advantage of vulnerable people. Their honesty about their situation as we saw on TV yesterday, (Yes some of them managed to describe their hardships) showed me that Uganda is most vulnerable now to wrong manipulations and that is a bad thing. Yes, we need a peaceful solution to this problem and we need to feel that there is hope at the end of the tunnel.

Food crisis

This food crisis has been going on for a long time and Kabakumba said that government is not responsible. How come nobody in Parliament has brought it up other than yesterday when Hon Lumumba intimated to the press that government MUST not sit back but come in to help the situation? Maybe it is not that people are not listening to ministers: One and Bumba, but their method of selling the message is not effective at reaching the people.
The issue now is that opposition has moved to a different level of thinking. They no longer wish to play in this playing field that some in the NRM describe as the “right fora”. Their “right fora” is not provided for by the constitution and they are “claiming” that they respect it more than others as we saw in Dr Besigye’s interview on NTV last night.

If we fail to understand this new shift, we will fail to find sensible solutions. It is okay for them to do what they are doing. The law provides for it. Those unsophisticated rather barbaric acts of law enforcers yesterday have left us hanging our heads in shame. Just to remind you what the constitution that you helped write says;

38. Civic rights and activities.
(1) Every Uganda citizen has the right to participate in the affairs of government, individually or through his or her representatives in accordance with law.

See this article gives our citizens many options and we should embrace all of them.

Adam Mugume

I saw Adam Mugume on TV last night too. He was talking a whole lot of rubbish. His economic principles of increasing interest rates will simply make it more difficult for Uganda businesses to prosper. See Bank of Uganda is taking advice from IMF and I guarantee you, they are only going to deepen this problem. Now let us go over what he said on TV last night;

Excess supply of Money
He said that there was excess supply of money causing inflation and that in order to correct this, banks were moving on increasing interest rates. This will mean you and me have to borrow at more than 25%. Now will this mop up excess liquidity? NO. Why? Because 75% of Ugandans do not bank in the formal sector. Go to the Bank of Uganda website and see. They wrote an article about it. Adam Mugume therefore is not being sincere.

There are many ways to mop up excess liquidity, that is getting people to form informal investment circles like ‘’nyiginya’’ and they start to invest their money (government intervention). They could invest it in agriculture or import for retail and this would mean that money gets mopped up mainly by buying dollars, investing in seed, investing in farming implements and driving the sale of such. These are just two examples. But the problem with thinking like Mugume is that this is the neoclassical approach which says the market self corrects. See I found Mr Mugume’s interview very interesting. See the IMF has believed for long in Keynesian Economics, and their policy have followed Keynesian school of thought. The problem with this is IMF knew that our economy would get to this stage and neoclassical principles can’t fix Keynesian principles. It only makes the situation worse. This stage in Keynesian economics is called Stagflation.

Stagflation is where Economic development is lower than inflation as we are experiencing. All economists who work in serious institutions in countries that have experienced this all warn of one thing. That when you correct inflation which is what Mugume was talking about, you cause a recession because even the slow growth that you have will become slower and turn to negative growth. I find it baffling that BOU has taken the approach to widen the problem.

Food Prices set to self correct since rains have come

He also stated that food prices will self correct since the rains have come. First of all this shows that government has no plan for food security. It shows government has no plan to even attempt to understand the depth of food insecurity which is an insecurity of its own. The truth is, food prices are not going to self correct. Government has neglected indigenous farmers. Let us not even discuss NAADS failings now. Those with 10-50 acres who were planting maize for example. They have left them to the forces of demand and supply and some of them for example said, the investment they made in maize compared to what they earned did not make it profitable. They chose instead to plant trees some of them. Others chose to leave their land empty. Food prices only self correct with a targetted program. Government should come out and tell us what their program is going to be. If you think it is impossible, you need only look at India under Nehru to see how successful he was at bringing down food prices.Bring back Produce Marketing board. If you must look for Larbi Siaw who started URA and put him in charge.

Income from Abroad
Ugandans never stopped sending money. They always sent it and it is what has kept the real estate industry very buoyant. however, they are sending less because they are earning less. They have their problems to take care of and those Economies like Britain are hovering over recession and US are just getting out of it. It is unlikely that the incomes will grow. If Mr. Mugume is wishing then he can continue to wish.

