Post-NRM regime will be a shared achievement.

Fellow Ugandans, we see there are people who are now beginning to claim that they are “game changers” when they joined the opposition not long ago, some of them having served the NRM regime in senior positions until recently and possibly responsible by commission, omission or delegation for crimes against humanity. On the other hand, there are those who have been in serious struggle immediately after the 2011 stolen elections.

UDU which was created in July 2011 has been working tirelessly to mobilize Ugandans at home and abroad for a peaceful change of regime in the first instance. We have written to all sectors of the population including the military and the police, gender, youth, civil society organization and religious leaders etc. urging them to join the opposition. Therefore those late comers who are now claiming that their success is within sight need to think again.

While we welcome everybody to join those struggling for regime change, we must avoid a situation where late comers may be tempted to claim victory the winner-take –all style. We should avoid what happened in Ethiopia immediately before the imperial regime collapsed in 1974.

For those who may not know, the revolution in Ethiopia was launched by ordinary people in urban and rural areas including women and youth particularly the poor, landless, unemployed and hungry. They were joined by taxi drivers protesting the rising price of oil that quadrupled in late 1973. They were then joined by students and later workers.

When the regime was about to fall as is about to happen in Uganda, the military stepped in and captured power and ignored those that had been struggling and preparing the country for a regime change. The civilians claimed the right to form the government because they were the ones who mobilized the population. When the army refused, a long civil war ensued, resulting in heavy casualties.

In Uganda, we should avoid what happened in Ethiopia and embrace the Filipino model of People Power, where civilians and military people that opposed the government of Ferdinand Marcos joined hands and removed it from power peacefully.

Additionally, to avoid post NRM political instability, or even a civil war as we discussed and agreed in The Hague we should reflect on Uganda’s chaotic history since independence and be creative. The institutions we inherited at independence haven’t served Uganda well. To do things better after NRM has exited, we should set up a transitional government with all Ugandans participating except criminals within and without NRM. Then the new government should be led by a presidential team of at least four people each drawn from the four regions of Uganda. We should also avoid getting people from the same group scattered in all parts of the country. Those who have jumped NRM ship and are now claiming to lead the opposition need to be scrutinized very carefully to establish whether they have genuinely left NRM or still working for it and want to weaken the opposition and maintain the status quo. Furthermore, joining hands with the devil to create a critical mass for regime change is the wrong way to go because once the regime is changed the wolves will turn against the sheep, witness post-Moshi in-fighting soon after the late Lule formed the government.

The transitional government besides running the day to day affairs of state should amend the constitution as appropriate or govern under a transitional charter. It should conduct a population census to give the latest demographic characteristics for registering voters, planning for poverty reduction, building institutions such as schools and clinics according to the population characteristics in different parts of the country. Then there should be a national convention to decide how Ugandans wish to be governed.

National institutions including the public service commission, security forces, and the relationship among the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government should be reviewed to reestablish separation of powers and checks and balances and to make sure that one person in any institution does not accumulate power into his/her hands and dictate to others.

The transitional government should set up a truly independent electoral commission agreed to by all legitimate groups to prepare for free and fair multi-party elections at an appropriate time.

An independent vetting commission for presidential and parliamentary candidates should also be established to weed out those not qualified to contest elections. Profiles would be established for presidential and parliamentary candidates.

Winner take all politics, one person as president, one person as chair of public service commission and senior security officials from one group or a few regions should be abandoned and replaced by collective decision making apparatus as is practiced in Switzerland, a country whose federal institutions were built from the ground up. These proposed governance arrangements if implemented might have a better chance of creating peaceful and inclusive societies to avoid post-NRM crisis undermining economic development and social progress.

The Hague process that brought Ugandans together from home and in the diaspora and met for the first time in The Hague (The Netherlands) in November 2013 has already begun mobilizing Ugandans along these lines. The ideas of a transitional government, presidential team and national convention have already received strong support at home and abroad. Methods for peaceful regime change were distributed to The Hague process members after the London conference that took place at the end of June, 2014. They accompany an agreed upon roadmap for regime change and formation of a transitional government.

Those born after 1986 have not had the opportunity to be exposed to Uganda’s bloody history since independence. NRM government has minimized providing information about Uganda’s post-independent history because it has participated in some of the ugly events it would not want to be associated with. Those who ignore history are bound to repeat its ugly commissions and/or omissions. UDU and The Hague process will continue to conduct civic education including on Uganda’s history.

For those who want to know about Uganda’s history and what UDU has done including preparing a National Recovery Plan and diplomatic networking are advised to visit www.udugandans.org.

Not least, Uganda belongs to all the citizens who were born free and equal in rights and dignity and all are subject to the rule of law.

Eric Kashambuzi

Marriages of convenience don’t last and end up catastrophic

In an effort to beat The Hague process (the work being undertaken by Ugandans since we met in The Hague in November 2013 to stop 2016 elections, change the NRM regime by non-violent means and establish a transitional government to conduct a population census, organize a national conference so Ugandans decide how they want to be governed and ultimately organize multi-party elections), Sejusa has rushed into forming a coalition of so-called military groups that he will lead hoping to oust the NRM regime ahead of The Hague process.

History is full of examples of what goes wrong when coalitions are formed in a hurry to block or oust a competing group. Let us begin with Uganda.

1. Uganda Peoples’ Congress (UPC) entered into a rushed coalition of convenience with Kabaka Yekka (KY) when their ideologies were totally different for the sake of ousting the Democratic Party (DP) from power before independence (DP had formed the self-governing government). Within two years the marriage was in trouble and ended up catastrophic in 1966/1967 political and constitutional crisis.

2. The marriage of convenience between Obote and Ibingira to stop Kakonge from becoming a popular national figure ended up in a catastrophe with Ibingira and his colleagues in the cabinet arrested for plotting to overthrow the government.

