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{UAH} Edward Mulindwa: "nshaka umukunzi nkawe"

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{UAH} Khama kicks off Botswana farewell tour as he prepares to step down

Khama kicks off Botswana farewell tour as he prepares to step down

By AT editor - 17 December 2017 at 3:37 am
Khama kicks off Botswana farewell tour as he prepares to step down

President of Botswana Ian Khama is preparing to leave office after 10 years, and he's launched a farewell tour in which he plans to visit communities in all 57 of the nation's constituencies.

Khama began his tour this week in Moshupa-Manyana, and on Saturday planned to visit Tsabong. He has three more villages on the list for December and will continue the visits into the new year before leaving office at the end of March. Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi will take over on April 1.

In Botswana, the vice president assumes national leadership during a transitional term ahead of elections, which are scheduled for 2019. The long time window allows for Khama to connect with citizens across the country, beginning with Masisi's home community and MP district.

Khama said he has confidence in Masisi's capacity to lead and was quick to praise his skills. "After these years working with him I have never regretted appointing him vice president and the next president of this country," Khama said, urging the country to support Masisi when he takes the helm.

"It does not mean I will stop serving Botswana. I started serving Botswana in the police service, then I served in the army, as well as Cabinet, and as Vice President and President," Khama told the crowd at his first event. He hopes in retirement to support the arts, stay engaged with sports and advance the country's Vision 2036 agenda.

He'll also remain as Chancellor of Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and assist with Ngwato tribal leadership, the government said in a press release.

Image: Government of Botswana


Gwokto La'Kitgum
"Even a small dog can piss on a tall building" Jim Hightower
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Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni's riches is in the tune of millions of dollars however his pay is under $20,000 every month.
Most recent figures demonstrates that Museveni procures a month to month pay of $ 15,000, which is among the most reduced in Africa and the world. This salary is, be that as it may, is basic pay since there are a few different advantages he appreciates as a president. For example, when he voyages abroad, he should get recompenses, which adds up to at any rate $500 every day.

Read More:  This Is What U.S Secretary of State John Kelly Will Be Doing In Nigeria During His Visit

Museveni's riches incorporates farms in Rwakitura and Kisozi Uganda which suits more than 2,000 solid dairy animals which deliver thousands of liters of drain day by day. The Uganda president makes at any rate Ugsh100 million every month from his homestead.
Aside from domesticated animals cultivating, Museveni has interests in land, hotel industry and additionally transport industry. He has likewise contributed vigorously in the banking industry.
The longest serving President of Uganda is assessed to be worth $ 850 million.

Allaah gives the best to those who leave the choice to Him."And if Allah touches you with harm, none can remove it but He, and if He touches you with good, then He is Able to do all things." (6:17)

Disclaimer:Everyone posting to this Forum bears the sole responsibility for any legal consequences of his or her postings, and hence statements and facts must be presented responsibly. Your continued membership signifies that you agree to this disclaimer and pledge to abide by our Rules and Guidelines.To unsubscribe from this group, send email to:

{UAH} Age Limit Debate - Why Freedoms Become Victim

Sometime in August 1994, renowned writer Wole Soyinka interested some of his fellow Nigerians to march 'One Step for Freedom'.

A month later (in September), Nigerian security agents paid him a visit at his Abeokuta home in southwest Nigeria.

They wanted to know how the march would be organised.

Prof Soyinka told them some people would walk for a few metres and return to their homes. A main column would take off from wherever they were based and proceed along designated routes.

"... the climax will be the convergence at the outskirts of Abuja, when we'll march en masse on Aso Rock," Prof Soyinka said. Aso Rock is Nigeria's state house.

The march was intended to dislodge president Sani Abacha from power.

The security agent's team leader told Prof Soyinka that the government thought the march would lead to a breach of peace.

"It is, therefore, the firm intention of the government - in fact, the government considers it its duty - to prevent your march at all costs," he said.

Something similar is playing out in Uganda.

Between September and October, the government banned lived broadcasts of some events, claiming they do not meet the minimum broadcasting standards.

The standards require broadcasters to ensure programmes for broadcast are not contrary to public morality and do not promote a culture of violence.

In the case of news broadcasts, they should be free from distortion of facts and should be the kind that will create insecurity or violence.

The directive came on the heels of the ejection of 24 Members of Parliament (MPs) opposed to the amendment of Article 102(b) of the Constitution from Parliament on September 27.

Police also blocked MPs from attending consultative meetings outside their constituencies.

The government has dispersed rallies, such as one organised by Manjiya County representative John Baptist Nambeshe called to discuss the cons of amending Article 102(b) of the Constitution.

In Rukungiri Municipality, police dispersed a gathering of FDC supporters and it was even accused of having shot to death Edson Nasasira, 22.

It would later arrest Rubaga South MP Kato Lubwama, Butambala MP Muwanga Kivumbi, Budadiri West MP Nandala Mafabi and FDC presidential contender Patrick Amuriat Oboi who were consulting voters on the age limit Bill. They have since been released.

Many lesser known Opposition activists remain police custody.

In late September, the government sent security agents into the Chamber of Parliament to eject legislators who were opposed to tabling of the age limit Bill removal.

Uganda Police Force (UPF) arrested the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC's) 2016 presidential candidate Kizza Besigye on suspicion of attempting to murder police officers. Section 204 of the Penal Code Act prescribes life imprisonment for persons who are convicted of attempted murder.

The same UPF banned Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi from staging music concerts. The police argued that his music is political and promotes hate speech.

On October 16, UPF's director of operations, Mr Asuman Mugenyi, wrote to regional and district police commanders.

