In Uganda as elsewhere leaders must be loved, not feared. Security forces in Uganda must be loved, not feared. When Ugandans are afraid of something they should run to police stations or army barracks for protection, not run away. Employers must be loved, not feared by their employees. Leaders in administration and police and military must protect the people, not scare and/or hurt them. They must cultivate a culture of peace and love, not of intimidation, torture and murder.
Conditions must be created where all people irrespective of their professions live and work together in peace and security. A maid should love, not fear her boss. A gardener should love, not fear his employer. The rule of law must work, not the rule of the gun and torture houses. The people of Uganda are tired of living in constant fear at home and abroad. Ugandans are afraid of one another even relatives because you don’t know what murder weapon the other is carrying. The people of Uganda are tired of being insulted by NRM surrogates or those scared of the wrong things they have done and are being discovered who use fake names. The people of Uganda are tired of mercenaries that torture and murder Ugandans and disappear with impunity when they can’t do it anymore. Nobody can tolerate living under these conditions indefinitely. If NRM is unable or unwilling to protect its citizens then someone else should do it.
I am writing this story fully aware of the potential political cost. But the story has to be told in order to identify the cause of Baganda suffering and put the matter to rest for good.
Virtually every weekend you hear someone on Hollywood-based Radio Munansi complaining that Baganda are suffering because of Banyankole and when time comes the latter will pay a heavy price. I heard this narrative again when I was in London for the conference on federalism at the end of October, 2012.
I have written some articles on this subject demonstrating that Banyankole have nothing to do with Baganda marginalization and suffering. The majority of Banyankole are suffering like other exploited Ugandans under the NRM government. We also need to draw a distinction between Banyankole and the ruling Batutsi many of them Rwandese that have settled in Uganda particularly in Buganda (have adopted Luganda names and speak Luganda language) since the 1959 social revolution in Rwanda.
Discussing this subject of Batutsi in Uganda and their direct and indirect wrong doing has been made extremely difficult by anti-sectarian law and accusations of genocide promotion which Batutsi have taken advantage of to entrench themselves in Uganda and are in the process of taking over the country under the guidance of Museveni using most of the time Uganda citizens mostly Baganda in return for favors.
Batutsi (from now on used generically to mean Batutsi, Bahima, Bahororo and Banyamulenge) must adjust their centuries-old attitude towards others especially Bantu (Bahutu and Bairu) in the Great Lakes region (which refers to southwest Uganda – former Ankole and Kigezi districts and now being extended to the rest of Uganda under Museveni government), Burundi, Rwanda and Eastern DRC.
As a first step in the adjustment process, Batutsi must drop the idea that they are white people, superior, more intelligent and born to rule. Up to today, Batutsi are still falsely claiming that one Mututsi (singular for Batutsi) is equivalent to say 1000 Bairu or Bahutu people (sometimes they use a weighing scale where you have a small metal [Mutusi] weighed against say thousands of beans [Bahutu or Bairu]). Educated or not a Mututsi still considers himself more intelligent and superior to a well educated Muhutu or a Mwiru. Kagame and Museveni have very low education yet they pose as though they are on top of the intellectual pyramid in the Great Lakes region. Because of this false superiority they think marrying non-Batutsi women would devalue them. Consequently Batutsi men marrying non-Batutsi women is taboo and very much beneath their dignity; even eating/drinking or socializing unless artificially done for political convenience. Batutsi still vow that it is below their dignity to buy a beer for a Muhutu or Mwiru because that is the responsibility of the latter. Batutsi will only buy a few beers for Bahutu/Bairu only if they want something big from them like sending them to parliament to represent Bahutu or Bairu.
Message for Members of Parliament
United Democratic Ugandans (UDU) wishes you, your families and constituents a Happy and Successful New Year.
2011 was a year of elections and extraordinary economic and social hardship, calling for reflection and consultation on the way forward. The time for promises is over. Now in 2012 is the time for real reforms to bring about real and positive change in the quality of life of all Ugandans.
Addressing Uganda’s challenges will require contribution from everyone including development partners under your leadership because you represent the people. You have a duty to promote, protect and defend their interests.
As part of its contribution to the debate on reforms UDU prepared a National Recovery Plan (NRP) and circulated it widely for comments. The draft was amended accordingly and presented at the UDU conference held in Boston (USA) on October 8, 2011 for debate after which it was adopted. The final version is posted at www.udugandans.org
UDU believes in resolution of conflicts by peaceful means in the first instance and in inclusiveness and full participation. It also believes in real reforms with win-win outcomes. For a start, in 2012 parliament should consider and adopt reforms in the following areas.
Ugandans and the international community need to get together quickly to stop NRM and its leadership from driving Uganda into permanent darkness – it is already in darkness economically, socially, politically, morally and environmentally. The NRM and its military wing NRA applied brutal military force with core support of mercenaries to unseat UPC government through Okello in 1986. Ipso facto, one would be tempted to suggest use of force to unseat NRM government. However, the lesson we learned is that force is very costly in human and non-human terms. Force should therefore be avoided – unless in self defense – in removing NRM from power.
