Ugandans have a right to know who their representatives are

To understand why majority Ugandans are getting poorer, jobless, hungrier, sicker, landless and are about to lose national sovereignty as borders are eliminated as suggested recently by the president of Rwanda when he met with a high powered Uganda delegation in Rwanda, one needs to know the origin of the core group of NRM and its motives to enable Ugandans to take informed decisions. To tell this story requires boldness because the risks are very high. But the story has to be told for Ugandans to read, discuss and decide on the way forward.

The original group led by Museveni formed some sort of association at Ntare School in the early 1960s, soon after independence in 1962. This group was motivated by the desire to regain domination of politics in the Great Lakes region. The independence of Congo (home of Banyamulenge or Batutsi from Rwanda), Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda introduced fundamental changes in the minority pastoralist and majority agriculturalist relations. The minority pastoralists who had dominated the agriculturalists for centuries were defeated during pre-independence elections based on majority rule. The association was formed to map out a road map to return Batutsi to power in Rwanda and regain domination in Ankole politics initially and Uganda and East Africa subsequently. The group launched an attack on UPC for rigging Ankole elections in order to gain the support of Catholic Bairu DP supporters. It also attacked UPC for lack of interest in the East African Community (EAC) project. Protestant pastoralists deserted UPC which they could no longer dominate and joined DP which they dominated. You need to remember that politics in Ankole is dominated more by religion than ethnicity. Museveni planted a seed among DP supporters in Ankole which would help him to mobilize Catholics throughout Uganda during the 1981-85 guerrilla war.

Who are genocidaires and victims in the Gt. Lakes region?

Museveni and I have disagreed on many issues in Uganda’s political economy discourse. However, we agree fully that to solve a problem we must get to the root cause (Y. K. Museveni 1989). I also agree with the late Samson Kisekka that education and mass media play crucial roles in public debates to take informed decisions (Samson Kisekka undated).

To solve Great Lakes problems in which Uganda is located we must accept that inter-ethnic conflicts are still alive and well. We also have to recognize that Batutsi from time immemorial have conflicted with other groups in Eastern DRC, Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda. However, addressing the problem is difficult because any mention of Batutsi wrongdoing leads to automatic accusations of inciting genocide against them by those who want the status quo that has favored them since 1994 be not disturbed.

Since the 1994 genocide in Rwanda Batutsi are seen as victims and others as genocidaires (genocidaire is a French word which means those who commit genocide). Genocide means committing any of the following actions with intent to destroy in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group:

1. Killing members of the group;

Feudalism or federalism for Uganda

There is a struggle between Ugandans in favor of feudalism and those in favor of federalism.

Feudalism is an economic and social system of lords or kings, knights (soldiers) and serfs (peasants). It dominated European medieval period but has occurred in other societies like pre-colonial Rwanda. The center of feudalism was the king who was also a warrior supported by knights. The king centralized power in his court and owned the land which he used to compensate knights for military service. The grant of land to knights was called ‘feud’ or ‘fief’ hence feudalism.

Feudalism was marked by hierarchy of rank (lords, knights and serfs). “In fact, feudal society was marked by a vast gulf between the very few, very rich, great landholders and the mass of the poor who worked for the profit of the nobility” (Robert Stewart 2002).

Federalism (which is federo in Luganda) simply means sharing power between central and provincial or local governments, giving the latter constitutional authority to plan their development according to their endowments, history and culture.

In Uganda the group led by Yoweri Museveni is trying to solidify feudalism with Museveni as the lord with full power to dish out land to his top ranking soldiers in return for military support reminiscent of medieval Europe.

Those who break promises lose trust and get punished

In behavioral economics trust is an important concept. People feel good when dealing with people they trust and are trusted. “This feeling is related to the positive stimuli they get from trusting engagements. … People also tend to get high on punishing others, but they most enjoy punishing those who have betrayed them. They enjoy punishing individuals who have breached their trust or behaved unfairly. … This type of punishment [which is referred to] as reciprocal punishment, is payback for perceived behavior” (Morris Altman 2012).

In Uganda Museveni and his NRM government has broken many promises entered into with the people of Uganda during and after the guerrilla war of 1981-85. In 1985, a year before NRM captured power in 1986 Museveni published a ten point program that included introduction of democracy through free and fair elections and good governance; observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms; ending corruption and sectarianism; restoration of people’s sovereignty and ending suffering in Uganda through providing infrastructure and social institutions and services. Museveni further promised restoration of what was lost when Obote abolished the independence constitution including kingdoms, federalism and properties such as land. Asians were promised restoration of their properties. Because it is believed that DP was robbed of victory in the 1980 elections, promise or impression was made that upon ousting UPC and Obote II from power, DP would form the next government with a Catholic president. Not least, Museveni promised law and order, peace and individual security broadly defined including food and job security etc and good neighborly relations.

Political control by any means necessary has some problems

There are many reasons why people join politics. There are those who join for fame. There are those who join because they have nothing else to do. There are those who join to make money. There are those who join to bring certain issues to public attention. And there are those who join to solve problems.

I joined politics very early in life. I joined student politics at Butobere School because I wanted to bring all students together to celebrate independence as one united group, not supporters of DP or UPC. I became president of Rujumbura Students Association to bring harmony among sectarian groups. I involuntarily joined Rukungiri UPC politics of meat eaters and vegetarians because I wanted to defend a civil servant who had been unfairly treated by the vegetarian group. I became president of African Students Association at the University of California at Berkeley because I wanted African students to have a common position on the Vietnam War. I became chairman of UNDP staff association in Zambia because I wanted harmony between locally and internationally recruited staff. I co-founded Uganda Unity Group in Zambia to bring Ugandans together and end sectarian politics against the Amin regime and I joined Amicale at the United Nations in New York so that Africans have a common position on matters that affected their welfare.

