Opinion: Okello Oryem is mocking the wrong partners with MONUSCO

In an Interview with NTV this morning, the minister for foreign affairs in charge of international relations Okello Oryem said Uganda “does not need the help of the UN” which he says they consider as a “useless group” that has allegedly preserved terrorism in Congolese soil. “We have no good words for them, they have been there for long but what have they done? As far as we are concerned, we do not want their military assistance, even if they offer us a cup of tea, we do not need it,” said Mr Oryem” (Ritah Kemigisa – ‘Uganda doesn’t need UN’s help for DRC mission- Oryem’ 02.12.2021, KFM.co.ug).

The hubris and the arrogance is clear as the Minister Henry Okello Oryem who is is now downplaying the role of United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the DR Congo (MONUSCO), which is starting their gradual exit strategy from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). MONUSCO is based in the provinces of Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu, which the UN based mission is to stop the militias with disarmament and demobilization of them. In such a way, that the MONUSCO is there to be the civilians’ protection.

It is really striking that the Ugandan Minister is mocking and not wanting to work with MONUSCO now. This mission was first established in 1999 as MONUC and got a new mandate in 2010. While in 2020 the mandate changed and they are starting already to back-out. Therefore, the UN Mission is dwindling down. As well, as there are new militias and foreign interference in the region of which the Ugandan army entered yet again.

MONUSCO is partly created by the interference of Ugandan troops within the DRC. Not that the Ugandan armies was alone in these wars or always been welcomed to enter the DRC. The UPDF and Rwandan Defence Force (RDF) have both entered it. As well, as both nations have been involved in supporting militias, rebels and armed groups within the DRC. That is well-known and they re-appear at certain stages. Just like the UPDF have been inside the DRC before on specialized operations towards certain targets.

Okello Oryem is just showing how the Ugandans elites and the ones within the regime is thinking about it. It is their rights to attack and be part of military operations within the DRC. Since, they don’t want anything with the UN or MONUSCO. I wonder, if Okello Oryem would accept similar feelings in Somalia between the Somali National Army (SNA) and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), which the latter UPDF is a pat of. I wonder, if Okello Oryem and all of the Ugandan hierarchy would like to be painted in similar fashion. Because, there is two sides to any coin and this is a foolish take.

Yes, MONUSCO isn’t perfect and neither is it’s mission. There has been continued insurgency and lack of territorial integrity, which the Ugandan and Rwandan counter-parts has supported and participated with. That is well-known and is a reason for the illegal export of resources from the provinces as well. Therefore, Okello Oryem should be a bit more humble, but I know that’s too much to ask for in 2021.

Okello Oryem could suddenly wake up and bite the dust. Since, his just showing a lot of flair. Nevertheless, we know the trouble will return and be a real issue. There isn’t only the ADF in Ituri, North and South Kivu provinces. There is several of other militias and guerrillas in the provinces and they are causing massive concern and is a silent war that never ends. They are invested in, given arms and training. This is deliberate and the joint operation will not stop this… sadly…

MONUSCO will not end this and they being gone will not stop the existence either. As long as the head of state and foreign interference for profits continues. The insecurity and usage of militias will continue.

It is like we are supposed to be naive and forget how this all started. The UPDF and RDF is responsible for a lot of the pain. The two nations have used the provinces and the DRC as a treasury chest for them. While using the same means to re-enter again and for some reason the Kinshasa government allows that to happen. This is even happening, as the State of Emergency in this regions are occurring. That is really tragic…

Okello Oryem should think about what he says. Since this could be easily said about the UPDF within the AMISOM. Which the SNA and Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) only creates more problems within Somalia. Alas, he as a diplomat should be more careful, but I don’t expect it to ever happen. Peace.

Sam Mugumya have been behind bars for over 7 years in Ndolo Military Prision without any trial…

This story is a tragic one and it’s never ending. One man is behind bars without charges, indictment or court trial. This being Sam Mugumya, Dr. Kizza Besigye aide and opposition activist who was travelling to Rukungiri on the 16th October 2014 to take care of his family affairs, as his brother had died and he needed to take care of his frail mother. He was also planning to get connected with the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party members in the district.

