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South Sudan refugees in Uganda pass 1 million mark, UNHCR renews call for help (18.08.2017)

Over the past 12 months, an average of 1,800 South Sudanese have been arriving in Uganda every day.

GENEVA, Switzerland, August 18, 2017 – UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is today reiterating its call to the international community for urgent additional support for the South Sudan refugee situation and Uganda in particular, where the number of refugees from South Sudan has now reached 1 million.

Over the past 12 months, an average of 1,800 South Sudanese have been arriving in Uganda every day. In addition to the million there, a million or even more South Sudanese refugees are being hosted by Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Central African Republic.

In Uganda, more than 85 per cent of the refugees who have arrived there are women and children (below 18 years in age). Recent arrivals continue to speak of barbaric violence, with armed groups reportedly burning down houses with civilians inside, people being killed in front of family members, sexual assaults of women and girls, and kidnapping of boys for forced conscription.

With refugees still arriving in their thousands, the amount of aid we are able to deliver is increasingly falling short. For Uganda, US$674 million is needed for South Sudanese refugees this year, but so far only a fifth of this amount (21 per cent) has been received. Elsewhere in the region, the picture is only marginally better – in all US$883.5 million is needed for the South Sudan situation, but only US$250 million has been received.

The funding shortfall in Uganda is now significantly impacting the abilities to deliver life-saving aid and key basic services. In June, the World Food Programme was forced to cut food rations for refugees. Across settlements in northern Uganda, health clinics are being forced to provide vital medical care with too few doctors, healthcare workers and medicines. Schooling, meanwhile is also being impacted. Class sizes often exceed 200 pupils, with some lessons held in the open air. Many refugee children are dropping out of education as the nearest schools are too far away for them to easily access.

Since December 2013, when South Sudan’s crisis erupted in Juba, more than two million South Sudanese have fled to neighbouring countries, while another two million people are estimated to be internally displaced.

President Museveni’s speech showed his real sentiment at the Uganda Solidarity Summit on Refugees 2017

I don’t believe that President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni hold the Refugee Summit in Kampala this week out of solidarity. It was of an operation to secure his state the lost funds that the state has to raise through loans. So yesterday he had the massive speech for the event, which had lot of information, but for me this passage was telling why he had the summit and what value the refugees really have for him. You wouldn’t see them as bargain chips if you didn’t say it this way. Why do I say that, the districts with the refugee camps are in his mind deserving infrastructure, not supported by the state, but by the International Community. Therefore, it was held to raise sufficient funds for the refugees, but if he could, he could sponge of the funds. Not like the National Resistance Movement (NRM), though he was speaking in the beginning of this passage like it is NRM Regime who pays of all infrastructure, but the World Bank and others are giving either grants or direct loans to infrastructure projects.

That is why I’m kind of not surprised of the real solidarity would be pay the bills for the President and his own pledges, instead of really helping the refugees. They are just needed people to gain popularity abroad and solidarity for ones fleeing for refugee in Uganda. Instead of looking into the draconian laws of Uganda, the oppressive behavior of the NRM or even famine made by lacking governance in many districts in Uganda itself. That is why I particular looks into this part of his speech from the Solidarity Summit, as these words prove the value of the summit for the President himself.

The hosting districts of Uganda should also be rewarded. Especially in the area of the road infrastructure, the government of Uganda is already doing most of the development required. On account of many demands, however, there are certain roads that over-night become of high demand because of the sudden big numbers in the area on account of the influx of refugees. There are, in particular, two roads that should be bituminized but the government is not yet able to take on. These are: Moyo-Yumbe-Koboko, in the neighbourhood of the famous Bidi Bidi camp in Yumbe district that is hosting 272,168 refugees today; and Kabiingo-Rugaaga-Magabi-Rakai that starts from the famous Nakivaale Refugee Settlement camp that looked after the Rwanda refugees between 1960 and 1994 and is still hosting different waves of subsequent refugees” (…) “The Uganda government will, eventually, do these roads. If, however, the International Community was to expedite that process and we informed our people in the areas, they would understand that their hospitality has not been in vain” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 23.06.2017).

