Opinion: Tayebwa defends protocol over injustice…

Colleagues, whether you are who or who, no one will be allowed to blackmail this House because I have seen now where we are going. You have started a very dangerous game” (…) “Not any single day will a member come, undress here, try even to commit suicide here. If you are doing it for your constituency and you want to appease your constituency to show you are the one who has worked, do it, but it will never influence any decision I make here” (…) “Started that issue without honourable Zaake being here. Honourable Zaake has not been in this House for over 10 sittings and without my permission, but I have never spoken about him because he is a brother. You leave a colleague, maybe he is in a constituency, but I want to caution you…” (…) “If you ( Zaake) want to do drama, go and do it in your constituency, you can’t do it on this floor. If you want pictures of people holding you up and how you were arrested to use during campaigns, we can organise for you, we are near national theatre” – Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa (29.11.2022).

The Deputy Speaker of the 11th Parliament, Thomas Tayebwa is more into protocol and plenary rules, than into the plights of the people. That is obvious after the recent actions. His acting high and mighty, but he will fall like the rest of them.

Right now Tayebwa is useful. His a loyal subject and one of them who is eating. Nevertheless, when you fall out of favour or do one big miss. You will fall and never return to good graces. It is easy to be boastful and entitled when you have everything.

Zaake might have been out of order. He might have broken a rule or too. However, who would have believed or given him any time of day. Zaake MP has already lost privileges and been scorned in Parliament. It isn’t like his a big-man or a person of vast influence. No, his a renegade MP who fights for his causes. Maybe not doing it by the book.

What he did though, was to infuriate the Deputy Speaker and many others in such a fashion. That the people have to speak out about the kidnapping, abductions, the political prisoners and the “drones” which are used by the authorities. That’s what Zaake did and it’s clever that way.

Maybe Zaake will be punished or get violated in the Parliament. That will not be anywhere near as damaging as the torture he has felt or the injustice the authorities has served him in the past. Zaake MP knows the pain of the opposition leaders, activists and anyone who dares to question the government of the day. He knows the cost and that’s why his vocal about it. No one should blame him for that. He knows better than most how painful and what sort of suffering people are going through.

That’s why the Deputy Speaker can ridicule and mock him. Nevertheless, it doesn’t make the case less important. We know the Government and the Authorities has no interest in investigating or showing the real numbers of the ones suffering injustice. No, they rather act like it doesn’t really happen or is just an anomaly.

We know now that the Deputy Speaker will defend rules, but not have anyone speak out on the injustice done by the state. That is the message. The Parliament isn’t the place for grievances and it will only be Ministerial Statements from the likes of Muhwezi, which will not bring the truth to the table. Because, the authorities would never give a full picture and only small fragments of what is going on.

The kidnappings, the abductions, the keeping people incommunicado and without trial continues. The torturing and the extra judicial killings. That is all done on behalf of the government and the Deputy Speaker honourably represents that… he honours that and he will not have anyone crying out loud. No, he prefers silence and once in a while condoning it. Peace.

Opinion: Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka must think we are stupid…

The Government of Uganda does not run any safe houses or ungazetted detention areas. It does not, and when we come back tomorrow, we shall share with you a report from Parliament where they went around all these places, which were alleged to be safe houses and they found they were none. If this happens, then that is a person acting on frolic of their own, and it is not a position of the government of Uganda” – Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka (09.11.2022).

Some days you are amazed. Some days you are flabbergasted and outraged, but not surprised. The Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka has a gift for lying. At a recent a recent meeting of the United Nations Committee Against Torture, the AG uttered these words and some more. Which is just the true definition of lying. He must know it and it should haunt him.

Because, by saying these lies. His just another merchant and a man who allows this to happen on his watch. The AG is content with the arbitrary arrests, kidnappings, torture and injustice served on civilians across the Republic. The AG can act like it never happen and isn’t existing, but we know better. We see the missing people, hear about the tortured people returned and the deposed bodies of activists or opposition leaders; which has occurred on the regular. Therefore, the lies is only showing that the AG is complicit and happy to be a part of regime.

We can assure the committee here that the government of Uganda does not condone the acts of torture. It frowns upon it and we do prosecute those that have been alleged to have been committing these offences” – Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka (09.11.2022).

