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Opinion: I miss Olara Otunnu, already!

Otunnu

After this General Election of 2016, he promised to step-down after the continuing process of keeping him away from the Presidency of Uganda People’s Congress as there we’re a strange placement of UPC in connection with the NRM government, as they got cabinet positions. The fighter and long-time human-rights activist and politician said he would give up politics.

“Tension at the opposition Uganda People’s Congress Party hit the boiling point on Friday, as supporters of the newly elected party President Jimmy Akena, battled with outgoing president Dr Olara Otunnu” (…) “The latter, who announced his resignation at the end of his term, is unsatisfied with the process through which Mr Akena was elected president last week, citing irregularities that characterized the entire process that must be probed” (…) “Sources in the party told us a new committee led by one Patrick Mwondha was set up, which will provide interim leadership until the July Delegates Conference when the new President will be endorsed” (…) “The council will handle all party activities leading to the July 10th National Council and July 11th National Delegates Conference” (…) “All this took place in the presence of president elect Jimmy Akena, who was occupying the party Vice President Joseph Bossa’s office” (Segwa, 2016).

This continued with a long process where Jimmy Akena finally overpowered Otunnu and kicked him out of the party, together with others who has essentially cleared the party of the loyalist behind Otunnu.

Therefore the realization that we do something bold again could appear, but instead he did this: ““Ambassador Olara Otunnu, the embattled UPC president’s time at the helm of one of Uganda’s oldest political parties is up. The man eagerly waiting to hand over power says his attempts have since been failed from 12th of June 2015,when he scheduled to officially hand over power only to be sabotaged by what he calls the Akena faction coup – d’état” (NBS TV Uganda, 10.05.2016).

Now months after I have to drop a few words for this man. Who has a long history in Uganda Politics and all of sudden has silently disappeared, something he didn’t deserve and he could have become more vital if people had given the man a chance. That is not something I alone could believe as he has been important for many during his years in the UPC. A place and heart of a fraction that Akena never can carry, because honest political craft isn’t Jimmy Akena’s way, if it we’re so the battle for Presidency of late would have been without tension, court dates and kicking out people out of the famous Uganda House.

But when looking away from the hurt, let look at the gentleman that Ugandan people now has lost, as he turned civilian and surely has a position with good people around him. Because he has the experience and the wisdom to lead and to focus his capacity at greater things!

In 1982 – New York:

“’There’s been a mistake,” he told Mr. Otunnu, who is Uganda’s representative to the United Nations. ”We don’t accept diplomats.” Mr. Otunnu kept looking, and found another apartment. ”Everything looked O.K.,” he said, ”but when I came on the appointed day with my check, I was told it was no longer available. I had a friend call up and cross-check, and he found the apartment was still available. So I went back with him, and they were embarrassed – they said the apartment was indeed available, but they couldn’t give it to me because I was a diplomat.” (…) “He found a third apartment, but he was again rejected and again for the same reason. Mr. Otunnu, who eventually found an apartment in a new building, remembers his experience with anger. But, he said, it is a ”common story” for diplomats.” (Bennetts, 1982).

In 2009 – ‘About his role in 1985:

Melina Platas Izma asks: “Some of your critics have alleged that you were involved in the coup of 1985. What is your reaction?”

