When you break new ground, as I am trying to do, you are bound to run into all sorts of difficulties. Some will misunderstand, others will misinterpret, yet others will dismiss you as a trouble maker, a sectarian or an ambitious person to be avoided like a plague. Readers of my contribution on Ugandans at Heart Forum are familiar with what has been hurled at me. Some who are worried about what may happen have suggested I use a fake name or drop writing altogether. I thank them all for their concern. After careful reflection and prayer, I decided that changing at this late hour may not be the right thing to do.
In my spare time I devoted some thirty years studying the Great Lakes region (southwest Uganda, Eastern DRC, Burundi and Rwanda) to understand why it is a troubled and unstable part of Africa. I concluded that the trouble comes from minority Nilotic Tutsi (Batutsi) trying to reassert their dominance over majority Bantu Hutu (Bahutu) and Iru (Bairu), a decision that has automatically led into accusations of genocide promotion and tribal hatred.
The 1994 genocide in Rwanda and the international guilt it created emboldened Tutsis to speed up the process of domination. To secure international support, Tutsis have presented themselves as victims in a hostile environment (inhabited by ‘bad’ Hutus and other Bantu people) in which they have to defend themselves by any means necessary including disenfranchising non-Batutsi, depriving them of their assets particularly land, denying them quality education and jobs and access to adequate healthcare facilities. The truth of the matter is that Tutsis have been the aggressors since they came into contact with Bantu people in the region around the 15th century and enslaved Bahutu and Bairu. Tutsi have even refused to accept that the 1994 Rwanda genocide also targeted moderate Hutus including the prime minister who was among the first Hutus who lost their lives.
The troubles we are going through started with pre-independence elections which were based on one person one vote and benefited majority Bahutu and Bairu who until then had been slaves or servants of Batutsi. Before independence Batutsi had carefully prevented development of leaders among non-Batutsi people by ensuring that potential leaders were given Batutsi women to marry and then ‘tutsified’ in the sense that they socially became Batutsi and abandoned their kith and kin that remained leaderless, powerless and vulnerable. Bahutu and Bairu from southwest Uganda know what I am talking about.
With independence and majority rule that turned the tables on Tutsi, the strategy of ‘tutsification” of Bahutu and Bairu men was not sufficient (although it was speeded up) to restore pre-independence status quo. It is important to understand that independence came to Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda in the same year – 1962, meaning that Tutsis were defeated at the same time (in Burundi Tutsi moved quickly and killed the prime minister designate shortly after the elections and retained power but under fragile conditions that led to the first (but ignored) Tutsi genocide against Hutus in 1972). In Congo (DRC) independence came earlier in 1960 and ruffled Banyamulenge feathers there. The Tutsis in Uganda and Rwanda were out of power. Those from Rwanda fled and many came to Uganda where they joined their fellow Tutsi and began planning to restore Tutsi supremacy when they were high school students including at Ntare School where Museveni was studying.
Museveni, Rwigyema (RIP) and later Kagame were among those that engaged in early activities. They adopted a four-pronged strategy:
1. Advocate for East African integration and federation as a stepping stone to the creation of Tutsi Empire. Other members of the East African community must fully understand that that is the reason why Museveni with Kagame support are pushing fast tracking of the federation ahead of integration;
2. Pick up the gun and fight to restore Tutsi supremacy over Bantu people whose numerical superiority will keep them in power through the ballot box;
3. Locate all Batutsi in Uganda and other parts of the region and beyond so they join military training or mobilize resources to buy guns (this may explain why Museveni chose as his first short-lived job to work in the department of refugees in Uganda president’s office);
4. Penetrate influential or potentially influential Bantu men in the region by arranging for them to marry Batutsi women and then ‘tutsify’ them to work in the interest of Batutsi, not of their people.
In terms of priorities, getting education at that time was less pressing than picking up the gun and beginning training before Bantu consolidated their hold onto power. Many Tutsi dropped out of school (it is unclear whether Museveni graduated at Dar University. Those who were with him say that he spent more time on political and military activities than academic studies).
Batutsi decided to create a Tutsi Empire right from the beginning starting in Uganda, then Rwanda, Burundi and finally DRC in the first phase; Kenya and Tanzania in the east would follow and later still other central African countries and possibly southern Africa. They also agreed that once in power they should impoverish, marginalize Bantu people to make them powerless and voiceless in order to govern them with minimum of or no dissent.
