MinBane

I write what I like.

Archive for the tag “Mengo”

My honest letter to the newfound peacemaker President Museveni!

Dear Sir, His Excellency (H.E.) President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni!

Though I am surely not so dear to you, I am sure if you we’re ever to read one of my pieces. I would end up in Luzira or even Nalufenya, in a dungeon not seeing daylight before my mind was weaken and my thirst for liberty and justice was all over. That is what would be my ending, if you got your will. As many others who has questioned your rule and your power. They have lost their days and their lives, they have been detained and been tortured. This is something you know and done your orders. That is well-known.

So the last week has boggled me, how you at the time taking the Chairmanship of the East African Community, which goes between the Member States. Therefore, your place there after the Tanzanian President Joseph Pombe Magufuli isn’t shocking. What is more important, is the stages of your concern of the nations around you. How you suddenly want to invest your time and urges to change and give hope the republic’s around you.

That you travel on credit to London to talk on AMISOM and possible peace in Somalia, than later you travel to Tanzania and discuss the sanctions and say the EAC should be able to solve what is in-house, and today you are in South Sudan, giving advice on National Dialogue there. You are certainly occupied with other nations troubles.

In London, United Kingdom on the 12th May you said: “However, our strongly held view is that it is not enough to check Al-Shabaab. Somalia must heal completely and stand on its own feet. In our view, there are a number of bottlenecks that stop the complete healing of Somalia” (Museveni, 12.05.2017). In Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania on the 20th May you said: “Burundi is our member and no action should be taken against it without our input. Our house is our house” (Museveni, 20.05.2017). Today in Juba, South Sudan you said: “Within the party, speak frankly to each other. Reach decisions by voting or consensus. Raise issues by having regular meetings in the party. Insist on having meetings in party organs. Never use force. Violence should be a means of last resort” (Museveni, 22.05.2017).

That you suddenly are the grand peacemaker is weird, the man who done his thing civil-war and coup d’etat in Uganda, you have been involved in two wars inside the Democratic Republic of Congo, you ushered the rebellion and ruling party of Rwanda Patriotic Front/Army in Rwanda. You have sent your army without mandate into South Sudan. The other mandated forces has been operations against Lord Resistance Army in Central African Republic and the African Union Peacekeeping Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). Also, being hired security agents without consent of parliament in the Equatorial Guinea. I am sure you have used them differently, like lately the UPDF helping mission for the SPLA in Bieh State in South Sudan in April 2017. So the use of army for your own gain and the foreign exchange is also well-known.

Therefore, that you suddenly speaks of peace, negotiations and of consensus, it must be a lingo you dislike. As you yourself want to get rid of opposition in Uganda and want only the one who agree with you. Therefore, that you advice President Salva Kiir Mayardit to talk consensus, while in Buyengo Sub-County on the 9th May you said: “I am tired of wars. I want you to vote for pro-NRM members of parliament like our party flag-bearer, Mr Moses Walyomu.” (…) “I don’t want to go back to the bush to fight again. Don’t send me people who will disagree with me in parliament. I fought in 1986 and I am tired.”(Kirunda, Nakato & Katabulawo, 2017). So it is not like you believe the words you said in Juba today, aye? It seems more like a ploy and pigment of imagination, since you need to say this to look wise for the world. But we know that this isn’t the real you, you don’t believe in consensus, you believe in your vision and doesn’t trust anyone else, but yourself.

That you speak of violence as last resort, what about all the tear-gas as the opposition? What about all the harassment of them? What about all the ones detained for their political affiliation? Than, I also have to ask, why did all of the innocent had to die in violence in November 2016 in Kasese? There are so many questions, you should also answer for detaining all the kids of suspects in the killing of AIGP Andrew Kaweesi? If you doesn’t want to resolve with violence, why is the Flying Squad and the UPDF so quick to spread fear every-time there is ballots and elections. Why did you send the fighter airplanes to fly over Kampala on the days after the Presidential Election in 2016? I ask these questions since you tell people not to use violence, but speaking frankly; which I am doing to you now.

So with your history of violence, your love of guns and militarized government. I have little or to be honest. No faith in your mediation. Mr. President you have no character of trying to make peace. You have only made war and stifled your opposition. Therefore, very few of your adversaries are still alive. Most of them is gone, as well as the UNLA mates are gone and others who has stood in you way.

