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Archive for the tag “Post-Independence”

Opposition Chief Whip Ssemujju provoking Besigye supporters just like Mwenda!

There are just some days, the true colors of some people appear, the real reason and the double-edged sword comes into play. There are times when the grandeur of support dwindles away like a dot-com bubble. It is this time and this sort of attacks within own party shouldn’t exist. Apparently it do, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), has been a party where the different leaders has discussed matters and followed protocol. Also, ever since Reform Agenda of early 2000s the leadership has changed and other deserters from National Resistance Movement has come into the fold.

It has been the strongest opposition party because of how the internal party organization has been built, the trust between the aides of leaders and the members. This has been an element of a party structure that has been done with grass-root work and steady campaigning. The proof of being different and also wanting a possible peaceful change from the Museveni era. That has not happen, because of the oppression and the constant rigging. Also, the control of the army. Therefore, you can wonder why Besigye who was part of the foundation and creator of FDC are no under-fire from his own. That also sounding like Mwenda, who has become the giant commentator who really despises him. I wouldn’t expect this sort of words form someone in the FDC NEC, but everything is allowed in politics, I guess.

Ibrahim Nganda Ssemujju on the 16th August 2017:

That is how many FDCs, including sophisticated ones like Musumba, viewed anyone who dared contest against Besigye. This is because Besigye is the most charismatic and selfless leader that the FDC either has inherited or produced. He is nearly more popular than the party. Contesting against him is almost criminal, punishable by isolation and other social boycotts. Yet that is exactly what motivated Muntu. I remember interviewing him while still working with The Observer and he feared FDC was making the same mistake senior leaders in the NRM made – not contesting against Museveni. Today, we still have people in FDC who think Col Besigye’s word is law and opposing it is a crime. Unfortunately, some of them are senior leaders. When you win over state power with that sort of mentality, I am sure you will be another criminal gang. Because Besigye’s mobilization and presidential campaign catchword was ‘defiance’, even those who have never chased a caterpillar in their lives are dismissing the rest of the party members as being “compliant”. Therefore, to them, this campaign for the FDC presidency is between defiance and compliance. The truth of the matter is that this campaign is between blind loyalists and those opposed to the idea” (Ssemujju, 2017).

Andrew Mwenda on the 7th January 2017:

Dr. Kizza Besigye is totally convinced that he has a large number of extremely loyal supporters armed with fanatical zeal to die for him. Besigye supporters are equally convinced that they have a leader willing to die for their cause. Both sides are involved in a game of deceit and deception and here is how. Besigye die hards are either cowards or hypocrites or both. While they make the loudest noise on how they are ready to die for him, they have done nothing (except for insulting critics on social media) to prove they are worthy of their claims. Each time Besigye goes to town, Kale Kayihura sends only eight (8) police men who pick Besigye like chicken, bundle him over a pickup truck and take him to police as these “ready-die-for-our-man” fanatics watch helplessly. For many months after the elections in February 2016, Kayihura kept a small police contingent at Besigye’s home of not more than 20 police officers. This “large mass” of “ready-to-die-for-our-man” people couldn’t pass this small poorly equipped force to rescue their hero. What kind of loyalty is this? Besigye is deluded to believe in his fanatics” (Andrew Mwenda, 07.01.2017).

Why did I take a Facebook article from Mwenda and this week attack piece from Ssemujju, it is because they use same sort of form to attack Besigye. It is special and unique. I never thought Ssemujju would use the same of tricks of the trade to address greatest Museveni nemesis Besigye. This is just weird. Because, Ssemujju has often been a man of reason, a man of sound judgment, but this time, I beg to differ.

Mwenda wrote this: “Dr. Kizza Besigye is totally convinced that he has a large number of extremely loyal supporters armed with fanatical zeal to die for him. Besigye supporters are equally convinced that they have a leader willing to die for their cause”. We can easily detect that anyone supporting Besigye has to be a die-hard supporter and dying for his cause. Because the support of Besigye has to be this hard, then seeing Ssemujju: “Today, we still have people in FDC who think Col Besigye’s word is law and opposing it is a crime. Unfortunately, some of them are senior leaders. When you win over state power with that sort of mentality, I am sure you will be another criminal gang. Because Besigye’s mobilization and presidential campaign catchword was ‘defiance’, even those who have never chased a caterpillar in their lives are dismissing the rest of the party members as being “compliant””. You can see that Ssemujju also calls Besigye radicals, as it is criminal not supporting him inside the FDC. That is the coded language used for, that the ones standing against Besigye is a “criminal gang”. This sort of addressing it, shows how he tries to make the decisions of Besigye into attack on the FDC Organization. That since Besigye has and wanted to be different than the NRM and the government itself. Since, if they gave way to the government, then there was no difference. If Besigye supporters really did boycott and stopped being part of state, the FDC would be legitimate opposition party. What is worrying is how he uses the same sort of words to address Besigye.