With regards to repatriation of forex, now two things are happening. April is the month for dividend pay-off in all the multinational companies here. I can see Bank of Uganda has done a fantastic job at stabilizing the dollar, but right now companies will buy dollars to repatriate to their countries. As a liberalized economy, people are free to send as much as they wish and we don’t stop it. So this will hurt us but we shall start to feel the effects end May-June.

With regard to investors who are gittery about the elections and sent their money abroad, it is true, they did but this election was a lot more peaceful than the last and considering that he left the issue in abstract, makes me suspect that he knows the movement of money outside Uganda was not significant compared to 2006 election. Also UIA is showing that I am probably more right because they registered higher investor interest in Uganda than they were expecting, so for all intents and purposes, I doubt this election scared investors much.

The Middle East

The Middle East is very interesting. First of all, Libya produces only 1.8M barrels a day which is only 2% of the world oil production. It therefore has very little impact on World oil prices. What you are seeing now is hoarding and speculation of oil especially with Saudi Arabia crazy neighbours and people afraid that Saudi might become the new Bahrain. Saudi Arabia is the Second largest producer of oil in the world after Russia and followed by US. They are producing 9.8M barrels a day. They were producing 10.8M barrels in 2004 but because of the world recession and need to protect their economy from collapse, they dropped production so that they could ask for more money per barrel. This week, New York light I think is trading at $111 and Brent crude hit $125. In January it was at $80.

Oil prices are set to keep increasing because of China and US economic recovery and this is the spring/summer season where these countries spend more money in fuel. In UK for example, government suggested to increase fuel prices by 1 pence recently and the country almost went into riots because for petrol they are already paying 1.6 pounds a litre which is 5,100 per litre. So if we (Uganda) do not cushion ourselves against fuel price increases (they are expected to increase by 26% this summer), the gains we have of the rain will be eroded by the fuel price.

So what should government do about fuel? Many things, soooo many things that they can do. They can ground all government fleet of cars. They can privatize all cars like they have done in Rwanda. Let all Ministers buy their cars and maintain them themselves. The Ministers and civil service should be given fuel on mileage (As Uhuru Kenyatta did), and not just any mileage because this thing of getting mileage for sending your government car to your farm, that is out of order. We private people handle our own costs. If Ministers started to handle their own costs they would not be so selfish and would feel the pain. I have been told that Richard Byaruhanga new MD NSSF has already done it because the costs of maintenance of the fleet was too much.

We can cancel all government travel abroad, all workshops, seminars, etc. We can move towards running an austere government budget. These are the things that shall show Ugandans goodwill.

Also we can tell Ugandans, do not turn away from your responsibility because you are having fun (some have resorted to drinking and not taking care of their families because of stress, etc). If you were drinking 4 beers, drink 2 now. We do not want to destroy our tax revenue at the brewery and we want people to live within their means and be happy. We teach them that it is only temporary; things will get better. And we plan to make sure things get better.

Quite frankly, I don’t understand why people are so thick they can’t see this? Are they thick or they are being proud for nothing? Some people talk about government strategic intervention. Of course it is allowed. Look at Americans, they are asking Obama to touch their strategic oil reserves. Is that not intervention? If the US economy was as open as Uganda and laissez faire as IMF has turned you into, how comes they built strategic fuel reserves and you have nothing? They tell you to private your government fuel reserves and we do it like a bunch of fools. Now if we had strategic fuel reserves we would not have had such a high price.

Don’t forget that part of our fuel rise is caused by delays in delivery of fuel from Mombasa and Dar es Salaam. For me Kenya really peeves me. I want us to break their monopoly and we take back our wagons, we route fuel through Tanzania etc.

And while government is sitting thinking about what to do. I suggest you get yourselves thinking and start screaming solutions on rooftops because at this rate, we are going to need trumpets to get through to some part time thinkers. So use all trumpets. Show people that it is their right to ask government for help. It is their right to demand solutions; it is their right to participate in providing the solutions.

Whatever you do, just do it. Do not allow this problem to be turned into a political problem for nothing. You know we should not be guilty of doing “too little, too late” As for corruption, I will need a whole other day to talk about it because it has become so prevalent that now I term the worst disease as grassroots corruption. The corruption on LC1 level, we really need a serious overhaul of the system, including overhauling this nonsense of duplication, undermining of departments, etc. It has caused the worst corruption imaginable.