President Museveni, a leader and Commander-in-Chief since 1986, what sort of history and guidance can you bring from you experience and reasoning inside the Ugandan Republic, to build bridges in Burundi and South Sudan? Other than, bring the Special Forces Command and blow the possible enemies to pieces, Mr. President is that avoiding violence? Or throw tear-gas at consultation meetings of Opposition parties, is that mediation and consensus, Mr. President?

I am just asking because this is your advice… your own advice to the fellow brother in South Sudan, Somalia and in Burundi. Kinda hard to follow where you reside and run the nation, aye?

With

Best Regards

The Writer of MinBane!

Reference:

Kirunda, Abubaker; Nakato, Tausi & Katabulawo, Andrew – ‘I don’t want opposition in parliament, says President Museveni’ (09.05.2017) link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/I-don-t-want-opposition-in-parliament–says-President-Museveni/688334-3919496-71atniz/index.html

Advertisements

Opinion: Maj. Gen. Elwelu shouldn’t be interviewed as he deserves ‘to be put on trial’!

A poor person is very dangerous. He can do anything to survive. We need to support projects such as Operation Wealth Creation and others that focus on the socio-economic development of this country,” Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) Commander of Land Forces, Maj Gen Peter Elwelu (Daily Monitor 17.04.2017).

Let me be clear, when Brig. Peter Elwelu  was a bit unknown his voice and opinion might have mattered to me, as then he would just be another fellow human being with an understanding of the world. But people like him, now after the crime, I cannot let him discuss state and government matters and not talk about what overshadows for me.

Brig. Elwelu or Maj. Gen. Elwelu now, is for me until proven innocent, a man who was in-charge of unlawful attacks on the Royal Palace in Kasese and the massacre of unknown amount of guards, police officers, civilians and others. So while the Obusinga bwa Rwenzururu Charles Wesley Mumbere is in house-arrest in Baganda. The army commander in charge of the operation, the one that killed innocent and burned the palace without any forewarning is looming the streets.

That the army man who was in-charge has since than been promoted, while the families of Kasese does not know the consequence and the reason for their death. Other than the salaries and that the state sanctioned the army to do this at one point. That the Kasese attacks and tragedy escalated quick is easy to understand, that it became is evident and that the army had to hide their crimes with even burning. Letting the dead decompose while the “evidence” of it all was collected. Since the knowledge of who ordered it and who wanted it come from up-high.

That Brig. Elwelu just followed orders might be true, still he completed and directed the mission, with bravado as the dead was dug into mass graves while the priests we’re praying for the lost souls. They should have also prayed for the soldiers who killed innocent men and woman on the compound in Kasese. That Brig. Elwelu made happen with his ordered and persistent attitude during these days of violence.

That Brig. Elwelu believes poor people can be dangerous is true, but his voice on the matter. Shouldn’t he important. As he has poor record of caring about how people has it and how people live. He had no issues with burning and killing in Kasese, he could do the same in Teso, Tooro and Busoga, why not?

I do not trust this man and I can surely not be alone. His voice shouldn’t have space in the Daily Monitor, as Brig. Elwelu suddenly deserves to be in the public sphere. Lets be clear he don’t! Not until he has answered and maybe cleared his name for his possible, and most likely crimes against humanity in Kasese in 2016! Peace.

Opinion: UPFF seems like made-belief by the Calvary, as the NDA and SUN never reappeared!

Kaweesi Murder Probe: Police warns public against conspiracy theories and speculation, adds that such will slow down investigations” (…) “Police are investigating a group calling itself ‘Uganda Patriotic Freedom Fighters’ that claims to have murdered AIGP Kaweesi” (…) “The group posted on social media commending itself for a job well executed and blamed police for arresting innocent people” (NBS TV Uganda, 27.03.2017).

There been many rebel outfit of late who has taken claims of violence and robbing Police Stations, what is common is that that they come into light and fade into dust as quick as they came. These ones has all been parts of questionable acts and taken weapons and ammunition from the Police Force. Still, there has not been anyone who is caught for these crimes, neither has there been anyone taken to court. Therefore, I wonder about the newest who appeared this month!

In March 2016, the sun set on Uganda, and initially “We, Save Uganda Now” (SUN) that took responsibility for the attacks on Kapchorwa Police Station, where the former army commander ‘Mali Moto’ we’re running it. And ever since then they have not reappeared!

In June 2016, a new surfaced rebel outfit named National Democratic Alliance (NDA) attacked the Gulu Central Police station, as it was even stated by the Police Force that is was UPC Deputy Secretary Dan Odiya Oola, who was in charge. The NDA has not attacked anything else since the day in question.

