I have been constructive in my criticism of NRM government

Ugandans and non-Ugandans who have followed my writings and speeches about the NRM government and President Museveni know that I have been constructive with a view to helping steer the government in the right direction. I have avoided personal attacks of individuals and their family members. I have written personal messages to the president; prime minister; speaker of parliament; minister and minister of state for finance, planning and economic development; permanent secretary of the ministry of foreign affairs and Uganda ambassador to the United Nations in New York giving them my honest views about Uganda’s political economy since 1986.

I fully supported the ten-point program because it was relevant and home-grown. But Museveni dropped it in exchange for the Washington Consensus or structural adjustment that I did not agree with. While in Kampala or when Ugandan officials came to New York where I reside I discussed with them what I thought was wrong. But they did not listen so I went public. Those who want to know what I have written about NRM government visit www.kashambuzi.com. It’s all there and comment on them constructively if you wish.

I have problems with Ugandans who worked with Museveni from the beginning and advised him on how to govern or without realizing it how mis-govern Uganda. They stayed with him and accumulated vast wealth until recently when they realized that Uganda is in real trouble and NRM might be removed peacefully or otherwise. Now they are conveniently jumping ship and are now blaming Museveni and his family alone for messing up Uganda. No single leader however authoritarian like Louis XIV of France governs a country alone. He/she has advisers in all sectors of society including the military, the church and civilian populations. When things go well the leader should share credit with them. Equally when things go wrong the leader should share blame with them.

David Sejusa formerly Tinyefuza is among Ugandans that worked closely with Museveni and his family. Sejusa was probably more powerful than Museveni because he could order the arrest or torture of Ugandans without Museveni’s permission. He could harass Ugandans in the Diaspora without Museveni permission. So Sejusa should be collectively and individually responsible for his commissions and/or omissions.

I am not a Museveni supporter – contrary to the views expressed by people desperate to destroy what I stand for – and want him to go but let us be fair. All those who have worked with him and witnessed Uganda sink into the ground should not run away and hold Museveni and his family members accountable alone. Sejusa must be one of them.

Ugandans should therefore not listen to those Ugandans that participated in crippling Uganda and her people when they start bad mouthing Museveni and his family alone. They are equally responsible and should be held accountable when the time comes.

Meanwhile let us focus on what needs to be done. Those aspiring to be the next leaders should tell Ugandans what they see that has gone wrong and what they plan to do to right the situation for the benefit of all Ugandans.

Since 2011 when I joined radio Munansi and got elected Secretary General of UDU, I have written and spoken extensively – building on what I had done earlier – about what has gone wrong in Uganda, what needs to be done to correct it and how it should be done. Since November 2013 when Ugandans at home and in the Diaspora met in The Hague and subsequently in London at the end of June, 2014, we have adopted a roadmap and methods for removing NRM from power by non-violent resistance and inroads are being made. As Secretary-General of UDU with responsibility inter alia for diplomatic networking we have done a lot that has contributed to concrete actions including reduction in donor support to the NRM regime. We worked hard before the US-Africa Leaders Summit took place and you all know what happened. The record speaks for itself.

UDU developed a National Recovery Plan (NRP) and is available at www.udugandans.org. Kindly visit the blog for the details of what we have done since 2011.

We are now advocating peaceful change of the regime in Uganda. We have suggested for stability inclusion of everyone in the transitional government that should be led by a presidential team instead of one person who accumulates power and misuses it. The transitional government should besides day-to-day state activities, conduct a complete population census for purposes of development planning and demarcating constituencies of equal voting numbers; convene a national convention so that Ugandans discuss and agree on how they want to be governed. Those who want federal governance should get it and those who want other arrangements should spell them out and have them. We should move away from a one size-fits-all situation or cookie cutter administrative designs. Meanwhile institutions should be strengthened so that an individual leader is not allowed to decide arbitrarily.