Mr Mugenyi's letter came on the heels of the tabling of the Constitution Amendment Bill, 2017.

The Bill proposes repealing sub-clause (b) of Article 102 of the Constitution to do away with the 75 years old cap for presidential candidates.


When Sunday Monitor asked constitutional lawyer Peter Walubiri to explain the significance of the government's actions, he said - going by the hostility towards those in support of lifting the age limit - the government has decided to force through the amendment.

That, he said, is worrying since it is a step towards chipping away at the constitutional order.

"The Constitution can only be amended lawfully and peacefully. [However] what is happening [now] is a violent process, which is treacherous. That is cause for alarm," Mr Walubiri said.

"It is like a robber: if a robber comes and says 'hand over your wallet' and you refuse, the robber will take it violently."

Mr Walubiri said before the Constitution can be amended, the people's representatives should enjoy their liberties to consult the people they represent.

"If you restrict them, it is illegal, if you beat them, the process of amending the Constitution does not meet the standards set for peaceful and lawful process," he said.

He said the citizens have a duty, according to Article 3 of the Constitution, to resist and illegal and violent overthrow of Uganda's supreme law.

In September, the Delegation of the European Union to Uganda expressed concern about the build-up of tension that might lead to infringing the fundamental freedoms of Ugandan citizens and damage Uganda's international reputation.

When Sunday Monitor contacted the EU Delegation spokesperson, Emmanuel Gyezaho, he said the same conditions the delegation expressed concern about still exist.

The EU said it was concerned about reports of arrests and actions targeting NGOs and political activists. It was also troubled by the inflammatory language used in debating issues of national interest, pertaining to the democratic process in Uganda.

"We consider that major issues related to the national development should be debated in an open and inclusive national dialogue," the delegation said then through a press statement.

"We call on the Ugandan authorities to guarantee the fundamental freedoms of expression and assembly enshrined in the Ugandan Constitution, which in particular provides the right of all citizens to fully express their civil and political rights without fear of intimidation."

Not welcome

In some districts in Uganda, the sections of the public have not warmly received representatives who have openly voiced support for lifting the age limit. There have been cases of MPs being roughed up in areas they happen to be visiting.

For instance, last month, some youth in Mityana stoned Woman Representative Judith Nabakooba and Mityana North MP Godfrey Kiwanda Suubi when the two went to drum up support for lifting the age limit for presidential candidates.

In Rubanda District, Government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa was booed when she tried to address mourners ahead of the burial of Abel Rwendeire, who was once a Cabinet minister.

It is such that prompted President Museveni to issue a veiled threat: he said the NRM is the master at disciplined and purposeful violence. It is because of such 'hostility' too that the NRM is reportedly planning to consult and seek the support of only a smaller group - district councillors.

When he directed police commanders to stop MPs from moving to support their counterparts or to consult outside their respective constituencies, Mr Mugenyi quoted no law.

Police spokesperson Asan Kasingye later, during an interview with NBS television, alluded to the Public Order Management Act, 2013 (POMA).

"We have not suspended the Public Order Management Act," Mr Kasingye told NBS last week.

"Let the person who is inviting them consult the Inspector General of Police to say 'I am a Member of Parliament of, say, Makindye West, I want to host somebody from Lwengo or Sheema' so that we know who these people are," Mr Kasingye said.

Still, according to Mr Julius Odwe, the former deputy Inspector General of Police, POMA does not allow the police to bar MPs from some areas.

"The sections most relevant to legitimise your policing guidelines are contained in Sections 2, 3, 4, 5,6,7,8 and 10," Mr Odwe said through an October 25 letter to IGP Kale Kayihura.

"Section 3 outlines your powers, without any provision for you to curtail attendance of any party Member of Parliament. Your other powers are stated in section 7 to disperse a gathering based on the reasons and circumstance there instead, but not when they are peaceful."

Mr Odwe added that where one is dissatisfied with the police's actions, section 6 provides for appeal by the organiser of a gathering that was dispersed.

"This is an area where you or your subordinates may face legal action," Mr Odwe said.

According to Article 29(1) (d) of the Constitution, citizens have rights to the freedom to assemble and to demonstrate together with others peacefully and unarmed and to petition.

And according to Article 212, the functions of UPF are to protect life and property, to preserve law and order and to prevent and detect crime.

Additionally, the force is to cooperate with the civilian authority and other security organs and with the population.

The same Constitution, via Article 221, says the police and the army should respect human rights and freedoms.

Dispersing pro-age limit rallies

Why is the government dispersing anti-constitutional amendment Bill rallies?

One plausible reason can be got from The Dictator's Handbook: Why Bad Behaviour is Almost Always Good Politics.

According to the book by Prof Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Prof Alastair Smith, free press, free speech and freedom of assembly make it easier for larger numbers of people to exchange information about how they feel about their government and to express objects to any policies they don't like.

"... autocrats dislike freedoms because they make it easier for people to learn of their shared misery and to collaborate with each other to rise up against the government," the two say.

With ordinary citizens now responding to police teargas with stones, there are fears that the matter could be settled violently.

"As sure as day follows night, unless President Museveni relents, we are going to go into full-blown violence. Every violent government, every dictatorial government is eventually brought down violently," Constitutional lawyer Peter Walubiri says.

But that might not be easy since Mr Museveni has a firm grip on the coercive arms of the State - the army, the police, the intelligence services and informal organisations such as Bodaboda 2010.

The Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura, a week ago pledged to spend the rest of his life working not to disappoint Mr Museveni.

