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Category Archives: Politics

We Either Urgently Attend to the Cause of Justice and Humanity or Perish

Abwooli Rujumba Omurungi w’Abasambu, it seems in­tend­ed by the bless­ed prov­i­dence of the creator Nkya Ruhanga Nyamuhanga that I should always communicate to you whenever I have matters that require some communicating. Which better way to share the dearest thoughts of one’s mind than to cast them into the ear of an attentive kinsman?

As you may recall, so often you do, sometime back in serenity of these very memoirs, I related to you the unbearably painful story of that most defiant of all human rights defenders personally known to me~ Vincent Vessy Nuwagaba. I met Vincent in the most unusual of circumstances which I am extremely hesitant to reproduce here for fear of repeating myself just too much. https://kyomuhendoa.wordpress.com/2010/05/26/for-vincent-nuwagaba-human-rights-defender-brother-friend-and-comrade/

For the same reasons why we lionize him and exalt the truth of his struggles, Vincent is ‘in contact’ with some fanatical elements in the Kampala regime who seem manifestly hell- bent towards killing or destroying him and thus dealing with this problem ‘once and for all’. Here is his latest account.

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AS A UGANDAN CITIZEN, I DEMAND JUSTICE OR DEATH

BY VINCENT NUWAGABA

Vincent Vessy Nuwagaba ©

Vincent Vessy Nuwagaba ©

http://pambazuka.org/en/category/comment/81304

A personal account of human rights abuse in Uganda raises questions about the role of mainstream human rights organizations supported by international donors.

My pen has since the beginning of 2011 been silent. So many people have been wondering as to what could have happened to me but some have insinuated that I joined Museveni’s ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM). And just like the French saying goes, ‘La bouche qui manger ne parler pas’, meaning that a mouth that is eating doesn’t speak, some people think I am now eating with the ruling cabal. On the contrary, I am still wondering as to why the ruling NRM wants to exterminate me using state institutions that are mandated to protect our rights and our lives.

THE UGANDA HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION NAKEDNESS

On 8 February 2012, I went to Speke Resort, Munyonyo for a workshop organised by the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC). The Uganda Prisoners’ Aid Foundation (UPAF) was invited to present a civil society perspective of the state of prisoners’ rights in Uganda. As UPAF’s research coordinator and a person well-conversant with not only prisoners’ rights but also human rights generally, given that I am an ex-prisoner and a human rights defender and scholar, the UPAF chairman Mr. J.K. Zirabamuzale assigned me to write the paper. The agreement was that when he presented it, I would be around. I have in the past attended UHRC workshops whenever our organisation is invited and I have been at the forefront of quite a number of human rights activities together with UHRC and other human rights organisations.

This time when I arrived in the conference room, I found Ms Christine Nading, Assistant Commissioner of Police Legal speaking. The issues she raised demanded that they be responded to by a person who knows the conduct of the police thoroughly – not the one who reads about the police in newspapers and watches them on television sets. I accordingly, wrote a chit for UHRC’s Roselyn Karugonjo-Segawa asking to be given time to respond to Christine Nading. I thought I was doing the most diplomatic thing only to be told a short while later that I was not supposed to be in that function. I explained to them that our organisation (UPAF) was invited and that we were presenting a paper.

I was kicked, humiliated, dehumanised and brutalised by the police at the orders of Roselyn Karugonjo-Segawa, UHRC’s Director of Monitoring and Inspections, and Gordon Mwesigye, the UHRC Secretary. In a human rights function, organised by the Uganda Human Rights Commission to prepare for the Universal Periodic Report (UPR), a human rights defender who has sacrificed too much, suffered at the hands of the police, been put in jail for advocating the rights of the voiceless is subjected to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment by the very people who are mandated to protect all Ugandans’ rights. Shame on Roselyn Karugonjo-Segawa and shame on Gordon Mwesigye, and if these people were human enough they should have resigned from their offices on that very Wednesday of 8 February 2012.

After roughing me up, I was driven to Kabalagala Police station in the UHRC vehicle. From Kabalagala, I was driven to Butabika Mental Hospital in the Police Patrol vehicle. When I reached the Out Patient Department (OPD) of Butabika, the policemen who had taken me there were embarrassed when the hospital staff told them, ‘the man is sane, why have you brought him here?’ Meanwhile before reaching Butabika I was deprived of my Bata shoes, my shirt, money and many other possessions. They left me there and I walked on my own half-naked as they had deprived me of my shoes and my shirt.

HELL IN BUTABIKA

I was lucky to find a friend who took me to his home and gave me lunch, a shirt and shoes and Sh5,000 for my transport. The following day on 9 February 2012, I went back to Butabika and this time I had gone to talk to the hospital administration to warn them against pandering to the whims of those that are persecuting me on political grounds. What befell me instead was total hell. Dr Julius Muron ordered the hospital guards to arrest me and take me to the police. At the police post, Muron himself said, ‘This man is perfectly sane, he doesn’t have any mental or psychiatric problem but he is causing chaos within the hospital’. He then added, ‘Keep him here and charge him’. I was then locked up at the police post. Later I learnt that when one of the policemen came (he wears civilian attire and therefore he could be the Criminal Investigation Detective), he told Muron that they had no way to charge me because I hadn’t committed any offence.

Thereafter, I was grabbed by the hospital guards at the orders of Dr Julius Muron and taken to Kirinya ward from where Dr Muron subjected me to 18 injections, nine on each side of the buttocks and later dumped me into a side room which is an equivalent of the solitary cells from which they torture some prisoners in Luzira. Later I became unconscious and I regained my consciousness after 12 days on 21 February.

I have been told that if one of the support staff members who happens to be my relative (whose name I will not reveal now for fear of reprisals) wasn’t there to feed me by forcefully opening my lips, get mushrooms for me, wash me and nurse me like his own son, I would definitely have died.

Without any sense of shame, even when I regained my consciousness, I was kept on drugs; the same drugs which almost claimed my life in 2008. On the 23rd I left Butabika without any formal discharge.

The Pan Africanists at Makerere who saw me were shocked and suggested that I must go for a medical examination. At first I hesitated but every passing day, I am losing weight at a rate that has gotten me worried. All the very small sized trousers that I had already shelved cannot even fit me.

Meanwhile as Dr Muron did whatever he did, I was deprived of my property – my laptop computer, my shirt and jacket, my pair of trousers, my wallet containing huge sums of money, my belt, my phone, shoes and a bible. When I went to Butabika, I was initially only given a phone and Sh100 but later, they gave me a pair of shoes and a bible.

I have in the past sued Dr Tom Onen together with the Attorney General under civil suit 92/2009. Sadly, although neither the Attorney General nor Dr Onen filed a defence and therefore I was waiting for ex parte judgement, I was shocked to learn that my case was dismissed on 28 August 2009 at a time when I was on remand in Murchison Bay Prison Luzira on trumped up charges of assault and threatening violence. The ‘crime’ I had committed though, to which I pleaded guilty, was opposing the increment of fees in public universities by up to 126 percent.

