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Archive for the tag “President Milton Obote”

Museveni acts more and more like Obote II: A Bush-War Wasted! Part II

As the time is going and the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni are just acting like the predecessors. This is making the supposed Bush-War in the 1980s pointless. As the President promised changes from the ones ruling before him. The NRM was supposed to be the golden age and greatness of the Republic. He come with pledges of respecting the peasants and create a democracy, instead it is the same type of tyranny of the past. There is now no difference between Museveni and Obote II. These regimes are acting the same and similar towards the opposition and media. Even American Journalists got two nights detained in the 1980s. Now the same is happening to local journalists in and around the Arua By-Election.

What I will now show, two stories or reports from the Obote II regime. Which shows similar resembles with today. All of the actions of the current day towards the Members of Parliament, are like of the previous President, these being Mubarak Munyagwa, Robert Kyagulanyi, Francis Zaake, Kassiano Wadri, Gerald Karuhanga and Paul Mwiru. All of these are now in the dire straits, they are in the midst of oppression, torture and detention, either with at Military Barracks or unknown locations. Therefore, there are two many similarities with Obote.

AI Report 1983:

According to Amnesty International’s information, most people arrested in 1981 on grounds of national security, were arrested by the army. Same arrests appear to have been arbitrary or indiscriminate, but the majority were apparently directed at particular individuals. Most people arrested by the army were taken to army barracks and detained there, contrary to the law. Many were held for weeks or months. In very few cases were people known to have been transferred without delay to police custody. Detentions in military barracks were not recorded for police or legal purposes, and were not officially acknowledged. Such detainees had no legal protection in practice and the courts had no effective jurisdiction over them. In time, many of the detainees who survived were released or transferred to police custody, but it appears that torture was systematic, and many of those in military custody “disappeared” or were known to have died, particularly at Makindye and Kireka barrack” (Amnesty – ‘Memorandum to the Government of Uganda on Anmnesty International mission to Uganda in January 1982 and further exchanges between the government and Amnesty International’ April 1983)

One Story:

Those suspected of supporting the guerrillas were viciously hounded. Mr Mukasa’s wife was beheaded by government soldiers in 1981 and his brother was shot dead. After two years in exile near London, Mr Mukasa returned to Uganda only to be arrested by Obote’s security service which mistook him – Mr Mukasa says – for Godfrey Binaisa who had been president for a short period between Amin and Obote. Mr Mukasa still bears scars from the torture sessions in the Nile Hotel. His interrogators dripped burning plastic down his right leg to make him talk. Not surprisingly, he has not been back to the hotel since. “The Nile Hotel was a slaughterhouse”, I was later told by Brigadier Jim Muhwezi who, as head of internal security, now has an office in the adjacent conference centre. “A number of my friends were interned and died there. It’s hard to believe the beautiful gardens were once littered with bodies.”” (David Orr – ‘KAMPALA DAYS; Ghosts that lurk in shadows of hotel’s gory past’ 20.05.1996 link: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/kampala-days-ghosts-that-lurk-in-shadows-of-hotels-gory-past-1348320.html).

As we see the similarities between the past and present. We see that the Bush-War is wasted, the freedom fighter is taking away people’s freedom. The liberation, wasn’t really liberating. The Orwellian nightmare is in the Republic. Museveni does whatever it takes stay in power. No torturing, harassing and charging fellow MPs with treason. All deliberately to send a message and intimidate the public. This is what Museveni has done since 1986. Now it is just appearing before our eyes.

President Museveni are now acting like Obote II towards the public, sending mambas, soldiers and police to intimidate the public. They are killing civilians and detaining civilians on military barracks. No matter who you are in the republic, Museveni can take you down and make sure your begging for mercy. If your killed by his Soldiers or his Presidential Guards, it will not have any consequences, they can do whoever and get rid of whoever. It doesn’t cost anything, for the President it is just collateral damage for the cause. The cause, which is just staying in power.

That is the reality. Nothing else. There is no difference between Obote II and Museveni. Peace.

Museveni acts more and more like Obote II: A Bush-War Wasted!