And, with police now using live bullets, sections of the public might fear to subject themselves to military suppression.

Allaah gives the best to those who leave the choice to Him."And if Allah touches you with harm, none can remove it but He, and if He touches you with good, then He is Able to do all things." (6:17)

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{UAH} HILARIOUS: The expensive bar brawl: How Nyeri man lost valued land\--

The expensive bar brawl: How Nyeri man lost valued land\


Gwokto La'Kitgum
"Even a small dog can piss on a tall building" Jim Hightower
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{UAH} Museveni Is Panicking Over Age Limit Change, Say MPs

Kampala — With opposition politicians currently traversing the country chanting 'Togikwatako'- the brand of the resistance to the constitutional amendment aimed at removing the presidential age cap of 75, the campaign appears to have engulfed the nation.

Ibrahim Semujju Nganda, the Opposition Chief Whip in parliament and MP for Kiira Municipality, is excited about crowds in NRM strongholds that are turning out in support of the "red ribbon" campaign of the anti-constitution amendment camp. He says it helps to highlight the campaign as it is not just opposition MPs against Museveni's overstay in power.

He has since branded himself in Togikwatako colours donning a red jacket, cap, or suit whenever he is in parliament or addressing crowds in his constituency.

"I have never seen Museveni in panic mode like he is now," he told The Independent, "There is nothing that has ever divided the NRM like this."

He says panic is the reason the president is picking fights with Kyaddondo East legislator Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine.

"He is the face of the new wave of youthful politicians who appeal more to the majority youthful electorate," Ssemujju says, "the Museveni camp is panicking because he has realised that his message of fighting in Luweero to bring peace has since become obsolete and a new generation of politicians - the youth have taken over.

"Even the elderly are realising that the 1986 agent of stability is now becoming a threat to that stability," Ssemujju says.

He adds: "Togikwatako is a campaign about the future; it teaches Museveni one lesson: that if he doesn't allow a peaceful transition we will all be victims, but most importantly he will still leave power."

Semujju who also took part in Walk-to-Work protests says Togikwatako has a lesson for the opposition too- "that ideology is bigger than presenting individual faces". He says this is the first unpartisan demonstration and has achieved results even at the basic level of seeing religious leaders and non-governmental organisations joining in the struggle.

The opposition appears to have won the battle of the campaign stump, but it may amount to nothing. In the end, the winner of the Togikwatako versus the Tugikwateko battle will be decided by MPs in parliament where Museveni has the numbers. But can the opposition wring something out of the national consciousness that Togikwatako has aroused in the 2021 campaign?

"If the opposition was serious, we would go to the 2021 polls under the Togikwatako umbrella" DP Vice President Fred Mukasa Mbidde told The Independent on Nov.03. He said even if the constitution is eventually amended, the protests have already achieved 90% of its impact in exposing what the people's view is on Museveni's overstay in power.

Mbidde who boasts of being the brain behind the campaign says unlike Walk-to-Work that was cadre-based, this idea was conceived on achieving a national objective and was sold to everyone right from the grassroots. He says he benchmarked the idea of this campaign on Rwanda's campaign to remove presidential term limits where they involved almost everyone.

"The Walk-to-Work approach was mediocre and simple. Security operatives knew who to arrest and where they are. If you look for the face of Togikwatako, you will not point out anyone," he says.

Enter Togikwatako

Mbidde's opposition Democratic Party (DP) coined the slogan, 'K'ogikwatako' literally meaning 'If you dare touch it'. It didn't really make sense for many in August when it was launched as a campaign phrase by DP as they protested against the move to amend article 102(b) of the constitution to remove presidential age limits.

But on Sept.21 when some MPs turned up for plenary with their heads wrapped in red bandanas, caps and ribbons as an initiative of a small party of only 15 flag bearers in a 426 member-strong parliament, they gained instant attention.

Then K'ogikwatako changed to Togikwatako - 'Don't touch it' and has since taken every one by storm including President Museveni who seemed cagey at first. Mbidde says what he describes as unity of purpose is "what has overwhelmed the President".

Mbidde appears to be referring to incidents like when Masaka Municipality MP Mathias Mpuuga formed Activists for Change (A4C) to coordinate the Walk-to-Work protests and police swooped on it with force. Even though Kizza Besigye was the face of the riots as he walked from his home every Monday and Thursday, his actions inspired only pockets of resistance in and around Kampala.

This time, Mbidde says, Togikwatako has forced Museveni, out of desperation, to order police and the army to storm parliament, something that many see as a political blunder for a person who postures as being respectful to the principles of democracy.

To Mbidde this desperation rages on as the NRM party was never prepared for this kind of response given that the opposition has hitherto been struggling to find supporters for their protests. Now, even as the ruling party is trying to patch up the holes, it is meeting not just resistance but intimidation as voters threaten to end political careers of some.

Like Mbidde, observers say because NRM was caught unawares, it is now divided on how exactly to counter Togikwatako. Their counter-campaign (Tugikwateko) has left some NRM MPs and ministers in awkward situations.

They started by calling rallies to consult voters. But when crowds started insisting on an impromptu hand poll on the issue - and the Togikwato side often won, the NRM MPs ditched rallies. Instead, they started preaching to their already converted supporters in small town hall-style meetings.

Even then, some NRM MPs say they remain torn between risking their political careers by backing Museveni and saving them by doing what their constituencies want.

Mbidde, who is also a member of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) and is often charitable in dealing with the ruling party, says the opposition should learn that it is not their business to cause change in this country because that "is the business of the whole Uganda because the regime's incompetence affects everyone irrespective of their political affiliations".