There was no need for Besigye to inform the police if he was walking alone but he(Besigye ) is as popular as a rock star as you no doubt saw on TV especially in the urban area. Yesterday I saw Beatrice Anywar walking alone, Odongo Otto and Ekanya walking alone. Those are NOT demonstrations or processions. I saw Besigye walking with about 10 people at first. This amounts to a procession and a public figure like Besigye would of course pull crowds so my opinion is, he should understand that he is a very popular person and as such is a crowd puller and his popularity should humble him and he says, what the heck, let me send these useless guys a mere letter (NOT NOTICE) stating that I intend to walk so that they can prepare for my rock star status.

Did you see NTV? Did you see how well his walk was after it resumed? Did you see how Police was doing the right thing and walking by the sides to keep the peace until those vagabond Military police came along and all hell broke loose? See a mere letter to inform would have given Besigye the moral high ground. Civil disobedience is the script he is following. It says that people must refuse to follow unlawful orders or what they perceive as unlawful laws. This means that Kayihura saying don’t walk is unlawful and he MUST walk if he wants, But Section 32(1) says as law abiding citizens we should just allow police to do their job and this is not an unreasonable request is it? I saw Ekanya on TV saying police let them walk freely and some police told him that they are also suffering from the fuel and food prices.

See yesterday made me go back to read the constitution and this is what I found;

(2) Every Ugandan shall have the right—
(a) to move freely throughout Uganda and to reside and settle in any part of Uganda;
(b) to enter, leave and return to, Uganda; and
(c) to a passport or other travel document.
38. Civic rights and activities.
(1) Every Uganda citizen has the right to participate in the affairs of government, individually or through his or her representatives in accordance with law.
(2) Every Ugandan has a right to participate in peaceful activities to influence the policies of government through civic organisations.

Besigye is already empowered by the Constitution of Uganda. He says he wants to return Uganda to the rule of law. Why does he not stand above it then and just send Kale an information note. The constitution does not specify how to inform but it says we should inform the Police otherwise we would turn into lumpens.

Nina Mbabazi Rukikaire

Condolences to the dead but the police should not just focus on the Somali angle


Condolences to the families of the dead. May their soul RIP.The police should not just focus on the Somali angle but look deeper and wider.  Hopefully they secured the scenes and are interviewing survivors.

While the Somali angle is credible, other potential leads could be

a) Business related that is nnugu from business rivals that may have lost business or felt jelousy over the World Cup.

b) Local issues.  The bombing could have something to do with the political temperature in Uganda.  Therefore the role of rogue elements within the political and state intelligence systems cannot and should not be ruled out.

c) dissatisfaction within UPDF/ESO/ISO regarding the Somali mission. There could be military elements, yes, UPDF who want to create a situation to force UPDF out of Somali.  Privates may be paying the ultimate political price while UPDF fat cats eat the money in Kampala

d)  Sleeper cells of once active Ugandan rebels activities

e) Political tensions between Ethiopians and Eritreans. Eritrea has  the most pro Al Shabaab regime in the region.  This may give hints about the targeting of the Ethipian /Ritream restauranst in Uganda.

f) Tensions with some religious groups in Uganda.

g) Foreign interests not happy with Uganda over the fact that General Nyamwasa used  a Ugandan passport to flee to South Africa.

In others words,the bombing smells of blackmail.


The letter below from the Atiak LC3 in 2005 explains causes of death in the North

Note:Further reading about IDP camps and death can be found at the link below:

