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Month August 2010

Cruelty and Lack of ”Obuntu” in Kabale, Uganda


Fellow Ugandans At Heart,
      I write this message with anger and disbelief at how cruelty and sheer lack of the essence of being human, has penetrated our Ugandan societies.
      Several months ago, my maternal grand mother passed away. She was the glue that kept the family together after the death of many of her children, leaving many orphans in her care. After her death, one of her daughters took charge of the orphans and other children of her own. Her husband died several decades ago.
     It took me over thirty years to find my maternal relatives in Kigezi. The Danish Red Cross having let me down on many occasions, I decided to use friends to help me find them. Since then, I have done all I possibly could to support them.
     Yesterday, I sent money by Western Union to my aunt for the purpose of family support. Although she had a document with her photograph signed by the LC as her identity, the official in the Kabale Bank refused to give her the money and yet the MNTC numbers and the Test Question and Answer were perfectly in order. My aunt telephoned me while still in the Bank and gave the Banker the phone to speak to me. I told him that I am the sender of the money and that it was okay to issue the money. The Banker told me that he wanted ”an ID” and that, ”I can’t change Company policy because of this one person”. Before I could ask him why he did not consider the document given to him as an ID, he gave the phone back to my aunt. My aunt had to walk out of the Bank without the money. She had also asked if her 17 year old son’s ID was okay, so that I could ask the Western Union to send a message changing the recipient’s name. The Banker told her that he could not accept an under 18’s ID.
       At this moment, I am angry and disappointed and don’t know what even to think about what is going on in our Uganda. Can some one please kindly advise me?
                                                         BJ. Rubin.

IPC bickerings may be the final nail in the coffin for the opposition’s credibility in Uganda


Folks

The breakings news story is that Mr. Otunnu has quit the IPC and formed a new pressure group called National Social Movement (NSM). I will let you digest the news.

Why did IPC promise Ugandans the unity it could not deliver” Similarly, why did IPC promise transparency, fairness and democracy-wowe, our motherland Uganda-when the schemers knew all along that what really mattered were the end and not the means?  You are intelligent people so you know the desired ends.  I have written here over and over that “only fair means lead to fair ends”. In short, means matter. Of course this is not the philosophy of the IPC ‘owners’ who hoodwinked a gullible populace and sections of the media that they really meant what they said. Oh please!

Now the IPC bubble has burst. So what next?  Sections of the media-it is wrong to be in bed with either the government/NRM or opposition, IPC-bought into the lies and must be scrambling to figure out how things fell apart and falling apart they have.   I do not want to mice my words: the opposition ala IPC has scored in its own net. But the media or sections of it that were gullible have some explaining to do.  The media never questioned IPC motives the way they have focused on the old parties specially DP and UPC.  The media spoiled IPC and made IPC ‘owner’s delusional.

There is not one single issue IPC passed the test; Internal party democracy. Nil. Free and fair elections, nada. So the big question, in what substantial way is IPC different from NRM?  None.  Given that sad reality what next for our motherland Uganda?  Please spare a thought for the Ugandan voter. What to do in the face of such mediocrity?  Since when did Ugandan become a country of mediocre, a country where biicuuppul carrying politicians charm by churning out, lies left and right?

Shame on all of you in UAH, Ugandans, but especially the Ugandan media who were gullible to the extent of believing without questioning the lies from IPC.  IPC was about one person and you are all smart enough to know what it was all about.

I always laughed at those who compared the bumbling Ugandan opposition with NARC. For starters NARC knew what they wanted. The original leaders, Mr. Emilio Mwai Kibaki then of DP, The late Mr. Wamalwa Kijana then of Ford People and Mrs. Charity Ngilu then of SDP, knew what they wanted and had voting blocks behind them.  None of this applies to the opposition in Uganda.

I understand many UAH folks believed that the opposition in Uganda has what it takes.  I say wupuzi/nonsense.

Of course, NARC was helped by the fallout in KANU when Mr. Moi handed the KANU ticket to its ‘owners’ in the name of Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta. The rest bolted to join NARC but could not change the order in the party. That is when they had to declare Kibaki tosha/Kibaki is enough.  And with that KANU was uprooted. In reality KANU still rules Kenya because all the current leaders and pretenders for 2012 were KANU damu.

Sorry for digressing, but I wanted to expose the fallacy among sections of Ugandans that the Ugandan opposition can unite and do what the Kenyan opposition did under NARC. The obvious difference is that Kenya had Mr. Mwai Kibaki, an establishment and known entity whom the key domestic and international stakeholders could do business with.  There is no equivalent of a Mr. Mwai Kibaki in Uganda. If you want any proof, see the fallout of IPC of UPC and its demise.

Now, is the demise of the IPC such a momentous and game changing political disaster? Luckily for me in the neither/nor camp, the end of IPC under such clouds is neither shocking, nor a blow to the opposition plans for 2012.  UAH folks should not waste much ink on its demised because it may be a blessing in disguise. May be the opposition can use it a teaching moment. What does the demise of IPC teach them? Did they take Ugandan opposition parties for granted? And what about voters?

May be the opposition can now begin to communicate. They have tried to give our information but that is not the same thing as effective communication. Indeed, IPC’s demise has its roots in its inability of its leaders to communicate. I begged them and other opposition parties to hire someone who knows the difference between merely giving out information and communicating but so far wapi. Now they have a crisis and have no clue what to do.

There is enough time to still make an impact on the voters. I pray that DP, UPC and hopefully NRM will resist any attempt to rub in.

What DP deserves is credit for having read the situation in IPC better than the rest. IPC was in reality about one and one individual alone. Yet for some reason, educated Ugandans and sections of the media did not seem to grasp it.

I have written here over and over that Kenya and Uganda are different. For starters, if Uganda was Kenya, the opposition would actually have a fair shot at defeating YKM given the way YKM favors a few at the expense of many.  Why? In Kenya, voting is predictable along ethnicity. You come from a larger ethnic group; you command a sizable voting block. Whether that is a good or bad thing is neither her nor there.

Another major difference between the opposition in Ugandan and Kenya is the in the latter, the opposition were actually in the upper tier of leading politicians.  The same cannot be said of opposition politicians in Uganda. Actually, the current crop in Ugandan is even worse than tier B in Kenya. Also, Kenyan opposition politicians had financial muscle and could mobilize big Mo within.  Ugandan oppositions have neither money nor ideas.

I disagree with some people that changes ushered in by NARC were Kiwani. The changes were real and not cosmetic. That is the excuse some Ugandan folks fall back on.

Listen, Kenya under Mr. Kibaki even before the new constitution was promulgated was a very different country than Kenya under the last years of Mr. Moi.  No single Kenyan has been detained since NARC came into office. Freedom of speech has grown beyond any imagination. The Kenyan economy has done very well and has expanded multiple times under Mr. Kibaki.

Democratic space has expanded. The road infrastructure has been repaired. Farmers can afford Tusker. The daily sector is again back and KCC is doing what it does best with maziwa. Kids are in school under UPE and USE and USE applies to all schools including the top guns such as, Alliance Boys and girls, Mangu, Starehe Centre, Limuru, and Maseno etc.  Entrepreneurship has exploded and so on.

If I may ask some people, what is the change Kenyans wanted and did not get under NARC? With all due respect the changes ushered in Kenya under Mr. Kibaki/NARC were real and fundamental.  The Kenyan economy was on its knees. The road infrastructure was gone, corruption had reached endemic levels. Idiots routinely fought each other in state House Nairobi etc. To appreciate the changes, you must have visited Kenya under tawala Moi. If you did you should be able to compare real changes easily.