Togikwatako versus Walk-to-Work

As Togikwatako gains steam, pundits are assessing its significance. Many are drawing parallels with past anti-Museveni protests; especially Walk-to-Work.

In an interesting paradox in Uganda, the image of President Museveni as a strongman seems to have grown in tandem with the strength of opposition to his rule in the last decade. In the first twenty years after Museveni captured power with his National Resistance Army (NRA) from 1986-2006, there seems to have been no resistance towards Museveni's rule manifested in street protests.

In spite of scandals that caused national outrage then like the junk helicopters purchase in the late 1990s, UPDF Ghost soldiers, Global Fund embezzlement, and Temangalo land sale to NSSF, the anger never really crystallised into protests.

2006-2011 saw the first manifestation of public anger in protests when riots broke out in Kampala against the proposed give away of Mabira Forest to investors by Museveni in 2007 and the riots in Kampala by angry Baganda youths when the police and army barred Kabaka Ronald Mutebi from going to Kayunga in 2009.

But all these protests did not last beyond three days. The Kayunga riots which seemed more potent ended immediately after the army deployed on the streets.

Only the Walk-to-Work protests, which started in March 2011 after the general elections, tested the mettle of the NRM regime when they turned out to be the most organised wave of protests the regime has faced.

Whereas many protests against Museveni have been driven by other issues; anger over rising cost of food and fuel as inflation hit 30%, in the case of Walk-to-Work, the Togikwatako appears to be purely pointed against Museveni. Its supporters don't want the proposed amendment because it extends the 73-year-old leader's presidency. Togikwatako also seems to be spread more nationally and has united the opposition. Francis Mwijukye, the opposition FDC MP for Buhweju County says Togikwatako should not be analysed separately from Walk-to-Work.

He has been a lynchpin of both and in October posted a photo of himself on Facebook wearing the famous red ribbon while attending an Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) assembly in St Petersburg, Russia. He says the popularity of Togikwatako has forced many ruling party MPs who initially supported the amendment to switch sides.

"We forced Museveni to come out and address the Age Limit Bill which he was pretending not to care about; he reached the point of sending his army into Parliament.

"Togikwatako has been embraced by people from all walks of life; academia, farmers, the rich, poor, musicians, they are all speaking with the same voice," he says, "When you see all these people speaking up it is because of the spirit of Walk-to-Work."

Walk-to-Work festered for about two years but since then Kampala appears to have become a cauldron of anger, frustration and anxiety as police battles opposition and any semblance of protests in the central business district. To that effect, the government passed a controversial law, the Public Order Management Act (POMA) to contain opposition.

Although Walk-to-Work was largely seen as a Kampala affair, Mwijukye says towns tend to be a springboard for protests. He says Walk-to-Work laid the groundwork for defiance. "People are using the spirit of defiance started by Walk-to-Work to challenge the government. It is why they can afford to tell off the police and boldly say that the police serves them," he told The Independent.

A former aide to Kizza Besigye, Mwijukye endured beatings and some of the most vicious Police crackdowns on the opposition at the height of the Walk-to-Work protests in 2011. In many of the scenes when Besigye was arrested, Mwijukye could be seen physically trying to defend Besigye.

"To merely list the successes of Togikwatako is not to appreciate the earlier setting up of structures of defiance. When you see people wearing red ribbons everywhere, it is because they have been empowered by defiance."

Togikwatako seems to be the more successful campaign with symbols like the red ribbon and the crowds it gathers across the country and Mwijukye acknowledges this.

"It is not opposition versus NRM. This is about those against the amendment versus those who are for it."

He says people have turned out en masse because they realise that since the two-five year presidential term limit was scrapped from the constitution in 2005, the age limit is the only safeguard for a transition from Museveni to another leader.

The Walk-to-Work campaign led to unprecedented police operations in the city and there has been an attempt at similar deployment to quell Togikwatako.

"Our deployment is based on the threat levels anticipated," says Kampala Metropolitan Police Commander Nicholas Mwesigwa. He told The Independent on Nov 3 that since police banned the joint consultations among various MPs, there has not been any disturbance. In reality, police might have been caught flat-footed, with no clear target to clobber this time. Meanwhile, the Togikwatako campaign is already being mooted as a pressure group to take on Museveni if he stands in the 2021 presidential elections.

Allaah gives the best to those who leave the choice to Him."And if Allah touches you with harm, none can remove it but He, and if He touches you with good, then He is Able to do all things." (6:17)

Disclaimer:Everyone posting to this Forum bears the sole responsibility for any legal consequences of his or her postings, and hence statements and facts must be presented responsibly. Your continued membership signifies that you agree to this disclaimer and pledge to abide by our Rules and Guidelines.To unsubscribe from this group, send email to:

{UAH} Towards a New Theory for Ousting Museveni
By Norbert Mao

Museveni appears to be bent on a life presidency and yet the Opposition rather than consolidating its strength is getting more fragmented. Ironically, Museveni's current stance of defying the will of the people is the glue the Opposition needs to build a united front.

With the last straw being the machinations to lift the constitutional age limit, Museveni has pushed Ugandans too far and betrayed the revolution which elevated him. A revolution means you are conscious of the existing reality and you fight to transform that reality into something totally different.

By lifting the presidential age limit, Museveni will have undressed himself and joined the league of all the past leaders he never tires of lambasting. It will be the final nail in the coffin of the NRM revolution and thus a most welcome curtain raiser and a call to arms for the next revolution.