It is like the AG have forgotten about these reports alone. One from the former leader of ISO and the other the previous Minister of Security, late Gen. Tumwine. These told stories and we know it’s legit. The Safe-House are existing, the authorities are torturing and kidnapping civilians and this is happening on a semi-regular basis. That’s why these places or areas exists

This is why I just show these, I could have taken pieces from recent court cases of the recent years. Where the victims and innocent civilians has been violated by the state. They have been tortured and kept incommunicado. That’s why we know its happening and the AG cannot just act like it isn’t the modus operandi of the government.

Just read these here.

At that point, Kaka, then Director General of the Internal Security Organization, who owned islands, Lwamayiba, Ssemuganja and land on Funve and Bunyama Island found it wise to use Lwamayiba as a detention center. Several temporary structures were erected at Lwamayiba, soldiers taken as the place turned into a detention center. “While there, you cannot leave since there are no boats that are used for transport. Soldiers there determine whether you are under rehabilitation or punishment,” one of the victims of the harassment says. The area according to a one Musa, the LC1 Chairperson of Lwamayiba landing site, on Kaka’s detention center was not enough prompting the forwarding of some suspects and officers to Panorama cottages, a facility situated on Kalangala’s main Island, owned by Col Kaka” (Entebbe Post – ‘Col Kaka’s Panorama Cottages turns into a Safe House’ 13.08.2020).

General Tumwine informed the committee that Uganda had safe houses and noted that safe houses were secure places used for intelligence work. He further said that all intelligence and security agencies world over operate safe houses and that the running of safe houses was not peculiar to Uganda but a worldwide intelligence practice” (Parliament Watch – ‘The State of Safe Houses in Uganda’ 05.11.2021).

We also know that the safe-houses haven’t been investigated. Some MPs was blocked from entering and investigating the premises. The then Minister of Security Gen. Tumwine didn’t allow the MPs to enter. We also know the current Minister of Security Maj. Gen. Muhwezi is claiming there is no safe-houses. However, we know that his lying too. Because, would Gen. Tumwine address it like this a year before?

Just like the state lied about the closure of Nalufenya. You can expect further places in operation and in use. Not only the ones on Lake Victoria, but other places too. There are safe-houses who is in operation and are used for the benefit of the state. That is the gist of things.

We know now that the AG is willing to drop the big lie. He is willing to tarnish his name and reputation to serve the impunity and injustice of the state. His not a man of honour or integrity. The AG is just a merchant of injustice. Peace.

Opinion: No one is safe – when the authorities can take you in for “guilt” by association

The “drones” or “Panda Gari’s” never left the Republic. It is clear that abductions, kidnappings, keeping people detained incommunicado, torturing and also extra judicial killing is far from over. The authorities does it in broad daylight, they do it in the middle of the day. They come unannounced and without warrants, take away people and their remaining family or friends are shocked.

This can happen because the family is in exile, associated with the “wrong” political party or has some sort “questionable” behaviour. There can be “intelligence” gathered against the person, but nothing has been in the courts. None of the charges or the reasons to apprehend, abduct or kidnapped has been proven or tested. It is only on a hunch and possibly by association with someone. That’s all it takes and there is no other justification for doing so.

This is being done by the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI), Special Forces Command (SFC), The Flying Squad (Uganda Police Force) or Internal Security Organization (ISO). All of them are doing at different times to various of people. It is just so commonly happening. The only reason why we know about it is because people leak videos and messages from “loved-ones” or family members who has been “taken-in”.

The amount of this practice is hard to figure. The numbers fluctuate and the accuracy is hard to know. However, with the lack of oversight and no one been able to look into the practices of “safe-houses”. You just know the state has more facilities where they are keeping “prisoners” or “people of interest”. As they are held without their legal rights or after the 48 hours window to be taken to court to be processed. Because, the entities and the security agencies doing it is operating on a flimsy basis. There is little to no “intelligence” or “proof of criminal activity”. If the security agencies had it. They could have produced warrants and justification for the action in the first place.