Some one asked  me whether Mr. Besigye’s replacement of Mr. Museveni is change.  There will be no such change folks.  Get over it.
What do I think is good for Uganda?  I would prefer to see real change but the question is this: who will deliver that change? Can any of the pretenders get the country there? No.  Amama Mbabazi will NEVER be elected president of Uganda. There is conceivable scenario.

Something tells me that developments in NRM are what will actually deliver change.  You read the situations in NRM.  2011 could be watershed elections for NRM and that is good for Uganda. To be honest I trying to put my mind to the fighting shooting and very soon killings in NRM and what they mean for Uganda.  I have not interested my self with the on goings in the opposition for obvious reasons.2011 will not bring change to Uganda. But 2015 could deliver some surprises for the country.

W.B. Kyijomanyi

DP Elder in USA

Andrew Mwenda responds in details to the accusations by Charles Odoobo Bichachi


Dear all,

First, I find it curious that the people who claim to believe in democracy among the Ugandan elite cannot practice some of its basic principles. In the case of my disagreement with my colleague, Charles Binanchi, as indicated in the link below:

Why co-founder Bichachi quit The Independent

http://www.eastafricapress.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=314:fallout&catid=88:ethics

Many of you have rushed to a conclusion on the basis of hearing only his side of the story. I thought those who claim to be democratic would follow the first and most important principle of natural justice i.e. do not condemn anyone without hearing from them. In this case, Charles wrote what he felt about leaving IPL. He did not lie. Although I think he felt hurt, the problem was that he misunderstood me and the complexity of shareholding we were trying to implement. For example, the shares were to be registered on a percentage basis i.e. 20%. The problem was, assuming each one had 5% shares all of them based on sweat, what do you do when someone leaves after one year and another works for ten years?

According to our original plan, the one who worked for one year would have equal shares with the one who worked for ten years. That is grossly unfair because the sweat of someone for only one year cannot be valued at the same level of the sweat of another for ten years. The difficulty in registering these shares (and we are still facing it today) is how then to calculate them? Anyway, in the same magazine was my reply to Charles as indicated in the link below:

http://www.eastafricapress.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=315:we-parted-amicably&catid=96:management

There is more I could say on this matter but I respect Charles and know that he was genuine but genuinely wrong. First, I mentioned that in January 2009, we (meaning me, Bichachi, Were, Dambyo, and Wamucoori) fired two of our senior colleagues (Daniel and ford) for loss of revenue. Each of these people had 3.5% shares in the company. I insisted that we hire an auditor and value the company along a NBV (net book value) and pay them for 3.5% of the shares each had been promised in the verbal agreement. The company’s total assets (fixed assets, money owed by advertisers and bank balances) were about Shs 510m. But remember that I had extended a loan to the company of Shs 350m which Bichachi talked about. This coupled with losses of Shs 164m in 2008 and debts to our suppliers worth shs 122m created negative equity in the company (do the maths). Yet this notwithstanding, I felt strongly that partly because of their contribution, and largely because of the strong importance I attach to my word and integrity, they should be compensated. So we paid them for equity that the company did not actually have.

Secondly, when Bichachi was leaving, we actually paid him. In his article, he says we paid him peanuts. Surely, Charles should have had a scientific basis for valuing his 3.5% shares and then proceeded to show whether it actually amounted to a certain amount he felt he deserved. I personally felt he deserved much more money. But my feeling cannot override the financial reality of the business. In fact we paid him because of my feeling that he deserved to leave with something, not because technically his shares were worth anything. The company was still in negative equity at the time he left i.e. our liabilities were greater than our assets. I really would not like to criticize Charles because I respect him a lot, and I admire his personal courage and commitment to freedom and democracy. But in all fairness Charles does not understand paper wealth. I got the sense that he felt the existence of a company automatically means that it has positive equity.

Finally, all the other colleagues have not left Independent. It is wrong to think they are poodles. Joseph and Patrick asked me to compensate them for their shares. I paid. Godrick refused saying he trusted my word. Today, the board of directors approved the employee shareholding scheme and his 3.5% is there. The company is going to turn a profit this year, has cut down its debts, the money put in by directors as loans has now been transferred in as capitalization. So we have positive equity. It pains me that Charles left before he could actually realize the value of his efforts. I can never cheat anyone, and I can never renege on my word.

I would also like to respond to Abbey Semuwemba who posted something on the Ugandans At Heart (UAH) forum saying: ‘’Yes, we started discussing the general entrepreneurial unprofessionalism among Africans in Uganda and abroad, and how it can be addressed, after reading Charles’s story, which I thought was more important than even Charles’s story itself.’’

I do not agree with Abbey that the lack of formal agreements kills business partnerships. Please note that a formal agreement is not what keeps a partnership. There is what the sociologist Durkheim called “non contractual elements of a contract.” What makes people honor a contract is not the words written on a piece of paper. If that were the case, people would always be in court seeking redress – because only courts can adjudicate on such matters. Agreements and contracts are rooted in a people’s norms, traditions and shared cultural understandings which we actually take for granted. My dad sent me to school and paid my fees all through. There was no contract. You may say that was my dad. But I look after children who are not my relatives but total strangers who have impressed me with their excellent academic performance yet they are poor. I pay their fees in secondary schools and universities every term and on time. I honor my word to them out of my moral commitment. They trust my promise when I delay to give them money for a day or two, because we trust each other.

Second example: My friend Teddy and her husband Isaac import goods from china for sale in Uganda. Their Chinese suppliers give them credit to the tune of US$ 1m and they pay back after selling. Yet the Chinese suppliers in Shanghai have never been to Uganda, do not have Teddy and Isaac’s physical address, do not have a contract with them etc. all they have is their phone number and email address. This business relationship is working well. Teddy goes to China and parts containers of goods without pre-paying, brings to Kampala, sells and pays them later. Across the Middle East and Africa, people trade without formal agreements and they honor their obligations. The belief among some African elites that an agreement has to be formally written and signed to be honored is an inheritance from western values that is not rooted in our culture. Whoever is reading this has friends he has lent money to or borrowed from and promised to pay without an agreement.

Even at Independent, we loaned our printer shs 200m to buy a new printing machine. The board has been asking me for a debenture on the machine, a registered loan agreement, an insurance policy on the machine etc. I have insisted that I trust this man because I know him. He stood by us when no one could print our magazine because of state intimidation. He cannot cheat us. Finally the board agreed that I should be held responsible if the company loses money. I accepted because I trust this old man. In fact, bichachi had also expressed a concern that our printer would cheat us. I refused saying I know the man. He is a respectable man who meets his loan obligations. I have businesses I run with friends here in Kampala – black and white and Indian – where we do not have formal agreements. The business partnerships are all doing fine.

Kindly write to Godrick Dambyo, now our general manager, and ask him about his shares in the independent. We have not yet registered them. Ask him privately or publically if he thinks mwenda intends to cheat him. My mistake was to think that Charles would trust me as I thought he would; he certainly did not. I should not have assumed that. Secondly, even beyond that expectation of trust, Jamwa, Kasango and everyone else whom I consulted knows how many times I tried to get these people’s shares registered and how many times I found legal and practical obstacles. If God exists, he knows how much I tried to ensure that whoever I promised shares gets them registered in a manner that does not make one cheat the other. For example, if we registered Patrick’s 3.5% shares in 2009 and Patrick left in 2010. Meanwhile we register Bichachi’s shares as 3.5% in 2009 and he stays on for ten years. All would have 3.5% shares. Yet these were sweat shares. Bichachi would have worked to create wealth for Patrick. It was the failure to find a formula to solve this problem that delayed the registration of these shares, not my desire to cheat anyone. The failure to register the shares had more to do with my concern for my colleagues than myself.