I would not expect that Ssemujju would write in a manner of Mwenda, but he did. It is right, Besigye is not perfect, but he has given way to other parts of the party, that has opened windows of more than just “hard-liners”. If it wasn’t so, the FDC NEC wouldn’t have the power and the ability to become a Shadow Government with Shadow Cabinet. Something Gen. Mugisha Muntu and Party President was voting for, while Besigye was in house-arrest and detained. If Ssemujju feared the prison and the oppression to the levels of Besigye, he might have turned a bit more radical himself. But safety of Parliament salaries and remuneration must surely put the ideology on the side.

It is a sad sight seeing Ssemujju turning this way, instead of actually being honest, being up-front for why he uses Besigye, who is not standing for the FDC Presidency and that Gen. Muntu is also an incumbent. Another “No-Change”. Since Gen. Muntu has been the Party President since 2012 after Besigye stepped down after being elected in 2005. So it is not like Besigye acts like he is bigger than FDC. That is lie, if it was so he would be like Museveni who is the Party President and the President of the Republic. Its a big difference there. So the rants against Besigye and his supporters should be futile. If not it is the Muntu fraction that fears the Besigye supporters will be behind his aide Byamugisha.

But it is with sadness, that a bright mind like Ssemujju are using rhetoric and tricks of Mwenda’s playbook. Sorry brother, you should know better and should also be wiser. You are FDC leader, not a NRM Stooge, right? You give respect to Besigye, but same time slams him. What are you trying to say, only the ones supporting Muntu and his side of the Party are the ones justified? Since Besigye garn different kind of support, but you will quickly embrace the man, when you need votes?

Is that your game as well, we have seen similar acts of late, when the chips are down the people leave the fold, but when the tide is rising the people come running back. Peace.

Reference:

Ssemujju, Ibrahim Nganda – ‘Why I am for Gen Muntu this time’ (16.08.2017) link: http://observer.ug/viewpoint/54408-why-i-am-for-gen-muntu-this-time.html

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A look into how little the Wakiso Vote mattered to President Museveni in General Election 2016!

You would think on a day like this as the final rallies in Kyadondo East, which is part of Wakiso District, that the National Resistance Movement and the Police Force would bring peace. But they didn’t, they created chaos and moved independent candidates, as well as detaining them for interfering in their campaign rallies. This is the proof of vicious ruling regime and how the basic freedoms are limited for others, than the NRM elite and the President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, rallying for his candidate in the district. But it seems strange that he cares, since with all due respect. He didn’t care about their votes in the General Election of 2016, as these areas have been a stronghold for opposition party Forum for Democratic Change and because Dr. Kizza Besigye reside in Kasangati, which is a vital part of Kyadondo East.

In Kampala and its adjacent districts, the Group observed voting delayed by as much as two to four hours and subsequently observed polling locations where voting was delayed by as much as six to nine hours. Anecdotally, in Kampala, there were several polling stations located within minutes of the premises of the Electoral Commission that did not receive voting materials on time” (…) “The voting hours were subsequently extended in Kampala. However, it appeared that this information was not extensively communicated, as voters and polling officials appeared confused and uncertain of the process. The EC announced that polling would continue in a number of constituencies in Wakiso and Kampala districts the following day. Turnout, however, was low on the second day – which was a working day – and it is possible that many potential voters decided not to attempt to vote, after having waited for many hours the previous day”(Commonwealth, P: 13-14, 2016).