Otunnu: “That is absolute falsehood. It is a vicious smear campaign being peddled for political reasons. At the time of the coup, I was based in New York. First, there were those reports about tensions in military barracks on the outskirts of Kampala. When I contacted my superiors in Kampala, I was assured that the incidents were not serious and were nothing to be concerned about. But then, in very quick order (and to my great shock), came the coup itself. I knew absolutely nothing about it and had no part whatsoever in its planning or execution. After the coup, I travelled to London for a previously scheduled meeting of the Commonwealth Commission on Small States. While in London, I was summoned home. At that time, I called Mzee Milton Obote from Shafiq Arain’s office. He told me how the coup by Bazilio Okello had unfolded. He knew I had nothing to do with it. He concluded the conversation by telling me: “The situation in Kampala is very dangerous. Be careful. And stay in touch when you can.” I did stay in touch with him. During the Nairobi peace talks, I travelled to Lusaka to consult Mzee.  Much later I would visit him while I was now based in New York. From time to time, he would send me messages. In fact one of the persons who carried an important personal letter from Mzee to me on one occasion was Chris Opoka, the current Secretary General of UPC. When I reported to Kampala, at the urging of Paulo Muwanga and Tito Okello, I accepted the assignment to initiate and facilitate the peace talks. That was my primary responsibility as minister. At the time, in a television discussion with Col. [Zed] Maruru, I defended the record and programmes of UPC from what was a wholesale visceral condemnation of the party without any regard to facts. I argued for an objective assessment of UPC’s record across the board – both its achievements and mistakes. Incidentally, soon after the coup, and before I left New York, Museveni had called from Gothenburg in Sweden (my telephone number was given to him by Betty Bikangaga from Geneva), urging me to return home to facilitate contacts and eventual peace talks: “The people who are in charge in Kampala know you and we know you; you can serve as a go-between and help to build confidence for talks.” (Izama, 2009)

His own statement in 1994 as member on the Commission on Global Governance:

“I think it would be equally difficult to have Germany and Japan join as permanent members without seeking some way to redress the imbalance which will be accentuated–the North-South imbalance within the Council. At the very least during this transitional period, we would need to have what one might call “tenured members” of the Council. Those who would serve for a period longer than two years–maybe five, six or seven years–but who would not be permanent members. A possible formula would be three-plus-one. Three tenured members would be drawn from the three regions of the world which are now not represented on a permanent basis–Africa, Latin America and parts of Asia. The remaining one would be a global seat, tenured, elected on the basis of some rough standard of good UN citizenship. It would allow a number of countries, who would not necessarily belong to the three regions mentioned previously, but who contribute very actively to the purposes of the UN, to be invited to serve on this tenured basis” (…) “Now I come to the use of the veto, which obviously has to be discussed in any context, whether it is transitional or long-term. In the long term, I am not sure what the fate of the veto is going to be. I have a feeling that it will be a major issue of discussion. As we move into a world that is more democratic (in spirit if not always in practice), the veto will increasingly be questioned. But in the transitional package, I see the veto being retained by those who now have it, for purely practical purposes. They will not cooperate on anything that prejudices their right of veto” (Otunnu, 1994).

In 2005 – His work for Children in Conflict:  

“Reacting to his departure as Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, UNICEF said today that it was deeply grateful to Olara Otunnu for being an outspoken advocate for millions of children caught in conflict around the world” (…) “She praised Mr. Otunnu for insisting that egregious violations of the rights of children in armed conflict cannot be overlooked or forgotten, and that the cloak of impunity must be lifted for all war crimes and abuses committed against children” (…) “Ms. Salah also hailed Mr. Otunnu for his close work with UNICEF in negotiating the landmark resolution passed by the Security Council last week, which establishes a comprehensive monitoring and reporting system for children affected by armed conflict” (UNICEF, 2005).

otunnu-1

In 2007 – Otunnu could return:

“The Ugandan Government would not accept &rewarding8 the disaffected diaspora and &terrorists8 through the peace process. Museveni argued that if regime critics such as former U.N. Special Representative for Children in Armed Conflict Olara Otunnu wanted to return to Uganda to run for office, they could do so. If northern Uganda was &thirsty8 to have Otunnu represent it, then a member of Parliament should vacate his seat for Otunnu to compete” (WikiLeaks, 2007).

In 2010 – Leadership role:

Last weekend, UPC delegates gave you a hoe to get back to work for Uganda, and the job is very big. Luckily, you bring to the job two very distinct qualities that will allow you to become part of nation building. Foremost, as a former diplomat on the world stage, you are known across the globe; when you call, leaders pick up their phones to listen. Your ability to network, and to connect internationally will serve Uganda well as a developing country” (Opiyo, 2010)

In 2013 – liberate Uganda:

The selection of Prof Omara-Otunnu who comes from northern Uganda may raise eyebrows to many in Uganda but a source close to FUF told The London Evening Post, that the front’s leadership is determined to have leaders from all regions of the country and that no particular tribe would monopolise the front as is the case in the ruling National Resistance Movement. Omara-Otunnu will need all his international experience in bringing together many Ugandans who have for years been frustrated by Museveni’s leadership and are being united because they all share one desire, that of removing Museveni from power and returning the country back to the people” (…) “A practical idealist and visionary, Prof Omara-Otunnu has devoted most of his adult life to promoting democracy, human rights, sustainable development, social justice and the ideal and practice of a common humanity around the globe. He engages these causes as a scholar advocate and a practitioner, by shaping policy and building structures and alliances through which to effect positive change in society. For his achievements, Professor Omara-Otunnu has received international recognition, including the luminary award given by the international affairs council to individuals who have made significant contributions that have profoundly impacted the world” (Gombya, 2013).

olara-otunnu

When you see this kind of words and his rich history from the cradle and in the midst of battles as the rise of Museveni was happening, while he also became a negotiation partner for the government of Obote. So he was on the losing side of history. Olara Otunnu we’re a man who at one point of time, though if I remember correctly that the youth had a say in the Obote government after the fall of Idi Amin where Museveni we’re Minister. So the turn of the coup of 1985, made him flee and also his reputation after years abroad made him a candidate for international works in the United Nations Organizations and partners. Therefore he is man with wide knowledge of the world and of his own nation.

Therefore it saddens me that he is now totally silent. That a man of this stature we wing-clipped by James Akena. That a man of hypocrisy and deceit like Akena could bring a man like this down! Otunnu had deserved another outcome. He has been steady and wanted the positive change of an accountable-government and a transparent election where a government like that would be elected. Certainly a vision he hasn’t seen in his time. Where also a transgression in his own party lead to his fall, as Akena made power moves and in the end cut the ties with the man of a rich history and also knowledge.

Otunnu, the diplomat who has a long career has now been gone into oblivion. The reality is that the man who has worked hard for justice for children and against war-crimes. As well as working of peaceful change from Museveni. That hasn’t occurred instead a man who turned loyal against all odds to Museveni got control over UPC. The Party that are old and stood against the Museveni paradigm is now gone. The UPC that stood against and lost that is well known now.

Otunnu has had many transition and been through many storms, been in exile and been through the worst of the worst. Many might not know this, but they should. He is not a relic or forgotten man; he should be a treasure to counter the NRM propaganda and the NRM control of the historical facts. He has been in the midst of the creation of the NRM from the outside and knows what the losing team looks like. He knows the struggle to get back their legacy and recharge a broken party. A party that betrayed him and took him for granted.

UPC was too good and to deceitful to be connected with Olara Otunnu! Olara Otunnu deserves credit for the work for the cause and I miss him from the public sphere. I am sure it does him good to be out of the spotlight. But the politics and the history of Uganda needs men like this. Who fights within reason and with enlightenment, with the tact and procedure and not with brown-envelopes and impunity! Peace.

Reference:

Bennetts, Leslie – ‘DIPLOMATS HAVING TO SCRATCH FOR APARTMENTS’ (06.06.1982) link: http://www.nytimes.com/1982/06/06/realestate/diplomats-having-to-scratch-for-apartments.html?pagewanted=all

Gombya, Henry – ‘EXCLUSIVE: Otunnu set to lead new Ugandan liberation front’ (10.10.2013) link: http://www.nyamile.com/uganda-in-south-sudan/exclusive-otunnu-set-to-lead-new-ugandan-liberation-front/

Otunnu, Olara A. – ‘1994 Conference – Statement by Olara Otunnu’

Former President, International Peace Academy 1990-98; Member, Commission on Global Governance) link: https://www.globalpolicy.org/the-dark-side-of-natural-resources-st/water-in-conflict/32794-1994-conference-statement-by-olara-otunnu.html

Opiyo, Oloya – ‘Olara Otunnu, UPC has given you a hoe get back to work’ (17.10.2010) – New Vision

Segawa, Nixon – ‘Olara Otunnu Overthrown as UPC President’ (05.07.2015) link: http://www.chimpreports.com/olara-otunnu-overthrown-as-upc-president/

Melina Platas Izama – ‘Olara Otunnu on the way’ (06.07.2009) link: https://melinaplatas.com/2009/07/06/olara-otunnu-on-the-way/