With the recent by-elections in Rukungiri, Bugiri and now in Arua. There been so much election violence and even killings in all three. There been enough of the army and mambas in the street, to intimidate the public. While the army and police are busy arresting opposition leaders and also activists. Therefore, the levels of arrests are over dozens, scores and in such levels that it has to hit about 20 and above to be right. This is what happens under President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. He is acting like President Milton Obote did in the 1980s. The second term of Obote was filled with arbitrary arrests, violence, torture and killings by the authorities. Now in the 2018, the Museveni regime is acting like them.

In 1982:

The President allows a legal opposition party (the Democratic Party), and Obote seems to be trying to make parliamentary government work. However, opposition MPs for a time were arrested and detained. In a new-year amnesty, Obote allowed four MP detainees to be released; some 1,000 other detainees were released recently as well. The MPs, who had been accused of ‘‘connection with acts of violence,” were received personally by Obote” (John Worrall – ‘Uganda registers modest gains under Obote’ 04.01.1982 link: https://www.csmonitor.com/1982/0104/010442.html).

In 1983:

Obote, moreover, has denied that any civilian detainees are being kept in military barracks. Yet he has not allowed officials of the International Committee of the Red Cross to inspect the suspected military barracks. “There are no detainees in military barracks,” Obote said in an interview. “There are no detainees who are tortured or murdered or killed in any way in government custody.” A 1982 report by the human rights group Amnesty International and a U.S. State Deparment report released earlier this year support allegations of civilian detentions, widespread abuses of human rights and killings carried out by soldiers in the military barracks. Well-informed western diplomats, one Ugandan government official who declined to be identified and political opposition leader Ssemogerere said abuses directed at civilian detainees is continuing in the Army’s barracks” (Leon Dash – ‘Brutality Marks Army’s Conduct in Uganda’ 29.11.1983, link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1983/11/29/brutality-marks-armys-conduct-in-uganda/342af52f-fbdc-4491-a399-208124c677db/?utm_term=.a95022d4262a).

Later 1983:

Soon after Obote’s inauguration speech, civil war erupted when two groups of his political competitors, both of whom charged Obote with fraudulently winning the December 1980 election, retired to the countryside surrounding this capital of Kampala and began waging a guerrilla war. The Army has recently managed to put the insurgents on the run, but political assassinations and the detention without trial of nonviolent politicial critics of the government have escalated as the war has died down. On Oct. 25 unknown gunmen abducted Mary Luswata, the chairman of Obote’s Uganda People’s Congress party in a district 80 miles from here, plus three members of the party’s youth wing and three party supporters. They were found shot to death two days later nearby” (Leon Dash – ‘Violence Poisons Political Process Within Uganda’ 01.12.1983, link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1983/12/01/violence-poisons-political-process-within-uganda/1d4a504d-d186-4100-ba19-971dbaa4c577/?utm_term=.321bf5362f86).

Militarism under both rulers:

Although a small incident, (and indeed much larger incidents might have been cited), it has all the ingredients of militarism. “We fought for you” singles oult the “military” contribution to liberation to the denigration of all other kinds of contribution (including political) which people made towards the downfall of Obote’s dictatorship. It also becomes a “license” in the hands of the men in uniform to treat “you civilians” with derision and contempt. Although NRA’s record, compared to the that of Obote’s UNLA, has been generally impressive, this was so as long as they were in the bush, and did not enjoy “state power”. Now that they enjoy state power, their “militarism” is coming to the surface. Earlier in the same week that the above incident happened at Walukuba, soldiers burst into the house of the editor of the Weekly Topic (a paper that is critically sympathetic to Museveni), and searched his house, as also the office of his brother, a former Member of Parliament. Later they arrested a few people in the area who previously had UPC connections. All this was done without informing the Resistance Councils of the area, thus undermining their authority and relevance in matters of “high security”. When criticized, the NRA is consistently defended by Museveni on the same grounds that “they fought for you”. It is clear that Museveni derives his legitimacy and authority more from his army than from the political efforts of “the civilians”. The RCs with all their weaknesses analysed earlier, are nonetheless never likely, under Museveni, to acquire political control over the army, and hence militarism is likely to remain, as under Obote, the hallmark of Museveni’s regime” (Yash Tandon – ‘Elements of Continuity and Change Between Obote and Museveni: Some Lessons from Obote’s Rule for Musevents Government’ 01.01.1987, link: https://escholarship.org/content/qt667686n5/qt667686n5.pdf).