I rest my case.

Andrew Mwenda

Managing Editor of the Independent Newspaper

Uganda Govt statement On Constitutional Court Ruling on Sedition


PRESS STATEMENT/BRIEF ON THE JUDGEMENT OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT IN RESPECT OF CONSTITUTIONAL PETITIONS NO. 12 OF 2005 (ANDREW MUJUNI MWENDA VS. ATTORNEY GENERAL) AND CONSTITUTIONAL PETITION No. 03 OF 2006 (EAST AFRICA MEDIA INSTITUTE VS. ATTORNEY GENERAL)

By:

PRINCESS KABAKUMBA MASIKO –MINISTER OF INFORMATION AND NATIONAL GUIDANCE AT THE UGANDA MEDIA CENTRE

Fellow Ugandans,

The above petitioners filed a Petition challenging the offences of Sedition (Section 39, 40 of the Penal Code Act) and promoting sectarianism (Section 41 of the Penal Code Act) as unconstitutional.

They also wanted Sections 42 – 44 of the Penal Code Act which relate to these offences declared redundant, in case the above sections were found to be unconstitutional.

Yesterday 25th August 2010, the Constitutional Court held that the offence of Sedition was unconstitutional whereas the offence of Sectarianism was upheld as being constitutional.

The parties were not availed with copies of the judgement. The Attorney General is presently considering filing an appeal against the judgement declaring the offence of Sedition as unconstitutional, and has requested for a copy of the Judgement to enable it further determine possible grounds of appeal.

Presently, one of the areas of dissatisfaction with the judgement is that it seems to focus on the acceptability of criticising the person of the President as a politician, and did not address the other areas of the Section 39.

(Please refer to Section 39 1 ( a) (the last part refers to the Government and the Constitution) 39 (1)(b), ( c ) and (d).)

In our opinion, the Court also failed to properly consider Section 39(2) which provides for very wide range of defences which in effect allow for very wide political comment and criticism of the Government. The Attorney General is thus dissatisfied that the Court found that the offence is too wide.

The Attorney General is also dissatisfied that the Court did not address the fact that the law of sedition is present in the law books of leading democracies, such as the USA. It is a standard established by the Constitutional Court that it should consider the practices of countries which are free and democratic in assessing constitutionality of laws. However, while the Attorney General presented different leading democracies which have laws on sedition, (e .g, USA, Australia) it was not addressed by Court.

It is also our opinion that the Court erred in holding that the Attorney General had not adduced evidence to prove that Mr. Mwenda’s statements prejudiced the national interest or security, when this was never in issue before court.

(There was never any issue framed before court as to whether Mr. Mwenda’s trial for the offence was justified, as this would have been an issue before the Magistrate. The only question referred to the Constitutional Court by the trial Magistrate was whether the challenged Sections of the Constitution were unconstitutional).

In conclusion  the issues presented before Court were those of law and not of fact and the court erred in requiring the Attorney General (who was not the DPP prosecuting the matter in the trial court) to prove the effect of Mr. Mwenda’s statements or the justification for his prosecution.

FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY

26TH AUGUST, 2010

Open Letter To General Paul Kagame, President Of Rwanda


OPEN LETTER TO GENERAL PAUL KAGAME PRESIDENT OF RWANDA

General Paul Kagame,

President of the Republic of Rwanda

B.P.15 Kigali – RWANDA.

22nd August 2010

Dear Sir,

I greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In direct reference to your published article “Rwanda’s democracy is still the model for Africa” of 19th August 2010, I beg to disagree with you as  your close friends the Americans also reminded you through their White House statement of Friday 13th August 2010 Mr. President that, “Democracy is about more than holding elections.”

Unfortunately, August 09th 2010 was yet another missed chance for the people of Rwanda to take a step forward towards peace and reconciliation. It was a missed opportunity for all peace loving people of this world to see a step taken in the right direction to correct the bloody past wrongs in Rwanda and aim at the much needed reconciliations in the hearts of all Rwandans. It was a missed chance by all people who have Rwandans at heart, foreign governments and international  organisations to stamp down their feet and demand for peace, justice and respect for all the people of Rwanda. I am talking about a ridiculous claim that you won the Rwandan election with 93% of the vote in the just concluded Rwandan elections.

You very well know that the 09th August 2010 sham elections in Rwanda were elections where the poor people of Rwanda were herded in an exercise to legitimise your disguised bloody, autocratic rule against the people of Rwanda where the only choices they had on their voting ballot papers were Kagame against Kagame. Not to mention all the intimidations and atrocities committed to your real political opponents in the run up to these elections, the fear that was boiling in the hearts of the Rwandese people when they were being herded in these voting lines, can only be explained by the beheaded picture of the late Andre Rwigasira the Vice President of Green Party of Rwanda, an opposition politician who had dared to oppose you politically just days before these sham elections.

Quoting your article you said, “While few doubt my country’s rapid social and economic progress, too many observers are blind to the successes of our political evolution.” Mr. President while I insist that this rapid social development and economic progress you are boasting of should be relative; it cannot at all replace the fundamental human rights of peaceful co-existence of all the people of Rwanda in their country. Before you started causing havoc on the country of Rwanda in 1990, when you started shelling its innocent people from Uganda with big sophisticated weapons and big guns, all this social development and the economic progress was there in Rwanda at even a  faster rate than you would want people who do not know these facts to believe. People who know Rwanda can bail me out on this.

As for successes of your political evolution you are claiming Mr. President, I am short of words to understand what you mean by that. In Uganda where you started your political and military carrier Mr. President, you were no good model for any civilised leader. Your job in the Museveni’s bloody armed struggle of 1981 – 1986, was well defined as a merciless executioner who would not tolerate any dissenting view either from within or from outside. That is why you were rightly nicknamed “pilato” after the famous biblical Pontius pilato. Is killing or imprisoning who ever does not agree with you politically the new brand of political evolution you are shamelessly sowing on the African continent and boasting of in these modern times of the 21st century?

You continued Mr. President, “It is important to look at the challenges my country has faced, healing the deep-seated wounds of a shattered society in need of both justice and reconciliation. No country has moved from genocide to confrontational politics overnight.” You are talking of the shattered society, Mr. President in 1990 – 1994. If I may politely ask, when you were taking the lead in shattering this same society you are claiming to protect, why didn’t it occur to you that you were being extremely greedy and reckless at that time? How was the innocent blood you were spilling and the society you were shattering then any different from the blood and today’s society?

But Mr. Kagame, did you have any other better political programs for the Rwandan people while preparing your Rwanda invasion before 1990 with Yoweri Museveni in Uganda? I am asking this because you seem to be tagging each and everything in Rwanda on the 1994 Rwanda genocide. You cannot let people speak freely in Rwanda because of the genocide, you cannot let televisions, radios and printed newspapers report the truth freely because of the genocide, you cannot let people assemble and demonstrate freely because of the genocide, you cannot let opposition political parties register to oppose you during elections because of the genocide; Mr. President, how long are going to oppress people because of this genocide weapon?