In that situation, how should the democracy seeking forces act? First they should find a solution to the fragmentation that has dogged its efforts for decades. When your house is burning you don't chase rats fleeing the flames. You focus on putting out the fire. The Museveni regime is a big fire burning our dreams for a better future and turning them to ashes. Insulting Museveni will not do. Just like insulting a fierce fire does not reduce its intensity. We have to join hands.

The democracy seeking forces also need to organise both overtly and covertly. They should disabuse themselves from the false dichotomy akin to the one we witnessed during the recent FDC presidential elections. Tactics are complementary. As long as they serve the same strategic objective. Campaigns of defiance against a lawless state must go hand in hand with better organisation. We cannot compromise on the pre-eminence of organisation. At the same time opponents have to be confronted. An army is not for parades. It is for war. And war means finding the enemy wherever he may be and attacking him with the aim of overwhelming him.

We must make our people hear, feel but above all see the imperative of urgent action aimed at ousting Museveni.

In addition, it should be understood that organisations are the sum total of the individuals in them. Invariably however, organisations also take the character of the leaders, that is to say the dominant individuals. The Opposition has many individuals who can lead. However, unless they find common ground Museveni will continue to deploy the divide and rule technique against them. There is no glory in being a headman among slaves. When slaves unite the Red Sea of oppression will part.

In that way any individual who agrees to lead must be an instrument of the common will of the united Opposition. The FDC elections brought to the fore an intense debate about Col Kizza Besigye as a polarising figure and suggestions that he would, therefore, be a worse leader than Museveni. That is utter nonsense. There has never been and there will never be a Ugandan president who has abused power more than Yoweri Museveni.

But there is another battle we have to fight. That battle is the one against our own internal weaknesses. External appearance depends on internal characteristics. The contradictions we externalise are an express of our internal contradictions. But the primary contradiction is the one between the people and the Museveni regime. We, therefore, have to paint a better picture of the future than Museveni.

In doing that, the words of Amilcar Cabral are instructive: "Always bear in mind that people are not fighting for ideas, for the things in anyone's head. They are fighting to win material benefits, to live better and in peace, to see their lives go forward, to guarantee the future of their children."
Allaah gives the best to those who leave the choice to Him."And if Allah touches you with harm, none can remove it but He, and if He touches you with good, then He is Able to do all things." (6:17)

Disclaimer:Everyone posting to this Forum bears the sole responsibility for any legal consequences of his or her postings, and hence statements and facts must be presented responsibly. Your continued membership signifies that you agree to this disclaimer and pledge to abide by our Rules and Guidelines.To unsubscribe from this group, send email to:

{UAH} This Is a Crucial Week in Ugandan Politics
OPINIONBy Ssemujju Ibrahim Nganda

A decision by NRM MPs this week to endorse a report on removing presidential age limits for the sole benefit of Mr Yoweri Museveni has potential to worsen an already uncertain future.

And almost all these MPs know. Privately, they will tell you how bad this decision is. And then you wonder why they are gearing up to vote for it! A couple of NRM MPs told me their motivation is cash. And Mr Museveni has become an expert in bribery.

Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee members have each [allegedly] been given Shs 300 million for signing the report endorsing the age limit bill. That is why they signed it past midnight.

Kiboga Woman MP Ruth Nankabirwa has become very crucial in this transaction. I understand non-committee members will each be advanced Shs 100 million before voting and Shs 100 million after voting for this bill. That is the deal which has motivated even a few NRM voices that initially opposed this constitutional amendment.

And Museveni is a lucky man. He is no longer blamed for bribing and compromising people. Instead, his victims take the blame.

The information above was to help you understand why things have moved so fast. I sit on the committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and we had agreed never to submit a report before conducting public consultations. In fact, a programme had been drafted and we had been divided into groups.

The leadership of the committee had even put a condition that before writing the report, we must visit some countries to benchmark on the issue of age limits.

I am told Museveni fixers told him MPs are usually hungry for money towards Christmas. He quickly organized money and deployed Nankabirwa to strike. Nankabirwa convinced NRM MPs that the money they wanted to get through benchmarking trips will more than double if they quickly processed the report.

Right, that has happened. Let us now discuss the real implication of this bill for our future. In a report titled 'They used to be rulers of their African or Arab countries: today they are dead, deposed or driven from their homeland', Los Angeles Times summarized our problems.

The newspaper last week published a photograph of heads of state attending the second Afro-Arab joint summit in Sirte of Libya on October 10, 2010.

Those standing with their host, Muammar Gaddafi, on the front row were: Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia who ascended to power in 1987; Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen in power for three decades; Hosni Mubarak of Egypt in power since 1981; Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso in power since 1987; Robert Gabriel Mugabe in power since 1980; Gaddafi in power since 1969, and Sudan's Omar al-Bashir in power since 1989.

This entire row, save for Bashir, has been wiped out in just seven years, with serious ramifications for their respective countries. You all know what happened to Gaddafi and Libya, Compaore and Burkina Faso, Abdullah Saleh and Yemen, Mugabe and Zimbabwe or Ben Ali and Tunisia.

Sudan and Bashir are also limping and he is wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity. Removing a leader forcefully is as expensive as keeping a leader beyond his expiry date.

With Jose Eduardo dos Santos of Angola finally bowing out, Mr Museveni is effectively the third-longest serving leader in Africa.

The African Union has 55 countries. Almost all leaders who came into power in the 1980s or before have either been forced out or have voluntarily retired.

It is only Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon's Paul Biya that have refused to go. Sudan's Bashir is in fourth position, having grabbed power in 1989. These are the remaining leaders of the 1980s.