Unicef – ‘UNICEF thanks Olara Otunnu’ (03.08.2005) link: https://www.unicef.org/media/media_27835.html

WikiLeaks – ‘UGANDA: A/S FRAZER DISCUSSES LRA, CONGO, AND SOMALIA WITH PRESIDENT MUSEVENI’ (14.09.2007) link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/07KAMPALA1449_a.html

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FUF – The struggle to redeem and renew Uganda continues (Letter from Prof. Amii Omara-Otunnu)

Written by FUF Chairman:

Prof. Amii Omara-Otunnu.

I write as Chairman of Freedom and Unity Front (FUF) to report to members, friends and well wishers that the organization that was formed on October 6, 2013 to perform the historical missions to champion national reconciliation and healing, to banish the culture of violence and militarism that has blighted the lives of millions of citizens through gratuitous use of force, to fashion institutional mechanisms for democracy, accountability and checks and balances on power, to inspire hope and faith in the future, and to seek understanding and solidarity from the international community to assist us in our struggle, is well and robust and continues to grow in leaps and bounds.

We formed FUF because we were gravely concerned about, among others, the fragmentation of the country through divide and rule tactics employed by bankrupt politicians; the growing cancer of corruption that is disabling the country; the chilling assassinations and torture of political opponents; the devastating military adventures into neighboring countries; fostering of poverty as means of control; and the muzzling of free and independent press in the country.

Why has FUF inspired so much hope and following since its inception? This is essentially due to five main reasons.

First, it is because of its vision, mission and objectives, which are informed by ethical values and principles of compassion, tolerance, inclusiveness, reciprocal respect, equality of treatment, social justice, economic empowerment, political emancipation and unity of the country.

Second, because its leadership is committed to listen, to see and to feel the suffering and aspirations of the great majority of people and to take into account the experiences of people to fashion strategies and policies that would enable individuals and groups to engage meaningfully in affairs that affect their lives.

Third, because a cross-section of people see that the leadership of FUF is dedicated to a new approach to politics, which is designed to bridge the gap between rhetoric and practice. This imposes upon the leadership a duty to lead by example. In other words, the FUF leadership holds that it is not sufficient to profess to stand for laudable goals; but that we must walk the talk in the ways we conduct ourselves and treat others.

Fourth, because the leadership of FUF has made it clear that the struggle to oust the current dictatorship is neither personal nor for the purpose of simply changing musical chairs. For FUF, the new Uganda must be a country in which all those who live in it are treated with respect and dignity and enjoy all rights equally.

And fifth, because the leadership of FUF is driven by a wider vision and an abiding desire to see an Africa at peace with herself and at peace with the rest of the world. Accordingly, we seek to form constructive partnerships with the international community that would foster international peace, human security and stability not only in Uganda and the Great Lakes Region of Africa, but in the entire continent.

Since the establishment of Freedom and Unity Front, a lot has been achieved. This includes enormous progress in the diplomatic and political arenas.

In the international arena, we have managed to publicize the duplicity and indeed criminality of President Museveni policies that have resulted in the loss of millions of lives and the plunder of resources, as well as in undermining international peace and security in the Great Lakes and Horn Region of Africa.

We have managed to sensitize people to the fact that the current regime in Uganda is a threat to international peace and security in the Great Lakes Region and Horn of Africa.

In the difficult task of promoting freedoms and of bringing together people of various ideological, social, religious and regional backgrounds, FUF has worked diligently to form practical and productive working relationships with other Ugandan groups for the common and greater good of the country.

Arguably the most robust relationship with various groups is the partnership between the Federal Alliance for Democracy and Development (FADDU) and FUF. We have done this by acknowledging, respecting and celebrating the diversities in the country and by recognizing that Uganda is big enough for all her children regardless of where and how they were born.

The experience of Uganda, combined with the ethical values and principles that guide members of FUF, have instilled in them a deep determination to fashion a formula that would not simply remove the current dictatorship, but also curtail abuse of power while at the same time creating enabling environment in which Ugandans can exercise to the optimum, fundamental rights and freedoms as citizens.