3. The marriage of convenience between Lule and Museveni to oust Obote II government ended up not giving power to DP that had lost the 1980 elections that triggered the guerrilla war but made Museveni president through the back door leaving many people bitter to this day after five years of a bloody guerrilla war.

4. The marriage of convenience between Museveni and Okello ended up catastrophic because Museveni did not fulfill his part of the deal. As Robert Gersony (1997) reported after overthrowing the Obote regime in 1985 the “Acholi … had finally begun to enjoy some of the power and privileges of more senior rank, political and civil service appointments… They were deprived of all this by the NRA military victory. … They felt cheated by Museveni when he betrayed the Nairobi agreement. ‘We [Acholi] paved the way for the NRA by overthrowing Obote … and Museveni paid us back by betraying us’”. Sejusa who was with Museveni all along knows these tricks and will surely use them against those in the coalition when the time comes.

Let us look at other examples.

1. In a struggle for power a marriage of convenience was struck among Crassus the richest man in Rome and ambitious Pompey and Caesar Generals. Crassus was killed in battle leaving Pompey and Caesar to battle it out. There followed a year of civil war and Pompey was defeated.

2. In Ethiopian revolution of 1974 a marriage of convenience was forged among Andom, Bante, Atnafu and Mengistu. After the overthrow of the imperial regime the four military men turned on one another and Mengistu emerged as the winner having defeated and murdered the three members of the coalition.

3. The marriage of convenience between ZANU PF and ZAPU PF to oust the UDI (unilateral declaration of independence) government of Ian Smith resulted in a civil war soon after independence between the forces of Nkomo and Mugabe with catastrophic consequences in Matabeleland.

4. The marriage of convenience among Madero, Zaparta and Villa to oust President Diaz from power was followed by bloody struggle with Madero killed first, then Zaparta and finally Villa.

The examples above are presented to show that marriages of convenience to beat someone else at the finishing line or oust someone already in power have by and large ended up very badly.

Accordingly, I have two messages for Ugandans:

1. Those who are joining with Sejusa – the man who gathered thick dirt under NRM in which he was one of the principal decision makers in matters of peace and war and life and death – need to think again. The people of Luwero Triangle, Northern and Eastern Uganda especially need to be particularly concerned about the leadership of Sejusa. And for all Ugandans don’t forget that Sejusa was head of both ISO and ESO under whose leadership many Ugandans at home and abroad suffered torture and or death. We Ugandans can’t and must not forget so easily. There are also speculations subject to confirmation that Sejusa has surrounded himself with his ESO agents to form the Freedom and Unity Front (FUF) which remains a secret body and now a military coalition possibly with the same members. That is why there is no transparency in what Sejusa is doing.

2. There are also rumors subject to confirmation that Sejusa is actually working for Museveni to weaken opposition forces in the diaspora. That is why he is not a refuge but on a visa living comfortably in Europe. He has failed to comment on the alleged deposit on his Swiss bank account of $1 million by Museveni to help him cripple opposition in the diaspora.

The Hague process is building on work began largely in 2011 through civic education on radio munansi, Ugandans at Heart Forum; Face book and Tweeter, The London Evening Post and the New York-based Black Star News etc; diplomatic networking and research and writing all published in www.udugandans.org, www.kashambuzi.com.

The London Peace conference held on June 27-29, 2014 has issued a report demonstrating that non-violent struggle has removed some 70 percent of authoritarian governments from power while violent resistance is declining fast. Attached to the report are 198 methods of mobilizing the people for non-violent struggle.

The Hague process has called for cancellation of 2016 elections, removal of NRM government by peaceful means, establishing a transitional government of all Ugandans to avoid post-NRM political instability or civil war (witness what is happening in Libya and Central African Republic) led by a presidential team rather than one person; conducting a population census to help plan for the country, convening a national convention so Ugandans decide how they want to be governed; and ultimately conduct free and fair multi-party elections.

The people of Uganda are tired of bloody wars and war begets war. This must end. The Great Lakes region has established mechanisms to ensure no more wars. African Union has made it clear that change of government by military means will not be allowed. However, should a regime be overthrown by military means those involved will not be allowed to form a government witness Mali and Central African Republic. M23 was booted out of DRC. The Security Council of the United Nations demands dispute resolution by peaceful means first.

Thus, Sejusa and those with him bent military actions need to think again. Ugandans always remember what war does by revisiting the 1966 war against Kabaka’s palace; the 1979 war that destroyed Mbarara and Masaka towns; the Luwero Triangle that left half the population there dead and the Northern and Eastern war that used scorched earth methods under the overall supervision of Sejusa to destroy any living object on land, in the air and under water. This could be repeated again with impunity should Sejusa capture power by military means.

Finally, readers please note that the civil war that followed the overthrow of the Ethiopian Imperial regime in 1974 was due to the fact that it was the people (civilian people) that mobilized for the regime change. When they were about to take over the military stepped in. The people resisted and there followed many years of bloody struggle.

In Uganda the struggle by the people started in earnest after the 2011 stolen elections. We have made progress in mobilizing at home and abroad to oust NRM regime by peaceful means. The military put together by Sejusa at this late stage to supplant people’s efforts will be resisted and could possibly lead to a civil war. This is not inciting the people but warning about what might happen. Ugandans are now enlightened. They know their human rights and fundamental freedoms and won’t give them up without resistance this time. We need the Filipino model (People Power) where the civilians and security forces joined hands and successfully ousted Ferdinand Marcos from power without bloodshed. The Hague Process is built on the Filipino model where civilians and former soldiers have joined as individuals to present a common message of peaceful regime change and coordination of mass mobilization activities. The chairpersonship will rotate so that we don’t create rigid institutional structures that evolve into dictatorship. For us everyone is a leader according to comparative advantage.