Although Rujumbura County of Rukungiri district has had powerful and influential Tutsi ministers, politicians and civil servants since independence in 1962 there is no development project by United Nations or government that I am aware of in the county (definitely not in Rwentondo parish) that has improved Bairu quality of life, the reason being to deny Bairu any opportunity to develop the capacity to seek liberty and justice from Tutsi oppressors since 1800. Many educated Bairu are wallowing in poverty while high school or graduates from Makerere night classes are employed in lucrative jobs. I am not aware of a Mututsi man or woman who is involuntarily unemployed in a country with over 80 percent youth unemployment. That is what individual merit as a basis for rewards has created and you can’t question this injustice for fear of using anti-sectarian law against such complaints and you end up behind bars.
Uganda elections in 1980 opened the door to enter Uganda
Museveni’s UPM party which was formed in a hurry after Museveni failed to get support to lead DP into elections performed very poorly in the election winning only one seat in parliament. Museveni lost to Kutesa, the current minister of foreign affairs, even after the recount (H. B. Hansen and M. Twaddle Uganda Now 1988 page 3). It is DP that in the opinion of many observers that was cheated. But it was Museveni who complained the loudest against fraudulent elections and decided to start a guerrilla war instead of waiting for the next elections. Museveni, Rwigyema and Kagame – all Tutsis – were among the first 27 guerrillas that launched the war. Disgruntled DP supporters mostly Catholics and Baganda under the leadership of Lule (RIP) later joined Museveni and formed NRM/NRA. Lule became chairman and Museveni vice chairman and commander of the guerrillas.
Museveni made sure that non-Batutsi members would not get near the gun which was a preserve of Batutsi. Important Bantu Baganda and Bantu Catholics were assigned to diplomatic, political and administrative duties. Many non-Batutsi who rose in military ranks disappeared, leaving Batutsi in the army unchallenged. Once in power in Kampala, Protestant, Catholic and Muslim Baganda were given high visibility positions in the government. Museveni retained the ministry of defense and made Rwigyema deputy minister of defense and Kagame deputy director of intelligence and counter-intelligence with vast influence to consolidate control of security forces.
The public service was filled with NRM cadres initially some as directors before they took over as full permanent secretaries dominating ministries of finance and foreign affairs in particular. Through structural adjustment and the need for strong security against riots, resources were diverted from development especially education, healthcare and agriculture to security forces, disadvantaging the majority of Uganda population. Democracy through elections was delayed for ten years while NRM destroyed UPC and DP.
In governing Uganda Museveni has relied overwhelmingly on Tutsi who are scattered in all parts of Uganda but use local languages and local names and ‘tutsified’ Bantu men married to Batutsi women. This is the group of Tutsi men and women and ‘tutsified’ Bantu men many think that is influential in parliament, in district councils and in the public service. That is why strange decisions or laws are passed and are difficult to explain. For example, for many:
1. It is difficult to understand how Greater Kampala came about that has robbed Buganda of its land with so many Baganda in parliament and in the cabinet;
2. It is difficult to understand how Buganda has failed to get its land back with so many Baganda in parliament and in the cabinet;
3. It is difficult to understand how Buganda has failed to reach an agreement with Museveni over federo when Buganda has 99 MPs and senior members in the cabinet.
Some believe that Buganda has been disadvantaged and possibly betrayed because Museveni has supporters in Buganda that support his interests than those of Buganda. And who are these Baganda? Are they pure Baganda or non-pure Baganda or both? This needs further investigation before a definitive position is taken. As a matter of survival it is important to know who is working for whom. I don’t send you to parliament and you work against my interest and expect me to send you back.
What is clear is that Museveni reads signs very well. Once he realizes that pressure is building against him to a point of explosion, he yields witness Mabira forest controversy. One can deduce from this that Baganda have not used their numerical strength in parliament or as the largest group in Uganda or in concert with other groups to extract commensurate benefits from Museveni.