According to UN secret reports, evidence on record in the Arusha ICTR, Rwandese witnesses Abdul Ruzibiza (RPF), Jean Pierre Mugabe (RPF), Alphonse Furuma (RPF), Aloys Ruyenzi (RPF), Judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere of France, Judge Fernando Andreu Merelles of Spain, and International Lawyers, John P. Zelbst, Prof. Peter Erlinder, Kurt P. Kerns in the United States of America District Court of Oklahoma, and all new emerging evidence on record,  you General Paul Kagame ordered the shooting down of the plane carrying President Juvenal Habyarimana and his Burundi counterpart, Cyprien Ntaryamira, a crime that has been solely found unequivocally to have sparked off the Rwanda 1994 genocide in which over one million souls perished. The plane was shot down on April 6, 1994 at 8:30 PM as it was about to land at Kanombe International Airport. Presidents, their aides and the crew died instantly on the impact. Will I be wrong if I conclude that you personally ignited this genocide for your power thirsty selfish political power gains? No wonder you have and can continue to deceive the whole world about your love for Rwandans while hiding behind this genocide quagmire.

In the mentioned article Paul Kagame you proudly and arrogantly state, “Gacaca, our system of community courts, has tried more than 1.2m genocide suspects in the last five years. These reformed perpetrators have been allowed to resume their lives by acknowledging their crimes and asking for forgiveness. Today they live peacefully with their victims.”

Without denying there might be some real genocide suspects in your figures, there are misleading facts hidden behind the picture you provide to the world today. One relates to who these suspects are as people. These are majority Hutu males, bread earners for their families of three to four children or more. On the basis of the crimes they have been accused of, their properties have been confiscated apparently to compensate the Tutsi victims of genocide, whereas the truth is that such properties are given to the elites of the regime.

We well know now that the impoverishment of these millions of Rwandans then, if you include their dependants, is part of your cynical agenda to see them as second class citizens. The same way you gave them a conditional chance to live by acknowledging rightly or wrongly their alleged genocide crimes and asking for forgiveness. It is openly evident sir that it is your intention to make them live in permanent poverty and guilt conscience so that you can maliciously easily manipulate them, and use them to always make you look very popular in Rwandan politics. These genocide suspects are survivors of the war that you and your Rwanda Patriotic Front rebels with the full backing of Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni started on Rwanda on October 01st 1990 from Uganda and pursued on into the Democratic Republic of Congo in the following years.

Mr. President you again boasted that Rwandans have gradually accepted the need to tolerate even those who killed their families, and have even abolished the death penalty. This is highly misleading because firstly, abolishing the death penalty from the panel code of Rwanda has not stopped your establishment to behead opposition politicians and critical news journalists and secondly, the forgiving field is tilted to only one ethic group the Tutsi. Whereas it is now common knowledge that both ethic groups killed each other, some good peace loving Tutsis have accepted and forgiven their Hutu neighbours who admitted to have committed the genocide crimes. However, the poor innocent Hutus have not had a similar chance to forgive their Tutsi neighbours who openly killed their loved ones, because you have refused deliberately to accept and prosecute Tutsis who are well known and well documented to have killed innocent Hutus including yourself.

Allow me sir to bring to your attention some of the facts regarding you yourself (General Paul Kagame) and your Tutsi Rwanda Patriotic Army’s criminal records well documented and pending:

A. BEFORE APRIL 1994

Massacre of Burundian refugees resettled in Commune Muvumba and massacre of the Hima in Commune Muvumba, Prefecture of Byumba in October 1990 when the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) invaded Rwanda from its military bases in south western Uganda. The open massacres of the population of Shonga, Commune Muvumba, Prefecture of Byumba. The RPF occupied Shonga from October 1990 until its victory in July, 1994. The RPF decimated the population living in Shonga.

Between 1991 and 1992, RPF massacred Hutu in the communes of Bwisigye, Cyumba, Cyungo, Kibali, Kivuye, Kiyombe, Mukarange, Muvumba, and Ngarama of the prefecture of Byumba. Massacres were also carried out in the communes Butaro, Cyeru, and Nyamugari of Ruhengeri. Some of the people from these communes were taken to Uganda and disappeared. RPF killings generated massive internally displaced persons who sought refuge at makeshift camps. The RPF shelled these camps although these internally displaced persons were not armed.

On February 8, 1993, the RPF attacked the town of Ruhengeri and massacred unarmed civilians. During the attack the RPF summarily executed a large number of civilians including Barengayabo, President of the Appeals Court and Philippe Gakwerere, Inspector of mining and their families. During its military offensive of February 1993, the RPF massacred unarmed civilians in Ngarama, Commune Gituza, Prefecture of Byumba.

On May 18, 1993, the RPF assassinated Emmanuel Gapyisi, a member of the political bureau of the Democratic Republican Movement (MDR) and president of MDR in the prefecture of Gikongoro.

On August 25, 1993, the RPF assassinated Fidele Rwambuka, mayor of the commune of Kanzenze, prefecture of Kigali and a member of the central committee of the Republican National Movement for Democracy and Development (MRND).

In the night of November 17 and 18, 1993 the RPA under Colonel Kayizari massacred 48 unarmed civilians in the sous-prefecture of Kirambo, prefecture of Ruhengeri. In the same month of November 1993, the RPF Massacred of unarmed civilians in Commune Mutura, prefecture Gisenyi and Commune Bwisigye, prefecture of Byumba. The United Nations Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR) investigated the massacre of Mutura and Kirambo and never published its findings.

On February 21, 1994, the RPF assassinated Felicien Gatabazi, the executive secretary of the Social democratic party (PSD).

On February 22, 1994, the RPF assassinated Martin Bucyana, president of the Coalition for the Defense of the Republic (CDR). Colonel Karenzi of the RPF coordinated these political assassinations.

On March 15, 1994 RPF soldiers under Colonel Kayonga carried out the assassination of Nathanael Nyilinkwaya, director of the tea factory of Cyohoha Rukeri, his wife, and two factory employees. From 1991 to 1993, RPF agents planted mines and bombs on roads, minibuses, and public places. Some of these agents were arrested carrying explosives. Others were arrested crossing into Rwanda from Burundi, Tanzania, and Zaire (the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

B. FROM APRIL 6, 1994 TO PRESENT

According to a UN secret report and to Jean-Pierre Mugabe, a former RPF official, General Kagame ordered the shooting down of the plane carrying President Juvenal Habyarimana and his Burundi counterpart, Cyprien Ntaryamira. The plane was shot down on April 6, 1994 at 8:30 PM as it was about to land at Kanombe International Airport. Presidents, their aides and the crew died instantly on the impact.

In April 1994, the RPF under Colonel Kayonga went from house to house in Remera, Kigali killing businessmen, intellectuals, politicians, and all members of their families. RPF soldiers executed unarmed civilians who fled to Amahoro Stadium. Following are the names of the people executed by the RPF.