You can really tell that the President has significant plans for using the solidarity and raised funds for needed infrastructure. Ugandan government wants to use the refugee situation to get funds for national projects and roads. That it just happens to be between the Refugee Settlements in the Northern Uganda. Where the South Sudanese refugees are settled because of the civil war in South Sudan. Certainly, the political stalemate are the ones that even President Museveni is involved in. Therefore, him trying to use it for road development.

Clearly, his real sentiment is for road development not helping the refugees. That is why the districts should be rewarded, not by the state itself, but the international community. If you ever wonder where his heart was, you got it right there. It is not like President Museveni has the refugee settlement for charity, more for leverage and use to get solidarity since the direct donor funds to his government has dwindled over the recent decade. So he has found another trick to get raised funds for his pledges. Peace.

NRM Letter to President Museveni: “Re: Memorandum of Important Issues Affecting Our Party and The Running of Government under the National Resistance Movement” (03.03.2017)

UPDF: Military Police has not taken over Police Powers and Resources (21.06.2017)

Uganda: UPF Circular – “Individual Responsibility for Court Awards Arising out of Police Action” (13.06.2017)

Uganda: UPF Circular – “Arresting People for the Offence of Idle and Disorderly” (13.06.2017)

#SOTNUG17: A look into the Policing the NRM Way!

He was at it again for the 31st time or 30th since he didn’t do this in first year after the coup d’etat. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. That being the old-man-with-the-hat having his first State of the Union in 1987. Times are changing but he is still not caring about facts or using his tricks to make himself look like a genius and savior. Even if there are far from it and makes sure the others are to blame. That is what President Museveni do. Therefore, I am just looking at parts of his speech, since there are many details and many things you could put a finger on and discuss. As it could be as simple as explaining the roads funds and research the pledged roads, which he said today was all paid by Government of Uganda (GoU), while if you look over the previous funding of the roads you would see the money might be foreign. Instead, I will look the security issues, the torture and the Policing. Because it is so important and the man trust IGP Kale Kayihura so much, who has made the Police a long-arm of the ruling regime. With that in mind, I had to focus on this and not on all the other subjects that the President spoke about. Take a look!

The Police do not have to wait for the crime to be committed. Through good intelligence, most crimes can be prevented. Most of the suspects arrested after the murder of Kawesi and others, even if they were not involved in the killing of Kawesi, they had committed other capital offences, many of which carry death sentences or life imprisonment. Why, then, were they still in circulation? That means somebody was not doing his or her work” (Museveni, 2017).

Mr. President, why wasn’t these men caught for the other cases, than the murder case of the AIGP Andrew Kaweesi. This case has been public and there been an awesome amount of possible suspects. These has been hundreds and even the kids of suspects has been detained. Therefore, that all of these might have other crimes on their hands, that might be true, but still they all could be innocent. So the President has decided their fate without trial, which is a rare, but common practice by the President.

The other day, I was in Kalerwe and the youth there were complaining of the Police arresting them for being “idle and disorderly”. This must stop completely. Some of the youth are idle because they do not have jobs. Why arrest them for that? The revolutionary should be like “fish in water”. A revolutionary should never be “fish in no water”” (Museveni, 2017).

As seen how the Police are working there are reports and studies on the subject, as the Police are the long-hand of the regime under the President. This can be quoted by: “One sub-county official explained that the activities of crime preventers are handled at the village level and news of them doesn’t reach his office, while another said they are too informal to discuss in a semi-structured interview with me. What happens in the village is not of concern, so long as it is not organized violent crime or resistance to the government. Although security groups are framed as local responses to local problems, the government retains the right to intervene and police their activities, frequently making arrests in relation to groups’ night patrols, the degree of force they employ and the appropriateness of their involvement in interpersonal conflicts” (Tapscott, 2017). So the are local policing that are framing the locals. These seems like the ones the President are talking about. Just similar stories even made the Police themselves in April 2017: “Tools like pangas, hammers and pick axes were provided to carry out their missions. The suspects also said that, the many youths were collected from parts of Kawempe Kalerwe Namugoona among others areas specifically to break into houses and once you were in the gang there was no way out. The IGP said criminals have used crime to be a business venture, and after the tension caused by these goons the police has taken action, and over 100 arrested and 50 appeared before court. Since then areas of Masaka are secure” (Uganda Police Force, 2017). So there apparently gangs, that are idle and unemployed as well. Certainly, there could be incidents where the police detain and arrest youths as a way of extorting them, since the payment for being a Police Officer in Uganda isn’t that splendid. This has been reported a lot of times and stories been told on the social media from all parts of Uganda.