We don’t know what happened since then, but we do know he resurfaced suddenly in the Democratic Republic of Congo and been arrested there with other civilians too.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to inform the general public that the Uganda Ambassador to the DRC met the Administrator General of the National Intelligence Agency of the DRC who confirmed that 5 individuals of Ugandan origin were arrested in Eastern DRC on October 21st 2014. The arrested individuals have since then been transferred to Ndolo Military Prison in the outskirts of Kinshasa. On 4th December 2014 Amb. Kinobe was allowed to visit the Prisoners and confirmed the following individuals:

1. Sam Mugumya, aged 35 years, son of Tukahirwa stanley, who called himself “Mukiga William” at the time of arrest.

2. Mugisha Steven 35 years, son of Tibanyeba John of Buyanja, Rukungiri

3. KamukamaAggrey, 30 years, son of Kagurusi Eliab of Buyanja, Rukungiri

4. Kamugisha Joseph 28 years, son of Mugisha Justus of Buyanja, Rukungiri and

5. Bright Nathan 20 years, son of Kwesiga John of Buyanja, Rukungiri” (Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Press Release, 10.12.2014).

Besigye in the beginning of it all, believed the state would use these kidnapping and arrests in the DRC as a shield and means to claim the opposition was starting ‘rebel’ activity. In a manner of which could be used to hurt Besigye’s future political campaign ahead of the General Elections in 2016. Besigye have had such charges against him and his brother too. So, it wasn’t without any reasoning that Besigye spoke about this in November 2014. A month after the arrest.

The party his been affiliated with has with time paid for and serviced a Congolese Lawyer for the case of Mugumya without any luck. That was done in 2016. We know that the Government of Uganda will not repatriate or secure his home-coming either. While his stuck in prison all these years.

Oryem-Okello said this back in 2016: “Government says Mugumya was engaged in subversive activities and was arrested with dollars and sensitive documents State Minister for Foreign Affairs Henry Oryem Okello told parliament this afternoon that due to lack of an extradition treaty between Uganda and DR Congo, the Congo government has declined to send him back” (Uganda Radio Network – ‘Sam Mugumya Will Not Be Extradited- Govt’ 01.12.2016).

In May 2021 he was able release a poem called ‘We refuse to be victims’ which goes like this:

To bear defeat’s humiliating standard.

Pitiable, helpless, crushed and confused.

That is victimhood’s pathetic face

It soots our effulgent souls

Comrades, pity not us prisoners.

Treat us not as victims

We are proud resolute recusants.

Soldiering on with a smile.

Never pious before the devil.

Pity and contemn the despot.

Our chains condemn his conscience.

Injustice jails the jailer’s humanity.

Drench him in your tears.

Hearken marley’s revolutionary voice bellowing.

Of the despot he said

Pity those with thinning chances.

They have nowhere to hide

The despot is the victim .

The slave of his power.

Branded by debauchery’s hot iron.

Before we become his victims ,

Freedom’s matyrs we shall be.

Shed not sorrowful tears comrades.

Please shed tears of joy.

On victory’s tide we sail .

To a future of freedom.

I just got to say. This man deserves justice. His been served injustice for years and punished by association. Because, he dared to associate and be part of Besigye’s campaigns. He was one of the trusted individuals within the FDC. That’s why he have been serving time and somehow the Ugandan government made an agreement with the Congolese government to keep him in prison.

They have not let him out and neither has Ugandan authorities accepted him back. They will not extradite him back and that is very clear. MPs tried to do this in 2020 and 2021. However, there is no extradite agreement between the DRC and Uganda. Therefore, there is now will to engage or secure this. That is just common knowledge.

It have not mattered that Mugumya have suffered with COVID-19 and other issues as a prisoner. This political prosecution is never ending it seems. The proofs of the allegations haven’t happened and his kept as a civilian in a military prisoner indefinitely it seems.

We know with certainty that the government doesn’t care or concerned. Because Oryem-Okello stated the same facts in 2020 and wouldn’t have him on trial or had a chance of extraditing him. With the same response as before, no agreement so nothing to offer. The diplomats of the Republic in Kinshasa isn’t bothered about it either it seems. Since, his there to this day and they haven’t lifted a finger. This is why his still a jail-bird and no proof of the alleged incriminating behaviour of which he was arrested in 2014.