The list is not exhaustive:

- Ndagijimana, Celestin, Chief Administrator officer at IMPRISCO
– Claudien Habarushaka, former prefect of Kigali;
– Baliyanga, Sylvestre, then prefect of Ruhengeri, his wife and children;
– Jean-Marie Vianney Mvulirwenande’s wife and children; – Mujyanama, Theoneste, former attorney general;
– Habimana, Aloys, former director in the ministry of agriculture;
– Stanislas Niyibizi’s wife and children;
– Hategekimana , Raphael, director of Village Urugwiro
– Major Bugenimana, Helene and her children;
– Bahigiki, Emmanuel, former secretary general in the ministry of planning, his wife, and children;
– Gahutu, Jean, his wife and his children;
– Nsengiyaremye, Theodore, pharmacist, his wife and his children;
Munyangabe, Marcel, former president of the General Accounting Court, his wife and his children;
– Ndaziramiye, Herson, his wife and children.
– Gashegu, Dismas, former vice chancellor of the National University of Rwanda;
– Mbanzarugamba, Felicien, employee at Bralirwa, his wife and children;
– Kayibanda, Irene, employee at Societe Nationale d’Assurances (SONARWA);
– Hategekimana, Jean, president of the Court of Kigali, his wife and children;
– Mupenda, Frederic, employee at the ministry of public works
– Donat Hakizimana’s wife and children.
– Nyungura, Emile, his wife and children;

According to Human Rights Watch and the FIDH, by April 25, 1994 the RPF had opened a corridor from Kigali to Byumba. It evacuated civilians from Amahoro Stadium, Kigali to Byumba. Some of the people it evacuated were summarily executed in Byumba. Among them was:

Gregoire Kayinamura, vice president of MDR,
Norbert Muhaturukundo, employee at the ministry of information, and
Sebulikoko, Celestin, businessman.

This list is not exhaustive:

So far, no RPF soldier has been prosecuted.
On April 21, 1994 the RPF killed Catholic priests who had sought refuge at Rwesero Seminary. These priests are:
Christian Nkiliyehe,
Anastase Nkundabanyanga,
Joseph Hitimana,
Gaspard Mudashimwa,
Alexis Havugimana,
Celestin Muhayimana,
Augustin Mushyenderi, and
Fidele Mulinda.
So far, no RPF soldier has been prosecuted.

On June 5, 1994 RPF soldiers summarily executed three Catholic bishops:
Vincent Nsengiyumva, Archbishop of Kigali;
Thaddee Nsengiyumva, bishop of Kabgayi;
Joseph Ruzindana, bishop of Byumba; and nine Catholic priests:
Mgr. Innocent Gasabwoya, former General Vicar Bishop of Kamonyi;
Mgr. Jean-Marie Vianney Rwabilinda,
Father Emmanuel Uwimana, Chancellor of the minor seminary of Kabgayi,
Father Sylvestre Ndaberetse,
Father Bernard Ntamugabumwe,
Father Francois Xavier Muligo,
Father Alfred Kayibanda, and
Fidele Gahonzire Human.
RPF soldiers also executed Brother Jean Baptiste Nsinga, President of St Joseph Brothers. So far no RPF soldier has been prosecuted. RPF soldiers summarily executed priests, nuns, and pastors.

- From April 7, 1994 through August 1994, the RPF summoned people to public meetings. After people had gathered to listen to RPF officials, RPF soldiers massacred them. The following terms are reminiscent of these episodes:
kwitaba inama or to attend a public meeting;
kwikiza umwanzi or to get rid of the enemy,
and gutegura or to clean up a place.

When people were summoned to attend a public meeting, they were summarily executed. When people were summoned to clean up a place to supposedly resettle internally displaced people, they were summarily executed. When people were summoned to attend a public meeting to learn how to smoke out Interahamwe, they were asked to tie each other arms behind the back using ropes. Then they were summarily executed. Human Rights Watch and the FIDH have reported these massacres in the publication mentioned earlier.

A UNHCR report prepared by a team of three people headed by Robert Gersony on these numerous massacres that occurred as the RPF took control of Rwanda in 1994 was buried under pressure from the United States and the UN. According to Human Rights Watch and the FIDH, “From August 1 through September 5, the team visited ninety-one sites in forty one of the 145 communes of Rwanda and gathered detailed information about ten others”.

They go on to say that “A written note produced by the UNHCR estimated only that the RPF had killed thousands of persons a month, but Gersony himself reportedly estimated that during the months from April to August the RPF killed between 25,000 and 45,000 persons, between 5,000 and 10,000 persons each month from April through July and 5,000 for the month of August. In press accounts based on leaked information, the figure most often cited was 30,000.” Massacre of unarmed civilian at Kibeho, prefecture of Gikongoro. UNAMIR, non-government organizations and international news media witnessed this massacre. More than 8,000 people died.

Pasteur Bizimungu, then president of Rwanda, urged the international community to accept the death toll of three hundred people. RPA soldiers removed dead bodies at night and took them at other locations so that international news media and non government organizations could not count them. Massacres of tens of thousands unarmed Hutu civilians, mostly women, children and elderly, by the Rwandan Patriotic Front, in Kanama in October-November 1997. The Rwanda Patriotic Army accepted the responsibility for these crimes, but none was punished or even prosecuted for these crimes against humanity.

To repair the tarnished image of Kagame’s regime, Colonel Ibingira who ordered this massacre was sentenced to one year of under house arrest. Massacres of tens of thousands of unarmed civilians, mostly women, children and elderly in the caves of Nyakinama, Bugoyi, in 1998. The international media and the international community confirmed the massacres and Rwandan Patriotic Army admitted to the crimes.

Massacres of hundreds of thousands of ethnic Hutu civilian villagers, mostly young boys, women, children, and elderly in the villages across Ruhengeri and Gisenyi in 1997-1998, by the Rwandan Patriotic Army. These massacres occurred under the command of General Kayumba Nyamwasa, the former chief staff of the APR who you attempted to assassinate on 19th June 2010 in South Africa. He was then the highest-ranking military officer in charge of military operations in the prefectures of Gisenyi and Ruhengeri. The international community confirmed the massacres.

Massacres of an estimated 200,000 Hutu civilians in the refugee camps in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, former Zaire in 1996-1997. The United Nations, the USA, and European Union confirmed the massacres and the Rwandan Patriotic Army admitted to these crimes, but none was prosecuted. These crimes were called “acts of genocide” by the International Non-Government Independent Commission set up by the United Nations to inquire on crimes committed in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The following military officers participated in the massacres of these Hutu refugees:
Colonel James Kabareebe, commander of the military invasion of former Zaire.
Colonel Ibingira;
Lieutenant Colonel Murokore;
Colonel Nzaramba;
Retired Colonel Nduguteye;
Colonel Jackson Rwahama;
Major Jacques Nziza, Director of the Department of Military Intelligence (DMI;)
Lieutenant Colonel Wilson Rutayisire;
Major Dan Munyuza;
Commander David;
Commander Godfrey Kabanda;
Lieutenant Colonel Kiago Summary executions of the soldiers of the ex-FAR (Forces Armees Rwandaise) and their families after they returned from the refugee camps of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Tanzania from 1996. Those who escaped assassination are rotting in jail. The following listing is not exhaustive:
Colonel Stanislas Hakizimana, assassinated along with his family, relatives, and neighbours on January 21, 1997;
Colonel Stanislas Bangamwabo has disappeared;
Lieutenant-Colonel Augustin Nzabanita assassinated while in prison in Gisenyi on January 23, 1997;
Lietenant-Colonel BEM Antoine Sebahire assassinated along with his wife;
Major Laurent Bizabarimana assassinated in Nyarutovu on January 18-19, 1997;
Major Lambert Rugambage assassinated in January 1997;
Major Rutayisire assassinated while in RPF ideological training known as ingando;
Captain Alexander Mugarura, assassinated;
Captain Theodore Hakizimana, assassinated;
Captain Jean Kabera, assassinated;
Lieutenant Francois Nsengimana, assassinated;
Lieutenant Faustin Nsengiyumva, assassinated;
Lieutenant Edouard Nsengiyumva, assassinated;
Major Martin Ndamage rotting in a military prison;
Major Athanase Uwamungu, rotting in a military prison;
Captain Isidore Bwanakweri rotting in a military prison.