Lance Corporal (Rtd) Patrick Otto


Dear Comrades,
I have been reading different versions of UPC’s President visit to Kasubi with reservation and i think this is the time to respond. It is not true that Buganda Youths attacked Dr. Otunu in the context the media reported. I know that it is their right and media freedom to report the way they want. But they forgot to highlight a few of the impaortant details prior to where they preferred to make their intros.  I was there myself and was in charge of mobilising the media. this is what i witnessed.
1. While the Media quoted the arrival time perfectly, it failed to inform the readers that Dr. Otunu ‘s convoy of more than 10 vehicles was given access to the sacred place where they parked without any obstruction despite the fact that other vehicles had parking access only outside the gate at the east end.
2. On realising that Dr. Otunu was at the site, youth and guides mobilised themselves and sung the buganda anthem for him be4 they led tour around the ravaged shrine. It took us time listening to the Buganda youth expressing anger at the demise of their Shrine. They expressed sentiments that,
” we know them, those who have destroyed the kingdom”.
” We need change and Dr. You mentioned about opposition uniting to get rid of the common enemy, we are ready and we shall fight alongside you.”
“kabaka bamuwamba, Uganda bagiwamba you said it yesterday at NBS TV,” translated to mean: the king and Uganda is held hostage.
And many many things as i recorded them and my comrade took pictures.
Some were crying while others pipped to have a grimpse at the Deplomat.
It took us about 45 minutes to go through all this experience. All along Dr. O.O was just listening and wondering about the great loss and the expressions of the energetic and concerned kingdom youth. I will not quote their names. I also have their mobile phone numbers.
3. The media failed to report that what they call chasing away and Dr. Surviving by a whisker, he had no policemen nor guards as the case with others yet he managed to stay on the site for almost one hour without any disturbance.
4. At departure and after touring the shrine, the youth who were guiding the delegation around, requested that O.O says something. At this stage the crowd had grown big. They organised themselves once again and led the Buganda anthem the second time. Dr. Joined them and clapped. at this stage as some of you saw on Televisions, everything was going on smoothly. It was only at the last stanza of the anthem that a group of Four Youths started inciting the audience to demand that Dr. adresses them in Luganda. Henry Mayega, tried to calm them down and they complied. while i rashed to the parking vehicles to bring the megafone. On my return  and as i pushed through the parked audience, i heard some men saying,
“He should not speak from here. Another one was giving orders that; “Go on; stop him from talking.”
“If they refused President Museveni to speak why should they allow UPC and even sing the anthem for him.”
They then started shouting while the audience chorused for order so that they could listen to what Dr. Otunu wanted to say.
I heard, a voice from the audience saying, ” mwagala kutulemesa naku bera namikwano, wama Dr. Yogera.” (that do you want to stop us from having friends, Dr. Go ahead and address us.”
5. The delegation then realised that it was useless to speak to the arguing audience and yet the Prime Minister, J.B Walusimbi was waiting for them, decided to withdraw and proceed to Bulange.
6. At this stage the group that was clearly stage managing the chaos moved forward and started shouting at the officials of the Party. Many Youths who recieved us confrontated them questioning their actions. They also urged Dr. to move out to avoid further chaos like what culminated into the killing of the Three kingdom youth the previous day.
7. I watched a youg man wearing a black jacket and a black cap, picking a stone and throwing it right into the rear wind screen of the Ambassador’s Land cruiser. It was horrible. Others about five of them made the noise and insulted the Ambassador. while the big audience looked on in disbelief.
8. The Media, even after witnessing all the developments published messages implying that Dr. wasn’t given a nice welcome. That he did not even stay on the site for a minute. That Buganda looks at UPC as their enemy. That Dr. Otunu was hurt and assaulted in the process. These are insults to the newly elected President of the Party and Buganda kingdom. Why should actions of a few individuals be quoted by the media as representative of the entire community? if that those actions represented the kingdom attitude how comes that the Prime Minister officially welcomed UPC? Even the following day UPC President was warmly welcomed at the Prayers conducted by the Bishop of Namirembe? I could see the former Katikiro, Dan Mulika, J.B Walusimbi and Jaberi Bidandi Ssali chatting at length before the service and after the service. I have pictures, several of them, from, Kasubi to Bulange and Namirembe.
9. After the visit Dr. proceeded to Bulanga where the Katikiro, J.B. Walusimbi was eagerly waiting to recieve UPC delegation. It was a great meeting ever between the two parties in a very long time. I could see the Amarula family led by Paddy Bitama and other Directors chat off with the famous Human rights activist and Deplomat. I heard Bitama telling Dr. Otunu to take over very soon and leave state house for him because he would be ready to take over by 2016.
10. Some journalsts moved with us but they never reported on the visit to Bulange and the welcome that was extended to the UPC delegation. Nothing was mentioned in the print media about the entertainment that we had at the Kingdom headquarter. ! Thanks to WBS, Records and NTV. they did a good job.
Comrade, Robert Kanusu

How many functioning fire hydrants are in Kampala/Uganda?


How many functioning fire hydrants are there in Kampala/Uganda? I ask because of the explanation that fire brigade trucks ran out of water to put down the fire!.Now if the trucks in Uganda must still be loaded with water all the time there is afire, then Uganda is in big trouble. So how many fire hydrants are there for use by fire trucks in case of fire? For example, how many are on parliamentary grounds, state house, Makerere University , the upcoming hostels, Mulago hospital and all other important locations in Uganda ?