As indicated in FUF’s Manifesto, this would require radical decentralization of powers — not simply delegation of authority — to the regions.

FUF is committed to a formula of decentralization as the most reasonable means of minimizing abuse of power while at the same time engaging people meaningfully in affairs that affect their lives. This means, in the political grammar understood in Uganda, federalism.

FUF subscribes to and advocates federal system of government not for purposes of political expediency or as political dogma; but rather, because it was under the federal system of government in Uganda from 1962 to 1966’s that the country enjoyed optimum freedoms, social peace and robust economic development.

Most historians regard this period as the golden period in Uganda’s history.

In the current political climate in the country, federalism offers the most reasonable opportunity to citizens to engage in activities that affect their lives, as well as allows people to be involved in determining the best policies for their localities and for the management and control of their resources and governance.

In due course, FUF will announce other partnerships with other groups and organizations, as it calls upon all Ugandans to transcend their petty differences for the purpose of achieving not simply the change of the current dictatorship but also to usher in a new dawn in Uganda where all her citizens and those who live in it enjoy optimum freedoms, rights and a unity of purpose.

The march of history is on the side of the great majority of Ugandans. The suffering of Ugandans in every region of the country, coupled with conscious education, have awakened the great majority of the people to engage in struggles to unite and defeat the authors of their servitude.

FUF emphasizes the simple and profound point that Uganda is large enough for all her children. Based on intellectual, moral and practical solidarity, and on the ethical principles of equality and non-discrimination, the struggle for freedoms and unity to which FUF is providing leadership, will sooner than later usher in a new dawn of social peace and justice in which all citizens enjoy their rights.

As we enter a new phase of the struggle to emancipate ourselves from the tyranny and corruption of the current regime, our resolve is firm and solid. We are emboldened by the fact that our cause is right and just and that the means we have chosen is proportionate to the task at hand.

The flame of our just cause and struggle has been fueled by ethical values that do not discriminate on the grounds of ideological, ethnic, religious or racial affiliations. As long as the fire of struggle so fueled burn in our hearts and minds, no person can extinguish it.

With our ethical values and faith that are far stronger than the tyranny of the regime, we shall redeem and renew Uganda and build institutions that enable citizens to realize their fundamental rights and freedoms regardless of where and how they are born. We shall build an inclusive Uganda for God and our children.

A better Uganda, informed by ethical values and principle of compassion, empathy, inclusiveness and tolerance, is possible

By David Sejusa – Letter: LOOMING WAR AND GOVERNMENT COVER UP: Government agents target civilians to scare population

Fellow Ugandans

I greet you all.

RECENT HISTORY

Sometime back, I warned the country about Uganda reverting back to a catastrophic war. I did this far back in 2012, following the rampant murders in villages which were being stage managed by criminal state agents in order to frame some political leaders. Those who have short memories, however, tend to gain nothing from the lessons of history.

As many of you have noticed, serious instability is creeping back into the country. I see government trying to spin and down play these attacks going on around the country. In 1980s, the UPC government spent precious time trying to spin itself out of the NRA war. As they say, the rest is history. The spinnng did not stop NRA from winning that war.
CREEPING INSURGENCY
This threat is real and we all need to take it seriously. Indeed, this time round, Ugandans have a choice to stop this creeping war. Those in government need to heed the call of the opposition groups and immediately introduce the desired changes, for example:

1. Mr Museveni Ruling himself out of the coming 2016 elections

2. Retiring his family clique from the Uganda military and other security services.

3. Creating a transitional arrangement to work on credible reforms which can lead to a free and fair election

4. Release all political prisoners incarcerated in various prisons, both civil, military and safe houses

5. He must enter into talks with all groups in the country to see how this creeping instability can be avoided and get a way forward on serious engagement with all groups, political, religious, cultural, farmers, investors, civil society and other stake holders. This means a national conference beyond politicians, for Uganda belongs to all.

6. Allow free movement and activities of political leaders from all parties in the country without delay

7. Withdraw UPDF from South Sudan to avoid serious destabilisation of Uganda and the region in general.
These demands have been put forward many times by the opposition and other leaders in the country, only to be met by arrogant ridicule from Mr Museveni.

