Opinion: Tayebwa defends protocol over injustice…

Colleagues, whether you are who or who, no one will be allowed to blackmail this House because I have seen now where we are going. You have started a very dangerous game” (…) “Not any single day will a member come, undress here, try even to commit suicide here. If you are doing it for your constituency and you want to appease your constituency to show you are the one who has worked, do it, but it will never influence any decision I make here” (…) “Started that issue without honourable Zaake being here. Honourable Zaake has not been in this House for over 10 sittings and without my permission, but I have never spoken about him because he is a brother. You leave a colleague, maybe he is in a constituency, but I want to caution you…” (…) “If you ( Zaake) want to do drama, go and do it in your constituency, you can’t do it on this floor. If you want pictures of people holding you up and how you were arrested to use during campaigns, we can organise for you, we are near national theatre” – Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa (29.11.2022).

The Deputy Speaker of the 11th Parliament, Thomas Tayebwa is more into protocol and plenary rules, than into the plights of the people. That is obvious after the recent actions. His acting high and mighty, but he will fall like the rest of them.

Right now Tayebwa is useful. His a loyal subject and one of them who is eating. Nevertheless, when you fall out of favour or do one big miss. You will fall and never return to good graces. It is easy to be boastful and entitled when you have everything.

Zaake might have been out of order. He might have broken a rule or too. However, who would have believed or given him any time of day. Zaake MP has already lost privileges and been scorned in Parliament. It isn’t like his a big-man or a person of vast influence. No, his a renegade MP who fights for his causes. Maybe not doing it by the book.

What he did though, was to infuriate the Deputy Speaker and many others in such a fashion. That the people have to speak out about the kidnapping, abductions, the political prisoners and the “drones” which are used by the authorities. That’s what Zaake did and it’s clever that way.

Maybe Zaake will be punished or get violated in the Parliament. That will not be anywhere near as damaging as the torture he has felt or the injustice the authorities has served him in the past. Zaake MP knows the pain of the opposition leaders, activists and anyone who dares to question the government of the day. He knows the cost and that’s why his vocal about it. No one should blame him for that. He knows better than most how painful and what sort of suffering people are going through.

That’s why the Deputy Speaker can ridicule and mock him. Nevertheless, it doesn’t make the case less important. We know the Government and the Authorities has no interest in investigating or showing the real numbers of the ones suffering injustice. No, they rather act like it doesn’t really happen or is just an anomaly.

We know now that the Deputy Speaker will defend rules, but not have anyone speak out on the injustice done by the state. That is the message. The Parliament isn’t the place for grievances and it will only be Ministerial Statements from the likes of Muhwezi, which will not bring the truth to the table. Because, the authorities would never give a full picture and only small fragments of what is going on.

The kidnappings, the abductions, the keeping people incommunicado and without trial continues. The torturing and the extra judicial killings. That is all done on behalf of the government and the Deputy Speaker honourably represents that… he honours that and he will not have anyone crying out loud. No, he prefers silence and once in a while condoning it. Peace.

Opinion: No one is safe – when the authorities can take you in for “guilt” by association

The “drones” or “Panda Gari’s” never left the Republic. It is clear that abductions, kidnappings, keeping people detained incommunicado, torturing and also extra judicial killing is far from over. The authorities does it in broad daylight, they do it in the middle of the day. They come unannounced and without warrants, take away people and their remaining family or friends are shocked.

This can happen because the family is in exile, associated with the “wrong” political party or has some sort “questionable” behaviour. There can be “intelligence” gathered against the person, but nothing has been in the courts. None of the charges or the reasons to apprehend, abduct or kidnapped has been proven or tested. It is only on a hunch and possibly by association with someone. That’s all it takes and there is no other justification for doing so.

This is being done by the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI), Special Forces Command (SFC), The Flying Squad (Uganda Police Force) or Internal Security Organization (ISO). All of them are doing at different times to various of people. It is just so commonly happening. The only reason why we know about it is because people leak videos and messages from “loved-ones” or family members who has been “taken-in”.