Extrajudicial executions of detainees by members of the security forces some of which have been documented by Amnesty International, for example:
Execution of 12 detainees at Muyira solitary confinements, prefecture of Butare on January 14, 1997.
Executions of more than 20 detainees at Gisovu dungeons, prefecture of Kibuye on January 23, 1997.
Execution of six detainees at Runda dungeons, prefecture of Gitarama on February 14, 1997 Execution of 10 detainees at Maraba dungeons, prefecture of Butare on May 7, 1997.
Execution of 15 detainees at Gatonde dungeons, prefecture of Ruhengeri.
Execution of six detainees at Ndusu dungeons, prefecture of Ruhengeri on May 10, 1997.
Execution of 95 detainees at Rubavu dungeons and an unknown number at Kanama dungeons.

The disappearances of many Rwandan citizens (journalists, businessmen and ordinary people) and the detention of Rwandan citizens in private houses. The number of these prisoners is above 125,000 of whom more than 30 percent are believed to be innocent.

The killings of foreign nationals such as Father Valmajo of Spain, killed at Nyinawimana in April 1994;
Father Claude Simard, a Canadian killed on October 17, 1994;
three Spanish employees of the non government organization Medicos del Mundo killed on 18 January 1997;
Father Guy Pinard, a Canadian killed on February 2, 1997,
Father Curick Vjechoslav of Croatia assassinated in Kigali in 1998, and Father Duchamp, a Canadian.

Your regime detained 4,554 minors for allegedly taking part in the genocide. Some were arrested when they were as young as 8 years old. The children who were under 14 years old when they were arrested have been sharing overcrowded filthy prisons with adults.

To accelerate the decimation of the Hutu, General Kagame’s regime has resorted to two strategies. One has consisted of rounding up Hutu males and sending them to prison for allegedly participating in the genocide of Tutsi. Today 135,000 Hutu live in filthy crowded prisons where they die of epidemics slowly. Some have had legs amputated and others have lost feet or toes. The second strategy was to round up able body Hutu young males and sends them to the front in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) after receiving minimal military training.

It is on record how Tutsi who came from Uganda occupied houses and banana fields in Kibungo and chased out Hutu from their properties. These Hutu have been relocated into concentration camps euphemistically called “villages” by the RPF regime.

C. KILLINGS OR TARGETING TUTSI OPPONENTS OR WOULD BE OPPONENTS

From 1990 to 1994 the RPF encouraged Tutsi refugees living in Burundi and Zaire (DRC) and the territory controlled by the then Rwandan government to send their sons to join the RPF in Uganda and northern Rwanda to serve as military manpower. Many young people responded to RPF recruiting effort.

The RPF labelled these idealist young people “French speaking”. It suspected them of being spies for the Rwandan government. Many of them were executed. Major Dan Munyuza, in charge of the training wing at the time and Colonel Jacques Nziza, director of the Department of Military Intelligence (DMI) were responsible for the murder of these innocent people. Both Munyuza and Nziza led the first invasion of the Democratic Republic of the Congo where they are responsible for the massacre of more than 200,000 Hutu. Munyuza and Nziza still serve in the RPA.

The later is responsible for the assassination of former RPF interior minister Seth Sendashonga and former RPA Colonel Theoneste Lizinde in Nairobi Kenya. He used to be the director of DMI. He is on record to have gone in the US setting up mobile RPA hit squads that were to go after Rwandan exiles.

In March 05, 2000 Assiel Kabera, advisor to former president Pasteur Bizimungu was assassinated. Lieutenant Colonel Wilson Rutayisire Shabani, former director of Radio Muhabura during RPF war and former director of the Rwandan Information Office was assassinated in Kisangani, DRC by the RPA in June 2000. Other individuals the RPF has disposed of are Victor Bayingana, a businessman and his wife Kagaju. The family of Pastor Emmanuel Gasana of Parish of Nyamagana, Commune Kigoma, Prefecture Gitarama and his family along with Pastor Joseph Karamage who was appointed to replace Emmanuel Gasana. James Habarugaba assassinated in front his home on his way from work. Professor Francois Munyamarere of the Rwanda National University Nyakinama, assassinated on his way from work. The businesswoman Ms. Mugambira shot to death in her shop in Kigali. Some officials and military officers have fled the country; among them are Christophe Hakizabera, Major Ntashamaje, and Major Kwikiriza. A former Member of Parliament, Mr. Mbanda was imprisoned for criticizing the Rwandan Patriotic Front.

Some prominent Tutsi have managed to escape RPF hit squads. They are: Joseph Sebarenzi Kabuye, exiled in the United States; Valens Kajeguhakwa, member of the Transitional national Assembly (NTA) and businessman; Sisi Evariste, member of NTA and businessman, exiled in Uganda; Doctor Kayijaho, president of Ibuka, exiled in Canada, former BP FINA Director General Jean Bosco Rutagengwa, Founder of Ibuka, exiled in USA, former AVEGA-AGAHOZO (1994 events widows association) President Chantal Kayitesi, exiled in USA, and former Prosecutor Edward Kayihura, exiled in USA. Recent ones to be named are General Kayumba Nyamwasa and Colonel Patrick Karegyeya in South Africa.

Mr. Kagame sir, saying that the massive attendance at rallies during the campaign was a loud statement of confidence in your democracy, is another form of your deliberate resolve to continue confusing the world that you are a popular person in Rwanda, when actually you are continuing to hold the Rwandan people at ransom, and using your lies to keep them in the bondage of fear. Former president of Iraq Mr. Saddam Hussein held elections in that country in 2002  and his campaigns in this sham process were always overflowing with fear ridden people of that country. He even bet you on the polls because he polled 100% of the cast votes. Do you want to claim that massive attendances on these Sadam’s rallies were also a loud statement of confidence in his democracy? So please shape up and give people a break.

Finally Mr. Kagame sir, as you can see, the peace loving people of the beautiful country of a thousand hills of Rwanda are far from experiencing genuine democracy and real peace under your rule, simply because you are holding them at ransom with your massively blood soaked hands. Your RPF army is holding the state of Rwanda hostage. You are a major suspect in grave, very serious capital offenses which unless are urgently addressed by your being  aligned to face fair justice in a competent court of law, peace and democracy will continue to elude the poor people of Rwanda and the Great lakes region of East and central Africa in general.

The writer is a peace loving citizen of the great lakes region.

MUHOOZI FRANCIS XAVIER

CC. To President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda,

Your mentor and comrade in crime.

Questions to Mao and Besigye on federalism


Folks:

Some of you asked me (I suppose because I am now seen as an enemy of the opposition), my take on the policy responses/platforms offered by Dr Besigye and Mr. Mao to the questions posed by Mr. Hussein Bogere of the Uganda Observer nnewspaper. Can Mr. Bogere clarify something for us: were the questions sent to the candidates who then sent back written responses?  Or did Mr. Bogere send the questions to the candidates in advance and then met with them to respond? Or the candidates showed up for the interview without prior knowledge of what Mr. Bogere would ask them.  This is important and should be routine disclosure.

