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Day January 23, 2009

THE FDC BUBBLE


During a recent radio talk show discussing multi/party politics, a discussant, Dr Golooba made a rather startling comment on FDC. “……The only people who practised some kind of multi party politics were Miria and Sebaana. I dont even know what FDC represents.” The implication here is that FDC may not be having anything to articulate or represent and may therefore not even be a political party.

Before this remark, Bidandi Ssali had been quoted in The Daily Monitor of January 21 2006 as saying: “I don’t see a future for FDC after Museveni is out of the way, either through resignation or defeat. Most of the FDC leaders are in there for various motives.” In other words, apart from resistence to Museveni, there is no single thread which binds them. It is therefore not a political party in the true sense of the words.

What then is FDC?

Condintions that give rise to social and political struggles basically fall into two categories. First, is the search for economic advancement. One cannot postulate that FDCs share a common economic fate, and that it is that which binds them. Or that as a group they are seeking to improve their economic situation.

Secondly, there are those struggles which arise out of issues concerning identity.We all belong to various identities. They may be religions, schools, professions, etc. We are proud of these identities, and invest a lot of emotional resources to their well being. We also work hard to improve their status vis a vis other identities.

This is what UPC and DP for instance are about. DP seeks to improve the status of status of the identity of catholics, and UPC that of certain
nationalities or tribes.

FDC does not fall into any of these categories.
Prior to the formation of FDC, Dr Besigye was a senior member of the NRM. To put forward this arguement is not to negate the possiblity of one belonging to a political party or organisation, and being able to transcend the limits of that organisation, and then move on to higher plane.

Rather it is to argue that Dr Besigye is ideologically not different from that of Museveni. He has not shown anywhere that he has transcended the ideological position of the NRM. This arguement is reinforced by Dr Besigyes own ealier arguement that Museveni had renaged from the original positions of the NRM. In other words all Dr Besigye needs is to bring us back to the the origial NRM. Initially he also sought to reform the NRM. It will be recalled that it is this urge to reform the NRM which initially led him to form and lead an organisation called Reform Agenda.

However, despite its limited scope and purpose, FDC seems to have garnered a
lot of support. How do we characterise and expliain this

I would like to submit that the apparent support for FDC is a bubble. That is to say it is based on totally unrealistic expectations, and when reality reveals itself, the bubble will burst. Another way of characterisng FDC is to view it as a balloon. A fully blown balloon will look big. however, if you pinch it with a sharp pin, it bursts and shrivels into almost nothing.

In the financial world, the bubble means those stocks which come up and are highly rated well beyond their true value. With that kind of rating stock buyers rush to buy such stocks thinking they are making a good buy. However when the stocks assume their true value, the exagurated value collapses and the stocks assume their true market value which should be much lower than what most buyers would have spent. This is what in stock markets are called the busting of the bubble.


What do I mean?

A sizeable portion of the the population are opposed to Museveni. In their quest to rid themselves of Museveni, they thought FDC and, in particular its leader, Dr Besigye could do the job.

They viewed Dr Besigye as a very courageous man who could take up Museveni. They also saw him as a miltary man who should have the miltary support with which to checkmate Museveni’s miltary support.

Further Museveni himself gave Dr Besigye a tremendous boost by appearing to be terribly scared of him. Dr Besigye was not only locked up but several charges were brought against him.

Now that Besigye has “lost” the elections, those from other parties who supported him will take a review. It is during that review that the bubble will begin to burst.

Dr Besigye has also gone to court to protest election irregularities. There is a real posiblity that the Court could agree with his petition.

If the Court upheld the petition, and nullified the recent elections, that is to say knocked out Museveni, the problem of Museveni would have been solved.

In such a sitution, just as Bidandi Ssali had earlier said, FDC would have no objective necessity to continue existing. FDC would splinter, and those who had supported Dr Besigye in the belief that he is the only one who has the wherewithall to combat Museveni would review their position in the light of a sitution of Museveni out of the fight.

On the other hand, there is the cynical view is that the Courts cannot pass any judgement against Museveni. Should that be the scenario, then Besigye’s
failure in court would further accelerate the bursting of the bubble. Many of his erstwhile supporters do expect him to carry the day in court. They feel they were cheated at the polls. A failure at the Courts would totally dash the residual hope and send them reviewing their political affiliation to FDC.

In the long run too, the FDC has no future as Bidandi Ssali says. It is no inkling as to the tasks which have come to the fore at the present phase of our history. It is just reacting to events, and particulalrly the person of President Museveni.

