Why do relatives fight one another?

Upon realizing that Batutsi are Nilotic people one fellow Ugandan wondered why then have Nilotic people been killing each other in Uganda. I replied briefly that the fight has been over power. Power doesn’t recognize relatives when relatives face each other. When relatives have a common opponent from another group (Obote and Ibingira versus Kakonge), relatives come together. When that opponent is out of the way (Kakonge out) relatives turn against each other (Obote and Ibingira). Before elaborating on Nilotic rivalry in Uganda politics, let us look at two examples of relatives fighting and replacing each other in England and Burundi respectively.

1. The War of the Roses (1455 – 1485). For thirty long and bitter years, two noble families in England: the House of York (whose badge was a white rose) and the House of Lancaster (whose badge was a red rose) fought a bitter civil war as a result of conflicting claims to the English throne. Many nobles and others died in the war. In the end the House of Lancaster defeated the House of York. Henry Tudor was crowned king of England as Henry VII. Henry VIII and Elizabeth I belonged to the Tudor family that ruled from 1485 to 1603. Because Elizabeth had no children (she never married), she was succeeded by James Stuart her distant cousin who became king of England as James I.

DRC: Agents do not decide; they are instructed

Those calling on Kaguta, Kagame and Kabila (the three Ks) to pacify the Great Lakes region are exaggerating what the three leaders can do for two major reasons. First, these are military leaders who believe in military solution to problems. Peaceful negotiation or democracy isn’t their cup of tea.

Museveni engaged in a very destructive Luwero Triangle guerrilla war to solve a political problem caused by the 1980 elections which he lost instead of mobilizing for the next elections. If the international community hadn’t exerted pressure on him, Museveni would probably still be fighting the rebels in the north and east of Uganda.

Second, Kaguta, Kagame and Kabila are agents. And agents don’t decide: they carry out instructions. The locus of power and decision making is elsewhere, not even at the United Nations in New York. It is in major western capitals.

During a mission to the Great Lakes region in DRC, Burundi and Rwanda about three years ago, it was made clear from different sources that Uganda and Rwanda and their leaders are mere agents of western powers and corporations. Therefore calling on Kagame, Kaguta and Kabila to end the fighting is a waste of time and money. These leaders are acting on instructions.

Struggle to control riches of DRC and suffering of Gt. Lakes people

The people of DRC especially those in the east need more of our prayers at this hour of intense human suffering. The three K leaders (Kaguta, Kagame and Kabila) with military background and their domestic and foreign backers need to come to their senses and end the suffering of the people. The United Nations too needs to move faster and end the war before it loses its credibility as an institution that was created in 1945 to maintain or restore peace and security in all parts of the world.

The fall of Goma town may sharpen the appetite of victors to want to capture the rest of DRC, Angola, Namibia, Congo and Gabon and then Kenya and Tanzania. Mark my words: if concerted and collective action is not taken that is what will happen. Rwanda and Uganda, the two countries alleged to be causing this instability are too poor to be acting alone. So those supporting them should stop.

How a Catholic Archbishop saved the Philippines

Ferdinand Marcos came to power in 1965 and refused to leave despite failed policies that brought about economic inequities and political instability. A combination of population growth, absolute poverty and land shortage created massive discontent and contributed to the formation of a communist insurgency. Concerned about economic and social injustice, the Catholic Church got involved.

Then on August 21, 1983 former senator Benigno Aquino and strong opponent of Marcos was assassinated at Manila International Airport when he returned home from exile. This assassination served to mobilize massively against Marcos. The Church played a pivotal role through pastoral letters and a Manila-based Radio Veritas station owned by Catholic Bishops Conference.

In panic, Marcos abruptly announced a snap election to throw opposition candidates into disarray and win. The Archbishop of Manila Cardinal Jaime Sin and his colleagues issued strongly worded pastoral letters that left no doubt that they were on the side of the people. The snap presidential election of February 7, 1986 was massively rigged by Marcos supporters. On February 15, the Philippine parliament announced that Marcos had won. The announcement was followed by massive campaign of civil disobedience to force Marcos out of power.

Batutsi expansionism takes hold in Eastern DRC

When I wrote about Tutsi Empire project, detractors quickly dubbed me a genocide promoter and a tribal hater. But I stood my ground. Batutsi want to set the cloak back to pre-colonial days of lords and serfs. From their small nucleus in Mbarara town in southwest Uganda in the early 1960s, Nilotic Batutsi debated and agreed to use military means to recapture the dominance over Bantu people that they lost through the ballot box because of their numerical inferiority.

The guerrilla war in Uganda gave them the opportunity to capture Uganda and use it as a base to invade and overthrow Bahutu-led government in Rwanda, then overthrew Bahutu-led government in Burundi and Bantu-led government in Zaire.

The declaration of Tutsi Empire was cut short when the people of Congo resented Batutsi dominance in Desire Kabila government. Kabila expelled Tutsis from DRC. Kagama and Museveni responded with another attack which was defeated by a combined force of Angola, Namibia and Zimbabwe because they resented a Tutsi Empire in Middle Africa of Nilotic Batutsi dominating Bantu people in the Great Lakes region.

