What to remember in Uganda’s 2011 elections

As we head into the holiday season and the 2011 elections, all Ugandans are being requested for the sake of our children and theirs, to think carefully about which candidates at presidential and parliamentary and lower levels you should vote for. You should not vote for a candidate because he/she is your relative or your friend or your neighbor. Instead, you should vote for a candidate you are convinced will serve the interests of Uganda best. Sitting members of parliament should be rejected or re-elected based on their record. It is better to consider someone who has a public record of service rather than gamble on fresh candidates and you regret later. Age and gender should not be the issue. In your communities you know who can deliver best. You should not be scared because a candidate is wearing a military uniform. In the final analysis they are as vulnerable as we all are.

Rwanda government can do what it wants with impunity

I have read, listened to debates and conversed with many people in Burundi, DRC, Rwanda, Uganda and the United Nations in New York to find out why Rwanda authorities – government and armed forces – are not held accountable for the atrocities they are reported to have committed since 1990 when RPF (Rwanda Patriotic Front) invaded Rwanda and are still committing in Eastern DRC and Rwanda itself.

In January/February 2010, I spent thirty days in Burundi, DRC and Rwanda and conversed with many people from all walks of life. I got a lot of information mostly from informal and anonymous conversations. The following information is what I have collected before, during and after the mission. I am making this contribution in an effort to find a durable solution to the challenges not only in Rwanda but in the Great Lakes region as a whole.

Enabling environment

Some developments have emboldened Rwanda government (and its army) to do what it wants with impunity. Here are some of them.