Press Release 31. July:
Who are we?
We are Acholi youth. We are not an organization or a political party affiliated group nor are we any political party sympathizers. Acholi Youth Agenda is an ideology that stems from the belief that Acholi Sub Region should not have this abject poverty, 83% youth unemployment, high HIV- AIDS prevalence, the current surge in malaria deaths, loss of respect for culture and identity, maternal health challenges, infrastructural depreciation, moral decay, social deconstruction….. And yet there is an abled people, a knowledgeable elite and a hardworking people that must act and act now!
We stand to welcome developmental initiatives which are sustainable in meeting the current needs of the people without compromising the abilities of the Future Generation of Acholi. On the other hand we stand to constructively condemn, refute and disassociate from acts, resolutions and alignments that fail the purpose of our coexistence as Acholi but rather meet the interest of political heads and that of persons as stakeholders.
Regardless of our political affiliations (which some of our individual members subscribe), there is a road with a pot hole waiting for any of us, there is a unequipped and failed health care system waiting for us, there is a sorry education system of UPE, USE and the dysfunctional University etc to nurture our children, there are widespread land conflicts to the disadvantage of all of us and above all, there is our proud identity to lose. The questions in Acholi are too big for politics alone to answer. It is rather one of a committed Acholi for Acholi. We need a new wave of thinking that shall develop and protect our interest. Acholi Youth Agenda is the new thinking.
• What is the new thinking and why
Every generation has a mandate to fulfill. The pre- war Acholi under the Janani Luwum (R.I.P), Adimola (R.I.P), Okeny Tiberio (R.I.P) and Erinayo Oryema did their part in keeping our land and identityintact during tough times of armed struggles, the war time leaders ushered in with a politics that cooled down the LRA war and achieved the Peace at hand. It is therefore time for a new wave of thinking to usher in conventional approaches to post war questions which a united Acholi has not yet addressed their minds to.
1. Don’t you and I have the potential to mobilize and organize fellow Acholi to realize that our commitment to governance issues makes us check our leaders and improves service delivery?
2. We have often times been neglected, noting the clear irresponsibility exhibited during the days we were in camps and the nodding syndrome and now the uncoordinated planning on use and ownership our land.
3. Can you and I walk the talk? And make demands as equal bonafide citizens of this country? The talk that we have a constitutionally granted power to influence policy, that we definitely need change?
4. Can we translate our good speeches and emotional talks to tangible and constructive action towards change? Than parading coffins on streets and moving youth to Karuma and above spreading hate speech with no tangible results.
5. Don’t we have what it takes to be in charge of this region and country?
6. Can’t we question the failed unity of our leaders? We are gifted with the Acholi Parliamentary Group, Professors, LC5 chairperson’s forum, Acholi In Diaspora andabove all Ker Kwaro Acholi but what have they done to unite us? Are we united?
7. Can we safe guard our interest by having a regional demand that any government that comes into power has to respect and undoubtedly meet?
An organized Acholi needs an agenda for which she lives to achieve. We appeal to Ugandans and International community that the acts of marching with and Burning coffins on streets of Gulu was not generally the collective voice of the Acholi, the acts of Marching to Karuma by hoodwinked hired crime preventers to block Rtd. Brig. John Patrick Amama Mbabazi or any other Politician was not the voice of the Acholi, the current ridiculous and abusive media talk shows by self-styledacholi politicians are not in the interest of the Acholi as a generation BUT chauvinistic, opportunists and political party puppets and we as the informed young generation of this land ask that the above acts and injustices to be utterly condemned. Even the threats to arrest us should be condemned to the greatest terms. We have the freedom of speech and expression and for our people ass the Acholi, we have an enormous responsibility to utter the ordeals that is often ignored by the very people who should be our trusted and beloved leadership. We condemn the recent arrests of our colleagues in Jal fresh. The will and quest of the people shall never be arrested for we shall stand as a support so constant to it that generations shall stand to remember.
Where do we see Acholi going?
The life and living we need shall only be got once we get assertive on demanding from our leaders the social services we need.
Given our youthful nature, even when not mobilized, political rallies, debates and politicking have given us a chance to play, shout and demonstrate to our peers and to the whole world that we are tough, eloquent, indomitable, courageous, have what it takes, among others.