The amount of this practice is hard to figure. The numbers fluctuate and the accuracy is hard to know. However, with the lack of oversight and no one been able to look into the practices of “safe-houses”. You just know the state has more facilities where they are keeping “prisoners” or “people of interest”. As they are held without their legal rights or after the 48 hours window to be taken to court to be processed. Because, the entities and the security agencies doing it is operating on a flimsy basis. There is little to no “intelligence” or “proof of criminal activity”. If the security agencies had it. They could have produced warrants and justification for the action in the first place.

The ones that is amazed by this have clearly lost a step. This has been done so deliberately over the years. In such a manner, that the state is now and then forced to pay damages to people captured without a legal basis. That’s why the Courts are forced to so, because the laws are stipulated in that way and the state has to fork out funds. This is for a reason and it happens too. The ones that is fortunate enough to challenge the kidnapping, torture, pain and suffering, which was caused on them by brutal force.

This is the legacy that the National Resistance Movement will leave behind. The acts of the CMI, SFC, Flying Squad, ISO and others will be things that has tarnished its reputation. Everyone knows they are doing it and they cannot run away from it. They have their Argentina House and other facilities that does it. There is no way to run away from it now.

There is no clever spin or sort of reasoning that can suggest otherwise. These actions will remain as dubious and be seen as deliberate acts of vengeance. They are not only done on political leaders, activists and random bystanders. It is also done on people by association and connected by blood. They haven’t even done anything, but their kin did a decision either in absentia, in exile or are already captured themselves. That’s how the state operates and they are not even hiding it. Peace.

Opinion: The NRM will miss the DGF

Now that’s it apparent that the Democratic Governance Facility (DGF) is closing in December 2022. This after baseless accusations and demeaning insults from the His Excellency President Yoweri Tibuhurwa Kaguta Museveni ahead of the General Election in 2021. Certainly, he that to control the narratives and in general ensure to silence his critics. While the DGF only did what it always has done, which is to support over 30 CSOs/NGOs who works on governance and civil education, which could have strengthen the society at large.

That’s why the closure of DGF will not only hurt a 100 people who has worked directly in the DGF. No, it will hurt the over 30 CSOs/NGOs who was directly funded by the DGF. Also, government entities and structures, which was also funded by the DGF. The DGF over the last five years has ensured a circulation of Shs. 15 trillion shillings. That’s a substantial amount of currency and monies that are taken out of rotation, which would be there to get domestic revenue for the state and ensure livelihoods of plenty. This will hurt service providers and those who is bound by contracts to the DGF and the entities it provided funds for. It is really compelling the damage the National Resistance Movement (NRM) has done here and it will feel it in 2023.

We know things was bad when the President suspended the DGF in February 2021. While he has lifted the suspension in June 2022. The DGF will not continue now and the regime will feel the losses. Just like the DGF together with NIMD used to support IPOD. Now, there are several other entities that is losing out. That will hurt the government and it’s institutions at large, but we know the President isn’t concerned about it.

The donors who made the agreement with Government of Uganda (GoU) to create the DGF in 2011, which happens to be Austria, Denmark, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the European Union might seek other partners or places to fund. Since, they are not welcomed or has the mechanisms to ensure development goals are met. Because, the donors has again to report to their citizens and taxpayers for the usage of funds. Which means they cannot just waste money and not prove any sort of value for money. That is squandered here, because the DGF was an organization and an umbrella organization, which kept it all organized and good oversight over it.

We know the national budget still needs external funding sources, though the bloated budgets are projecting more domestic revenue by any given year. Though there are common practice of deficits of funds, which leads to more borrowing, either domestically or by other sources. Meaning, the spiral of debts are growing and the nature of financing is becoming more dire. Since, the state has to pay interests and pay old debts to keep up with the programs. Certainly, the state or the republic has no plans to configure or has a back-up for the loss of DGF funding. No, it has lived on these funds for years and thinks the donors are gullible to return the favour anyway.

