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 CMI is involved in a civilian matter: In the arrest of blogger Kasagga Matovu

To understand the current affairs, you need to know that the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) is a branch under the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF), which could be called the National Army. The CMI is the intelligence branch of the UPDF. Now that you know these facts and has that under wraps.

Let us read this story from earlier today: “The Directorate of CID and CMI, have charged to court a blogger known as Kasagga Bashir aka Kasagga Matovu, with 4 counts of Unauthorised Modification of computer material, under the Computer Misuse Act. The facts gathered indicate that during the month of August and September, 2022, while in the Kampala, the suspect, with requisite intent and knowledge, used his social engineering techniques to create, obtain and modify tweets and screenshots of twitter handles of the Defence Spokesperson @UPDFspokesperson, Uganda Police Force @PoliceUg, Annita Annet Among @Anita Among and Balaam Barugahare Ateenyi @Balaam 1980” (…) “The suspect has been the leader of the network of social media abusers. His communication matrix is linked to thousands of group members. It also clearly shows selected individuals and political groups, that have been glorifying and sponsoring his offensive behaviour, towards government officials and institutions. We have retrieved some of the deceptive posts, charts, accounts and pictorials, which he has been sharing with 6,588 followers on Twitter and 5,625 Facebook followers” (…) “The suspect has been charged with 4 counts of unauthorised modification of computer materials C/S 14 (1) and (6) of the Computer Misuse Act, 2011” (Uganda Police Force – ‘BLOGGER CHARGED WITH 4 COUNTS OF UNAUTHORISED MODIFICATION OF TWITTER ACCOUNTS’ 19.09.2022).

The Law itself:

14. Unauthorised modification of computer material

(1)

A person who—

(a) does any act which causes an unauthorised modification of the contents of any computer; and

(b) has the requisite intent and the requisite knowledge at the time when he or she does the act,

commits an offence” (Computer Misuse Act, 2011).

This Statute or Article of the Law is punishable up to 15 years in prison. That’s if the Courts or the authorities finds it fitting to give him the full extent of punishment for his actions. They are using the Computer Misuse Act of 2011, which has been used against dissident in the past. It has been a favourable tool. Even more so than certain parts of the Penal Code to pin crimes on the ones speaking ill or with malice against the state.

Now, we are seeing the army is involved in the prosecution. That isn’t new in the Republic. It is a staple around Election and in the Post-Election. The CMI have been used and directed to apprehend, kidnap and keep civilians incommunicado. That has been done by several of authorities and by other law enforcement as well.

So, with that in mind, it isn’t weird that the CMI is involved in making a case against a blogger. The CMI has also been used and have training for cyber crimes. That means the CMI is going into civilian matters Just like when the Court Martial is used as a tool to oppress civilians. When the civilians are neither soldiers, serving in the army or affiliated with the UPDF in any shape or form. Therefore, these sorts of practices isn’t new, but showing how the state operates at this point.

Now, that the Computer Misuse Act is used again. Expect it to be more relevant in the time ahead, as it has been amended and is more broad to capture even more people in the net. That’s why this year will be filled with cases like these and no one should be surprised by it. This is what the authorities has ordered. 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.

A brief look into the Committee on Human Rights Report on Human Rights Violations in the Country from January 2020 to date

Today I will look into the Parliamentary report named: “REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON HUMAN RIGHTS ON THE STATE OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN THE COUNTRY, PARLIAMENT OF UGANDA, FROM JANUARY 2020 TO-DATE” which is dated in July 2022 and received by the Clerk of the Parliament during August 2022. This report is important, as we know the usage of the authorities against dissidents, activists and others during the campaigns and after it too. So, that should be reflected in the report.

I will take out the quotes and statements, which is showing the true character of the oppression and how the state operates. It would be shocking if there wasn’t some sinister actions reported or information about. The news about these acts and the common knowledge of it should be mirrored here.

The report is bluntly very long and could be taken into plenty of pieces. As there are enough pain and suffering to speak about. I am only taking a little part of the greater picture. Just to show what sort of things the state does to the citizens during the election period. Because, focusing on to big parts it will be becoming erratic. There are so many stakeholders who supplemented the Report as well.

So there could be taken out so much material. However, here is just a small fragment and it still prints a bleak picture. I believe this is only the top of the ice-berg and we don’t know what is underneath the surface. The state would never release the whole picture, but only the cliff-notes. That is obvious here….