As we begin the next fifty years of independence Ugandans must determine through careful vetting who our leaders are in parliament; in district councils; in the public service and in opposition parties and groups. Patriotic Ugandans must stand in solidarity against Museveni and Mbabazi who are bent on transferring Uganda peasant land to rich domestic and foreign large scale farmers. Land is the only asset Ugandans have. We just can’t let it go. The common denominator in everything that we do is land. Countries have gone to war or threatened war over land, even pieces or islands that may appear useless.
Besides Tutsi Empire, Museveni’s immediate concern has been to get land for his landless people in the Great Lakes region. Ugandans must watch for new comers who attempt to take your land through purchase or eviction or some other ways. Land is precious and life. Don’t sell your land and move to town where you lose your roots and identity. There is no substitute for land. You see the rich people are buying land because they understand its importance for present and future generations. That is my advice as someone who has studied and written about the importance of land.
Museveni goes beyond Uganda
Museveni does things methodically and incrementally. After consolidating his position in Uganda, Museveni embarked on the second leg of his mission namely removing Bantu regimes in Burundi, Rwanda and Zaire (DRC). Museveni supported the invasion of Rwanda by RPF starting in 1990, resulting in the overthrow of Habyarimana (Muhutu) government and installing Tutsi government with Kagame as the strong man who eventually became president after he got rid of Hutu president, prime minister and minister of internal affairs he fronted while consolidating his position over majority Bahutu in Rwanda.
“Museveni also had a hand in the Oct. 23, 1993 coup against Burundi President Melchior Ndadaye, whose election had ended 31 years of Tutsi military rule in Burundi. According to some sources, Museveni planned the coup in a meeting in Entebbe which included the RPF’s Paul Kagame. Two coup ringleaders, Major Bucokoza and Lt. Paul Kamana, were in Kampala, openly carousing with Ugandan officers, from late October 1993 to February 1994 and according to Burundi sources, they are both now with the RPF. The attempted coup in Burundi resulted in the murder of President Ndadaye [Muhutu]…”(EIR November 1994).
In 1996 Museveni and Kagame led the invasion of Zaire using Desire Kabila as their front. Mobutu (Muntu) was overthrown and a few months later died in exile. They had hoped to use Kabila to complete the first phase of Tutsi Empire but when he refused, Museveni and Kagame launched another war in 1998. Fortunately by that time some leaders in the region had understood Kagame and Museveni motive of creating a Tutsi Empire to which they objected. Angola, Chad, Namibia and Zimbabwe joined Kabila and defeated the invading force. Having failed to take the entire country, they are now trying to annex Eastern DRC.
Realizing that a military option was very slow, they employed plan B to achieve the empire through the East African community by pushing the East African political federation ahead of economic integration. The idea is to realize the federation while Museveni is still president of Uganda so that as the most senior president, would become the first president of the federation. Once there Museveni would create all obstacles as he has done in Uganda and refuse to go or hand-pick a Mututsi to succeed him and through coalitions build enough support to declare the Great Lakes region a Tutsi Empire. I urge all East Africans who don’t support Tutsi Empire to move cautiously. I especially urge Kenya not to fall into the trap of accepting political federation in exchange for economic integration.
Hopefully, you now have a better idea why Museveni conducted a guerrilla war largely on Buganda soil where an estimated 700,000 innocent Baganda lost their lives (Africa Events March 1986 page 29), with virtually no compensation from NRM government.
To stay in power and pursue his Tutsi Empire dream, Museveni has impoverished and marginalized Ugandans and silenced us through anti-sectarian and anti-terrorist laws. In Rwanda Hutu are going through the same impoverishment process by being pushed into subsistence agriculture (Michael Mann The Dark Side of Democracy 2005 Page 431).
History shows that when people are oppressed too much they rebel, regardless of the strength of national security forces against them. Uganda is about to reach this point. Everywhere you turn there is something wrong – a sick child; a dropout of school student, unemployed youth; a pregnant teenager; a starving elderly; a drying river; uncollected garbage; an insane immigrant and corrupt official, etc. We ask all Ugandans particularly our armed forces to join with your civilian brothers and sisters and change the NRM regime without bloodshed.
Non-violent resistance is a legitimate method of removing a repressive government from power. We appeal to our neighbors, other African countries and development partners to lend us a helping hand in this dark hour of need.
For God and My Country