The National Resistance Movement (NRM) has gambled a lot of people’s futures here. The current day-to-day operations of both government entities and CSOs/NGOs will be hurting for a long time. They will not have payroll or be able to keep up with contracts, which was signed a time back. We will see both local government and NGOs cry out. Especially, when the DGF finally close and leave.

It won’t be that easy for the donors of the DGF just to donate or use funds in Uganda after this. They have had mechanisms and organizations, which have followed statutes and means of oversight. That is needed and gives good basis for them to continue to donate in the Republic. However, when that is now gone and cease to operate. The NRM with it’s baseless attacks and wanting to interfere. Has ensured this loss. They will feel the pinch and the loss of domestic revenue through this. They might not consider it right now. Neither the ramifications of the CSOs/NGOs, but their activities and such has ensured livelihoods of lots of people. That’s why this is biting the hand that feeds you. Without having any sort of back-up or other revenue to ensure the longevity of the partners of DGF, which are getting hurt by this.

The IPOD is just one of them, but there are 30 CSOs/NGOs and a few government entities that is losing out too. That’s where there will be shortfall in 2023 and beyond. Unless, the Government of Uganda is able to talk and negotiate again with donors to create another body to have similar functions. Which I doubt, because, why do that? When you have seen how the NRM and the President has acted towards the DGF? Peace.

Opinion: The “drones” never left

The “Drones” or the Panda Gari’s never ceased their operations. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) have only reconfigured things and made it their own. The same resistance group and rebellion, that promised freedom and liberty. Alas, security for all and no fear of sudden arrests, which would happen according to law. However, with the time that has withered and its now obvious that this was a lie.

The NRM wants to rule on intimidation, fear and strike vicious vengeance towards the ones that is defying it. That’s why people are ending up missing. Cheiftancy of Military Intelligence (CMI) is known for suddenly abducting, keeping people incommunicado and some even end up dead.

It is various of authorities who does this activity, not only the CMI, even if that is the one who is most recognized for it. The army own branched Special Forces Command (SFC) has been doing and so has other agencies like Internal Security Organization (ISO). It is not like the Uganda Police Force (UPF) or Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) haven’t worked in tandem on this.

There is a reason why “safe-houses” exists and they are used for keeping people unknowingly. They are there, usually tortured and battered. The authorities using violent means, which are supposed to break the spirit and get them to tell stories. However, this is only showing the brutal side of the government. As these people are detained, tortured and in harms way without any due process. The civilian are taken there and kept without warrants or court order. They are not deemed felons or people who has breached any statute or law. These people just happens to be caught, captured and be maligned for a crime they didn’t do.

That’s the sort of activity the Parliament is condoning, but never acting upon. No, the government isn’t stopping it. The Parliament haven’t been allowed to investigate and the authorities will only give progress or cliff-notes on the few that is mentioned in Plenary Sessions. The vans are coming to a street near you and someone is going to be at the mercy of the law.

When someone is saying it’s hard to spot the difference between a bloody gang and the people running the “drones”. That is saying something about how they operate. There is the same sort of acts that goons or street thugs do. They come silently and strike powerfully. The victim can be taken brutally away from the location and be kept at unknown location indefinitely.

With the usage of these means, it is hard to separate who is criminal and who is law enforcement. It is the same sort of violent approach and it’s no difference then in Amin’s time, which Museveni has said to be different too. He is actually using the same means and intimidation. His security organizations are using similar means and they not even concealing it. That’s why the Penal Code haven’t been revised and the authorities have the same colonial laws to pin civilians in. Heck, the same government is using military court to detain and charge civilians. That is just showing how far the authorities has taken it. There is no boundaries and the state is willing to do everything to silence the ones in its way.

