Abed is hungry, very hungry, his plate is empty; therefore he seeks relevance in the misty world of cronies and opportunists. Abed Bwanika, the People’s Development Party (PDP) leader and long-time running President Candidate is seeking to become relevant again. He has been missing the spotlight and being in the window of opportunity since the Campaigns and General Election of 2016. He is now defending the Kiggundu math-class and the cooking of the numbers of the Electoral Commission. He is accepting the assault on the freedoms of the people, the blockade of internet and social-media, even transfer of mobile money, the police detaining and charging opposition politicians like they we’re the mob. That is what Bwanika this week is accepting.
Therefore, you know he does it seek relevance, because he knows he will fall into oblivion, into a misty fog of grey goose and sluts. He will not be anyone of concern anymore, he is now a nobody, who at some point ran for Presidency, but is now just a common citizen, which is the reality that Bwanika cannot stomach. Beecause Bwanika want to be someone and cannot figure out how to be that. That is why he is defending the General Election of 2016. Even if he knows he is losing. That is what Bwanika is doing, he defending his loss and trying to capture the losses. So he can get a win out of nothing.
It is ironic speaking about the love of the Republic, rule of law and democracy, when he is defending voter rigging, police brutality, arbitrary arrests and illegal detentions of opposition politicians. Maybe if he spent as much time under house-arrest as Besigye or behind bars like FDC Activists, he would have seen the world a bit differently. However, the ignorance of Bwanika is clear. It is open and he is putting salt in the wounds.
That is because he wants to eat, he wants to have plenty, and he has seen how Beti Kamya and the likes are eating, and enjoying life under the wings of the President. He want to be covered like them. Not walking in the wilderness without any cover. Bwanika needs his guiding star and wants his envelopes too.
So with in mind, I don’t blame him, he wants to eat and there is not so many ways to do it. Unless, he wants put in work or give the president a handshake to run a market in Kampala. Bwanika wants to be head honcho, but knows that has to be in accordance with the President. That is why he has suddenly moved in this way. He knows that and we who follows the politics of the lands knows that.
It is not like I want to jinx it, but if he would get appointed to some random outpost or mere lack of importance within the administration. He would take it and kiss the ring. Because he want to get paid without any accountability. Bwanika wants relevance; he wants to be in the spotlight and properly paid!
That is why he is suddenly defending the General Election of 2016, even when he deep in his heart. He knows he is wrong. Because he is hungry and wants eat, he is tired of beans; he wants meat and a decent salary. Peace.
Today is the 62nd Birthday of the founder of Forum for Democratic Change and the predecessor Reform Agenda. Before he became the biggest voice against the National Resistance Movement (NRM), he had joined the Bush War in 1982 and became Minister of Interior at the age of 29 years old in 1986. He has since his fallout with the regime, been a strong and hardworking voice in the midst of trouble since 1999. Because he hasn’t feared the regime, but been a voice of reason in the midst of trouble. Never giving in or giving way, but tried within reasonable doubt to make changes.
When he wrote the piece ‘ An Insider’s View of How the NRM Lost the Broad Base’ in 1999, which he wrote this: “All in all, when I reflect on the Movement philosophy and governance, I can conclude that the Movement has been manipulated by those seeking to gain or retain political power, in the same way that political parties in Uganda were manipulated. Evidently, the results of this manipulation are also the same, to wit: Factionalism, loss of faith in the system, corruption, insecurity and abuse of human rights, economic distortions and eventually decline. So, whether it’s political parties or Movement, the real problem is dishonest, opportunistic and undemocratic leadership operating in a weak institutional framework and a weak civil society which cannot control them. I have shown that over the years the “Movement System” has been defined in the law in a certain way, but the leaders have chosen to act in a difficult way. This is dishonest and opportunistic leadership. I have also shown how changes have been made to the Movement agenda, and other important decisions have been made outside the Movement structures” (Besigye, 1999).
Why do I post this part today, because it seems important to remember, that he has been on the barricades for decades, that he has stood in the good fight for the rights and rule of law. He has been charged with treason steadily since 2001. It isn’t without a reason, that Besigye is the biggest enemy of Museveni. The reason why he has a record-breaking amount of time spent behind bars, house arrested and abducted by the government. The Police Force knows his home and his gate to Kasangati, Wakiso, better than they know the Police Force Headquarters at Naguru in Kampala. Because, that is partly true. This is not how it supposed to be as a politician, not supposed to be jailbird, but a man of policy and possible programs leading to better tomorrow.
You know that Besigye is powerful politician, who you should respect for his vision and his stamina. When the dictatorship makes the Public Order Manage Act, which is nicknamed the Anti-Besigye-Act. That one was made to give the Police possibility to monitor all political activity and have reasons for arbitrary arrests of the man. This was made to make sure the FDC and other opposition parties didn’t act with disobedience or unlawful assembly. That is something that have been made because of the activities of the FDC and Besigye. NRM wouldn’t have enacted this sort of law, if they didn’t fear Besigye at one point. If they didn’t fear his rallies of demonstrations, the Walk to Work and others. That they had to stop him and house arrest him, as he rallied behind the Defiance Campaign of 2015 and 2016. Even if it didn’t change it all, he still have to show up in Court for what he did. That means, the regime fears his activity and his message.
