When I started writing about Museveni’s Uganda, many commentators thought I was either crazy or had an axe to grind against Museveni and Tutsi. The response was quick and acidic in many instances, hoping I would be intimidated and stop writing or move on to other subjects. Friends and relatives also felt I was endangering myself and those related to me and urged me to stop. I didn’t comply and many have since dissociated themselves and don’t want to have anything to do with me.
What I am doing is not for me personally and didn’t jump into it abruptly. I thought long and hard and prayed before I leapt into action. I am doing it to save Uganda from itself because I see trouble ahead. I have studied revolutions and rebellions very carefully. And I see Uganda getting closer to a revolution or rebellion that will not be prevented by AK47s and air force jets or branding Ugandans as idiots and fools.
Revolutions and rebellions are very costly in life and properties. What is common among them is that revolutions take place in areas where there are few haves and many have-nots and the gap is wide. The trigger comes when poor and unemployed run short of food and other basic necessities. In the French and Russian revolutions it was food shortages and energy that triggered the revolutions in which women played a crucial role. Revolutions change regimes and dynasties and are followed as in France, Mexico, Russia and Ethiopia by devastating civil wars. The reason we study history is to draw lessons to emulate good practices and discard bad ones.
I have also studied dictatorship and fascism. You will find that they emerge from frustrations characterized by issues of nationalism, economic and social hardship. Lenin took advantage of frustrations with WWI, food and land shortages. He promised Russians peace, bread and land if they supported him and in October 1917 Lenin took over Russia. A combination of nationalism as a result of WWI and economic hardship witnessed the emergence of Hitler and Mussolini who ended up destroying democratic institutions and systems and ended up becoming dictators, arguing that strong leadership was needed to address serious challenges the two countries faced. They insisted on absolute discipline and authority that turned into dictatorship or fascism.
Museveni came to power when Uganda was in a mess politically, economically and socially. NRM launched an unpopular structural adjustment program that required ‘bold’ or ‘strong’ leadership to implement. Bold leadership meant dictatorship that suppressed democracy and human rights and freedoms. Some donors gave tacit endorsement.
Museveni was exempt from conducting elections for ten years. Some donors felt that democracy and structural adjustment were mutually exclusive. Democracy was given a lower priority and shelved or allowed at gun point to keep Museveni in power. There wasn’t international protest when presidential term limits were deleted from the constitution and there was silence when Museveni allowed corruption, sectarianism and mismanagement of public funds and even diverted development donor funds to the military at one time to the tune of over 50 percent. Museveni suffocated independence political parties of UPC and DP and forced extension of NRM period beyond 1990. In return for staying in power longer, Museveni allowed Uganda to be used as a guinea pig for many foreign pet projects. Now he appears to be in agreement to limit the birth of children to three per couple because donors are concerned that Ugandans are growing too fast through excess of births over deaths. But they don’t factor in massive immigration whose relative contribution remains unknown. Ugandans need more information about the role played by migrants into Uganda’s population growth before a definitive decision is taken. We are therefore warning parliamentarians to tread carefully on this sensitive subject. I heard discussions about family planning in Uganda on Ngoma Radio. The differences of opinion are so wide that the government needs to do more work before leaping into imposition of birth control. We also need to learn from China and India that started ahead of us.
The international preferential treatment Museveni received encouraged him to implement his agenda of creating two economic and social systems one for Tutsi and tutsified Ugandans – Ugandans that have married Tutsi women to have access to state house and be rewarded with political and economic presidential handshake – and another system for the rest of Ugandans. He used structural adjustment tools to squeeze Ugandans into poverty, illiteracy, sickness and jobless and to create two systems of rich and poor knowing that he would not be criticized for adverse outcomes by the donors who imposed structural adjustment on Uganda. Here are illustrations of how Uganda has been divided into two systems and two countries.
Education system of private and public schools: Private schools at all levels are modernized but very expensive. This caters for those already rich and will get modern education in line with labor requirements at home and abroad. The beneficiaries are Tutsi and tutsified Ugandans that have been used to implemented Museveni dual programs. On the other hand public schools are poorly staffed, students study in dilapidated buildings or under trees, the student teacher ratio is very high that students don’t get enough attention and there are few or no text books and other instructional materials. Students have no lunch and many drop out. Those who stay graduate without learning much and are functionally illiterate and therefore unemployable.