The drones never left. They were prevalent in the year and months in advance of the 2021 elections. They have been active since then too, but now they are targeting more people. It is happening so often and with such haste. You know the government is trying to do a point. Just like it did with the Flying Squad and the Black Mambas. Things are just coming back and we can rest assured that the LDUs will soon kick-it off too.

This sort of government don’t come in peace, but it comes in resounding viciousness and no one is left untouched. That’s the justice and liberty that the NRM serves the public. You have to be careful. One day it might be you. Just because you were associated with the wrong people at the wrong time or the CMI/SFC has grudges against people like you. Peace.

The state ordered to pay in total 400m shillings in damages to 2 URA employees after illegal detention and torture of them in March of 2021…

(i) The affidavit evidence of A1, A2, Capt. Isingoma, AIP Kisa Claire and Mr. Kabagambe when considered in totality look that like a movie. A1 and A2 are arrested through the use of trickery as if they were on the run whereas not. A1 is deceived that he was reporting for deployment on an operation. When he reports at the appointed time and place he is literally abducted. He is made to leave his vehicle unattended at a fuel station as if he was a terrorist.

(ii) A2 was called by a fellow driver at midnight claiming he needed help having got a mechanical problem. He is lured in the middle of the night and arrested like a terrorist” (High Court, 12.09.2022).

The state sponsored torture story of Robert Asiimwe Akanga (A1) and Kalemba Stevens (A2) is nothing new, but it needs to be told. These two gentlemen won their case against the Attorney General, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) and the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA). This case just shows how the state uses torture and keeping people illegally detained without producing them to the courts within the 48 hours deadline. That happened to the people of this case and it is significant, but not shocking.

This sort of case should be spread, because it shows what the state does and how it operates. The authorities are acting like this on the regular. They are allowed to operate like this and it has no consequences. The state is paying damages and costs of the case, but the officers and the authorities will not clean up their act. This is how they are and it’s only a few of these stories that ends up in the Courts. Most of the torture cases are happening in silence and the victims cannot or have no options but to stay silent.

Just read these quotes… and it should make you shiver…

It all started with this: “The allegation is that on the 28th day of February 2021, Al and A2 being employed by Uganda Revenue Authority as a customs officer and driver respectively stole USD 410,000 the property of GAK Express Co. Limited. The two deny the charges” (High Court, 12.09.2022).

So, this all starts with alleged criminal behaviour, which is directly false. The authorities have pinned two men and because of their role in URA. They were easily targets as the work of Customs Officer and a Driver. However, there was never any proof or evidence of this crime.

That didn’t stop the state from doing this to them, which is quotes from the Court Ruling…

About the Arrest and Torture methods used on A1:

In his affidavit in support dated 25th March 2022 A1 stated that on 3rd March 2021, he received a phone call from Paul Karatunga, the In-Charge Operations Team 1 informing him of a planned operation along Entebbe road. Karatunga assigned A1 to lead the team. They met at Total Petrol Station, Kajjansi at 6.30 am. Karatunga was in company of two soldiers namely Captain Charles Isingoma and Captain Winnie Kusiima plus two armed escorts. A1 was instead arrested under gun point and pushed him into a vehicle. He was taken to URA offices where he met other UPDF and Police officials attached to URA. He was handcuffed. Lt. Col Zaakye informed him, the arrest is in connection with theft of money belonging to a Sudanese national. He denied participating in theft” (…) “Col. Cassette Ignatius Wamundu asked him to confess to the theft of money or be tortured by the Joint Anti -Terrorism Taskforce until he does so. That he was denied a right to contact his lawyer or make any phone call. On 6th March 202l at 7 am was picked by a team from CMI, blindfolded and taken to CMI Hqrs at Mbuya where he was subjected to torture” (…) “It was executed by 10 well-muscled men using weapons such as guns, sticks, batons, metal bars, pliers, chains, ropes and electric wires. He maintained his innocence as they demanded for the money he is alleged to have robbed. He lost consciousness due to prolonged torture. He regained his senses to realise he was in a corridor. He was bleeding and still chained. He was taken back to Custody at SIU Kireka during darkness. He could not walk” (High Court, 12.09.2022).