Than there was the Rwenzururu Kingdoms Royal Guards and the “Kirumiramutima” (the Strong Hearted) that was a militia in the Rwenzori and Rwenzori Sub-Region. These ones created problems in the region after the election and supposed to done so since 2014. Still, the violence only appears when the Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF) arrives in Kasese, like last year in November, when the Flying Squad twice attacked the Buhikira Royal Palace in Kasese. It is easy to forget, but the problem of rebels appears when the Police and Army attacks innocent civilians in the region. That problem also disappear when the army leaves the region. Than the locals are preoccupied burying the dead.

So when I here that a new rebel outfit takes the responsibility for the assassination of the Assistance Inspectorate General of Police (AIGP) Andrew Felix Kaweesi, they we’re suddenly a group who claimed on social media called Uganda Patriotic Freedom Fighter (UPFF). They came out of dust and has no history, just like the groups who apparently was in charge of the assaults on the Kapchorwa and Gulu Police Stations during last year. The pattern are written in the sand.

The serious rebel outfits has been scattered and are now based on foreign territory, as Allied Defense Force (ADF) is based now in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Lord Resistance Army (LRA) who are in Central African Republic (C.A.R). So these are not something that is apparent problem for the security organizations or the Police Force.

So I have a hard time believing that a new outfit of rebels has that sophisticated and knowledge about top leadership inside the Police Force, that they get the knowledge of the Police Commanders house, road and about the time he leaves for his office. That the Rebel Outfit UPFF came into force and with actions all of sudden. It came from the moment of clarity as it usually do after the incident.

Just like rebel outfits came into action right after the Police Stations was assaulted in 2016. All of a sudden the ‘strong hearted’ rebelled in Rwenzori.

Now that Jospeh Ssonko, appear and claims responsibility days after the death of Kaweesi. As much as the new Police Spokesman today Asan Kasingye speaks these words and tries to explain the on-going investigation. Since the UPFF, SUN and NDA are all coming from the same source and sources are all quick and brief online. Still, their placement and quick relief of information comes and goes as quick as the government needs it.

Therefore, the government hopes people forget the other rebel outfits and leaders, as they dwindle in presence and importance. However, the dead and the families of the lost will still wonder what really happen, this are the losers of this political game, as the ones who ordered and got the AIGP Kaweesi assassinated. As well, as all the other speculations that opens up questions of this public display. That the Police Force and their leadership wants to peddle this sort of false narratives instead of dropping proper intelligence. This proves that the Police Force is rotten, as the government is lacking will of accountability and transparency. So if the Police Force and key leadership together with other Security Organizations had offered or created this sorts of violence. Than, the Republic would know that rebels and the other created stories, might just be hogwash.

That this is a possibility, that the Uganda Police Force, that the Army and the other agencies wishes to subdue and silence the public discourse as they comes with false information. This seems probable, as this is yet another group arriving to court without any invitation or knowledge of their origin and their leadership. Like the knowledge of the start of ADF and LRA are inescapable and accessible. But if you tries to get knowledge on UPFF, NDA or SUN, your have to invent the wheel and than take ride.

So, I have doubt that UPFF exists, as the NDA and SUN is made belief, it is as believable as the manufactured cases against FDC leadership and the made-up case of treason against Dr. Kizza Besigye. The same is about the believed aggressors who appears out of nowhere. Peace.

Statement by the European Union and its Member States present in Uganda on the situation in Kasese District (16.03.2017)

Opinion: Why hasn’t there been any real investigation into the #KaseseAttacks?

There has now gone months since the Uganda People’s Defence Force, Special Forces Command and the Police Force on the 27th November 2016 has skirmishes inside the Buhikira Royal Palace in Kasese. This we’re done again as the authorities have done in the past in Rwenzori and Rwenzori sub-region, as they have made the Rwenzururu Kingdom and their Ombusinga Bwa Rwenzururu Charles Wesley Mumbere a guerrilla leader for a unknown militia called the ‘stronghearted’ or the Kirumiramutima. If these allegation we’re true and the government had real investigation to all the acclaimed issues since 2014, than they would have charged someone before blasting and killing so many Royal Guards in November 2016.

The whole last skirmish was dim of justice and real security operation as the Brigadier Peter Elewu and Maj. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba cavalry ran into the compound and did their disgraceful acts of vile violence and human rights violations. They killed and burned down the palace, they put graves with no names days after and wouldn’t let the families see the deceased, and they left behind trials of misconduct. Such, acts of killings that the world only see’s in time of war or even a civil-war. The state organizations and their security organizations are secretly about their acts.