The issue of alleged torture by the Police, was addressed by myself in the usual NRM/NRA way. We always combine educational methods (sensitization) and administrative methods (punishments, demotions, etc,). When these reports came up, I carried out analysis of torture and how it, actually, impedes successful investigations. That is a very powerful message because it addresses the whys and the why-nots of an issue. It addresses the “Policeman of the mind” rather than just the “Policeman of the body”. I saw some NGOs and allied persons pouring scorn on my methods and recommending only fascist methods of arrests and imprisonment without education. Could these “experts in-everything” tell us why the UPDF is able to operate in Somalia, Central African Republic, Congo, South Sudan, etc. without complaining? Is it because of high pay or fear of imprisonment? Do these “know-it-alls” remember that our Army is a volunteer Army? Do they know that one can make much more money in the private sector than in the army? it, actually, impedes successful investigations. That is a very powerful message because it addresses the whys and the why-nots of an issue. It addresses the “Policeman of the mind” rather than just the “Policeman of the body”. I saw some NGOs and allied persons pouring scorn on my methods and recommending only fascist methods of arrests and imprisonment without education. Could these “experts in-everything” tell us why the UPDF is able to operate in Somalia, Central African Republic, Congo, South Sudan, etc. without complaining? Is it because of high pay or fear of imprisonment? Do these “know-it-alls” remember that our Army is a volunteer Army? Do they know that one can make much more money in the private sector than in the army? Let the “know-it-alls” be informed that the UPDF does what it does because of conviction. Okunyonyora (to explain, to sensitize) has been the life and blood of Fronasa, of the NRA, of the UPDF. To end this point, be informed that Uganda is free of war and it will remain so and the spike in lawlessness is being defeated even before we fill all the gaps and will be totally defeated when the gaps are filled” (Musveni, 2017).

The NRM Way are clearly not a healthy one, even if this is reported through the wits of NGO’s who know’s to much and cannot be trusted. This is what the President himself said. Because the UPDF are such wiseguys, since they are there voluntarily, But here is some quick reports of the torture, that has been also rampant part of the security organizations at places like Nalufenya. So this has been a discussed theme, but show’s the part of how the State in Uganda uses the Police Force and also other organizations in oppressive behavior.

Like these two reports: 

In similar fashion, presently, there is the recruitment of persons, undergoing rigorous training for purported legal purposes. Under the auspices of the Uganda Police, ‘crime preventers’ are being recruited and trained, ofcially, to fght crime.14 However, a critical assessment of this group reveals that it is a band of civilian vigilantes recruited by the government aimed at intimidating or reducing support for the political opposition through illegal means, including torture” (Chapter Four, P: 13, 2016).

Various reports indicate the following as some of the patterns of torture in Uganda.

i) Being held incommunicado – where a person is arrested, detained and no access is allowed and no opportunity to communicate with other people.

ii) Extra-judicial executions – where suspects are executed without going through the due process of law and in most cases where they lack sufficient evidence on a case.

iii) Threats and intimidation through text messages and phone calls.

iv) Enforced disappearance – where a person is arrested in context of terrorism and treason suspects then disappears with trace and explanation.

v) Cases of rape by government and rebel forces during the conflict in Northern Uganda” (ACTV, P: 21, 2015).

This is just the sensitization and the NRM way of torture, that is well-known, so when the President speaks so found of his army. I have a hard time believing him or trusting his words. Seems more like promising words and praising of UPDF. Since it solves everything, the Operation Wealth Creation are even parts of the UPDF. That should make you think and also consider the places of the army. Since the army and police force aren’t only there for security reasons, but also for political reasons. That is why the President has to praise the army.

I think this is enough for now! Peace.