THE PEOPLE ARE SACROSANCT AND ALL POWERFUL.

Country men and country women, we need to understand that if issues of governance are not handled well, they will lead to unnecessary bloodshed. No one should deceive you that Mr Museveni is too strong to be defeated. No government can defeat a popular resistance. It is easy to make Uganda ungovernable and quite unappetizing to those deceiving themselves. Once people are denied their rights and loose hope of possible peaceful means, they tend to revert to despsrate means.
Even this question of thinking that every political group resisting oppression is terrorist or Islamic and therefore a fundamentalist outfit is a mistake. To think that every group that tries to oppose misrule and rampant corruption in these near failed states is terrorist is self defeating. In 1940 and 50s, after the second world war, when Europe had become a savage continent, many liberation forces in the former colonies allied themselves to communist Russia and China and other socialist contries in the world like Yugoslavia. This was quite interesting. For, few of these groups really understood Karl Max’s Communist Manifesto, Das Kapital or Friedrich Engles Dialectical Materialism etc. In anycase, i doubt they would have understood them. So why did these new liberation movements go to communist countries even when they didn’t aspire to communism? Actually many in these new movements were forced to declare that communism wasnt fit for Africa and adopted the so called “African Socialism”. So why? Mainly for two main reasons; the first in my view was the question of MEANS. The Revolutionary means of these communist countries resonated more with new revolutionary liberation movements ideology than the colonial Western Europe.
The second was the easy supply of means to wage war. ARMS. Perhaps, are we seeing many groups allying themeslves to radcal Islam just like it happened then. If this be the case, we need to seriously study the implications.
The question I am raising here is the usual mistake of always recruiting for the enemy Are the people in charge of the current state of imperialism and inequality in the world inadvertently pushing decent and genuine liberation struggles into the fold of extremists? We need to study this because at the current rate, even a school strike for better food at a university is called terrorism by these African dictators and the Western governments buy into that. This needs to be reassessed. Allowing dictators to use fake terrorism songs will complicate matters. It merely radicalises decent political dissent and makes the world more insecure.
Faced with this choice of means and confusion as to the identity of these groups, the groups need to help themselves by not targeting civilians in their struggles for emancipation. These forces which aspire for genuine change must clearly know THAT THE RESISTANCE FORCES MUST ALWAYS SAFEGUARD THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE AND THEIR PROPERTY. THIS IS A SACRED AND INVIOLABLE CORNER STONE FOR ALL PEOPLES STRUGGLES.

GOVERNMENT UNDERHAND METHODS,
I understand government agents are starting to kill civilians and turning round to claim that these killings are being done by groups they claim to be terrorists, tribal militias or other incredible, and even laughable labels that they are manufacturing by the day. This is intended to scare the population so that it can be mobilised against the rebellion now mushrooming around the country. This is not only diversionary, but also criminal. Simply put, the problem won’t go away. This is just the beginning. And, things will only get worse, unless those in charge put aside their arrogance and heed our call for urgent reforms. They need to do this before it is too late.

I wonder if Mr Museveni really knows what is going on in his own security institutions, or has he been rendered powerless by the very monster he created, i.e., personalised rule? It is because the officers who give him intelligence are the same arch criminals who need to cover their tracks. With no functioning systems, you wonder what information the head of state depends on to rule the country. Otherwise, how can he not see the danger he is putting the country into and himself? Not that it matters much though, because either way, he, Museveni, is personally responsible.

THE BOTTOM LINE FOR US IS THAT attacks against civilians ARE NOT permissible under any circumstances. And Ugandans must start taking government to task to come clean on these murders. In 2011, 2012 and 2013, the state sponsored machete wielding killers in many villages in Buganda. The intention was to frame Prof Gibert Bukenya and a few others at the time. These included some senior Baganda army officers. Some of us came out then and warned the country as you remember. Though the government retreated a little at the time, the same leaders are still in charge and their treacherous games continue.

WAYS AND MEANS

With the new situation quickly developing in the country, the opposition need now to seriously start discussing the question of ’Means to propel ther war of libearion’. This debate cannot be put off any longer. We need a consensus on this singular issue.