If the State had been serious they hadn’t made the ones who were the targets of the gunfire and the burning the ones lingering in jail in and around Jinja. The same happen to the remaining royal guards also detained there. There wasn’t much grace or glory, as the king was at one point out for under an hour time before getting back inside prison. On the second time now he is exile in Kampala as the government doesn’t let him out of control and travel to his kingdom.

While this has happen the M23 has crossed from Ugandan territory to the Democratic Republic of Congo, as they have left the barracks and they have even been caught few of them in the Kasese District and Mbarara Region. There are prospects that could easily fix into a conspiracy as the insurgency and attacks on Rwenzururu Kingdom could be seen as shadow game for the release of the M23.

So, with the rumours that haven’t been verified as well, was French speaking army men at the Buhikira Royal Palace in Kasese. What are more worrying are the open questions, as of the verified numbers of dead between the army and police force. That was in the days after skirmishes. They we’re really not making sense as the amounts of dead after it all. With the loss of lives to all the royal guards, unknown civilians, police officers and so on. The State Figures still doesn’t make sense with the reports and spokespersons release in the army and police in the early days after.

The need for an investigation is clearly there, the army, police force and security organizations who acted vile in Kasese. The Rwenzururu Kingdom have been violated, the Rwenzori and Rwenzori Sub-Region has been used as a boxing bag by the NRM government. No visits from the President, the mediators or even the IGP Kale Kayihura have stopped it. As the army intervention have still let the government killings continue, as the post-election violence was created from the Special Force Command, maybe M23 and other operatives in the UPDF. That can be said, as their no clear investigation or intelligence that can be truthful, as the government tries to silence the truth. Their cherry of innocence is long good. If the NRM government really cared about their victims they wouldn’t defend the culprits, but the victims, the unknown and the unnamed dead who was assaulted and lost their life to early, as so many of the Royal Guards has done during the last year in the Rwenzururu kingdom. Peace.

Opinion: Hon. Kyambadde revealed what was important at the State House!

“I resigned from State House Uganda, because there were so many powerful people and power centers, and for example the sons and sons-in-law of first family would bring in some foreign businessmen and despite being my duty to clear them, i could not say anything.”Amalie Kyambadde (On Face Off on NBS TV Uganda, 12.03.2017).

Hon. Kyambadde who is now her second term as Member of Parliament for Mawokota North County in Mpigi District after she left or resigned her position Private Presidential Secretary at the State House, she had the PPS position from 2001 to 2010. Therefore, you see that she went to be elected as MP, instead of working in the State House.

This is very interesting as she knows the perks and working ethics of State House, as she spent nearly a decade in the State House and worked closely with the President. So the knowledge of how it works, she knows perfectly well. As the speculated issues inside the State House came out to the public in 2015:

“The wars in State House, an insider told us, “were always there but they came out in the open when Amelia (Kyambadde, the Trade minister), left State House.” (…) “The source said Ms Kyambadde exerted considerable authority over the presidential palace, hardly allowing internal wrangles to burst open into the public domain” (Mukiibi Sserungjogi & Okuda, 2015).

So there have been revealed things before, but today what she said on NBS have been sort of common knowledge, as the pictures of Hamis Kiggundu, Ruparelia Sundir and others who certainly has conducted their business transactions from the State House with deals between them. The development and acceptance of big-business happens directly inside the state. As well as the decrees and licence to do business, so the words of Hon. Kyambadde extend this idea and verifies what has been commonly known, but not yet said by former internal workers at this capacity.

That she also shows the turn-over of family business inside the State House, their own ideas bringing their connections to the State House, shows the allegiance of state is within the family and not with the procedures of the state. That can be said by the negotiations that even happened a few years ago:

“Byabagambi, who attended the meeting at State House, as did officials from CHEC and the Ugandan attorney general, has accused the MPs of receiving bribes from CCECC to frustrate the project; two of the MPs held a press conference on Monday to deny the accusations and to accuse the government of overpaying CHEC” (Rogers, 2014). So the Chinese investors and entrepreneurs had direct meetings at the State House, so the Attorney General and the MP who oversaw the Standard Gauge Railway project at the time. So the ties all connect to the State House.

