Given the support that South Africans received during their independence struggles from the rest of Africa, the way they have responded afterwards is the cause of much disappointment. To me this was a very strong dose of realism which led to my initial disillusionment with Pan Africanism. Here were the people who were the recipients of Africa’s great generosity and solidarity, and yet they turned out to be just as predatory, disrespectful and xenophobic towards the rest of Africa as the rest of the world. If their experience could not deliver greater solidarity and feeling of brotherhood with the rest of Africa, what will?

The Pragmatist’s understanding of history is that the nation should focus on itself, its interests, its development if possible to the exclusion of all others. Don’t make sacrifices unless there is something to be gained from it. Unfortunately, even with these experiences we still repeat the mistakes. Greg Mills writes in Why Africa is Poor (pp. 441-2):

“Africa has the biggest voting bloc in the UN, WTO and other bodies. But what does it trade its votes for? Help for Cuba and Palestinians… and manoeuvring around tougher action on Burma and Iran. None of this does one bit for Africa or Africans… Imagine if the Africans used their votes as strategically as the Eastern Europeans did in their campaign for both NATO and EU membership… In the absence of such a strategy, it was going to be difficult to change the attitude that it was not worth talking seriously to Africa since the bloc was ideologically locked into its positions. Until the Africans are prepared to use their voting power… to advance the interests of their own people…the posturing…conferences, not commitments, will rule the day.”

While Tanzania has sacrificed gains from its relationship with Israel, more development assistance from increased alliance with the West because of Palestinians and the rest, the fact is it is very unlikely that they will even write Tanzanians as footnotes in their history books when they achieve their objectives. Our naivety is beyond measure.


At the opening of Mukono Hospital (Lady Stanley Hospital).' Photograph by Dr. A.T. Schofield. 1931

At the opening of Mukono Hospital (Lady Stanley Hospital).’
Photograph by Dr. A.T. Schofield. 1931


Colonization is a function of power differentials (broadly conceptualized) and the desire and willingness to use such power differentials to dominate others i.e., “Libido Dominandi.” Once the power and the means are there, what remains is the political will to act. Unfortunately, there is no any indication in history that simply because people are Black Africans they are immune from this human problem or condition.

In its essence, colonization does not have to be Europe vs. Africa. Indeed, there is a whole body of literature on “internal colonialism.” Even within Africa, within African countries and within the same ethnic group, “colonization” can take place in so far as there are power differentials and the powers that be have the desire and the determination to use their power to dominate others. Such a problem is not an essentially European problem but a human problem which has manifested itself in different times and social spaces in different forms.

Across Africa, I see ruling classes using different means to mentally colonize ordinary people either on religious, ethnic or regional lines. There is nothing to suggests that educated Africans simply because they are educated are inherently immune from this kind of moral corruption that comes when power differentials and political will are combined to justify the domination of others. Indeed, many of the African elites including the educated ones have supported leaders in Africa whose policies are not aimed at liberating Africans but making them beggars , subservient and colonizing their minds to believe doing so is right because the elites come from the same ethnic and religious group, or region.

Police photo in uganda's early 1950s.Jim McGillavray is front row 3rd left

Police photo in uganda’s early 1950s.Jim McGillavray is front row 3rd left

For the African to liberate his or her continent, he or she needs to know not only the history of his or her continent but the evolution of the mindset, history and culture of others and other regions. This is particularly important in this era of globalization.Sometimes I feel that if there was serious study of Latin American development experience, Africans should have avoided some of their mistakes if they were very serious. And learning about East and Southeast Asia can make a huge difference in terms of understanding how we compare to other regions. Lee Kuan Yew was trained at Cambridge University but yet looked at the Westerners in the eye and told them that their system is not the only possible one in the world. He came up with a kind of hybrid of his own and succeeded. But one cannot do that without deep and serious knowledge and reflection. It is an easy position to take in our world today.

Nyerere’s numerous speeches and writings show that he was influenced by what he learned in the West but he did not see that as something that he would replicate in his country or Africa verbatim. He saw his country in a different light after learning about great social changes that took place in Europe.And interestingly, Paulo Freire’s conscientization approach to education clearly shows that human beings might be free but in chains.