After suing Dr Onen, I was declared persona non-grata in Butabika and I was tortured, traumatized and tormented several times by the police and Butabika Hospital guards at the orders of a one Grace Lubale, a former Butabika Hospital Administrator. Grace would tell me, ‘Nuwagaba, you sued us; you are therefore not allowed to step here’. Even when I would go to visit the victims of political persecution and the thieving political establishment such as Gaudence Tushabomwe, who was conned of her money by an organisation that had links with the ruling party, I would be tormented.

The UHRC whose mandate is to ensure the protection and defence of our rights has also fallen victim and it is at the forefront of the perpetration, perpetuation, orchestration and promotion of injustice.

When I reported to the president about my ordeal, some of the young men and women initially seemed interested in giving me a fair hearing. With time, however, Justus Karuhanga, President Museveni’s former legal officer told me, ‘Nuwagaba, you can go to court and sue the government’. I am interested in knowing whether or not the office of the president ever had a hand in the dismissal of my case without even giving me a ruling.

The courts, which are supposed to be temples of justice, cannot dispense justice to the unsung victims such as Nuwagaba. The Ugandan media can only write about a personality whom they feel can sell their papers; the so-called human rights organisations of which I am a member to some cannot inspire hope. They employ people whose interest is not promoting human rights but making money. Many of our human rights organisations, if not all, get money from donors purportedly to help the voiceless citizens. What they do instead is write accountability papers for the donors and they give no accountability to the voiceless citizens on whose behalf they get the funding. In analysis, they con, cheat and dupe the donors who give them money to help the voiceless.

I know I am broaching a hot subject but I must not keep silent. I have taught in the university and have worked with civil society organisations. I have seen only one genuine human rights organisation in Uganda called Uganda Prisoners’ Aid Foundation under the stewardship of J.K. Zirabamuzale. It is the only organisation that does human rights work even when it has no funding from anybody and none of the staff is a salaried employee.

I have seen discrimination, sectarianism, and inequality perpetrated by the so-called human rights defenders. No wonder many of them do not have the wherewithal to challenge the government where it goes wrong.

CONCLUSION

I am a Ugandan citizen, not anybody’s subject. Like I have stated before when I wrote to IGP (Inspector General of Police) Kale Kayihura, I am an ethnic Mukiga and the Bakiga have never had a king. Accordingly, we have never been subjects. I am a firm believer in non-violence and my icons are Jesus Christ, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and our very own Norbert Mao. Whoever feels threatened by my words must him/herself be suffering from schizophrenia. I have several times been thrown in jail for no offence committed. In 2008 I escaped death by a whisker as Dr Onen was used to kill me; just recently Dr Muron wanted to kill me and I don’t know whether I am safe yet. As a citizen, I demand justice or death.

~END~

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2012 in Politics

 

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Governor Mutebile, his Ilk, and the Yellow Monstrosity

Abwooli Rujumba Omurungi W’Abasambu, the Governor of Uganda’s Central Bank Prof. Emmanuel Tumusiime- Mutebile, one of Africa’s most respected and sought- after living economists and 1971 Guild President of Makerere University or be as he may, should not be tempted to think he has a monopoly over arrogance.

In the pursuit of transparent public governance, no one individual’s interests are above public scrutiny- be those of the head of state in all his excellency, those of the chief justice in all his eminence, those of the parliamentary speaker, or even those of the newspaper editor. The only interest(s) whose protection is beyond any logical contest are those of the common citizen.

Thus, where a public officer tends towards arrogance, as has Prof. Mutebile in his most recent media briefing, in response to calls and clamors from a citizenry for accountability in the department he leads, which it is their right to demand, such pompous statements should never be allowed to stand. He should be seen giving accountability and only accountability!

Governor Mutebile is increasingly becoming a reckless, desperate and discredited man. Right about December 2010 in the run to Feb. ’11 elections, he was implicated in signing documents that caused the printing- let’s call it publishing, of billions of legal tender to facilitate the re-election of his boss- Yoweri Museveni. This caused double- digit inflation.

At around the same time, he was accused of extending dubious loan payments to Hassan Basajjabalaba, that notorious city businessman, through his company Basajjabalaba Hides and Skins LTD. It should be noted that, in Uganda, seldom do local businessmen benefit from such rare presidential benevolence and magnanimity. That money will never be paid back!

Governor Mutebile and Yoweri Museveni were implicated as the chief architects of the project that saw the Ugandan taxpayer lose $740 million (about Shs1.7 trillion) in the purchase of Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jets and other most sophisticated military hardware. All this was done in unprecedented secrecy without parliamentary approval. That came in the retrospective!

Plus many more such thefts and robbing that the public may never become aware of until probably guards change or revolution breaks in Kampala, the Governor Mutebile is now being implicated in the inflated and dubious compensation to the same Hassan Basajjabalaba over the loss of city markets and other valuable property. Loss is worth Ushs. 142 Billion!

Under pressure from that fantastic group of young aggressive legislators, day by the day becoming more and more influential in an increasingly activist Parliament, two powerful cabinet ministers occupying high places in the N.R.M party cadreship have since fallen. But for his part Governor Mutebile, with whom they are roundly accused, promises to fall hard!

In his latest press conference of Thurs 1st March 2012, he has assured his markets not to worry at all about what he leisurely dismisses as ‘the rumblings’ of parliament and that he is here for the long haul. That he is not insane, incompetent or dishonest, constitutional grounds upon which he can be ousted, to warrant fulfillment of the sinister cravings of his detractors.

Abwooli, the governor’s remarks not only pain and annoy in as far as they go a very long way in belittling a people’s democratically elected representatives and, actually, the very arm of government in which they serve – parliament, but they also shine a bright light upon two extremely important issues that are gaining increased prominence in the Ugandan political debate of today.

First, there is a rising clique of abusively arrogant and annoyingly insensitive individuals who commit or aid and abet some power brokers in the commission of numerous crimes against the people of Uganda and are in turn guaranteed material gain or promised comfort and protection from a prying legislature, an alert judiciary and a public increasingly getting agitated. They are truly deadly!

Like detectives torn out of the pages of a best- selling fictional spy – work, they carry on their crimes with a poise and glee that is unparalleled. Since there is only one authority to fear, and it is the same authority that pays them to spread fear, they tend to the ruthless. They work with the devotion, intrepidity, and determination of only a surgeon in a busy heart- theater that they leave the onlooker severely astonished!

Sometime last year, a young man used the butt of his loaded pistol to smash the car- windows of a public figure, in full glare of national and international cameras and doused him in pepper spray just too much for any human consuming. He then went on, dragging him by the collar, and stacked him into the beneath of the blue cold steel of a waiting police cabin!

Prof. Mutebile’s press briefing exposed him as yet another addition to that long list- though not as rugged and crude as the young man. He never cared at all for the flotsam and jetsam that provide for his livelihood, the livelihood that sustains his arrogance, but reserved apologies for only the markets, his boss and God- for ‘He Only can sack him’.