The ones that is amazed by this have clearly lost a step. This has been done so deliberately over the years. In such a manner, that the state is now and then forced to pay damages to people captured without a legal basis. That’s why the Courts are forced to so, because the laws are stipulated in that way and the state has to fork out funds. This is for a reason and it happens too. The ones that is fortunate enough to challenge the kidnapping, torture, pain and suffering, which was caused on them by brutal force.

This is the legacy that the National Resistance Movement will leave behind. The acts of the CMI, SFC, Flying Squad, ISO and others will be things that has tarnished its reputation. Everyone knows they are doing it and they cannot run away from it. They have their Argentina House and other facilities that does it. There is no way to run away from it now.

There is no clever spin or sort of reasoning that can suggest otherwise. These actions will remain as dubious and be seen as deliberate acts of vengeance. They are not only done on political leaders, activists and random bystanders. It is also done on people by association and connected by blood. They haven’t even done anything, but their kin did a decision either in absentia, in exile or are already captured themselves. That’s how the state operates and they are not even hiding it. Peace.

Opinion: The “drones” never left

The “Drones” or the Panda Gari’s never ceased their operations. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) have only reconfigured things and made it their own. The same resistance group and rebellion, that promised freedom and liberty. Alas, security for all and no fear of sudden arrests, which would happen according to law. However, with the time that has withered and its now obvious that this was a lie.

The NRM wants to rule on intimidation, fear and strike vicious vengeance towards the ones that is defying it. That’s why people are ending up missing. Cheiftancy of Military Intelligence (CMI) is known for suddenly abducting, keeping people incommunicado and some even end up dead.

It is various of authorities who does this activity, not only the CMI, even if that is the one who is most recognized for it. The army own branched Special Forces Command (SFC) has been doing and so has other agencies like Internal Security Organization (ISO). It is not like the Uganda Police Force (UPF) or Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) haven’t worked in tandem on this.

There is a reason why “safe-houses” exists and they are used for keeping people unknowingly. They are there, usually tortured and battered. The authorities using violent means, which are supposed to break the spirit and get them to tell stories. However, this is only showing the brutal side of the government. As these people are detained, tortured and in harms way without any due process. The civilian are taken there and kept without warrants or court order. They are not deemed felons or people who has breached any statute or law. These people just happens to be caught, captured and be maligned for a crime they didn’t do.

That’s the sort of activity the Parliament is condoning, but never acting upon. No, the government isn’t stopping it. The Parliament haven’t been allowed to investigate and the authorities will only give progress or cliff-notes on the few that is mentioned in Plenary Sessions. The vans are coming to a street near you and someone is going to be at the mercy of the law.

When someone is saying it’s hard to spot the difference between a bloody gang and the people running the “drones”. That is saying something about how they operate. There is the same sort of acts that goons or street thugs do. They come silently and strike powerfully. The victim can be taken brutally away from the location and be kept at unknown location indefinitely.

With the usage of these means, it is hard to separate who is criminal and who is law enforcement. It is the same sort of violent approach and it’s no difference then in Amin’s time, which Museveni has said to be different too. He is actually using the same means and intimidation. His security organizations are using similar means and they not even concealing it. That’s why the Penal Code haven’t been revised and the authorities have the same colonial laws to pin civilians in. Heck, the same government is using military court to detain and charge civilians. That is just showing how far the authorities has taken it. There is no boundaries and the state is willing to do everything to silence the ones in its way.

The drones never left. They were prevalent in the year and months in advance of the 2021 elections. They have been active since then too, but now they are targeting more people. It is happening so often and with such haste. You know the government is trying to do a point. Just like it did with the Flying Squad and the Black Mambas. Things are just coming back and we can rest assured that the LDUs will soon kick-it off too.

This sort of government don’t come in peace, but it comes in resounding viciousness and no one is left untouched. That’s the justice and liberty that the NRM serves the public. You have to be careful. One day it might be you. Just because you were associated with the wrong people at the wrong time or the CMI/SFC has grudges against people like you. Peace.

The state ordered to pay in total 400m shillings in damages to 2 URA employees after illegal detention and torture of them in March of 2021…

(i) The affidavit evidence of A1, A2, Capt. Isingoma, AIP Kisa Claire and Mr. Kabagambe when considered in totality look that like a movie. A1 and A2 are arrested through the use of trickery as if they were on the run whereas not. A1 is deceived that he was reporting for deployment on an operation. When he reports at the appointed time and place he is literally abducted. He is made to leave his vehicle unattended at a fuel station as if he was a terrorist.

(ii) A2 was called by a fellow driver at midnight claiming he needed help having got a mechanical problem. He is lured in the middle of the night and arrested like a terrorist” (High Court, 12.09.2022).

The state sponsored torture story of Robert Asiimwe Akanga (A1) and Kalemba Stevens (A2) is nothing new, but it needs to be told. These two gentlemen won their case against the Attorney General, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) and the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA). This case just shows how the state uses torture and keeping people illegally detained without producing them to the courts within the 48 hours deadline. That happened to the people of this case and it is significant, but not shocking.

This sort of case should be spread, because it shows what the state does and how it operates. The authorities are acting like this on the regular. They are allowed to operate like this and it has no consequences. The state is paying damages and costs of the case, but the officers and the authorities will not clean up their act. This is how they are and it’s only a few of these stories that ends up in the Courts. Most of the torture cases are happening in silence and the victims cannot or have no options but to stay silent.

Just read these quotes… and it should make you shiver…

It all started with this: “The allegation is that on the 28th day of February 2021, Al and A2 being employed by Uganda Revenue Authority as a customs officer and driver respectively stole USD 410,000 the property of GAK Express Co. Limited. The two deny the charges” (High Court, 12.09.2022).

So, this all starts with alleged criminal behaviour, which is directly false. The authorities have pinned two men and because of their role in URA. They were easily targets as the work of Customs Officer and a Driver. However, there was never any proof or evidence of this crime.

That didn’t stop the state from doing this to them, which is quotes from the Court Ruling…

About the Arrest and Torture methods used on A1:

In his affidavit in support dated 25th March 2022 A1 stated that on 3rd March 2021, he received a phone call from Paul Karatunga, the In-Charge Operations Team 1 informing him of a planned operation along Entebbe road. Karatunga assigned A1 to lead the team. They met at Total Petrol Station, Kajjansi at 6.30 am. Karatunga was in company of two soldiers namely Captain Charles Isingoma and Captain Winnie Kusiima plus two armed escorts. A1 was instead arrested under gun point and pushed him into a vehicle. He was taken to URA offices where he met other UPDF and Police officials attached to URA. He was handcuffed. Lt. Col Zaakye informed him, the arrest is in connection with theft of money belonging to a Sudanese national. He denied participating in theft” (…) “Col. Cassette Ignatius Wamundu asked him to confess to the theft of money or be tortured by the Joint Anti -Terrorism Taskforce until he does so. That he was denied a right to contact his lawyer or make any phone call. On 6th March 202l at 7 am was picked by a team from CMI, blindfolded and taken to CMI Hqrs at Mbuya where he was subjected to torture” (…) “It was executed by 10 well-muscled men using weapons such as guns, sticks, batons, metal bars, pliers, chains, ropes and electric wires. He maintained his innocence as they demanded for the money he is alleged to have robbed. He lost consciousness due to prolonged torture. He regained his senses to realise he was in a corridor. He was bleeding and still chained. He was taken back to Custody at SIU Kireka during darkness. He could not walk” (High Court, 12.09.2022).

About the Arrest and Torture methods used on A2:

A2, in his affidavit of 25th March 2021 states that on 2nd March 2021 at around midnight, hg received a call from Sekweyarna, a fellow driver at URA, claiming to be stuck near his home and needed help. A2 responded only to find army captains who put him under arrest at gun point. Col Cassette Ignatius Wamundu asked him about the money. He denied knowledge of where the money was. He punched him in the right eye and as he fell down. He was kicked in the ribs at gun-point before his children and wife who cried and shouted. He threatened to shoot him unless he admitted having stolen money on 28th February 2021. Present were Captains Isingoma. Diana Museveni and Winnie Karugwara. They took him back to his home” (…) “That on 6th March 2021 he was taken to CMI offices in Mbuya and taken to a room where four muscled men had assorted weapons including guns, sticks, batons, metal bars, pliers, chains, ropes, electric wires among others. He was undressed. He was badly and severely beaten using the electric cables, hang on hand cuffs up the ring as his legs were tied down and suspended in one position for a whole day as he was being beaten” (…) “He was tortured again on on 8th March 2021. His body became swollen with wounds on the legs, back, hands, ribs and abdomen. He did not receive any medical attention or have access to a lawyer or family members. Further mistreatment went on until he was produced in court after an ordeal of 16 days in detention” (High Court, 12.09.2022).

The damages they are getting for all of this:

Taking all these factors into consideration I award A1 as the main target and focus of torture a sum of 200 million as compensation for pain, suffering, and physical injuries. I award another 50 million to A1 as punitive damages for subjecting him to humiliation and embarrassment. I Award a sum of 100 million to A2 as damages for pain, suffering and physical injuries. I award another 50 million to A2 as punitive damages for subjecting him to humiliation and embarrassment. A1 and A2 are also awarded taxed costs of this consolidated application” (High Court, 12.09.2022).

We know the state will only condone but not act upon the mischief. These sort of cases never cease to exist. There is no retribution or stop of the practice. This has been going on since the inception of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and done by the government before it too. The NRM promised to end it, but they never will…

The damages of 400m shillings won’t make a difference in the grand scheme of things. The officers, the men who did the torture and the authorities will not go after the ones who did it. No, the mentioned high ranking officials and others will walk free. The only thing happening is that the gentlemen who was arrested, harmed and tortured will get damages. The system will not change… and that’s how the story goes.

A1 and A2 are reminders of how the NRM and the Authorities are working. This isn’t a one of or an isolated case for that matter. No, this is how they move and allowed to work. It just happens that this one ended up in the High Court. Peace.

Karamoja: Hon. Agnes Nandutu, over 2400 has died of starvation, but it doesn’t sound like it…

 

NUP taking food to Karamoja is just for cheap popularity. The government does things systematically. By the time NUP sent food, there was already food in Karamoja. NUP can’t even do 0.00% of what we did in Karamoja” (…) “There is no longer a crisis in Karamoja because we are now in charge. We have a strategic plan to ensure that there is food security in the region” – Hon. Agnes Nandutu (31.07.2022).

The Minister of Karamoja Affairs Hon. Agnes Nandutu is finally speaking out on NBS FaceOff on the food insecurity and army operation in the sub-region. However, she isn’t saying anything substantial and only comes of as arrogant. Certainly the little time she has had as an MP and Minister has changed her. The Independent NRM leaning MP is showing her true character now.

The state has ensured that over 2400 people has died of starvation. A crisis that was forewarned for months and while the UPDF had army operations there. The state had the ability and the time to help the people of Karamoja. Instead it chose to bring violence and possibly make it more insufferable. The Minister is taking anything to account here.

The National Unity Platform (NUP) is doing what they can and within their means. They are not a government and neither does they have the opportunity to seize or seek funds as such. The NRM and the government should do more. Agnes Nandutu her government is responsible for the deaths of civilians not only in the miliary operation, but of over 2400 civilians who died of starvation. This is showing how the state lacked the vision and the ability to organize help in time. That’s why people is dying and needlessly so. They are not a priority. If they had been, the monies had been scheduled in a supplementary budget like the funds for the UPDF operation in Karamoja. So, everyone knows what is important in the Republic.

Just as the Minister said that on TV today.

Just a few days ago… this was reported about the situation:

– According to latest updates reported by district officials to the World Food Programme, the total number of fatalities in 2022 caused by the current food insecurity crisis in Karamoja is 2,465.

– Most of the fatalities were children and elderly.

– The last Acute Food Insecurity IPC revealed that approximately 518,000 people are in urgent need of food assistance in Karamoja, with almost 428,000 individuals facing crisis levels of food insecurity (IPC3) and almost 90,000 in emergency levels (IPC4) in the period between March and July 2022. Also, 91,600 children and 9,500 pregnant women are projected to be acutely malnourished for the period February 2022-January 2023” (ECHO – Uganda (Karamoja subregion) – Acute food insecurity and malnutrition (DG ECHO, IPC, WFP, UNICEF, FEWSNET, local media) (ECHO Daily Flash of 26 July 2022).