Eric Kashambuzi

Federal versus unitary government for Uganda

As you are aware, I have written and talked a lot about my support for a federal government over the unitary arrangement we have in Uganda. Those interested please visit www.kashambuzi.com or www.udugandans.org. I have used the examples of Switzerland and Nigeria among others in support of federalism for Uganda.

Nigeria is currently reviewing its federal arrangement as it celebrates its founding 100 years ago. I urge you to follow the developments for clues as to how we should do it in the aftermath of NRM that has rejected a federal system even when the majority of Ugandans want it as contained in the Odoki report.

President Jonathan has led the process along the following lines and with the following message.

1. As defined by the 1979 Constitution ‘federal character’ is “the distinctive desire of the people of Nigeria to promote unity, and foster national loyalty and give citizens of Nigeria a sense of belonging to the nation notwithstanding the diversities of ethnic origin, culture, language or religion which may exist and which in their desire to nourish and harness to the enrichment of the federal republic of Nigeria”.

2. Bowing to public pressure President Jonathan announced on October 1, 2014 that a National Conference would be convened to chart the way forward for Nigeria.

3. He established a 13-member Presidential Advisory Committee to advise the government on a framework for the conference after nationwide consultations. The committee reported there was a national consensus for the conference.

4. The National Conference was inaugurated by the president on March 17, 2014 in Abuja. It is scheduled to last for three months. The 492 members of the conference were selected by a broad category of interest groups including government itself, labor representatives, ethno-religious organizations and former government officials.

5. The conference is free to discuss anything under the sun except the division of Nigeria.

6. The conference is taking place at a time when the National Assembly is in the process of amending the Constitution and the conference recommendations will be taken into account.

7. President Jonathan urged the delegates “to engage in intense introspection about the political and socio-economic challenges confronting our nation and to chart the best and most acceptable way for the resolution of such challenges in the collective interest of all the constituent parts of our fatherland. This coming together under one roof to confer and build a fresh national consensus for the amicable resolution of issues that still cause friction amongst our people must be seen as an essential part of the process of building a more united, stronger and progressive nation.

“It is our expectation that participants in this conference will patriotically articulate and synthesize our people’s thoughts, views and recommendations for a stronger, more united, peaceful and politically stable Nigeria, forge the broadest possible national consensus in support of those recommendations, and strive to ensure that they are given the legal and constitutional backing to shape the present and the future of our beloved fatherland. This conference is open for us to table our thoughts and positions on issues, and make recommendations that will advance our togetherness.

“The issues range from form of government, structures of government, devolution of powers, revenue sharing, resource control, state and local government creation, boundary adjustment, state police and fiscal federalism, to local government elections, indigeneship, gender equality and children’s rights, amongst others. [It should be] a positive turning point for our country’s development. We must seize this opportunity to cement the cleavages and fault lines that tend to separate us. We must re-launch our country”(Africa Today April/May 2014) – a powerful and positive message indeed.

Eric Kashambuzi

Uganda should learn from The Philippines

The principle method of UDU is to conduct civic education to bring about non-violent change in Uganda. This is the mandate we were given at the Boston conference that built on the Los Angeles conference, three months earlier.

Accordingly we have done some research to learn lessons from those that struggled before us. Studies have shown that non-violent methods are producing more results than armed struggle. Over 70 percent of authoritarian regimes are being removed by non-violence. And violent means can’t succeed unless they have external support including mercenaries as Duncan Kafero of Ugandans to the Rescue (UTR) is doing and made a very unsuccessful attempt to convince Uganda several weeks ago.

Armed struggle has been abandoned in Spain and Palestine. It was abandoned in Iran, East Timore (Timor Leste) and The Philippines. Here is what happened in The Philippines.

“In February 1986, less than two years after the start of a mass popular uprising, the Philippine dictator, Ferdinand Marcos, was ousted from power. At the time scholars predicted that the Marcos regime would be overthrown by a communist insurgency or a military coup… Instead, a popular uprising that involved nearly every segment of society, including Marcos’s armed defenders, ultimately toppled the regime. The mass civil resistance that followed a political assassination and stolen election undermined the dictator’s most important sources of domestic and international power and led to a relatively peaceful democratic transition. … The Philippines People Power movement stands as an impressive example of effective nonviolent resistance”(Chenoweth and Stephan 2011).

Four lessons are worth noticing by Ugandans.

1. The people of The Philippines came together in large numbers in a short time.

2. The participants in nonviolence came from all walks of life including sections of the armed forces led by the minister of defense and deputy army commander.

3. The Philippines had a capable leader, Cardinal Jaime Sin, the Catholic Archbishop of Manila.

4. The nonviolent rebellion had external support.

The Hague process that began in November 2013 and brought Ugandans together from home and abroad and conducted a second follow up meeting in London over the past weekend using advanced technology to obtain comments and suggestions and to reach those who could not physically attend adopted a roadmap based on nonviolent methods (It is important to note that increasingly meetings including at the United Nations are conducted through electronic arrangements including skype making it possible for people to conduct business without being physically together in one room. This method is also drastically reducing the cost of travel and associated expenses).

The next step is to designate champions to draw up action plans that are location specific to avoid a one size fits all arrangement. These plans will be used to mobilize Ugandans for non-violent resistance to unseat the NRM government, set up a transitional government, run by a presidential team to avoid possible political instability after NRM has exited (records show that when groups that came together for a common purpose of removing an unpopular regime turn against one another as they scramble to capture power leading to instability, a situation that must be avoided). The public service commission will also be run by a team to iron out sectarianism in hiring and promoting staff. The army will similarly be run by a team drawn from different parts of Uganda to avoid one army commander and generals from one region or one ethnic group as has been the case since independence.

The transitional government will then conduct a population census to determine how many we are and who we are. A national convention will follow so Ugandans decide how they want to be governed as members of one country.

Meanwhile the political playing field will be leveled for free and fair multiparty elections at an appropriate date. This way a sustainable political base will be established to enable the people of Uganda to decide who should represent them and hold them accountable for their commissions and omissions.

Ugandans are urged to give serious attention to these proposals. Time has come for Ugandans to be innovative and reject settling into routines in a dynamic world.

Two things to avoid in Uganda politics – secession and military invasion

When people are frustrated – as many Ugandans are – they tend to grab anything that can ease their pain. In these circumstances, many pet projects float around. Those with ideas begin to talk and write. Ideologies fly around using language – like ethnic cleansing – that may please listeners. Some want to go back to the golden past and launch traditional ideologies based on past glory. In an attempt to push their ideas through, they frustrate those with opposing views.

Sadly, this is what has happened to radio munansi. At the beginning of 2011, there were progressive anchor teams as well as listeners. It was hoped the country would be liberated in a short time. But when this didn’t happen disillusionment set in. People with extreme views including secession by military means using mercenaries if necessary to enhance delivery of results entered the debate.

To mobilize support like Hitler and Mussolini these extremists blamed some Ugandans for the suffering of sections of Uganda. They have now succeeded in removing progressive elements. They are now talking of the barrel of the gun as Duncan Kafero emphasized on the radio a few weeks ago as the only solution to Uganda problems. Kafero also admitted having Rwandese (Tutsi) mercenaries in his army. How can Kafero remove a Tutsi-dominated NRM regime by a Tutsi-led opposition army? Take a moment and think about that and tell us how on earth this is going to happen. When people are in too much pain they may over-doze themselves, ending their lives prematurely.

Ipso facto, Ugandans need to pause. Take a deep breath. Say a prayer for proper guidance so we don’t make another mistake. Around the world military means of removing authoritarian governments are declining. Non-violent resistance is in the ascendancy and is producing more results.

To do that requires better organization, discipline, using same message among opposition groups and mounting massive mobilization across the country with capable leaders that are patriotic and put national interests before their own. Secession and military invasion as alternatives should be avoided as chances of success are remote, besides being very costly. Secession has been tried and failed. Military governments have made matters worse.

Ugandans need also to understand who these people pushing for secession and military solutions are. You are urged to do your home work and stop taking things at face value.

Non-violent resistance has worked where armed struggle failed

More than 70 percent of fallen authoritarian regimes have been by non-violent means. In those situations where violence has succeeded it is largely because of outside help. Some opposition groups that had started by military means withdrew and adopted non-violent struggle and won. Let’s see how Iran did it by non-violent means that are being encouraged for Uganda, instead of reckless and costly military adventurism.

“The 1979 Iranian Revolution [Islamic Revolution] ousted an unpopular monarchy and led to installation of an Islamic republic following an intense period of mass mobilization and collective civil disobedience. Earlier attempts to depose Shah Reza Pahlavi’s regime through assassinations and guerrilla warfare were unable to achieve what mass-based protests, strikes, stay-aways, and noncooperation achieved in less than one year. Whereas the Shah’s security apparatus infiltrated and decimated main guerrilla groups in the 1970s, the civil resistance that began in earnest in late 1977 exerted significant pressure on the monarchy and became impossible to contain or suppress. The sustained pressure exerted by Iranian workers, students, professionals, clerics, and other segments of Iranian society, even in the midst of harsh regime repression, divided the regime from its most important pillars of support. The popular uprising neutralized the Shah’s security apparatus. On February 11, 1979, when the Iranian Armed Forces Joint Staff declared that the Iranian military would ‘remain neutral’ in disputes between the Shah’s regime and the nation, the final page had been turned on the monarchy”(Chenoweth and Stephan 2011).

Three lessons emerge from this quotation:

1. That armed struggle failed in Iran;

2. Mass mobilization by non-violent means did the job within one year following many years of guerrilla failure;

3. The armed forces decided to stay neutral as the Shah’s regime face the will of the people.

Against this backdrop, Ugandans from home and the diaspora met at The Hague, The Netherlands, in November 2013 and debated for three days what methods should be applied to oust the failed repressive regime. It was decided that we should use non-violent means because civil resistance has worked even where violent strategy had failed.

This weekend a road map for mass mobilization to oust NRM regime by civil resistance will be crafted in London using the draft that has been circulated to members that attended the meeting in The Netherlands. We have already obtained very useful inputs.

A skype facility will be provided for those that for various reasons may not be able to participate in person. We shall keep the public advised of the developments as they unfold.

Eric Kashambuzi

Baganda have also contributed to the current challenges

As a researcher and civic educator to all Ugandans I have a responsibility to contribute to the debate among Baganda that tends to emphasis external factors for their suffering.

There is a time when one of our colleagues at the organization where I worked was experiencing serious problems but blaming others for his mistakes. We got concerned and we felt that someone should tell him. It was decided that the closest to him should be the one to tell him the truth.

When you examine the record shortly before independence and since then, you realize that Baganda also made errors that must be recognized and corrected.

I listen to the Luganda program of radio munansi. What you hear for most of the time is that Baganda are suffering because of others, previously Northerners but since Museveni came to power blame has increasingly shifted to westerners especially Banyankole who must pay for the suffering they have caused to Baganda including chasing them away from Buganda soil. This is scary.

Banyankole in particular must be having sleepless nights wondering what will happen should NRM be overthrown by Baganda military forces commanded by Duncan Kafero with Banyarwanda mercenaries as he admitted last Sunday on radio munansi. This is not a secret. Every time there is a problem Baganda want either to go their way or chase non-Baganda out of Buganda. If they stay in Buganda they must be under the Kabaka of Buganda. This is still the chorus today. On three occasions, Baganda have acted.

1. In December 1960 Buganda declared independence but had no means of implementing the decision.

2. When campaign for the post of president heated up and Baganda felt they may not get it, they threatened to chase the central government out of Buganda. In 1963 the Uganda constitution was amended to create the post of president. As the bill was being debated in parliament … “Busoga District Council passed a resolution that their Kyabazinga … should be made the president. … Not to be undone, the Lukiiko passed a resolution that the Kabaka should be made the president, failing which the Uganda government should remove itself from Buganda soil”(Samwiri Karugire 1988).

3. The loss of the lost counties to Bunyoro and other developments upset Baganda and decided to act. In May 1966 the Lukiiko influenced by three radical Ssaza chiefs passed a hurriedly drafted resolution calling on the central government to leave Buganda soil by the end of that month (T. V. Sathyamurthy 1986).

4. The chorus regarding non-Baganda leaving Buganda soil has picked up momentum including on Radio Munansi that has been taken over by extremists and secessionists. Non-Ugandans living in Buganda are listening and hearing the warning. They need to figure out in time what to do to avoid a catastrophe because this is serious business.

When Uganda National Congress (UNC) was formed in the early 1950s it had a national character and had branches outside Buganda. As the struggle for independence heated up some senior Baganda officials of UNC turned parochial, forcing the party to split. At the same time non-Baganda in LEGCO formed a party Uganda Peoples Union (UPU) for the sole purpose of opposing Buganda separatist tendency. UNC branches outside Buganda joined with UPU and formed UPC.

Baganda have insisted to this day that they must stay on top of everyone in Uganda, with the Kabaka above all of us or they will secede. To create a pretext, they are insisting they were a state before independence when we know the 1900 Uganda Agreement which remained in force until independence designated Buganda a province on par with other provinces. They are restoring Buganda traditional ideology in preparedness for a new state of Buganda. As part of this new direction, some have changed their mind about a federal system of government and now demand secession which as I have advised could be a double-edged sword because it is people who demand self-determination. The various communities of Buganda given the circumstances under which Buganda was carved into a kingdom could decide to link up with other groups or go separate ways.

DP lost its political advantages over UPC because Buganda could not tolerate a Muganda commoner and Catholic becoming head of Uganda above a Protestant Kabaka. Obote a northern commoner but Protestant was invited by Baganda to become prime minister instead of Kiwanuka.

While the Kabaka was happy with what Buganda got at the Lancaster Conference before independence Michael Kintu, then Katikiro and the Kabaka Yekka were not happy because the constitution failed to make the Kabaka above everyone in Uganda.

“When the Baganda delegates returned from the constitutional conference and reported their achievements to the Lukiiko, they were strongly criticized by members of the Kabaka Yekka Movement of having failed to secure acceptance and acknowledgement of the superiority of the Kabaka of Buganda over all Ugandans from other members of the delegations at the conference, who were representing the various tribes in Uganda. They particularly wanted the new constitution to spell out clearly that the Kabaka was above the Prime Minister of Uganda”. The Movement issued a statement to the effect that:

“As from March, 1962, the seat of Uganda Prime Minister will be in Buganda at Entebbe, and the National Assembly of Uganda will also be in Buganda in Kampala. We of the Kabaka Yekka cannot hesitate to state that if Uganda is ever to be a prosperous and peaceful country the Prime Minister must always be subordinate to the Kabaka and other hereditary rulers as shown by Kabaka Yekka in the picture opposite”(Onyango Odongo 1993).

From this quotation, it appears that non-Baganda delegates wanted to move the seat of the central government outside Buganda, prompting Kabaka Yekka to act as it did. As they say, you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

The issue of the “lost counties” was perhaps unnecessarily complicated by Buganda. Obote had suggested that after independence he would bring Buganda and Bunyoro together to find a mutually acceptable solution but Buganda under the leadership of Michael Kintu totally refused engagement (T. V. Sathyamurthy 1986). By the time they realized they could lose the counties it was too late to do anything about it.

As Baganda wanted, the Kabaka became president in 1963 but quickly ran into problems including conflict of interest as Kabaka of Buganda and President of Uganda, resulting in the sad political and constitutional tragedies of 1966 and 1967.

With these few illustrations, the point being made here is that Baganda in a way have – perhaps without realizing it – contributed to the challenges they face. By contributing to the instability in the country to make it difficult for the central government to govern, Baganda opened the door for Amin to shoot to power. External efforts to prevent him from assuming power failed because of the massive support he received in Buganda especially in the capital City of Kampala.

Against advice from wise Ugandans, Buganda invited Museveni to launch a guerrilla war in Buganda that left an estimated half of the population in the Luwero Triangle dead and more damage has been done since then but blame continues to be directed at Obote and Acholi people for atrocities. For the current suffering, Baganda have directed attacks at westerners especially Banyankole in part because they welcomed Obote in Bushenyi when he returned from exile and Museveni has used them to rob Buganda although with Mengo collaboration, witness the MOU which has turned out to be a binding Agreement between Mengo Administration and the central government. Baganda are generally silent about the role Mengo is playing in robbing its people especially the Bakopi.

Concerned citizens are now advising against mercenaries being hired by a group in Buganda as confessed last Sunday on Radio Munansi. Mercenaries may help to get rid of unpopular leader and get their pay but they do more harm in the end. We know what Amin mercenaries did and we are witnessing what mercenaries under Museveni are doing. We really don’t want another set of mercenaries. Baganda should hear our voices and act accordingly and should things go wrong they should not blame anyone else.

As I have been saying Uganda has suffered more than enough. Let us take stock of the root causes of our suffering in order to offer a solution. This will require political will, boldness, risks and sacrifice. I am fully aware that some Ugandans don’t like controversial or confrontational debates but this happens everywhere provided it is done constructively and in a civil manner. Letting sleeping dogs lie as some have suggested could be dangerous should they wake up and realize we messed them up and demand their pound of flesh. When the sleeping dogs woke up in France, Mexico, Russia, Ethiopia and Iran, there were revolutions that swept ancient regimes out of power. Since 1986 sleeping dogs have also woken up in The Philippines, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Libya. More could be on the way to waking up including in Uganda. That is why it is important that to avoid bloodshed, we should form a transitional government of all Ugandans under a presidential team to govern Uganda and prepare the ground for subsequent multi-party elections.

I am writing these stories fully aware of what could be waiting for me. However, with Almighty’s guidance, I sincerely call on Baganda to take a hard look at the challenges being faced from internal and external factors and adjust appropriately. Trying to secede, using mercenaries, or asking non-Ugandans to leave Buganda soil will only complicate matters for Baganda and indeed for other Ugandans. That using mercenaries in order for Buganda to secede has been denied doesn’t mean much. Many things were denied before only later to be confirmed when the job is done. I urge all of you to read what I write with an open mind because I mean well for all the people of Uganda.

This note has been prepared as part of civic education.

Eric Kashambuzi

Why the next Muganda president may not solve Baganda problems.

There are some Baganda who are reasoning that they have suffered more than any other group in Uganda since independence. To end this suffering the next president of Uganda must be a Muganda. But those in favor of this idea must bear in mind that a president per se may not do much. Baganda should take a broader view and look at Baganda that have played a role in Uganda since 1962 including presidents, vice presidents, prime ministers and those that have served in senior positions like the police and the army. When you do this check you are going to realize that it takes more than mere numbers and status to produce the desired results. This honest analysis may help to rethink the strategy. Let us see what the record holds for Baganda.

Baganda have had:

1. Four presidents namely Mutesa II; Lule; Binaisa and Muwanga (he served as the real head of state when he was chairman of the military commission);

2. Four vice presidents namely Muwanga; Kisekka; Bukenya and Ssekandi;

3. Three prime ministers namely Kisekka; Kintu Musoke, Apolo Nsibambi;

4. Two second and third deputy prime ministers namely Paul Ssemogerere and Abu Mayanja;

5. One vice chairman of the ruling NRM party Moses Kigongo;

6. One inspector general of police Katumba Wamala;

7. One army commander Katumba Wamala;

8. Many ministers in key and strategic ministries namely foreign affairs, internal affairs, finance, attorney general, security, education, local government etc.

No other region has had such senior representation in the central government since independence. Buganda and more specifically Kampala has remained the economic, social and cultural hub of Uganda. Currently some 80 percent of Uganda’s Gross National Income (GNI) is generated in Kampala and surrounding areas.

Conclusion: it is not the accumulation of these things that matters. It is the spirit and dedication to serving the people and making sure that the benefits trickle down to the rest of the population. Getting the next Muganda as president could possibly make matters worse as he/she tries to appease Ugandans from other region in order to keep the position, making Baganda suffer even more.

Solution: Uganda needs a dedicated person who will be bold and take tough decisions including solving the land grab problem; tightening the flow of migrants into Uganda; giving priority to Ugandans in employment; providing quality, relevant education to enable Ugandans to compete at home and abroad; healthcare that prevents and cures diseases; food and nutrition security that will build immunity and improve performance and increase productivity including school feeding program that improve school attendance and performance especially of girls.

We shall need a leader that will launch a conditional cash transfer to poor households as is being done in Brazil, India, Tanzania, Nigeria etc to get people out of poverty. Security insurance would also be necessary. We shall need a leader that will negotiate a good deal for Ugandans in the East African community; not the current one that has opened Uganda borders to an influx of non-Ugandans because of the unregulated travel arrangements within the community members. In part because of this Uganda has more men than women, indicating that we are getting more men than women coming into Uganda; Uganda will need a leader that will give identity cards to Ugandans not foreigners. We shall need a leader that will not rely on mercenaries to survive. I could go on but for now this is enough to chew on.

In looking for the next leader that could be a Muganda or someone else let us first look at what needs to be done and then pick the leader that fits this profile.

Eric Kashambuzi

Duncan Kafero missed a golden opportunity to convince Ugandans

Uganda is at a critical juncture in its history since independence in 1962. To save it requires the quality of leadership exhibited by leaders that include Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Konrad Adenauer, Franklin D. Roosevelt, General Park, Narasimha Rao, Deng Xiaoping and Nelson Mandela.

I listened to Dr. Kafero on both the English and Luganda programs of radio munansi. While it is understandable that assessments of his performance will differ depending upon what each one of us was looking for, I think that he missed a golden opportunity to convince Ugandans that he was the man to lead Uganda after NRM has exited with all the problems that will be inherited. He should have articulated his policy and strategy views on all areas of human endeavor, if only in a condensed manner. His presentation and response to questions left a lot to be desired. I got the impression that either he didn’t want to answer or he didn’t know. I stand ready to hear from those who think my assessment isn’t fair. Below are some of my concerns.

1. Having appeared on the radio so soon after President Museveni delivered his state of the nation address and the budget, Kafero should have commented on the two addresses pointing out areas where more needs to be done. Uganda’s economy, society, environment and relations with neighbors are not functioning well. Kafero should have identified areas that would need priority attention during the 36 months he declared he would serve in office, if he got there.

2. Having appeared on the radio so soon after the English program anchor had been axed in unexplained circumstances and former listeners are demanding an answer, Kafero should have taken responsibility as leader of Ugandans to the Resque (UTR) and its affiliate radio munansi and explained why a decision was taken without consulting the individual concerned or informing him of the reasons for his ouster. This decision has left the radio station overwhelmingly in the hands of Baganda giving it a regional, rather than a national dimension. This decision has cast a shadow on Kafero’s approach to making decisions or his representatives.

3. While empirical evidence shows unambiguously that more than 70 percent of authoritarian regimes in the world have been removed from power by non-violent means, Kafero did not explain why he has taken an exception to this trend. He just made a statement that NRM regime will be removed by the gun. Uganda has used guns many times since 1966 to solve political problems but the outcomes have remained unsatisfactory. What makes Kafero think that this time the situation will be different during and after the war? The catastrophes of Luwero Triangle, Northern and Eastern Uganda are still fresh in our minds.

4. Kafero didn’t give a convincing answer in my view about the possibility of M23 members in his army. He admitted that there are ‘foreign mercenaries’ in his army that he referred to as Banyarwanda instead of Tutsi. If Kafero has Bahutu and Batutsi mercenaries he should clarify that point. He wasn’t also able to answer what he would do should he attack Uganda and the government calls on support from friends in Africa and beyond? In other words would he have the capacity to handle that combined force? African Union has agreed that a sitting government has a right to call for help when attacked by military means. The UN prefers settling disputes by peaceful means in the first instance and when that fails can apply other means in self-defense.

5. Kafero was particularly disturbed and lost control when he used the two words “total rubbish” three times when a reference was made that there might have been contacts between him and Sejusa directly or indirectly on forging a working relationship. What we know is that senior members of UTR warmly welcomed Sejusa when he arrived in Europe as though he was already a member of UTR. When Sejusa announced a few weeks later that he was working to become the next president, a member of UTR complained rather strongly that Sejusa spoke too soon. Shortly afterwards, Sejusa changed his position and it is believed he stated he would accept the posts of the minister for defense and commander of Uganda armed forces, implying he had accepted Kafero as the leader. That there have been contacts between FUF and UTR could be deduced from the fact that a senior member of UTR attended the meeting in London that created the FUF of which Sejusa is the sole founder. It would be surprising that such a thing could have happened without the knowledge of Kafero before or after the meeting.

6. Except his clear position against Buganda secession, Kafero’s grasp of national issues left doubts in the minds of many as read from the media. He avoided or was unable to answer a direct question about threats to westerners especially Banyankole including their expulsion from Buganda soil should he become the next leader. Calls have been made regularly on radio munansi that non-Baganda in particular Banyankole should go back to where they came from. This matter needs to be resolved or it will be difficult for those threatened to associate themselves with what Kafero is trying to achieve. Acholi people have also been mentioned as a group that would be targeted. Kafero needs to make a strong statement on these developments. The former anchor of the English program was trying to call for a solution to this problem and was axed possibly because of his insistence that these threats needed to be resolved once and for all.

7. On the 1995 constitution Kafero contradicted himself. He first said he would delete the sections that were unpopular without specifying them and later declared he would scrap the entire constitution. First of all it’s not Kafero who should do that. It is the people of Uganda through their representatives and direct consultations. One wonders whether he would even be able to do all that in three years, or failure to complete the task would compel him to seek an extension as Museveni did when his four year term ended in 1990 and he is still in power in 2014 and still counting.

8. Kafero avoided the burning issue of land grabbing. He said it was a big challenge but he would do what he can. Land grabbing is a political issue that can only be resolved by political means in a transparent and participatory manner. He should have made a strong statement along that line. I expected him to say something about the proposed New Landlord Tenant Bill and the Land Commission Bill. I don’t remember him addressing these issues, especially as they relate to Buganda following the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which in practice has turned out to be a binding Agreement.

9. The other burning issue that Kafero avoided was unemployment especially of youth including university graduates. He said that that was a long term challenge that he would leave to political parties presumably after he has left office, implying that he would do nothing within three years in office.

10. The gender issue came up the second time and possibly by the same individual who was not satisfied with the answer given when Kafero appeared on radio munansi. Like before he didn’t give an answer to indicate he was aware of the magnitude of the challenges women face.

11. Kafero appreciated the good question about the challenge of environmental degradation in Uganda including flooding and slums but he did not specify what he would do as I listened to him.

12. Basically Kafero was not able to answer these and other questions put to him because UTR has given the impression that its priority is to defeat NRM first and prepare a development plan after capturing power which I think is a big mistake. His technical team if he has any should be developing a plan or should have one already. UDU was formed in July 2011. By October 2011 it had adopted a comprehensive National Recovery Plan that has been used as a basis for civic education. Thus, Ugandans know what we plan to do should we be honored with an opportunity to serve the people of Uganda.

13. On working with other military groups Kafero said he was trying to bring them under his wing, implying as junior partners. This is exactly what happened in Los Angeles in 2011 when UDU was formed. UTR participants wanted UTR to be the umbrella organization and when the suggestion was not endorsed, UTR decided to go its own way.

14. Unless I missed it, one would have expected to hear Kafero’s views about a transitional government that would bring all Ugandans together under a presidential team. This discussion has been in the news for a while and is gaining momentum. To avoid the possibility of instability and even a civil war, it makes sense to establish a collective participation in government after NRM has exited.

Let me end on a different note regarding Baganda. Some are not happy with what I have been writing and saying. I want those concerned to know that I care deeply about all the people of Uganda in present and future generations, seeing myself more as a statesman than a politician. I have maintained that we can’t solve our problems unless we identify the root causes from within and without. I feel very strongly that secession through self-determination of the people isn’t the answer.

Uganda has all the natural and human resources needed to make it as a whole a first world country and society. What we are missing is quality leadership – leadership that believes in equality of opportunity, justice for all, rule of law, respect for diversity, human rights and fundamental freedom and allowing people to decide how they want to be governed. So let’s identify that quality of leadership which is available and can be assessed by its contributions to the current debates.

My views should be analyzed within – not taken out of – the context I present them – in this connection the secession of Buganda which I don’t favor and have provided evidence to discourage it. I also wish to underscore that I come from a background that believes in truth, justice and dignity for all and cares especially for the voiceless and powerless members of society, sometimes leading to conflicts with those who want to stay on top at the expense of others ad infinitum.

Eric Kashambuzi

By its very nature politics is divisive

Politics is about getting power and keeping it. To do that those who don’t have power are prevented from getting it. So you have those with power and those without it struggling with each other.

In Uganda the Tutsi-dominated National Resistance Movement (NRM) has had power since 1986 and wants to keep it forever by keeping others out. Similarly in Rwanda, the Tutsi-dominated Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) has had power since 1994 and wants to keep it forever. That is why these two countries have become vulnerable to political shocks because there is a very tiny minority of Tutsi trying to dominate the majority by using all sorts of methods including dubbing their opponents sectarian or genocidaire to keep them silent.

Tutsi have devised a sophisticated method of using others and money for their ultimate and possibly permanent benefit in Uganda and Rwanda. Without wishing to offend anyone, let me say this: To capture power in Uganda, Museveni carefully mobilized Baganda support by offering them some carrots. He made Lule (RIP) chairman of NRM. Baganda assumed that with power in NRM hands Lule would become president and Museveni vice president. Sadly, Lule passed on a year before power was captured. Museveni then became acting president and would not allow an election to have another Muganda in the chair until NRM captured power and he became president by default or through the backdoor if you will.

Museveni knew Baganda were upset, so he gave them another carrot. He named them at different times to high profile positions including vice Chairman of NRM, Speaker of Parliament and cabinet posts including Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, Minister of Internal Affairs, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Local Government and Attorney General etc. At one time two Baganda, a Catholic and a Muslim, were made second and third Deputy Prime Ministers respectively. However, they had no authority because that went to Ministers of State who were mostly Tutsi. The posts of Vice President and Prime Minister have also been dominated by Baganda as well as the strategic position of chairman of the Land Board since Tutsi are determined to acquire land at the expense of indigenous owners throughout Uganda.

With Tutsi fairly entrenched, the number of Baganda in key positions has declined precipitously. They only have a vice president with undefined functions.

In Rwanda while Tutsi were still weak before and after capturing power in 1994, they fronted Hutu as Chairman of RPF, President of Rwanda, Prime Minister and Minister of Internal Affairs etc. Like Museveni before him, as soon as Kagame was secure in Rwanda, he removed all of them: some went to jail, others fled into exile and one of them was gunned down in Nairobi, Kenya.

Because Museveni is getting worried that NRM could lose power because of mounting opposition at home and in the diaspora, he has come up with a scheme to keep Tutsi in power. It is rumored, subject to confirmation, that Ugandans to the Resque (UTR) has Museveni hand in it. Duncan Kafero who admitted yesterday that he is Tutsified, is the ceremonial head. He also confessed that there are Tutsi in his military wing of UTR. Knowing how Tutsi behave in military matters, the majority of commanders could be Tutsi that operate secretly. Kafero also admitted for the first time that UTR has structures but are not for public consumption and will therefore continue to operate secretly.

It is also rumored subject to confirmation that David Sejusa is in London, not as a refugee, but working for NRM to break the back of opposition in the diaspora. He has neither denied it nor the $1 million alleged to have been transferred to his bank account in Switzerland by Museveni. There is another rumor that Sejusa, Kafero and State House are working together to suppress the opposition. That a senior member of UTR attended the Sejusa conference in London in December 2013 that created FUF indicates a connection. I appeal to interested Ugandans to investigate these rumors and report back their findings.

To mobilize Ugandans, Kafero set up Radio Munansi. A reasonably good team for the English program was hired to attract Ugandans. A Luganda program specifically for Baganda was also set up. I was hired on the English program together with two colleagues who eventually left. I stayed on – I was dismissed and then brought back – worked around the clock to mobilize listeners around the world.

When Kafero and Tutsi behind him realized that I was becoming popular – some commentators tried to break my back and force me out using acidic language and it didn’t work – they abruptly, without explanation, kicked me out the second time in three and half years. Those who did not like my messages and rising profile are naturally happy and have said so.

Kafero who had refused to appear on the program – probably fearing that I might ask him questions that would make him uncomfortable – suddenly showed up yesterday, a week after my ouster. Unfortunately without adequate preparation which was clear in his presentation and especially when answering questions, Kafero did not perform well at all. As questions piled up Kafero couldn’t take it, lost his temper and referred to some of my statements made earlier as “total rubbish”. He said that three times.

Comments flying around from all corners following Kafero’s presentation have one thing in common: Kafero did not rise to the occasion and chances of becoming the next president were severely damaged. Those who had hoped Baganda had finally picked a candidate with a national appeal were definitely disappointed. It is not too late to look somewhere else. Kafero could be a good man but he is possibly in a wrong place and likely being used as a cover for Tutsi that are working hard to retain power in Uganda and Rwanda.

I am requesting Ugandans especially Baganda to take another look: there are potentially good leaders out there. They don’t necessarily have to come from one’s region. All that is needed is to look for a Ugandan that has articulated a message to create a national space for justice, dignity, tolerance, prosperity and equality of opportunity for all Ugandans in present and future generations. Those aspiring leaders who keep silent supposedly in the interest of neutrality are either not sincere or have no clear ideas as Kafero demonstrated yesterday about what they would do once in power.

As the struggle rages on to snatch power from NRM, politics will sadly remain divisive along many lines including ideological, regional, religious and ethnic. We need to learn to live with this reality provided we develop shared values and a common purpose for the entire country around which politics will be practiced while respecting one another as human beings born free and equal in dignity and rights. Not least, Ugandans should stop the habit of being used for the comfort of others.

Eric Kashambuzi