About the Arrest and Torture methods used on A2:

A2, in his affidavit of 25th March 2021 states that on 2nd March 2021 at around midnight, hg received a call from Sekweyarna, a fellow driver at URA, claiming to be stuck near his home and needed help. A2 responded only to find army captains who put him under arrest at gun point. Col Cassette Ignatius Wamundu asked him about the money. He denied knowledge of where the money was. He punched him in the right eye and as he fell down. He was kicked in the ribs at gun-point before his children and wife who cried and shouted. He threatened to shoot him unless he admitted having stolen money on 28th February 2021. Present were Captains Isingoma. Diana Museveni and Winnie Karugwara. They took him back to his home” (…) “That on 6th March 2021 he was taken to CMI offices in Mbuya and taken to a room where four muscled men had assorted weapons including guns, sticks, batons, metal bars, pliers, chains, ropes, electric wires among others. He was undressed. He was badly and severely beaten using the electric cables, hang on hand cuffs up the ring as his legs were tied down and suspended in one position for a whole day as he was being beaten” (…) “He was tortured again on on 8th March 2021. His body became swollen with wounds on the legs, back, hands, ribs and abdomen. He did not receive any medical attention or have access to a lawyer or family members. Further mistreatment went on until he was produced in court after an ordeal of 16 days in detention” (High Court, 12.09.2022).

The damages they are getting for all of this:

Taking all these factors into consideration I award A1 as the main target and focus of torture a sum of 200 million as compensation for pain, suffering, and physical injuries. I award another 50 million to A1 as punitive damages for subjecting him to humiliation and embarrassment. I Award a sum of 100 million to A2 as damages for pain, suffering and physical injuries. I award another 50 million to A2 as punitive damages for subjecting him to humiliation and embarrassment. A1 and A2 are also awarded taxed costs of this consolidated application” (High Court, 12.09.2022).

We know the state will only condone but not act upon the mischief. These sort of cases never cease to exist. There is no retribution or stop of the practice. This has been going on since the inception of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and done by the government before it too. The NRM promised to end it, but they never will…

The damages of 400m shillings won’t make a difference in the grand scheme of things. The officers, the men who did the torture and the authorities will not go after the ones who did it. No, the mentioned high ranking officials and others will walk free. The only thing happening is that the gentlemen who was arrested, harmed and tortured will get damages. The system will not change… and that’s how the story goes.

A1 and A2 are reminders of how the NRM and the Authorities are working. This isn’t a one of or an isolated case for that matter. No, this is how they move and allowed to work. It just happens that this one ended up in the High Court. Peace.

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

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

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

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

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

A brief overview of human rights violations:

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

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

Abductions during campaign season:

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

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

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

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

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

Violations of the LDUs:

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

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

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

Opinion: Museveni can only fool the blind…

No one can teach me about the subject of human rights because that is what I fought for, to have a democratic society in Uganda. I spent sixteen solid years of my life putting in place human rights observance and correcting what the regime of Idi Amin distorted. When handling human rights issues, be careful, cases of illegal detention, torture, and human rights violations will end, and will not be tolerated” – President Yoweri Tibuhurwa Kaguta Museveni (30.06.2022).

Sometimes… the delusion and the deluded mind thinks they are always correct. Especially, someone who has been in power without any significant challenge or without a proper contest. The elections and the rally for power after January 1986 has been based on who got the guns and the authority. Not on which brother or sister who has the best skills, attributes or policies to change the status quo of the Republic. Because, Museveni has held the army, the police and the judiciary. He could easily navigate and get his will into policy. Therefore, his words to Ken Roth, the Executive Officer of Human Rights Watch (HRW) means squat or nothing.