Those who criticize UDU and The Hague Process (THP) should focus on these proposals. Instead many have chosen to focus on Eric Kashambuzi as an individual accusing him of being retired forgetting that retired people have accumulated vast experience and are wiser. I have accumulated vast experience that has kept me in business at the highest level in the intergovernmental process. They forget how old Mandela was when he became president of South Africa. They forget how old Deng Xiaoping was when he became leader of China. They forget how old Rao was when he became leader of India. They forget how old Adenauer was when he became the chancellor of West Germany. They forget how old Reagan was when he became president of USA. I could go on.

They also attack Eric Kashambuzi for being short. They forget to explain why I am short. They forget that short men have been among the best leaders in the world – in government, in the military and in other occupations. Let me remind them. James Madison father of the US Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the two-term president of USA was short. Napoleon Bonaparte was short. Julius Caesar was short. Oscar Kambona, one of the best African foreign ministers was short. Many of these critics because they are huge they think that makes them fit to lead – not necessarily. Uganda has had some really huge leaders – Amin and Museveni. Yet under their rule Uganda has sunk into the ground. Ipso facto Uganda needs a short man/woman to lead Uganda based besides on their expertise, experience, patriotism and above all impeccable character.

Eric Kashambuzi

Wars are ugly and should be avoided including in Uganda.

The First World War which many believe should not have happened began in 1914, a hundred years ago. It is being commemorated this week.

Despite the suffering Uganda has gone through with wars since 1966, and the devastating evidence from wars elsewhere, there are still some Ugandans including Sejusa, Kafero, Amii Otunnu and Kuloba who are still insisting that the only way to unseat NRM regime is through another war. These people have no mandate and cannot individually or with a handful of supporters declare war on Uganda. They have formed dubious organizations to hoodwink Ugandans that they have a sizeable number of followers and therefore can declare war. We need to know what these organizations are and who runs and supports them.

The devastation of World War I outlined below will hopefully change the mind of those Ugandans still preparing for an unjust war.

WWI expected to last a short time in victory lasted nearly five years and ended up ripping Europe asunder and slaughtering nearly the entire generation and the brightest. Nearly everyone lost a family member or a friend. The political, economic and social fabric was destroyed. The catastrophe was of unbelievable proportions.

The Great War as it is popularly known that was fought to end all wars instead laid the foundation for yet another more devastating WWII. Below are statistics of what happened during WWI that should persuade Ugandans not to engage yet in another war but come together and form People Power under able and patriotic leaders, not the ones we have bent on keeping the opposition divided as the upcoming meeting of opposition parties in Europe will do indirectly backing the NRM regime they are hugely benefiting from.

The precise cost of World War I will probably never be known. Here is what we know.

1. Germany lost 1, 808, 545 people while 4,247,143 were wounded;

2. France casualties have been estimated at 5,000,000 of whom 1,835,300 were dead or missing;

3. The American casualty figure stands at 325,876, of whom 115,660 lost their lives;

4. The total losses of British Empire stood at 3,260,581, including 947,023 dead and missing. On the Western Front alone , British and Dominion casualties were 2,690,054;

5. Between half a million and two million Russians died while 3,409, 433 Russians were captured and 228,838 went missing;

6. Austria-Hungary lost 905,299 dead and 837,483 went missing;

7. The Spanish influenza killed some 50 million people worldwide.

The information was obtained from Andrew Wiest (2014) and Peter Simkins et al., (2014).

The principal purpose of providing these figures is to illustrate especially to Ugandans that rushing into war as we are being incited by power hungry individuals could be suicidal. Ugandans must therefore think long and hard before venturing into another war and should that happen it must be a just war.

Eric Kashambuzi

What is a just war?

It simply means that war might, in certain circumstances, be both politically necessary and morally justifiable. A just war is based on two concepts: jus ad bellum resort to war and jus in bello conduct of war.

Before a just war begins some conditions must be fulfilled:

1. There must be a just cause or right intention. The purpose of a war must be to right a wrong which has been committed (self-defense against unlawful aggression would be considered just), and the ultimate objective must be peace;

2. The use of armed force must always be considered a last resort;

3. The resort to war is the preserve of legitimate authority – an arbitrary act of an individual cannot be considered just;

4. There must be good prospects, no matter what the grievance , if war is likely to be a wasted effort, it should not be undertaken;

5. There should always be a sense of proportion between ends and means. That is the good to be achieved through war must outweigh the damage and harm to be endured (Richard Holmes 2001).