Furthermore, eight teams across the country reported that polling stations could not open before 10 AM. A number of polling stations, notably in Kampala and Wakiso, had not opened within six hours. Significant delays and a lack of effective communication by the EC fuelled frustration and tensions among voters, with EU EOM observers and media reporting about large crowds protesting against being deprived of their right to cast the ballot. In at least four cases, the police used teargas to disperse voters at polling stations. Only shortly before the official closing of the polling stations at 4 PM did the EC chairman announce the three-hour extension of voting in Kampala and Wakiso district. This was poorly communicated to the polling staff in affected areas, and EU EOM observers reported polling stations being closed at first and only after some hesitation did the polling staff improvise and try to re-open voting sites” (EU, P: 29-30, 2016).

The EC failed to communicate and declare final results of presidential and parliamentary elections in a comprehensive, timely and transparent manner. The announcements of the presidential election’s preliminary results started while voting was still ongoing in parts of Kampala and Wakiso. The final results were declared within the legally binding 48-hour deadline, but they did not contain data from seven per cent of all polling stations, and therefore excluded some 675,000 votes cast. The EC delayed the publication of the final results broken down by polling station till 25 February and uploaded them on its website in a manner that did not allow for easy access or use. The EC also did not publish the scanned copies of the DRFs online although they were readily available in electronic format, thus further reducing voters’ access to information of public interest and in contravention of the principles outlined in the ICCPR” (EU, P: 3-4, 2016).

The 2016 Elections witnessed a number of violations of the right to vote, most notably due to late delivery of materials in Kampala and Wakiso districts, described by the Supreme Court as evidence of incompetence and gross inefficiency by the electoral management body. A number of potential voters we’re disenfranchised during the voting exercise, in particular persons who turned 18 between May 2015 and February 2016, detainees, including some pre-trial dententions and Ugandans in the diaspora” (FHRI, P: 25, 2016)

So both, the Commonwealth report, FHRI report and the European Union Observer Group saw the same vast indifference for the votes and voter turnout in Wakiso, the same was seen in capital, but that isn’t where the By-Election is happening now. This proves the lack of care and common sense as President Museveni drives Tuk-Tuk and talk of importance of electing people who serves him. He might say he wants to be challenged in Parliament, but everyone knows that is a lie. Therefore, he detained Bobi Wine earlier in the day and moved him to Gyaza town, so his presence could be in Kasangati and at Szasa Grounds. Not like he could be more ruthless, but surely he would rig these election like he did in 2016. Nothing new there, if the turnout would be meager and lack-lusting that would hurt the old-man. Since he cannot show 90-100% turnout, when there would be no lines of people showing up. Harder to rig just a bunch of paper compared to buck-load, which can be pre-ticket into ballot boxes and look legit. That is how they do, especially under President Museveni. The man who made himself a revolutionary by claiming UPC rigging in 1980s. Such a class-act the President, becoming worse than the ones he toppled! Peace.

Reference:

Commonwealth – ‘Report of the Commonwealth Observer Group Uganda General Elections – 18 February 2016’ (18.02.2016)

COMESA – ‘COMESA ELECTION OBSERVER MISSION TO THE 18 FEBRUARY 2016 GENERAL ELECTIONS IN THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA’

EU – ‘Final Report – Uganda Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Council Elections 18 February 2016’ (April 2016)

Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI) – ‘COMESA ELECTION OBSERVER MISSION TO THE 18 FEBRUARY 2016 GENERAL ELECTIONS IN THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA’ (June 2016)

Kyadondo East By-Election: EC Letter to Apollo Kantinti – “Re: Supplementary Campaign Programme” (19.06.2017)

Kyadondo By-Election: Chaos as the President intervenes in the election!


Bobi Wine: “In order not to cause a presidential embarrassment, we have agreed to hold our rally in Gayaza” (at Kiira Road Police Station after release, 27.06.2017),

Today is the final days of campaigns for the candidates of the Kyadondo By-Election in Wakiso District on the outskirts of Kampala. There is three main candidates as the DP Candidate pulled out in support of the FDC Apollo Kantinti, the ones previous election bid who got canceled by the courts. Therefore, he is running again to win his seat back. While the independent candidate Robert Kyagukanyi aka Bobi Wine, was blocked today from having his final rally at Szasa Grounds in Kasangati, because of Police interference his final rally will be in Gayaza town.