We can see now, that the ones that President Museveni overthrow for the betterment of the republic, he has become alike. He might not have arrested 1000 opposition leaders at the same time, but over the years he has detained, arrested and charged more than I can count. He has done the same during the recent days and even within this year. The NRM are acting as the previous leadership did. They are torturing opposition MPs, they are arresting them and also showing violence towards the public.

Right now, there are more and more similarities between Obote II and Museveni of now. The 1980s Uganda and current Uganda isn’t that much different. Only, that the public have smart-phones and the reports are spread without the central government control like in the 1980s. That is why we will know quicker and the reports will make sense. This is information sharing the authorities cannot control. That is why we knew of the violence in Rukungiri, Bugiri and in Arua.

Museveni’s ways of control is looking more like Obote… therefore, the bush-war is more and more pointless. As he is acting like the ones he overthrow. Not only overstaying and being an arrogant prick, but also being reckless, relentless and destroying people’s lives to stay in power. Using state sponsored violence to control the public.

The Ugandan people deserves better, all the lives lost are now just pawns in the eyes of the ones who had hope in the 1980s for something better for their kids. They fought and celebrated the fall of Obote II, but instead they got someone who was as brutal as him. Using the same force and same methods to stay in power.

It isn’t beautiful, not planned to be. It is just a cynics way of staying in power. Peace.

Uganda Police Force: Clarification on allegations made by Bweranaho Charles against the Flying Squad (09.05.2018)

Uganda Police Force Press Release: Riots in Yumbe District (28.03.2018)

UPF want clarify about the closure of Nalufenya (23.03.2018)

Minister Jeje Odongo’s MPS on the NCIC is revealing!

Minister of Interior Jeje Odongo own Ministerial Policy Statement of 15th March 2018 are very standard sort of document, but certain statements from there is telling. Especially on the Vote 120 on National Citizenship and Immigration Control, what it is, is apparently, reasons for why it need to be addressed, because it is a real lack transparency and not taking care of the Republic.

The NCIC is compromised of: “Deployed 300 Immigration Officers and Immigration Assistants at the borders and regional offices. This recruitment and deployment has improved border control and post entry management of aliens. This has improved representation of the ethnic groups of Ugandan and staff gender ratios” (…) “Insufficient funds to undertake constructions: Immigration offices are in very small single room measuring less than 8ftX8ft which accommodates more than 5 immigration staff. Furthermore, the Headquarters is housed in what was formerly a warehouse with some services provided under tents. Limited Staff accommodation. Some borders operate in wee hours which necessitates presence of accommodation for staff. This limits space for offices, e-services and board meetings. The Directorate requires UGX25.8bn for constructions. Porous Borders: Uganda has 52 gazetted border points along 2729 km borderline operationalized through the cluster approach. This leaves part of the borderline unmanned which compromise security and revenue generation. The Directorate requires extra UGX1.9bn for border operations” (MINISTRY OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS – MINISTERIAL POLICY STATEMENT FOR THE FINANCIAL YEAR 2017/2018, P: 62, 71, 2018).

It really is showing that something is lacking when you have 52 borders and staffed three hundred officers. That means that each border post would have about average 5 officers. Just think about that, when the border needs to be open 24/7 and there would be more on certain border-posts, also at Entebbe Airport as well. Since lots of the ones entering Uganda come by planes, not only by foot. Therefore, the NCIC is underfunded, but also understaffed.

The 300 officers are not only keeping track of the foreign workers, visitors of the Republic, but also issuing passports. Therefore, the NCIC is even more important to be staffed, because of the need of control of the borders. The republic cannot have open borders and have control of the revenue and neither also population control. It is seemingly bad planning and at random. But the porous borders and the gazetted borders should have officers. Since they are issuing in the last year over 65,000 passports last year. The Officers are really busy doing and not only looking into the ones moving across the borders.

If this body is supposed to control the migration, register and secure that no-one overstays their welcome. They need bigger funding, more officers and more training. Since that must be lacking, when the borders are seen as porous. Peace.