We know the authorities, the police force and all other security agencies uses means, which violates with human rights. It is common knowledge of the practices performed by the state. The abductions, the illegally detentions and the torture of dissidents. That is well-known, as much as the drones and the usage of army courts to charge and sentence civilians. This is why the President knows perfectly well how his in the wrong.

Museveni continues to speak ill of Amin. However, they are genuinely alike in many aspects. They are using the law to stranglehold the opposition. The authorities are used to arrest, detain and keep people incommunicado. People who defies and resist the pressure of state can easily be found dead after being kept at unknown locations. The state uses ungazetted safe-houses, the army and security details to apprehend and assault civilians who dares to question the legitimacy of the rulers of the republic.

That’s why anyone with a working marble and a little wisdom. Knows that the state apparatus, the imprint of the guards of the republic is to directly violate the human rights. They are proudly following orders, which circumvent their own constitution and principals of equal before the law. However, in the republic you are proven guilty before your proven innocent. This is why people can be behind bars without being produced in court. Neither are there any warrants, indictments or any production of evidence in the cases. The activists, citizens or opposition leaders are just barred from ordinary life. Because they dared to question and stand up for justice.

This injustice is known and shouldn’t shock anyone. The Safe-Houses, the practice of the Special Forces Command (SFC), Internal Security Organization (ISO) or the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) are capable of despicable things and acts, which are wrongly conducted in favour of the state.

The National Resistance Movement has used these techniques since it’s inception. The usage of torture and illegal arrests has been common practice. It has never ceased and the operations has only changed in the nature or by the way the interpret it. That’s why cases are pending in the courts and people challenge the treatment at government facilities, which caused them harm and made them scorned for life.

So, when President Museveni speaks of never doing or will not tolerate it. That is just nonsense and empty words. It is as meaningful as his words about combatting corruption. This is not really happening either and we all know. The President is keeping the fear and intimidation alive. His signalling anyone who dares to oppose him. That they can be touched and be violated. So, that they know who is in-charge and who is staying there.

The anointed one, the high above and the eternal prince of Rwakitura. Peace.

Opinion: The GoU isn’t the owner of the DGF

Today, I hosted the Danish Minister for Development Cooperation. We discussed a number of bilateral issues. I also agreed to lift the ban on Democratic Governance Facility (DGF), to run till December 2022, with Government represented in the decision-making structures. I shall formally communicate our position to the relevant government departments” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 22.06.2022).

You know that someone has ruled for too long when you think donor funds are for you to toy around with and decide. President Yoweri Tibuhurwa Kaguta Museveni has been running the Republic since January 1986 and it shows. The audacity of this man…

Yes, his a real life villain and he thrives on that. He was able to hoodwink people for a generation, but the truth of his actions is catching up to people slowly. The ones funding the DGF should have all ears and listen to the dissidents. Because, there is sinister and dark scheming behind the scenes, which we know the National Resistance Movement (NRM) nor the President want out on blast.

That’s why when his doing this putting condition and stings on “free money”. You just know it’s off the hook. It isn’t for the President nor his state to decide what the donors want it spent on. They can spend how they deem fit and what sort of governance, organizations or state institutions they deem fit. Because, it is their monies and their tax-payers funds, which they have to be accountable for. Therefore, after 18 months suspension and giving nearly 6 months more run-time. It is really showing that the President is tired and cannot manage to not micro-manage everything single thing in the Republic. He needs to know and it bugs him like crazy. That someone else has a vision and an idea in the nation of which he reside and happens to be the Head of State off.