This proves the ability of the Police Force to threat the opposition candidates in favor of the ruling regime, as President Museveni comes to rally for the NRM Candidate Sitenda Ssebalu, who has buses upon buses with voter-tourism sponsored by the party. Because of the hesitation and importance of this election, they had to detain without charges the Independent Candidate Kyagukanyi at Kiira roads, until he found another venue for his final rally. President Museveni doesn’t like to pushed or dishonored, as the prospects of slap in-the-face of a new politician wasn’t in the cards.

So when they released after a done deal at the Kiira Police Station, Bobi Wine went-on to another venue, than the planned one in Kasangati, but has instead to be in Gayaza town. Proves the powers of intimidation and control of the NRM in favor of Sitenda Ssebalu and President Museveni. This is a-typical and Modus Operandi of the NRM regime. The ironies of it all, was that before President Museveni put his shovel into the By-Election, the Independent had followed procedure and warned about his campaign rally in Kasangati. This proves there is two classes of political classes in Uganda. Yet, again by the way!

Bobi Wine has been arrested. He was meant to campaign in Kyadondo but police blocked him from accessing the grounds” (NTV Uganda, 27.06.2017).

As the final rallies are on, the Police presence is intense and at all venues. The Police are deployed at all venues to intimidate and silence opposition. There are many going from Kasangati to Gyaza as the rally shifted that way. Since the President Museveni and Ssebalu rally are held in Kasangati. Police has even interfered on the roads around Kasangati to get taxis to ferry people to the NRM rally. They really need their propaganda shots and the pride of the sensitized crowds in their favor. Since the NRM cannot win in a free and fair fight.

FDC Candidate was acting swift on arrest of Bobi Wine, stopped his rallying, went to Kiira Road and demanded the release of his competition. Apollo Kantinti didn’t do this because he had too, but proved his stance of vigilance as he as opposition has seen the cost of being so. Just by trying to figure out a way of making the NRM look better or alike it competitor.

The Communication Officer of NRM Rogers Mulindwa informed the public with this:

NRM wishes to inform its supporters in Kyadondo East Constituency and the public at large that its Candidate Hon Sitenda Sebalu has this Tuesday afternoon been arrested by police on unclear circumstances. He was arrested together with the district NRM chairperson Hajji Abdu Kiyimba from Wampeewo playground, a second venue for today’s rallies. Police could not tell the motive behind this act but the party continues to seek a clear explanation. The venue was also later invaded by the FDC supporters rendering it impossible for our rally to take place. As an exemplary political party, we have therefore taken a decision to shift our rally to Sir Appolo Kaggwa Church of Uganda in order to avoid causing nasty scenes.We call upon our party members to remain calm and focus on the victory within our sight” (Mulindwa, 27.06.2017).

Pardon me, NRM, but this seems staged, since you arrest the Independent Candidate for campaigning in your area and than blaming FDC for having their campaign rally. This is all knowledge the Electoral Commission should have sanction on behalf of the candidates and accepted previous of the Election Road Map for the By-Election. Therefore, I am buying that the Police arrested Independent Candidate Bobi Wine for his rally in Kasangati, as President Museveni weighed in his support in the election, but that Sebalu suddenly behind bars. Seems more like play for the gallery. There is also reports that the lack of crowds around the NRM, they have not only ferried people from afar, but also closed near-by schools so the students has to attend the rallies of their candidate. A real disgrace of the NRM.

While the FDC leadership stands strong on their final rally for Apollo Kantinti where Ingrid Turinawe, Mugisha Muntu and Kizza Besigye shows up at their rally in Wampeewo. So the solidarity for their candidate is there. While Museveni needed the Police Force to clear Bobi Wine away from the venue and have control of the area, because he knew he doesn’t have the natural crowd support anymore. There are also reports of clashes in Wampeewo, as the NRM and FDC are both campaigning on the site. The FDC supporters even tell the NRM to leave the official grounds as it’s supposed to be FDC Official rally site. Certainly, the Electoral Commission has done something wrong, since both parties says there rallies are being hold there. Seems like the NRM will detain some FDC leaders and FDC supporters today, so they can hold their voter-tourism rally there. Since they have already pushed Bobi Wine to Gayaza town. Even if NRM Communication call them exemplary party, they should explain that to Bobi Wine’s supporters and barred rally, especially when all news are about the Wampeewo Play Ground rally for NRM, as the FDC are still already there. It wasn’t an invasion, they we’re already there! 