It doesn’t sound like the crisis is over. The food insecurity is still at massive levels and the amounts of deaths only signals that. Each individual should be counted for and be addressed. This are the short-coming of the state. Who is more eager to usher in violence and come with big-guns. Than to actually come to people with aide or help. That is the gist here…

The Minister blames outside parties for help, which never can be able to sufficiently support or help the needy. However, they are at least giving and without hesitation. The state had the funds and the machinery to do so. The over 2400 people wouldn’t have died. However, these are now dead and it happened on your watch. That shows how the Ministry of Karamoja Affairs failed and also how the Office of the Prime Minister has failed as well. Since they are both implicated in this and has disaster preparedness as portfolio.

Agnes Nandutu, you belong back on TV, because your certainly not fit to be a minister. You cannot even muster the courage or care for the ones in dire need. Karamoja has been burning and starving. While you have remained silent and inactive. That has cost lives and your politicking over beans and posho given to the starving. Your a massive disappointment and would have been a feature on ‘Point Blank’ if your were still running it. Peace.

Karamoja: Nakut Faith, Woman MP Napak – Food Crisis in Karamoja: A Focus on What Needs to be Done (10.07.2022)

Karamoja: The sub-region is starving on empty promises…

Museveni promised that food insecurity in Karamoja would be dealt with by increasing fast maturing seedlings and an increase in relief by the Office of the Prime Minister. In a bid to build a self-sustaining household plan, the MPs proposed that the government avails agricultural inputs such as two tractors per constituency to facilitate agriculture on a large scale. The President however, disagreed with them saying that two tractors per constituency cannot support commercial agriculture. Museveni proposed that 5 tractors per constituency would be more plausible. He further challenged MPs to engage in large scale farming if they are to empower their communities and drive the country into middle income status. He promised to bring in experts to share in their best practices so that the members would get first hand information from them” (President Yoweri Museveni on Tuesday evening held a special meeting with MPs-elect from Northern and Karamoja region to discuss pertinent issues affecting social and economic transformation, 20.04.2021).

The Government has a Minister designated for Karamoja affairs and has around 17 MPs from the Karamoja Sub-Region. However, all of these representatives and people being in high office isn’t delivering anything.

The news of starvation and famine shouldn’t shock anyone. The warnings from FEWSNET and other monitoring bodies like FAO has stated this too. The President has called the Karamoja green and pleasant. Nevertheless, that is far from the truth.

We know that the army, the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) have been operating and causing friction. As it is extra judicial killing and kicking people out of their homes. They are deliberately evicting and making people into internally displaced people. So, that the places of which they are burning villages and killing civilians. Is scaring the farmers and the people tending the land from cultivating food. This is done under the banner of “Usalalama Kwa Wote” to stop cattle-rustlers but also ensure the territories of mineral riches gets to the right “investor”. Therefore, this insecurity with the forewarned lack of food security was doomed to cause havoc on the sub-region.

Karamoja has been bleeding and suffering as a consequence of the military actions. The Sub-Region hasn’t been invested in. There has been creations of districts and electoral gerrymandering. However, there is only one referral hospital in Moroto. There is no real changes and the UN organizations comes in with aide and salvation every time things are dire. The President and his government isn’t clearly invested or concerned about the starvation or hunger in Karamoja. If the state did… they have seen this issue returning again and again. People are dying and the local government bodies should do better. The Office of the Prime Minister and the State Minister for Karamoja Affairs lack funds or mental minds to put programs that can save lives. Since this is a reoccurring event. That’s what is tragic here…

What is tragic is that the hunger and starvation was warned by FEWSNET in April this year. Which stated this: “For many poor Karamoja households, below-average purchasing power will continue constraining access to food from market purchases. Around August/September, the start of harvesting in Karamoja is expected to support improved access to food from own consumption and income from crop sales and reduce the number of households facing consumption gaps, though Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are expected to persist at the area level even during the post-harvest period. Overall, widespread Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are now expected to persist through at least September, with worst-affected households facing Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes” (FEWS NET, 06.04.2022).

We can sadly assess that the warnings of a IPC Phase 4 is now happening. The President promised already last year to secure food security for Karamoja sub-region. However, we easily that never happened. Now the World Food Programme and others has to cover the basics. They have to come with the food and the aide, because the state is a shortfall. Neither does it have the organization or institutions in order to help. The state has the army and the ability to kill civilians. However, it doesn’t have the ability to save lives or ensure food security. That is clear for anyone and is a sign of what is a priority in Kampala. As the Karamjoa sub-region isn’t only bleeding now, but starving as well. Peace.

Karamoja: The NRM got money for the army, but not for the starving…

The recent surge in cattle theft and cross-border conflicts in Minister Kasiaja: Karamoja sub-region issues will continue to be addressed. In a recent supplementary budget, Government provided Shs.112.5 Billions to facilitate the UPDF to carry out operations” (91.2 Crooze FM, 14.06.2022).

More than half a million people are going hungry in Karamoja – Report” (…) “A new report indicates that the Karamoja region is undergoing a crisis of food insecurity and may slump into famine if there are no measures to reverse the situation immediately. The report on integrated food security phase classification also shows that Moroto and Kaabong districts are in a critical phase of acute malnutrition. While receiving the report, the government committed to implementing some of the short-term recommendations” (NTV Uganda, 14.06.2022).

We know that the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) launched Operation Usalama Kwa Wote in July 2021 and they have continued ever since. The UPDF and the authorities have burned villages and killed civilians in their manhunt for cattle-rustlers. However, there been no oversight or proof of their operation really stopping violence or the murders for cattle in the region.

The only thing that has been shown is that the government has killed around 700 civilians and there is no direct justification or proof of the need to do so. There is no direct proof of the use of firearm or report on the use of the weapon. People are just killed and dying because the UPDF said so.

In this regard… the budget priorities are very clear. As the Karamoja is getting funds for the operations of the UPDF in the region. However, there is nothing scheduled or funds to cover or help the people in need. Karamoja is possibly getting into famine and people are now going hungry. That is a sign that the government has failed this people. They are now in the hands of the government.

The UPDF seems to be more important than the civilians it is defending. Since, it has funds and operational means, but the public don’t have what they need. Neither does the state has the mechanisms or the institutions to help them. That’s why they are starving and not getting help. This shortfall has to be covered by either a UN Organizations, CSOs or NGOs. Because, they have ability and funds to come to their aide. Since, the state don’t pay it no mind and would only care if it was profitable.

Karamoja have been targeted and the army has intervened as it has… because the minerals and mining operations needs land. The villages and the people have to flee lands and the use of former methods is to shield their operation. Now it is even more evident as Karamoja is getting money for the army, but not the people in need. This has been forecasted by FEWSNET and others. It isn’t like it happened without any forewarning.

Karamoja was in a danger-zone and the army operations there wouldn’t make it any better. No, the state has addressed its own needs, but the needs of the population. The region has burned because of the army and the soldiers haven’t helped the farmers or the cattle-keepers. Instead it has possibly worsened it and created more internally displaced people. Therefore, it is striking that the UPDF gets funds, as a reported half a million will live in food insecurity and live in hunger.

I don’t see the state doing much or taking action about it. This will most likely spiral into a famine. Because, the state doesn’t have mechanisms or the willpower to do what is necessary now. That’s because the ministries and the institutions haven’t been invested into and neither is there a working protocol for cases like these. That’s for the simple reason: The International Community and their aid organizations are the shortfall for the inept and corrupt elites of Kampala.

That’s why the Minister of Karamoja will do nothing and neither will anyone associated with it. They are awaiting orders from the Office of the Prime Minister and the State House. Which will wait and we shouldn’t expect any miracles. The army is stationed here and they will not bring hope to a troubled region. A region that has burned and now it’s soon starving too. It doesn’t get a minute of peace or hope. Peace.

Uganda: FEWS NET projected food security levels as stressed in the Greater Northern Region and a crisis in Karamoja

Staple food prices have continued to increase in recent months and are higher than prices recorded last year and five-year average levels across most of Uganda. Prices of staple sorghum and maize are now significantly above average in several key reference markets across the country. In Karamoja, terms of trade for sorghum against firewood, charcoal, and goats are below average and worse than last year, significantly restricting food access for poor households. After the first season bimodal harvest in June/July, food prices are expected to decline but are now expected to remain above average given expectations for below-average production, increased net exports, and impacts of the war in Ukraine on global supply chains and prices” (FEWS NET, 06.05.2022).