The difference between Nilotic Batutsi/Bahororo and Bantu Bairu/Bahororo in Rujumbura County

Because I have written disturbing facts about how Nilotic Batutsi/Bahororo enslaved and impoverished Bantu Bairu/Bahororo of Rujumbura county in Rukungiri district, Batutsi/Bahororo represented by Museveni and Muhwezi have or their surrogates fought back by dubbing me a Muhororo so that people who don’t know the difference will think I am one of them and should carry the cross with them for the sins they have committed.

“Bahororo” in Rujumbura is a colonial administrative term that was created by British authorities. When the British arrived on the scene, they found many Bantu people identifying themselves by their clan names although collectively were dubbed Bairu (slaves or servants) by Batutsi/Bahororo who came to Rujumbura around 1800 as refugees from their former Mpororo kingdom which Ankole had absorbed. Presumably because colonial officers didn’t like the term Bairu which means slaves or servants, it was suggested presumably by Makobore who was chief of Rujumbura that all people in the county be called Bahororo. That was acceptable to British authorities. As a result there are Bahororo of two types. Nilotic Batutsi/Bahororo people now the rulers of Uganda and Bantu Bairu/Bahororo people like me who became Bahororo for colonial administrative convenience.

The difference between Nilotic Batutsi/Bahororo and Bantu Bairu/Bahororo in Rujumbura County

Because I have written disturbing facts about how Nilotic Batutsi/Bahororo enslaved and impoverished Bantu Bairu/Bahororo of Rujumbura county in Rukungiri district, Batutsi/Bahororo represented by Museveni and Muhwezi have or their surrogates fought back by dubbing me a Muhororo so that people who don’t know the difference will think I am one of them and should carry the cross with them for the sins they have committed.

“Bahororo” in Rujumbura is a colonial administrative term that was created by British authorities. When the British arrived on the scene, they found many Bantu people identifying themselves by their clan names although collectively were dubbed Bairu (slaves or servants) by Batutsi/Bahororo who came to Rujumbura around 1800 as refugees from their former Mpororo kingdom which Ankole had absorbed. Presumably because colonial officers didn’t like the term Bairu which means slaves or servants, it was suggested presumably by Makobore who was chief of Rujumbura that all people in the county be called Bahororo. That was acceptable to British authorities. As a result there are Bahororo of two types. Nilotic Batutsi/Bahororo people now the rulers of Uganda and Bantu Bairu/Bahororo people like me who became Bahororo for colonial administrative convenience.

Uganda in the next 50 years

As we finalize preparations for Uganda’s 50th birthday anniversary as an independent nation, we need to take stock of what we have achieved as a nation and where we have fallen short in order to pave a clear, equitable and sustainable path for the next 50 years.

Most Ugandans today were born after 1970 – a period dominated by political instability, economic and social hardship – and don’t have the benefit of comparing the civilian regime of Obote I and the military regimes of Amin and Museveni. What has been written about UPC and Obote I of the 1960s found mostly in NRM documents picked and emphasized deficit areas and ignored the achievements. To a certain extent Obote, subsequent leaders and supporters are to blame for not writing their stories to provide a basis for comparison. We hope that between now and October 9, UPC leadership will arrange to fill the gap.

Who is ruling Uganda since 1986?

This question keeps coming up in our discussions. So let me try to answer it hoping that this time everyone will be satisfied. As noted earlier, Uganda has entered the age of asking questions and demanding answers. Uganda has also entered the phase when citizens are determined to exercise their natural rights and freedoms in political, civil, economic, social and cultural areas. In this we have received support of development partners that have warned the NRM government to refrain from violating rights and freedoms of Ugandans. The age of taking things for granted and maintaining rulers and ruled status quo is coming to an end. Adjustments on the part of authorities used to handing down instructions and using force to ensure compliance are needed. Let it be known to those still in doubt: Uganda is moving forward and the message is clear for all to read. Those attempting to stop or turn back the clock are only inviting trouble. When the French and Russian mobs led by women demanded government relief from food and fuel shortages, the respective governments ignored their calls and summoned police to disperse them. By the time they realized that the situation was serious it was too late. The rest we all know. Museveni and his team should not underestimate the power of unemployed, hungry and angry masses.

“My best friend is truth” – Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton was born in England in 1642 almost 100 years after Galileo (Italian scientist) had written that the earth goes around the sun contradicting ancient Greek scientists including Aristotle and Ptolemy who had written that the sun went around the earth. Newton became very interested about how the world worked. He read every book he could lay his hands on.

Newton got admitted to Cambridge University to study science. There, he was told to study the ideas of ancient Greeks like Plato and Aristotle. However, Newton thought that the ideas of modern scientists like Copernicus and Galileo were closer to the truth than those of ancient Greeks, a radical move. He wrote in his notebook in Latin that “Amicus Plato amicus Aristoteles magis amica veritas” which in English translation reads “Plato is my friend, Aristotle is my friend, but my best friend is truth”. He experimented with the ideas of modern scientists until he was able to determine the force that pulls on the apple. He called it gravity. In 1687 he published his ideas in a book titled Principia Mathematica, or Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy. Because he told the truth, Newton occupies a proud position in the pantheon of scientific investigation and is buried in Westminster Abbey.