So if there will be more detained opposition leaders, I wouldn’t be shocked, as this the NRM M.O. and that is what they do. Especially, since the President Museveni and his candidate for the district will arrive in the area and doesn’t want to have fair competition, certainly he will use the Police Force to get rid of the FDC in the area. Even if the FDC has followed protocol, as the Bobi Wine candidature also did in Kasangati earlier in the day. Peace.

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

History repeats itself: King Mutesa II and the KY traded his inheritance with Milton Obote; does his son, Hon. Akena sell the same inheritance of the UPC, when he goes into government with Museveni and his NRM?

Betty Amongi Jimmy Akena Statehouse 21.06.2016

“I can confirm that we are in talks whereby the core UPC minimum agenda that addresses key issues like health, education and agriculture will guide all engagements over the next 5 years. As UPC we firmly believe in the need for a peaceful transition cannot exclude Museveni, and therefore any meaningful transition cannot exclude him and NRM from this transition,” says James Akena

Just as mid-November 2015, there was speculation of a convenient marriage between National Resistance Movement and the Uganda People’s Congress, during the Campaign before the General Election of 2016 and as a preparation before the 10th Parliament. The Parties have stalled before as the founder and first Prime Minister Milton Obote, didn’t have many kind words for now President Museveni, as his son James Akena, the now President of UPC have traded for brown envelopes of shillings and longevity. He was tired of running in the wilderness, while the NRM continue to have the finger in every pocket and he wanted to be able to get something extra. So as Mid-June 2016 and the new Cabinet, even UPC MPs was elected into the 81 large Cabinet as a token of the Memorandum of Understanding between Akena and Museveni. Something Obote back in the day would have slapped.

Otunnu

This is what Dr. Olara Otunnu has said about the marriage recently:

“They are his weapons of choice to destabilise UPC” (…) ”This is not an alliance between UPC and President Museveni but an alliance between masqueraders Jimmy Akena, Betty Amongi and Museveni” (…) “It is inconceivable that UPC would go to bed with President Museveni. It hasn’t happened and it will not happen. Never” (Atukunda, 2016).

Planned cooperation since 2011, apparently:
“President Yoweri Museveni on Wednesday this week held a meeting with NRM leaders from Lango sub region who were aggrieved with the appointment of 2 UPC members in the new cabinet, leaving out party members who sacrifice a lot for the ruling party. The President told the group: “I know you honourable are wondering why I picked some people out of the family (NRM) to the cabinet. I am only sorry that I did not tell you people earlier, but I have been in clandestine relationship with them (UPC) since 2011,” Museveni told the NRM members according to sources who attended the meeting” (Sewakilyanga, 2016).

Akena M7

So with this in mind, that Dr. Olara Otunnu has talked long time about Museveni moles in the UPC Party and with the knowledge of the UPC-NRM alliance. There are certainly that the UPC are no on the short side of the stick, as they are not the ruling party as they once we’re when father of James Akena was running the country under the UPC-Banner after independence and traded for loyal support Baganda together with the UPC-KY marriage. This was in the 1960s, but the way the party folded and lost relevance, as the resurrected Conservative Party, have never been able to take the place in the political spectrum as the Kabaka Yekka once had, as Dr. Milton Obote abolished the kingdom and also lost his place Prime Minister, before the Coup d’état against him as well, that ushers in the Dictator Idi Amin. That also opens for the surge and military operations together with Tanzanian troops to invade and set in place for a second term for President Obote. That also gives now President Museveni, a place in his cabinet, before he goes to the bush to bring down Obote. So with all the blood and tears, it is weird that the man that had the ability to bring down the father. The man who got rid of the father and run the country, are now collaborating with peaceful with his son James “Jimmy” Akena who runs his father’s party and from his father’s foundation, Milton Obote Foundation and headquarter in Uganda House.

Obote Mutesa II

With this quick recap of history and neglect, it is just weird that UPC who swallowed KY with ease and tried to silence the Central Kingdom of Uganda, Baganda and Mengo circuit of Kampala, still they are now forging a similar trade, as a minor agreement with NRM for their own goodwill, to be a loyal partner with NRM instead of working on their own.