We are now in November 2021 and his still in Ndolo Military Prison. Mugumya is still behind bars and nothing is done about it.

We need to shed a light on it, because if not… everything goes dark and men like this doesn’t get justice. They don’t get liberty or the freedom they should have. This is injustice and his a political prisoner. His a prisoner of conscience. That is it and it’s pathetic of the Republic to not do anything about it. Try to ensure and secure his passage. Make arrangements with the Congolese and even let him have a fair trial or courtship with his case. Because at this point, his not even proven guilty. His just a commoner behind bars for no apparent reason. A man who went missing in Uganda and suddenly was in custody in another republic. Peace.

The new cabinet isn’t that sharp [Museveni’s most intriguing Minister’s for 2021-26] Part II

This is the second edition of the articles on he 80 people the President has appointed to various of Ministries lately. President Yoweri Tibuhurwa Kaguta Museveni continues his extended government and additional offices. This term 2021 to 2026 is no difference. I will look into further of the appointees and what I can find that is significant.

What is very important to say. Is that many who has been retained or gotten appointed are there out of share loyalty to the President. They voted for the Age Limit and fought for it as well. It is a gratitude and proof of loyalty. Nevertheless, that’s not the whole thing, but an important… one nevertheless.

For some reasons beyond me. The inept and sorry excuse of an MP. Chris Baryomunsi is appointed as Minister for Information, Communication Technology and National Guidance. That means several of people have a new boss. The man who will control and have the UCC under his Ministry. The man who said people deserved to wait and die when the Cancer Machine didn’t work at Mulago. A person who didn’t understand why the standard and lack of investment into the education sector, as he visited a school. This man will now run the ICT and have this role. He will be a token soldier and run wild here. Not the fella who will make it better, but silence critics and be vile on TV. Just watch out!

The forever young Gen. Kahinda Otafiire. A man who is always selected and has a natural vibe of a Ministry. The previous Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister. Has now the prestigious Ministry of Internal Affairs. He will truly assault on the ones who is in the way of this Presidency. He is the sort of man who will try to corrupt an election to win and ensure his opponent linger in jail. So, this man isn’t that great, but entitlement is a bitch and the General will continue to pursuit it to the end of his days.

Raphael Magyezi, the one who is the definition of a autocrats best friend. The man who is willing to trade away his soul. Just for some pocket-change and benign trust that it will pay-off in the end. For now his at the mercy of the President. Who has retained him after “private” billing the Age Limit. Still, this man has nothing now. If it isn’t for the goodwill of the President. He knew he isn’t loved and therefore, he isn’t even an MP anymore either. An appointee with no future, except for the blessing of the State House.

Judith Nabakoba MP have perfected the unadulterated press releases in her last term in Parliament. Nobody gave out more information and more statements than her. She was steady with them and parroting the narratives of the state. This is why she was retained and will have another role. She is now appointed as the Minster of Lands, Housing and Urban Development. Where she might be more silent and be more knocking-on the doors of the State House for a safe journey.

One Independent NRM “leaning” MP Agnes Nandutu is the former ‘Point Blank’ reporter and journalist turned politician. Who lost in the NRM Primaries but was able to become MP in the General Election. She is now appointed as Minister of State, Office of the Prime Minister in-charge of Karamjoa.

Evelyn Anite returns to the Cabinet after double loses in the elections. She lost in the Primary and in the General Election. Still, the President is appointing her as the Minister of State for MoFPED in-charge of Planning. She has been a minister in the last term into business. The President is putting her as a deputy under Matia Kasaija. That will be good for her in one way. As she is proven as a soft-weight last term. Even if she is bold, brash and out of line. Going full steam ahead and the President have to clear out her mess like he had to with Uganda Telecom and other saga’s pertaining to Anite. She is living on the mercy of Yoweri and should count her blessings. Also, let us not forget that she is the “gateway to Koboko” and has the army behind her. Please. Remember that. 

Henry Okello-Oryem is another one of them who just has to be retained. His a State Minister of Foreign Affairs, in-charge of International Affairs. This is a role he has kept for years. Even as his boss Kuteesa is gone. His retained miraculously. We can wonder why, because it is not like he has worked magic or done anything significant in the previous of years. His there because Museveni trust him and nothing more than that.