That is there is no need to rush to reconstruct the Masiro as the govt wants. Politics should be totally kept out of the reconstructions efforts. Reconstruction under the lead of the Ngeye clan, remember the sequencing of events; it is burial place/masiro before it became a national and international treasures. The sequencing cannot be reversed.  The govt is not part of the Ngeye clan which is tasked with the job.

One of the things the Mmengo committee should consider includes locating fire hydrants on the ground. Also expert engineers should be consulted to explore the possibility of locating fire sprinklers within the building that automatically go on in case of a fire without violating the place. And of course smoke detectors beyond just masiro.

And does anyone know whether parliament or any Ugandan building has water sprinklers? There is no infrastructure for effective fire fighting services in Uganda period.  Think about it, what can private fire fighters do without functiong fire hydrants in the city?

Funny, Ugandans are building petrol stations everywhere even in residential areas so one shudders what could happen down the road.  Imagine what could happen if fire was to break out at Mulago and other hospitals in Uganda? Do you know any fire hydrants on the ground? What about exists?

The police has labored very hard to show that they could have put out the fire. May be. But it is only the bad carpenter  who blames his or her tools.
The police should be honest: there is no infrastructure to fight fires and should call for changes. it is not the police’s fault that Ugandans lack the imagination to plan for fire eventualities.  If Parliament was to catch fire tommorow, it will be same story: fire trucks ran out of water.  Why can’t fire firefighters simply show up with their trucks and connect their equipment on fire hydrants and do their job?  No wonder the trucks are slow yet time is of essence. You know that parking in front of a fire hydranst earns one a huge fine in civilized countries with the infrastructure to fight fires.


UAH forumist

Museveni in camouflage buttoned up with AK 47 before mourning people of the East and the entire Country is a disgrace

Museveni showed up with AK47 in Mbale

That was terrible PR. Why show up in an army uniform with a gun?  He should have used the occasion from Mbale not Bududa to appeal to the international community to help the people of Bududa. But there he was with a gun!Blame should go towards his social secretary-I believe it is a relative-for not advising the president about the proper attire and demeanor.

The opposition has also been missing in action. No, I do not mean to politicize the tragedy, but to take the high moral ground. How would they have responded? What would they do differently and so on?Mark my words, next year or five years from today, heavy rains will come to Uganda and roads will flood, cholera will kill and even mud slides will come.  It is nature after all. And the country will mourn.

So where is the long-term solution to avoid future tragedies? Why there were no warning signs to alert the poor kids? Are the people drilled and trained about disaster management and so on?  And it must be asked: was it necessary for President Museveni to show up today? This is important because his arrival/presence could have hindered rescue efforts.  More importantly, the resources that could have been deployed to rescue the dead and injured all went towards protecting the president. He became the centre of attention and not the victims of the disaster. That is wrong.

The smart thing would have been for the President to order the army from Bugema barracks and Tororo barracks to go and help with the recovery and rescue effort.  If he wanted to be near the scene he should have stayed in Mbale to monitor the recovery effort and let the rescue efforts do their best.  Critical time was lost by the president’s arrival with an AK 47.  The ideal time for him and his large convoy would have been to go after 72 hours.

Ugandans must wake and say no to the remote unitary system that encourages aloofness towards local disasters.



Dear readers,

Some people said that 1,000 people were dying in the IDP camps per day in northern Uganda?  For about 10 years? This works out as 1,000 x 365 x 10 years…..3,650,000 souls!

They sometimes said that 1,000 were dying per week for at least 10 years: 1,000 x 52 x 10 years…..520,000 souls!  And this was for a camp population that at highest was, according to the WFP, 57,000.

Let us now briefly step into the world of reality. I have with me a 2005 letter from the LC3 chairman of Atiak the county in Gulu that had some of the most dangerous IDP camps (…remember Barlonyo?).  In the letter , that chairman, Odong William George reported the deaths in the 14 Atiak IDP camps for the period 1-15 September 2005, i.e., 2 weeks, at 54 persons.  In other words, the weekly mortality rate was 27 persons.

As you may know, Gulu, Kitgum and Pader had 114 IDP camps.  If 27 persons died per week in 14 camps with the most adverse living and physical safety conditions, one can infer that on average about 220 persons died in all the 114 in Acholi region per week.  So, where did these people get their figure of 1,000 per week from (or 1,000 per day)?