Who are the DGF and why does it exist:

The Democratic Governance Facility (DGF) was initially established in July 2011 by eight Development Partners (DPs) as a five-year governance programme aimed at providing harmonised, coherent and well-coordinated support to state and non-state entities to strengthen democratisation, protect human rights, improve access to justice and enhance accountability in Uganda. The Programme goal was to contribute to equitable growth, poverty eradication, rule of law and long term stability in Uganda. This programme marked the first phase of DGF that ended in June 2016. A transitional period of 18 months was implemented from July 2016 to December 2017. Currently the DGF is implementing its second 5-year phase (January 2018 – December 2022) with support from seven DPs: Austria, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the European Union, to build on the achievements of the first phase, address the continuing democratic deficits, and consolidate peace and stability in the country” (Democratic Governance Facility – What is DGF).

The board of the DGF is also the ambassadors of the respective donor nations and the head of delegation of the European Union as well. So, it has already 6 board members, which represents the ones who is funding the DGF. That is the vital part here. The DGF wouldn’t exist and be an entity without the funding and the operational funds of the donors.

That’s why the President directing and pinning in the ministries to intervene and partake in it is infuriating. This is insulting the donors and their worthiness. It is like the President and his associates believes it’s their birthright to donations and funds of which these nations are bringing. Which couldn’t be further from the truth. They are lucky to receive it in the first place. Why shouldn’t Austria just invest in health care in Vienna? Or the Sweden in Stockholm, Norway in Oslo, Ireland in Dublin, Netherlands in Amsterdam or the EU in Brussels? They are not owing Museveni or the NRM anything. No, this is “free” money and they are lucky to get it and the arrogance of the President shows.

These ambassadors and the board of the DGF isn’t his minions and senior presidential advisors. No, they are there to promote the interests of their respective nations and find good partnership in Uganda. Not being told what to do and whatnot. That is what the President did here and this is how his used to running the Republic. Directing, decreeing and ordering from the “high above”. That mentality shows here after 18 month suspension ahead of the January 2021 polls. Which was supposed to fund opposition activity, a sort of activity he can never prove or show any evidence of. Therefore, the suspension was hostile in the first place.

Yes, the Government of Uganda is sovereign is deemed to do what is see as fit. That I’m not questioning, but the act of suspending this was done in bad faith and the arrogance of him while lifting it. Just shows his true intentions and that he wants to control the DGF directly, which isn’t for him to “own” or “run”. That’s what it seems like he really intends to do. By putting in a crony in the board and such.

Museveni is just showing his dictatorial tendencies. His now telling what the donors should do and direct their funding. It isn’t enough that they are donating and supporting the development of the republic. No, they have to be told what to do. This should be amplified, because this insulting the donors and their respective will to give.

Why should they give to nation that does this? What value is the currency and the will of helping of others, if they are putting rigid stings before getting the money. It is the donors that should decide the spending and where they want the money to go. Since, they are the ones supplying it and funding the DGF. Until, Museveni and his cronies invests in it and actually put the work in. Then they can talk, but for now… the NRM and Museveni should be happy that people and nations are still willing to fund these sorts of organizations, civil society and even government entities through the DGF.

There is enough other places the nations can fund and help out people in need. It isn’t only in Kampala and across the Republic. No, there is plenty of other places with the lack of good governance and other issues, which a sort of DGF could be positive contribution. Therefore, the President should be lucky that this exist. Instead… his targeting it and showing his total disregard for the donors. His just continuing to bite the hand that feeds him. Peace.

Uganda: FEWS NET projected food security levels as stressed in the Greater Northern Region and a crisis in Karamoja

Staple food prices have continued to increase in recent months and are higher than prices recorded last year and five-year average levels across most of Uganda. Prices of staple sorghum and maize are now significantly above average in several key reference markets across the country. In Karamoja, terms of trade for sorghum against firewood, charcoal, and goats are below average and worse than last year, significantly restricting food access for poor households. After the first season bimodal harvest in June/July, food prices are expected to decline but are now expected to remain above average given expectations for below-average production, increased net exports, and impacts of the war in Ukraine on global supply chains and prices” (FEWS NET, 06.05.2022).