Uganda Police Force: Police Message – “Ref: HRM/141/225/01(.) Force Re-Organization Order” (18.03.2018)

Did Museveni call his former IGP Kayihura a “bean weevil” today? Loyalty to Mzee is clearly not worth it!

Those criminals can be arrested only that Police had been infiltrated by a “bean weevil” that was now removed, we shall now get them” – Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on the 8th March 2018 in Mityana.

President Museveni is his own kind, just days after sacking Inspector General of Police Edward Kale Kayihura and appointing someone else. He is addressing his own Police Chief as an insect who infested the bean. The bean-bag must be the Police Force, as IGP Kayihura over his 13 years in control of the Police.

To prove what a weevil is, the dictionary of Merriam Webster defines that as: “any of a superfamily (Curculionoidea) of beetles which have the head prolonged into a more or less distinct snout and which include many that are destructive especially as larvae to nuts, fruit, and grain or to living plants; especially: any of a family (Curculionidae) having a well-developed snout curved downward with the jaws at the tip and clubbed usually elbowed antennae” (Merriam Webster – ‘Weevil’ 28.02.2018). So the President are mentioning him in this fashion. To deflect the narrative that Museveni has ordered, put forward the laws Kayihura had to abide too, and also the direct orders from him. That is known, as Kayihura said his loyalty was to Museveni and his wishes. It had to be, because that is the only reason for the longevity of Kayihura as the IGP. Kayihura was able to be the IGP for 13 years. Over that time, he followed orders and made own. Which also became his fall.

However, to blame it all on him is an understatement. Kayihura did a lot wrong and followed his guts in the is political will and his achievements of monitoring politicians and using the police in oppression of the opposition. This has been done with the blessings of the State House. If it wasn’t for the will of Museveni, Kayihura wouldn’t have acted. Some things he did on his own, like the ICT Corruption Scandal within the UPF. The mission of using Crime Preventers, but that was also blessed by the almighty himself. It was okay to use Boda Boda 2010, when it was to intimidate the opposition and intimidate them. Now that it became a problem and their crimes became an issue, the squabble with Gen. Tukumunde, was the final nail in the coffin. Museveni couldn’t have it this way.

Clearly, the little bug, the little insect that he hired again and again. He had 4 terms of 3 years. That is twelve years, before given his 5th last year. So it wasn’t like Museveni didn’t trust him and used his services as a punching bag and as the IGP. In November 2016, Kayihura was awarded by the State as the “Exemplary Uganda’s Civil Servant”. A little over a year later, he is sacked because he isn’t that good, but he was good enough in Mbale in November 2016.

Now, after the bustle between Kayihura and Tumukunde, while the insecurity has been rising, while murders being unsolved and the crime not taken care of by the Police. They squabble between them destroyed the credibility of both of them even more as the Muslim Clerical murders, Entebbe Woman murders and the list goes on. Even the high profile assassination of Andrew Kaweesi hasn’t been solved. There are to many plots and acts who hasn’t been looked into or afraid to do, because it might reveal who is on the top of the food-chain and who ordered the killings.

So with that in mind, calling min a weevil or an insect days after his sacking is beneath any president, but it is in fashion when it comes to Museveni. He has called people similar in the past, but this is what he says about someone who has been loyal to him, like forever. Kayihura had been his cadre, his comrade in crime, the one who did his dirty work and followed orders. Kayihura just worked in the interest of Museveni. Now days after Museveni shows how much he values his work.

If it had been opposition, they would have the right to name him in bad fashion, since he has crashed them, detained them, house-arrested them and tried to destroy their lives. Because they were opposition and against his master Museveni.

The President shows his own personal agenda, it is always washing his hands of his dirt. Always making sure that he himself get left unscratched by the actions and orders he delivered. That is why this demeaning to Kayihura and his work. Kayihura was acting vile and was a monster, he was someone who acted as a IGP in command under Museveni. He would not act like that if the President didn’t order him too. Some he would do on his own, but the rest is orders from the President and his will.