Sarah Nyirabashitsi Mateke MP, the daughter of Dr. Philemon Mateke ran for MP in 2021 and won. She has been in Parliament in 2011-2016, but lost in the last term, but returned as this one. Ironically, she ran as an independent in the 2016, but lost to the the NRM candidate in Kisoro. She is one out of 6 Ministers appointed from the Kigezi Sub-Region.

Another forever Minister is Sam Okello Engola has been in good graces since he was appointed as a member of the Constitutional Assembly in 1995. Been in Parliament since 2001 and held various of posts since then. He is just one of those spirits on the wall that keeps getting retained and delivers exactly what the State House wants. This is why his such a fellow who get appointed and keeps getting high ranking official work by the President.

A giant shocker is Owek Joyce Nabbosa Ssebugwawo, Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) politician. Who has been the National Chairperson of FDC and a former minister in Buganda Kingdom. She was part of a team who worked directly with Patrick Oboi Amuriat in the negotiations and talks with Muntu after the former Party President lost the previous election. She’s such a integrated part of FDC. It is astonishing that she accepted the appointment and now becomes a State Minister of ICT and National Guidance. Working directly for Uganda Media Centre and other entities spewing out propaganda for the state. That’s such a epic downfall from grace. A betrayal of the cause and a former confidant of Besigye going rouge for Museveni.

Here was another 10 more appointments and my comments. My research and looking into the cabinet for 2021 – 2026. This is very interesting and shows what sort of people Museveni appoints. It is a clear sign, but also a shocker. That Owek and Mateke get’s picked is weird. The others are more accepted, but needs a gist of their past and show how long they have been in the game.

The President drops a few appointees that you couldn’t expect, but also some staple. There is some who just have to get a Ministerial Post and be a High Ranking Official. That is just their livelihood and expectation. Peace.

Foreign Minister Okello Oryem unexpected honesty [no middle-income country in sight]

A person can have a moment of clarity, those profound moments of a deep understanding or epiphany where the truth is played out. Not only in your own mind, but in words to the people around you. I think that Foreign Minister Henry Okello Oryem had such a divine moment yesterday. Where he spoke the truth. A truth that the regime, the government he represents and the friendly allies doesn’t want to associate with. Even if it is true, because that undermines their efforts and their message ahead of the 2021 elections.

Just read this excerpt from the Daily Monitor:

In an interview with Daily Monitor yesterday, Mr Oryem attributed the “change of mind” to the wellbeing of Ugandans living in China. The minister said no Ugandan who had travelled abroad to look for better life wishes to return to poverty [in Uganda] from which they ran away. “Even if they (Ugandans abroad) come back, they will come into poverty. And if they come back, no one will welcome them back into their homes and they will also have nothing to do,” Mr Oryem said” (Tonny Abet – ‘Ugandans in China refuse to come back home’ 25.06.2020, Daily Monitor).

The National Resistance Movement, the State House and all the arms of government cannot be happy. That the Foreign Minister says this and get this in print. No matter if this is the truth or not. This is bad image and bad storytelling. These sort of things are maybe said in the corridors of power and between friends. However, public officials wouldn’t say these words without consequence.

Especially, when this government is promising middle income country status. Growing and expanding industries, wealth creation and extensive exports of produce. These words from the minister will hurt the pride of the government. Yes this is a known fact of the poverty and lack of development. Which haven’t changed substantially since the government took power in 1986. They might want to claim that, but in the end. The same problems that was there in the 1980s are still their in 2020.

The Minister was honest about the issues. He spoke the truth. A truth the government usually don’t want to reveal. Even if the government is high as a kite on loans. They are deficit financing and recycling debts to cover old debts. The state is loaning for everything, anticipating grants, because the state doesn’t have enough revenue for its operations. That is why the poverty is true.

However, the Minister isn’t supposed to say this. Especially, when the state wants to look like a success story every day ahead of the polls in 2021. Peace.

Bad Roads: The new tourist experience!

For us, a bad road is cause for complaining. But for people in affluent societies who have never experienced getting stuck on a bad road, pushing a car from a ditch can be part of tourism experience,”Henry Okello Oryem before Foreign Affairs Committee (14.01.2020).