A brief overview of human rights violations:

It starts with: “the highest number of complaints reported to UHRC was torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (443), followed by deprivation of personal liberty/detention beyond 48 hours (378)” (…) “The Commission reported to the Committee that some of the law enforcement or security agencies wear civilian clothes, sometimes with their faces covered

in masks, while those in uniforms lack name tags. The identification of perpetrators is further compounded when there are joint operations by the Uganda Police Force, UPDF, CMI and ISO” (…) “The Committee notes that there was arbitrary deprivation of the right to liberty because of wrongful procedure of airest by Police and security agencies. Most suspects were held incommunicado and were not informed of the cases against them” (…) “The Committee noted that UHRC reported 90 cases of alleged deprivation of the right to life. However, the report did not contain any additional information on how each case was handled and the status of said the cases” (Report, July 2022).

Abductions during campaign season:

The Committee was informed that between the months of January 2020 and March 2021, the Uganda Human Rights Commission received 65 complaints of alleged disappearances of persons in the districts of Kyotera, Mukono, Kampala, Wakiso, Mpigi, Pallisa, Bundibugyo and Mityana” (…) “Some of the released persons allege to have been freed from the Special Investigations Unit in Kireka, Wakiso district while others contend they were produced in court and remanded to Kitalya Prison” (Report, July 2022).

HURIPEC reported that from the start of the official presidential and parliamentary election campaigns in November 2O2O, not less than 500 Ugandans were abducted, kidnapped, held in custody without trial or in military facilities and “safe houses”, or killed extra-judicially. HURIPEC

alleged that on November 18 and 191h 2020 alone, it was estimated that over 100 Ugardans were executed on the streets of Kampala in a bid to contain protests that were triggered by the arrest of NUP Party flag bearer Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu” (…) “They further claimed that while a few of the citizens arrested in this onslaught were arraigned before courts of law, an unknown number were found dumped in jungles and other remote places; often in poor health, bearing torture marks. Some women reported to have been sexually violated- These acts have gone hand in hand with a growing practice of trying Ugandan citizens in military tribunals. HURIPEC expres concern that this is against the letter and spirit of Uganda s constitution” (Report, July 2022)

Rt Hon. Speaker, UJA reported to the Committee that several journalists were injured by security during the course of their work; covering the 2021 elections. A survey conducted by UJA, for the period November 2nd 2020 and May 12th 2021, they recorded violations of rights for over 50 journalists in form of physical attacks, confiscation of work tools, vandalism, tear gas and

pepper sprays, unwarranted arrests, detention and intimidation by the security forces and private citizens” (Report, July 2022).

Violations of the LDUs:

Local Defence Unit (LDUS) personnel were reported to have used excessive force, including beatings and extortion of money from Boda boda riders, food vendors and taxi drivers in Kampala, Wakiso, Entebbe and Jinja purportedly to enforce Presidential Guidelines for the prevention of COVID-19 in 2020 and 2021” (Report, July 2022).

This is grim, but sadly not shattering. We have heard and read similar before… it is sinister that a state can act like this and only show a little of it. They are drip-dropping about it, but never revealing the whole picture. That’s why we know… that there is so much more to it all and so many more cases, which has never been told. This is the real trick of it all.

No one should have gone through this, but there are plenty of more that never gets into print. 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.

Opinion: When a soldier tortures a toddler, then the army can violate anyone…

Residents of Buvuma islands are living under fear after a Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) soldier only known as Robert brutally assaulted a 4-year-old boy for allegedly laughing at him while he was mastering how to ride a bicycle. Robert, who is attached to a detach in Nandala forest, Nairambi sub-county allegedly brutally beat a toddler identified as Najib Iguru, claiming that the boy had stoned him near his home. According to the boy’s mother, Aisha Namugaya, after the battering, the boy lost his body balance, his right leg started swelling while also struggling to breath” (URN – ‘Soldier tortures boy for mocking him, holds Buvuma village at gunpoint’ The Observer Uganda, 01.05.2022).

As long as I can remember and at every given moment, the President, His Excellency, Yoweri Kaguta Musveni has told the wonders of how disciplined his army is. He has spoken about the greatness and how he achieved peace. The President has spoken about how he came with fundamental change and how he revolutionized the Republic. However, things are not how it seems…

To the contrary, the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) and various agencies connected is as vicious, brutal and lacks order like the predecessors. The acts of torture and extra judicial killings is still rampant. The kidnappings and keeping civilians incommunicado persists. The acts of injustice and impunity is never far from sight. There more stories about these vicious acts than what we know. As either people are not allowed to tell, people are bruised or scared for life and many who fears to speak.