With the exception of Eritrea (1991), Morocco (1999), Djibouti (1999) and Congo Brazzaville (1997), the rest of AU heads of state assumed power after 2000. Museveni, Bashir and Nguema are in a league of their own.

As the manoeuvres of changing the Constitution reached a climax last week, I remembered the words of Gen Henry Tumukunde in 2005 while appearing on CBS radio.

Tumukunde reminded us that when leaders grow, they surrender power to their spouses or girlfriends. He gave us the example of Kamuzu Banda of Malawi who, in old age, surrendered power to a girlfriend and his son in-law.

Tumukunde was right because that is exactly what happened in Zimbabwe in the last days of Mugabe. His wife Grace assumed power and was making decisions on behalf of the aging leader.

If Museveni gets his way and amends the Constitution and rigs the 2021 elections, he may be a leader even at 83. Will he surrender power to a spouse or girlfriend? Our work as the citizenry is now well cut out!

The author is Kira Municipality MP and opposition chief whip in parliament.

Allaah gives the best to those who leave the choice to Him."And if Allah touches you with harm, none can remove it but He, and if He touches you with good, then He is Able to do all things." (6:17)

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{UAH} FOR THOSE PRAISING UGANDA INDIANS: Uganda’s Asians were also sinners

Uganda's Asians were also sinners

Forty-five years ago, Idi Amin expelled his country's Asians — and they became Britain's great immigration success story. Yasmin Alibhai-Brown was among them. Now, she takes an unflinching look back at the bloody ethnic upheaval of 1972 and asks to what extent Ugandan Asians were culpable

Turbulent times: Yasmin Alibhai-Brown (centre, holding hands) at Makerere University in 1970
Turbulent times: Yasmin Alibhai-Brown (centre, holding hands) at Makerere University in 1970
The Sunday Times, 

Forty-five years ago this autumn, planeloads of my fellow Ugandan Asians arrived at Stansted airport in Essex after being expelled by President Idi Amin, an archetypal baleful, devious villain who also had animal magnetism and told great jokes. When President Mugabe was finally forced out of power in Zimbabwe last month, it brought back memories of populist African leaders who grab power, become dictatorial and fail their nations. That story never ends. Exile, for us, proved to be a blessing.

Ted Heath's government had to resettle 28,000 disorientated children, women and men from the former British colony, while Enoch Powell stirred up populist fury against this "influx". The years that followed were hard. But look at us now. Haven't we done well? David Cameron pronounced us Ugandan Asians "among the most successful migrants anywhere in the world". Even Nigel Farage extols our virtues. We are judged to be exemplary incomers who turned tragedy to triumph. Smug Ugandan Asians still boast that Uganda never recovered after our banishment. Some are so grateful to Britain, they have framed pictures of Heath and the Queen on their walls.

When we arrived, the UK was in a sorry state. The upbeat 1960s were over. In 1972 the economy was diving, industrial disputes were raging, cities and towns were bleak, doped hippies symbolised the state of the nation — disorderly, spent and purposeless. This was not the Great Britain we had imagined. Awe was replaced by shock. But Ugandans are pragmatic, canny, ambitious and audacious. I remember going to an army camp where some of the accidental migrants were temporarily housed. Some men seemed unusually hearty. They had walked around town and seen infinite possibilities. Mr Shah, an experienced exporter, said: "They close shop at five. Lazy, losing all that money. We will be rich, my friends." Much mirth.

And a large number of them did just that. They revived the nation of shopkeepers, pioneered 24-hour shopping, diversified, got rich, very rich. My nerdy maths teacher bought a chain of pharmacies, other acquaintances ran lucrative care-home companies, my late brother and cousins set up profitable travel agencies. As Lord Dolar Popat once said in the Lords: "Many of us encountered racial tensions, jobs were not plentiful, it was a very difficult time initially … [but] we started over again. Ugandan Asians have helped to transform the fabric of British society."

At a recent wedding party thrown by Ugandan Asian friends, every other car in the car park was a Merc, Jaguar or big BMW. Our Toyota Prius looked like a poor relative. Among the many Ugandan Asian business legends are the property magnates Zul and Nazmu Virani, the manufacturer and retailer Mitesh Jatania, the global investment manager Rupin Vadera and Lord Rumi Verjee, who founded Domino's Pizza. Some of them are also big donors to aid organisations and political parties.

Like Jewish Britons, Ugandan Asians are trailblazing in politics and other areas. Priti Patel became the first elected female Asian Tory cabinet minister. Though forced to resign over unauthorised meetings in Israel, hard Brexiteers still see her as a potential future prime minister. Her father, Sushil, a self-made businessman, newsagent and former Ukip candidate, was from Uganda. As were Shailesh Vara MP and Lord Popat, both Tories, the Lib Dem peer Rumi Verjee and Labour's Baroness Shriti Vadera, sister of Rupin. Our children and grandchildren are rising stars in the media, law, medicine, the City, think tanks and the charity sector.

This neat narrative, well known and oft told, makes everyone feel good — the receiving nation and the incomers. But it buries inconvenient truths, leaves out much of what happened. Those untold stories, like the restless undead, haunt many of us as we get older. Distorted histories inhibit the future and impede reconciliation. Uganda's President Museveni, who has been in power since 1986, handed back Asian properties, invited us back. But that did not bring closure. There is too much unfinished business.

Uncertain future: Brown during her student days. She hoped to become a university lecturer
Uncertain future: Brown during her student days. She hoped to become a university lecturer

Old photos have faded, but my memories remain vivid: the red earth, green, green grass, fecund mango and banana trees, hills and lakes, markets, schools, my alma mater Makerere University, black friends lost for ever, relatives and Asian mates scattered around the world. Or dead.