So if IGP is an insect, he was the President own personal insect. So now he used pesticides and got rid of it. That is what the President said today. He took him away with Raid sprayed the crap out of the Police and now gotten rid of the weevil. Now that the insect is gone, the Police will catch the criminals. However, I doubt that, because the system and rules, the orders came all from Museveni.

Kayihura was the man Museveni made, even if he don’t like the results now, it was his making. Museveni made the organization, accepted the short-comings of him and his use of Police Force. Police Force became like it is, because Museveni made it possible. I don’t say that to defend Kayihura, because I don’t want to defend the man. He deserves to be in bracelets himself for breaches of the Constitution and misuse of power. However, that will not happen.

Mr. President when you are saying things like this, your proving that loyalty to you and following your words is worthless, because you will destroy them the moment you can in your own favor. Peace.

President Museveni sacks Minister Tumukunde and IGP Kayihura: However, will it make a difference?

Today, two loyalists of the President has gotten fired, this was sudden and was not anticipated. Today on the 4th March 2018, the Inspector General of the Police Edward Kale Kayihura and the Director General of Internal Security Organization (ISO) General Henry Tumukunde. Both have been dropped suddenly after the recent leaks of lacking policing and rising crime in Uganda. There been reported of only 5% rate of murders being solved in the recent year.

A statement signed by the President and dated 4th March, 2018, reads as follows: In the Exercise of the powers vested in the President by Articles 113 (1) and 213 (2) of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, I hereby appoint General Elly Tumwiine as Minister for Security, Mr. Okoth Ochola as the Inspector-General of Police and Brigadier Sabiiti Muzeei as the Deputy Inspector General of Police”.

So the President has actually acted on the worse state of the Police and the public perception, as the police has been more focused on opposition politicians, than actually fighting crime. I don’t think the Police Force will stop doing that and also ban Besigye from dinners and public gatherings. However, this is proof that the President acts. Even if he is late to the party, since he should known that the Police have had gangs working for them and intimidated them. It isn’t like the President did this while the Muslim Cleric died or the woman at Entebbe died last year. Not that the Police leadership changed when the AIGP Andrew Kaweesi was killed. Therefore, the Boda Boda 2010 and the Crime Preventers issues must have really hurt some pride. Since, the change happens now. As the ISO is investigating Police Force and the Police Force was starting to investigate agents who did kidnap civilians and also did dirty work. Clearly, the President maybe wanted to stop that sort of acts. Since both actions make it look stupid and also looks like to different criminal groups, which is sanctioned from the state.

So now the NRM goes back to the NRA days, as they are hiring Tumwiine, as the Daily Monitor reports: “The new security minister Gen Elly Tumwine served as Commander of the National Resistance Army from 1984 to 1987. Gen Tumwine who also sits on the UPDF High Command fired the first shot in the National Resistance war. He replaces Gen Henry Tumukunde” (Daily Monitor, 04.03.2018).

So Tumukunde loses ISO and Ministry of Security, the battle between Kayihura made them both lose. Even as Kayihura wasn’t long ago promised a new tenure and term. Therefore, his contract got taken back and now he lost his job on a Sunday. It was on 2nd May 2017 that Kayihura for a new three year term. Now the Deputy IGP John Martins Okoth Ochola takes over becomes the IGP. J.M. Okoth Ochola is what you call a traditional Police Officer, if he will implement that, instead of the military attitude of Kayihura is to be seen. As he has worked for years under Kayihura.

All of this might change the faces of the Police Force and the Ministry of Security, however, it is the same President and the same party behind it. If the Parliament, the President and the Security Organization wants change, the procedures and institutional polices has to change. The accountability and the organization has to change. The Police Force isn’t make the nation safe, neither was ISO or the UPDF. The Special Forces Command or any other organization created to secure the public. That is why people is murdered and there are no signs of proper investigations, even criminals who just get away with their crimes.

This change might happen because of the United States new Travel Advisory on the 10th January 2018 said: “Exercise increased caution in Uganda due to crime. Violent crime, such as armed robbery, home invasion, and sexual assault, is common, especially in larger cities including Kampala and Entebbe. Local police lack the resources to respond effectively to serious crime” (Travel.State.Gov, 10.01.2018).