What UDU and now The Hague Process (THP) has been advocating fits into the definition of a just war and the conditions that must be fulfilled and the anticipated outcomes. What is even more important about just war is that an individual like Kafero or Sejusa just can’t declare a war. But that is what is happening. Kafero and Sejusa have no authority. The majority of the people of Uganda have rejected war. The People Power will prevail if only we could have patriotic leadership that puts Uganda and her people first.

Fellow Ugandans I am doing all I can to save Uganda from another reckless and likely very costly war. I am convinced that if patriotic Ugandans get together we can defeat NRM without firing a shot. But our discussions are disrupted by war mongers led by Sejusa and Kafero who are Machiavellian in the sense that the end (becoming president) justifies the costs of the war however catastrophic. This is unacceptable and all Ugandans should not accept. Ugandans have sovereign authority. If you choose to back another war then you should be accountable for the outcomes. My job is to highlight the dangers of unjust war.

Eric Kashambuzi

Uganda: Don’t be pushed into war by power hungry individuals

There is almost a consensus that the First World War should not have occurred. And we should learn a lesson from this war. It was very costly and led into the Second World War. Here are the costs.

“More than ten million men were killed in the war [when you add civilians killed or died of causes related to the war the number is higher], a whole generation wiped out. In a single day, the British lost 60,000 in the battle of the Somme. … In the siege of Verdun, the two sides had 1.2 million killed. Worldwide, the Spanish influenza epidemic took more lives than even the war, an estimated 20 million. Genocide such as the slaughter of the Armenians, while not directly connected to the war, took millions more.

Besides the dead, 21 million were wounded in the war; 7.5 million were taken prisoner or missing in action. Shipping losses totaled 15 million tons, of which 9 million were British.

All the belligerents mobilized 63 million. The total gross cost of the war was estimated by E.R.A. Seligman at more than $232 trillion during the fiscal years of combat. The daily expenditure by all belligerents was $164 million”(Chronicle of the 20th Century 1987).

The wars that have happened in Uganda since independence could have been avoided. But we have had leaders that are greedy for power and cannot get it by popular means. Amin carried out a coup of 1971 to save his skin regarding the millions of dollars that were missing from the defense department and asked to answer questions about the murder of Brig. Okoya and his wife. Amin pushed Uganda into a war with Tanzania to divert domestic problems. Museveni dragged Uganda into a costly civil war that reduced the people of Luwero Triangle alone in half because he lost the election in 1980.

Now we have Sejusa/Otunnu and Kafero who are behind the agitation for war. FADDU was not talking war until yesterday after it joined with the “dead’ FUF of Sejusa and Otunnu to form the so-called FADDU/FUF (Remember after they buried FUF Sejusa asked Otunnu to form another group to continue the agitation for war!).

Let me advise Ugandans once again. Before you decide to team up with an individual or a group do some research and find out who the people are. For example, who are FADDU members? Who leads them? When was FADDU formed? Where were they before? Why did they choose to join with FUF that died a few weeks ago and was buried in London? Check their record and character and then decide what to do and don’t blame anyone else should you discover you made a wrong choice.

These people who are agitating for war are living in exile relatively well with their families (you should see the vehicles they drive and how expensively they dress) in North America and Europe and elsewhere. Sejusa has joined them and is stirring them for war.

As Ugandans know very well I am not Museveni fan but I don’t have to recommend a dangerous course because I want NRM out of the way. Some argue that war is the only alternative because demonstrations have failed. They are not the only method available. In fact the demonstrators and their leaders started with the wrong method. The Hague Process (THP) has issued some 200 methods to choose from depending upon local circumstances. 70 percent of authoritarian regimes have been removed from power by non-violent means. That is a fact. Those who oppose me don’t have evidence to prove me wrong. They resort to desperate personal attacks only to reveal their character. I know some of them and have dealt with them directly. They have nothing to offer. Let them come out and show their record. Instead they hide under fake names and email addresses.

You saw what happened in South Sudan. When war started the president of South Sudan called on Museveni to save him and the war is still on. People are dying of bullets or of starvation or diseases connected with the unnecessary war. Look at Central African Republic. It started as a small thing by a few disgruntled people who wanted power by a military coup. The country has been engulfed into a war or instability/insecurity that may not end soon.

Must we listen to a few power hungry people who are worried that those advocating peaceful resistance might win?

Some people are calling on the youth to arm themselves and fight. The choice is yours but who is pushing you and what is their motive? Please study Uganda to the Rescue (UTR) and now FADDU that has joined with a “dead” FUF to wage a war. People have said I am a pensioner. That is true but I am a pensioner with wisdom and experience and want to use them to prevent another reckless war that may destroy a whole generation of Ugandans like it happened in World War I. Do we really know who is behind this agitation for war? Luwero Triangle people were dragged into the war and lost 700,000 people and who is occupying their land. They wanted to do the same for Northern Uganda but thankfully that has not happened. Ugandans wake up and don’t be driven into a lion’s den.

Eric Kashambuzi

The failed Moshi conference model is being repeated

When Ugandans in the diaspora sensed that the Amin administration was about to collapse with no clear successor government, everyone rushed to fill the gap. At that time I was living in Lusaka, Zambia, the second hub of Uganda refugees after Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. People who were not talking to one another in the same town, people who could not agree to attend the same reception, people who had not contacted one another for years began forming groups overnight overwhelmingly along sectarian lines to form the next government.

As Kampala was about to fall, the Tanzanian government hurriedly organized a meeting of Ugandans in the diaspora at Moshi to form a transitional government. Debates ensued about who should or should not be invited. In the process Obote, Binaisa, Tiberondwa, among others, were left out.

We all know what happened after the transitional team arrived in Kampala. The National Consultative Council (parliament) led by Rugumayo as speaker could not agree with the National Executive Committee (Executive) led by Lule as president. They could not agree whether the functioning of the government should be based on the Moshi spirit or the 1967 constitution. Sections in the military started fighting and recruiting for a possible showdown. Lule was forced out within 68 days. Binaisa who had been locked out of the Moshi conference was sworn in as the next president but lasted less than a year and was gone. The military commission had its share of problems. Museveni rejected Muwanga as chair of the commission because he was not a fighter. But Muwanga stood his ground and eventually became the de factor head of state although a presidential commission of three people had been created with representatives from western, central and northern regions. There was a civil war and many people lost their lives.

The 1980 elections were contested and resulted in a five year guerrilla war that left an estimated 700,000 dead in the Luwero Triangle alone and subsequent overthrow of the Obote regime and the northern and eastern civil war that lasted over 20 years with massive losses in human lives, properties, infrastructure and institutions.

Now Ugandans this time at home and abroad are sensing that Museveni government might collapse without a clear successor government in sight. They are repeating the same failed Moshi process of forming groups overnight by people who earlier could not talk to one another in order to form the next transitional government.

In December 2013, out of the blue Freedom and Unity Front (FUF) was created with Amii Omara Otunnu apparently handpicked by Sejusa becoming chairperson and Sejusa crowning himself the founder of FUF. They rushed with a manifesto that talked about mobilizing Ugandans along ecumenical lines without an indication about what to do with the mobilized people. Sejusa and his chairperson talked boldly about using military means as the only alternative to oust the NRM government. We pointed out to them in detail the difficulties of taking that road to state house.

They attempted to write a situation analysis covering three or so months but ended up writing a short history of Uganda and its problems. It didn’t go down well with commentators.

To crown it all, differences in ideology, personalities and methods of implementation became so overwhelming that within six months FUF was dead. The marriage of convenience was abruptly and permanently terminated and the founder made the sad announcement apparently without consulting his colleagues or staff.

What is even more baffling about the behavior of some Ugandans is that within two weeks of the burial of FUF, a new organization called FADDU/FUF was announced yesterday on August 3, 2014 with Amii Omara Otunnu as one of the co-chairs. This has raised serious questions.

1. When was FADDU formed? Was there a conference? Who attended the conference and what does FADDU stand for? Who are the leaders? Could we get their profiles? When we raised these questions we were referred to the website.

2. How could a terminated or “dead and buried” FUF be a joint partner with FADDU? Those of you who followed my debate with representatives of the new organization know that eventually they recognized that FUF doesn’t exist anymore but insisted that without FUF the struggle to oust NRM from power will continue. Ipso facto, FADDU/FUF as an organization doesn’t exist. It died on arrival.

Another meeting along the lines of the one that created FUF in December 2013 is being organized in Europe for opposition groups from Uganda and the diaspora. The meeting was not announced, the participants are not known as well as the organizers and the purpose of the meeting.

Frankly, one wonders about the real purpose of these meetings and hurriedly formed groups. Is it to destroy the good work being done in the diaspora or are people genuinely trying to prepare to fill a gap when NRM regime collapses but are doing it the wrong way. Whatever the reason, the manner in which meetings are being held and groups formed reminds us of the failed Moshi conference model that should not be repeated.

Since a few people have criticized UDU and the newly created THP (The Hague Process), let me say a word or two on both.

The birth of UDU: United Democratic Ugandans (UDU) was created in July 2011 at the Los Angeles conference. The conference was widely advertised in the media and on radio munansi. The working document for the conference was a synthesis of views collected from Ugandans and published well in advance of the meeting. We obtained many constructive comments which were incorporated into the final document which was again circulated to maximize transparency and participation. The conference formed UDU and elected a committee to run its affairs. There was a brainstorming session of what UDU should do until there is a regime change. The secretariat or committee was instructed to prepare a National Recovery Plan using inputs from the brainstorming session and submit it in draft form a month before the Boston meeting took place in October 2011. We wrote a summary report of the conference and provided a list of committee members available at UDU website www.udugandans.org.

The draft of the Plan was ready and widely circulated a month before the conference as instructed among Ugandans at home and abroad and among Uganda’s development partners. The document was discussed at great length in Boston on October 8, 2011 and adopted. It was agreed that the committee should continue to serve UDU and report progress periodically which we have done through the UDU website.

The committee was instructed to publicize the plan through civic education. We were also instructed to engage in diplomatic networking and to conduct analytical studies of Uganda’s political economy.

As noted above to keep members and others abreast of developments the committee records its work at www.udugandans.org which everyone is free to visit.

As executive Secretary-General of UDU I was mandated to serve as spokesperson for UDU on all matters to avoid duplication or sending conflicting messages. Our record is known and we have many followers. This is an organization that has acted transparently and inclusively.

The birth of THP: The meeting of November 2013 that brought together participants from home and the diaspora created The Hague Process (THP) for peace, security and development in Uganda. It was well publicized through radio munansi and on the internet. The meeting was well attended across regions, gender, ethnicity and demography. The outcome of the conference was published in The London Evening Post by Henry Gombya. We wrote a report of the conference which contains the list of participants who attended and will continue to do so in their individual capacities.

It was agreed that after consultation with fellow Ugandans at home and abroad, a follow-up meeting be organized to prepare a roadmap and a strategy for its implementation leading to the ouster of NRM government, formation of a transitional government led by a presidential team since a one person presidency has created tremendous difficulties.

The London conference of June 28-30, 2014 was widely publicized on the internet and on radio munansi. Mindful of costly travel and accommodation expenses so soon after The Hague conference, we decided to provide a range of facilities to facilitate participation by those not able to travel to London. First, we submitted the conference document well in advance for comments. We received very useful comments. Second, we undertook comprehensive consultations thanks to inexpensive technology and communication facilities and obtained useful inputs into the document. Third, we provided skype facilities during the conference.

Consequently, the conference was well attended (By the way attending conferences through remote arrangements has become standard practice and less costly including meetings organized by the United Nations organizations). The London conference produced a roadmap and provided a wide range of methods to implement it according to specific location circumstances so we overcome a one-size- fits-all model. There was a high level of transparency and none was left behind in this process. The next meeting will take place in New York.

The principal purpose of UDU and THP is to facilitate the work of parties and organizations at home and abroad to harmonize the message in order to avoid duplication or conflicting reporting and to join the dots among groups and parties for smooth coordination and coherence.

At the diplomatic level we have achieved a lot, albeit more remains to be done. The record is there witness for instance reduction in donor assistance and the action of the Constitutional Court on the Anti-Gay Act, in part because of outside pressure thanks also to the work of Milton Allimadi of New York-based Black Star News.

UDU civic education has shed light on Uganda’s political economy and its complex connections historically and geographically. In terms of mobilizing Ugandans along People Power Model, we have called on various groups including security forces, religious, women, workers, youth, civil organizations etc to come together as Ugandans and take our country back by peaceful means in the first instance and lay a strong foundation for peace, security and development for all Ugandans in present and future generations.

I am therefore calling on all Ugandans at home and abroad to avoid rushing into marriages of convenience for the sake of removing NRM from power and after that we turn against one another because nothing binds us after NRM is gone because we did not think in advance about what to do together the morning after.

In most cases revolutions are accompanied by bloody civil wars because the groups that came together to overthrow the authoritarian regime did not have anything else in common.

Let us learn from these lessons and not repeat them in Uganda in post-NRM regime. That is why UDU and THP are proceeding cautiously, explaining in part why we did not join FUF and FADDU. We must also realize that leaders are not created overnight; neither can they be picket off the street or jump out of a corn field or cattle ranch. What is clear is that Uganda has potentially capable leaders. All we need to do is to pick them carefully with a particular focus on character of the individual because character and impeccable record matter more than anything else. Bless you all.

Eric Kashambuzi

The cost of war in Mozambique

Mozambique after independence which was very costly in human lives, infrastructures and institutions suffered a 16-year post-independence guerrilla war. Here is what Mozambique lost during the guerrilla war without counting those who lost their lives directly from the war.

1. 490,000 children died from war-related causes;

2. 200,000 children were orphaned or abandoned by adults;

3. At least 100,000 children served as soldiers during the conflict;

4. Over 40 percent of schools were destroyed or forced to close;

5. Over 40 percent of health centers were destroyed;

6. Economic losses totaled $15 billion, equal to four times the country’s 1988 GDP;

7. Industries were so damaged that post-war production equaled only 20 to 40 of prewar capacity (Carnegie Commission on Preventing Conflict, 1997).

We appeal to those who have information about human and material losses in Uganda starting in 1966 to make it available. Uganda has experienced many wars in 1966, 1979, 1981 to 1986 in the Luwero Triangle and in the Northern, Western and Eastern regions since 1986 to the present (the most recent in western Uganda).

Ugandans of good conscience and who care about their country and people and who put the country first should oppose the war being advocated by selfish David Sejusa and selfish Duncan Kafero. I will continue to oppose Sejusa and Kafero as long as they continue to call for armed revolt against Uganda.

Eric Kashambuzi

Why “shock therapy” structural adjustment failed in Russia

This information is provided by the person who participated in designing and implementing structural adjustment program in Russia. It failed:

1. The crisis in the Russian economy at the end of the twentieth century was the result of the unsuccessful reforms implemented by the democrats who had come to power;

2. The reason for those failures was the choice (“with the prompting of the IMF and other such agencies”) of “shock therapy” financial stabilization, and privatization;

3. The consequence of those failures and mistakes was the catastrophic decline in production, which led to the impoverishment of the nation;

Apply these lessons to Uganda and you will see parallels. Uganda was influenced in its structural adjustment program design and implementation by the same institutions that advised Russia.

The economic growth in Russia of recent years is the result of the regime’s new course – that is, of the correction of the mistakes made by the democrats (Yegor Gaidar 2012).

To get out of the economic mess, Uganda like Russia needs a new regime to correct NRM policy mistakes and failures. This will require professional and experienced leadership, not the one to learn on the job as NRM did.

Eric Kashambuzi

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