So with all of this in mind, let us take a look at the 1960s struggle between convenient marriage then between Kabaka Yekka and the Uganda People’s Congress, then between the King Mutesa II and Dr. Milton Obote as they we’re going together in the first election to gain traction in the newly made Parliament and also force way for the first PM Obote, whom later would force the Baganda and king in Exile, as he wanted to centralize all power in the Executive and not have to tangle with royals or kingdoms, as he abolished it. But before that and while in the beginning, he had a cordial agreement who both parties earned on and gain majority in Parliament, as they could get a grander place then the Democratic Party of the day. Take a look!

KY Poster 1960s

First Report on the KY-UPC Alliance:

“According to the terms of the KY-UPC alliance, UPC leader Milton Obote became Uganda’s first post-independence Prime Minister in a coalition government with KY, while the Kabaka of Buganda, Mutesa II, was named Uganda’s ceremonial president by constitutional amendment in 1963.25 From independence in October 1962 to June 1966, however, the UPC-KY alliance disintegrated as the UPC expanded and aggressively centralized the powers of the federal government, showing little sympathy for Baganda nationalism or the rights of Uganda’s kingdom governments. Indeed, the UPC repeatedly attacked KY as a “tribal” party that was unable to meet the nation-building challenges that Uganda faced after independence” (Scott, 2006).

Report from March 1962:

“Buganda and its king, the Kabaka, have been especially reluctant to cooperate with the rest of the country in its evolution towards a more centralized form of government. On the last day of 1960 it went so far as to declare its independence from the rest of Uganda” (…)”The UPC on the other hand is determined  to get into power, and many of their political maneuvers have a reckless flavour to them. Obote is unkindly reported to be willing to sell his soul to become the first Prime Minister of Independent Uganda. Some observers feel that his compromise with the Kabaka was just that. Buganda has quite a history of broken agreements, and the big question today is how far they will honour their word to support the UPC. The Kabaka, affectionately known around here as King Freddie, is the dominant figure in Buganda. A shrewd politician, he has a remarkable ability, no doubt inherited from his illustrious forbears, of playing one side off against each other (and often winning)” (…)”The Buganda-UPC coalition had fielded a new but all but unbeatable party calling itself Kabaka Yekka (Kabaka Only). There were high spirits in the UPC Camp, while the DP was exhibiting a stiff upper lip. Both sides claimed to be able to form for a national government even if they got less than half of the seats in the Lukiko” (Wright, 1962)

“In forty-eight hours the outcome was clear. As one newspaper summarized it:

The Result as always in Buganda when the Kingdom’s status and identity seems to be threatened, was a solid closing of the ranks and yet another demonstration that, as far as the vast mass of Buganda are concerned, nationalism ends at the kingdom boundaries” (…) “soon after we talked to Basil Bataringaya, the DP’s able Secretary-General who was in charge of the campaign” (…) “He was by no means pessimistic, however, about the DP’s future. He felt it had picked up much ground outside of Buganda at the expense of the UPC since last election. He was also sure that UPC’s marriage of convenience with Kabaka Yekka would work to its disadvantage outside Buganda where most tribesmen are intensely suspicious of the Baganda” (Wright, 1962).

PM-Obote-swear-in-on-indepedence-day-9-Oct-1962-

This is what Mrs. Winklmaier wrote on the 6th May of 1962:

“The Election results turned out as we expected. 21 seats of the National Assembly go to Buganda. They are elected indirectly through the Lukiko (Buganda Government) That means “Kabaka Yekka” (Nur der Kabaka) The other 61 seats are elected through the people outside of Buganda in a secret election. 37 seats went to UPC (Uganda Peoples Congress) and 24 seats to DP (Democratic Party). The Democratic Party is made up of the last Government. Then there are still 9 more seats, which are elected by the new Government. UPC is more or less a communist party. I cannot understand that UPC and Kabaka Yekka went together in a coalition. I don’t think that the Bugandas are aware of the consequences yet. [ The names of these two parties alone made it clear to me, that they cannot work together.] We are acquainted with both, our new Prime Minister, Mr. Milton Obote, as well as the former DP Prime Minister, Mr. Benedicto Kiwanuka. We are also acquainted with other Ministers of the New Government. One certainly cannot say that these are incompetent people – quite to the contrary. Moskau has a very good hand and in fact understands to fish for the best” (Winklmaier, 2008).