March 1974 'Okuva Ku kkono: Mukyala Sara Kasozi, Muky Yudaya Matovu Muka Chief Kadhi wa Uganda, Mama Madina Amin muka President wa Uganda, ne Muky. Safiya Ssemakula. Ekifanaanyi kino kyabakubwa ku lunaku Muky. Yudaya Matovu lweyakyalira Mama Madina mu Command Post ebbanga tono eriyise'

March 1974
‘Okuva Ku kkono: Mukyala Sara Kasozi, Muky Yudaya Matovu Muka Chief Kadhi wa Uganda, Mama Madina Amin muka President wa Uganda, ne Muky. Safiya Ssemakula. Ekifanaanyi kino kyabakubwa ku lunaku Muky. Yudaya Matovu lweyakyalira Mama Madina mu Command Post ebbanga tono eriyise’

According to Paul Lam, ‘Amin’s official wives were late Kay Amin, Sara Muteesi Amin (commonly known as Mama Malyam), Sara Kyoloba Amin (now living in London), late Nora Amin, a Lango (and not Taban’s mother) and Madina Amin.Kay Adroa Amin died in 1973.

‘Sara Muteesi and Nora Amin were dismissed by Amin in 1975, in the presence of local and international journalists, in the gardens of State House Entebbe.’

‘According to a Radio Uganda broadcast, quoting a military spokesman, the 2 wives were dismised because “they were not coping with Amin’s supersonic speed of running the country and that they were involved in smuggling of textiles to Kenya”.

‘After living State House, Nora Amin was allocated a Custodian Board house on Buganda Road, opposite Buganda Road Court, next to King Kigeri of Rwanda who was in exile in Uganda.’

‘She died of natural cause in 1977. I can confirm to you this because I got it through a credible source, who was a close friend of Nora Amin.’

‘You may wish to check whether Taban Amin’s mother was also called Norah.’

President Amin cuts the tape to officially open the Libyan Arab Uganda Bank for Foreign Trade and Developmet. On the left is Mr Abudulla A. Saudi, Chairman and General Manager of the Bank; and extreme left (with glasses) is Mr Clhadi M. Algaghih, the Bank's Managing Director. On the right is Uganda's Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Mr. E.B. Wakhweya.' Uganda Argus, January 25th 1973

President Amin cuts the tape to officially open the Libyan Arab Uganda Bank for Foreign Trade and Developmet. On the left is Mr Abudulla A. Saudi, Chairman and General Manager of the Bank; and extreme left (with glasses) is Mr Clhadi M. Algaghih, the Bank’s Managing Director. On the right is Uganda’s Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Mr. E.B. Wakhweya.’
Uganda Argus, January 25th 1973

Amin’s son, Hussein Juruga also wrote on the UAH forum that his father never killed his step mum:”’Nora Amin succumbed to cancer at Mulago hospital where she had been unsuccessfully treated for days.Mama Nora is survived by two children. Issa and Fatuma Amin.But for those implicating Amin as many have authoritatively done in this forum, yet Mama Nora died painfully in the hospital while Mr. Kyemba had run away with 7m USD State funds for health equipment, is just heartless.I doubt this can be settled once and for all. Especially if it is for a simple post here in UAH. But for your “records”, Taban’s mother (RIP) is a totally different person.”


The fall of the Amin government on April 11, 1979 was greeted with euphoric optimism throughout the country, except of course for his remaining supporters; those who benefited from His regime, the small South Sudanese and Congolese community that were part of his security apparatus and Nubian community that were seen as forming the backbone of the Amin regime.

In the days after Yusuf Lule was sworn in as president, his somewhat clueless administration was enjoying its honeymoon, oblivious of what was happening in the countryside as the Tanzanian liberators and their Ugandan counterparts made moves to drive Amin out of the other parts of the country not yet under control of the new government.

But TWO DEVELOPMENTS, not entirely of Lule’s or UNLF’s making, were taking place, never really ever been covered in detail by historians and commentators, that would have far-reaching ramifications for the political stability of Uganda and the socio-political re-engineering that would forever change things in northern Uganda.