BBC has vindicated me. According to BBC’s Gabriel Gatehouse, “The M23 is largely made up of ethnic Tutsi, the same group which dominates the government in Rwanda”.

Sharp contrasts between NRM and UDU policies

As we approach 2016, Uganda people must be provided with election choices well in advance of the elections so that they are well informed about what is at stake and make the right choices.

United Democratic Ugandans (UDU) which has become a formidable force was formed in July 2011 and has been consulting with the people at home and abroad including in a local language and conducting civic education to determine what Ugandans need. We have got some ideas which contrast sharply with what the National Resistance Movement (NRM) government has been implementing since 1987. Here are the contrasts on selected areas.

Civilian versus military-backed government

NRM is led by a military president with full backing of the military. UDU proposes a civilian president with full backing of the people.

Specific roles of security forces and the judiciary

NRM has militarized the police, mixed up the roles of the military and the police and weakened the judicial system in the administration of justice.

Plan C of Tutsi Empire might work after all

Plan A of the first phase was to capture Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and DRC by military means. It succeeded in capturing and retaining Uganda and Rwanda. The military solution was halted by Angola, Namibia and Zimbabwe troops.

Without abandoning the military solution, the leaders then moved onto Plan B of getting the Empire through the East African federation via the political route. This seemed slow.

Without abandoning the military and political East African solutions, the leaders then moved onto Plan C which is a combination of military and political strategies. Instead of going for the entire DRC they chose to capture Eastern DRC by military means. The region is now in imminent danger of being lost.

Rwanda and Uganda delegations met a few months ago and decided to abolish national borders among East African states probably starting with the border between Uganda and Rwanda. The two presidents may soon instruct their rubber stamp parliaments to pass legislation merging Uganda with Rwanda under a new name possibly The Republic of Rwaganda.

Is it the messenger or the message that has become controversial in Uganda debates?

I embarked on research and writing with the sole purpose of correcting distortions in the Great Lakes political economy with a focus on Uganda. I was fully aware that my findings and solutions would raise much dust and controversy. Before I wrote my first book which came out in 1997 I said a prayer for God’s guidance and protection. I have written ten books since then. Here are some of the issues I have raised and become controversial.

Contraception and population decline

The conventional wisdom is that once women have access to contraception, population growth will decline drastically. I have countered that while contraception is necessary it is not sufficient. I have argued that a combination of contraception, anti-poverty programs, girls’ education and women empowerment is better than contraception alone. Is it the messenger or the message that has become controversial?

The paradox of hunger and abundance

I have criticized the NRM policy of food production for cash than for the stomach. The president has been the champion of this policy. Households have responded and are selling so much food to the extent that there isn’t enough for household consumption and for school lunch. Consequently regions that are food surplus are experiencing severe under-nutrition especially among children and women. I have suggested that for nutritional and moral imperatives, Uganda should only export surplus food over and above domestic requirements. Is it the messenger or the message that has become controversial?

Seeking political tools to implement the people agenda

As I have said before, I joined Uganda politics not for personal gain but because I was unhappy about what was and still is happening in a country that was once the envy of the world, with a potential for rapid economic growth and social transformation in terms of improving the standard of living and life expectancy of all Ugandans.

I have expressed my disappointment through writing, radio broadcasting and trying to advise NRM government in writing and orally about how to do things better to no avail. I have distributed some five hundred copies of my ten books to Ugandans free of charge and created a free website www.kashambuzi.com to reach a wider readership. But Uganda continues to decay. This is undeniable. Metaphorically speaking, rampant corruption and sectarianism are eating Uganda away before our eyes!

Many Ugandans and others have contacted me and advised that what is needed is implementation of the good ideas already proposed. It requires that we acquire political tools since NRM has refused to adopt the ideas we have put forward. That is why I joined the United Democratic Ugandans (UDU) and was elected Secretary General with authority to mobilize political and diplomatic support for the implementation of the National Recovery Plan (NRP).

NRM is definitely headed in the wrong direction

Medical doctors always tell us that when a disease is identified very early, there are good chances the patient will be successfully treated. Why can’t this method be applied in politics so that a government loses support by all stakeholders and is removed from power before too much damage is done? In politics there is a tendency to wait until too much suffering has occurred even when there is clear evidence the government is headed in the wrong direction and won’t change course.

NRM under the leadership of President Museveni came to power in 1986 in part because a large section of Ugandans strategically placed didn’t like UPC under Obote after the 1980 elections. Second some western governments suspected Obote still harbored socialist elements and his return to power was unwelcome. Third, UPC government fell out with the IMF and World Bank on macro-economic and human rights concerns.

Museveni came in as one of the new breed of African (military) leaders determined to transform Uganda’s economics, politics and governance. He was opposed to African dictators who stayed in power too long, governed unjustly without free and fair elections and term limits, violated human rights and fundamental freedoms and abused their offices through corruption, sectarianism, cronyism and mismanagement of public funds.