Ugandans with support of friends and well wishers should craft a strategy for defeating NRM that suits local conditions. We should not emulate Egyptians, Tunisians, Philippinos, Ethiopians and Iranians etc if circumstances in Uganda are different. However, we should draw lessons from their struggles. One lesson is very clear: they all overcame fear and sectarianism. Egyptian Muslims joined hands with Christians, for example. Similarly, Ugandans must overcome fear, selfishness and parochialism. We should be guided by modesty and truth, not lies and deception. We should put Uganda and the future of our children first so that they can live happier and fuller lives than we have because that is what development or modernization is supposed to be. We should use our comparative advantages because every Ugandan has something to offer in this post-2011 elections liberation struggle that has just begun. Furthermore, we should be pragmatic and not idealistic.
Museveni’s address was not directed at Ugandans but donors who have withdrawn support largely because of rampant corruption and mismanagement of public funds. He was I think also addressing the United Nations on one Millennium Development Goal – Achieve universal primary education. He focused on the glass half full, leaving out the empty half.
He was telling donors that his administration met the requirements or conditionality of stabilization and structural adjustment program (SAP).
1. That is why he talked about growth of the economy or GNI and per capita income;
2. That is why he talked about inflation control to single digits;
3. That is why he talked about export growth and diversification;
4. That is why he talked about accumulating international reserves;
5. That is why he talked about his determination to stamp out rampant corruption as part of good governance practice.
These were the conditions together with market forces, austerity and trickle down that were imposed by donors including IMF and World Bank which Uganda adhered to rigidly with serious social and environmental costs that he left out in his address. In other words, Museveni was saying that he did religiously what the donors wanted him to do except stamping out corruption which he has begun addressing and calling on the resumption of aid and technical assistance.
M7 should admit that his development policies haven’t worked in order to be able to make adjustments. But by refusing to admit he is continuing to make errors. He has now begun to come up with statistics about Gross National Income (GNI) and per capita income and increase in the manufacturing sector and energy production.
At the beginning of his presidency he came up with a comprehensive ten-point program whose end result was to end the suffering of the people of Uganda. He stressed ending, not reducing, poverty in Uganda. He stressed making schools work and produce quality and skilled workers. He would feed all Ugandans adequately. Diseases would be conquered and he would re-grow hair on balding Uganda hills. These were laudable goals.
But Museveni lost the way by embracing inappropriate neo-liberal policies of invisible hand of market forces, laissez faire policies, labor flexibility, austerity program and trickle down mechanism. He knew these policies had not worked in Chile and Ghana and he knew Tanzania was resisting them.
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.
Museveni thought Ugandans would never discover his motive of tutsifying Uganda which he would use to create a Tutsi Empire. He blocked avenues of opposition by becoming Chairman of NRM, President of Uganda; Head of Uganda government; Chairman of the National Economic Council; Chairman of the Military Council and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. He appointed Tutsi to key and strategic positions in the government (foreign affairs and finance ministries in particular) and security forces especially the military. In his first government, he appointed the late Fred Rwigyema a Tutsi refugee as deputy commander of the army and minister of state for defense. Paul Kagame another Tutsi refugee was made deputy director of intelligence and counterintelligence with vast powers. Other key appointments were based on loyalty than competence allowing Museveni to dominate the national, regional and international stage as Uganda spokesperson and only Ugandan with a vision for Uganda development. He has treated the opposition as nothing but a gang of saboteurs and liars.
We shall continue to write and to speak until the skeptics and surrogates are converted. A former colleague of mine advised that when you tell the truth, you will always win – sometimes at a price. He didn’t elaborate on the latter part. I have read widely, travelled widely and seen a lot. I don’t like what is happening in Uganda and won’t let it continue in order to be a popular guy on the block. Some have advised me that I am throwing away political capital by going negative against Museveni, his ethnic group and his regime. What I am doing is not for me: it is for the people of Uganda in present and future generations. If I got a public office it would be used to advance the cause of the people of Uganda – all Ugandans.
Before proceeding, let me say a word about Batutsi people and me. Normally I don’t use people’s names without permission but since I am going to say positive things I think it is safe to do so. I have already mentioned the names of Batutsi people who helped me as I was growing up. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that Batutsi have treated Bairu well since the two groups interacted from around 1800. Bairu were deprived of their wealth including pasture land and converted into food cultivators to feed their Batutsi/Bahororo masters and to provide free labor before and during colonial rule.
I have defined the Great Lakes region to include southwest Uganda (former Ankole and Kigezi districts), Burundi, Eastern DRC (North and South Kivu) and Rwanda. Since interaction between the two ethnic groups of Bantu and Nilotic peoples, the region has been characterized by ethnic conflicts of so-called Bantu agriculturalists and Nilotic (Tutsi) pastoralists. Bantu designation of all people in southwest Uganda is a linguistic convenience because Bairu and Batutsi are ethnically very different. Tutsi are Nilotic people that originated in South Sudan (not Ethiopia as originally thought) home also of Nubians, Acholi and Dinka, etc. Bairu and Bahutu are Bantu people that originated in the Cameroon and Nigeria border.
The Nilotic pastoralists or Batutsi entered the region around the 15th or 16th century poorer and less civilized than the Bantu people they found there. They adopted Bantu language, names and culture (the Tutsi title of mwami or king was originally Hutu’s). Batutsi resisted intermarriage with Bantu people: occasionally a prominent Mwiru or Muhutu man would be given a Tutsi woman to marry and then the man would be tutsified and join the social Batutsi club as a junior partner and abandon his ancestral people thus depriving Bantu of capable leaders. This was a tool of Tutsi dominating non-Tutsi people. These were politically-induced and arranged marriages, not through love. Batutsi have many distinct characteristics.
As Yoweri Museveni prepares to handover state house keys to his son and turn Uganda into a Tutsi dynasty, we need to know the extent to which Museveni learned from Oliver Cromwell in his rise to power and creation of conditions for his son’s hereditary succession.
James I and Charles I the Stuart kings of England believed and practiced absolute rule (absolutism) and divine-right of kings. They ignored Parliament, imposed taxes and dismissed it when it suited them. Parliament and the English people resented the Stuart kings first because they were foreigners from Scotland and second they ignored English traditions.
In 1642, while in session, Charles attempted to arrest some leading members of Parliament, touching off the civil war (1642-49). Those who fought for the king were called Cavaliers and for Parliament against the dictator king led by Oliver Cromwell Roundheads. The Roundheads won. Absolutism and the monarchy came to an end.
Plan A of the first phase was to capture Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and DRC by military means. It succeeded in capturing and retaining Uganda and Rwanda. The military solution was halted by Angola, Namibia and Zimbabwe troops.
Without abandoning the military solution, the leaders then moved onto Plan B of getting the Empire through the East African federation via the political route. This seemed slow.
Without abandoning the military and political East African solutions, the leaders then moved onto Plan C which is a combination of military and political strategies. Instead of going for the entire DRC they chose to capture Eastern DRC by military means. The region is now in imminent danger of being lost.
Rwanda and Uganda delegations met a few months ago and decided to abolish national borders among East African states probably starting with the border between Uganda and Rwanda. The two presidents may soon instruct their rubber stamp parliaments to pass legislation merging Uganda with Rwanda under a new name possibly The Republic of Rwaganda.
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.