So they are have started to worry about the state of the police in Uganda. When they are warning their tourists. It says a lot about how they know about the current state of policing in Uganda. This must have gotten into the ears of Museveni and that is why he fires both of them. As the squabble between Kayihura and Tumukunde, has been fought in public. As the ISO has gone after proxy organizations of the Police Force. They have taken people connected with Kayihura and now he didn’t just lose, but Tumukunde got sacked too. When you play high, the rewards might be high, but fall might be worse.

People despise Kayihura for his actions and his defense of the NRM, the political driven police force, who has bankrupt the Force and also extended the mandate because of the Public Order Management Act of 2010. The POMA clearly made the Police Force focused on policing and monitoring opposition, more than collecting evidence and actually solving crimes. The Police Work has been left behind, they have used fear and used gangs to stop people. It has been strange, but it was sanctioned and accepted until now.

President Museveni suddenly acted swiftly, as he wanted to save face, even if the barren organization, the bankrupt system is still there. The scandals and the lack of morals are there. The ISO and UPF are still two security organizations without trust in the public, because they are more into politics, than fighting crimes. They are no bipartisan, but a visible hand of the NRM.

The insecurity and the lack of policing is something that has occurred over time. It wasn’t created in a vacuum of Kayihura or Tumukunde. This was done by President and with his orders. Kayihura has said his been a loyal man who just follows orders. He will continue to say that to clean his hands of dirt, as he has done his vicious and malicious acts against the citizens. Kayihura knows this and he knows he has made political prisoners and done so as ordered from the State House. That is where the big problem is, it is the State House. The organizations, the institutions and the insecurity has been made from there.

It is the lack of transparency, oversight and accountability of the Security Organizations, it is the lack of resources and the maladministration. It is the whole structure and the orders from the President, who promise and pledge, but doesn’t invest. Museveni has created this, but it is easier to sack someone, than actually destroy something and rebuild. Right now the Police Force isn’t professional, neither is ISO. The lack of protocol, procedure and training, is the reason for this mess. The lack of actual officers who do their duty and has no reason to even do so.

We should also worry about Gen. Tumwine, the former NRA and rebel whose been loyal to Museveni, don’t expect ISO and Ministry of Security to be nice and smooth. The malicious acts of the Ministry will continue, as the vicious crackdown of 2001 was in the hands of the general. Who while in charge made sure dissidents entered Kigo Prison, which was leaked in 2005 and 2006. Therefore, the world knows that he tortured lawyer, human rights activists and also opposition activists there. Therefore, Tumwine, might do similar things now that he has power in service of Museveni. So he goes from the UPDF General Court Martial, where he has stated in the powers. That previous trials and charges on Besigye was ordered and not made on legal basis. Therefore, he is brave enough to speak up against Museveni. But if he will do more than speaking is likely, since Museveni has made him general and made him Minister again.

We just have to see how this goes. Surprised today, yes and not so worried about the battle between Okoth Ochola and Tumwine. But if they will rock-the-boat, I doubt it and if they will reform their institutions and their organizations. I doubt that too. They will be figureheads who are loyal to Museveni and await orders from the State House. We will just see if their leadership roles, can stop the insecurity and the problematic state the Police has no in society.

The top chef, the one who has created this dish is in the State House. It is the President who is in-charge and let all of this happen. It is Museveni who didn’t act and made it possible for the Police to investigate and make sure the Police could solve the crimes done, the murders and all other activity. Clearly, that hasn’t been possible.

Time will tell if that will happen now! Peace.

Opinion: President Museveni has given up on the UPE, should the public do the same?

St. Kitzo Primary School, Kabarole

President Yoweri Museveni has implored parents who are financially sound to give their children a better education to guarantee a better future even it means taking them to Private schools” (NTV Uganda, 04.03.2018).

The pledges of yesterday is losing value for President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the process and the service delivery doesn’t matter, if it ever did. The Universal Primary Education was one of the brilliant moves he did and also got much more donor funding in the beginning of his Presidency. He introduced UPE in January 1997, as the time went the Government of Uganda invested more into the schools. As the Overseas Development Institute in February 2006, which stated: “The UPE programme has required a significant increase in public expenditure devoted to primary education. Total education expenditure increased from 2.1% GDP in 1995 to 4.8% of GDP in 2000, while the share of the education sector in the national budget increased from 13.7% in 1990 to 24.7% in 1998” (ODI – Policy Brief 10, Feb 2006). So the DFID sponsored brief are really explaining how the National Resistance Movement and President Museveni really used funds into the schools to make it happen. However, down the line the investments hasn’t continued and the progress of the policy has lost value. Since they have not continued or hold into that standard.