That is why he should be celebrated. Besigye deserves to be celebrated, a President that Uganda never had. He is not alone in this fashion, for me Paul Ssemogerere and Olara Otunnu could also been people who deserves to be in that bracket of people, who never got reign. Musveni destroyed their chances, but today I am praising Besigye. For his resilience, his fighting spirit and his voice in darkness. Many would have bow down and give-up after being detained, cars destroyed, house raided, house-arrested and charged with treason. Others would have given-up and left for exile forever. He went into exile, but came back. He has run as a challenger in 2001, 2006, 2011 and 2016. His fight is not over, his campaigns are still on.
Besigye deserves credit for the message of hope and change, the message of values and governance of the government. That has been eaten by the Movement and the Presidency of Museveni.
I will finish with Besigye’s own words written in October 2017: “We live in a country that is controlled by guns since independence no leader has ever handed over power to another peacefully. So we are hostages of those who have guns. Mr. Museveni came to power 32 years old using guns, he has kept power largely using those guns. Now he is in the process of changing our 1995 Constitution, to remove the last check which is the age limit, having removed term limits in 2005. If the age limit is removed then he becomes a life president and this process continues” (Dr. Kizza Besigye, 03.10.2017).
BTW: Happy Birthday, Alutia Continua!
What can we can conclude is that the Police Force in Yumbe District has arrested about 60 people and two individuals seriously injured (some reports dead) after bullets hit the scene. The Police Force statements and the Uganda Revenue Authority statements doesn’t add-up. While the Police are saying the URA had an enforcement operation there, the URA counter-claim it and says there was none.
However, there has imports of illegal rice in this case, that created the havoc seen today in Yumbe, as both statements refers to it. The URA legal team, who encountered the boda-bodas with it, who was stoned for interfering with it. While the Police Force are not addressing directly the illegal rice, but that URA was looking at the number plates and lack of tax on the motorcycles.
Before the crowd and masses of people rioted, burning both motorcycles and a car belonging to the Danish Aid in the town. The end of the statement clarifies that the URA was there to collect taxes on the imported rice, and that the motorcycle drivers has to pay the state. Also that URA will continue this operations in the West Nile region.
The Police has said they will engage with the Boda Boda Industry and community, as of this incident. What is special, is one saying it was not paid for the motorcycle, the URA saying it was because of the lack of taxes on imports on the motorcycle. It is a small difference, but still one. We can wonder what was the truth.
What we do know, is that the Police has arrested a dozen of people and two killed, some say they were just hurt. Hard to know what is the fact. 103.2 Open Gate FM reported this earlier in the day: “Two people are reported dead in Yumbe District following a protest by youth in the area against operations of the Uganda Revenue Authority-URA. The protests were sparked by a URA operation against unregistered bodas bodas, in the event apprehending residents in the business. The operation became sour when the URA vehicle knocked down a bodaboda cyclist, making bodabodas to become rowdy by burning several vehicles prompting police to fire bullets. URA Manager Public and Corporate Affairs, Ian Rumanyika said the Authority was cracking down on unregistered boa bodas as well as those smuggles from South Sudan without reverting tax” (103.2 Open Gate FM, 28.03.2018).
So it wasn’t a peaceful initiating, as the URA Management followed and tracked the Boda Boda down. Knocked it and the Police intervened in the operation. The report of Open Gate, also say the URA was doing both, not just stopping the smuggling from South Sudan, but also look into the tags, which hadn’t paid tax. Secondly, they are saying that the URA team drove after the Boda Boda and actually knocked one down. That isn’t just fining and taking the tags, not only checking the products or rice, but actually nearly impounding it. This has been done without forewarning or local knowledge. If not this wouldn’t have happen.
So the URA are now combating illegal imports and also unregistered boda boda’s. Clearly, there have to be better methods, since this became violent, and the following after and knocking down. Was a final spark, since the URA Management created havoc on the way and than the Police intervened with guns, as the youth was throwing stones. When the violent activity transpired they addressed it with throwing stones and also burning cars.
Whatever it was, it shows the lack of oversight and the lack of basic understanding. It is natural for a state to tax imports, also serve taxes on plates, yearly pay for being able to drive on the roads. Both actions are normal, but if the URA Management did the right thing, if the Police Force did the same. Can be questioned and should be.
What should also be asked, would there be a better way to collect the missed tax and also secure the porous border points, so the Boda Boda can pay the levies when entering into Uganda again. Secondly, the URA should be able to notify the drivers of their missing payments and not knock them down for doing so.
We will see with time, if the stories are changing or if they will stay the same. However, this is worrying sight of the state of affairs. When collecting taxes becomes a stand-off, you know something is wrong. Peace.
“Democracy is not simply a license to indulge individual whims and proclivities. It is also holding oneself accountable to some reasonable degree for the conditions of peace and chaos that impact the lives of those who inhabit one’s beloved extended community.” – Aberjhani, (Splendid Literarium: A Treasury of Stories, Aphorisms, Poems, and Essays).