ALL OF UGANDA FACTIONS ARE STERILE BUBBLES: NOT JUST FDC


1/9 UPC, DP, PPP, NRMO, CP, JEEMA, FDC, JF, UGP, NDF (plus Vicks Kingo!) and on and on…probably heading for the 623 of the evening of Mobutu’s Zaire , when that country was the most vibrant multiparty democracy in the world.  But the question is, where does factionalism end and where does pluralism begin? When one looks at the random harvest of Uganda’s political elite, all one sees are individuals that are exactly the same, but struggling to be different. They struggle to differ because of the narrowness of the ‘panya’ that leads to the coveted throne where some ruling clique of the day dishes out patronage, lubricated mostly unearned income that is tossed at us in form of aid.

2/9 Let us take a closer look at Uganda ’s demographics.  We are just over 30 million.  Of that, about 27 million, i.e., 90% are peasants.  Let us take another country like France in the past.  In 1789 on the eve of that country’s revolution, the French were 25 million and of that, 23 million i.e., 90% were peasants.  Yes, one could argue that, that was France , and the year was 1789.. In other words: different locales, different epochs. But in socio-historical terms, Uganda 2008 = France 1789: 90% peasants and that tells a huge story about our capabilities across the board.

3/9 But of course you know that when France had the same proportion of peasants like we do now, they did not have political parties. Is it because the French were blind to the virtues of pluralism, and we, Uganda are cleverer? Is it a historical accident that when the earlier modernisers had similar demographics like Uganda ’s now they were ruled by monarchs (Mono: single person; archs: rulers)? And I am not a monarchist please….but, with our 90% peasants, the rest being – let us be honest – a lumpen bourgeoisie, a functional liberal democracy seems to be a negative dream in Uganda, as the purposeless jostling between and within our factions clearly demonstrates.

4/9 Attempting to cheat social development will not take us anywhere, because the gravitational pull of our social reality seems to always pull us towards our historical station: mediaevalism: 20, 30, 40 yrs in power by the rulers, just like the Hapsburgs and Tudors; and Hohenzollerns and Shoguns of the earlier modernisers.

5/9 Historically, political parties have always emerged as structures for forming and conveying group interests in VERTICALLY DIFFERENTIATED SOCIETIES whose structure is the outcome of the transformation engendered by the industrial and agricultural revolutions.  In societies where political parties emerge, wage labourers at the base, bureaucratic elites in the middle and merchants, owners of capital, financiers, industrialists and land at the top (I am reminded here that, 70% of the land in Britain is owned by 0.7% of the population).  In that kind of set up, a labourer in a factory will not give a damn about the ethnicity of a factory manager.  What the wage labourer wants is a decent minimum wage, low income tax and acceptable working conditions.  The head of his trade union can be any religion or lineage, as long as he is vocal enough to squeeze maximum benefits from the factory owner.

6/9 In those societies, political parties are nothing but the committees that manage the interests of those classes..  For example in Britain which colonised us, the interests of the top third are taken care of by the Conservatives, those of the middle third by the Liberal Democrats (the fence sitters) and those of the bottom third are managed by the Labour Party.  Tell us: whose class interests do UPC or DP or PPP or NRM or CP or JEEMA or FDC or JF or UGP or NDF etc manage? Whose interests does Nzaana, Semuwemba, Ochieno, Wambuga, Nsubuga part I, Nsubuga Part II, Nsubuga, Adhola and…..er, L/Cpl Otto represent? Do we speak for wage labourers, landlords, financiers or what? Which class do we speak for?

7/9 Uganda now is a society that is HORIZONTALLY DIFFERENTIATED. The only groups known to the predominant ‘class’ (the 90% peasants) in Uganda are ethnicities, clans, sub clans, lineages, families, castes etc. The consciousness of the 10% (or even less) pseudo elite (one of whom you and I are) is false consciousness arising from what we see across the fence in the global north.

8/9 Now; people, when you impose the structures of interest aggregation and articulation of vertically differentiated polities onto horizontally differentiated countries like Uganda, IT IS AS IF YOU ARE FORCING A PAWPAW TREE TO GROW LIKE A PUMPKIN.  That tree will either die off outright, or become a disastrous weed as it struggles to conform to alien territory: the undulating contours of that horizontal social template of pre-industrialism.  This is what Mr Adhola tries to rationalise by stating that, I quote, This is what UPC and DP for instance are about. DP seeks to improve the status of status of the identity of catholics, and UPC that of certain nationalities or tribes.’
That sums up the basic pathology of Uganda’s politics today.  Uganda with political parties is like a porcupine in a kanzu.