The Embattled Governor of the Bank of Uganda Prof. Emmanuel Tumusiime- Mutebile

The Embattled Governor of the Bank of Uganda Prof. Emmanuel Tumusiime- Mutebile. Photo Courtesy of the Daily Monitor-

Secondly, Abwooli, there is too, a worryingly increasing trend where the country’s most brilliant children are systematically being wasted away by the yellow machine and cheered on by its operator. I don’t know whether it is calculated but all I know it is happening. I also don’t know whether someone wants to fall with everyone…!

Yoweri Museveni, upon hearing of the career accomplishments of a distinguished Ugandan, gets keenly interested and beckons him by his side- which wouldn’t be bad for national development. He starts courting and flirting with them promising them high luxury and comfort. When he eventually succeeds, the individual’s decaying process begins in earnest!

He first lives true to his word by handing them extremely juicy and influential political positions under which dockets they supervise enterprises worth billions. He then through his frighteningly loyal cronies sets the bait in motion. It could be in by way of a rewarding tender or a kick- back on an influential government contract. Recall, too, that the good fellow is now in charge.

It is inherently the nature of the human to get tempted. So when such a deal comes by the fellow is reminded of a promised family holiday in Barbados or a vacation somewhere in the Emirates, probably the stunningly beautiful and lavish Burj- al- Arab. He briskly jumps at the opportunity not knowing that someone is manipulating the strings from somewhere. When the deal is done, someone has the other by the firm grip of his five fingers.

Someone knows that the other’s reputation is now in tatters and rags- not fashionable anymore, since he has evidence of a side of the individual that the public knows not of. The fellow gets entirely tangled in someone’s web. At this stage, he cannot untangle himself. This is usually employed to such figures as may become threats, in the present or in the foreseeable future, to someone’s grip on power. Or whom, for whichever reasons, he has never forgiven.

Of course the list is endless. Medical Professor Gilbert Balibaseka- Bukenya, Dr. Ezra Suruma, Law Professor Edward Khidu- Makubuya, Professor Tarsis Kabwengyere, Ali Kirunda- Kiveijinja, David Chandi- Jamwa, Prof. Emmanuel Tumusiime- Mutebile ………..And *let’s all watch very keenly*, soon, finance Minister Maria Kiwanuka.

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2012 in Politics

 

Kalashnikov Freedom: The story of my Second Arrest

Abwooli Rujumba Omurungi w’Abasambu, I was arrested again! This is what exactly happened. But this time round, please do not let my people know of this particular escapade. Osome Ohune, Otalindiisa Obune bw’Empisi bairaba okabagambira;

To Hoima

Tempted on by the unforgettable words of the American Civil War veteran, Political Leader, and Orator during the Golden Age of Freethought- Robert G. Ingersoll, that; ‘He loves his country best who strives to make it best.’, I willingly accepted Najjanankumbi’s assignment to lead a delegation, 50- strong, to the oil- drenched clays and loams of my birth- Bunyoro, successor a kingdom to the Glorious Bunyoro- Kitara Empire that once was.

Journeys to even a single foot of Bunyoro soil have always inspired the finest and most altruistic of human emotions from the Millet Gatherer’s Son ever since he was milk- teethed. Thus he felt no different even this time round. In fact, he felt way far happier now that in addition to the trappings of exploration and adventure, he was participant in the furtherance of  an ideal, – a democratic society properly so- called, that he so desperately cherishes.

If I may say, I never measured equal to that task if taken by all its specifics. Why? Due to irritating Network hitches of almost all the Telecommunication Giants- MTN, UTL, Warid and Zain on the 1st of March 2011 around Makerere University, I only managed to mobilize a company of 19 students instead of the ‘contract’ 50. Destination: Hoima. Assignment: Polling agents of Mr. Atugonza Francis, mayoral candidate for the Hoima Municipality seat. Voting Date: 2nd March 2011. Having taken the last Bus- one such of Link Courier services, we reached Hoima a few minutes to mid- night.

With me were: Mr. Kigongo Ayub, Mr. JP Rubagumya, Mr. Wabulembo Robinson, Mr. Kalegga Michael, Mr. Okumu- Magara Steven, Mr. Kwezi Godfrey, Mr. Mutumba Michael, Mr. Besigye Bright, Mr. Musika Nicholas, Mr. Tamale Bashir, Mr. Kimuli Ibrahim, Mr. Wamanga Enock, Mr. Pakoyo Abdul- Latif, Mr. Kaddu Henry, Mr. Ategeka Moses, Mr. Tumusiime Deo, Mr. Lubega Rashid and Mr. Mutunzi David.

Fro Hoima

How the whole electoral process was handled, conducted and concluded is not the reason as to why I am writing. But if am just persuaded to throw a hint, then I would say that it was unsurprisingly no different from its sham predecessors. We left Hoima at about 12pm by LINK Bus registration number UAM 370L that was being driven by a one Mr. Musa. Tyre to Tarmac, the journey was on the broad smooth except for a few isolated incidents where ‘youthhood- madness’ got the better of my colleagues’ heads as they started competively chanting their Hall loyalty in slogans like: ‘Eh Lumumba Oyee!’ ‘Eh Lumumba Oyee!’ ‘Eh Mitchell Oyee!’ ‘Eh Mitchell Zee!’ ‘Eh Box Oyee….!

But as we were snaking through the outskirts of Wakiso District the Link way- just by a rusty signpost reading JESA Dairy Farm, we were all of a sudden intercepted by a heavily manned Road- Block of both Police and the Army. The latter’s green camouflage bore the initials ‘ES’ shoulder- high. The Bus was flagged to stop… A huge silence…Recitations of Swahili Poetry…Fear now etched deep down in the marrow…Whispers and sign language….More Swahili Poetry served…This time raw….In enters three Police Constables…Armed to the teeth…not smiling…looking like death itself…Musa ordered to roll wheels…A further few kilometers….Now at Kakiri….Corner negotiated….Prof. Gilbert Balibaseka Bukenya Poster…all yellow….heavy army presence on both sides of the road…a meter apart of one another…And this now is Kakiri Police Station!

Soldiers take cover…Fighting positions…Guns cock…Brows cringe…about 80 by the count…Swahili Poetry…Road to Station cordoned off….‘Come down’ ‘Come down’ ‘From here to there, all of you come down’ ‘Come Downnnnn’…. Superintendent Kalule his name is- ‘We know you are 20…where is the 20th?’…‘Kaa Chini’…‘Hand over your phones…’ ‘What do you call yourselves?!’…Car comes…UG xxxxC…‘So these are the ones’…Camera’s flash…Flash and Flash…!