I think that says enough and gives you’re ideas on my perspective on the matter and also see the similarties, between KY and UPC of back then and today, today it is UPC who is ones that is trading it all for the little coins in NRM cabinet, while KY traded their legitimacy together with the ambitious Obote to control the new Parliament and Cabinet, as the independent country and new government loomed the nation. Today the UPC is one of the old parties, still their weakness is so obvious as the internal conflict between Otunnu-UPC and Akena-UPC continues, while the UPC now is really embedded, as proven with the ministerial position to two party cadets, the wife of Akena and also another family member of the Obote clan in the Cabinet.

Akena Otunnu

Just the proof the issues with the alliance, not only Otunnu who has issues with it, there are more men who disagree with Hon. Akena trade off. Peter Walubiri says this: “Museveni gave Akena money and soldiers and they hijacked the electoral process. He wants to take over our party but he will not succeed,” (…) “We [UPC] have not got any ministers, people can leave the party anytime they want and those too have left. We are going to expel them” (…) “Everyone supporting Akena is no longer UPC, but Movement. Those that want to eat are the ones going to Museveni” (…) “Justice Musota decided that Otunnu is still president until fresh elections are held, Akena has never been UPC president. They hijacked the electoral process” (Mayemba, 2016).

So the convenient marriage between the parties might end up with fractioned party, even more fractioned and create more fracas between Otunnu, Akena and the ones that despise the agreement made between NRM-UPC. As there was surely some who disagreed back in the day with UPC-KY agreement, though with the time, their voices have been silent or haven’t surfaced. the UPC are surely only helping Museveni and not their own cause, one can wonder how much the trade for the agreement and what cost it has for Museveni, as he get his former nemesis son James Akena on his side, with ding-ling little coins and a ministerial position, but not any real power. While the UPC continues to wrangle and in-fighting that even the agreement creates more fire, and the hut is on fire, and the whole village sees it. Akena can claim there are no fire in the hut, but the villagers see it and feels the smoke in their lungs. With this in mind, the Akena-UPC are no marginalize the UPC even more, even if he thinks he is getting a good deal, he is not. The only one earning on it is Museveni, as he get UPC embedded and under his control, while he gives away to measly cabinet position. That is for him, nothing and also scrap-metal as they are meagre seats and not pivotal in government as it is not Education, Defence or Foreign Affairs, but Fisheries and other smaller ministries that doesn’t have power or reach to create havoc. Peace.

Reference:

Atukunda, Rogers – ‘POLITICS Otunnu calls Amongi a mole, Akena fights Bbosa’ (20.06.2016) link: http://www.theinsider.ug/otunnu-calls-amongi-a-mole-akena-fights-bbosa/

Mayemba, Abubaker – ‘We shall expel Akena group for joining Museveni – Walubiri’ (20.06.2016) link: http://www.observer.ug/news-headlines/44903-we-shall-expel-akena-group-for-joining-museveni-walubiri

Sewakilyanga, Ivan – ‘I started working with Obote’s son in 2011 Museveni (17.06.2016) link: http://mycampusjuice.com/2016/06/17/i-started-working-with-obotes-son-in-2011-museveni/

Scott, James Peter – ‘Re-examining Uganda’s 1966 Crisis: The Uganda People’s Congress and the Congo Rebellion’ (2006) – University of Victoria, Canada

Winklmaier, Sonja – ‘Letters From Sonja: The Unlikely UPC – Kabaka Yekka Union’ (21.05.2008) link: http://www.ugpulse.com/people/letters-from-sonja-the-unlikely-upc-kabaka-yekka-union/405/ug.aspx

Wright, Ian Michael – Received letter 10.03.1962: Letter to Nolte, Richard H. – ‘Politics in Uganda I: The hoe and The Chair’ (10.03.1962) – Institute of Current World Affairs (ICWA), New York, USA

Uganda People’s Defense Force training with help of US Marines (Youtube-Clip)

“Uganda People’s Defense Force soldiers conducted explosive breaching and demolition familiarization range training with help of US Marines. The Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF), previously the National Resistance Army, is the armed forces of Uganda. From 2007 to 2011, the International Institute for Strategic Studies has estimated the UPDF has a total strength of 40,000–45,000, and consists of Land Forces and an Air Wing.[5]” (…)”After Uganda achieved independence in October 1962, British officers retained most high-level military commands. Ugandans in the rank and file claimed this policy blocked promotions and kept their salaries disproportionately low. These complaints eventually destabilized the armed forces, already weakened by ethnic divisions. Each post-independence regime expanded the size of the army, usually by recruiting from among people of one region or ethnic group, and each government employed military force to subdue political unrest” (Military Zone, 2016).