Because of the perception in Acholi and Lango that the Amin security apparatus was dominated by Sudanese and their ‘Kakwa’ cousins, just after Amin fell, all his straggling and fleeing fighters were labelled ‘Anyanya’, and though there were genuine Sudanese in Amin’s security system, a lot of them were actually just ordinary Ugandans, though the majority were from West Nile. So everybody in Amin’s security, who was from West Nile, became ‘Anyanya’ or ‘Ogwadi’ a derogatory term referring to Lubgara, as they fled north-west through Lango and Acholi. But of course we do know that a good section of Aringa were not happy with Amin, in the aftermath of the foiled Brigadier Charles Arube coup attempt and the suspected ‘staged’ motor accident against Vice President Mustafa Adrisi that failed and partly crippled him. Sections of Madi were not happy with the attempted assassination against the influential Brigadier Moses
Ali while a section of Lugbara were not happy the Amin killed foreign minister Lt. Col. Michael Ondoga and the suspicious death of his wife Kay Adroa Amin, mother of Hussein Juruga Amin. All these were west Nile tribes supposed to have ‘enjoyed’ under Amin.

Because Nubians were seen as beneficiaries and those who propped up Amin, they had to make quick arrangements to flee East Lango (Lira), West Lango (Apac), East Acholi (Kitgum) and West Acholi (Gulu) in a huff. Hence Shaban Ligu, the most prominent Nubian trader in Lira led the flight. Lira had a huge Nubian community and indeed Amin had set the infrastructure to build the second largest Mosque in Uganda near the current Lira hotel, where the unfinished structure still stands to date.

The Nubians and West Nile Muslims were right to flee because the local population was in a very vengeful mood. For example, ABDALLA AMIN ORYONO, a local Lango Muslim in Apac who was seen as a confidante of the Amin local apparatus, was ‘picked up’ on 12th April 1979 as he walked the streets of Apac, Obote’s home town, lynched publicly and had his eyes gouged out before being stoned to death. He had probably never even met Amin in his entire life! His ‘crime’ was sharing a name with Amin and previously boasting of having been to Mecca.

Whereas these despicable scenes of revenge killings took place having started somewhat spontaneously, they were seen as ‘acceptable’ because the locals were seen as ‘letting off steam’ for the trauma they had suffered under Amin for eight years.

The Amin security had itself already poisoned the minds of the people because in the last three weeks leading to his fall, and probably quite aware that the government was heading for a fall, his State Research Bureau had gone on rampage rounding up dozens up businessmen and anyone of standing in Apac town, who were then ferried to Lira, never to be seen again.

In fact by the day of the Amin fall, Apac was a ‘women’s and children’s only’ town as all remaining adult men had sort of ‘melted’ into the villages.


The fall of Amin found me visiting my maternal uncle Abel Oyuru Aguru in Bar Odong, two kilometres from Apac. I was helping to tether the goats to feed that day near the roadside when a blue Peugeot 404 Saloon, full of soldiers in full combat fatigue came by and screeched to halt on the Apac-Akokoro road.
My uncle, a former Obote I soldier who was coming back from his ‘hiding place’ where he had also been cultivating his garden, saw them from 100 metres away and thought the soldiers were stopping to try and arrest him!

At his age of almost 50, he took off like a real athlete and later said he ran for nearly one kilometre before stopping! But it was false alarm as the vehicle was actually carrying Taban Amin and his bodyguards, who wanted to pick someone or something at his mother’s place in Ibuje (twenty kilometres on the Apac-Akokoro road), before proceeding to wherever he was going. Taban Amin’s mother Norah was from Ibuje and the person they met and stopped to talk to was his uncle.


Because I actually do not want to comment or twist facts just to ‘tarnish’ Amin’s name as Hussein Juruga Amin and Edward Mulindwa had always implied, I will correct something that will make my brother George Okello unhappy; Amin DID NOT KILL HIS WIFE NORAH, as has been repeated in this forum by George and others. Maybe Amin divorced Norah or just separated because by the April 1979 fall of Amin, Norah was living in Ibuje. It was known that she was ‘traumatised’ and ostracised’ by locals for being a wife to person who hard ‘butchered’ Langi and caused much suffering to them.

Norah in fact lived a quiet life, to a very ripe old age and died in December 2012 and was buried by Taban Amin and her other relatives in Ibuje.

Taban Amin is alive, living and working in Uganda and can be contacted by anybody to and would tell whoever wished to know that he buried his mother only a couple of months back. The question is; Kampala was falling that day but why was Amin’s favourite son already hundreds of miles away fleeing. It meant Amin had already given up on winning the war days before the Tanzanians and Uganda exiles entered Kampala.