It is now recognized that NRM leadership is bent on staying in power indefinitely by force including through the ballot box witness the overwhelming use of the military during the 2011 elections. Waiting for 2016 to unseat NRM through elections is therefore a bad investment bound to yield heavy losses once again. In these circumstances removing NRM government from power can be achieved in three other ways – first, through the emergence of a de Clerk in the NRM, a Mandela in the opposition camp and a Macleod (British colonial secretary) in the international community to lead their constituencies in negotiating a genuine, lasting and mutually acceptable deal. De Clerk and Mandela worked against all odds to effect constitutional changes that facilitated black majority rule to prevail in South Africa. Similarly Iain Macleod worked against all odds to speed up decolonization in East Africa, averting potential violence. If this option does not work, the second one is to make Uganda ungovernable through civil or non-violent resistance. The third option which is preferable is to pursue both options simultaneously.
Greetings fellow Ugandans and friends
We have agreed to adequately prepare an all embracing case for rejecting Museveni as Uganda’s despotic ruler who is increasingly relying on foreigners as Ugandans abandon him. We have also agreed that our grievances should be anchored on facts – not emotions or rumors.
Museveni has violated the constitution of Uganda which recognizes the sovereign and inalienable right of Ugandans to establish a socio-economic and political order based on the principles of unity, peace, equality, democracy, freedom, social justice and progress. Museveni has ruled unilaterally using others as rubber stamp through bribery or people with little or no interest in Uganda.
We have analyzed at some length Museveni’s abuse of our political rights through, among other things, rigging elections since 1996 and using mercenaries from the great lakes region.
When Museveni had an interview in 1994 with an American journalist Bill Berkeley he sent a message to Ugandans that we did not pick up. He said that “I have never blamed the whites for colonizing Africa: I have never blamed these whites for taking slaves. If you are stupid, you should be taken a slave”(The Atlantic Monthly September 1994). This was a powerful message. Why should he blame his white cousins? Museveni believes he is white! I am told that in 1986 he was sworn in by a white judge when he became president! He cannot blame white neo-colonialism which has been imposed on Uganda on his watch.
Greetings fellow Ugandans and friends
Although born free and equal in dignity, Ugandans have lost both since colonial days. Independence did not restore our freedom and dignity. The pre-independence constitutional and election arrangements were skewed in favor of a few. Since 1966 Uganda has experienced political and economic crisis.
Economic and political troubles in neighboring countries particularly in Rwanda and Burundi resulted in economic and political refugees that have fundamentally affected Uganda’s demographic, economic and political landscape and further eroded the freedom and dignity of indigenous Ugandans. During Amin’s regime Uganda was ruled by foreigners causing extensive damage in human life, property, institutions and infrastructure because they did not care. When their time was up, they disappeared and left behind a depressing economic and political situation.
As we prepare to elect our leaders on February 18, 2011, we wish to make it clear that the will of the people of Uganda must prevail this time. Since 1961 our will has been trampled by selfish leaders in collaboration with foreign interests. With education, travel experience and a better understanding of our inalienable human rights, Ugandans are more enlightened than they were in 1961.
We now understand the dangers of divisive politics along religious, geographical and ethnic lines. The days of Catholic and Protestant conflicts are over (Bairu of Akole should take notice). We are all Ugandans. The days of northern and southern conflicts are over. We are all Ugandans. Even within regions say southern region, Banyankole will not be pushed into conflict with Baganda. Those days are over. We are all Ugandans. The days of Nilotic and Bantu conflicts are over. We are all Ugandans.
Museveni behaves as though he does not understand the concept of accountability even though he grew up in an environment where accountability is very well understood. For example, in western Uganda culture – where Museveni comes from – when your cows destroy a neighbor’s garden when your son was tending them, it is the father who is accountable and pays the fine. Similarly when Museveni’s employees (national or foreign) make mistakes he should be accountable and accept the consequences. Instead Museveni blames others. But before coming to cases where Museveni and those who support him have blamed others, let us examine briefly why Museveni has done poorly with a view to drawing lessons for future leaders and whoever forms the next government after February 18, 2011 elections.
1. Museveni’s school performance through undergraduate studies was not bright. This can be deduced from his own writings and reports (subject to confirmation) that he obtained a pass at the university of Dar es Salaam. At that time a pass was like a certificate of attendance. He did not pursue graduate studies that introduce students to analytical tools and research methodology. So he has a deficit at the academic level. And he became president when the world economy had shifted from Keynesian to neoliberal ideology known as the Washington Consensus that requires a lot of adjustment from state to market forces and laissez-faire capitalism.
Thankfully, our Creator has felt your suffering for the last twenty five years and has heard your prayers for change of government. Now all Uganda voters must gather courage and unite in order to defeat Museveni for the following reasons.
1. Instead of moving the country forward, he is driving it backwards towards pre-colonial conditions (witness increasing human sacrifice, witchcraft and feudal style of governance through lords and serfs and plans to turn Uganda into a kingdom).
2. Instead of uniting the country, he is dividing it up into tiny districts virtually along tribal lines too poor to sustain themselves and therefore dependent on Museveni with stiff conditionality.
3. Instead of protecting the nation, he is opening it up to immigrants from everywhere who are occupying jobs, owning land and are alleged to have registered to vote in 2011.
4. Instead of promoting good neighborly relations, he has interfered in the internal affairs of Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, DRC and Kenya.
5. Instead of consolidating Uganda, he is forcing it through fast tracking into East African Political Federation without consultations in order to realize his dream of Tutsi Empire. He would probably be Emperor today had Mugabe not intervened in the 1998/99 DRC war (J. N. Weatherby 2003. The Other World page 222).