I can't forget the street-food stalls, the blind man who made metal colanders, young Johnny, the cook next door, who once slashed himself badly while grating a coconut. His mistress, a tough Muslim matriarch, berated him for dripping his inferior blood on her white coconut. Japan, my buddy, our servant, helped my mother to prepare wedding feasts and ironed the clothes she sewed for customers. Both sang Bollywood songs as they worked. He told me spooky stories in Swahili while pulling jiggers from my toes. Even as a child, I hated the way many Asians treated black Africans. Some of the cruellest were in my own family.

Independence from Britain in 1962 came bringing promises, soon broken. One evening in 1966, at a birthday party, we were bopping to Mustang Sally by Wilson Pickett when special forces kicked the door down and demanded alcohol. By 1970, the country had become lawless and feral. Three Asian sisters in our neighbourhood were raped by soldiers. The youngest became mute. Asians were intimidated and robbed at roadblocks.

New beginnings: Brown today
New beginnings: Brown today

I met Idi Amin in 1968. I was a school prefect and he was the head of the army, appointed by Milton Obote, Uganda's first elected leader after independence, a good socialist with bad autocratic instincts. The bulky general told me: "You Asians are no good people. Weaklings and crooks, all of you." Three years later, following a coup, Uganda had a new leader, Field Marshal General Idi Amin, VC, DSO, MC, president for life of Uganda, conqueror of the British Empire in Africa, last king of Scotland, doctor of political science.

Twenty months after that, he expelled the 75,000 "weaklings". Some Asians had British passports, others were Ugandan citizens and became stateless. After completing my degree at Makerere, I got a place at Oxford. I arrived in May 1972 and never went back. Exiles left behind homes, businesses, temples, mosques, graves, hearts. Bakul Vyas, who retired recently after a long career at British Airways, still misses "the big house, servants, the landscape, all the good things". His anger remains raw as he recalls the hellish last days, the humiliation and terror. His father — stateless, broken-hearted — died only three months after the deportations.

Jasmeen Houssen can't forget "coming home to the aroma of fried cassava, splashing in Lake Victoria, climbing Mount Elgon in skimpy shoes, the joy, the friends". She recalls the poverty of Africans and the conspicuous wealth of many Asians. The only female to get into the law faculty at Makerere, Houssen wanted to be a constitutional reformer: "That dream was blown away by Amin's anti-Asian tsunami. There is a well of bitterness in me. I will never forgive Amin."

Belinda Atim

Ugandan Asians still talk of a paradise lost, but it was never that simple. We Asians were grossly sinned against, but we were not blameless. Inward-looking and selfish, we did not care enough about the sufferings of black Ugandans.

The writer Joseph Ochieno is a black Ugandan refugee living in London. He knows other Ugandans who believe what Amin did to Asians was heroic. Ochieno doesn't share this view. But this thoughtful man can't forgive those Asians who were only interested in their own good lives, not the future of the country. They subverted "the elected socialist and internationalist government" and supported Amin before he turned on them. Vyas was one of them. "I went out to celebrate. Obote had gone. He wanted to nationalise 51% of our businesses and impose big taxes on properties. I was young. I didn't know any better," he says.

Vincent Magombe, a black Ugandan journalist and refugee, thinks Asians need to be more honest and less solipsistic: "The suffering of Asians is nothing, nothing. I have nothing against them. But fewer than 20 Asians died. More than 750,000 black people were obliterated." That tragedy is passed over. Black Ugandan dissenters have been persecuted by all their leaders. Those who could fled to the west. More than 180,000 of them are in the UK. Belinda Atim, a black Ugandan who works for international health and human rights organisations, came to Britain in the 1990s. "My life has been about loss," she says. "I have witnessed and survived appalling atrocities. My family members suffered from abuses, torture and extrajudicial killings. Not just my family, but people from the entire northern region, Acholis. Our suffering has not ended."

Lord Popat

One of my black interviewees had a mini-breakdown while we spoke. She couldn't carry on.

Patience, the daughter of a fellow Makerere student, wrote to me recently: "My father was killed by Idi Amin's soldiers. After you left, my mother was raped. She was your friend. I am the daughter of the rape. You don't know me. Ugandan Asians keep talking about their property. Why is no one interested in us?" I felt deep shame and guilt when I read the email. She is right. These lives should matter.

Asians first arrived in Uganda in the 1880s. They were indentured labourers — pitifully low-paid workers legally tethered to employers — brought over by the British to build a railway. They were followed by entrepreneurs and chancers who'd heard there was money to be made. The wayfarers opened shops, learnt local languages, made themselves indispensable. In time, they became cautious, nifty, middle-class, more supportive of the British Empire than against it. Immigration numbers grew, so too the ethnic gap.

In 1972, the anthropologist and Hindu monk Agehananda Bharati wrote: "What Africans can't forget is the disdain in which the Asian has been holding the African. They know Asians detest their darker colour and physiognomy … The Asian males had a few concubines, but no African could approach an Asian woman."

He was right. In 1961, a family friend almost kicked his black cook to death just because he told the man's daughter she was beautiful. In 1968, I played Juliet to a black Romeo and was beaten up by my male relatives and disowned by my father for ever.

Jasmeen Houssen

The Ugandan blogger Stephen Kamugasa thinks it was a cunning British plan: "In keeping with the principle of divide and rule, Asians were quickly subsumed into the official colonial government, in which they played the role of being a buffer between the whites and black natives. They were above local natives and had access to better services and opportunities. It bred much resentment."