Barely minutes after Taban Amin drove back or was driven back towards Lira, Radio Uganda announced that Amin had been overthrown. Understandably there was widespread jubilation.

The day after Amin’s fall, I first learnt of the term ‘looting’, as people descended on any government office or stuff they could lay their hands on, starting with the ‘Foods and Beverages Depot’ which did not have much except for a certain alcoholic drink called ‘Red Top’ which people drank, got drunk and moved on to loot even the old recoiling type of telephone handsets and fire extinguishers from offices!

DAY 2 OF LULE: Police and SRB Boss

For reasons which became only obvious later, Idi Amin decided in late March 1979 to summon policemen from across the country to join in the war effort. Apac police sent out 20 of its thirty police officers to Kampala but barely one week later, they returned with their army uniforms, having taken no part in warding off the Tanzanian juggernaut.

Idi Amin’s local boss of the State Research Bureau, Lt Philly Katema, who had coordinated the arrests of the local businessmen and prominent people only a few days earlier including his own boss the District Commissioner Karamuzi, found himself stuck in Apac, seemingly clueless. Karamuzi was luckily the only survivor among those taken to Lira by SRB and came back to Apac on foot, walking 55 kilometres through village paths and hiding in a village close to town until he was sure Assistant District Commissioner Katema was no more in Apac.

Katema’s next door neighbour was the District Police Commander, a Mr Mpaulo from Busoga.

On 13th April 1979, as Lule was being sworn-in in Kampala, a bearded gentleman called Adoko-Cuda walked casually to Apac police station, followed by four other people, one of them carrying a sack.

He asked for the keys to the police armoury and when the police officer on duty asked him why, he gave him one hot slap, his other friend pulled out G3 gun and the policeman promptly led them to where the weapons were.

They took them as they were joined by about ten others; and proclaimed themselves the local liberators!

They then rather stupidly, proceeded towards Katema’s house just two hundred metres away, tried to approach it from the front and Katema fired in the air towards their direction using a stuttering rapid fire gun; they fled and hence began a cat-and- mouse game that lasted three days until Katema was smoked out of his house on the very early morning of 15th April, 1979.

The District Police Commander who came out to find out what was happening at Katema’s house was also shot dead. The bodies of the two men were taken in a government pickup commandeered by the group, driven to Ibuje and dumped on the east side of the Ibuje Mountains.

I recently was surprised to bump into a Ugandan Munyarwanda called Emma Masumbuko who lives around Lugazi and said he is Katema’s relative but never knew what happened to the SRB man. Now he knows. Masumbuko is an avid supporter of local football club SC Villa.

The local ‘liberators’ considered Apac liberated, and started hit and run and ambush operations against Amin troops fleeing up north using the various local roads in the Lango sub-region.


Two weeks into Lule’s presidency, something rather ugly started happening, never before publicly acknowledged but which may have set the tone for events in future.

Binaisa (R) with Yusuf Lule on the left who had introduced a bank for Africans in 1959.4th President, 4th Prime Minister, and 5th President.

Binaisa (R) with Yusuf Lule on the left who had introduced a bank for Africans in 1959.4th President, 4th Prime Minister, and 5th President.

The months of March and April are usually the start of the rainy season and in these areas and it means also the time for plentiful harvests of the various families of wild mushrooms that the locals cherish.

It so happened that for decades, Bahima cattle keepers, known popularly as Balalo or locally in Lango and Acholi as Olari, had settled in Lango and Acholi and many of them worked as hired tenders of cattle, with services paid for in cash or kind by the cattle owners in many parts of Lango and Acholi.

With time they amassed their own herds and many separated from their former bosses and started their own kraals or simply moved nomadically with their cows around the region.

Many were in the sub counties of Ibuje, Akokoro, Chawente, Nambieso, Aduku, Inomo, Teboke, Loro Kwera, Namasale, Muntu, Awelo, Awelo, Amolatar and elsewhere in Lango and Acholi.

After the initial looting of any government property in the hours and days after Amin, the looters ran sort of what to plunder and having tasted new found freedom against authority, decided that after all the Balalo cows constituted an item for looting since the owners amassed them in these regions anyway.

Nearly all Balalo cows were looted, and fortunately hardly any of the victims reported killed, with the rest of the victims fleeing to neighbouring districts in Bunyoro, Buruli and Busoga.

It was the first injustice really, against a people who in fact seemed to have nothing at all to do with Amin’s tyranny.