Bags combed…Literature taken…which literature?…Campaign posters… Mr. Atugonza Francis… Mr. Baguma Patrick Jolly…Letters of appointment as Polling agents…FDC/IPC Change is coming T. Shirts…19…3 Blue Vuvuzelas…confiscated…‘Criminals…Criminals…Criminals…Sit Down…Sit Down…’…Boot in ribs…shrill groan…shrill cry…Aghhh…Details taken…Like Factory Sardines, packed into a stinking corridor…darkness…darkness…Bags returned…Photos again taken…Individually… ‘One Man. One T. Shirt’… ‘Ingia Ndani….Muyingiye NdaniHaraka…’

Police Truck waiting… All of us…19….enter…Soldiers…enter…18 in Truck…16 with Kalashnikov assault rifles…What happened to smiling…A penal crime?…Kalashnikov Freedom…2 with Sub- Machine Guns…Two cars in front…Siren blaring…Superintendant Kalule…Two behind….Towards Kampala…!

Ride of Fame

The Truck moved at breakneck speed as though there was a dying inside it. It is interesting how this convoy of vehicles moved at such bullet- speed without ramming into one another. Sirens were still busy talking. The dark- skinned soldier by our truck’s exit did the ridiculous. Slowly, steadily and confidently, he started unscrewing the chamber within which was a meticulously arranged chain of bullets.

Seated next to him was Mutunzi. Now, Mutunzi proved to be the most fearful of our lot. At the sight (the dark- skinned soldier exhibition), he was overwhelmed by fear. I guess those near him must have all of a sudden felt a warm substance wet them. This same fear guided him to solace in his palms which he used to hide his head and face in a fashion of a mother grieving her lone child! The enthusiastic exhibitioner could not control his laughter!!

We attracted attention wherever we passed. As we reached Mulago Round about the convoy took a sharp turn and moved towards Yusuf Lule Rd. Most of us thought we were being led straight to CMI…the dreaded Uganda Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence! Every one of us looked in Mutunzi’s direction. Peal after peal of laughter helped us lighten the moment.

But our whole Bodyguard was not yet content. They warned us of the consequences of uttering a word, let alone laughing! We religiously obliged- as though we were criminals. You see, it was in the heat of this moment that I first realized that just as a soldier takes a superior’s order devotedly even in utter disregard and rejection of commonsense, so he expects to be obliged by the civilian. He also has a turn to receive what he gives. Now this was one such a time.

Central Police Station (CPS)

We reached CPS at around or about 6pm. Under strict instructions, we were told to disembark off the truck one by one—just that—one by one. So we obligingly did. We were then ordered to sit in a certain pattern along the many stairs that lead to the station reception. All this time we were being guarded like Gold- fat Port- laden trucks from a Katanga Gold mine! All one could see was Green camouflage and Blue Camouflage. As members of the Press started trickling in, we were shifted to what the ‘bay’: The Backyard. We were ordered to pair up—PRA suspect style! There was even an attempt on the side of police to improvise for lack of handcuffs with orders that we fasten our shirts- ends together and notch them in a way old women notch their over- flowing gomesis! I outrightly rejected this. They surprisingly complied.

We were ordered to sit in rows of five- Quiet as satisfied tombs! We were denied even the ‘luxury’ of leaning against the dirty wall! ‘You’ll do that in your homes. Not here. You are criminals!’- So roared Hajuso, the notorious light skinned Constable. He was carrying along with him three black V’s. In the army he would be a Sergeant. He furiously shouted: ‘Wee Mchunge Saana….Tutakata M****o zeenyu’ loosely translated to mean that we should stand warned lest, like bulls, we suffer the indignity of our manhood(s) getting castrated!

Then came a 3- diamond studded officer on whose left breast was inscribed the name Chemusto. In the army he would be a Captain. He warned us against ‘whatever was up our sleeves’. That we were inconsequential, that we cannot fight ‘government’. At this I consulted my inner colleague who pondered: ‘If truly he says we are inconsequential, then why all this hullabaloo? Why all this Military presence? Why all this parade of force? Why all these insults? Why? Why? Why?!’ He never heard this.

All my short activism life I have grown up to believe that the Institution of Police is a brutal and repressive one only dotted by humans as cruel and barbaric. But this amiable gentleman whose name I did not get impressed me a lot and sowed seeds of belief in me that be the status quo as it may, there are some individuals left in it that are still possessed of their humanity. Despite the fact that there still are the Hajusos, the Chemustos and Aruhos, there are also the Karungis and this Gentleman who still honor their uniform, who still honor the oath they took protect and serve the people of Uganda- whether professing the ‘right’ political creed or the ‘wrong’ one!

Release

CID officers came by and took statements from us in which we detailed our ordeal. They too, like the Karungis (refer to my first arrest) and the other Gentleman, were possessed of such magnetic personalities. In their midst were not criminals, thugs or anarchists but brothers, sons, kinsmen and In- laws. Immediately after this exercise was concluded, we started seeing humanity return to even faces of people like Hajuso.

I think they had realized that we were just harmless stubborn students totally unconnected to what our brothers in the State love to so often christen as Anarchists. Just because we were professing a wrong political religion. The religion of change whose High Priest, a Medical Doctor by calling, was contentedly smiling on the sky- blue T. Shirts that had been earlier on in the day classified in the category of  ‘Loot- of- War’.

At about 7pm, our phones were released. Our T-shirts returned along with our Dignity. Our fears exorcised. Even Mutunzi’s. But most importantly, our freedom, so arbitrarily and highhandedly hijacked from us, returned. We walked to freedom at about 7:30pm.

And such was my (our) torment.

Postscript

I know, as well as my colleagues do, that all these hijackings are being staged with only one purpose in mind. According to the scrip- writers, they think in their mother of hearts that such experiences, if periodically staged and portrayed, shall intimidate some of us into wavering. At least that is their distinguishable purpose. They think that by exposing us to Tank, Barrel and Boots, we shall mellow. But they are wrong- outrightly wrong! We shall not cease to project our voices. We shan’t. We just cannot!

It is not because we wish to live lives of fugitives. No, we too love the niceties of luxury. But the whole problem is that thing called conscience. So dear! Prof. Justice G.W Kanyeihamba writes that ‘The loss of money is bad. The loss of time is worse. But the loss of name is such that no man can restore’. Some of us are not ready to lose our names. For he who fails to conquer fear shall in turn be conquered by fear along with all its attendant evils.

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2011 in Politics

 

My Arrest

Abwooli Rujumba Omurungi w’Abasambu, in these far- off lands that father spent and sent me to bring him a white man’s Bachelors, I was recently arbitrarily arrested and detained! This is my ordeal. n’Aboomuka Olinkonyera Obagambe. Son of my father, Please also, let my people know.

Prologue

Organised at the Great Lumumba Hall of Makerere University on Friday the 25th day of February 2011 was an event that the day’s Organisers chose to dub ‘The Grand Ancestral Night’. These days, the event is just but a shadow of its former self, somewhere and somehow lacking in Revelry’s rigour and vigour. But nevertheless it did happen. And we did enjoy.

The Fest was organised by the Hall’s outgoing Senior Common Room (SCR) members led by my brother and friend Mr Abimanya Albert- the Hall Chairman.  Invited were a host of guests most notable of which was Mr Namara Dennis- the Youth League Supremo of what I am tempted to address as the ‘Illegitimately’ Ruling National Resistance Movement- Organisation.