The divisions were most palpable in Kampala, where I was raised. Some city Asians were good people. Vyas's father, a cotton exporter, ensured fair pay for producers. I knew businessmen who trained black staff and paid school fees for their children. But they were a minority. Lord Popat accepts that "there was prejudice. A class divide. We may have been selfish, didn't integrate, did not get involved in democracy. But we learnt lessons. Here in the UK we are integrated and engaged."

Popat was born and raised in the countryside, where, unlike Kampala, people mixed, trusted and helped each other. His mother became an informal midwife and delivered African babies. That may be why he is refreshingly candid about our mistakes. The Madhvani plantation tycoons were also based outside the capital. They built schools and hospitals, understood reciprocity. There were a few other enlightened individuals, most now forgotten. In 1957, some Asian intellectuals came together, a band of principled political brothers who dreamt of a rainbow nation, equal and truly independent. Those hopes were dashed. One of them was Anil Clerk, QC, who was abducted and murdered in 1972 by Amin's thugs.

There is another side to this complicated story. Corrupt and unworthy black politicians routinely scapegoated Asians in East Africa. The novelist Paul Theroux, who was one my lecturers at Makerere, wrote a passionate essay about this blame game: "[Asians are held] responsible for flagrant racism, the failure of African socialism and progress, all bad driving and motor accidents, sins of pride, envy, scandal, gluttony and lust, monopoly business, African neurosis, subversion of ruling parties … a high birth rate and bad food."

Amin was not our only enemy, he was just the worst of the lot. My niece's nanny, Teresa, used to say Obote was a hyena that waited for kills and then feasted on the flesh: "Me, I like a warrior, I like a buffalo. Uganda needs a buffalo, not a hyena."

Uganda got its buffalo. I was at uni then. The transition was seamless and soundless. On that morning, January 25, 1971, I opened the curtains in my small room in the hall of residence and a dead baby bat fell on the floor, a bad omen. The radio played My Boy Lollipop all day, interspersed with announcements by military men of curfews and the new order. The next day there was rejoicing, dancing in the streets. Obote had become unpopular. But our university was suddenly full of sinister unknown men. Meetings and debates were banned. One day in May, we gathered on campus to protest. Tanks appeared at the main gate. Tear gas was released, shots were heard, students were abducted. In a photo, I am running away in a checked minidress, a scarf round my head, knee socks.

The persecution of intellectuals and experts gathered pace. Amin knew the country would be easier to subjugate if he could rid it of academics and lawyers. He also suffered from a pathological inferiority complex. He turned up at Makerere that June. Dressed in full academic gear, he conducted the graduation ceremony. Horror and comedy, as always with him.

Vincent Magombe

Our vice-chancellor, Frank Kalimuzo, was murdered by soldiers using hammers. A bright law student, Paul Serwanga, was also slain. Women were found decapitated in the grounds. One was pregnant. Night after night, jackboots came into our hall of residence, looking for women from certain tribes. Some hid in the rooms of Asian students, which the soldiers did not enter — strange but true.

Susana, a roommate, was one of Amin's concubines. She gave me the recipe for his favourite stew — I still have it. He had her killed and enslaved her younger sister. African Ugandan refugees here have their own horrific tales. Ochieno's adopted brother was murdered, his body never found. Old Samuel, a priest, had his genitals hacked off. Mary Namusisi, 70, told me: "Amin hated my tribe. So his soldiers smashed my baby boy with their boots. They mashed him like a vegetable."

All this was going on while the US, UK and Israeli governments were backslapping the tyrant. He came on two state visits in 1971 and 1972. The Telegraph described him as "a welcome contrast to other African leaders and a staunch friend to Britain".

In his book Unpeople: Britain's Secret Human Rights Abuses, the historian Mark Curtis proves that the British government helped Amin into power. Obote wanted to nationalise key big businesses and strongly opposed the sale of arms to South Africa. Officials acknowledged Obote's policies were good for Ugandans, but bad for British interests. Amin would be their man. This is yet another example of British foreign policy that left a terrible legacy.

Magombe was 18 when Amin was toppled in 1979. He had written a play titled The Fall and Trial of Idi Amin. It was performed at an arts centre. Amin's defeated, marauding soldiers turned up, trashed the place, assaulted the youthful players. Magombe left. Unlike most Asians, people like him have found no peace.

The old country is still troubled. The same noxious geopolitical games are played. Oil has been discovered, so westerners are flocking in. Asian entrepreneurs too. The richest man in Uganda today is Sudhir Ruparelia, an Asian and a close chum of black politicians. He lives like an oligarch. Recently an investigation was launched into his business dealings.

Idealistic black and Asian Ugandans feel we were denied a future together. We could have created a vibrant, non-racist nation. Vyas, an international tennis player, wanted to be mayor of Kampala. I wanted to teach at Makerere and write history books. Houssen might have become a judge. Our children could have set up IT hubs. Magombe, Ochieno and Atim dream they would have built a proper, non-tribal democracy.

Simi is Asian, David is African. Both are divorcees who teach in London. They fancied each other in school in Kampala, when such relationships were forbidden. Last year they found each other on Facebook and got together. They plan to go to Uganda and start a small business. Popat has built a maternity clinic in his old town. Vyas sends equipment to his old school. Maybe that lost future can be found again. Uganda is a wonderful country. Despite our successes in the UK, our hopes must keep burning.


Gwokto La'Kitgum
"Even a small dog can piss on a tall building" Jim Hightower
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