That said, I have read the questions and the responses by the two opposition candidates.  What I came away with is a need for the candidates to clarify some of their proposals, but keep talking more policy and issues.

Mr. Mao says he will hold a referendum on federalism.  The questions I have for him are as follows: when will he hold the referendum on federalism? Will Mr. Mao produce the necessary bills, take them for debate before MPs, get them passed, and then take the federal proposals to the voters for ratification?

Or will Mr. Mao “leading by personal example” frame the federal question and take it to the voters to decide whether he should proceed with his federal proposals?  I would like to hear more about the sequencing of the referendum from Mr. Mao or his camp.

The other question I have for Mr.Mao comes from his response to the education-employment question that “Uganda needs to concentrate on polytechnic education. There are many people clad in neckties and suits with clipboards chasing very few jobs…what we need now is to tap into the global economy by having information and call centres the way India is doing, so that we can give international jobs locally. Secondly, we need an education system to equip our people with skills to make something, whether chairs or candles, or table clothes; you have something to sell and that means all you need to do is get a buyer.”

This needs to be clarified. Is Mr. Mao saying that Uganda needs a strong apprenticeship program?   If that is the case, what is it he will propose to do to develop such a scheme which is the envy of Germany (many European countries have tried to imitate Germany with limited success).

Regarding call centers, Uganda can start them today because it has some advantages, a) well educated workforce who speaks English. b) Favorable time difference, 5 hour difference from most of Europe, 8 hour difference with Eastern USA and Canada, 11 hour difference with Western USA and Canada etc.

What then is the problem?  High electricity rates, endless electricity shortages and high telephone rates. Ugandans in their stupidity have almost killed the land line so talk of call centers will remain pipe dream.  If these are improved, the manpower is there so Mr. Mao should talk more about the infrastructure.

Dr Besigye:

He says he will switch to federalism.  When?  Is he saying that he will table the necessary bills and once passed and he signs them into law, Uganda shall become a federal state?  In other words, unlike Mr. Mao, Dr Besigye is saying that Ugandans voters elect their MPs to make tough decisions and once they pass his federalism bills that will be it.  The differences between the two candidates could become clearer once they clarify and add meat to their proposals.

Dr Besigye promises to reduce current taxes. Which taxes? Let him be more specific. There is an issue for the opposition to lead.  Hint: the Heritage oil issue, section 89G and now the proposed amendment by Minister Omach.

Regarding irrigation-it is about time-how will Dr Besigye deal with the colonial treat that forbids Uganda-the source of the Nile-from using Nile water for irrigation while Egypt and Sudan can do so?  Will Dr Besigye capture rain water and use it for irrigation?  We need to hear more detailed proposals.

I hope that helps the candidates to clarify their proposals and sharpened them before rolling them out to the voters.

WBK

DP ELDER IN USA

The ‘Karamoja Question': what is the best way forward and what would the opposition do?


Folks:

Karamoja is in the news again as the theater of UPDF massacres. The ‘Karamoja question’ is neither new nor is it going away soon. The accusations and counter accusations give the opposition the perfect opportunity to enter the fray with thoughtful ideas on solving/mitigating/containing the ‘Karamoja question’.

Granted the opposition have offered to push federalism which would give Karamoja a say in their affairs, but Ugandans and I dares say Karamojongs who are fed up of being pathologized and victimized need to hear more about their programs/policies regarding what I called the Karamoja question.  What would the opposition tell the suffering Karamojongs at the hands of UPDF?  How would they approach the Karamoja question?

The other issue and it is a sensitive one-is that why the opposition has so far  stayed away-is the accusation that it is the forces led by the president’s son, Col or Lt Col. Muhoozi Kainerugaba that are mowing down Karamojongs.  That could become a PR nightmare down the road since the issue could attract the media savvy Human Rights Watch sooner rather than later. The folly of deploying Col. Muhoozi could hunt the fist family since the Hon Janet K. Museveni is the minister in charge of Karamoja-prrof of  the Karamoja question?  Please do not laugh. The irony seems lost on the authorities.

The opposition has the rare opportunity of a triple, if only they gather the courage to frame the debate.  So, let us hear from the opposition on this sad episode.

WBK

Kajjansi Trading centre; what needs to be fixed













UJA Elections Nullified: Chaos And Armed Police. Hawkers, Utoda Taxi Touts, Car Washers Vote Kyalimpa


Dear Colleagues in journalism,
 
Re: Call for National Duty
 
I wish to thank all members who travelled from across the country to participate in the general assembly of the Uganda journalists association. This was the biggest gathering of Uganda journalists to discuss our issues; most times we appear to cover other people’s stories.
 
On behalf of my executive I want to say sorry for what happened when some anti- UJA forces led by a one Steven Ouma who heads a trade union called Uganda journalists union which he has been using to dupe donors that they are the professional body for Uganda journalists stormed our general assembly to terrorise us. He has led this malicious campaign and met his thugs at hotel Tourist hotel who he paid for causing the chaos.
 
We resolved not to respond to this malice but to my executive sorry but I have run out of patience we have to remove the gloves we have restored UJA and some body is he is a body at all is bent to undoing the achievements made. This guy wants to kill the confidence donors have in UJA and this you can see from the reciepients to his malice.
 
Last night my media friend Haruna Kanabi called me to say that OUMA made one lecturer at Makerere to cry because of a similar malice and that we should ignore hime but how can we look on when some lumpen in maligning others for selfish reasons. OUMA you know I have data on you including documentary evidence sent to my email by you which proves you are not clean. I have a name to protect, I am consulted on media issues in the greatlakes and Africa  world over and I can not be soild by a school drop out who is in the proffesion my accident.
 
Many of you colleagues have called to express you sympathises because my victory has been delayed. I want to assure the UJA members that my opponent only delayed his loss for a month but it’s just a question of time. He had got some 24 votes againts 126 in my favor but I am investigating how he managed to get the 24 votes I would be the first to sue if the results had been declared how and where did the 24 votes come about.
 
Why the malice
 
It should be noted that Uganda journalists association started the process of unionising journalists in the country. That process headed by the secretary for labour then was supported by the International Federation of Journalists.
 
Later on the leadership of UJA would change and a crooked executive on which Steven Ouma now heading a malicious campaign against UJA was secretary general.  What that group did was to divorce the union from UJA and have since been purporting   atleast outside Uganda to be the professional body for journalists in Uganda.
 
Ouma for example wanted to cling to power in UJA and did not attend the assembly that brought my executive to power.  I got a landslide victory and two years later the confidence from the journalism fraternity is only growing.
 
If thugs had not disrupted the exercise your president Joshua Kyalimpa had won with 126 votes against 24 votes for the opponent I am still investigating how he managed to get those 24 votes and I would have petitioned if those results had been declared.
 
UJA comes to Life
It should be noted that before my executive resurrected UJA some groups had filled the gap and were getting donor support for and on behalf of the journalists. Such groups seek a vibrant UJA as a challenge and are doing their best to discredit not Joshua Kyalimpa and his executive but the whole organisation which has been attracting a lot of interest from the donors.
 
The malicious mails that have been circulating are not the first and will not be the last. I had been advised to ignore but I have painfully decided to burst out if only it can help make people understand the genesis of this problem.
 
150 Presidential donations at media dinner
 
Some negative forces tried to discredit us and UJA on the basis of the 150 million and the fact that we organised the presidential media dinner. There was a lot of debate around the issue and I remember going to different radios and TV’s to defend that decision.
 