“2016 may be worst elections in our history” – Written by Ibrahim Nganda Ssemujju

Kampala 16.11.15 UPF 2

On Sunday afternoon, a police patrol pickup truck full of officers drove to the residence of Kampala Lord Mayor Ssalongo Erias Lukwago to deliver some important information.This information was a letter from the Electoral Commission officially notifying Lukwago of the postponement of Kampala mayoral nominations earlier set for Monday November 16 and Tuesday November 17.Lukwago, being a smart lawyer that he is, asked the officer in charge of Old Kampala police station, Emmanuel Ochamringa, why it was him (police) and not an EC official serving him this letter.Ochamringa instead pleaded with the lord mayor to sign a delivery note so he could fulfill a command given to him by his superior. When Lukwago refused to sign, Ochamringa demanded that he surrenders the letter. I will spare you the rest of the story and go to the gist of today’s column, which is the credibility of the 2016 general elections.
I have argued in an earlier column that Gen Kale Kayihura has taken over the electoral process. There cannot be a better illustration than the one above. Not only was a letter calling off nominations for Kampala mayorship authored and delivered on a Sunday, but it was being transported by a police patrol pickup truck full of policemen.
Probably this letter was authored at the police headquarters or Kayihura simply summoned Electoral Commission chairman Badru Kiggundu from his weekend. Total connivance! Obviously this letter was supposed to be used as a tool the following day to stop Lukwago from proceeding to the Electoral Commission offices for nomination. And this is the game the Electoral Commission of Prof Kiggundu has been playing throughout.
The letter to Lukwago was signed by Kampala’s returning officer Charles Ntege, who quoted another letter signed by EC secretary Sam Rwakoojo. So, it is Rwakoojo who writes to Ntege and Ntege writes to Lukwago. Although delivered on Sunday (November 15), Rwakoojo’s letter was dated November 12 while that of Ntege was dated November 13. And these games started with Amama Mbabazi. When Mbabazi wanted to mobilize support for his impending candidature, Kayihura ordered him to seek clearance from NRM. That was partly before he chose to stand as an independent.

Kampala 16.11.15 UPF
In fact Kayihura organized a meeting attended by NRM electoral commission chairman Tanga Odoi and Attorney General Fred Ruhindi in which they agreed to block Mbabazi until he was cleared by NRM. When Mbabazi chose to go independent, Kayihura then connived with the Electoral Commission to stop him. Prof Kiggundu had at first cleared Mbabazi but made a U-turn and stopped him.The story of the FDC Rukungiri trip that was terminated at Kanyaryeru is another example. I am sure you still remember how police nearly killed us before it undressed our party secretary for environment. I have quoted all these examples to emphasize a point Col Dr Kizza Besigye has been making. We are not involved in an election. We are, in fact, in a struggle to rescue the state.
If anyone was in doubt, Prof Kiggundu has assured you. The professors at Makerere University played a pivotal role in the struggle for independence and almost dominated the post-independence politics. With the likes of Kiggundu in place, I think I won’t encourage my children to study a third degree. That professor, with a straight face, announced that he didn’t have regulations to guide mayoral nominations just last week. He is the same man that organized the same nominations and elections in 2011. He now could not organize them and was waiting for guidance from Kampala minister Frank Tumwebaze!
And a few days later, the same Kiggundu is announcing that nominations can go ahead because he has held a consultative meeting with Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda and Attorney General Ruhindi. And guess who else was in the meeting? It is singer and mayoral aspirant Dan Kazibwe, aka Ragga Dee, and obviously Jennifer Musisi.
With due respect to Ragga Dee, I think a consultative meeting between a professor and him to discuss regulations can only explain how low we have sunk as a country.

And that is why at our rallies as FDC, we are preaching three points: rescue the state, transform the country and then move to equitable development.

But most importantly, almost all of us involved in the electoral exercise are left with no option but to organize teams that will force Kiggundu to announce us winners.
I have a feeling that if Kayihura doesn’t like you; you may not be announced winner.

Written by Ibrahim Nganda Ssemujju

The author is Kyadondo East MP.

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