Voguely viewed, Mr Namara was clad in a shiny sky- grey suit inside of which was a sad- yellow Polo T. Shirt emblazoned on which again was a portrait of an unidentified handsome and peacefully looking old man (probably in his 70s, probably not)  all smiling and hatting. This fashion coup was completed and complemented by a yellow- coloured ‘Ernest Bazanye’ cap. The Old Man’s portrait yet again comfortably settled on the beautifully tailored cap. I found Dennis’ personality charming and alluring- just like any of a very ambitious young man.

He resumed the floor. Paid homage to Gongom. To the Ancestors of Lumumba. To the Hall’s glorious history. To its fallen martyrs. And finally to the other Old Man whose name he told us was Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. As he wrapped up his speech, he brought us greetings from the latter whom he said was willing to ‘work’ with us. The students present, most of whom were bedecked in blue ‘Change is Coming’ T. shirts, longingly jeered at these last remarks. He ungrudgingly bade farewell and made haste for a destination unknown. Meanwhile, the party happened on. Time check: 11pm.

Arrest

Time check: 11:30pm. Feeling rather digestionally unsteady, I decided to run to Wandegeya to eat and drink away the day’s hunger. Since it is repugnant to my personal constitution to move out of University beyond 8pm, I summoned the company of my friend Kiirya Samson with whom we moved to and fro Wandegeya. Time Check: 11:45pm. We ate supper the Tipsy way (There is a famous eating joint in Wandegeya called Tipsy Restaurant) and thereafter headed back straight to Makerere University.

But no sooner had we arrived at the Main Gate without even an ounce of any of the known implements of violence, a saloon car came hurrying our direction- almost ramming into us. Out disembarked a rather fat moustached man of medium height and austere command that angrily shouted out these Swahili Incantations: ‘Wee Simama Hapo!’, ‘Kaa Chini!’, ‘Towa Viato!’…….! I think after noticing that we may not be an easy lot to randomly boss around, he started regaining the sobriety that is only characteristic of humans- not animals or beasts. The bodily features of this man when well studied and scrutinised revealed only one thing- that he was Hima or a Munyankore.

He was ashamed of his own name, and probably his actions, reason why he chose to keep us in the dark about his identity. We courteously insisted that he identifies himself as we would not look on let alone accept to be interrogated or whisked away by a stranger  totally unbeknown to us who at this time was now claiming to be an intelligence officer in charge of Kampala extra. I pulled out my Black Leather Wild Tribe wallet and fast identified myself. But as bad luck would have it, my colleague Kiirya Samson had not carried along his ID. The Police constables manning security at the main gate came close to see the short- staged drama unfold, both in disbelief and wonderment!

Having earlier on built a warm relationship with them, they instead started pleading my case. That I was prominent student leader well known to them. That they had just seen us stroll out of the university a few minutes back. That we were harmless and unarmed. And that he should let us free. At this, the herald of mischief barked at the constables to steer free of this matter as it was not their business. A deathly silence followed…..

He started by alleging that he had been following us to and fro Wandegeya. That all this time he had been keenly watching our demeanour. That he found it suspect. That three army patrol vehicles ‘have’ just rounded up a group of 70 individuals from the place Katanga (only heaven knows when I’ll first set foot there!) arming and harming with catches, catches and catches of weaponry long discovered way back in the iron age- spears, arrows and bows, pickaxes, knives and rods. That thanks to our demeanour, we were part of them!

I do not up to now know what the seemingly unschooled lad meant by the word demeanour- but I can only take a guess and say that maybe the word he even was archaically mentioning meant being Party Branch President of FDC/ IPC Makerere University or being seen cladding the FDC/ IPC T. shirts on which were emblazoned the words ‘President Kizza Besigye: Change is Coming!’.

And I guess again that it were these same words that were inciting violence- the charge he preferred against us when were taken to police. The same charge for which we spent the night behind bars. The same words for which we were forced to bear the putrefaction in the cell. The same words for which our freedoms were arbitrarily hijacked. And the same words for which we were forced to carry 100kg Posho sacks on the chilly morning of February the 26th!

He told us to Panda Gaali and he takes us for questioning. I out- rightly rejected his sinister suggestion and vehemently told him that he had no arresting powers, he was not a police constable, he was a private citizen like myself- in my view, his car bore private number plates and that how would he really expect a legally sober citizen of this country like myself to bee ensnared by his unintelligent tricks. I bravely protested against this armed man in the process attracting the bystanders’ attention and sympathy. Seeing that he was staking his own life if he insisted on his unconscionable demands thanks to the people that had already thronged the scene in mammoths and hundreds, he yielded.

We were to late enter his car with a constable of our own choosing, leaving the in- charge security main gate with our details by our own writing and conditions of our transportation of our own liking. We were then driven to Wandegeya Police Station. Time check: 12am.

Behind Bars

We were led to the reception of the said Police Post by the man and ‘our’ constable’. He told the officer in charge that he had ‘arrested’ us at the main gate and was linking us to the notorious group of 70 already mentioned above. By physical build, I am a rather short and frail young man but truth be told, I was willing to stake all and descend on this gigantic lumpen, claws sank into his shapeless neck like the leopard, and mercilessly squeeze useless life out of useless body.

For how could he assert in the beginning that he had trailed us from Muk to Wandegz and back and then at the same time assert that we were part of the Notorious Katanga 70?!!

At what time and moment then did we join the Katanga 70, in less than 30 minutes, without his knowledge him who claims was trailing us to and fro Wandegz? Could sleep have somehow stolen him only for a moment—in which time lag we sped to Katanga and back just the time he woke up?! Anyway Kyomuhendo- A. Ateenyi is so much occupied by more useful matters that he refuses to glorify such allegations with a response.

I was later to learn that this operatives name is Lt Kagina Eric– true to my Hema/ Nkole root suspicions!

Release

Yielding to mounting pressure from my Party President Dr Kizza Besigye (he sent the Chief of Security FDC/IPC Mr Angolinga who came and told me to be strong, that he was in touch with Police CID Chief Edward Ochom and another Commissioner in charge of the Politics bench at Uganda Police who gave him assurance that I would be immediately released…), the press, civil society organisations, my Committee at FDC Muk Branch and other students, not only IPC- leaning but also freedom and Justice loving who had already handed down an ultimatum for my release breach of which they threatened would throw the University into turmoil up till I was released, Bond papers were hurriedly processed, filled and signed. I walked to Freedom at 6:30pm to the exact.

Case Details

Police Form 18: Police Bond: Ref. 04/26/02/ 2011 and was executed by the extremely amiable D/IP Karungi Rashid. My sureties were: Okello Isaac and Mugisha Nelson. Dated this 26th Day of February 2011.