The looting of Balalo cattle was nicknamed by locals as ‘Puto Obwol a Lule”, or “harvesting Lule’s mushrooms”.

It was yet another dark episode in the history of the country’s political instability. The victims never got redress nor acknowledgment of this injustice from all subsequent governments. Among those who lost hundreds of cows were said to be two uncles of one Elly Tumwine, the future head of the NRA, the government army, as well as relatives of many other people who were later to become prominent in Uganda.

Just as the Balalo fled Lango and Acholi, the Karamojong also suddenly disappeared, stealthily going back to Karamoja without alerting their employers.

Many families had also employed Karamojong cattle keepers to tend to their cows but the Karamojong never really cared about amassing their own herds and only wanted milk and money to continue working for years.

A few months after the fall of Amin, after Lule had already been overthrown and after the Karamojong had apparently looted a full armoury at Moroto Barracks in the aftermath of Amin’s fall, a new term entered the vocabulary of the region; cattle rustling.

It was initially limited to Olilim, Amugu and Otuke in East Lango, present Lira Otuke and Alebtong districts. In fact before being deployed by Chief of Staff David Oyite Ojok to beef up the Obote faction of the UNLA in Kampala, the local Lango militia which started from scratch that morning in Apac and grew into a bigger force, was first deployed to fight the Karamojong cattle rustlers, known as ‘Alok’ in eastern Lira and many got killed there at the hands of rustlers who in fact now had their own ‘field commander’ named ‘General’ Apalolirisi Lotyang.

Karamojong cattle rustling were eventually subdued under Obote II, after negotiations with some Karamojong leaders and elders but the rustlers were never disarmed.

The rest of the story is known then fast forward to 1987. The new NRM government had been in power for hardly a few months when they were confronted by multiple rebellions in Acholi, Lango and Teso.

The rebellions were two-faced in nature, in Acholi and Lango.

Former UNLA fighters returned from their exile in Sudan to start a full scale war in August 1986 while Alice Abongowat Auma also started her ‘Holy Spirit’ war immediately with full scale conventional attacks. Those in Lango never really cared about the rebellion in Acholi as many still blamed the Acholi for the fall of the Obote II government.
Down in Lango, there arose two types of rebellions, lacking central leadership and just almost a copycat reaction to the Acholi rebellion. Because the Lango rebellion lacked central command and was led at a localised level with leaders like former Jinja District Commissioner Wilson Okot Chono, Otim Opul, Emmanuel Amute and Okello Etot of Kamdini from their different locations, it did not even have a name, so they became known to locals as ‘Olum Olum” or ‘Bushmen”. One telling aspect was that very few or none of the Lango army officers who ‘fled’ home after the Okello coup was interested in the local rebellion. All the above leaders who appeared to lead the rebellion in different areas were actually local UPC leaders, businessmen or opinion leaders.

The other element of the Lango rebellion was really localised thugs, who had guns and felt the adrenalin to do things, rob people and pretend that they were fighting Museveni. This group was known as “Cel Ibong”, a euphemism which translates roughly as “shoot dead and rummage through the victim’s pockets for something to steal” and was also known in some parts ‘Wia pe” or “I am crazy” or “don’t joke around with me because I am nuts”.

Indeed the tenor of the rebellion was well encapsulated in a speech by then Lira Special District Administrator JOI Jimmy Kabegambire when he said “Celi Ibong are not serious; Olum are very serious but we shall fight both”

As the Lango rebellion went on, Karamojong cattle rustlers resurfaced, with more ferocity. Te highly mobile and fast moving groups not only looted cows in Lira but went as far as Apac.

It soon dawned on people that the Karamojong were benefitting from an excellent spy system because they knew who owned which kraal and many times called out and humiliated the owners by calling out for example that “Daudi, dyangi titidi, bin imedi sente iye” or “Daudi, the cows are quite few, come out and add more money to us besides the cows”.

It soon became apparent that the Karamojong cattle keepers from the 1970s and early 1980s who ‘disappeared’ and went back home were leading and directing the raids.

NRA’s response was rather lukewarm, as the army told local leaders that though they were the government army; they still largely moved on foot and lacked transport for rapid deployment to counter the raiders or to rescue the cattle.