The key issues to discuss here are the following:

USE OF VIOLENCE AS A MEANS

Under this, there are those who oppose violent means as a principle. These fall under the category of pacifists. These say, they are willing to fold their hands when their liberties are being trampled on. These believe in the notion of “turning the other cheek”.
For these, the question of means is a moral issue.

The other category is of the people are who are opposed to violence, not because it is evil, but because the objective conditions for it are still lacking. These look at violence as a means to an end. To them, it is permissible to use violent means if they will end the suffering of a nation. These are exponents of nonviolence as pragmatists, not moralists. To them violence is means of last resort.

The third category is of “anarchists”. This is not in the classical sense of anarchism as a political ideology, but rather people who do not adequately weight the options available to them before reverting to violent means.

The other category is of idealists. These hope for God’s intervention, like he did for Moses when he crossed the Red Sea. And we have many of these. They have forgotten the old truism that “God helps those who help themselves.”

The last category is of those who are mentally and morally weak. They know the right thing to do, but they lack the guts. They dare not face hot iron, especially the one aimed in anger! To these, I have no quarrel, for I have no mirror to look into men’s hearts.

I therefore request Ugandans to fully engage in this debate because the country is already at the crossroads.
The urgent question to answer is – what should be done when a government stops all peaceful means for those who do not agree with it to organise? What options are left?

What should be done when a regime resorts to violent means to quell peaceful political actions?TREASON FOR DOING NOTHING

Is doing nothing not treason itself? 
President Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th president of Untied States once said “…to announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public”

Therefore, to all those who advocate that we fold our hands and do nothing, I ask of you – how can we do nothing, while the president of Uganda is abrogating the constitution for which millions sacrificed their lives to put it in place? How can we do nothing, when a president is looting the country and, in effect, enslaving all our children and grandchildren to the yoke of debt repayment, when a president is destroying all the systems and structures of the state which will inevitably lead to instability and loss of life, when a president commits a country to endless wars with no accountability whatsoever to lives of the soldiers being killed and the money being spent on these megalomaniacal enterprises, when poverty and hunger overwhelm an over taxed population, when a president turns a country into a family enterprise, when a president starts using a national army as herdsmen on his numerous cattle farms, when a president orders the introduction of “pass laws”, like was in apartheid South Africa, for political leaders who are peaceful citizens, when extrajudicial killings become rampant? (Note for example, that Mr. Kalungi was found innocent and released. So who killed Hon. Nebanda? Similar?)
Then doing nothing is not only “morally treasonable but is criminally culpable”.

Therefore, some of us refuse to do nothing. It is now the choice of each one of you to take a stand and save your country, or watch it as it slides into war.

MR MUSEVENI’S REGIME IS WEAK, WHY?

ECONOMY

1. When he liberalised the economy, he destroyed the source of public income on which dictators would normally rely. Hence, Museveni’s current economy cannot sustain a prolonged war. Because his foreign backers cannot sustain it, nor can his private army of looters.

2. By nature of the Museveni dictatorship, which is family based, also based on nepotism and patronage, it is not resilient in the face of a determined opposition. Simply put, he has no one to die for him. Such a system does not rely on merit but on blind loyalty. And when you put it to test, it will crumble, like the army of Idi Amin n 1979.

3. Mr Museveni’s dictatorship has been helped by a deceptive peace which has allowed foreign investment to thrive, the fact that its benefits don’t benefit the ordinary person notwithstanding. With determined, well commanded resistance, there would be no economy even to feed his few thieves. Foreign investment would end. It is worth noting that the Ugandan economy is not resilient in any fundamental way, because of lack of a viable middle class, but most especially because it is cushioned on purely speculative political rewards of the ruling class and with no production linkages. For example, production levels in the country is back to the levels of 1970s when Idi Amin was president. Mr Museveni cannot sustain a prolonged conflict.

4. The army, which Mr Museveni relies on, is fed up. It is a captive militia force garrisoned by a small clique of carefully chosen soldiers under his son and brother. For instance,in very single month , not lesss that 152 soildiers desert in each Division. There is ofcourse no urge to report because the questions you will face are too dangerous as the poor senior fellows are falling over each other to have access to that Ghost money.
Such a force cannot be able to guard every inch of Uganda, every junction, every bridge, every police station, every inch of the road in the country to avoid ambushes etc.Armies move of morale and stomaches, in UPDF both are in deficit.
5. Intrugue, treachery and injstice in the forces and other state organs.
6. The population: This should perhaps be put at no 1 for it is key to holding power by any regime. And the population is no longer with Mr Museveni.

EARLIER REBELLIONS:

Mr Museveni has fought insurgencies since 28th August 1986 when 28 battalion under comrade Jet Mwebaze (RIP) was attacked at Bibia by UNLA forces who had retreated to South Sudan. Since that time, 27 groups have fought against Mr Museveni’s government at one time or another So why did all these rebellions not succeed?

This was due to three main reasons;

IDEOLOGICAL
The first reason was lack of ideological clarity. Many lacked a national character, became tribal and targeted the population instead of protecting the people, they fought the very people. A popular resistance cannot afford to be anti-people.

LOCALISED,
The other reason also related to the first of ideology was the fact that all of them were localised in their TRIBAL areas. For example when the people in the north were fighting, the south was peaceful. So was the east. When the people of Kasese and western Uganda were fighting, Buganda was peaceful. Etc. They failed to generate a national consensus based on generally agreed positions which would cut across their parochial interests. They failed to realise that they needed a well-coordinated resistance in all parts of Uganda. From Moroto to Kabale. From Oraba to Bundibugyo., in the centre, north, south, west, east. If they had done this, there was no way Mr Museveni would have survived.

STILL POPULAR

The third reason was the fact that, although NRM had short comings at the time, it was not yet an outright dictatorship like now. People were ready to give it the benefit of the doubt. This now is no more.

OTHER REASONS
There are three other major reasons why Mr Museveni cannot win this new war simmering over the horizon. But to this, I intend to return in my next communication. Things like the overstretched UPDF, the regional and international imperatives, a weak economy, a hungry and angry population..

Therefore, even to those who are still close to Mr Museveni, especially those who have investments and other interests, it is your duty to save him and yourselves.
HUBRIS,as a mental condition is real. It is scientifically proven. That is why dictators play god and consider themselves infallible and immortal. Yet they are mere paper tigers.

APPEAL
My last word on this goes to my brothers and sisters in UPDF, UGANDA POLICE FORCE and other SECURITY AGENCIES. What side will you be on? Are you going to side with those who are desecrating the memory of those who perished in the struggles to free Uganda? The struggles of your own fathers and mothers, who fought for this liberation? Where are you going to stand in this contest? The side of the people who sheltered us, housed us, protected us and died in millions for the noble cause of a FREE TOMORROW or those bent on a treachereous unconstitutional road of turning Uganda into a POLITICAL MORNARCY?. The choice is yours. But remember, to those that much is given, much will be asked. The people of Uganda trusted you with their lives. To them you will be required to account.
MORE! . I hope and trust that when that hour arrives, you will not be found wanting at this critical time in our history. Uganda calls upon you again to stand on its side as your gallant and noble founders envisioned. There are many ways of struggle. See where you fit according to your station.

The struggle continues

Gen David Sejusa

FREEDOM AND UNITY FRONT

Easter Message from FUF Member, General David Sejusa

Fellow Countrymen and Countrywomen,

As we celebrate this year’s Easter, our hearts and prayers go to all those people who have lost their loved ones, those who languish in jails and safe houses of the dictator, and all the suffering masses in our country.

Our gratitude and admiration go out for all those who have paid the ultimate price for freedom. These religious festivities, for whatever religious belief they may belong, always bring into focus the family values and need for protection of family and family life.

It is during these seasons that families who have lost dear ones come face to face, over and over again with such gripping losses of their dear ones – when they stare at empty spaces in their family living rooms, bedrooms and eating rooms, etc.

Our hearts go out to them. And just like happened with Christ, whose death and resurrection the Christians the world over celebrate, there is hope and promise for those who struggle.

Happy Easter and a blessed festive season

General David Sejusa
FUF Member

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