The 10 years was the period over which the people of central Northern Uganda saw themselves being confined to IDP camps.  In fact one can even get it from the speech by their wonderful Dr Adam Branch( now a lecturer at  Makerere University) who refers to 1996 as the time when the camp policy was instituted.  Indeed they said that 1,000 people were dying per week, after being prompted to retract an earlier claim that those many people were dying per day.

They said that they prefer Dr Adam Branch’s data to Mr Odong GW’s data…, and who in his wonderful paper refers to the Acholi as “our fellow citizens…”.  Yes. Dr Branch gives the figure of 1,000 and I wonder whether he remembers where he got it from, a source that actually stated that the Acholi region was experiencing a Crude Death Rate (CMR) of 1 person per 1,000 per week, which he and the rest of you then flew off with in the fantasy of 1,000 per week (or per day when our propensity for adding binzali takes the better of us).

One George Okello(UAH forumist working with IMF in London) remarked that “But even if I take your figure of 220 deaths per week in the whole of Acholi, is this not so repugnant to human sensibility?” is quite predictable.  Then why doesn’t he just say that many people have died in Acholi, instead of confidently bandying around 1,000; whose source he did not tell us and over which he vacillate, as per day, and later, per week?

Okello also said , “..playing games with figures…”: who is playing games with figures? ….is he the one who the other day was saying that the for the NRA to be a people’s army, it should have have had 98% Baganda in its Luwero days? What was his response when he was informed that Buganda has only about 54.9% Baganda?

Anyway, I have included here the picture of the wonderful Dr Adam Branch whose hot air of a speech is what they authoritatively refer us to…….

Adam Branch

Otto Patrick

Let Ugandans compile evidence against their leaders for ICC

I guess Ugandans are saying that Museveni and his Tutsi Generals are the law and the Law is the same Museveni and his Tutsi Generals. For now it looks that. Anyway, on a wider aspect if anyone is not happy with ICC, let him/her be aware that there is a Review Conference of the International Criminal Court Statute that took place sometime after July, 2009 to consider amendments to the treaty that founded the International Criminal Court. This can only mean the Court is going to be there and it will only get better to put those bent to impunity into the dock.. The Review Conference will only get ICC to a better form if members of the Assembly of States Parties put their contributions positively.

The NRMO or Museveni supporters who are apprehensive of the ICC should reconsider fully embracing it after all Uganda is already a member of the Assembly of States of ICC and next year Uganda shall be hosting ICC in Kampala. This was decided at the seventh session of the Assembly of States Parties in November 2008. The Assembly decided that the Review Conference of the Rome Statute shall be held in Kampala, Uganda, during the first semester of 2010. Just to add onto that, this Court is governed by the Assembly of States Parties and Uganda is one of the parties. The Assembly of States Parties is the Court’s management oversight and legislative body and it consists of one representative from each state party. Each state party has one vote and every effort has to be made to reach decisions by consensus. If consensus cannot be reached, decisions are made by vote. This is how the Court manages its four organs: the Presidency, the Judicial Divisions, the Office of the Prosecutor, and the Registry.

One Ugandan called Abbey Kibirige  Semuwemba wanted to know the appeal procedures. This can be found in the Judicial Divisions of the Court. The Judicial Divisions consist of the 18 judges of the Court, organized into three divisions — the Pre-Trial Division, Trial Division and Appeals Division — which carry out the judicial functions of the Court. These Judges are elected to the Court by the Assembly of States Parties. They serve nine-year terms and are not generally eligible for re-election. All judges must be nationals of states parties to the Rome Statute, and no two judges may be nationals of the same state. They must be “persons of high moral character, impartiality and integrity who possess the qualifications required in their respective States for appointment to the highest judicial offices”

The Prosecutor or any person being investigated or prosecuted may request the disqualification of a judge from “any case in which his or her impartiality might reasonably be doubted on any ground”. Any request for the disqualification of a judge from a particular case is decided by an absolute majority of the other judges. A judge may be removed from office if he or she “is found to have committed serious misconduct or a serious breach of his or her duties” or is unable to exercise his or her functions. The removal of a judge requires both a two-thirds majority of the other judges and a two-thirds majority of the states parties..