The President clarified that parents should feed their children and those who can’t afford should take their children to Universal Education Schools which he insisted should not charge fees, while the capable ones can pay in private schools or ‘big government schools’. “Universal Education Schools should not charge fees and parents must provide a meal for their children, called ‘entanda’. Government has provided UPE and USE for poor parents and here it is free. Those who can afford can take their children to other government schools and private schools where they pay but no child should be withdrawn from school” he emphasized” (Opio, 2018).

When you hear the man who is the leader, whose been the President since 1986, been there 32 years. Saying if you want to give your kid a good education, send them to private schools. The ones who are poor can send their kids to government schools. Therefore, if you have money, you will care more about the future for your kids. Because we as a state has given up the Universal Primary Schools.

This financial year the state is using 10,87 % of the national budget in 2018/19, that is down 11,37% in 2017/18. Both years are really proving how little it is concerning how it was when the UPE was booming around the millennium. In those years the state used about 20% or more on Education. Meaning the means to build and upgrade schools where there, also for more staff and more equipment was there. This has been forgotten and deemed unnecessary by the state.

Already in 2006, the UBOS Statistical abstract stated this: “However, the education facilities including classrooms, teachers’ houses and libraries have not matched the upsurge in the number of pupils. In 2004, provision of classroom space remained an enormous challenge. Table 2.2.2 shows that, only about half of the pupils had adequate sitting space” (UBOS, 2006). So the problems we are seeing today, is systemic from the mushrooming of schools and districts who built-up schools after the announcement of the UPE in 1997. I am not saying it is easy to keep the upkeep after the surge of schools, but if the state wanted them as a priority. They would have allocated funds to it over time.

Clearly, that part has gotten wasted and the state hasn’t figured out that buildings needs upkeep, schools needs equipment and teachers needs salaries. I know all of that seems basic, but the deep understanding of that seems lost somewhere.

Since if you are seeing the numbers, the Education Ministry got 24,7% in 1998 and now in 2018 it get’s 10,87 % of the National Budget. The schools has surged then and the budget is smaller, that meaning the more schools and teachers are getting significantly less funds for their operations. This is clearly the will of the state, as they are prioritizing other parts of government and not the schools. So the pledge before the 1996 Election is now being abandoned, the Ten Point Program point is being dismissed and the State showing disregard for its own system, as the rich can have their own. The poor can have lesser quality and the ones who care about their future can got to the private ones. Because of this I want to go back to 1996, because it says a lot, about why its like this today.

So, we are not going back to 1986 today, but 1996, when this happen:

Given his earlier opposition to the idea, President Museveni’s decision in March 1996 to make universal primary education part of his manifesto for the upcoming presidential election campaign represented a sharp break with existing policy. In a radio speech delivered on 27 March, Museveni promised that, if re-elected, he would implement a plan giving four children per family access to free primary education (the plan would also apply to orphans) (Radio Uganda 27.3.1996). This education promise was, however, just one part of an overall election manifesto that included pledges concerning liberalisation of the economy, road building, defence, and renewed East African cooperation. In fact, improvement in education was listed as only the fifth of seven bullet points on the back of Museveni’s

published manifesto (Museveni 1996). Though free primary education was only one small part of President Museveni’s initial election manifesto, during the course of the campaign it soon became clear that the promise to abolish school fees was striking a chord with the electorate. Ugandan officials from the period recall that several of Museveni’s close advisors repeatedly sent messages to the Ministry of Finance after campaign meetings in order to emphasise how the UPE promise had been well received” (Stasavage, 2006).