Reference:

African Centre for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture Victims (ACTV) – ‘THE SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS ON THE PREVALENCE OF TORTURE IN UGANDA’ (November 2015)

Chapter Four – ‘Free Expression and Assembly in Peril ahead of 2016 Polls’ (2016)

Tapscott, Rebecca – ‘The Government Has Long Hands: Institutionalized Arbitrariness and Local Security Initiatives in Northern Uganda’ (06.03.2017) link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/dech.12294/full

Uganda Police Force – ‘MASAKA, KAMPALA CRIMINALS GANGS HAVE CONFESSED’ (24.04.2017) link: http://www.upf.go.ug/masaka-kampala-criminals-gangs-confessed/

Yoweri Kaguta Museveni – ‘State of The Nation Address’ – Republic of Uganda, Kampala (06.06.2017)

USA: EPA Acting Deputy Adminstrator E-Mail – “Agency’s Workforce Shaping through Voluntary Early Retirement and Separation Incentive Payment Authorities (VERA/VSIP) – (01.06.2017)

Deliberately without thinking, Mwenda ‘spilled the beans’ of the NRM Police State!

It takes to two to tango, and it takes many hands to destroy a community, but it does not take many to usher in policies. Therefore, in the mix of Ugandan politics and with time the Police has added significance, as the IGP Kale Kayihura has many times told how to hold consultant meetings and even been teaching journalist how to do their jobs. This is in the effort to stifle the opposition and their mission to prove their viable candidates over the only man with a vision. Mr. President, His Excellency President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, he who Kayihura is so loyal too. So certainly, the Independent and Mwenda without thinking in his praise of the political police sessions and the use of the Police Force to either create an unlawful arrest, harass them and even obstruct political dissidents in their rallies. Let’s take the words of Mwenda himself for a minute.

“Hence, Kayihura’s most critical role has been to transform the police into an arm of the NRM. He secured for Museveni the loyalty of a major security institution that had been independent of NRM politics, hence reducing the role of the army in quelling protests. Kayihura did for Museveni what Central Bank governor, Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile did for IMF. Mutebile converted Museveni into a free market ideologue, thereby turning a Marxist revolutionary into an agent of imperialism” (…) “This masterstroke significantly shrunk the role of ISO and CMI in the soft game of consolidating Museveni’s power. Kayihura’s success here has come at the price of reduced emphasis on criminal investigations, hence negatively impacting the rate of its professional development in the force. However, overall Kayihura’s strategy has bolstered the position of the Uganda police politically, making it a powerful centre of power” (Mwenda, 2017).

The thing that strikes me and should strike anyone who cares about justice or free and fair policing. Is that he is saying it is a good thing, that the Police Force is embedded with the ruling regime. The development under IGP Kayihura is so that the Police get better control because they work directly for the NRM. Not that Police works for the Ugandans or after its supposed constitutions and laws, but for the mercy of the NRM. That is unique and shows how oppressive the mind of Mwenda has become. If not he has become subdued by the NRM and is now the grand apologist.

This sentence should boggle anyone with a sound mind: “Kayihura’s success here has come at the price of reduced emphasis on criminal investigations”, well Mr. Mwenda is not the Police Force supposed to catch criminals and do criminal investigations. Certainly, if it was an arm of a Political Party it would have other functions, but the UPF or Police Force are supposed to solve criminal activity and monitor that. They should not need to look and see, if Olara Otunnu are buying cassava, Norbert Mao feeding his chickens or be part of the convoy of Jennifer Musisi. That is just me though. Peace

Reference:

Mwenda, Andrew – ‘THE LAST WORD: Why Kayihura remains IGP’ (22.05.2017) link: https://www.independent.co.ug/last-word-kayihura-remains-igp/2/

MPS for Presidential Affairs FY 2017/18 proving massive spending on Mzee!

The Ministerial Policy Statement on the Presidential Affairs for the Financial Year of 2017/2018. These are clear of the priorities in the Republic. The Republic are putting as much funds into the State House, which is Ushs. 245 bn and under the Office of Prime Minister in the Development Expenditure Ushs. 245 bn. So there are certain aspects of government priority that isn’t healthy, as both the Office of the President and the State House get Ush. 300 bn in total. But take look at the beautiful priorities of the National Resistance Movement!

Office of the President:

In the FY 2017/18, the total proposed allocation to Office of the President is Ushs 54.268 bn, reflecting a 2.8% increment against the FY 2016/17 approved budget” (GoU, P: 3,2017).