We have heard the stories of activists, political candidates and bystanders to campaigns. Now it is happening to kids or toddlers who is not fully grown. Neither should there be any sort of reaction to an action of a toddler. If the soldier felt mocked and hurt by the act of toddler. He should have spoken to the mother and the parents should have punished the toddler they saw fit. The soldier shouldn’t act as the judge, the jury and the executioner. The soldier did take it further and held the whole village at gun-point. Striking fear and avenging everyone know the toddler. That shows what sort of power and what the soldiers believes they are able to do.

The ones defending it… should think that this could be their own cousin or family member. This could happen to any villager or toddler across the Republic. The innocent civilian who isn’t eligible or able to be punished by law was still touched and violated by a soldier. The soldier took the law upon himself and tortured a toddler. Just writing these lines disgust me. The thought of a child being used blunt force against. No matter what he said or did, his reasoning and mental capacity to understand isn’t there. That’s why a toddler isn’t a legal subject, but the parent would be. Therefore, the soldier just shows how he was a brute and indisciplined.

We can just wonder else the soldiers are up too. They are allowed and follows orders of destruction, contempt of law and can act with vicious operations like the ones in Karamoja sub-region. That’s why we know their violence and know they can cause massacres with their bare hands. They can kill and without consideration of the justice or righteous reason to use the firearm. However, they do and the regime applauds it.

That’s why the incident of torturing a toddler isn’t directly shocking, but shows how far the army is willing to go. There is no decency or courtesy even. Just a brutal transgression and act with violence. Doesn’t matter if it is a civilian, toddler or anyone of stature really. As a soldier it is within your rights to destroy and violate someone. That is the message of the story.

The soldier should secure the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic. Meaning defending the borders from invaders. Not being a tool of oppression and injustice. However, the latter is what the UPDF is known for and it shows. Peace.

Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF): Statement on Alleged Torture by CMI of one Mariwos Alexandria aka Esther (22.04.2022)

Opinion: Karamoja is burning over mineral explorations…

A total of 17,083 square kilometers of land in Karamoja is licensed for mineral exploration and extraction activities, according to official data. Twenty-six companies currently have exploratory or mining rights in the region. In 2018, Chinese mining company Sunbelt was given 3.3 square kilometers of land to set up a $13 million dollar marble mining factory in Rupa sub-county. A year later, the company expanded its operations to cover an additional 4.1 square kilometers, ostensibly after a deal with local leaders. Hundreds of families have since been pushed out of their ancestral homes, local officials say. Locals accuse Rupa Community development trust, a community trustee group created three years ago, of conniving with investors to steal their land” (Diana Taremwa Karakire – ‘Mining Rush Threatens Indigenous Peoples in Karamoja, Uganda’ 01.09.2021).

What I feared the most seems to be reason for the joint operation of the Uganda Police Force (UPF) and Uganda People’s Defence Force (UDPF) in the Karamoja sub-region. Which is an continues operation and it is persisting. The state is even furthering it’s investments into it by deploying 6,000 Local Defence Units or LDUs in Karamjoa. Therefore, the burning and bleeding will persist for a long time.

The lack of accountability and transparency is very clear. The obvious reasons for that is the licensed land and territories given to mineral extraction corporation over the indigenous people. The people and the citizens are neglected. They are perpetrators and the unlawful one in the mind of the state, but not by their rights as people.

The Government and the Authorities are coming in as a colonial government. They are occupying and violently removing people. The state is blaming the cattle rustling, but it is obviously more too it. Because, it is not like the government would create so much and damage over some livestock. However, it would do so over the mineral extraction and possible gold-rush in Karamoja.

We know they have given this state operation the name of “Usalama Kwa Wote” to disarm and take away illegal guns, but I wouldn’t be shocked if it was an alternate motive. A cash enterprise and a possible profit objective of the state. As they know the values of the land and what it possesses. When knowing that… they might find it easier to scare people away and not take ownership of land. Make them displaced and ensure their fear to return. As the mineral exploration and exploitation can start. In such a manner, that the government and the companies can start their trading.

The unfortunate families, villages and the Karimojong is just dying. While they are defending their land and we don’t have any idea about the amount of fatalities. As the GoU, the State House and UPDF doesn’t release any sort of update on their Joint Operation there. Only in the beginning and stopped when the public outcry ceased to exist.

The Karamoja sub-region continues to burn, be looted and is destroyed by government entities. While they are blaming old cultural factors and blaming the herders. That just shows their sinister motives. Because, we are not supposed to know about the vast licensing agreements and the planned mineral exploitation, which has been sanctioned without the concern of the locals or the Karimojong in general. They just have to accept the loss of land, livelihood and where they have lived for generations.

Because, that is the “steady progress” and “securing your future” means for Karamoja these days. The state don’t mind violating or destroying, as long as it has a prosperous future ahead of it. Peace.

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