The Cassava Republic is getting hit hard by not only the rising commodity prices, but the weather. The agricultural production will be slowed down and that will hurt the farmers of the regions in the Northern Uganda and in the Karamoja sub-region. That is very evident and FEWS NET together with the World Food Programme is clearly having an oversight here. This here should worry the state, as it has targeted and had a military operation in Karamoja. Which is not mentioned here, but the burning region of Karamoja isn’t having a better times ahead of it. To the contrary things are only getting worse.

The Cassava Republic is also hit with an impactful war, which is not only hitting the exports of wheat, but in general. That’s why prices of commodities will go up and has gone up over the last year. Things are not getting better there either. Just read the quote below, which is a continuation of the first quote from FEWS NET on the matter.

In general, prices of food and non-food commodities have increased notably since late 2021. The main driving factors include rising transportation costs due to increasing fuel prices, seasonally declining market stocks, and reduced production prospects from the upcoming first season harvest following below average rainfall. More recently, impacts of the Russia-Ukraine crisis have driven further fuel price increases and increased the rate of general inflation of food and non-food commodities, further reducing household purchasing power. In March, retail prices of maize grain and sorghum increased farther above five-year average levels. Retail prices of beans and cassava generally remained below average in March, though prices of beans increased by 9-20 percent across monitored markets from February to March” (FEWS NET, 06.05.2022).

Here is the worrying statement:

However, rising food prices will likely result in some higher selling prices for famers, increasing access to income for those with near average production. For pastoralist households, pasture and water availability is expected to improve in May given the forecast of above-average rainfall. Overall, most households in bimodal areas are expected to access sufficient food and income to meet their essential food and non-food needs, with Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes expected to persist at the area level throughout the projection period. However, given revised expectations for a third consecutive below-average production season as well as rising prices of food and non-food commodities including fuel, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are now expected to persist throughout much of northern Uganda for the majority of the projection period. In Karamoja, availability of food and income is expected to remain seasonally limited as the lean season progresses. Given delays in the agricultural season, the lean season is now expected to last through July, longer than usual by about three weeks. During this time, insecurity is likely to continue constraining limiting income-earning, including from livestock production and sales. When schools reopen for the new term in early May, households will likely experience some improved food consumption due to WFP’s food and nutrition programming for school children, including school meals, take-home rations, and supplementary food for households with malnourished children. However, food prices are expected to continue increasing through around June until the harvest from bimodal areas begins to boost market supplies, with an increasing number of poor households likely to face consumption gaps and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes during this time. Though some seasonal price declines are expected following this, prices are expected to remain above average. For many poor Karamoja households, below-average purchasing power will continue constraining access to food from market purchases. Around August/September, the start of harvesting in Karamoja is expected to support improved access to food from own consumption and income from crop sales and reduce the number of households facing consumption gaps, though Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are expected to persist at the area level even during the post-harvest period. Overall, widespread Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are now expected to persist through at least September, with worst-affected households facing Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes” (FEWS NET, 06.04.2022).

We are seeing changes and the next coming months will be impactful to say the least. As the farmers and everyone else will struggle. There will be lack of food and a distress in some parts of the Republic, but it can become really dire in Karamoja. The Karamoja where the army has attacked, burned villages and gone after the citizens. That’s where things are getting worse and where they will have a terrible food insecurity to the levels of crisis. They can possibly get into Emergency, which should worry anyone. This just really speaks of how the state is failing its citizens and things are not getting any better.

The state should act upon this and think of safeguards. Nevertheless, don’t think they will. They rather send more soldiers and have more birthday bashes for Muhoozi. Than being concerned with the lack of food or ability to plough their fields. No, the state is more busy scheming and enterprising for their own. That’s why this sort of news needs to be spread. Because, the citizens of Karamoja and the Greater North will be hurt by this. That is the message from FEWS NET and it should be heard. Peace.

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