Epilogue

Freedom is not a commodity that is given to the enslaved upon demand; it is a precious reward, the shining trophy of struggle and sacrifice. ~Dr Kwame Nkrumah

*****

Neither brutality, nor cruelty, nor torture will ever bring me to ask for mercy, for I prefer to die with my head unbowed, my faith unshakeable and with profound trust in the destiny of my country, rather than live under subjection and disregarding sacred principles.  ~Patrice Emery Lumumba in his last letter to his wife Pauline Lumumba

******

He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from opposition; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach himself.  ~Thomas Paine

******

Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed – else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die.  ~Dwight D. Eisenhower

*******

Here is my advice as we begin the century that will lead to 2081.  First, guard the freedom of ideas at all costs.  Be alert that dictators have always played on the natural human tendency to blame others and to oversimplify.  And don’t regard yourself as a guardian of freedom unless you respect and preserve the rights of people you disagree with to free, public, unhampered expression.  ~Gerard K. O’Neill, 2081

******

For what avail the plough or sail, or land or life, if freedom fail?  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Neither brutality, nor cruelty nor torture will ever bring me to ask for mercy, for I prefer to die with my head unbowed, my faith unshakable and with profound trust in the destiny of my country, rather than live under subjection and disregarding sacred principles. ~Patrice Emery Lumumba, 1961.

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2011 in Politics

 

FOR VINCENT NUWAGABA- Human Rights Defender, Brother, Friend and Comrade.

Vincent Nuwagaba

The face of Resistance: Vincent Nuwagaba

“If I must write, how then shall I write about love in a drowning world
where men are drenched with apathy and self-absorption.
How can I write about nature or its searing beauty amid the filth
of an impassive lot comfortable enough to with the waste they live in
Where shall I find the clever metaphors and fancy parodies to write
to a mindless audience too shallow to appreciate them,
when all I want to ask is why?
Why they sit around with putrid ease like spectators in a Roman coliseum,
watching the pillage of their fellow human beings cheered on by their guiltless silence?..”  Extract from the poem A song for Liberty by Wobusobozi Amooti Kangere.

Abwooli Rujumba Omurungi W’Abasambu, It was around and about the ninth day of September the year of their Lord 2009 when I fist stumbled into the company of Vincent Nuwagaba. I was by then acting in the capacity of the 48th Editor-in-Chief of the now defunct The Makererean Newspaper, one of the pioneer Publications of this country.

Thus when I called for applications for various slots on the editorial board that had fallen vacant in the wake of the dissolution of the predecessor Students Guild government, amongst the applicants was a one Vincent Nuwagaba. Needless to say here that he is currently incarcerated in Luzira Maximum prison at the sanction of the State he so fervently told was drifting ‘incorrigibly off course’.

He was a stout man of a frail physique, with thick eyebrows and an accompanying amiable smile. But don’t you be tempted, son of my father, to think that his physical appearance could be in anyway directly proportional to the niceties of his wits. I am yet to stagger upon a person of his intellectual mettle!

The gentleman, unlike most of the applicants, privileged me with a phone call that was dotted with profound humility, maturity, ambition and respect. He called me Comrade and requested that we meet somewhere so that we could share the common vision of how we, as devoted student activists, could chip in to move back our dear Makerere University to the times when the institution was at the crest of her glory- the time when she was called, and properly so, the ‘Harvard of Africa’.

This he said was possible especially by revamping institutions that had propelled her to such great heights amongst which was The Makererean, the subject of our meeting that night. I must say my heart could be no gladder, my evening any better and my soul any jollier especially when imbued by the fact that I had staggered into a person with whom I wholesomely and unrelentingly shared a vision. Those of you who have ever been in such a situation can capture the moment.

After all the delights of introduction and pleasure- exchanging, he then went ahead to hand me his rich resume. The document said of him that he was a Masters Degree holder, had been in Makerere for eight years, one time lecturer of Human Rights at Uganda Christian University Mukono (UCU), was currently in his fist year pursuing a Bachelors of Law degree (LLB) after which he would offer the ‘downtrodden’ pro bono legal services, was a Human Rights defender working with the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI) but that most of all, a passionate Pan- Africanist. He wanted to be a columnist with our paper.

Luzira Prison

Luzira Maximum Prison: The facility where Vincent Nuwagaba is currently held.

I took very keen interest in him not for any other thing but for his down- to- earth nature.  I was so impressed that even with all those qualifications and academic feats, Vincent was a kind of person who believed that there could never be any indigestion if one swallowed his pride. To him serving his countrymen was his calling even when it called for ‘stooping’ so low as to apply for the position of a columnist in a humble paper as The Makererean leave alone undergoing all forms and kinds of incarcerations as these http://ugandansatheart.wordpress.com/2009/11/20/how-museveni-has-witch-hunted-vincent-nuwagaba/ !

Being a mere first year Student aged just 19 then, it was not only profoundly honoring but also exceedingly humbling that I was entertaining applications even from peritus like Vincent. I never hesitated not only to grant him his prayer, but I proceeded to make him, along with Cde Bwesigye Brian, Cde Rwengabo- Rutashoborokoka Sebastian, Cde Omara Fabian and myself, part of the five man panel that was to help in the screening process of the applicants for various posts.

Rujumba my kinsman, it was then that I realized that Cde Vincent exuded some of the finest instincts of humanity only possessed by such historical figures like Ernesto Che Guevara, Patrice Emery Lumumba, Ken Saro- Wiwa, Mother Tereza , my fallen darling Isenkatinyowe (paternal Aunt)  Nyakato Sania Kabyanga not to mention Jesus (Isa) and Muhammad of the scriptures.

Cde Vincent was selfless, possessed eagle- eye foresight, was kind, loving, frank, truthful, eloquent and supremely brave! I could not believe my eyes, lowly as he in fact was, when he like Alexander Solzhenitsyn before him in Russia, daringly chose to speak truth to power and make known the unacceptable plight his browbeaten countrymen were being subjected to- http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/comment/57601!

Cde Vincent before being condemned to the ‘coolers’ under trumped up charges of assaulting a police officer and being remanded for three years of which he is currently serving had decided to take on, at whatever possible cost, the cause of the poor, the cause of the forsaken or ‘the sons of the peasants’ as he fondly called them. Cde Vincent Nuwagaba personified the character in Wobusobozi Edgar Kangere Amooti’s brilliant Poem A song for Liberty who said:

Hand me a stone where I can lodge my podium
and raise my voice for those hearts that have gone silent.
For the hungry children on the callous streets of this city;
desperate and lost without a soul to bear their plight….

I speak for those who cannot speak, not because I am a better man,
but because every war has its weapon, and mine a noisy pen.
I speak these things, not because I haven’t any of my own to speak of
but because it would be shame if woods went silent
when all the tress were being cut down.

He frowned upon the uncurbed thieving and looting of public resources by Gen. Museveni’s government, the stark and sordid abuse of the Human Rights by Gen. Museveni’s functionaries (and the impunity with which they were freely strolling after such macabre deeds), the widespread sectarianism and nepotism were jobs were no longer given out on the basis of meritocracy but what he called ‘familiocracy’ where those who by the accident of history found themselves related to Gen. Museveni or any of the General’s close henchmen were assured of jobs not on the basis of the splendor of their academic transcripts but by their birthright, the lamentable state of the country’s social services,  the inexcusable unemployment rates, the entrenchment of the despicable one man rule, the shameless affront to the rule of Law let alone the wanton disregard and non- commitment to the country’s cohesion and unity inter alia.

Gen. Museveni, third from the left and holding hat, has been ruler of Uganda for now close to a quarter a century. It is his weaknesses that Vincent was exposing that won him a term in Prison.

It is because of this that the central figure of this tale is languishing in the filth of Prison. It is because of exposing the glaring inefficiencies of the incumbent government that he may never complete his Law Degree and go on to offer pro bono services to the underprivileged as has always been his wish. It is because of this that the State will not permit him to enjoy his full rights as a steadfast and concerned citizen of this country. It is because of this that he may never live a happy life for as long as Gen. Museveni is still President of this country unless his spirit is broken and he permits to relent and get compromised which is most unlikely bearing in mind the character of the man I know. It is probably because of this, who knows, that he may never come out of Prison alive!

But be that as it may, Gen. Museveni’s dictatorship may parcel out all this overdose of injustice to innocent Vincent, It may cause him embarrassment let alone the cruelest injury both physical and psychological, it may even kill him (no doubt about that), but am certain and convinced that the State can never decimate the cause for which he is standing. I am fortified in this belief by the struggles partaken by men like him in history.

It was Ken Saro- Wiwa who remarked on the occasion of his acceptance of the 1994 Right to Livelihood award that “The inconveniences which I and the Ogoni suffer, the harassment, arrests, detention, even death itself are a proper price to pay for ending the nightmare of millions of people engulfed by the wasting storms of denigrating poverty on the sea of dehumanization.” Take courage Comrade,  in whichever cubicle of the prison that you may be, drawing inspiration in your fights from those remarkable words of that illustrious son of Africa. Take courage my brother.

 
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Posted by on May 26, 2010 in Pan- African, Politics

 

OPEN LETTER TO CHAIRMAN NORBERT MAO OF GULU

Abwooli Rujumba Omurungi W’Abasambu, Gulu District LC5 Chairman Norbert Mao in a tellingly moving piece one can find on this link http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/notes/norbert-mao/history-will-absolve-us-on-the-ipc-question-unabridged/383882964648 insinuated that the all- powerful jaws of the Monster of History shall not find any appetite to devour him because he stood his ground and rejected calls that he joins the Great Inter- Party Coalition to unseat Uganda’s ruling President Gen. Yoweri Tibahaburwa Kaguta Museveni. I found it pertinent to respond to his emotional tale and make known to him some of my reservations about his decision not to act in concert with the other players in the opposition to rid his country of the Brigand-in- Chief.  Son of my mother, this now is the unabridged version of my reply to the amiable orator:
Chairman Mao

Norbert Mao: The Orator at his workplace.

Great piece. 

But however Gen. Museveni’s strength cannot just be underestimated not because he is popular or he is a Giant who presents credentials that make his opponents, like you Dear Norbert, to appear like the pygmies of the far- flung Ituri forests of Rwanda, but because of his resolute stand not to give up power. 

Museveni is thirsty and the more he clings to power, the thirstier he gets. I am guided in postulating so by the way and the rate at which the Ugandan institutions have been turned parasitical to the state itself. It is unquestionable that Gen. Museveni of Rwakitura has chosen to model the contemporary Ugandan institution in the fashion of a mother and a breastfeeding little one. Such a baby owes the mother its life, its milk, its happiness, its comfort, its health and most of all its survival. Thus where there is no such a mother, the little one’s life is as good as spent! 

Dear Norbert, you need not have mastered the complexities of Rocket science or in the least the semantics of aeronautics Engineering to understand that in Uganda, Museveni is the state and the state is Museveni and the two have been fanatically intertwined. In fact when I stumbled upon Comrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe’s quote that “Our votes must go together with our guns. After all, any vote we shall have, shall have been the product of the gun. The gun which produces the vote should remain its security officer – its guarantor. The people’s votes and the people’s guns are always inseparable twins.”, I must be pardoned for thinking in the first place that the journalist had just reproduced the words of Gen. Museveni verbatim!

All civil servants and public servants without exception, all CEO’s of state corporations, all our gallant and patriotic Soldiers who toil and die for the defence of our country, all Policemen who spend sleepless nights on the streets away from their most loved families to ensure that Law  and Order prevails in our country and  all the under- paid doctors of this country who by the nature of their calling and profession relieve us of deadly diseases have been indoctrinated through their respective professional bodies or a few yellow- professing individuals to think that if by mischance or misfortune their dear President goes away the next day, bread at their tables for them and their children will cease to be, there shall be no more good clothing for their little ones and if so be the case that their children learn from the so called ‘traditional schools’, they may never ever chance upon another opportunity to enjoy the cool airs found at such schools on visitation day! 

You then can just imagine what such a doctor, teacher, Policeman (and Women), CEO and not to make mention of the battle- hardened Soldier can do to defend the regime especially when the threat of hunger, starvation and deprivation of not only himself but also of his children is or is perceivably real especially in this capitalistic human society. That is the extent of the harm that Gen. Museveni has afforded. To make adult men of sane minds believe that they can never be anywhere in case of regime change or when the ‘perceived enemies’ of the Rwakitura cattle- herd succeed against him. That is the extent of the damage that has already been done, dear Chairman Mao, to the unsuspecting peoples of my country. That is the damage.  

I will dwell on this point a little longer in my effort to hammer it home. My good Comrade and friend Bakampa Brian s/o Baryaguma went to Kyankwanzi leadership training school, as it was then, for a course on something to do with the youth and patriotism as peddled by the General himself. For starters, NALI University has been portrayed, and to an extent successfully so, as an independent pro- people, pro- Uganda institution that is there to not only demystify the blood- spattered history of this country, but also as a formidable pulpit through which youths and all those Ugandans who consider themselves patriots can further the cause of their country irrespective of their political inclinations. 

To that group of Ugandans whom you have humorously called UB40’s (Ugandans below the age of forty), photo opportunities posed by the givers of knowledge at the institute and people like Chairman Mao, yourself, have only served to fortify in our little hearts the claims that what the town- criers of the Institution like Afande Kulaigye, Lt. Col. Shaban Bantariza, Lt. Col. Matsiko and the respected Kajabago Ka Rusoke have for long been peddling. 

The said Bakampa went with all this in mind and when time came for asking questions he never missed the opportunity of asking the CDF of UPDF Gen. Aronda- Nyakairima why even after his morning lectures where he was told that the army is non- partisan, scenarios of army officers like  Lt. Ramadhan Magara shooting at unarmed protesters at Bulange- e- Mmengo wherefrom a host of people died and others were permanently crippled were still commonplace. 

The furor of shock that gripped the room was unpararelled as such a thing was not even thought of. That a cadre would go forth and pose such a question to Afande Aronda with such ease and abandon was at least in NALI circles never heard of. That ‘how did he in the first place find his way inside the Institute’? The baffled staff at NALI scratched hard their heads! 

There were in fact attempts to subject Ndugu Bakampa in what in military parlance is called ‘putting out of action’ but by the grace of God (s), the ignoble attempt failed and as they say, the rest is history. Such is the kind of man or even less, the system that you aspire to topple. A system where facilities meant for and for the furtherance of the good cause of the country are for a select few. A select few who subscribe to the outrageous ministering of a Prophet with a vision. The only one with it!   

I will pick another anecdote, my last, from the circumstances that led to the cancellation of the 2010 Makerere University Students Guild Presidential elections  that further fasten me to the bolt of the conviction that only a united people, a united Opposition, a United force- dear Norbert, can, will and shall loosen the General’s  firm grip on the mace of power and redeem our country from the pilfering tendencies of the selfish. 

Being a student there, I witnessed all the hullabaloo first hand. The elections were from the fist place tailored in such a vogue as to favour the NRM Flag bearer -my friend Mr. John Teira. The young Turks of your party UYD (Uganda Young Democrats) with their  legendary mobilisation skills were fast gaining ground and eating deep into the hearts of the Electorate. My friend Shaban Senkubuge the flag bearer of UYD/DP amidst various cases of harassment was the disfavoured candidate of the yellow- leaning University administration for the top job at MUK. In fact it was at one time attempted to expel him! 

When this failed with disgrace, just like an able General at the war- front, the University administration came up with a new tactic. Thus a mole was planted in the UYD Camp in the person of Miss Grace Ruto  with the motive of splitting them.  This failed  as it lacked hands strong enough to deny Mr. Senkubuge his well- deserved win. His triumph was in the end secured by the elaborate court process that dismissed the suit ‘challenging’ the election at the petition of Mr. John Teira and Miss Grace Ruto. 

The high tone of this anecdote however was the stark and shameless involvement of the state machinery in trying to deny Mr. Senkubuge his victory. This is what a top ranking army officer said while addressing a meeting of NRM Supporters or those who purport to be: “We have caned before and we shall still flog to ensure that he (John Teira) goes through. We shall not accept this nonsense. We have the strongest army in East and Central Africa. What then can stop us?” But thank God(s), Court was there to stop them! 

Dear Chairman, for want of space, I shall end here by passionately contending that the threat posed by Gen. Museveni and his acolytes is supremely greater than what you perceive it is given the marriage of the State and its  Institutions. There is need to unite and throw out Mr. Museveni if any tangible change is to take place. Perhaps our people have for long said  that ‘When Spider webs unite, they tie up a Lion!’ In that, History shall absolve you as having been part of a people who united and successfully diagnosed a plague!  

For the now 20 years that I have known the bowel earth, it is this moment that I have been yearning for and you can grant me no better reward worth this wait than teaming up under the Umbrella of the Inter- Party Coalition/Co-operation (IPC) and like the powerful leopard, sink all your claws right into the neck of Gen. Museveni.

Give me this once- in- a- lifetime chance to witness change. Give me a chance to know another president.  Give also your little son Nicholas a chance to know another president. Unite and write the plot of the legend that I shall proudly relate to my little ones by the fireside in Nyangahya, Bunyoro- Kitara. Give me this chance!

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2010 in Politics

 

THE NEW VISION THAT ONCE SHONE HAS LOST ITS GLITTER.

Abwooli Rujumba Omurungi W’Abasambu, Lies and malicious innuendo peddled against the good should always be rubbished with such disdain and contempt one can muster in any morally apt society worth its glitter. I pen down this article in pursuit of this principle I consider dearly honourable.

The state- manned New Vision shamelessly feigned ‘a poll’,  Best and Worst of year 2009, whose returns,  glaringly laughable and starkly untrue, announced NRM hat- cladding supremo Mr. Museveni the runner-up to the accolade of ‘Best man’ of the year. The paper also proclaimed Janet Kataha Museveni, the emperor’s spouse as the best of the fairer sex of 2009.

Museveni’s top foe, retired army colonel Dr. Kiiza Besigye, was announced runner up to ‘Worst man of 2009’. Yoweri Museveni was hailed for his ‘visionary leadership’ and steadily building the economy in a year of world- wide economic turbulence.

For his part, FDC strongman was condemned by the ‘voters’ for not telling the truth, intimidating the police, being rude and arrogant and complaining all the time. The leader of the Ugandan opposition, Professor Moriss Ogenga- Latigo was accused of allegedly eloping with a school girl and killing her in an accident. In an effort hoodwink the public, a voice of dissent was picked in envoy Olara- Otunnu and placed in third spot of the best lot.

This poll brings back fond memories of Henrick Ibsen’s 1914 play- An enemy of the people where the town’s medical adviser Dr. Thomas Stockman, a sincere man of high ideals, was vilified and condemned for telling the townsfolk the rot, muck, and putrefaction in the town’s ‘baths’.

In perhaps one of the most celebrated literary portrayals of irony Peter Stockman; incumbent, contender in the mayoral race and Dr. Stockman’s brother, the whole town ululated and danced to the drum rhythms sounded by Peter. To them, he was a lover of the people and a visionary shepherd bent towards harnessing the town’s tourist potential.

For speaking against the town’s leadership, Dr. Stockman was labeled an enemy of the people and Peter in the alternative overwhelmingly granted another kisanja! The Herald, the town’s newspaper counted in favour of Peter. I want to gladly dub The New vision Uganda’s Herald. Why?

In the story coincidentally, another medical Doctor, Besigye, like Thomas, has been branded a villain for talking tough against not the mayor but a country’s president- Yoweri Museveni exactly 96 years later. 

He has spent much of his public life this year decrying Museveni’s glaring inefficiencies inter alia the pandemic corruption, mortgage of the few remaining public assets to his investor- courtiers, wanton abuse of the rights of the citizenry, towering nepotism among others.
2009 has been a year NRM apologists have been let free to play with public funds as they wished. The highlight of these plunderous games was the eventual cover up of the infamous Temangalo thieving do where J.P Amama Mbabazi working in duet with the then NSSF boss was on the loose.
In the same year was unearthed the infamous CHOGM  scum- stolen Strawberries..oh sorry Blackberries, huge bucks released for construction of 5- star hotels in a matter of days and the like.

As for the police the ‘poll’ sympathized with for enduring Besigye’s intimidation, the whole of 2009 caught them trigger happy. Ask the 37 corpses that fell in the Buganda riots.

It is a pity worth dropping a tear for that the heroes of truth and warriors of democracy like Dr. Besigye who have patiently endured all wrongs from persecution to creative vote counting are being branded villains.

I write this in honor of Drs. Besigye, Thomas Stockman and the ilk that rise up against evils plaguing their respective societies amidst all condemnations. It is for that that I consider Dr. Besigye the hero not the enemy. New year’s wishes.
 
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Posted by on January 2, 2010 in Politics