Who knew? Why wasn’t this thought of before?

I think Okello Oryem has found the Holy Grail of Tourism. Maybe, he needs to consult the State Minister for Tourism Godfrey Kiwanda. His Miss Curvy Uganda is clearly not cutting it. Neither, does Yeezy’s sneakers nor the trips with Zari or Fabiola. It all doesn’t cut it. Showing of the national parks and the beautiful sights. No, the Ministry should show the bad backroads of Amuriat, Kaabong or anywhere else the state has forgotten to invest in roads.

If it is the middle of Bunyoro, Busoga or Karamoja. Who cares, the cars get stuck and only military vehicles can pass. If luck a 4 wheel-drive of Land Cruiser might make you pass. If not, get a safari fixed Land Rover Defender to pass the bad roads in West Nile or even Toro might fancy someone.

Why has the President always praised his road building? Why has he always proclaimed the steady progress of good roads and better Public Private Partnership Programme of building roads in rural Uganda? Shouldn’t he disband the thing? Ensure all roads suck, so that every tourist and everyone passing Uganda would feel the badness?

Getting stuck between Mbale to Kampala, when going back to the Metropolitan area after seeing Sipi Falls. Don’t get through the Mabira Forest after visiting the Source of the Nile in Jinja. Why not getting stuck around Hoima after seeing Murchinson Falls outside Masindi. That will be such an thrill.

Wasting time as tourist, when your on limited time(!). Trying to see the best things, trying the specialities and the best things the Republic has to offer. And all the SAFARI companies has forgotten the bad rural roads. They have forgotten selling Kampala as “Kampotholo”. They have forgotten sell the driving style to avoid dipping into the potholes. “Drive like a Ugandan By Ugandans” DUBU. Kiwanda and Okello Oryem should be the faces of DUBU. Everyone will forget about BUBU by the next month.

If you seriously think tourists wants to be stuck in traffic jam in Kampala. Be lost in Taxi Park not finding the right taxi or spending fortunes on specials. Your wrong. They neither want to drive on the side-walk, frighten that the boda-boda driver will get their head served as a token of his reckless driving. But, with the minds of Okello Oryem, he might think that is a selling point too.

When, you want to sell things. You want to sell experiences. Not sell your mediocre performance, your lack of good governance and lack of pride in your own government. Because, this government has ruled for over 34 years and still haven’t fixed core issues.

So, now the Minister is praising potholes. Maybe, his mind has a pothole too. It is not cemented and mended correctly. As he wants people to not enjoy the sights of the Republic, but endure the bad state of the roads. Being stuck, getting into jams and struggling from A to B. When your in Rome, you want to see the Vatican. When your in Kampala, you want to see Mengo and the Kasubi Tombs. If that was too hard. People wouldn’t try to go there, but they do, because the roads are good enough.

If the roads to Masindi and Paraa sucked like hell. People would still go to Murchinson Falls. Still, it would make it more hectic and stressful. Because, people want to experience the beauty and greatness of the Republic. Not dilute their time on the road and break their backs. Neither should the locals, the residents, who suffers there every day. Those are the ones whose paying for the lack of care from the government. They are suffering this madness 24/7. The tourist only taste it for a minute and goes. It is not a fairytale nor exiting thing. Instead, its heartbreaking. Because, the public deserve better.

I Pity The Fool” said Mt T. and I pity Henry for this proposal. His constituents deserve, every single citizen deserves better. He now wants the state to promote their lack work and diligence as an experience. Get out of here with that Bullshit. Peace.

Opinion: Oryem should look into how the state coffers is spent…

Recently government introduced a small amount of money as OTT but everybody went in arms about a small penny. Everybody is complaining and the moment you introduce a small tax, the entire country is in arms and runs to demonstrate. Where do you want government to get money from, Ugandans should get away from the culture of blaming everything on government. If you want better services, someone has to pay for them through taxes. The better schools, hospitals and roads all come because of the taxes you pay” – State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Henry Okello Oryem

Hon. Oryem, the State Minister have defended the government for issuing new taxes and expenses on its citizens. As this is happening, all bigger infrastructure projects are taken with foreign donations or loans. The state is loaning more and more funds, the devolution and the expensive growth of Local Government combined with ever growing State Security or Defence Operations makes the state bloated. Plus you have the open bazaar, grand corruption and lack of service delivery. Therefore, the Minister should be a bit more careful to defend the actions of the state.