After the hectic usage of the Crime Preventers in the run-up for the General Election in 2016, they are suddenly relevant again. Even after the state are failing with funds and such. The National Resistance Movement, still seems to need several more guns and soldiers out there walking in the streets of Uganda. That is how it seems, but however now it has changed from being part of the Uganda Police Force, into a brigade from the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF). That means the Generals will control it and order it, not the Police. That is very different animal if this happens.
Reported by 411UG today: ““I now regard you as a reserve army for UPDF. My idea is to have a small army which is equipped but with a big reserve”, Museveni stated in his address at Lugogo Arena. However, before saying so, President Museveni refuted rumours surrounding ‘who owns them’ he said; “Anybody who had an idea that this was a Kayihura project, please, get it out of your head. But Kayihura was an active cadre who executed that aspect and I congratulate him.” (411UG – ‘I now regard you as a reserve army for UPDF — Museveni tells crime preventers’ 28.03.2018).
What President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, is distancing himself from the statements the Uganda Police Force did during campaigns of 2015, when the UPF stated this: “Uganda Police Force has learnt with profound disappointment that a Facebook group called Team JPAM 2016 has referred to ‘Crime Preventers’ as a militia force, as if that was not enough, they have also drawn comparisons of it with the infamous Rwandan genocidaire group called The Interahamwe who were responsible for some of the most heinous crimes against humanity in the history of mankind. Amid this outrageous ill-motivated accusations, we thought it was important that Ugandans understand that the concept of community policing has always been there and contemplated for implementation, as way back as 1990. It is a metamorphose of the ‘Nyumba Kumi’. Those who are old enough will remember that Nyumba Kumi works on the premise that each community must be able to be self-reliant on security matters. In fact though Nyumba Kumi means ‘ten houses’ in Swahili, the concept is not rigid in its implementation. Again those of pertinent age will remember that visitors and or any new person in a given community was required to register and deposit their IDs with the chairman or the police” (Uganda Police Force – ‘CRIME PREVENTERS ARE NOT A MILITIA FORCE’ 22.03.2018).
So if they are reserves to the UPDF, that means Amama Mbabazi was actual going forward, because the accusation is now true. That means the Crime Preventers will become a brigade, another force under the UPDF. They are militia under the army, they are secondary army and brigades when in need. That means they shouldn’t be involved in policing, but national security. That is if the difference between the police and army is respected. This also means, that the Police Force getting less extra officers, since the changes of program should come swiftly, also the change in mandate of the Crime Preventers.
This is also not in line what he himself said in 2016: ““In all modern countries, there is an Army and Police Reserve. Crime Preventers are a Police Reserve. They do not have any political affiliation. Anyone who wants to become a Crime Preventer should join,” he said. Mr. Museveni reassured the country that there will be no violence during elections. “The law guarantees a peaceful election. It says what is wrong and should not be done during elections. If you do what should not be done, we will arrest you. Soldiers are not yet deployed but they will soon be,” he said” (PPU – ‘ President Museveni: Crime preventers are a Police Reserve Force’ 14.02.2016).
So two years ago, they we’re a Police Reserve, now it has changed, the army needs reserves, the army needs to be bolstered for apparent reasons unknown to mankind. The UPDF needs the extra personnel, that the UPF cannot pay for, the UPDF has budgets for extended personnel and firepower. Certainly, there is something underlining the will of the President. That he is willingly using the Crime Preventers as military reserves. That means, they will follow orders from the military and not from the new leadership of UPF. Meaning they are going from one security organization into another, where the mandate and meaning is different.
This means the Police are now having less people associated with it, this is winging the organization and establishing another norm. We can wonder if the brigade and that the National Crime Preventers Forum (NCPF), that was established in 2013, meaning that the mandate and will of this organization too, needs to change if it supposed to make sense. The Community Policing will not make sense, if they are a military brigade, unless he want to show military force and spread fear. That tehe soldiers will be with guns and ammunition in the streets, to show that the NRM has big enough force to continue their rule, therefore, you never know when you meet a UPDF Crime Preventer. The former Community Policing officer who coordinating directly with the Police. Should now be in direct line with the military. That is because their mission changed.
We can wonder what the need for a military reserve, how come? Is there a war brewing the world doesn’t know about? Does Museveni plans to invade the Democratic Republic of Congo, again? Does Museveni plan to intervene with soldiers in South Sudan, again? What is the use of extra and more soldiers in reserve, that was previous community police officers through the Crime Preventers Program.
Because, it doesn’t make sense to conduct fighting internal policing and being military at the same time. They are two vast different approach to both organizations within the community, the army to secure the borders and people from outsider invading, also being a securing element. That stops the neighbors from wanting to cross the borders. While the police who has the allowed space of investigating and combating crime within the territory, they are also securing the safety directly in the territory. Therefore, seeing the Crime Preventers becoming part of the army, means that the mandate change.
This means that Museveni is up to something. I don’t know what, but it smells fishy. I just don’t know what. Peace.