9/9 The fact is that, political parties are not merely creatures of, but are an upshot of industrialism.  We are not there.  What political dispensation propelled the industrial, vertically differentiated polities to liberalism? It was not multipartyism! Just like a pawpaw tree cannot grow like a pumpkin, or kalitusi can not grow like lumonde, liberal democracy cannot thrive in our mediaeval conditions.  We may need to go back to the drawing board!…..Look at what other preindustrial countries had to do to create the infrastructure for liberal democracy.

L/Cpl (rtd) Otto Patrick

Banyoro and Bakiiga live peacefully


Bunyoro-Kitara is the only kingdom in Uganda where everybody is welcome unreservedly. Just go to Masindi you will find Luos in Cope who even have their own Luo-speaking MP, OTADA AMOOTI who owns a flourishing Bus company by his name, OTADA BUS COMAPNY.

Bagungu in Buliisa DISTRICT and elsewhere in Bunyoro-Kitara are very happily integrated into Bunyoro-Kitara cultures and traditions. Even the Masindi Disitrict chairman, Stephen Biriija is a Mugugu. But Bagungu, Alurs, etc. and Banyoro live very happily together. Come to Kibaale District, out of four MPs two are Bakiga.

In 1965 the whole Omukama of Bunyoro-Kitara, Sir Tito Winyi officially invited Bakiga to come and settle in Kibaale and they were allocated a whole sub-county,  RUTEETE. My own dad, the late Joseph Kazairwe played a major role in re-settling them.

And in 1992 Bugangaizi MP, the Ssali Sekitoleko in agreement with President Y. Museveni transplanted over 30,000 Bakiga from Tooro and settled them in Bugangaiizi County at Kisiita.

Banyoro are so hospitable the migrant Bakiga were given 12 acres of Bunyoro land free of charge. And later they were given Shs 12 million by the High Court. Where in Uganda do you find such hospitality and generosity.

Today the areas where Bakiga Bafuruki are settled are more prosperous than the ones where Banyoro are in the Majority. The Bakiga Bafuruki even changed the names of our sub-counties, for example BURORA  was changed to  RUGASHARI, ETC. We have Bakonjo and Bamba migrants in Kibaale living happily with Banyoro.

One must read Bunyoro-Kitara history and the Uganda Constitution. These documents show you that there are major historiclal atrocities which were committed against Banyoro and the Uganda Government has the moral and physical responsibility to rectify them.That’s why President Musevein called Parliament in 2003 and sought permission from the august house to ask for permission to unseat  a Mukiga, Fred Rulemeera, to step a down and make sure a Munyoro replaces him and becomes Kibaale District chairman.The Uganda Constitution says these historical wrongs against Banyoro must be addressed and when this is done it will not mean that Banyoro are more human than others.

Henry Ford Mirima

what happened to Rwanda’s King?


Rwanda had a revolution led by George Kaibanda, with the help of the French and Catholic Church that deposed King Kigyeri to Uganda and Muteesa gave him land in Mawogola where he settled and his people. During UPC/KY alliance, Obote hired Kigyeri and some of his people to work in General Service Unit. They continued even in State Research Bureau under Amin. However a section led by Fred Rwigyema were in FRONASA with Museveni. While many led by Ndugute were in Uganda Army. Since independence in 1962, Rwanda is a republic not a monarchy. Last year Kagame told Kigyeri to go back to Rwanda as a private citizen. Kigyeri refused and said that he wanted to go back as a king. He lives in New York .

Kigeri lost power in 1959 and his grandfather had lost power first to Germans and later to the British. Kagame fought and captured state power in 1994 and he is therefore the legitimate leader. He also organized elections and he won it. So somebody with political and military power and with the legitimacy of the people, he can direct a former king. Rwanda is not yet with a law allowing traditional leaders. Kigeri may be back like our own kings here in Uganda. It is the same with the family of the Sultan of Zanzibar, an extension of the Sultan of Oman. Then the former ruling dynasty of Burundi which was deposed in 1966, then that of Ethiopia swept away in 1974. The Banyamulenge king of former Zaire is a businessman in Kampala but Kabila is the one with power even if Kabila is a commoner. That’s life mwattu!!!

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