We have been used, exploited, sidelined and left to rot. The Acholi get attention only during election. Using their money, Political leaders mobilize us, use us, mock us and lie to us. But despite their insincerity, we are limited by choice but serve them as way of survival or identity. Political leaders never appreciate the contributions of the Acholi yet we present a good tax Base, we contribute to the country’s bread basket.
How do the youth get practically involved?
The practical involvement of the youth is rather low and the political arena continues to be dominated by older generations. The interests of youths are often not adequately reflected in decision-making and in the design of important policies.
We have all come to the realization that the current government is preoccupied with sustaining itself in power at whatever cost; that this government can no longer perform the roles that decent governments ought to perform. The presidents’ leadership cannot deliver the Uganda we envisage; it is an order too tall for him to deliver. He does not represent the future that Uganda deserves; surprisingly, we have equally lost faith in the current opposition political parties and their leadership. Some opposition leaders are in bed with the ruling government.
Every minute that passes with the current regime in office, precious Ugandan lives are lost to preventable diseases, staggering amounts of money are stolen with impunity, millions of children are condemned to a bleak future by an inept Universal Primary Education, stunted growth and disunity is sowed through tribalism, nepotism and favoritism.
This has gone too far. It is time for positive change. It is time for a new wave of leadership. One for us all and from all of us.
The members of Acholi Youth Agenda among others (Authors of this document)
1. Mr. Jomeo Richard – Youth activist
2. Rt. Hon. Fred Ongom –Dep. PM Gulu University
3. Mr. Andrew Ogwetta Otto – former Guild President Gulu University.
4. Hon. Oginga Odinga – councilor Tegwana Pece Division
5. Mr. Okot Thomas Lutuku – Media activist
6. Ms. Amony Francesca –Women activist
7. Mr.PayiraBonie – journalist at Jal fresh 96.9
8. Mr Langwen Peter
10 January 2015
The Economic Freedom Fighters notes the attempts by Mr. Jacob Zuma, the President of the ANC to restate the Freedom Charter as if it is the programme of the ANC, while all evidence is out there for all to see that the ANC has abandoned the Freedom Charter. In the speech delivered during the rally in Cape Town, Mr. Zuma recurrently mentioned key clauses of the Freedom Charter and ‘economic freedom’, yet made no concrete commitments and programme on how the ANC government will realise the Freedom Charter and economic freedom.
The EFF is aware that the whole intention of the ANC January 8 statement was an attempt to try to copy and therefore undermine the radical and militant programme of the Economic Freedom Fighters, because our programme is the only programme that finds true resonance with the people of South Africa. The EFF remains the only radical and militant movement which unapologetically pursues a radical economic revolution programme which will change the lives of our people. An attempt by the ANC to imitate the radical programme of the EFF only through rhetoric will always be exposed as pure farce because the ANC government is implementing a neo-liberal, right wing and capitalist programme called the National Development Plan: Vision 2030.
The NDP: Vision 2030 is the official programme of the ANC, adopted in their 53rd National Conference, and any talk of the Freedom Charter is meant to mislead the people of South Africa. What we know about the Freedom Charter, which the ANC government will never implement are the following:
These key tenets of the Freedom Charter and many others are not contained in the National Development Plan, which is the official government plan of the ANC and the right wing political parties in Parliament.
The EFF speaks about the Freedom Charter because our Founding Manifesto says,
“The EFF draws inspiration from the radical, working class interpretation of the Freedom Charter, because, since its adoption in 1955, there have been various meanings given to the Freedom Charter. The EFF’s interpretation of the Freedom Charter is one which says South Africa indeed belongs to all who live in it, and ownership of South Africa’s economic resources and access to opportunities should reflect that indeed South Africa belongs to all who live in it.
The EFF’s interpretation of the Freedom Charter is that which says the transfer of mineral wealth beneath the soil, monopoly industries and banks means nationalisation of mines, banks and monopoly industries”.
The rhetorical commitment to the Freedom Charter by Mr. Zuma is nothing but an attempt to divert attention from the genuinely radical economic freedom programme and struggle of the EFF. This is done because the ANC has run out of ideas. It is evidently clear that with age and many years of existence, the ANC is not maturing, but suffering from memory loss and lack of creativity and innovation. The ANC cannot think and always rely of imitating even Kwaito musicians hence their slogan of ANC Kuze Kose and ANC Y’tjukutja because they take ideas of Kwaito musicians, not vice versa. They even tried to imitate the runaway success of the EFF’s red beret and overalls.
The EFF remains the only hope for the people of South Africa and will inspire many generations to come because when we take over political power, we will capture the State, and redistribute the economy for the benefit of all. Once again, the EFF has proven that we are the vanguard of the working class and revolutionary ideas in South African society and those who copy us should do so with care because we will always expose fake imitatations that are not genuine.
ISSUED BY THE ECONOMIC FREEDOM FIGHTERS
LEHLOHONOLO FANA MOKOENA (Acting National Spokesperson)
Cell Number: +27817244799
Facebook: Fana L Mokoena || Twitter: @EconFreedomZA and @fanamokoena
Well, if you are still interested in different sources on the Rwenzori – Obusinga bwa Rwenzururu and the Kasese and in Bundibugyo attack. Then I got some more for you today from different articles. After the tragic attack which killed 93 people and here is the new quotes and information on the sad event that happen in Kasese and Bundibugyo.
Kasese District Police Commander Michael Musani Sabila commented to media that Rwenzururu PM Nzaghale is now released from prison. Sabila continues: “We are still holding three other Rwenzururu officers” (…)”There is a high security alert to counter any further threats” (…)”Registration centres for the ongoing national ID project have also been provided with extra security to ensure the process is not disrupted “ (…)”A good number are calling us, expressing their willingness to surrender, saying they were deceived into taking up arms against the State” (Thwaite, 2014).
The three that still arrested:
– Kingdom Enviroment Officer: Erisaniya Mberemu.
– Information Minister and Kingdoms Spokesman: Joshua Kalimwithako Baluku.
– Chairman of the Rwenzururu Esyomango S’Obusinga(Youth Wing): Mitusera Isebayanda
The Inspector of General of Police Kale Kayihura said: “We have different categories such as actors, planners and organisers who will be handled accordingly to their actions against the State. We have reinforced our system, we shall not leave any stone unturned” (…) “We have released on police bond the two kingdom officials as our investigations into the matter continue. We arrested them because they were implicated”. He also said that he was disappointed with the Obsuninga bwa Rwenzururu (Mugume, 2014).
MPs of all political parties are critical of the ethical dived between Bakjona cultivators and Basongora cattle keepers. Defence Minister Dr. Crispus Kiyonga comments: “some people in our society still hold firm beliefs in witchcraft, can easily be duped into criminality and can be very callous in causing death to their brothers and sisters”. Even UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon says: “we must not be left to utter the words ‘never again,’ again and again” (…)”indeed; the world has yet to fully overcome its divisions, its indifference, and its moral blind spots. For if not checked, ethnic conflicts are contagious and can spread quickly like cancer cells and eat all the progress achieved over the years” (Mugerwa, 2014).
In Kasese district it would be three kings alone in the groups of the Bakonzo, Basongora and Bayabinindi. This would be:
– Rwenzururu Kingdom of the Bakonzo with Mr. Charles Wesley Mumbere (Only recognized cultural leader by the government).
– Basongora People has recognized as their cultural leader: Mr Ivan Rukirwa Bwambale (not recognized by the government).
– Bayabindi People has recognized as their cultural leader: Mr Elisha Mugisha(not recognized by the government).
In Bundibugyo there you have the kingdom of the Bwamba which actually recently got recongnized by the government. This was as an opposite too the Rwenzururu Kingdom. Bwanba is made for the ethnic groups of Bamba and Babwasi, the issue in the district is that is also having a great number of Bakonzo (Katusabe, 2014).
Ms Polly Namaye deputy spokesman of the Uganda Police has recently addresses the matter and about the issue of the king in custody: “free and there has not been any attempt by the police to summon or arrest him under any circumstance”. She also said: “to have the king summoned the police will not desist (from executing its duties) but will do so in the interest of protecting the lives and properties of all Ugandans equally” (Katusabe, 2014).
Mr Mugisha the Bayabindi leader says: “These activities were carried out by the Bakonzo” (…)”We had informed the authorities that such attacks would happen but our advice was not taken seriously. It could easily be discerned from what many Bakonzo leaders had been saying that an attack on us was imminent. We live in fear” (…)”commemorating the deaths of our people who were killed during the Rwenzururu uprising between 1964 and 1981” (…)”we are different from Bakonzo” (…)”For us we are Bantu-speaking people and we don’t have much in common with the Bakonzo. They therefore targeted us because they associated us with the enemies (the Batooro)” (…)”The army and the police deployed heavily to protect our function; we even had people from State House” (…)”had threatened that if our function took place they would fight” (…)”When they failed to stop the function they diverted their anger to state institutions” (Katusabe, 2014).