Oryem, the National Resistance Movement are more careful to pay off needed people for their loyalty, than actually deliver state functions. That is why the Parliament are steadily occupied with getting new loans for infrastructure or even basic services. There Health Care is depleted and that is why the MPs and VIPs cannot get treatment in the Republic, but have to transfer to India, Kenya or South Africa. That is what the big-men does, because know the Hospitals aren’t all good.

That is why Oryem should be a bit more silent and not expect people to be happy for paying taxes. As the people have to cover, to fix and pay school-fees, pay higher for Mobile Money and spend more on basic commodities. Not like they are getting better services, just more expensive. The state is already mismanaging such vast amounts of money and paying ghosts too. There are teachers who hasn’t been paid for months and using energy on side-projects to make a living. Therefore, the State Minister should look into that. As the budgets are as big as light-bulbs for schools, which was built during the time of Idi Amin. Not like the NRM have used fortunes on keeping the Universal Primary Education a float.

Oryem should look into this and maybe even check more closely how the little taxes is spent in the Republic. Because, the misuse, the corruption and the growing debt is a signal of mismanagement, which again is a reason why people don’t like pay taxes. That is all within reason. The only thing that really working is the monitoring and the facilitation of tear-gas, live-bullets and arresting of opposition politicians. Peace.

DRC: Ndolo Military Prison – Political Prisoners write to Minister of Justice of DRC: “Re: Detention Without Trial” (21.08.2017)

South Sudan: Entebbe Declaration on the Operationalization of the Arusha Agreement on the Reunification of the SPLM (27.07.2017)

South Sudan: SPLM/A-IO claims the TGoNU are “Forum Shopping” the Peace Process (27.07.2017)

UN in South Sudan concerned about civilians fleeing clashes in Upper Nile (13.07.2017)

Reports from the UN International Organization on Migration (IOM) “suggest that Government forces are now approaching the town of Maiwut, 25 kilometres north-west of Pagak”.

WASHINGTON D.C., United States of America, July 13, 2017 – Thousands of South Sudanese civilians are fleeing to neighbouring Ethiopia as Government troops advance on a rebel stronghold in the Upper Nile region, a senior United Nations official today said, expressing grave concern about what is already the world’s fastest growing refugee crisis.

Reports from the UN International Organization on Migration (IOM) “suggest that Government forces are now approaching the town of Maiwut, 25 kilometres north-west of Pagak. I’m gravely concerned by this ongoing situation,” the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in South Sudan, David Shearer, told reporters from Juba, the capital.

He added that while it is unclear which side began the fighting, the military advance by the South Sudan forces “is not in the spirit of the unilateral ceasefire” declared by the Government in May.

Mr. Shearer said there has been “active military engagement” over the past week north of Pagak, and at least 25 aid workers have relocated in the area as a result of the insecurity.

The senior UN official, who is also the head of the UN Mission in the country, or UNMISS, also voiced great concern about an orphanage near Torit, south of Juba, surrounded by Government and rebel fighters who are preparing to fight.

“It’s unacceptable that 250 innocent children, and the people who care for them, find themselves in no-man’s land between the warring parties,” Mr. Shearer stressed.

Requests by UNMISS to access the Hope for South Sudan Orphanage have been denied “locally, on the ground.”

The Government forces central command in Juba yesterday gave UNMISS “the go-ahead to send peacekeepers to the orphanage. I’m hopeful that will happen today,” he added.

Mr. Shearer urged both sides to reflect on President Salva Kiir’s Independence Day message of peace and withdraw from the facility.

In addition to accessing the orphanage, a group of Nepalese peacekeepers have been sent to protect civilians and the UN base in Torit.

“The number of patrols we can undertake in the town will increase with the additional peacekeepers. In turn, that should provide more security and boost confidence,” said Mr. Shearer.

He noted that his deputy, Moustapha Soumaré, is travelling to Torit tomorrow and will report back.

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