There were some ambushes and attacks against the raiders and cows were recovered though some soldiers were accused of stealing the recovered cattle. Indeed I remember Lira Brigade Intelligence Office one JOII Fred Toolit (current Brigadier Fred Toolit), arresting some soldiers and having them tried publicly, in an effort overseen by his boss SO Stanley Muhangi.

Still there was a simmering suspicion that the NRA initially did not do much to stop the cattle rustling. Indeed some NRA officers had argued that their priority was stopping the rebellion and dealing with cattle rustling problem later.

Later, one Lango politician intimated that since many NRA commanders were Banyankole, they may have turned a blind eye to Karamojong cattle rustling in Lango as ‘payback’ for the cattle the Langi stole from the Balalo in 1979.

There has been no empirical proof that this was the.

I am a not a Mulalo nor Munyankole but while I appreciate that government is compensating people in Lango, Acholi and Teso for cattle that were stolen by largely Karamojong and local rebels, the same good gesture in correcting ‘historical injustice’ should have been extended to those unfortunate Balalo. Problem is that many have since died and even if survivors exist, perhaps they don’t care anymore since they settled elsewhere and rebuilt their lives. It is however heartening to see Balalo back in Lango and being treated well.

Of course, back to the Lango rebellion, earlier mentioned, it soon petered out as NRA established itself in parts of Lango, with a brigade headquarters based in Lira. The army had to contend with Lakwena, Kony and the Teso rebellion. The Lango rebellion simply melted away, indeed despised by the locals, most of whom nevertheless did not like Museveni and the NRM at the time that much.

Billie Kadameri via the UAH forum


Many of us are very disturbed by the killings of immigrants in South African townships. It is clear that South Africa needs to sort herself out. It is important to ensure unity in the spirit of renaissance and pan-Africanism across our troubled continent generally – and clearly, we have lost a lot of ground: traction gained during the presidencies of Mbeki and Obasanjo and other Heads of States/Governments that toiled with them to reenergize our continental renewal appears to be quickly dissipating.

We are dealing with a case of scramble over limited resources spurring envy that culminate to Afro/Xeno-phobia. Unfortunately, the leadership in South Africa appears fast-asleep.The world is still paying a price for the 2008 global economic meltdown that unleashed severe forms of income disparity.There is nothing wrong with nationalism per se. The culprit is inequitable distribution of resources within these various societies.

it just seems to be exacerbated by the difference in wealth between the rich south africa and the poorer other African states whose people migrate down south looking for a better life.And this is exacerbated, too, by the difference in wealth between the rich white South Africans of about 5 million people (out of approximately 53 million) who still control about 85% to 90% of the economy and resist equitable land reform etc.

S. Africa has used foreign labor for a very long time; the Zimbabweans, the tswana, and before them Indians, not to mention whites using black slave labor. They always seem to have built their wealth on constructing difference to exploit the labor of others.So it is so so disturbing when the black rule is established not to see a stronger ethic of social justice, of welcoming other black Africans, whose nations supported their struggle, or whose labor built their wealth, whose blood was shed, is still shed, in their damn mines.

Throughout most African countries, citizenship and what it means, remains the unresolved issue. Words and expressions such as “indigenes,” “ancestral lands,” and “sons of the soil” feature well in practical applications of citizenship within each country. Failure to deal fully and effectively with this issue will continue to affect the ability of certain individuals and groups to contribute to national development.For instance, why did M7 grant rwandese citizenship in 1995 as if Uganda didnt have other refugees in the country?


The tragedy of the xenophobia in South Africa is saddening. The ANC must take most if not all the blame for it for reasons that include:

i) It has abysmally failed to tell and retell black South Africans the true story of South Africa’s liberation and the role and sacrifices played and made respectively, by good people everywhere and especially Africans and their countries’ governments, to ensure the successful conclusion what was without question the last epic struggle against colonialism in Africa in the 20th century.

ii) It over-promised on the dividends of liberation and has made insufficient in adequate honest effort to deliver even on deliverables

iii) It has grossly mismanaged the economy of a richly endowed country such that a majority of her long suffering citizens are in many cases poorer that they were under apartheid, and still or need to be.

iv) It encourages xenophobia in words and action including laws and policy implementation.

v) It has not acted sincerely and responsibly in holding accountable, perpetrators of South African crimes against both legal and illegally immigrants.