Healthcare system of private and public services: Like in education, healthcare has been divided into private and public services. The private health facilities are modern but very expensive catering for the rich Tutsi and tutsified. On the other hand, the healthcare facilities for public have shortages of all kinds – shortages of medical staff, housing, medicines and supplies. The service is very poor and people are dying unnecessarily including those that can’t pay for delivering babies. People in poor health can’t study well and become unproductive in adult life, keeping them trapped in crushing poverty and vulnerability.
Employment and joblessness: There are people in Uganda that get jobs even before they graduate. I am not aware of Mututsi (singular for Tutsi) that is involuntarily unemployed (that is looking for work and can’t find it). On the other hand non-Tutsi Ugandans including those that graduate with distinction can’t find work and end up operating boda boda (motor cycle transport), hair salons or roasting corn/maize by the road side. In order to hoodwink the public, Museveni in his New Year message reported that Uganda’s engine of economic growth resides in boda boda, hair salons, video houses and serving at petrol stations. Some people didn’t react favorably to this presentation, thinking this was an insult.
Propertied and non-propertied classes: Tutsi and tutsified Ugandans are accumulating properties at breakneck speed. Sam Njuba in his interview with (Uganda) Observer reporter put it well when he said that Tutsi are grabbing everything in their way – land, schools, hotels, hospitals, buses etc, leaving virtually nothing for the rest. The prime minister’s decision to transfer land from peasants to rich large scale farmers is perhaps the last straw that will break non-Tutsi back in Uganda. Without land and functional education non-Tutsi Ugandans are finished repeat finished. Museveni is now dragging Ugandans into a proposed borderless East African political federation. If Ugandans allow this project to continue to fruition, it will be the end of Uganda and Ugandans as we have known them. The Tutsi Empire Museveni’s signature project if it succeeds will take us back to the feudalism of lords, knights and serfs that was implemented in medieval Europe and pre-colonial Rwanda. Make no mistake about it. I am sure it will happen if we don’t stop it. In April 1997, Museveni let out his secret when he said that his mission was to create federal states in the Horn of Africa and Great Lakes under one nation presumably with him as president which he didn’t spell out.
Two countries in one: Meanwhile, Museveni is dividing Uganda into two countries: Greater Kampala that will be the center of development by and for Tutsi, tutsified Ugandans and foreigners; and the rest of the country that will be neglected for non-Tutsi Ugandans to make them vulnerable, economic and socially powerless and voiceless and easy to govern. Museveni wants to turn Greater Kampala into a Singapore. Just keep your eyes open: you will see development investments go in this area while the rest of Uganda will be neglected. Already slums in Kampala are being demolished to put up modern buildings for the wealthy who are Tutsi and tutsified Ugandans. Management of Greater Kampala is not located in the Lord Mayor’s office but in the office of the president and the Executive Director reports not to the Lord Mayor but to the president. Does this strategy give you a hint in light of what the president wants? Where is Mengo government in all this because Greater Kampala is located on Buganda soil including the 9000 square miles?
And the revolution will follow: The two economic and social systems in a divided Uganda of rich and poor as existed in pre-revolutionary France, Russia, Mexico and Ethiopia will trigger a revolution and subsequent civil war in which everyone will lose.
In order to prevent this revolution and civil war from happening, I decided to go public having failed to convince NRM authorities silently that they were driving Uganda on a wrong and dangerous road. My communication with the president, speaker of parliament, prime minister, minister of finance, ambassador to the UN in New York and permanent secretary in the ministry of foreign affairs etc are accessible in my book titled “For Present and Future Generations” and on my website www.kashambuzi.com.
Some Ugandans have accused me of being ambitious. Yes I am but not for personal gain but to help avert a political, economic and social catastrophe ahead of us if we allow Museveni to continue governing Uganda as he has done so far. I don’t see Museveni changing course. The alternative is to change Museveni and his government and replace it with a transitional one with all stakeholders participating including NRM to prepare a strong foundation for free and fair multi-party elections.
We, Ugandans, are fond of absolving ourselves from blame by pleading ignorance. Now we have told you the dangers awaiting us if we keep the roadmap drawn up by Museveni and NRM. The trajectory is dangerous. It must be changed and quickly.