We could see it was his own initiative, as the President knew what would strike a chord, making sure the kids was educated and had a better future. The same resonates today, but the state has forgotten that. They are not caring, they build a giant program, a big school system of Primary Schools, but not allocated or planned the upkeep of them. That is why the state of the schools are going down and the level of poor public schools is rampant. The districts and sub-counties are not getting enough to keep the schools in functions or even the buildings up. That is why we can find pictures of schools falling apart and looking like they we’re forgotten the day after they finished building it.

From a report from the Ministry of Education and Sports in 1999 said this: “Uganda spent only US$8 per pupil in the early 1980s, and in financial year 1997/98 US$32.50 was spent per pupil” (…) “ UPE is one of the surest means that will lead Uganda to the attainment of the Jomtien Conference (1990) pledge of providing basic education to our primary school going population. As we provide that ìminimum package of knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes required by every person to enable him or her live as an independent, productive and effective citizen in a societyî the individual is empowered to meet her or his daily needs and aspirations, those of the community and the nation, which are focused on modernisation. Uganda is confident that by the target year 2003, Universal Primary Education will have been achieved for all its children” (Ministry of Education and Sports, P: 19, 21, 1999).

So in 1999, the State was hopeful, today in 2018, UPE is not for all children. Not if you listens to the words and the statement from Museveni. It’s Private Schools for the wealthy and the UPE for the POOR. Therefore, Museveni is claiming to classes and two system, which is really demeaning to the ones going to the UPE schools. This is his fault that the schools are bad. He introduced the system, he made it and built it. However, he forgot to the upkeep. He forgot the pledges of the past, even the goals of his own ministry in 1999. It is nearly 20 years since or 19 years ago. Therefore, if Museveni has forgotten it is natural, I don’t remember what I wrote a year ago. However, he promised this and used his Presidency to promote this. The UPE is one of the few grand achievements of Museveni. Even I can say that. But now its rotting and that is because the State has stopped funding it. It is their own decisions not upgrading or even maintenance of the buildings. It is weird that the NRM went into this, build this giant school program and had no plans for maintenance of the Schools or the Salaries of the teachers.

It is easy to start something, but when it continues, you needs to allocate, secure and also funds for day-to-day business. That is forgotten and today, Museveni has given it up. If not he doesn’t care about the UPE he introduced officially in 1997 and pledged during the 1996 Campaign. I say that because, well they have gone from using over 20% of the yearly budget in the 1998 to around 2000, but now the state has allocated as little as 10%. So it the Primary Schools are neglected, because the State has decided to neglect them. It is because the state has built a lot of them, but not funds to maintenance of them. Museveni knows this, but doesn’t say it. That is why the schools are for the poor, because the President even keeps the Government Primary Schools poor themselves.

I just have to ask the President, you used years and your time in the beginning of your time as President to build up the Universal Primary Education, have you officially given it up? Should the Ugandan population give it up too?

If you I can put the whole situation into one simple explanation: Museveni wanted to give the public a giant castle, he pledged to give the public that giant castle. He actually built the giant caste and made sure the public could use the castle. However, with time he didn’t have the funds or the money to maintain the castle. The walls and barricades are failing, the walls are weaker, the structure needs fixing. The servants, the people who are inside the castle are not getting paid and even educated to keep the walls steady. So, the stones and the building are looking more like a ghost-town than a castle. Museveni could have had a castle, instead he has a rundown ghost-town.

There are too many UPE schools that are rundown without proper buildings, which has been neglected. The same has the teachers and the pupils, who them all are living through it. Their future is depending on it and they are forgotten. Now the President tells, the ones who can afford it should go to the Private Schools instead. The poor has enough with the UPE schools. That just shows how he has given up the 1990s project.

Isn’t this a sign that you as a leader should have retired, since you have actually given up one of your achievements?

Peace.

Reference:

Opio, Sam Caleb – ‘I’m going to fulfil all my outstanding pledges – Museveni’ (04.03.2018) link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/I-am-going-fulfill-all-my-outstanding-pledges-Museveni/688334-4327940-view-printVersion-27vqxt/index.html

Stasavage, David – ‘The role of democracy in Uganda’s move to universal primary education’ (2005) Cambridge University Press

Ministry of Education and Sports – ‘THE UGANDAN EXPERIENCE OF UNIVERSAL PRIMARY EDUCATION (UPE)’ (July 1999).

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