The Committee noted that four (4) districts of Kagadi, Kakumiro, Omoro and Rubanda came in place in FY 2016/2017. In the FY 2017/2018, Namisindwa, Pakwach, Butebo, Rukiga, Kyotera and Bunyangabo will come into operation. The Committee however noted that additional cost implication of Ushs. 2.63 bn to facilitate 10 RDCs is not within the MTEF ceiling of Office of the President in FY 2017/18. The Committee further observed that facilitation for RDCs to conduct effective monitoring of Government programs is underfunded to the tune of Ushs. 3.0 bn” (GoU, P: 4, 2017)

Internal Security Organization:

The Committee expressed concern without substantial facilitation to Internal Security Organisation, terrorists can successfully accomplish their interests of terrorism and insurgency activities and other forms of organized crimes including politically motivated ones without detection. This has in most cases resulted substantial spending in managing such acts” (GoU, P: 9, 2017).

State House:

In the FY 2017/18, the total proposed allocation to Vote 002 is Ushs 245.567 bn, reflecting a 4.6% reduction against the FY 2016/17 approved budget” (GoU, P: 12, 2017).

External Security Organization:

In the FY 2017/18, the total proposed allocation to Vote 159 is Ushs 31.343 bn, reflecting an increment of 16.4°10 against the FY 2016/17 approved budget largely on account of a 10 % budget cut on consumptive items” (GoU, P: 18, 2017).

Office of the Prime Minister:

The Committee noted that the policy on refugees in Uganda is lacking. The Committee was informed that Office of the Prime Minister is in the process of conducting consultations with stakeholders to validate the Draft Refugee Policy. The Committee observes that in absence of the refugee policy, citizens are not aware of the right places and right engagement for refuges. The Committee undertook on-spot assessment of communities hosting refugees in Adjumani, Yumbe and Kiryandongo Districts and noted that in some instances, refugees have too much freedom and are more privileged at the expense of nationals” (GoU, P: 29, 2017).

10.3.5 Lack of sustainable interventions for Disaster Preparedness

The Committee notes that Office of the Prime Minister has not made any efforts in putting in place sustainable interventions for Disaster Preparedness. In its oversight role, the Committee undertook a field visit to Nakasongola District, which is among the drought prone areas in the Country. The Committee was informed that during peak drought season, about 30 heads of cattle died per day and that the drought season occurs year in year out. The most painful thing to note is that Nakasongola District is surrounded by Lake Kyoga” (GoU, P: 29, 2017).

11.1 VOTE 001 – OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT

Budget Item UShs. (Bn)

(i) Recurrent Expenditure 118,929,091,000

(ii) Development Expenditure 5,216,904,000” (GoU, P: 32, 2017).

11.3 VOTE 003 – OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER

Budget Item (i) Recurrent Expenditure Ushs. 64,786,412,000 bn.

(ii) Development Expenditure Ushs. 245,404,928,000 bn” (GoU, P: 32, 2017)

There are proof of enough lacking resources, lacking policies, even coming from the Office of the Prime Minister, that is the Ministry under Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, the trusted appointee that was sought to fill the shoes of Amama Mbabazi. Therefore, the government are clearly not planning or having funds to keep the refugees in Uganda. There assistance is coming from donors, the Multi-National Organization and Non-Governmental Organization who apply needed help to the fleeing refugees in Northern Uganda.

We can also see the similar use of Development expenditure under the Office of the Prime Minister and the State House, which is Ushs. 245 bn. This is proving the misuse of funds on the State House, as the development expenditure should be more important than expensive water and all other projects under the State House. As well, as keeping the upkeep of the President. Even as under the Office of the President are alone getting Ushs. 118 bn. Therefore, the whole Presidential Affairs are really not a cheap ride for the Financial Year of 2017/2018.

The are really lot of spending on the President and Prime Minister’s portfolios, but still missing key policies to implement the spending. That is maybe why the State House needed supplementary budget before even getting the vote of the Ministerial Statement. If that isn’t bad planning or even misuse of State Reserves, than who knows! Peace.

Reference:

Government of Uganda (GoU)- ‘SUMMARY REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON PRESIDENTIAL AFFAIRS ON THE MINISTERIAL POLICY STATEMENTS FOR FY 2017/18’ (May 2017)

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