I argued then that it’s not uncommon even in the old democracies for the media to have dinner with the president or even receive support. In the US its an old time tradition, Canada based committee to protect journalists organises a similar dinner and in Germany the same is true.
 
We won that argument and today the fracas is about how the money was used and that is a simple argument, just come to the general assembly. If some body has doubts about the cost of land in that prime location we are willing to sell it and refund the money. But I am sure the one raising these issues aims at discrediting us.
 
Today the annual presidential media dinner and National media dialogue is supposed to be the biggest event on the media calendar.
 
Before the dinner was delayed because of the death of Mzee Binaisa atleast 26 ambassadors in the cluster of friends of the media had confirmed they would attend. Media houses has joined the long list of supporters including some donors agencies where some people had thought they would discredit us on the basis of having dinner with our Uganda president and or accepting a donation from him.
 
UJA records
 
UJA was started in 1963 by Kintu Musoke and others and should have been expected to operate an account .Ouma who was the secretary general and the old UJA executive has to date failed to give us financial details or even tell us the account number. Former president Ahmed Katerega only gave me some old files at a hashed hand over after his scheme to impose Mercy Nalugo failed.
 
The only records available are from 2008 when my executive opened an account and we made a bold step to make it public for even our detractors to know.
 
 
UJA Achievements for the last 2 years
 
We have managed to make UJA visible and this I want to share the credit with my entire executive for   standing together amidst challenges.
 
1-     UJA has an account for the first time known to every body.
2-     We managed to clear issues with registration because Ouma and the group made the association to be de-registered purporting that Uganda Journalists Union with headquarters in his bedroom had replaced UJA. We cause a meeting with the founding president Mzee Kintu Musoke who signed the transfer to my executive and we have brought it to life.
3-     We have reclaimed the world press freedom day activities since I came to office I am sure many of you join processions on 3rd may.
4-     UJA is now the reference point on media issues in Uganda and has sent many people for training or meetings in Uganda and abroad.
a-We seconded Ouma Steven to Go for the international solidarity meeting of unions in the US having been contacted by the US state department
b-We sent two journalists for training in financial reporting in Ghana supported by DW akademie
c- We sent 2 more journalists to same training conducted in Zambia
d-We are sending 2 other journalists to DR Congo for training in News Safety supported by the international news safety institute
 
e-I participated in the Common wealth journalist’s association assembly in Kuching Malaysia to discuss media issues in the common wealth.
                                                                                                   
f-Another member of the executive travelled for a UNESCO meeting to discuss climate change.
 
g-I was appointed to the Uganda national commission for UNESCO committee on information and communication.
 
h-I represented Uganda journalists association to UN climate talks in Denmark.
 
5-     Local trainings,
a-      We conducted a training in peace reporting in conjunction with the East Africa institute for peace and governance
b-     We conducted a dialogue on freedom of expression with support from the US government
c-      We have conducted trainings in elections reporting for 6 journalists in partnership with  the US government
d-     With partnership from British council 20 journalists have been trained in climate change reporting
e-      We partnered with UN special Rappoteur on the rights of human rights defenders to highlight issues of rights of journalists in Uganda 40 journalists have been trained about their rights.
f-       I was part of a selected few people who met the UN high commissioners for human rights when she came to Uganda during the ICC conference
 
6-     Uganda journalists association has taken the leadership of the media. We initiated and steered the formation of a coalition of all media groups called Article 29 Coalition and we have used this to discuss media issues. I am general secretary of the coalition basically the driver
7-     UJA presented the views of Journalists on the phone tapping bill to parliament
8-     UJA initiated meeting with the minister for information to discuss the proposed media bills and our position has been made loud and clear
9-     We are working on a state of the media report to be issued every year with support from different donors
 
 
Colleagues I would have gone on and on because what we have done is visible. We have land we are going to set up headquarters in the next two years if allowed by members.A lot has been said about the assembly of Saturday which was stopped. I see a positive to it. I have argued in different Fora that all journalists members of UJA need to pay membership so that they can get UJA cards.
 
Yesterday hooligans demanded that every body must vote even without cards we stood our ground and that was not allowed. Now every body agrees that any association must have paid up members and that is what is provided for in the constitution. So who wanted none members to vote certainly not Joshua Kyalimpa or may executive.
 
We are happy that reason has prevailed. Let me urge all members to please renew membership so you can be part of history.
 
My victory which was delayed is bound to be bigger I am praying hard that the opponent does not chicken out. When the opponent was nominated by OUMA who told the East Africa Journalists Association meeting recently that UJA is dead and his brief case organisation is the one which represents journalists we knew the scheme is to kill UJA. Iam in touch with IFJ and a decision is about to be made watch the space they almost made the decion in Morocco recently but hold a minute
 
I am now calling all Journalists to action to defend our Association and the Profession by renewing membership and coming to the next assembly
 
Joshua Kyalimpa is a Uganda based International Journalist,President of Uganda Journalists Association, a member of the UNESCO committee of Experts on Communication and Information, a Talk show Host and Media consultant. I have written several papers on Corruption, Human rights,Democracy and the Media.
 
Mobile contact +256-772-640004 Office +256-414662163 +256-312-337000

After burying the dead of Kampala bombing, what next?


After burying the dead of Kampala bombing, what next?

After the dust of the bombing incidents in Kampala has settled, let us start looking at how to put the Somalia and Al Shabab puzzle together.  The do nothing ideology to the problem posed by the Somalia extremist is counter – productive in my view. The solution to the problem lies within Africa. We know more about Somalia and its failed state than the so called African experts’ from the West. That does not mean that we cannot in any way borrow some of their brilliant (often times not so brilliant) ideas in solving conflicts around the globe.

There many options that could be used to tackle this problem once and for all. In my view, the idea of putting Somalia into a protectorate under either the AU or the UN holds the most promise to yield the desired results which are ending terrorism, piracy and creating Somalia that is no longer a failed state and pose no danger to her neighbors. Creating Somalia that offers services to its citizens other than prolonged hunger, killings and deprivation.

The route to achieving these main goals cannot be achieved without sending troops into Somalia to fight the necessary war with Al Shabab and consequently defeating them militarily. It requires many troops to do that, because the issue here is not only gaining a territory but also being able to keep the acquired territories. Basically, Somalia is a huge country and defeating al shabab in the battle alone will not bring peace to Somalia. The good thing about Somalia is that, there are two regions that are already relatively stable, the Puntland and Somaliland areas. Therefore, Al Shabab controls only a very small piece of land in Somalia and consequently relatively easy to be defeated and the moderated element of the group can be brought to the table to discuss their political grievances.

Metaphorically speaking, we can look at Al Shaabab as a big rock and the IGAD troops as a hammer. First, the rock (Al Shabaab) needs to be hammered very hard until fissures in that rock (Al Shabab as a group) start to develop. When the cracks start to develop, some of the Al Shabab fighters will come to their senses and start talking about their political demands and grievances, most of which are valid anyway.  The fighters that come to the table will be given the utmost respect and their grievances addressed in a national building dialog. This whole process will need years to attempt and complete. During this time of political negotiations, Somalia needs to rebuild its shattered institutions as well. After that hold free elections and let Somalis shape their own country.

The UN and/or AU mandate is needed to legitimize the whole process. Having Ugandans and Burundians Troops alone will not achieve a lasting peace in Somalia. The Only thing to be achieved by this mission will be revenge and more suffering for the Somali citizens who are already suffering and have been suffering for decades.

Shaaban Fundi

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