Mr Bwambale the in-charge project desk at the Justice and Peace Commission in Kasese which isn’t agreeing with Mugisha is saying: “During the Rwenzururu war starting in the 1960s, our fathers knew that they needed guns to fight to break off from Tooro” (…)”So how can you convince me that in the year 2014, the kingdom of Rwenzururu would organise an attack on a military barracks executed by stick-wielding thugs? It doesn’t make sense” (…)”like his king has argued, that the attack could have been planned by anti-Rwenzururu people to discredit the kingdom. We were unable to establish whether this is one line of investigation the police is following” (…)”Muhindo and all the others should not have died” (…)”it should look at more strategic interventions to address the problem” (…)”There is a danger in the message which the government seems to send to those people who intend to be recognised as cultural leaders” (…)”they seem to be saying that once you fight and win recognition we put you on payroll” (Katusabe, 2014).
Mr. Mumbere says: “Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the institution of traditional leader or cultural leader may exist in any area of Uganda in accordance with the culture, customs and traditions or wishes and aspirations of the people to whom it applies” (…)”It’s natural resources, especially in the lowlands, which is causing trouble in Kasese especially” (Katusabe, 2014).
Mr Mugisha gives his thoughts on why they should get recognized: “We will stop being marginalized” (…)”we have a very big problem with land; our people have been sidelined. Look at me, I am the king of the Banyabindi but I live on a small plot” (…)”Ibuga Prison farm has a lot of vacant land” (…)”let the government take some of my people there” (Katusabe, 2014).
Rev Can Cornelius Matte the dean of St. Paul Church where he discusses the issues of the Bakonzo. Mr Matte says: “problem of resources is getting worse” (…)”We have had land conflicts in the area for some time but we never predicted that this thing would become this dangerous. We are living in a corridor between national parks, prison and mountains. People are now desperate and something very small causes a very serious reaction. People are now like hungry dogs” (…)”Every year we send people to theological colleges and we have some other opportunities. We ensure that we send a Munyabindi and Musongora. This year the only one we have sent to university is a Musongora” (Katusabe, 2014).
Dr. Kizza Besigye has new comments on Rwenzururu:
“This is not tribal violence as government claims. Why is it only the Police and UPDF being targeted as if they are tribes? It’s because people are fed-up and feel that these are agents of the bigger problem up there” (…)”This situation in western Uganda cannot be detached from the problems in the whole country. The causes are not a local dynamic as it has been reduced but rather a political time bomb government is sitting on”. He describes President Museveni as “king of sectarianism”. Besigye is also addressing Kiyonga actions: ““Kiyonga was there when they carved out Ntoroko for the Batuku from Bundibugyo for the Bamba and have plans to further divide Kasese into four other constituents for the Basongora and other small tribes they want to create” (Musisi, 2014).
Katusabe, Ruth & Mukiibi Ssrunjogi Misari Thembo Kahungu, Eriasa – ‘Inside the melting pot of Rwenzori region’ (13.07.2014) Link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Inside-the-melting-pot-of-Rwenzori-region/-/688334/2381740/-/wckx5vz/-/index.html
Mugume, Colleb & Ninsuma Enid – ‘Police to screen Kasese, Bundibugyo attackers’ (13.07.2014) Link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Police-to-screen-Kasese–Bundibugyo-attackers/-/688334/2381922/-/fvvkg0/-/index.html
Mugerwa, Yaslin – ‘MPs unite against Rwenzori attacks’ (13.07.2014) Link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/OpEd/OpEdColumnists/YasiinMugerwa/MPs-unite-against-Rwenzori-attacks/-/878670/2381556/-/us815oz/-/index.html
Musisi, Fredric & Tumwine, Albert – ‘Govt to blame for Rwenzori attacks’ – Besigye’ (13.07.2014) Link:http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Govt-to-blame-for-Rwenzori-attacks—Besigye/-/688334/2381860/-/dvi3k0z/-/index.html
Thwaite, John B. – ‘Kasese attacks: Rwenzururu premier released’ (12.07.2014) Link:http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/657452-kasese-attacks-rwenzururu-premier-released.html