It is an appalling travesty of reason and good sense that a people who suffered unfathomable discrimination and other injustices for decades because of who they are, have apparently little hesitation in visiting equivalent and in some cases worse injustice on others because of who these others are, so soon after their emancipation.

The Zulu king has been reported to fan the embers of hatred of foreigners. Do black South Africans not remember that Mangosuthu Buthelezi- a Zulu Chief and a close confidant of the Zulu King Godwin, perhaps more than other high profile black South Africans, worked the hardest to delay the liberation of black South Africans? This man as founder and leader of the Inkatha Freedom Party was a happy Chief Minister of Kwazulu Bantustan, and in the opinion of many, a trophy collaborator of the Apartheid regime. He was a determined critic and opponent of The ANC. He travelled the world on the Apartheid regime’s budget denouncing Nelson Mandela and the ANC. As a Cabinet Minister, he took his Prime Minister Thabo Mbeki to court and prayed the court to force stricter immigration rules than the Mbeki government proposed. Is this Chief still at work?

Cancer:A Very touching Story from Engineer David Basobokwe on UAH Facebook group!

Atom with her mother in the UK

Atom with her mother in the UK

I’m disappointed that Ugandans do not see doctors frequently for checkups. Some of these cancers are containable when discovered in time.My daughter Atom had unknown illness in 1987, we lived in Mulago for two years until doctors told us, that there was nothing they could do for her but to let her rest in peace. I wrapped her properly, put her on an aircraft to UK.

On reaching Gatwick airport, I requested for an ambulance, which took her straight to Crawley hospital. All tests were repeated and within three days, all results came back showing Leukaemia – cancer of the blood. I spent one year in St George’s Hospital in tooting and another three years as an out patient. I lost everything I had in Kampala, but I saved her. She is now 27 years and in remission for 24 years. You friends, please be vigilant. Never rely on Uganda Govt. They never care. You must fight and alone. You don’t need a visa to get a patient to the UK. All you need is to board an aircraft at Entebbe. Half way the journey, tell the crew, that you have a patient. Ambulances do not go through Immigration.

Hospitals here have apartments attached for careers accommodation and free food. On discharge, one is handed over to Social Services which arranges long term accommodation including hotel by the way. Charities here crisscross each other with help.My daughter got a plane without a ticket or passport. No one asked me for those things at EBB. By the way, three years ago, my auntie came here ill. She was officially admitted, her hospital bill was over 1000.00 for three days. The social worker for my dota applied to a charity on my dota behalf. The charity cleared the bill with the hospital.

I did not have money but having worked in aviation, I knew the loopholes. Reason I gave them to you. I did not stop there. In 2000 we were given 24 hours to leave UK. We went to Court with Immigration claiming we had entered illegally . The judge dismissed the case that until Immigration satisfied the Court that Uganda had capacity to treat Atom in case of the disease re-occurs,Since, I have never met Immigration again.”

Engineer David Basobokwe
United Kingdom


The African immigrant has been acclaimed as the most educated in the U.S., but we appear uneducated in our actions when compared to other immigrant groups. No doubt, there are individual accomplishments, but what is it that the African Diaspora can point to as its collective achievement in America? We are more interested in our ethnic and village groups, not even our countries as we observe attempts at national organizations always devolve back to ethnic bickering. Hence our failure to organize ourselves in the mode of the Jewish, Asian or Latino groups, who have used their collective power to bring pressure to bear on those who make decisions concerning their areas and concerns.

Last year, for example, when President Obama invited African Heads of State for a Summit in Washington, DC, some of us believed that it was an opportune time for these Presidents/Prime Ministers to meet with their most important constituency. The African Diaspora contribute about $80 billion annually to the African economy, resulting in the resilience of the continent’s incredible impressive economic growth rate. But what ended up happening: they not only disappointed the African Diaspora but they met as usual organizations such as the Corporate Council on Africa, an organization run by Caucasians. But were the Presidents to blame – well not really. And why, because the African community was not and still not organized. We have all kinds of ineffective African organizations headed by individuals who are more treated in promoting themselves.

Corruption in Uganda, as it is in other African countries, derives, in part, from the failure of post-independence institutions to adequately constrain the State and hence, those who serve in it. Until and unless the country is provided with institutional arrangements that adequately constrain state custodians (i.e., political elites and civil servants), corruption, in all its manifestations, will remain a pervasive part of political economy in the country.