The Cassava Republic is getting hit hard by not only the rising commodity prices, but the weather. The agricultural production will be slowed down and that will hurt the farmers of the regions in the Northern Uganda and in the Karamoja sub-region. That is very evident and FEWS NET together with the World Food Programme is clearly having an oversight here. This here should worry the state, as it has targeted and had a military operation in Karamoja. Which is not mentioned here, but the burning region of Karamoja isn’t having a better times ahead of it. To the contrary things are only getting worse.

The Cassava Republic is also hit with an impactful war, which is not only hitting the exports of wheat, but in general. That’s why prices of commodities will go up and has gone up over the last year. Things are not getting better there either. Just read the quote below, which is a continuation of the first quote from FEWS NET on the matter.

In general, prices of food and non-food commodities have increased notably since late 2021. The main driving factors include rising transportation costs due to increasing fuel prices, seasonally declining market stocks, and reduced production prospects from the upcoming first season harvest following below average rainfall. More recently, impacts of the Russia-Ukraine crisis have driven further fuel price increases and increased the rate of general inflation of food and non-food commodities, further reducing household purchasing power. In March, retail prices of maize grain and sorghum increased farther above five-year average levels. Retail prices of beans and cassava generally remained below average in March, though prices of beans increased by 9-20 percent across monitored markets from February to March” (FEWS NET, 06.05.2022).

Here is the worrying statement:

However, rising food prices will likely result in some higher selling prices for famers, increasing access to income for those with near average production. For pastoralist households, pasture and water availability is expected to improve in May given the forecast of above-average rainfall. Overall, most households in bimodal areas are expected to access sufficient food and income to meet their essential food and non-food needs, with Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes expected to persist at the area level throughout the projection period. However, given revised expectations for a third consecutive below-average production season as well as rising prices of food and non-food commodities including fuel, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are now expected to persist throughout much of northern Uganda for the majority of the projection period. In Karamoja, availability of food and income is expected to remain seasonally limited as the lean season progresses. Given delays in the agricultural season, the lean season is now expected to last through July, longer than usual by about three weeks. During this time, insecurity is likely to continue constraining limiting income-earning, including from livestock production and sales. When schools reopen for the new term in early May, households will likely experience some improved food consumption due to WFP’s food and nutrition programming for school children, including school meals, take-home rations, and supplementary food for households with malnourished children. However, food prices are expected to continue increasing through around June until the harvest from bimodal areas begins to boost market supplies, with an increasing number of poor households likely to face consumption gaps and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes during this time. Though some seasonal price declines are expected following this, prices are expected to remain above average. For many poor Karamoja households, below-average purchasing power will continue constraining access to food from market purchases. Around August/September, the start of harvesting in Karamoja is expected to support improved access to food from own consumption and income from crop sales and reduce the number of households facing consumption gaps, though Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are expected to persist at the area level even during the post-harvest period. Overall, widespread Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are now expected to persist through at least September, with worst-affected households facing Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes” (FEWS NET, 06.04.2022).

We are seeing changes and the next coming months will be impactful to say the least. As the farmers and everyone else will struggle. There will be lack of food and a distress in some parts of the Republic, but it can become really dire in Karamoja. The Karamoja where the army has attacked, burned villages and gone after the citizens. That’s where things are getting worse and where they will have a terrible food insecurity to the levels of crisis. They can possibly get into Emergency, which should worry anyone. This just really speaks of how the state is failing its citizens and things are not getting any better.

The state should act upon this and think of safeguards. Nevertheless, don’t think they will. They rather send more soldiers and have more birthday bashes for Muhoozi. Than being concerned with the lack of food or ability to plough their fields. No, the state is more busy scheming and enterprising for their own. That’s why this sort of news needs to be spread. Because, the citizens of Karamoja and the Greater North will be hurt by this. That is the message from FEWS NET and it should be heard. Peace.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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