Let us get another point clear too. ICC is an independent international organisation, and is not part of the United Nations system. It is legally and functionally independent from any body including the United Nations. However, the Rome Statute grants certain powers to the United Nations Security Council under Article 13 of ICC. This Article allows the Security Council to refer to the Court situations that would not otherwise fall under the Court’s jurisdiction (as it did in relation to the situation in Darfur, which the Court could not otherwise have prosecuted as Sudan is not a state party). Article 16 of ICC allows the Security Council to require the Court to defer from investigating a case for a period of 12 months. Such a deferral may be renewed indefinitely by the Security Council. During the negotiations that led to the Rome Statute, when deciding on its jurisdiction, a large number of states argued that the Court should be allowed to exercise Universal jurisdiction. However, this proposal was defeated due in large part to opposition from the United States. A compromise was reached, allowing the Court to exercise jurisdiction only under limited circumstances:

  • where the person accused of committing a crime is a national of a state party (or where the person’s state has accepted the jurisdiction of the Court);
  • where the alleged crime was committed on the territory of a state party (or where the state on whose territory the crime was committed has accepted the jurisdiction of the Court); or
  • where a situation is referred to the Court by the UN Security Council

The Court cooperates with the UN in many different areas, including the exchange of information and logistical support. The Court reports to the UN each year on its activities, and some meetings of the Assembly of States Parties are held at UN facilities. The relationship between the Court and the UN is governed by a “Relationship Agreement between the International Criminal Court and the United Nations”.

The Court is intended as a court of last resort, investigating and prosecuting only where national courts have failed as it has been stated clearly by Abbey. It ought to be there to deter or prevent impunity where they occur. The issue of whether President Bush or Israel President are left of the hook is a matter of politics. The law is there and it is sending a clear message to these leaders with some tangible influence being realised though slowly. Even the recently invasion of Gaza by Israel is in the process. The only biggest downfalls at the moment are its power of arresting, prosecuting and enforcing its judgement. It has no police. It relies on the member states and that is why it may not be ast to drag Bush to the Hagues or for that matter Museveni or Kony!

As of February 2009, 108 countries have joined the Court, including nearly all of Europe and South America, and roughly half the countries in Africa. However, ICC in its current state has got some shortfall but it is a baby and it has all the good reasons behind its formation. It should be supported and developed to offer alternative justice to those who would otherwise not get any. We already have a world court, ICJ, but it only deals with cases between states. And this is what those who are committing impunity wants to hide behind. They want to dangles States immunity before your eyes will impunity continues unabated.

But ICC is meant to crack through the veils and that is what they done like. Also remember ICJ was established in 1945 by the UN Charter and the Court began work in 1946 as the successor to the Permanent Court of International Justice. The Statute of the International Justice similar to that of its predecessor, is the main constitutional document constituting and regulating the Court. But ICJ has dealt with relatively few cases only in its history, and there has clearly been an increased willingness to use the Court since the 1980s, especially among developing countries. As usual the stumbling block has been the United States.

In 1986 United States withdrew from compulsory jurisdiction of ICJ and so it now accepts the court’s jurisdiction only on a case-to-case basis. But the irony about this is that in 1948, following the Nuremberg and Tokyo Tribunals when the United States was then leading the show, the United Nations General Assembly recognised the need for a permanent international court to deal with atrocities of the kind committed during World War II and the USA supported it then. Since 1948 not a lot happen due to all sorts of thing including Cod War era.

But in 1989. A N R Robinson, then Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, proposed the creation of a permanent international court to deal with the illegal drug trade and the idea was revived. Not a lot happened until 1995 when some small group of NGOs founded a Coalition that coordinated their work to ensure the establishment of an International Criminal Court.

Since then, the Coalition’s membership has increased exponentially as its original goal of establishing the ICC grew to a Coalition for the International Criminal Court that includes over 2500 organizations around the world working in partnership to strengthen international cooperation with the ICC; to ensure that the Court is fair, effective and independent; to make justice both visible and universal; and advance stronger national laws that deliver justice to victims of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

As of February 2009, 108 countries have joined the Court, including nearly all of Europe and South America, and roughly half the countries in Africa. However, these countries only account for a minority of the world’s population. A further 40 states have signed but not ratified the Rome Statute; the law of treaties obliges these states to refrain from “acts which would defeat the object and purpose” of the treaty..

Charles Eliba

UPC Activist/Lawyer

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