Women that changed history and why – lessons for Uganda women

Ugandans especially women are impoverished, unemployed/underemployed, sick, functionally illiterate, tired, frustrated, hungry, many in exile, voiceless and powerless and understandably angry at the NRM regime that has created these outcomes since 1986 contrary to its promises because of wrong policies and uncaring dictatorship. Ugandans had hoped to change all this by defeating NRM at the 2011 presidential and parliamentary elections. But as the majority know and international observers reported there was lack of a level playing field and NRM stole the elections and formed an illegitimate government with over 70 ministers. Having lost faith in the ballot box, Ugandans are searching for a formula to unseat an illegitimate regime (some claim it is a legitimate government), establish a transitional government to organize free and fair multi-party elections.

Uganda’s transition from speeches to action

Greetings fellow Ugandans and friends

History repeats itself and in Uganda it is about to happen.

In the 1980 Uganda elections, Paul Ssemogerere and his DP were expected to win general elections. Yoweri Museveni warned the late Milton Obote and his UPC that if they rig and win, Museveni would wage a guerrilla war and remove the government from power.

Obote won and formed Obote II government in December 1980. True to his word Museveni waged a very destructive guerrilla war. In July 1985 Okello and a section of the national army removed Obote and his government from power. In January 1986, Museveni entered Kampala and formed NRM government.

While in the bush, Museveni also waged a vicious attack on Obote’s structural adjustment program for its contribution to poverty, unemployment, hunger, poor quality education and health care services.

While in power Museveni has repeated exactly what he accused Obote of. He has rigged elections against Paul Ssemogerere in 1996, Kiiza Besigye in 2001, 2006 and 2011. Museveni also launched a structural adjustment program which has aggravated poverty, unemployment, hunger, poor quality education and health care services and environmental degradation.

Uganda voters should not sell their birthright for a kilo of salt

This 2011 election will save or destroy Uganda. Re-electing Museveni will change Uganda as we have known it – make no mistake about it. The trajectory is very clear. Museveni is already negotiating with foreigners to sell Uganda’s land – the deal with Egypt is in final stages of finalization.

When Roman food crop producing peasants were forced to sell their land to large scale farmers, the latter switched from food crops for peasant consumption to grazing cattle and sheep or growing grapes and olives for rich families. Rome’s population declined in part from high mortality rate of impoverished, hungry and sick peasants. The weakened Rome was invaded and conquered by barbarians.

Similarly, through the sale of Uganda’s land to foreigners who will then grow foodstuffs to feed their own people, Uganda peasants will dwindle and be replaced by ‘invaders’ through East African economic integration and political federation. This is not a joke. The brilliant, dynamic and jovial children that Uganda has known will be gone as education standards decline and child malnutrition and associated diseases take its toll.

Dear Joe

Thank you for your comment on Tutsi Empire project that appeared in my remarks in Observer this week. The idea of Tutsi Empire is not new. It has been raised at national, regional and international levels. If you have been following the debate on this subject and history of relations between Batutsi and Bahutu and Bahororo and Bairu you will understand why the possibility of Tutsi Empire is alarming.

The donor community has expressed concern about this project. Problems between Museveni and the West (donors) began when Museveni dreamt of a Tutsi empire and together with Kagame invaded DRC. The donor mood towards Uganda changed (Business in Africa April 2001). President Mugabe was drawn into DRC war primarily to prevent the establishment of Tutsi Empire in Middle Africa (J. N. Weatherby 2003). During my mission to DRC, Rwanda and Burundi early this year, the region was full of talk about the imminent establishment of Tutsi Empire and I reported this in my article in Observer. Many commentators are of the view that it will be achieved by military, political or economic means. So when Museveni pushes the E.A. Political Federation many think he has Tutsi Empire in mind. And Museveni has not denied it.

How Ugandans got impoverished

When I wrote the article on ‘How Rujumbura’s Bairu got impoverished’, I was sending two messages.

First, I was bringing to the attention of Ugandans and the donor community the plight of Rujumbura’s Bairu who face the prospect of disappearing from their ancestral home through impoverishment and displacement.

Second, I was warning the rest of Ugandans what lay in store for them because the Bahororo who have presided over the impoverishment of Bairu in Rujumbura for the past 210 years, are now in charge of the whole country using the same governing tools to impoverish and dominate.

Before proceeding with the story of how Ugandans got impoverished, let us first clear the confusion about Bahima and Bahororo. While Bahima and Bahororo share a common ancestry of Nilotic Luo-speaking people from southern Sudan, they are distinct groups who are silently antagonistic.

When Batutsi from the ruling family of Rwanda founded the short-lived Mpororo kingdom (1650-1750) they took on the name of Bahororo (the people of Mpororo). Mpororo kingdom covered an area occupied by indigenous Bantu speaking people in parts of Rwanda and southwest Uganda. In this context, Bahororo refers to Batutsi people of former Mpororo kingdom hence the use of Bahororo as distinct from Bahima.