As I have said before on UAH and elsewhere, leadership is a necessary but not sufficient condition for good governance. Sufficiency requires laws and institutions that adequately constrain the State (and hence, those who serve in it. This is the essence of the rule of law). The first step of the new president after Museveni, should be to form a government of national unity(GNU), and use that GNU to spearhead the country’s institutional reconstruction.


It is sad when some people who claim to be intellectuals are being easily led to draw conclusions that all Muslims are terrorists as if they aren’t non-muslim terrorists around. What happened to our ability to think critically— To critically examine situations? To nuance and contextualize instead of simplifying and de-contextualizing our analyses? Are we even intellectuals anymore? By the way, Al Shabab kills Muslims in Somalia too. When they do that, they do not ask those Muslims to cite shahada, they just kill them.

I know you will say that it is our fault as Muslims that we have allowed a misconstrued meaning of Jihad becoming dominant out there instead of the true meaning of Jihad that we uphold.

Non-radical Muslims like myself at a dilemma. We neither have the resources of CNN/BBC and other propaganda machinery to enlighten people on the Jihad truth, nor do we have the resources and determination of fanatic/radical Muslims whose terrorist actions provide justification for CNN/BBC and the like in spreading and cementing the narrative that all Muslims are either already terrorists or terrorists in the making. Of course, you will vehemently disagree with this and paint all Muslims as being alike. I am terrified because on side I am attacked by radical Muslims and on the side I am attacked by non-Muslim community, And I am easy target because I am not a radical Muslim.

It is a big mistake to think that only the lives of Christians in the world are at stake. The likes of Al Shabaab kill more Muslims that Christians.The reason they singled out Christians in the Garissa attack is that they want to divide Kenyans. That way, the aim is to make Christians look at Muslims and Somalis as their enemy and once that is done, the terrorists’ mission will have come to fruition.

Often forgotten is that terrorist groups like Al Shabab are looking out for mainstream Muslim support (needless to say they do not have any). By creating animosity between Muslims and non-Muslims, they aim to attract those Muslims who, out of this animosity, will look at Christians as enemies. They want fellow Muslims to take them for custodians of their religion, that they are fighting for them, and that they want to protect them from resulting attacks by Christians, if at all they come through.

You can bet your life that the masterminds of the Garissa attack will be praying that the Christian community avenges by attacking Muslims in any form or shape, be it Xenophobic attitudes against Muslims and Somalis in Kenya, internet bullying by our keyboard warriors, or the knee-jerk military reaction against Somalis in Somalia as it is already happening. These moves will make mainstream Muslims rethink their perceptions of non-Muslisms (Christians in this case), at least so the terrorists wish.

It is a lame and foolish logic but so is terror.



We have reached a point in interpersonal relations, where we, are expected to be apologetic or, defensive for being Muslim.This happens to me not only when I travel abroad, but it happens right here, in my own country UGANDA, where I, am put in a position of having to ‘defend’ Islam by having to explain that “Islam is a religion of peace”.

The criminals, who use Islam to legitimize their crimes are similar to the Nazi criminals who exterminated Jewish people, or to the Inquisition criminals who tortured so called heretics on the rack and then tore off their limbs.Crimes committed against people behind the mask of religion/faith come in a long list.

From the inquisition, to Reverend Jones to the ‘prophet’ Koresh.Making use of religion to mind bend and to legitimize crimes against humanity have happened as long as recorded history.From the time of the deluge where we are told “and God punished wrong doers by bringing up the floods, and there was one son of Nuhu, who was cursed to be Black……….”

To the Dalits in India, Bengal, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan who are born “untouchable” because the Hindu caste system has defined the Brahmins, the Kshatriyas, the ‘others’ who include Kisan and Crafts people. Then come the Dalits, the untouchables, the ‘cursed’ people, whose lives are proscribed in detail in the Vedic scriptures as “being cursed, and are closely defined as vermin”.

I should insist that Islam, the Islam that I know and practice, is a religion of peace and tolerance.It is a religion of patience- Inna Allah Yuhibbu’l Swa’abirina- Allah favors the patient and that taking the life of a human, of whatever creed is a sin in the eyes of Allah.

I have made a conscious decision not to be ashamed of having to admit that I, am a practicing Muslim, nor do I become defensive when some people, Ugandans unfortunately, disparage my faith without making the effort to understand the real Islam.


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