In 2011 the State House had made another deal as report back in 2013:

“The Auditor General’s report for the year ending June 2012 notes that there was unfair treatment of bidders ahead of the Presidential swearing in Ceremony in May 2011 where one bidder was dropped for no particular reason” (…) “This was despite the fact that other bidders such as Country Safaris were considered to have the same problem as Africa One Tours and Travel because they could not meet the specifications of the required manufacturers” (…) “In their response, State House officials stated that they had been given a short period within which to prepare for the swearing-in ceremony yet they did not have a set date and there was no money for the function” (Athumani, 2013). So back in 2011, it wasn’t the ministries task to hire and secure the cars for the President, but State House officials. This shows the controlling aspects of the State House, not only the business being decided inside the State House.

This is just some proof of some of the business activity that happens at the State House, surely more than meet the eye and that has been reported about. Certainly, the Museveni family and kin has done more business there than we can ever know. However, there will only be indications until more is revealed or if the leaks from the State House, as it haven’t been controlled as much as it was under Hon. Kyambadde. Peace.

Reference:

Rogers, David – ‘Ugandan president tells Chinese construction boss: ‘If you are not willing to co-operate, leave’ (15.10.2014) link: http://www.globalconstructionreview.com/news/ugandan-pre3side8nt-tel0ls-chine6se-constr5uct2ion/

Mukiibi Sserunjogi, Eriasa & Okuda, Ivan – ‘Making sense of the fight in State House’ (08.02.2015) link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/Magazines/PeoplePower/sense-Museveni-Mbabazi–State-House/689844-2615958-8eg2uaz/index.html

URN/ Halima Athumani – ‘State House Officials Quizzed Over Museveni Swearing-in Vehicles’ (27.09.2013) link: https://ugandaradionetwork.com/story/state-house-officials-quizzed-over-museveni-swearing-in-vehicles

Kampala raid on LASPNET: Statement on the Break-In of LASPNET Premises (02.02.2017)

lapsnet-02-02-2017

Omusinga bwa Rwenzururu Mumbere we’re arrested after a hot minute in freedom

mumbere-13-01-2017

The day that finally came after over a month in jail in Nalufenya Prision on the Treason Charges made on the trespasses he did early in 2016, the Omusinga bwa Rwenzururu we’re today in Jinja Court again answering his case and also having a bail hearing. Where the media was banned from the premises and the details is only what the government officials spread to the world. As usual the Media’s had to be outside and not allowed to enter it. Certainly if the Uganda Police Force could have their will they would have built barracks and roadblocks to Mbira forest to secure that not a living soul get intelligence on the outcome.

Still, the verdict came out that the King of Rwenzururu we’re allowed bail and could leave his prison state, but still not cleared on any indication of his charge been dropped. As he the King couldn’t go home, he could only stay in Kampala and areas inside the Baganda Kingdom. So his release was with precautions from the authorities. You thought the Police Force and National Resistance Movement we’re done with their humiliation of the king.

As he was free for a hot-minute, he was apprehended as he couldn’t even eat a rollex nor have a Nile brew in the streets of Kampala. Charles Wesley Mumbere who has been detained without any proceeding, only short court-hearings where the charges has been read, we’re again in the midst of the Police Force. The famous black-van, the Besigye-Torture vehicle came into the picture.

With the knowledge of having a bail on UGX 100 million shilling in the Jinja Magistrate Court, there shouldn’t be any reason to detain him again and take him to an unknown location unless the government want to silence the one who is the biggest eye-witness to the killings of late November that we’re sanctioned to the army and police officers stationed in Kasese. The Kasese clashes that even has a verified letter sent to the International Criminal Court. The ICC that Mzee hates because he is afraid that he will be next in line.

Omusinga bwa Rwenzururu is the victim that is taken hostage and taken with impunity from the authorities, as the killers and the ones that did the crime walks. The UPDF and the men who we’re carrying guns and besieging the Royal Palace deserves to be apprehended, not a king who has humiliated and disgraced by courts, police officers and the government who has detracted from their peaceful ways. If they ever had it… Peace.

Rwenzururu Elders: Statement of Apology and Renunication of Insurgent Activities (08.01.2017)

rwenzururu-08-01-2017-p1rwenzururu-08-01-2017-p2rwenzururu-08-01-2017-p3rwenzururu-08-01-2017-p4

Opinion: I miss Olara Otunnu, already!

Otunnu

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

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

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

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

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

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

In 1982 – New York:

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

In 2009 – ‘About his role in 1985:

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

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

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

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

In 2005 – His work for Children in Conflict:  

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

otunnu-1

In 2007 – Otunnu could return:

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

In 2010 – Leadership role:

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

In 2013 – liberate Uganda:

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

olara-otunnu

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

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

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

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

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

Reference:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: