Monday, June 12, 2006

The Future of Democracy and The Cult of One Man Rule in Uganda


  • Every end of the year, Time Magazine chooses a person for its cover story that has affected world events for better or for worse! For this blogger: Museveni is just a blur!! But, the real imaginary Time Magazine cover person for the year 2006 in Uganda, since he opened another sad chapter of Uganda's unending series of one man overextended stay in power! The CULTURE OF ONE MAN RULE AND MUSEVENI'S CONCEIT united with his FANATICAL FOLLOWERS is alive and well in Uganda!

  • "A TIME COMES WHEN SILENCE IS BETRAYAL"
    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

    Museveni probably thinks he is God's gift to Uganda, when in fact he simply panders to the culture of fear he has instilled in average Ugandans for the past twenty years; coupled with the ignorance of the majority underclass he cajoled for votes.

    Just like Obote, Museveni used his gullible majority rubber stamp parliament to change the constitution which enabled him overextend his stay in power! Like his predecessors, Museveni still uses the military and police to entrench his one man rule ideology and curtail opponents and freedom of expression!
    This unassailable overextended leadership of a nation by one man is unsound. The country has painfully been through this before.

    The CULTURE OF ONE MAN followers believes that one man has all the answers to all the nations problems! This is an illusion. In reality, no single fallible human being is that gifted; and the sooner Ugandans realize this, the sooner the country will realize its fullest potential!

    Overextended one man rule policy is the infallible dream of mediocrity! Its a culture that maginalizes others with just as good or even better leadership talents for the sake of one demagogue. Once it comes into existance, it tends to perpetuate itselt like a cult!

    The sad irony is that Museveni led an insurgency to come to power, promising an end to this very, uneven political ground field; and twenty years now, and counting, Museveni has subtly turned that very same premise on its head, just to favour his hold on power. Like a broken record, the country has once again been robed of a once in a lifetime opportunity for an alternative pool of leadership talents, vitality and ingenuity, that would have revitalized our nation to far greater horizons than one simple man can ever even dare to accomplish! This is an environment that often leads our best and brightest minds, to throw up their hands in frustration and vote with their feet, exacerbating the inevitable brain drain! 12/25/06

  • Favorite YouTube video





  • The Pearl of Africa - Winston Churchill

    What Winston Churchill once called the Pearl of Africa is now the Poster Child for a dysifunctional democracy, where a First lady is also an elected member of parliament! Its like the Cock and Bull story of a M7 Dynasty in the making!
    The Pearl of Africa has in effect become the epicenter of perpetual one man rule, nepotisim and dynastic rule in Africa.

    "Just being a citizen qualifies you to comment on your government, as long as you are informed about your opinions." - David Horsey - Pulitzer Prize winner - Seattle Post, editorial cartoonist



    "African leaders have had such a habit of clinging to power that when the folksy-talking Museveni proclaimed himself a "man of the people," and promised Ugandans that "No African leader should stay in office more than 10 years," he was cheered. The West responded, too, pouring millions in donor aid into the East African nation. And everyone from President Bill Clinton to South Africa's former president Nelson Mandela lauded Uganda as the continent's success story. For all of Africa's woes, it was thought, Uganda was going to be different." By Emily Wax | Washington Post





  • "I never did give them hell. I just told the truth, and they thought it was hell."-- Harry Truman

    "My fellow citizens of the world. . .ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the Freedom of Man." - John F Kennedy



    "Do not confuse notoriety and fame with greatness ... For you see, greatness is a measure of one's spirit, not a result of one's rank in human affairs."Sherman Finesilver

    Cry the Beloved Continent !



    "Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." Muriel Strode

    A DEMAGOGUE: a person, especially a political leader, who wins support by exciting people's emotions and prejudices rather than by having good ideas.

    The best reaffirmation for the case against M7's overextended stay in power:

    From the Daily Monitor: Letters to the Editor | October 13, 2006

    Museveni is selling hope to cover dirt

    The sales consultant Rick Page has written a book titled: Hope is Not a Strategy in which he admonishes his readers that to have a real, tangible strategy for success rather than merely hoping for the best. It is now that President Museveni considers hope a winning strategy.
    From Bona Bagaggawale to the new oil discoveries, it is clear that Museveni realises that the easiest and cheapest commodity to deliver to an increasingly disillusioned nation is hope.
    The great thing about selling hope is that you need not actually deliver on the hopes you raise! All you need to do is keep delivering more hope, which, like an opiate, keeps the public from taking a really close look at reality. And when the opiate seems to be losing its power, invoke the name of God, because that usually works to keep peoples attention away from the facts.
    If we were to stop taking this ‘drug’ Museveni is administering in bits, we would realise that no government as disorganised, corrupt and visionless as the current one could possibly do any good with this oil we are so excited about.The alternative is to remain in this drug-induced delusional state and keep ‘hoping for the best’.

    A. Mande
    mandra2k6@yahoo.com

    It seems that no matter what you believe, the opposing side will say you have a bias toward that belief. What is bias, really?
    Maddie Finnegan, Milwaukee, Wis.

    Think of bias as a learned or emotional predisposition to believe a certain way, regardless of the facts. That’s why bias is so tough to overcome. It weighs heavily on a person’s thinking and warps it accordingly. So one usually is unaware of one’s own biases.

    Here’s an example that is nonpolitical and nonreligious, so readers’ own biases won’t leap into action! A reader from Omaha, Neb., asks: “Do you think the Moon landings were real, or were they staged? Have the landings ever been substantiated by any credible source?”

    To many readers, these questions may sound unintelligent—but not to me. I hear them as bias. A person who is bent on believing that the Moon landings were high-level hoaxes easily can argue every point that other people accept as proof the landings took place. Photos are said to be faked, eyewitness testimony is thought to be lies, and little unexplained oddities are seen as evidence of deception.

    Political bias works the same way but is less obvious.





  • A Dynasty in the making! - Janet Museveni


  • - First Lady & M.P.
    Janet Museveni's demure appearance here, masks her real ambitions!

    How can a first lady run for office while her husband is still in office and not any one see the potential conflict of interest? Let alone have a constitution that permits it!


  • Robert G. Mugabe, Museveni's Mentor!
    The amazing resemblance in grandiosity between Mugabe and M7 photos here is sobering! Its almost like they are a cut from the same cloth!

    [The reluctance these days of African leaders to denounce Mugabe's human rights abuses is self-serving -- they don't want to call attention to their own shortcomings -- but it is also partly a legacy of respect for a man who was once a freedom fighter.] Comments by Stephen Talbot


  • - PBS: Frontline/world series editor. Sadly, these same exact coments can be said about M7!

    There is book by the title: THE LEMMING CONSPIRACY.

    Lemmings are small arctic animals that follow one after another over cliffs along the sea and fall to their deaths.
    Ugandans are acting like Lemmings by choosing to follow only one leader for the past twenty years. They have limited their options and alternatives for leadership and some day this will lead to thier demise as a nation. Why does a nation settle for only one leadership for more than twenty years, when the country is abundant with so many others with talent and ability that are just as good or better than M7?
    According to the Lemming Conspiracy, Ugandans made such irrational choice because this conspiracy keeps them from expressing themselves as who they really are, with a vague feeling that they made the wrong choice but can't quite put a finger on it. This is exacerbated further by the illiteracy rate in Uganda.
    Ugandans have literally robbed themselves with their eyes wide open in terms of their limited choices for leadership and are in the process taking down the whole country into the abyss and don't even realize it! Those that think M7 is the only and only leader for Uganda in more than twenty years now, just don't understand the value and advantage of peaceful and periodic turnovers in leadership!
    Political illiteracy in Africa is an epidemic, worse than the aids epidemic; because its so pervasive and cunning leaders like M7 and Mugabe are thriving on it and not just accumulating personal and family wealth but also the power that comes along with it. This is a calamity for our fledgling democracy.
    Throughout Africa's history, from the time of the tribal chiefs and kings

    ; the continent's people have suffered at the hands of its own brutal and atrocious leaders ( a fact that is largely under the rags nowadays!), then came slavery, colonialism, apartheid, dictatorships, warlords, genocides, and now this new zeal for one man rule pseudo democracies! It just makes you wonder if this exploitation will ever end in Africa.

    Thomas Jefferson, the third U.S. president ( in office from 1801 - 1809 ) and author of the Declaration of Independence

    once said the following: "A nation can never be ignorant and free". This is true for Uganda now as it was then and still is, in the U.S.A today.
    As long as the majority of Ugandans remain illiterate, Uganda will never earnestly be free from leaders like M7!

    "A wise man has great power, and a man of knowledge increases strength;" proverbs 24:5

    " The pen is mightier than the sword "

    "The World Wide Web and Information Technology are modern man's most effective antidote against Despotism"



    The BBC Focus on Africa profile review of Museveni

    describes him as [ a driven man! ].
    Like all driven men, Museveni has a fanatical and bigoted goal of getting what he wants plus a willingness to do anything to achieve his objectives. He came to power by use of force

    . The constitutional amendment to scrap presidential term limits,which created a systematic bias in favor of his reelection, is another case in point. M7 is still stuck in the past by imposing this new form of one man rule that has been counterproductive in the past for Uganda. The imprisonment under false allegations of the popular opposition FDC leader, Dr. Besigye, is still another case in point. With the complete unchecked control of the army

    , plus a private army for his personal protection

    , M7 has literally achieved his goal of ruling for life. According to M7 and his fanatical supporters, he is the greatest and only leader Uganda will ever have! That's a hyperbole, but where else in the free world do you find leaders ( howevre, good they might be! ) lasting more than twenty years in office.
    M7's overextended rule in Uganda has created an axis of political ignorance that is bound to have far reaching repercusions on the country's fledgling democracy; and will unfortunately take years to reverse after M7 is long gone.

    THE WISDOM IGNORED BY MUSEVENI:


  • Click image to enlage


  • Click image to enlarge


    Overwhelming crowds of supporters of jailed opposition leader, Dr. Besigye, gathered at the day of his release!
    Museveni's government launched a heavy handed police presence at each and every one of Dr. Besigye's campaign stops soon there after and throughout the presidential elections campaign, that simply run the steam and momentum out of Dr. Besigye's campaign!


    Museveni like other driven leaders uses others, (unquestioning intellectuals like Bukenya, Kategaya, and Nsibambi, to mention but a few) as conduits to his goals; with the liberty to pull out the rag from under their feet if they should disagree with him.


  • Kategaya


  • - A man with no conscience ! - Rastoon - The New Vision

    "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" - Mark 8:36

    If Ugandans dream of having a truly great nation, they need to break the shackles of one man rule. Its incompatible with the true meaning of a democracy. The ones who benefit the most from one man rule are its leaders while keeping the majority hemmed in blissful ignorance and under achievement. Those that know better are simply stonewalled.
    Great democratic societies achieve their greatness and obvious success through a fair, competitive, transparent and collective turnover and share of leadership by all its citizens regardless of family fortune or influence.
    Uganda will never be the country it could really be if it continues under the leadership of one man for more than a decade. By its own very nature the leadership of one man for such over extended period limits a nations success or luck thereof through the prism of one mind, and one vision, which is a narrow and bigoted method of leadership.
    Regular and periodic turnover in leadership on the other hand opens a nations future to new, innovative, and healthy ways of looking at and solving the enormous problems of running a nation. Regular and periodic turnover in leadership avoids redundancy, a hallmark of one man rule. This is the only reason why free and democratic nations all over the world do so much better than totalitarian states, where individual initiative, creativity, and personal growth are stifled by the limitations of one man rule.
    Uganda is absolutely a country abundant with excellent and skilled people, [ most of these now live abroad! ] with talent and ability, enough to revitalize and lead our country to far greater heights than Uganda has been able to achieve so far if it wasn't but for the fanaticism and bigotry of leaders that have overextended their rule like Obote, then the infamous Idi Amin Dada, and now M7; a new parity of that antiquated form of one man rule!

    FOR YOUR AMUSEMENT:


  • Click on image to enlarge

    This new pseudo form of democracy in Uganda will only enrich M7, his family and the sycophants that protect his hold on power. For the vast majority of Ugandans, however, especially the underclass that voted for him, life will remain relatively unchanged: with glaring abject poverty, unemployment and destitution.
    " Tell me your friend and I will tell you who you are! " Tell me a country's literacy rate and I will tell you what kind of leadership you have got! Ugandas high illiteracy and gullible electorate enabled a person with Museveni's caliber to be reelected for a third term.
    This is a leader that has been in office for more than twenty years now and nothing in his autobiography is inspiring. If you read one of his presidential letters,


  • he is mostly glib, vapid and redundant. ( to read M7's letter, point and click the highlighted word [letter] above ) At his recent swearing in ceremony speech, M7 boasted of reintroducing multi-party democracy in Uganda, but conspicuously failed to mention the scraping of presidential term limits that essentially secured him a third term victory at the polls. I hope Museveni ends up a lame duck during his so-called third term, [ ITS THE FOURTH TERM !! FOR CRYING OUT LOUD !! ] so that future fanatical and bigoted souls that may follow in his footsteps never, ever, overextend their stay in power.

    THE OPPOSITION:
    This is not a time for capitulation!
    M7 may have won the last election, but the struggle against one man rule in Uganda will go on and the dream of some day realizing an end to M7's overextended rule should never die.
    You don't have to settle for things the way they are. You are an indispensable part of Uganda. You have a right to be heard.
    What the opposition lacks, is a grass roots effort and lasting presence for its message !
    At the same time, if the opposition in Uganda wants to present a credible alternative to M7, they must have free and open debate within their parties that allows competition for leadership that is transparent to all its members and the nation. The idea of an overextended leadership of a party by one man is redundant for the party as it is for the nation.
    You have five years from now, plenty of time to get your act together for the sake of real Democracy in Uganda !

    In the July 2006 issue of The Africa Report magazine

    , professor Calestous Juma

    , head of the Practice of International Development, at Harvard University

    , says the following: [ A vibrant democratic tradition has to be based on sound intellectual foundations. Most African political parties lack these. Effective party platforms should draw on inputs from think-tanks and other research institutions - and these should be of African, rather than foreign, origin.
    In Africa's young democracies, party platforms would serve as a stable foundation and source of vision for governments. Parties would be forced to develop programmes that reflect the will and needs of the citizenry and would, in turn, be elected or defeated depending on their policy proposals.
    Open dialogue over policy is a key element of democracy. Platforms would foster healthy competition between parties and, as a result, parties would become more distinctive and unique. In turn, the electorate would have a better choice when voting, and would not be compelled to revert to voting based on ethnic or religious affiliations. .....
    Party political platforms are not meaningless campaign documents but, rather, they play a significant role in setting the stage for the implementation of policy after an election.
    ...]

    At this moment, more than at any other time in our history, our country desperately needs leaders with strong and unequivocal democratic convictions, strength of character and determination to stand up to this imminent quagmire of one man rule trying to rear its ugly head once again in Uganda.
    The opposition can't afford to blink this time ! ( if you do, M7 will prevail once again ! ) Keep your eyes on the target this time. The only objective is not to let M7 serve another term beyond 2011.

    UGANDANS:
    This is not a time for acquiescence !
    We need to support and fund a credible opposition in Uganda. Apathy in the face of one man rule, is no virtue!



    EPILOGUE:
    I have documented and presented facts about M7's rule, since he decided to overextend his stay in power, so as to circumvent the emotional thought process that often goes on between those who justify one man rule and some of us that oppose it. I hpoe the facts prove my argument against M7 in this blog.

    I have gone to school, met, and worked with people from literally every country in the world that make America the melting pot it is; which has given me a tolerance and broad minded view of the world in contrast to the wishy-washy view of most people from Africa.

    In Chinua Achebe's 1983 book about Nigeria's roudy elections, tiltled: The Trouble with Nigeria

    ; the author - best known for his book: Things Fall Apart, uses blunt prose to deliver his massage in Trouble: "False Image of Ourselfes", "Social Injustice and the Cult of Mediocrity"; "Indiscipline", and "Corruption".
    You can prorate Achebe's angst to M7's Uganda! More than twenty years since he assumed office, M7's government is still grappaling with corruption, Indiscipline, injustice and the cult of mediocrity; while projecting a false image of himself to the rest of the world!

    The only self redeeming option left for M7, if he values his legacy, is for him not to run after 2011. But that's between him and his ego.


  • Click on image to enlarge

    I was too young to realize that a long struggle had preceeded the end of colonial rule or even clearly distinguish the differences between political parties at the time. Even though I was a child at the time of our independence, I was old enough to know a good thing when I saw it. My Dad was among the first few, young, bright, and British colonial government trained and selected on merit Ugandans, that filled the vacated civil service government positons at the time. It gave me a first hand look at the pros and cons of the British colonial system, even though it was from my innocent childs point of view. All the cosmopolitan folks I came in contact with were wonderful to me and my family. I only have fond memories of that bygone era. Not once do I remember ever witnessing a power shortage or running out of water. These were the best times of my childhood, and I could never have imagined that the country I knew and cherished at the time could have ended up the way it is today. Bad politics and politicians messed up our country. The selected young and bright Ugandan citizens like my Dad were left at the mercy of unprepared but fanatical politicians in collusion with the illiterate military. At the time there used to be a Luganda cliche about the Ugandan politicians newly acquired positions in government: "Bagwa mu Bintu!" The literal english meaning is like "hitting the jackpot!" And for many of our politicians at the time, with no real jobs, that was literally what it was!

    I have been back to Uganda since M7 came to power, and I am sorry to say this , but, to see the dusty city of Kampala that used to be modest but beautiful, the potholed streets, the unmaintained old colonial government buildings just made my heart break. Then the disparity between the haves and have not that leaps out at you and people begging from you when they realize you are from abroad, made me realize how lucky I am.

    Notwithstanding the problems that came with colonialism, the Europeans laid a solid and genuine foundation for the modern day African states they curved out of the continent. Many of the institutions and infrastructure Africa still relies on today could not have been possible without colonial rule. Even all the best minds and talents in or outside Africa today are the very product ot that system.
    Hindsight is 20/20, but if our politicians had worked out an arrangement where business owners from the colonial period where allowed to stay, our countries would be in a far better shape than they are today. Look at the U.S.A, its the very epitome of what foreigners can contibute to a nation.

    If you haven't noticed, I have not give M7 any credit in my blog. I am deliberately impugning his motives for overextending his stay in power. I lost respect for the man the day his rubber stamp parliament scrapped presidential term limits, breaking a promise he made to the country not to run for office after 2006. Here is a leader that had it within the grasp of his hands to set a precedence as well as a legacy for himself, of being the first leader in Uganda's 45 year history since independence to allow and over see a peaceful transfer of power; but instead over saw the selfish scraping of presidential term limits that basically gave him an open door to overextend his stay in power.
    Museveni is trying to reinvent Democracy fit for Africa! This is baloney! Democracy is the same everywhere. The idea that its different in Africa only promotes office holders bids for power.
    Those who accommodate one man rule are enablers and I am not one of them. I hate one man rule with all my heart and soul. If I had my way, I would take them all and put them away somewhere, where we would never hear from them again; even if they were benevolent!

    One of my most inspirational leaders of the 20th century was the late Sir Winston Churchill who was not a bright student in school. In fact he is listed among the famous people who have battled mental illness. Despite such setback in his life, Sir Winston inspired his country and the world to defeat evil during the second world war.

    [ “Had he been a stable and equable man, he could never have inspired the nation. In 1940, when all odds were against Britain, a leader of sober judgement might well have concluded that we were finished,” wrote Anthony Storr in Churchill. Storr also discussed Churchill’s manic depression in his book The Dynamics of Creation. ]


  • Sir Winston Churchill - A Leader to Emulate!
  • 1874-1965

    If you go back and read any of Churchill's speeches,


  • and then compare them with M7 speeches,

    its like comparing day and night!
    If this blog were to change the mind set of even one single Ugandan, it would have met its objective fo me! And this is really what it is going to take; One mind set at a time!

    Sphere: Related Content

    30 comments:

    MuseveniKaguta said...

    Opinions May 30, 2006
    Has Kategaya read page 131 of his Impassioned for Freedom?
    Enock Mayanja Kiyaga
    Cardiff, Wales
    The news confirming that former deputy prime minister Eriya Kategaya made a U-turn found me reading a book titled "Impassioned For Freedom". The author is Eriya Tukahirwa Kategaya. The date of publication is January 2006 and Wavah Books Ltd is the publisher. I intended to use the book along with others in writing an introductory part of my thesis about Uganda's political history.The last chapter, in which Kategaya shares his experience in government from 1986-2003 is the most intriguing. In his conclusion on page 131 Kategaya writes: “In Africa but particularly in Uganda, we seem to be cursed with having leaders who cannot be taken on their word. Of late I have been told that politicians are people without a sense of shame. All along I trusted President Museveni whenever we agreed on what to do but the Kisanja project has shaken my faith in him. It is not only President Museveni who has shaken my faith and trust in leaders but some of my colleagues in cabinet are equally guilty. It seems the survival instinct overrides everything else. We need to work out a mechanism whereby leaders do not take politics as a means of earning a living rather than service to the people".
    AUTHORED BOOK: Kategaya
    When Kategaya was writing this statement a couple of months ago, little did he know that the same curse will soon catch up with him moreover in a worst manner. Otherwise where has the sense of shame in him gone? Could Kategaya now be taken on his word?At the age of 60 when he decides to throw through the window the honour, dignity and confidence he had won for being a principled leader and a statesman. How could he serve in the same Kisanja project he opposed yesterday and to worsen matters, he attempts to justify it? This is one of the many reasons Uganda still remains a political island in Africa. Our country is in a desperate shortage of selfless leaders - leaders who think of the next generation but not the next elections. The culture of retirement has completely eluded our leaders' right from the top. Kategaya is taking us for fools when he attempts to argue that it’s not the survival instinct that has made him swallow his words? With this kind of trend in future, it will be even a problem to remove the lowest leaders at LC1. In a paper titled "The Future of Constitutionalism and Democracy in Uganda" presented at a meeting of Pafo (the Parliamentary Advocacy Forum that later merged with others to form FDC) in Mbarara in 2003, Kategaya states that "I have observed that the longer one stays in power, the more one is insulated from reality. The trappings of state apparatus tend to make one live unrealistic existence. There is a need for retirement and let fresh blood be infused into the system. The necessity to retire is even more so in our situation where state institutions are not firmly functional and decisions are taken on almost personal basis". What has so changed between now and 2003 when Kategaya made these remarks? Or the Movement has run short of young blood that could be infused in the system? His return to the Movement instead affected the young people like David Bahati, Frank Tumwebaze... to bring in new ideas as they were reportedly scrapped off the final list at the 11th hour. Kategaya’s comments at Parliament shortly before facing the House’s Appointments Committee in which he said that in politics one could never say never and that one plus one could be five not two, is a manifestation of opportunism and cynicism in its highest form. The scenario vindicates Supreme Court judge George Kanyeihamba who rightly remarked during the hearing of FDC President Dr Kizza Besigye's petition against Museveni's re-election in April that he's yet to know of any politician who is not an opportunist. However, opportunism in this case is just a tip of the iceberg. There's more to Kategaya's change of heart than meets the eye especially given his own confession that he has had several meetings with President Museveni before his appointment. Since President Museveni won the disputed elections with 59% in February this year, he has been fighting a psychological warfare of winning legitimacy and credibility. This is the main reason he made efforts to line up over 10 African heads of state in disregard of their democratic credentials to attend his swearing-in on May 12. He thought that by parading these leaders, he would make a statement that he's a friend to everyone despite his flawed victory as confirmed by the Supreme Court. The move to woo some of the historicals like Kategaya back to the government is another tool used to fight the battle of illegitimacy. Much as Kategaya will earn a living from the job of course, his appointment is largely made to boost credibility of the regime and cement the infant project of life presidency. Those who think that Museveni might stand aside in 2011 are wishful thinkers. He will soon stop at nothing to legitimise his stay at the helm forever. Just think about it, with his wife Janet in Parliament, the son Muhoozi Kainerugaba influential in the army, the brother Gen. Salim Saleh in cabinet and Museveni at the helm and now Kategaya on board, President Museveni can only succeed himself forever.
    The author is a journalism student, Cardiff University UK. Kiyaga@yahoo.com

    MuseveniKaguta said...

    Africa’s ‘new breed’ of countries compared
    TIMOTHY KALYEGIRA
    The contrast between the way President Paul Kagame and President Yoweri Museveni as leaders is so glaring, one sometimes wonders why Kagame was not sworn-in as President of Uganda in January 1986 instead of Museveni

    Last week, I visited Rwanda for the first time. It was all the more important because I finally can say I have been to all four countries that, in 1997, the Clinton Administration in the United States described as being led by a “new” breed of African leaders.

    I am now in a position to draw lessons from them and compare them. Each of the countries has a good side that would appeal to different people and a side that would repel others.

    The person whom I travelled with and who sponsored my trip to Rwanda is my colleague and friend at the Daily Monitor Andrew Mwenda.

    From his angle, Rwanda is a country that is currently on the course to becoming an African Singapore, as seen by the efficiency of the state and how it tries to enforce the rule of law and distributes national resources and opportunity as fairly as possible to the population.

    I used to question that position but once I got to Rwanda, I proved it to be true. The evidence of well-paved streets, the growing number of homes built by the state for its citizens, and the general sense of discipline and order in Kigali makes Kampala look like a shameful urban slum.

    The contrast between the way President Paul Kagame and President Yoweri Museveni as leaders is so glaring, one sometimes wonders why Kagame was not sworn-in as President of Uganda in January 1986 instead of Museveni. All this corruption, inefficiency, and worst of all impunity by the ruling class would never have taken place if Kagame had been installed as Uganda’s leader when the NRM seized power more than 20 years ago.

    The question then is, why do Ugandans in general not warm up to the thought of living in Rwanda or regarding their southwestern neighbour as a role model when it seems to offer almost everything that they lack and have been cheated of by the Museveni regime?

    Even where they visit and see Rwanda for themselves, they still prefer to return home and live in the mess - traffic jams, dark streets, dust, and potholes - that they clearly see and know is a mess.

    Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa is not as good as Uganda’s capital Kampala, but the sense that the Ethiopian government works harder to maintain or build better infrastructure for its people, is a fact.

    So in that sense, Uganda has the worst and most irresponsible government of all three “new breed” of African countries. And yet Ugandans not only are content to remain in their country but Uganda is a major attraction to Eritreans, Ethiopians, and Rwandans. Why?

    There could be many reasons, but in my mind I suspect that human beings aspire for and cherish many things, but the one thing that stands above all the others is freedom - not for one to simply be free, but to feel free.

    The vast majority of Africans live oppressed lives at the hands of the state. That is the longest-running crisis and nightmare for the African, much more even than the poverty they live with. So pervasive is this sense by Africans of being trodden upon that I now better appreciate why Ugandans, even as they walk on streets with potholes and without lighting and see piles of garbage all around them, still prefer to live in Uganda than in Ethiopia, Eritrea, or Rwanda.

    Let me explain

    For religious sects for whom their faith is a matter of life and death like the Jehovah’s Witness, it would be terrifying to live in a country like Eritrea that places patriotism above any other virtue. Many of them are languishing in jails in Eritrea.

    The Jehovah’s Witness, in their sincere search of the scriptures, conclude that a true Christian should be wary of getting involved in politics and who even do not salute the national flag of a nation. Eritrea requires its citizens to undergo military training and do national service.

    The Jehovah’s Witness would therefore find Uganda a paradise and no amount of garbage, inefficiency and potholes in the streets of Kampala can change their minds about Uganda, a country where religious freedom is at its wildest. If on the other hand I am a Rastafarian, a Black European, Black Caribbean, or Black American or staunch pan-Africanist and the quest for my roots and a sense of connection with the glorious past of Africa, I would not find much pleasure in the over-westernised capital cities like Kigali and Kampala.

    My emotions would find peace in Addis Ababa and to a lesser extent the Eritrean capital Asmara. In Addis Ababa, the abundant traditional dancing, cuisine, clothing, historic sites, and the exceptionally high sense and interest in identity and “Africa” would become an addiction for those seeking their roots. For refugees fleeing persecution in their countries, Uganda would be better than any of the other countries combined.

    Where corruption among Uganda’s civil service, border and immigration officials is annoying to most people, this very corruptibility is the greatest asset to a refugee.

    If I were being hunted down by my government, the adherence to the strict letter of the law that is daily life in Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Rwanda would prove to be my worst nightmare because once I get to the border, I would be denied entry whereas in Uganda, thousands of citizens from neighbouring countries roam freely in the country and can even go for five years without the need to ever carry their passports.

    Uganda is like a nightclub

    To such people - Somalis, Eritreans, Southern Sudanese, Congolese, Ethiopians, Rwandans - this lawlessness in Uganda is what they define as freedom. Uganda is like a nightclub: anyone can walk in and out with barely a word from the government.

    Border control officials are easily bribed. That is Uganda’s great appeal to refugees.
    The sorts of people who would most enjoy a country like Rwanda would be Europeans or westernised African elite who are attracted by such facilities in Kigali as clean streets, a sense of order, a minimum of corruption, a bureaucracy that processes investment applications within a few hours rather than six weeks as is the case in Ethiopia or Eritrea.

    If, on the other hand, I am a Rwandan and I lost my entire family in the 1994 genocide, the sight of clean streets, well-paved roads, efficient civil service, nice new apartment buildings or all the best material things in the world would be of no consolation to me.

    What I need the most is to find answers to why humankind behaves in a beastly manner and how I can ever come to terms with that loss. A “happy” and freewheeling atmosphere like that you see in Uganda would be much more desirable to me than the strict, lonely, melancholic atmosphere in Rwanda.

    I have seen too much misery in the Horn of Africa and in Rwanda to brush aside the primary concern in the human breast for free expression and psychological space, and that is why I am not surprised at Ugandans’ indifference toward Rwanda.

    Ugandans long ago gave up on having an honest government and take it in their stride that corruption, potholes in the city roads, and chaos is the order of the day. What they still believe they have is the right to their individuality, with or without the help of the government. To a typical Ugandan, the definition of a good government is one that leaves them alone.

    Rwandans are reassured when they see that traffic policemen at the roadsides do not generally take bribes and keep watch for any traffic offences; to Ugandans, that very sight of traffic police is an irritant, a reminder that there is a state that regulates their lives.
    To Ugandans, a good policeman is one who either accepts a bribe or does not call a driver to the side of the road for a car inspection.

    That is my sum up of these four countries Eritrea, Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Uganda. As a state, Uganda is the most disorganised and corrupt of all four countries. But to the individual African resigned to his fate, Uganda offers the best combination of the things that the human being holds dearest in life - freedom and a sense of psychological space from that monster called the state.

    Ugandans might in reality not be as free as Rwandans, but the fact that Ugandans consistently feel or imagine that they are the freer people itself ends up becoming a concrete reality.


    The countries at a glance

    Best in observing the rule of law
    1. Eritrea 2. Rwanda 3. Ethiopia 4. Uganda

    Most promising economy
    1. Rwanda 2. Ethiopia 3. Uganda 4. Eritrea

    Most politically/militarily stable
    1. Eritrea 2. Rwanda 3. Uganda 4. Ethiopia

    Best urban infrastructure
    1. Rwanda 2. Eritrea 3. Ethiopia 4. Uganda

    Best and most efficient civil service
    1. Rwanda 2. Uganda 3. Ethiopia 4. Eritrea

    Best record on crime
    1. Eritrea 2. Ethiopia 3. Rwanda 4. Uganda

    Most open and most vibrant media
    1. Uganda 2. Ethiopia 3. Eritrea 4. Rwanda

    Best education system
    1. Uganda 2. Rwanda 3. Eritrea 4. Ethiopia

    Most open religious environment
    1. Uganda 2. Ethiopia 3. Rwanda 4. Eritrea

    Best in sports
    1. Ethiopia 2. Uganda 3. Rwanda 4. Eritrea

    Most patriotic people
    1. Ethiopia 2. Eritrea 3. Rwanda 4. Uganda.

    Best place for young people to have a good time
    1. Uganda 2. Ethiopia 3. Rwanda 4. Eritrea.

    Most individually minded people
    1. Uganda 2. Ethiopia 3. Eritrea 4. Rwanda.

    Most charming and interesting people
    1. Uganda 2. Rwanda 3. Eritrea 4. Ethiopia

    Lowest personality cult by country’s leader
    1. Ethiopia 2. Eritrea 3. Rwanda 4. Uganda

    Jay said...

    Interesting and well written blog. I am looking forward to more posts.

    MuseveniKaguta said...

    Correspondent opinion:

    EAR TO THE GROUND | Charles Onyango-Obbo

    When Museveni visited Kenya’s Kibaki in ‘sapatu’
    July 19, 2006
    When President Yoweri Museveni visited Kenya last week, he appeared at a photo shoot with his host President Mwai Kibaki, in sandals.

    That raised enough brows, but he added a fashion twist by wearing socks too. I myself never thought much of wearing sandals with socks, until some years ago; a female editor at The Monitor raised the issue. “Why”, she asked, “do men wear sandals with socks? It is so tacky.”

    You either cover your feet, or allow them to be free. The socks-and-sandals were so not done, she said, only people with genuinely sick feet, old unfashionable folks, and some pretentious peasants in the villages did it.

    So, what was it? Did Museveni have sore feet after an injury? You might argue that national duty is such priority, it was more important to travel to Kenya to meet Kibaki than stay home because his feet couldn’t take closed shoes. In which case we would applaud the president’s dedication to duty.

    However, the slight complication here is that going by the press release that followed their meeting, it was routine consultation on East African Community issues.
    The second is that Museveni has, again, relapsed into an unfashionable and eccentric phase. In the past, Museveni has met foreign dignitaries, including former Rwanda President Pasteur Bizimungu, in Rwakitura while wearing sandals. In fact, on those occasions, he wore the sandals “properly”, with his toes out.

    The third possibility is that the president is striking a “mwananchi figure”, so the added clumsiness of socks-covered feet in open sandals would complete the image.
    However, reliable sources say that these days if you have an early meeting with Mr Museveni at State House or Rwakitura, he is quite likely to turn up in his gown (someone told me he sometimes dons a bathrobe, but I refused to believe it).

    Not everyone takes it well. Diplomats and political leaders used to grumble that it was “lack of respect” for the president to meet them “barefoot”, as one of them once put it. I guess it would be like showing up for kwanjula (introduction ceremony) in shorts or a T-shirt. No matter how much you tell your future parents in-law that you love their daughter, they are bound to feel offended.

    Historically feet, especially in African societies, have been divisive and controversial items. To a true African the height of disrespect would be to point at, or pick something out, for him with your feet.
    If you hit a grown man’s - or woman's - buttocks with a stick, he will consider it aggression. If however you kicked them with your feet, he would consider it extreme provocation or an insult of unequalled magnitude.

    In some cultures in the world, especially Asia, women’s feet were considered subversive. In order to keep the peace and social order, they either trimmed them, or tied them so they remained underdeveloped, and thus that made it difficult for free spirited women to move far from the village before getting tired. Disgraceful, but it only proves that feet are not simply feet.

    That’s why political handlers get involved in managing their appearance. Kibaki got a car accident in the run-up to the December 2002 elections, and after he had been sworn president, suffered a mild stroke arising from related complications.

    There was pressure for the president to appear in public to signal he was well and in charge. Many times, it was clear that he wasn’t in good shape, and fumbled his lines during speeches.

    However, the one thing that his handlers never got wrong was his dress. Kibaki always appeared in a sharp suit, and even when he was walking with some difficulty, they always took the trouble to ensure that he was in closed shoes.

    And that’s what Museveni should have done. He could have worn the sandals in the car, or even kicked them off all together (for example during meetings), but for the photo shoot he should have appeared in closed shoes - a size or two bigger would have done the trick if his feet were sore.
    The fact that he didn’t, left him a shambolic look that the leader of nearly 30 million people doesn’t need.

    It also lent credence to the emerging view that Museveni is too casual about power, and therefore takes it for granted. That he is no longer bothered what other people think, and is unable to make the fine distinction between the convention of public office (appropriate dress, courteous address, restrained demeanour, mild table manners), and the informalities of the private household (walking about bare chest, in pyjamas etc.). To our good president, they are one and the same thing.

    For a leader who, despite his protestations, is perceived to be clinging on to power so that he can be the first president of the East African Federation, however, his every move is being watched. The Jopadhola people, wonderfully given to dramatic speech, would say; “useveni visited Kibaki in sapatu (slippers).” Sometimes, appearances matter more than substance. This was one of those occasions.
    Email: cobbo@nation.co.ke

    MuseveniKaguta said...

    The rebels have a point here!

    "Northern Ugandan rebels at peace talks in Sudan have demanded that Uganda's armed forced be disbanded.
    The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) say the army is loyal to President Yoweri Museveni personally, not the nation."

    BBC News 7/18/06

    MuseveniKaguta said...

    Museveni's conscious has started to haunt him!
    If he was looking for a behind the scenes deal with Dr. Besigye as he did with Kategaya, the FDC and Dr. Besigye are giving him none of that!


    Museveni wants talks with Besigye
    CHARLES MWANGUHYA
    KAMPALA
    PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni has written to his main political rival, Dr Kizza Besigye, inviting him for a meeting “to discuss matters of mutual interest.”

    The letter, signed by the President’s Principal Private Secretary, Ms Amelia Kyambadde, was delivered to the retired colonel at the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) headquarters in Najjanankumbi yesterday.

    Besigye, the runner up in the February 23 presidential elections is the president of FDC.
    In the letter, Kyambadde said Museveni wants to meet Besigye and three other people from FDC on July 28.

    Immediately Besigye received the letter, which is the first official communication he has received from Museveni since they fell out in 1999, he read it out to the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) and asked them to respond accordingly.
    FDC Spokesperson Wafula Oguttu confirmed yesterday that the NEC had discussed Museveni’s invitation.

    He said NEC welcomed the invitation but it wanted to seek clarification on some issues particularly whether the invitation was for Besigye in his individual capacity or as leader of FDC.

    The party also wants to know the agenda of the meeting, the issues to be discussed and whether the FDC would be allowed to raise some of their own issues at the meeting.
    “We think its okay for them to meet,” Wafula said. “But we are writing back to ask for the agenda, we want to contribute to the agenda.” The President’s offer to Besigye, who is facing treason charges in the High Court, may have come as a surprise to many since Museveni has previously said he has nothing to discuss with the leader of the major opposition party.
    In March, Besigye was acquitted of rape.
    Recently in an interview with Daily Monitor , Museveni said, “there was nothing to reconcile with Besigye.”

    The executive committee of FDC yesterday resolved that they would only accept to meet Museveni if both parties contributed to the agenda of the meeting and that their delegation would be bigger than the three people Museveni suggested. “They want three people, but we think we shall have seven or at least five,” Wafula said.

    But the new development appears to have resulted from a recent meeting Besigye had with the leader of the European Union Election Observer Mission Mr Max Van Den Berg, who handed him a copy of the final report on the February general elections.

    The report noted that, “overall elections fell short of full compliance with international standards for democratic elections, particularly due to the fact that a level playing field was not in place.” Berg said he had told the President about their concerns over the last elections particularly the treatment of the opposition.
    Besigye spent nearly the first 30 days of the campaigns in jail - and the rest of the 90 days of election campaigns shuttling between rallies and court.
    The fall out
    Besigye was Museveni’s comrade in arms and also personal doctor during the 1981-86 bush war. He later served in various positions in the army and the government after the NRM captured power in 1986 -including being a minister of state for Internal Affairs, National Political Commissar, Chief of Logistics and Engineering, Commander of the Mechanised Brigade and Special adviser to the Minister of Defence before falling out in 1999.

    He later wrote a highly critical paper, code-named the Reform Charter in which he accused the Movement (NRM) of derailing from the original ideals that had led to the bush war. The document, which was published in the newspapers, landed him in trouble.
    Museveni then wanted Besigye Court-martialled.
    He got off the hook after a delegation from Rukungiri led by former Health minister Jim Muhwezi pleaded for him.

    In late 2000, he declared he would run for the presidency, a move pundits said was to pre-empt an impending arrest.
    He garnered 27 per cent in 2001 and 37 per cent of the vote in February 2006 election against Museveni’s 59 per cent in one of the most grueling challenges since Museveni assumed power in 1986.

    In August 2001, Besigye fled the country after beating a 24-hour surveillance by security agencies. He returned on October 26, 2005, and was elected FDC President at a party conference at Nambole Stadium on October 29.

    On November 14, just days before nominations, Besigye was arrested at Busega, outside Kampala and charged with treason and rape.
    On December 14, he was nominated to contest the presidency on FDC ticket from his prison cell at Luzira. Besigye facing a treason charges. He is accused of having tried to establish links with the LRA.
    Period of reconciliation
    Museveni’s letter to Besigye comes at a time when the government is seeking to reconcile with rebel leader Joseph Kony.
    The government delegation and LRA negotiators are in Juba for talks to end to the 20-year-long war in the north.
    Kategaya link?
    Museveni, who will host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting next year, has been reaching out to his former comrades that had fallen out to bring them back to the fold.

    His latest catch is former FDC Special Envoy Eriya Kategaya who returned to Museveni’s Cabinet after almost three years in the opposition.
    Kategaya strongly criticised Museveni’s decision to run for a third term after his second and last Constitutional term expired this year. By yesterday, it was not clear to what extent Kategaya is involved in the Besigye meeting plan.

    MuseveniKaguta said...

    Isn't it peculiar that anyone that disagrees with M7 is labeled an "agent of disorientation"! The president needs to stop these self-serving monologues of lambasting the opposition and his imaginary neo-colonial agents and perhaps learn something from what the opposition has to say.


    PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni has fired back at Supreme Court Judge George Kanyeihamba and Makerere University law lecturer Dr. Oloka Onyango for accusing the NRM of being obsessed with retaining power, saying they were ‘agents of disorientation’.

    He also attacked FDC president Dr. Kizza Besigye for making subversive statements against the NRM. He also criticised the Westminster foundation, saying the NRM rejected the idea of external forces ‘administering lectures about how Uganda should move in terms of democratic reforms’.

    In a strongly-worded 26-page speech delivered at the start of a closed retreat for National Resistance Movement (NRM) MPs and independents friendly to the party at hotel Africana in Kampala yesterday, Museveni said the NRM succeeded in its struggle because it resisted and exposed errors of agents of disorientation.

    “I caused the convening of this retreat because the more I read what the likes of Dr. Kanyeihamba, Dr. Onyango Oloka and others from the Westminster Foundation said, the more I remember the passage in the Church of Uganda book of common prayers (page 6), where the prayer of general confession says:
    “We have left undone those things which we ought to have done and we have done those things which we ought not to have done and there is no truth in us,” Museveni said.

    The retreat follows the President’s recent guidelines to NRM MPs on how to conduct business in Parliament.

    In the guidelines, Museveni told MPs not to criticise the government in Parliament and not to take individual positions.

    He said there was need to wage an ideological and political war against ‘the agents of disorientation’, akin to the one the NRM carried out against adventurism, sectarianism and tribalism.

    “Similarly in this phase, after the minimum recovery period, we need to wage a vigorous ideological and political struggle against the agents of disorientation, the likes of Dr. Besigye, Dr. Kanyeihamba, Dr. Onyango Oloka, the persons from Westminster Foundation and other groups.

    “This is in order to defend our correct ideological line and political line hammered out at the Kyankwanzi Conference of 26th March 2003.

    “This is the line of nationalism as opposed to balkanisation; modernisation and industrialisation as opposed to neo-colonial perpetual division of labour that concentrates on only exporting raw materials and no-value addition,” he said.

    He accused Besigye, Kanyeihamba, who was yet to present his speech, and Onyango of “perpetually trying to divert the public’s mind to purely tactical questions such as kisanja (presidential third term) on top of incredible mendacity”.

    He took on Kanyeihamba for accusing the NRM of concentrating on political games of how to stay in power and recycling ministers, hence causing public discontent and conflict in society, “yet we recycle judges and professors”.
    During the June 18 orientation retreat for MPs, Kanyeihamba accused the NRM of ‘blatant ethnicism, nepotism and personal patronage’.

    He said NRM had abandoned its socialist, nationalistic and popular policies in preference for ultra-capitalistic economic ones in which those closest benefit personally’.
    Museveni said Onyango re-echoed Kanyeihamba’s views, “and many other utterances that he dramatised and exaggerated”.

    He attacked Besigye for saying the NRM would be toppled before 2011 and that the Government would collapse because of dictatorship, corruption, and the power shortage.

    “Much of this is not only false, but also illusory. It is morbid self-delusion. If you concentrate on what they are saying, you will be implementing what is written in the Protestants’ prayer book,” Museveni said.

    This article can be found on-line at: http://www.newvision.co.ug/D/8/12/511373

    MuseveniKaguta said...

    A brilliant letter to M7 and the Movement Caucus!

    by Professor J. Oloka-Onyango


    OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT MUSEVENI AND THE MOVEMENT CAUCUS

    Mr. President:

    First of all, let me apologize for causing or spreading “disorientation.” I imagined that a person of your vision and focus is not so easily disoriented, particularly by “recycled” judges and academics. I also apologize for not being able to attend the NRM Caucus, which is due to the fact that I am presently out of the country. I must nevertheless thank you for not describing us as “Agents of Confusion,” which is the term former president Idi Amin Dada used to describe those who dared speak out in opposition to him. We were also spared the title “obscurantists” which was one of your favourite appellations during the early days of the NRA/M “revolution” and became almost a term of abuse. So causing “disorientation” or “disorientalism” is not such a bad thing, particularly if the intention of such action is to force you to question the direction in which you are heading. I would equate our action to that of a sign-post that warns of trouble ahead: “Hatari; danger; kabi!” In the circumstances of Uganda today, I am quite happy to be described as a “disorientor” if it helps people to stop and think a little bit about our current predicament, rather than plunging headlong into the waiting abyss. Mr. President, do not act like the rhino (kifaru), which runs in a straight line and doesn’t turn corners even when approaching a cliff. Remember Okwonko in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart? As you are well aware, the subtext to that great story is: the tale of a strong (but grossly mistaken) man.

    Mr. President, you also described our views as “mendacious” which term I discovered means “false” and “misleading.” Given that you were not at the Africana seminar—and your various sources of information may not have been entirely accurate—I believe it is necessary for me to both reiterate the points I made there and to add a number of new ones on the issues of governance and constitutionalism facing the people of Uganda today. I am forced to do so because your response to our presentations (New Vision July 27, 2006) was not only a fine example of historical escapism and obfuscation, it also completely missed the main focus of our talk, namely the state of democracy and constitutionalism under your 5th kisanja. In the circumstances prevailing in Uganda and on the African continent today, to talk about ancient world history and the marginal status of African economies is simply diversionary. The fact is that the essence of Uganda’s problem yesterday, today and tomorrow is that of democracy. Period. It is the failure of leaders such as you to not simply talk the path of democracy, but to actually walk along it that is the cause of our problems, even in the economic arena.

    I now turn to the points I made at the seminar:

    PRESIDENTIAL TERM LIMITS AND LONGEVITY IN OFFICE

    My first point related to the issue of the removal of presidential term limits and the other controversial amendments to the 1995 Constitution that were effected by the 7th Parliament in 2005. Although I spoke about the way in which the process was manipulated through the amendment of parliamentary rules and the use of various forms of coercion, legal trickery and inducement, I believe it was my concluding remarks on this issue which you have described as ‘dramatic and exaggerated” that have caused you such displeasure. For the sake of clarity, let me repeat them here. I told the seminar that after ten years in power, one was a veteran; after 15 you are an elder; at 20 you are nearly extinct, and at 20+ you have become a liability. Why did I say this? The history of those leaders who have been in power for over 15 years has largely been a history of diminishing marginal returns (DMRs). In other words the longer in office, the more disastrous their performance. Correspondingly, the situation of their countries grows worse. While it is true that there have been a tiny few—such as Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew—who have managed to avoid the DMR phenomenon—these are only a handful. In other words, they are the exception who amply prove the rule. For every Lee Kuan Yew, there are 10 Mobutu sese Sekou Wazabanga Kuku Mbengu’s of Zaire/DRC, or Omar Bongos of Gabon, now celebrating 37 years in power. By contrast, for all those African countries (without exception) that have introduced term limits (among them Tanzania, Kenya, Ghana, Mozambique and South Africa, to mention only a handful) there has been progressive democratic (and economic) reform. By removing term limits, Uganda joined the ignominious company of a country like Chad, which despite its large oil reserves, is in both political and economic trouble.

    Mr. President, you and your supporters have argued that there is no problem with removing term limits, provided a president presents him or herself at regular elections; in other words, provided the institutional mechanisms to ensure the genuine will of the electorate are in place. With respect, I beg to disagree. The historical record demonstrates that the longer a President stays in office, the harder it is to remove him or her in a democratic fashion. This is the very point you made in your book, What is Africa’s Problem? and which formed the basis of the NRA/M revolt against the events of 1980, and your brilliant Fundamental Change speech on the steps of Parliament on 29th January 1986. The naked truth is that incumbents exercise a considerable degree of control over electoral processes. The more desperate they become, the lower the likelihood that those processes will be free and fair. This point is amply demonstrated by our own recent history. In 2001, our Supreme Court was split (4 to 3) on the ‘freeness’ and ‘fairness’ of the presidential election, although they ultimately declared you winner. By contrast, in 2006, a unanimous court (7 to 0) concluded that the electoral process was completely unsatisfactory. The implication of the later judgment is clear; the longer you stay in office, the worse the electoral processes are becoming.

    Since you made the point of invoking history, it is fundamental to point out that the historical record of open presidential terms in Uganda has been a wholly negative one. From 1962 until 1995, the system in operation was one of open terms, and we all know what happened over that 33-year period. In other words, we have the empirical data to demonstrate that open limits assist dictatorship to become more embedded rather than the reverse. Out of the nine presidents who preceded you, the majority have been bad at best and lacklustre or positively disastrous at worst. Ugandans—including yourself—were acutely aware of this fact. This is why over the whole seven year period of the debate on the constitution (from 1989 to 1995) the overwhelming opinion was to insert term limits into the constitution. It is therefore the height of arrogance to suggest that the imposition of term limits was simply borrowed from elsewhere. As a matter of fact, the introduction of term limits had nothing to do with the experiences of other countries. It was an entirely indigenous and home-grown experience. It was a reflection of the overwhelmingly negative experience of open terms in Uganda up to that point in time. Let me reformulate this point for emphasis. While open terms help a country to keep a good president, they hamper it in getting rid of a bad one, especially within a context where the mechanisms to control him or her are weak, as is the case here. The objective of term limits is not to stop the good presidents of this world from ruling well; it is to stop the bad ones from continuing to rule badly and to avoid the arrogance, inertia and complacency that inevitably come with overstaying in power. Term limits also guard against the dangers that arise when good presidents overstay in office.

    In concluding this point, I informed the Africana participants that I found it rather strange that the NRM government had introduced term limits (fixed contracts and lower age retirement ceilings) for civil servants, Vice Chancellors, Professors, Permanent Secretaries and a whole range of public servants on the grounds that it is necessary to introduce and continuously infuse new blood into the system. However, this same government has refused to do so at the point at which it counts the most: the Presidency. Indeed, I voiced the opinion that rather than decreasing the number of offices that are limited by set terms of office, we should be increasing them, including MPs. As you can no doubt imagine, that point was greeted with jeers and booing from the audience. Quite frankly, I was not surprised by that reaction since many of them have been in Parliament as long as you have been in State House, and a few from as far back as 1980.

    ON THE SANCTITY OF THE CONSTITUTION AND THE IMPORTANCE

    OF BEING EARNEST

    The second general issue with which I was concerned at Africana, was the question of constitutionalism. As you are well aware Mr. President, your government placed considerable stock on the passing of a new Constitution. Indeed, it was mainly for this reason that you secured the first extension to your term of office in 1989. While it is debatable whether we needed more time within which to enact a new constitution, I can concede that it was necessary for the NRM government to see this process through to the end. Against that background, the enactment of the 1995 Constitution represented a high-point of the process of democratic reform in Uganda. On 8th October, 1995 when addressing the country on this historic occasion, you praised the instrument as the best we had ever had. With only a few grumbles (about Land and investment) you strongly recommended it to the people of the country for adoption.

    In setting up the constitutional reform commission under Prof. Frederick Ssempebwa in 2001, you were responding much more to the irrational election fever generated by the Kizza Besigye challenge than to the rationale imperatives of constitutional change. After all, how much had fundamentally changed over the five years since the enactment of the 1995 Constitution? Couldn’t many of these issues have been dealt with by ordinary legislation? If you were genuinely concerned about the overall thrust of the instrument, why was the Commission stacked with Movement supporters? Against this background, I told the Africana seminar that during the Constituent Assembly (CA) process in 1993, a number of scholars, CA delegates, journalists and activists came together to discuss the issues we felt required serious attention. My view at that meeting was that it was necessary to ensure that what was then draft Article 108(2)—which eventually became Article 105(2) of the 1995 Constitution—needed to be reinforced so that it would become treasonous for anybody to attempt to amend it. My colleagues, consisting of Movement, neutral and opposition actors, laughed me out of the room. In particular, the Movementists argued that it would be impossible for President Museveni (“of all people!” they said) to change the Constitution in order to stay in power beyond two terms. I lost the argument. Today, I have no comment on who history has proven correct.

    However, what is most important about the amendment process is the following. Despite all your denials and evasions, you were the most interested party in ensuring that Article 105(2) was dropped, and on occasions such as when the late James Wapakhabulo issued views contrary to your own on this issue, you revealed exactly which side you were on. I do not accept the argument that “the people” pushed you into accepting the kisanja. After all, on numerous occasions, you have rejected proposals by the people which you have considered “reactionary,” “uninformed,” or simply “backward.” A single word from you would have ended the alleged clamour for the amendment of 105(2). Instead, you were conspicuously silent, arguing that it was “unimportant” whether or not the provision were to be amended. And yet, in 2001, you not only included the fact that this would be your last term in your election manifesto, on the BBC’s World Service News Hour you categorically stated even after intense questioning, that you would not run again for office. Mr. President, at which point did you change your mind and why? The point of my question is not to solicit an answer from you. It is simply to demonstrate that either you were not telling the truth at that time, or you were not telling the truth when you eventually agreed to the amendment. Only you have the answer to that question.

    Your attitude to the kisanja saga relates to a larger problem, which goes to the essence of the problem of democracy in this country. Constitutionalism is about accepting the rules of the game as written and agreed upon, whether those rules favour you, or not. If the goalposts are changed whenever the tide goes against those in power then we have simply returned to the stage when Apollo Milton Obote abrogated the 1966 Constitution, rather than face the possibility of losing his job as Prime Minister. The 2005 amendments to the 1995 Constitution were the non-violent equivalent of Obote’s 1966 abrogation. My short point is that in the final analysis, constitutionalism is based on trust, not on the document in which the Constitution is embodied, because as you and your supporters have said time and again; nothing in that document is sacred. Just as it is not the quoting of biblical verses that shows whether you are a true Christian; it is your actions. Mr. President, how can you expect to be trusted for example on the issue of an East African Federation which today you are so much in favour of, and tomorrow may have turned completely against, if you discover that the Federation constitution does not favour your political interests?




    YOWERI KAGUTA MUSEVENI:

    A GREAT REFORMER BUT A POOR DEMOCRAT

    I believe it is necessary to end my remarks by saying a few things directly about the political persona of Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 10th President of Uganda. I have no hesitation to state that you will go down in history as one of our country’s most important and reformist rulers. Due credit must be given where it is duly deserved, and your great achievements should likewise be applauded. Needless to say Mr. President, you have also made great mistakes. The first of these is to treat every _expression of opposition to your rule as a military, rather than a political matter. Even your letter to the Caucus is a thinly-disguised military response to matters that are essentially political and intellectual. In this era of multipartism, I believe the most important thing is not to enforce a code-of-conduct to stifle debate within your own party, but rather to encourage the flowering of ideas in order to demonstrate that the NRM is truly superior to the political competition with which it is faced. Your translation of the essence of multipartism is thus flawed in a fundamental area, and indeed is a complete repudiation of what you claimed to have been trying to build for the last 20 years. By the same token, and it is in this respect that I repeat the appeal I made at the seminar; do not sign the NGO bill as it is the negation of the very essence of democratic participation by non-political actors, who have as large a stake in the democratic process as political parties do.

    Secondly, Mr. President, please stop the practice of scapegoating—the practice whereby everybody but the President and the NRM is to blame for the failures of the government. American President Harry Truman famously stated “The buck stops here” meaning that ultimately, the President must take responsibility for both the successes and failures of his or her government. I find it rather duplicitous of you to lay the blame for all of Uganda’s present ills on people other than those in your own government. You continuously blame the FDC, the opposition, so-called “donors,” internal Movement saboteurs, and now “disorientors” for the failures of your government. If it is indeed true that FDC and donors blocked your plans for increasing the supply of electric power or for stopping the war in Northern Uganda, how is it that they were unable to block everything else proposed by your government, especially given that you had a majority in the 6th parliament? How can you explain the fact that the Constitution effectively gives you a veto over Parliament, which veto you have used on numerous occasions in order to alter the decision of Parliament? Why did you fail to use the veto then?

    In conclusion Mr. President, I would like to thank you for responding so robustly to our Africana statements. I must say that I think this debate is a healthy initiative on your part. My only request is that this dialogue be regarded as the beginning of a serious reflection on the state of democracy and constitutionalism in Uganda, rather than as its termination.

    J. Oloka-Onyango (Visiting Professor)

    University of Oxford, UK

    c.c. Hon. Ladies and Gentlemen of the NRM Caucus

    MuseveniKaguta said...

    As a driven man M7 has a propensity to do almost anything to get what he wants.
    M7's recent overture to meet with opposition leaders ( albeit, with the conspicuous absence of his main rival, Dr. Besigye ), is another exemplification of that propensity. What M7 is actually trying to do, is to craft his way out of the difficult corner he finds himself - a pseudo democrat that rigged his way to a fourth term in office; and now wants to appear like he is tolerant of the opposition!

    MuseveniKaguta said...

    Jason Tumugabe advice!

    Govt, take these tips about internal audit

    Reference is made to the advert by the Ministry of Finance on “request for CVs from individual consultants to strengthen the internal audit function of the Government of Uganda” dated Thursday, July 20, 2006.
    I commend the government for coming up with a commitment to strengthen the internal audit function.

    However, I would like to pass on this information to the Ministry of Finance for consideration before a consultant is picked.
    Separate internal audit function from the accounting function. Though interrelated, they are different and the former works very well when it’s independent of the latter. To think, therefore, about strengthening the internal audit function under the Accountant General’s office is to weaken it further.

    Uganda has never instituted an internal audit function that is allowed to operate independently and then report to an authority that can effect change. This is an opportunity to do it and therefore should be handled carefully.

    Uganda should have an Internal Auditor General with a structure running through the ministries and local governments up to the sub-county.
    The structure should be reporting to an independent body and for this case, the Parliamentary committee on finance as the final authority.

    There should be other audit committees at lower levels but chaired and constituted by totally independent persons than the accounting officers
    The Accountant General and all accountants below constitute the most important auditee group that should not have an audit department under them. Another group is that of PSs and CEOs.

    These group heads should sit on the audit committee to respond to certain issues raised by auditors. Therefore the Ministry should revisit the advert and modify it to suit the requirements of a strengthened, an independent and effective Internal Audit function.

    Jason Tumugabe

    MuseveniKaguta said...

    Monitor Online



    Personal rule in Uganda a risk - US ANGELO IZAMA & EMMANUEL GYEZAHO
    KAMPALA

    PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni has consolidated personal rule in Uganda, a new report by the United States Agency for International Development, has said.

    The 92-page document recommends that US aid should prioritise increasing political competition in the country.

    The report titled; "Democracy and Governance Assessment: Republic of Uganda 2005; is a periodic document that guides the country approach of the United States Agency for International Development (Usaid).

    "The consolidation of the neo-patrimonial state in Uganda is reminiscent of patterns of regime consolidation in such diverse African contexts as Mobutu Sese Seko's Zaire, Daniel arap Moi's Kenya, and Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe" the report says.
    The report said the NRM government had cleverly adapted to pressure to reform while maintaining the President at the helm and castigates the regime for corruption that benefits a few around the President.

    The report said the NRM regime is “one dominated by an individual leader whose personal authority is indistinguishable from that of the State, in which political power is "maintained through a combination of patronage and the selective use of intimidation and force".

    But the Director of the government’s Media Centre, Mr Robert Kabushenga, said’ “These kind of conclusions cause despondency and undermine public confidence in the democratic process that we and our partners are trying to promote.

    He said the report dwells on “outdated stereotypes about politics on the African continent and should be ignored.”
    The report recommends that a "consistent effort" should be made by Usaid on " developing capacity in areas which are not subject to the logic of the overarching neo-patrimonial regime, and have a meaningful chance of resisting it".

    “At a minimum, efforts should be made to avoid sending signals that suggest that present trends are acceptable,” the report notes. It is not clear whether this means that US aid will be focused on democracy and governance targets as a result of the assessment of the report. The report is not officially binding on the agency. While dealing with governance issues, according to Usaids’s Ugandan website, current programmes, based on a plan from 2002-7, are focused on supporting the government eliminate poverty.

    The reports warns that the consolidation of Museveni's power has come at the expense of other institutions meant to check the executive thereby weakening the system as a whole.

    MuseveniKaguta said...

    I am pretty sure the president's private trip to Europe was paid for by the government; Tax payers footed this bill. Even the presidential jet is being paid for by the tax payers, and as such the public has a vested interest to know. The president and his handlers failure to acknowledge this fact is an arrogant disregard for the public's right to know.
    The president would have saved himself this scrutiny and the government a great deal of unnecessary expense by travelling first class on a public airline. But third world leaders want to travel and appear like developed countries leaders, on budgets of poor countries!!




    So What If President Goes On a Private Trip

    The Monitor (Kampala)
    OPINION
    August 16, 2006
    Posted to the web August 16, 2006

    By Charles Mwanguhya


    Last Wednesday, State House informed the nation that President Yoweri Museveni was on a "private visit to Europe."

    Through a half page press release sent to all newspapers and video footage provided to television stations the nation was given a brief explanation. But as the ensuing debate has shown, this appeared insufficient to answer why the President was abroad.

    One would ask; is it unusual or unexpected that the President is away on a private visit? After all, even the mightiest global leaders do go on private visits.

    Why stir a debate about the President's absence, on radio stations, in bars and homes?

    Or was it the insufficiency of information about his destination and reasons for his travel that provided fodder for the rumourmill? In Uganda like elsewhere where mystery and pomp embellish the actions of high profile leaders, these answers were important. Several often-legitimate questions were being raised in public. What is private about the Presidents trip to Europe?

    Why the conspicuous silence on the details of for example which country or countries he was visiting? How long is the visit? Is it related to the news that the President had hurt his foot and had taken to wearing sandals? What about the reports in some media that he could be seriously ill?

    The President's handlers are keen to shut people up by brushing these concerns aside. They say there is nothing unusual about the visit. In response to queries about his welfare, they insist that the President is in robust health. Observers however note that for a private visit the event was delicately handled and given a public face. After all one could add, the Presidential jet, which is owned by the taxpayers, was involved.

    Also, a host of senior government officials, as if for lack of better things to occupy their time, went to Entebbe to see Mr Museveni off. But most importantly, despite the high spectacle, none of the State's information centers offered any clue to where the Chief was headed and for what?

    But so what- if indeed, the President was ill or has a condition requiring specialist attention? Is it criminal for the population that voted for him to ask to be told the truth? What would be the problem if the President took the much-needed break from the hectic public life for a week's leave in the French Riviera? Should the country keep guessing the motive for his sabbatical?

    Presidents all over the world take breaks from work and it's normal. All mortal beings fall sick and are treated. So what? The public needs to know because the person of the President is head of the institution called the Presidency.

    It is the highest and most important institution in the land. It is a public and not a private matter. Even when he is having a blast with Mama Janet on a beach in the south of France, the public deserve to know. Period.

    MuseveniKaguta said...

    Andrew Mwenda's Eye Opening Opinion:


    Monitor Online


    OPINIONS & COMMENTARIES: WITHOUT MINCING WORDS | Andrew M. Mwenda




    Isn’t the First Family fleecing us?

    August 20 - 26, 2006

    This is the last column I am writing. I leave the country early next week for Stanford University in the United States where I will be a research fellow for one year.

    I leave at a sad time when there is increasing personalisation of the State in Uganda by President Yoweri Museveni. To understand this process is to study the trends in the budget of State House, which is the residence of the President and which is also his private office.

    In Uganda’s budget, State House has its own vote. The official office of the president is called “Office of the President.” It too has a vote. This financial year, the budget for State House is Shs48 billion, Office of the President, Shs40 billion.

    This gives the presidency a budget of Shs88 billion, ten times the size of the recurrent budget of the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (Shs9.6 billion), a sector that contributes 34 percent of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employs 73 percent of Uganda's citizens. In 1997/98, the budget of State House was Shs11 billion. Today, it is Shs48 billion - an increase of more than 450 percent.

    Financial indiscipline
    State House has also been the most indisciplined institution in managing its budget -- always asking for large supplementary budgets. The variance between actual budget and budget outturn are very big - sometimes by 25 percent. Just check the books!
    It should be intriguing that the private office of the President receives more budget allocation than the official office.

    Indeed, if you subtract the budget for the Internal Security Organisation (Shs18 billion) and the External Security Organisation (Shs9 billion), which fall under the vote of Office of the President, then the official Office of the President was allocated only Shs13 billion.

    Why does the private office of the President take four times more money than his official office? This reflects the increasing informalisation of power. The President hardly goes to his official office. Therefore, official business is always conducted in his residence and private office!

    Visitors to the President's country home in Rwakitura, for example, are now telling stories of how Mr Museveni holds meetings with officials of government in his nightgown. Twenty years in power, and perhaps subconsciously, Museveni no longer distinguishes his private life from his official duties. But this personalisation of the State has gone hand in hand with growth in its arbitrariness.

    The recent spate of land give- away deals is one example. The allocation of State enterprises to "investors" for free is another. Instructing army officers to take bribes from arms dealers is third.

    Writing letters to officials of government instructing them to give cash bailouts to favoured businessmen is a tragic fourth. Granting tax rebates to favoured businessmen is a filthy fifth. Using the presidential jet to ferry his daughters to Europe to deliver babies is a disturbing sixth. Sending non-legal military/security outfits to invade courts of law and hold judges and diplomats hostage is a catastrophic seventh.

    Journalists can write all about the ethnic conflicts between the Basamia and Bagwere, but get arrested when they write about the Bahima-Bairu differences in the President's ethnic region. The list goes on and on.

    The Presidential Guard Brigade - is over 10,000 troops strong and growing. When UPDF was about to launch Operation Iron Fist in February 2002, it carried out an audit of the strength of the Fourth Division - the army deployed to defend the people of northern Uganda against the LRA rebels.

    The audit, carried out in Aswa Ranch found that out of a declared strength of 7,200 troops, the Fourth Division actually had only 2,400. The rest were ghosts! That is why whenever the President travels to war-torn northern Uganda, it is the PGB that is deployed to fight rebels and ensure his safety.

    This means that the President of the Republic is aware that the regular army is ill trained and ill equipped to contain the rebels. Apparently, the security of one man - "the leader of the resistance" - is more important for this country than the security of millions of his citizens in northern Uganda who live in squalid conditions in concentration camps.

    The official convoy of the President is often more than 10 cars. His wife rides in yet another motorcade of eight cars. I recently counted the number of vehicles, which the First Lady had travelled in from State House to Parliament, a distance of less than one kilometre.

    There were two luxurious black Land Cruisers, three sleek Mercedes Benz saloons, and three pick-up jeeps for the soldiers.
    The President of Rwanda (we are told by our intelligence services is hated by the majority of his citizens) travels in a convoy of three vehicles. His wife has only two.

    More intriguing, State House provides one sleek Mercedes Benz saloon car to each of the three daughters of the President, costing Shs400 million each, and a pick-up truck with military escorts.

    The taxpayer also pays for their drivers, shamba boys, cooks, cleaners, etc. So are the maintenance and fuel costs of their cars. All this in spite of the fact that the Constitution of this republic is clear: married daughters of the President and his grand children are their own responsibility with their husbands; not the taxpayer.

    Personalised state
    This is partly because Museveni has an overdeveloped sense of entitlement. He believes that because he led the struggle to "remove dictators," he should hold the country at ransom for it. To complete this personalisation of the State, a cousin of the First Lady, Ms Hope Nyakairu, formerly from the household staff, was made under secretary for finance and administration at State House -- to take care of the payments.

    If this is the price we have to pay for being "liberated from swine leaders," then we are better off un-liberated. When one raises these issues, the response is characteristic - "you hate the first family." Of course this is obvious!

    The State has been personalised: matters of State and matters of the First Family are intertwined. What we have now is a government of the First Family, by the First Family and for the First Family. Even Idi Amin did not rival this record!
    God bless Uganda! Goodbye dear readers!

    andrewmwenda@yahoo.com

    MuseveniKaguta said...

    By Sam Byamugisha Kamanzi


    Wabudeya’s figures made a bad situation worse

    The figures released by Minister of the Presidency Dr Beatrice Wabudeya as the annual budget for State House, the President’s Office, the Internal Security Organisation and External Security Organisation raised more questions than answers.

    The figures actually reinforced Andrew Mwenda’s arguement that the State spends more resources on President Museveni and those around him than it spends on his office and other self accounting institutions under the President’s Office. The figures speak for themselves. They don’t lie.

    According to Wabudeya, the combined budget of Internal Security Organisation and External Security Organisation is Shs34.6b, the President’s Office takes Shs15b while State House alone gets Shs51.2b.

    The question raised by Mwenda is fundamental. This is because if ISO and ESO, as scurity organs with hundreds of employees and thousands of agents both in and outside Uganda, need only Shs34.6 billion to operate, why should President Museveni, his family and 61 advisors need Shs51.2b? What work do they do more than ISO and ESO?
    Wabudeya was reported advising the public to consider the people, who were not on the list of presidential advisors she released, as masqueraders.

    The issue of masqueraders in this regard has never been raised. The issue Mwenda raised was about equal pay for equal work. Are the resources spent on these people justified?

    At the beginning of the “third term” debate, a friend wrote to me saying that should the “3rd term project” succeed, it would have succeeded because of manipulation and it would live by manipulation.
    When Daily Monitor reported that Maj. Roland Kakooza Mutale was conspicuously missing from the list of presidential advisers until State House propagandist and Media Centre chief Mr Robert Kabushenga asserted that he was still a fulltime adviser, I remembered my friend’s statement before Museveni was granted a third term to rule Uganda.

    Mutale is one of the most controversial presidential advisors in Uganda. Is it possible that there were many other presidential advisors who were not included on the list even with their knowledge?

    Sam Byamugisha Kamanzi
    kamanzius@yahoo.com

    MuseveniKaguta said...

    If President Museveni's government really wanted to
    appear accountable or believed in transparency, it
    would have released information about State house
    expenditure budget in oder to counter Andrew Mwenda's
    recent opinion about the first family and all the
    speculation and rumors it has raised regarding the
    president's spending.
    All these counter opinions by the president's
    spokesmen are just that, opinions! They cannot put an
    end to those rumors and speculations. Like the old
    cliche, there is no smoke without a fire!

    MuseveniKaguta said...

    Lavish defense budget

    Monitor Online

    Uganda’s self-inflicted security threats can’t justify our lavish defense budget August 28, 2006

    I thank Dr Cathy and Minister Nyombi Tembo, who, in the Daily Monitor of July 5 and 7, respectively, responded to my article: “Uganda Is Smaller, Poorer, But Spends More Than Richer Nations” (Daily Monitor of July 3, 2006).

    Dr Cathy largely agreed with me except for the $350 that I quoted as Uganda’s per capita income, while she believes it to be higher than that. Dr Cathy, I got my statistics from the Minister of Finance, Dr Ezra Suruma, who, in the Budget Speech read to the nation on June 15, put Uganda’s per capita income at Shs632,000. Considering the exchange of Shs 1,840 for a dollar, the said amount translates into $343.

    Dr Suruma’s full speech was published in the Daily Monitor of June 16 and in a booklet: “Budget Speech For Financial Year 2006/7,” available in the Ministry of Finance. In my article, I compared Uganda with 12 countries’ sizes, population, GDP, per capita, defence expenditure, number of MPs and administrative units.

    Mr Tembo, in his rebuttal, had issues with my analysis, top of which was comparing variables that are not standard, singling out, defence expenditure, on grounds that defence expenditure is a function of security threats a country faces at a given time.

    What he did not say is that the security threats a country faces are a result of its policies. Comparing defence expenditure is another way of examining the various countries’ policies. If Uganda is constantly under threat of war due to its foreign aggression and domestic dictatorial policies, while Ghana has no fear of attack due to its good foreign and internal democratic policies why shouldn’t I compare them?

    It is actually the various policies that are under comparison, only that they get translated into expenditure, a common denominator. Tembo was irked by my comparison of Uganda’s defence expenditure with those of Kenya and Tanzania. He argued that the two countries have enjoyed 40 years of uninterrupted civilian rule.

    But honestly, let’s talk about just the past 20 years, where Kenya has had two presidents and a turbulent political path, Tanzania has had four, each with his own methods and policies, while Uganda boasts of 20 years of uninterrupted Museveni rule.

    One would argue that Uganda has been most stable over the past 20 years. Good policies under capable leadership can transform a country in 20 years.

    Ghana, with much the same size, population and turbulent history as Uganda, but with a higher GDP and five times the per capita, spends about $83m per year on defence compared to Uganda’s $198m per year.

    What is unfair about this comparison? Tembo went on to argue that the DR Congo which spends less than Uganda on defence is “a failing State, which at one time had nearly seven countries occupying it and all she could do was lament.”

    What he did not say is that Uganda was among the seven aggressors, and that part of Uganda’s defence budget went into occupying DR Congo and therefore causing the destabilisation he is referring to in that country. But because of the DRC’s non-confrontational policy, President Kabila sought redress in the International Criminal Court, which convicted Uganda and ordered her to leave DRC and pay the latter $10 billion.

    For all her superior defence expenditure, Uganda, with fellow aggressor Rwanda, will think twice before sending their troops to destabilise any neighbour again. I would argue that DRC’s non-aggression and confrontational policy has paid off in terms of maintaining a low defence budget and international coup against Uganda.

    Now with her Presidential elections nearly done and Uganda kept safely away by the UN, “a-near-failed-State” may be a description of the past for the DRC, while Uganda continues to grapple with a huge defence budget. Yes, Tembo, I am not ashamed to admit that “the Betis of this world” would advocate a lean defence budget and higher investment in good foreign and internal democratic policies, which would, in turn keep the defence budget low.

    I can’t understand why Tembo said I was wrong to compare Uganda’s 74 districts with Ghana’s 10 regions as administrative units since Ghana and Uganda are almost equal in size and population, except that Ghana, with 230 MPs, GDP of $16.12 billion and per capita of $2,500 seems to perform more efficiently than Uganda which has 327 MPs, GDP of $7.09 billion and per capita of $350.

    Finally, I am not as impressed as Tembo with his government’s fancy growth figures and door-to-door cash handouts (bonna bagaggawale - wealth for all) policy, as the means of eradicating poverty.

    I invite Tembo to understand that wealth is not created by reckless distribution of money to everybody, but through entrepreneurship, saving and investment.

    I am persuaded that people do not need cash handouts to get rich, but a conducive environment for everybody to pursue their individual calling, motivated by the promise of a living wage, instead of being stampeded by bonna bagaggawale and petty trading to make ends meet.

    Tembo may quote fancy Human Development Index (HDI) figures and growth rates but that 38% Ugandans live below the poverty line is a fact and during the financial year 2005/6, agriculture, which employs 80% of the population grew by only 0.4%, while the rest of the economy grew by 5.3%. This means that while 20% of the population may enjoy Tembo’s economic growth, 80% are slipping into more poverty, deprivation, ill-health and cannot celebrate his fancy growth indicators.

    But to end on a happy note, Ugandans should all celebrate the discovery of oil and possibly uranium, the news that Uganda has been ranked among the top ten tourist destinations of the world.

    The author is MP for Lubaga North and Special Envoy in FDC President’s Office

    MuseveniKaguta said...

    Dr, Wabudeya has one glaring omission in her statement below: Where is the appropriation for the president's use of the government jet for private visits abroad?
    And oh! by the way, 22 paid advisers on top of a cabinet for a poor country like Uganda seems like overkill!
    I am sure a lot of bright & patriotic legal minds in Uganda could be more than enthusiastic to advice the president pro bono ( Pro bono is a phrase derived from Latin meaning "for the good". The complete phrase is pro bono publico, "for the public good." It is used to designate legal or other professional work undertaken voluntarily and without payment, as a public service. ) and save our country from this excessive spending! ** This is the clearest example of what the over extended stay in power breeds and why the overdue turnover in leadership would have changed this kind of leadership culture! **

    mpagijk

    How govt spends on the President

    Dr Beatrice Wabudeya

    I wish to address a number of false allegations that have been levelled at President Yoweri Museveni and the Presidency. The specific areas of concern are presidential advisors and staff, budgetary expenditure and negative commentary aimed at causing public disaffection against the President, his family and staff. I will handle them one by one.
    Presidential Staff: There are three categories of people who serve under the Presidency and these are: (a) Advisors and special assistants. These offices were established in consultation with the Public Service Commission and the Ministry of Finance. They are duly recognised institutions of the executive.
    These are appointed by the President. There are 22 and 14 fulltime such advisors under the Ministry for the Presidency and State House respectively. Another 29 are kept on retainer basis. Those who execute fulltime assignments are facilitated on a full time basis. They are paid a salary, provided with an office and a secretary to facilitate their work. The other category are those who are paid a retainer to function as advisors as and when they are required to do so.
    The advisors have terms of reference and structures within which they perform their functions. These include but are not limited to meetings, reports and other forms of interaction. Their performance is evaluated regularly. The cost of emoluments for the advisors to government is Shs2.2bn for the two year contractual period.
    They function essentially as advisors to the President on a number of specific areas of their expertise and or experience for the efficient functioning of the presidency. Advisors have their unique role and are not alternative or even a parallel structure to cabinet.
    Cabinet is the executive arm of government and has its responsibilities of running the country. Although they may offer advice as part of their work, it is not their core function as the team with which the President manages the affairs of the country. The work of advisors is to provide options for the President to lead the cabinet team effectively.
    (b) Bureaucrats: These are recruited by Pubic Service Commission and deployed accordingly. These manage the resources and logistics in accordance with Public Service and financial regulations of government. The Public Service Reform Committee recommended the separation of the Presidency and State House bureaucracies which was adopted. Therefore, the administration and management of the two departments is handled by separate bureaucracies under their respective accounting officers, Secretary of Office of the President and State House Comptroller.
    (c) Private staff of President appointed under PSC. Article 172 (2). The President appoints this team in consultation and on terms agreed with the Public Service Commission. Such appointments are handled by a sitting of the full Commission and a minute recorded in respect of such appointment. These are the people who work as his office and personal staff. They are not advisors of the President. They are public officers as envisaged in article 172 and defined in article 175 of the Constitution.
    Financial Management: The money spent by the Presidency and State House is budgeted for in accordance with government regulations. Releases of money to these departments are made on the basis of the work plans submitted to the Treasury.
    The expenditure of and accounting for this money is managed by a team of professional civil servants. This is done in accordance with established procedures under the supervision of the respective accounting officers. Needless to say, the departmental activities are audited and scrutinised by the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament.
    As earlier stated, the expenditure of these departments is clearly itemised in accordance with the appropriate lines. Budget discipline is strictly adhered to which means that money can only be spent on the items and in the manner provided for in the budget and the work plan.
    The principle to note here is that public funds allocated to the Presidency and State House are spent in an organised and disciplined way in accordance with the budget. These expenditure lines have nothing to do with the person of the President. They are simply standard public service guidelines of budgeting and expenditure.
    The total amount of money allocated to the Office of the President and State House budgets is 100.8bn. Of this amount only 66.4bn caters directly for State House and the Office of the President. It is broken down as follows: Shs51.2bn for State House and Shs15.2bn for Office of the President.
    The rest of the money is allocated directly to self accounting units of the presidency namely ISO, ESO and Uganda Aids Commission. The other departments catered for directly under the Office of the President are: Directorate of Economic Affairs and Policy Development; Department of Monitoring and Evaluation; Department of Monitoring and Inspection; Ethics and Integrity; Cabinet Secretariat; Finance and Administration Monitoring Presidential Manifesto Unit;
    Apart from the President’s statutory salary, the President receives no facilitation from the Office of the President. The President and Vice President’s activities and welfare are budgeted for and provided by State House vote.
    Breakdown of State House Vote: Shs31.0bn is earmarked for recurrent expenditure itemised in accordance with the laid down government accounting regulations. This is where the President's welfare is catered for. This item of the budget goes beyond the welfare of the President and family.
    It includes staff and other activities like meetings, State House guests. It is budgeted at Shs900m per year.
    Shs14.6bn is budgeted for development expenditure. Shs9.7bn of this is for obligatory payments of the jet lease. Shs3.2bn is for domestic arrears. Shs2.1bn is for staff salaries.
    Other Commentary: There have been other commentators who have made false allegations against the President. These are based either on false information or falsification of facts. For this reason, the conclusions they have drawn are wrong.
    Let me state that Maj. Muhoozi Kainerugaba is the only one who has a government vehicle by virtue of his work and deployment. The rest use their own vehicles for which they pay taxes and maintain at their own cost. Furthermore, they are working adults who are financing their livelihood through their own efforts. Besides, the President in his own personal capacity is capable of supporting his family.
    Security arrangements for the President are organised in consideration of the risk factors associated with his office. PGB is a unit of UPDF specifically charged with this responsibility. This is a specialised unit of the army in very much the same way like other units that undertake special responsibilities. It is in this light that the Joint Anti Terrorism Unit of the UPDF that was deployed at court should be understood.
    It is in this light that the Joint Anti Terrorism Unit of the UPDF that was deployed at court should be understood. They extend their services to other visiting dignitaries who come to the country at the invitation of the President.
    The Undersecretary for Finance and Administration, Ms Hope Nyakairu, was recruited by Public Service. The fact that he worked as a staff of the private office does not preclude her from serving government.
    Therefore in view of the foregoing, the allegations of financial waste and a bloated presidency are false. The intentions of those making them can only be malicious. I caution the press to desist from peddling false stories and making negative comments on the basis of these falsehoods.
    The author is Minister for the Presidency

    MuseveniKaguta said...

    Another trip for M7!

    President returns from South Africa
    2006-08-28

    President Yoweri Museveni has today returned from Cape Town South Africa where he travelled yesterday on a 2-day working visit.

    During his stay in South Africa, President Museveni and his host Thabo Mbeki held bilateral and regional issues.

    President Museveni was received on arrival at Entebbe International Airport by State Minister for Regional Affairs Mr. Isaac Musumba.

    Others at the airport included the Deputy Chief of Defence Forces, Major general Ivan Koreta, the Inspector General of Police Major General Kale Kayihura, the Commissioner General of Prisons Dr. Johnson Byabashaija and the Deputy Head of Public service Ms. Hilda Musubira. ..End.

    MuseveniKaguta said...

    When I read Andrew Mwenda's last column dated August 20-26, 2006, I got the impression, all through it, that this was a well written, researched and documented column; notwithstanding the fact that some of it could have been hyperbole. And I am someone who has at times been disappointed by Mwenda's columns.
    So I was eager to see if the government would contravene any or all of Mwenda's allegations. Needless to say, and I think many of your readers would concur, the governments response was less than candid. The presidents silence was an aberration, and it speaks volumes about this governments conduct.
    Mr. Rwabwogo's response on the other hand strives ineffectually to come up with counter accusations against Mwenda and his colleagues that takes off in a complete tangent to the issues raised by Mwenda's column. This is called equivocation, and did not raise any doubt in my mind about Mwenda's story.
    Mr. Rwabwogo for instance accusses Mwenda of copying international media show hosts in the format of his shows, not realizing that since we live in a global village; especially in the media business, this is bound to happen. I am sure Mr. Rwabwogo uses and consumes a few products and services from around the world, can we now chastise him and his family for that ?




    Isn’t the First Family fleecing us?
    August 20 - 26, 2006
    This is the last column I am writing. I leave the country early next week for Stanford University in the United States where I will be a research fellow for one year.

    I leave at a sad time when there is increasing personalisation of the State in Uganda by President Yoweri Museveni. To understand this process is to study the trends in the budget of State House, which is the residence of the President and which is also his private office.

    In Uganda’s budget, State House has its own vote. The official office of the president is called “Office of the President.” It too has a vote. This financial year, the budget for State House is Shs48 billion, Office of the President, Shs40 billion.

    This gives the presidency a budget of Shs88 billion, ten times the size of the recurrent budget of the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (Shs9.6 billion), a sector that contributes 34 percent of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employs 73 percent of Uganda's citizens. In 1997/98, the budget of State House was Shs11 billion. Today, it is Shs48 billion - an increase of more than 450 percent.

    Financial indiscipline
    State House has also been the most indisciplined institution in managing its budget -- always asking for large supplementary budgets. The variance between actual budget and budget outturn are very big - sometimes by 25 percent. Just check the books!
    It should be intriguing that the private office of the President receives more budget allocation than the official office.

    Indeed, if you subtract the budget for the Internal Security Organisation (Shs18 billion) and the External Security Organisation (Shs9 billion), which fall under the vote of Office of the President, then the official Office of the President was allocated only Shs13 billion.

    Why does the private office of the President take four times more money than his official office? This reflects the increasing informalisation of power. The President hardly goes to his official office. Therefore, official business is always conducted in his residence and private office!

    Visitors to the President's country home in Rwakitura, for example, are now telling stories of how Mr Museveni holds meetings with officials of government in his nightgown. Twenty years in power, and perhaps subconsciously, Museveni no longer distinguishes his private life from his official duties. But this personalisation of the State has gone hand in hand with growth in its arbitrariness.

    The recent spate of land give- away deals is one example. The allocation of State enterprises to "investors" for free is another. Instructing army officers to take bribes from arms dealers is third.

    Writing letters to officials of government instructing them to give cash bailouts to favoured businessmen is a tragic fourth. Granting tax rebates to favoured businessmen is a filthy fifth. Using the presidential jet to ferry his daughters to Europe to deliver babies is a disturbing sixth. Sending non-legal military/security outfits to invade courts of law and hold judges and diplomats hostage is a catastrophic seventh.

    Journalists can write all about the ethnic conflicts between the Basamia and Bagwere, but get arrested when they write about the Bahima-Bairu differences in the President's ethnic region. The list goes on and on.

    The Presidential Guard Brigade - is over 10,000 troops strong and growing. When UPDF was about to launch Operation Iron Fist in February 2002, it carried out an audit of the strength of the Fourth Division - the army deployed to defend the people of northern Uganda against the LRA rebels.

    The audit, carried out in Aswa Ranch found that out of a declared strength of 7,200 troops, the Fourth Division actually had only 2,400. The rest were ghosts! That is why whenever the President travels to war-torn northern Uganda, it is the PGB that is deployed to fight rebels and ensure his safety.

    This means that the President of the Republic is aware that the regular army is ill trained and ill equipped to contain the rebels. Apparently, the security of one man - "the leader of the resistance" - is more important for this country than the security of millions of his citizens in northern Uganda who live in squalid conditions in concentration camps.

    The official convoy of the President is often more than 10 cars. His wife rides in yet another motorcade of eight cars. I recently counted the number of vehicles, which the First Lady had travelled in from State House to Parliament, a distance of less than one kilometre.

    There were two luxurious black Land Cruisers, three sleek Mercedes Benz saloons, and three pick-up jeeps for the soldiers.
    The President of Rwanda (we are told by our intelligence services is hated by the majority of his citizens) travels in a convoy of three vehicles. His wife has only two.

    More intriguing, State House provides one sleek Mercedes Benz saloon car to each of the three daughters of the President, costing Shs400 million each, and a pick-up truck with military escorts.

    The taxpayer also pays for their drivers, shamba boys, cooks, cleaners, etc. So are the maintenance and fuel costs of their cars. All this in spite of the fact that the Constitution of this republic is clear: married daughters of the President and his grand children are their own responsibility with their husbands; not the taxpayer.

    Personalised state
    This is partly because Museveni has an overdeveloped sense of entitlement. He believes that because he led the struggle to "remove dictators," he should hold the country at ransom for it. To complete this personalisation of the State, a cousin of the First Lady, Ms Hope Nyakairu, formerly from the household staff, was made under secretary for finance and administration at State House -- to take care of the payments.

    If this is the price we have to pay for being "liberated from swine leaders," then we are better off un-liberated. When one raises these issues, the response is characteristic - "you hate the first family." Of course this is obvious!

    The State has been personalised: matters of State and matters of the First Family are intertwined. What we have now is a government of the First Family, by the First Family and for the First Family. Even Idi Amin did not rival this record!
    God bless Uganda! Goodbye dear readers!

    andrewmwenda@yahoo.com




    Rwabwogo fires back at Mwenda Odrek Rwabwogo My attention has been drawn to your article in Sunday Monitor of August 20, 2006 under the headline: “Isn’t The First Family Fleecing Us?”

    Sometime in 1993, in my last undergraduate year at university, I was an intern helping Uganda Think Tank Foundation establish an office. This group was led by Mr Elly Karuhanga, Mr Augustine Ruzindana, Mr John Ndyabagye and Mr Wafula Oguttu, the Monitor’s former editor-in-chief.

    Two months into this, I was called for an interview for the position of Administrative Officer to formalise my relationship with the group. I was later told by Karuhanga that I had won but Oguttu who had been a panelist had told his colleagues that he would not have another Munyankore in the organisation.

    He preferred a fellow easterner who had come second in the interview. I have been told that in politics, that might probably be a clever way of doing things but for me, I knew then that you could not have a head of a newspaper that claims high moral ground on profession and ethics, run by such a person who puts tribe before merit.

    You (Mwenda) don’t seem to appreciate that even if you have a problem with President Museveni, governments come and go but a nation remains. One of your colleagues approached our firm at the end of 2005, asking for advertising and public relations representation with the government.

    He told me he had gotten approval to approach us, from your top management. Your leadership has not the slightest remorse that your paper has been at the forefront of fighting our firm simply because me as an individual, in a firm of 20 people, has a relationship with President Museveni.

    He didn’t care that what your paper had done affected many families of our employees and directors who have nothing to do with President Museveni. I guess he came to us not out of respect but wanted to use us for influence peddling, something that I see your paper claiming to abhor. I guess you have the proverbial nine lives of a cat. It just shows that even the government you fight during the day, you make overtures for attention and benefit in the night. The name for that kind of behaviour is immorality.

    In 2000, I remember I met with you and Mr Onyango Obbo at Speke Hotel. I tried to raise these ethical and value judgement issues that bedevil your organisation. You told me: “Mr Onyango Obbo does not regard you highly”. I did not understand that remark then, but as I later found out your group horned all your political tricks from Obbo and Oguttu whom you all regard as role models.

    I was worried at the manner in which you were putting your faith in people whose cause is nothing other than political advocacy dressed in a journalism jacket. Six years later today, I see that you have learned nothing and forgotten nothing like the Bourbons in France who ruled the country before the French Revolution and sought power 40 years later to rule in a similar fashion.

    Instead you have thrown all caution to the wind and fully joined a group that is debasing journalism and reducing the role of media to political activism. I see you have even shifted the centre of your political advocacy from the institution of government to individuals you perceive to be associated with anyone in government. The name for that kind of work is political witchhunt and not journalism.

    Ten years of Oguttu and Obbo tutoring have produced a rabid and reckless politician not a professional journalist that I thought you wanted to be. That, unfortunately, is the sad tale of many of the kids like you who feed us with garbage everyday on airwaves and in print and expect the nation to sit and listen. The name for that is “crying-for-attention” and not reporting.

    As you would expect, that is so straining for people who have other things to do and they just shut off the radios. I hear you once in a while on air in a shouting match with everybody, copying the style of show hosts on some international media right from the naming of your programme to how it is structured and I wonder what happened to originality and creativity in our media houses.

    What makes you think that Ugandans really enjoy this arrogance born of a sense of some complex that you need to be heard? You have a highly inflated sense of self exaltation. I guess that is the reason you are a presenter, debater, judge and everything else on your talk show.

    Someone needs to tell you that there is a different and better way things are done. It is the small things that are done by private citizens, who you lampoon with government and whose businesses your reportage seeks to ‘kill’, that build a nation not the daily noise that pollutes air on radio.

    Media houses like other businesses I suppose are founded on strong ethical and professional tenets for them to create an impact and establish respect from their clients. This is not to say that good journalism is about avoiding political analysis. Good journalism, in my opinion, is about respecting the principle of balance and fairness for what you do as reporters and editors has a deep impact on people’s lives and relationships.

    Since in Africa people seem to eat and live politics, those of you who have an opportunity to analyse politics, need to be impartial and not divisive and anarchical, like the politicians you criticise. Good journalism is about separating your opinions and perceptions from the facts of a story or a feature so you let your readers decide based on the information you have given them.

    Many times I have seen you and your colleagues’ allusions and inferences which are highly opinionated and meant to drive your readership to a certain conclusion, placed in the middle of stories with no explanation. I have also seen stories regurgitated many times just because they are associated with some of your major advertisers and political sponsors.

    I have seen stories that seek to ‘kill’ or curtail growth of certain businesses whose leaders you perceive as associated with government and you have no single comment from those businesses or their leaders. I have also personally walked into your editors’ offices to clarify stories run without my comment and all you do is pick those comments that you judge important from your political stand point and re-write the previous day’s negative story as a backgrounder.

    In one case I could see that the reporter was untrained even in the way he sought my answers to his questions but I let it pass because I thought we as a nation needed a learning curve to grow professions. What is shameful is that all this is presented as ‘independent and truth everyday’ to your readers.

    What is the difference between your paper and politicians who shoot their mouth off about other people just to catch attention? What is the difference between you, for example, and Beti Kamya who goes on air and says I introduced the television tax, when she clearly should know as an MP that a private citizen like me does not raise motions in Parliament?

    If a paper is not in business to build a strong foundation for professionalism and ethical judgement of stories they run, they are gutter press and should be seen as nothing more than that. Let us take an example of the feature you ran on August 20, 2006. You claim that my shamba boy and my cook are all paid by the State and my wife drives a Shs400m Mercedes Benz from government. I know you had your usual emotional overruns because if you had crosschecked this information with anyone you would never have printed it.

    You even had no courtesy of calling me since you knew that this kind of story hurts my family. For your information, my wife drives a car which we got on hire purchase from Cooper Motors and have been paying from my salary since July 2004. Mr Mwenda, I pay my cook too and there are signatures to this every month both in my office and at home. You need some sense of humility and to give people some respect If you want to be respected.

    We work in the same country like you and we wake up every day to make our homes and nation better. We don’t deserve this kind of biased press. Other than emotional imposition of yourself in the stories and features you run and your attempt to project yourself as knowledgeable on family matters of private citizens who you know nothing about, I cannot see the basis for your wild, unprovoked and hateful allegations.
    The author is Founder of TERP Group, Kampala and a son-in-law to the President

    MuseveniKaguta said...

    Tony Blair, the 53 year old brilliant and eloquent British Prime Minister since 1997 who has outlasted all major European leaders, announced Thursday September 7th. that he would be stepping down.
    That will be an unprecedented ten years in office for a western democratic leader, which has naturally amalgamated into diving public approval ratings and a rising number of critics.
    I have always admired Tony Blair's charisma, optimism, and unwavering stand for democracy around the world.
    But what really grabbed my attention this time, was Blair's classy way he announced his exit:

    " The first thing I'd like to do is to apologize, actually," Blair said during a visit to a london School, adding that the Labor Party's public spat in the past week " has not been our finest hour."
    " What is important now is that we understand that it's the interests of the country that come first and we move on," ... Tony Blair said.

    My fervent wish is that some day Uganda gets a leader in the caliber of Tony Blair!

    MuseveniKaguta said...

    Museveni's consolidation of Power:


    Personal Rule in Uganda a Risk Says U.S.

    The Monitor (Kampala)
    NEWS
    August 16, 2006
    Posted to the web August 16, 2006

    By Angelo Izama & Emmanuel Gyezaho
    Kampala

    PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni has consolidated personal rule in Uganda, a new report by the United States Agency for International Development, has said.

    The 92-page document recommends that US aid should prioritise increasing political competition in the country.

    The report titled; "Democracy and Governance Assessment: Republic of Uganda 2005; is a periodic document that guides the country approach of the United States Agency for International Development (Usaid).

    "The consolidation of the neo-patrimonial state in Uganda is reminiscent of patterns of regime consolidation in such diverse African contexts as Mobutu Sese Seko's Zaire, Daniel arap Moi's Kenya, and Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe" the report says.

    The report said the NRM government had cleverly adapted to pressure to reform while maintaining the President at the helm and castigates the regime for corruption that benefits a few around the President.

    The report said the NRM regime is "one dominated by an individual leader whose personal authority is indistinguishable from that of the State, in which political power is "maintained through a combination of patronage and the selective use of intimidation and force".

    But the Director of the government's Media Centre, Mr Robert Kabushenga, said' "These kind of conclusions cause despondency and undermine public confidence in the democratic process that we and our partners are trying to promote.

    He said the report dwells on "outdated stereotypes about politics on the African continent and should be ignored."

    The report recommends that a "consistent effort" should be made by Usaid on " developing capacity in areas which are not subject to the logic of the overarching neo-patrimonial regime, and have a meaningful chance of resisting it".

    "At a minimum, efforts should be made to avoid sending signals that suggest that present trends are acceptable," the report notes. It is not clear whether this means that US aid will be focused on democracy and governance targets as a result of the assessment of the report. The report is not officially binding on the agency. While dealing with governance issues, according to Usaids's Ugandan website, current programmes, based on a plan from 2002-7, are focused on supporting the government eliminate poverty.

    The reports warns that the consolidation of Museveni's power has come at the expense of other institutions meant to check the executive thereby weakening the system as a whole.



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Copyright © 2006 The Monitor. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com).

    MuseveniKaguta said...

    The UPC and Obote bare some responsbility in Uganda's political and economic woes. The author below fails to point this fact out!


    The price of NRM rule on Uganda’s democracy
    Joseph Ochieno
    London
    In a telephone conversation with a young student from western Uganda recently, I asked whom she voted for in February: “Besigye. I would never vote Movement; they are arrogant, corruption and nepotistic”, citing the obnoxious State House Scholarship scheme designed for NRM cronies in her words, “from Ankole and Kigezi.”

    Joining university shortly to pursue Development Studies, I told her that UPC paid university students to study, availed high quality facilities and excelled in health, public service and economic development nationwide. Taking UPC seriously, she is now studying our history, records and the negative myths portrayed by NRM and other short-cutters. She won’t get State House aid. Like thousands of other students and struggling parents, I learnt yesterday that she needs Shs1.19m this semester.

    Yet she will be lucky if no lectures are cancelled, gets standing space during lectures and no power cuts. At a Trades Union Congress conference in Brighton the other day, Gemma Tumelty, president of the British students union was batting for more State investment in their already quality education system but who will in Uganda?

    While reviewing my small library today, I stumbled on Adrian Leftwich’s book, “States of Development”. He refers to author Amartya Sen who argues strongly that political and other freedoms such as freedom from disease and ignorance must be seen as constitutive components of development.

    Sen states that there are “instrumental freedoms”, which enable people to live more freely and, in linking with and supporting each other, promote development and, thus classified; political freedoms, which enable people to shape government and government policy and maintain accountability; economic facilities, which constitute the opportunities for individuals to use resources for consumption, production and exchange; social opportunities, which refer to the arrangements societies make for health care and education, for instance, which have substantive but also instrumental value in providing for more effective participation in political and social life; transparency guarantees, which are essentially guarantees of social and public trust achieved through ‘disclosure and lucidity’ which can limit corruption and graft; and protective security, which is an instrumental freedom for development in that it provides an institutional social safety net which prevents people from being reduced to abject poverty and starvation.

    For individuals or communities to pursue their trading or productive activities to promote their own or wider social development, specific regimes have to be in place and, certainly “un-freedoms” must be eliminated. Both (a responsible) state and society have what he calls ‘extensive roles in strengthening and safeguarding human capabilities’ for development hence, development as freedom not only presupposes political action but directly and continuously requires it.

    Although it took the IMF, World Bank and the older democracies notably Britain and the US over 15 years to acknowledge dictatorship in Uganda, a World Bank report on Africa way back in 1989 had this to say; “Underlying the litany of Africa’s development problem is a crisis of governance. By governance is meant the exercise of political power to manage a nation’s affairs”. (World Bank,1989:60). For my 19-year old friend to maximise her development studies, she needs to be fully informed on global, African and Uganda body polity and to freely and fairly engage.

    For her new interest and thousands joining post-secondary institutions this month, I give a modest political history. From Uganda National Congress (UNC), the precursor to UPC, we were instrumental in Uganda’s independence. Focusing on unity of all Uganda nationalities (including kingdoms), we campaigned for rights and freedoms of indigenous Africans who were then third class citizens after whites and Asians; employment rights, fair wages, better education and health provisions; fair producer prices for key agricultural products like coffee and cotton and cattle; against neo-colonialism, imperialism and apartheid, as per www.upcparty.net/archives.

    A Pan-Africanist centre-left political party, some of our sister parties are: the Congress Party of India, the ANC of South Africa, the German Social Democrats, the CCM of Tanzania and the British Labour Party.

    We believe that governments are responsible for creating and ensuring enabling environment where private individuals, industry and commerce can thrive in order to create private and public wealth and public services are available and accessible to all, not the privileged few.

    FDC emerged from internal NRM conflict between those for whom Museveni had outlived his time, jumping the queue, personal differences and, belief that Museveni deviated from the original NRM path.

    For my 19-year old friend, her experience in the last sham elections were that Ugandans are so impoverished that from village to village, two hundred shillings, small packet of salt, a tablet of soap, stuffed boxes and “spoilt ballots” were what mattered. No worries who gave it. Yet it was their money: paid through taxes or donated from abroad in their names.

    My friend, please scrutinise all political parties for what they are and vote informatively. Only then will you defeat dictatorship in Uganda. Thankfully, your choice is UPC.

    The author is the UPC Spokesman and UK External Bureau Chairman
    Jop3upc@oal..com

    MuseveniKaguta said...

    Another point of view:


    Ugandans and their leaders must be crazy

    In Los Angelus, USA, government pays companies in the hot season for cutting down on their power use so that there is more power for the people to cool down their homes.

    In Uganda, government demands taxes from companies and from individuals whose business is bogged down by power failure caused by corruption in government departments.

    While in USA, State representatives who voted for a greedy increase of their salaries have all been voted out, in Uganda people will curse for a while and forget after a while; with a kilo of sugar many Ugandan voters are likely to return the greedy guys into office come the next election.
    Here before joining the police or the army, candidates are scrutinised like the Catholic Church screens its candidates to priesthood.

    What happens in Uganda is that normally the bad boys seem to be the ones eager to join the security organs and they are welcome.
    In the Ugandan so-called “public” universities, paying students are taken like second class; they receive their lectures in the afternoon when the lecturers and the students themselves are tired. They are treated like beggars. Yet here in USA, paying students are the bosses.

    Ugandans pay road licence and road taxes for roads that are not there. They pay rent and rates yet garbage cannot be collected and streets are not lit. A few road signs are stolen, public phones are vandalised. Surely you cannot easily take the ‘bush’ out of these people. Technology alone cannot develop a country without morals, yet in most schools emphasis is on grades and religion is secondary in secondary schools.

    Have you been to a public office? In Ugandan public offices, most officials are like kings, glued in their chairs, on their computers, in their newspapers, and it looks like nothing will take them out of that office. Here they are like servants.

    It is in Uganda where criminals become winners and get rich, while the innocent become losers and get buried in poverty. It is Uganda where leaders pee down on your back and tell you it is raining. Where they tell you to fasten your belt when they are loosening theirs, and men begin to look like they were pregnant.

    They will tell you “lembeka” when you are living in a grass thatched house or when the roof reclines only to their side. Instead of Universal Primary Education, it is Universal Poor Education for the poor kids.

    Ugandan Christians are also crazy. They call Jesus the Way but never follow him. They call him Teacher but never listen to him. They call him Lord but never obey him. They call him the Truth but never trust and believe him, so it seems.

    If He tells them one day that he does not know them, do not be surprised, they will be surprised.
    If I am wrong I will be your slave forever.

    Henry F. Mulindwa, USA
    hfmulindwa@yahoo.com

    MuseveniKaguta said...

    Museven's explanation of his long reign, is the astounding arrogance and bigotry of his overextended stay in power, which is largely due to the patronage of the majority, but illiterate underclass that voted him for a third term.
    If the opposition in Uganda, cannot vehemently rebut this verbiage, then the country deserves everything from this monomaniac!



    News | October 12, 2006



    Museveni explains long reign
    ROBERT MWANJE
    KAMPALA
    PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni has described his extended 20-year stay in power as a blessing and part of the country's fundamental changes that have ensured stability.

    Speaking on a local FM radio station on Tuesday night, Mr Museveni said; "Staying around for long is also not a bad idea. In fact its part of the fundamental changes because in the past governments were collapsing every after five years."

    Responding to a caller who demanded to know when he would retire, Museveni said he would have betrayed Africa if he quit before his baby; the East African Community is reborn.

    "Transition will come. Some of us are politicians not because we are looking for what to do but we are looking at fundamental challenges," Museveni said adding, "If I had to retire before building the East African Community, I would have betrayed the whole of Africa."

    The Committee on Fast Tracking the East African Federation recommends January 2010 as the time for the launch of the federation.

    The period between 2010 - 2012 is considered as the Consolidation Phase of the Federation of East Africa - during which it is recommended that the Presidency rotates between the sitting presidents of the partner states.
    Between January to March 2013, elections for the president and the Federal Parliament should be held.

    If Museveni hangs around as he suggests, he might become the first president of the federation by virtue of his long stay in power.
    Museveni renewed his oath of office in May, in effect extending his 20-year rule, following his re-election in February 2006.
    He got a third constitutional term in office, which expires in 2011 -after the Constitutional amendment that lifted presidential term limits.

    Achievements
    Listing his achievements since he took power in 1986, Museveni said his long stay in power has enabled him build a complete professional army, reinstated democracy, introduced Universal Primary Education (UPE) and Universal Secondary Education.

    He said what's important is not to keep on changing power from one person to another but to address issues of national concern like education, health, security among others.

    Flanked by the Minister of State for Youth, Mr James Kinobe, and the Director of the Media Centre, Mr Robert Kabushenga, the President said addressing issues of public concern was more important than changing leadership.

    "Addressing issues which affect people is more important than changing leadership from Museveni to Kinobe or another person," he said.

    He said people should stop comparing Ugandan politics to that of Tanzania. He said the two states have different political backgrounds.

    "Tanzania is a good example but they (public) should draw its complete image. They should remember that (former president) Julius Nyerere ruled for 24 years and left after planting good political seeds and discipline," he said adding that, " Uganda's sickness will be treated in its own way."

    He said his numerous appearances at Kololo for inauguration as president are part of the fundamental changes as long as he is voted peacefully and by a majority.

    20 years fighting
    "I spent 20 years fighting but I never gave up after the first five years. I started fighting Idi Amin in 1971 meaning that I had to retire in 1975 if I respected the five-year term limits of fighting but I instead continued. So even now in the Kisanja of leadership, we are looking at fundamental challenges," Museveni said.

    He cautioned the media against promoting tribalism and wrong ideologies of leadership, which may sink the country into trouble.
    The president said Uganda has endured a number of problems of our own making that should never be repeated.

    He condemned past leaders for dividing people along tribe and religion instead of negotiating with those they never agreed with.

    "Democratization collapsed four years after the independence and dictatorship took its course. The democratization process was broken by leaders of different political organizations who caused bad politics," he said.

    MuseveniKaguta said...

    Letters from Uganda


    Letters to the Editor | October 12, 2006




    TODAY'S PICK




    Preying on Muhwezi as succession war shapes up

    The recent claim by retired Maj Gen. Jim Muhwezi (MP Rujumbura), that some political forces were working day and night to cause his political demise should not be ignored.
    If Gen Muhwezi, known to be close to the first family, can feel threatened, who is safe? Muhwezi´s loyality to President Museveni and the National Resistance Movement (NRM) has never been in question.

    His wife, as Presidential Adviser on Agoa, is one of the most influential women in Uganda. In the Museveni family she is taken as a daughter.

    Therefore, a threat to Muhwezi´s political career cannot be from small men like Charles Rwomushana, as he seemed to suggest. It could signal a deeper power struggle within the ruling class. Hence the need to examine it more closely.
    Normally, when an African regime comes of age, without any signs from the ruler about his plans for retirement, senior cadres of the regime engage in plots and counter plots and in imaginary succession battles.

    This cold war takes the form of scheming, blackmailing, character assassination, sidelining and at worst; plots to cause death. In most cases, the victims fail to understand why they are being fought because the battle is unannounced. The people involved are unknown.

    In Uganda, this cold war is already on. I have argued before that the group which surrounds Museveni, better known as “the Ugandan Mafia”, is divided into two factions: The most dangerous, which unfortunately is the hegemonic faction, is the “Mafia of Succession” This faction is led by two key ministers. One Minister is working towards the realisation of the life presidency project, because it involves a young blood relative, while the other, is working towards his own succession.

    The second faction is the “Financial Mafia” This group is led by a senior military officer who also has one leg, in the “Life Presidency Project”. The overriding goal of this faction is influence peddling. And indeed, this group is rich.

    The question is: to which faction does Muhwezi belong, which faction wants him out and for what reasons? Therein lies the answer.

    Since the time tables for the realisation of these projects remains a secret, it is possible that each camp has already identified political heavy weights, like Muhwezi,with the financial muscle and popular appeal in the provinces that will most likely gang up with the faction opposed to their programmes when the time comes. Therefore, the earlier such men are destroyed the better. Gen Muhwezi should not focus on Rwomushana. His troubles could be rooted in these unannounced cold wars.

    In Kenya, many Kanu heavy wieghts, including current President Mwai Kibaki, suffered under similar succession cold wars.

    Sam Byamugisha Kamanzi
    kamanzius@yahoo.com



    Freedom is not given, it is taken

    When Greek philosopher Socrates drunk the hemlock poison without hesitation, he had no doubt that it was his duty to obey the laws of Athens.

    But when laws become instruments of oppression, then they must be disobeyed for the preservation of the greater good. There is nothing wrong with civil disobedience as a tool of defiance against unjust rule. State-sponsored anarchy, especially military rule, is the rule of the jungle.

    It is, therefore, right to disobey leaders when they lose the moral authority to rule. Bad governments mismanage economies and undermine the rule of law. The population and civil society are not innocent especially if they give in to fragmentation and intimidation. The nature of political power is that it corrupts even good men and women. It is the responsibility of the governed to ensure that power is used for their benefit. Apart from using elections to vote out governments they deem have not served them right, the people can use civil disobedience as an option.

    Civil disobedience is based on the premise that freedom is never given; it is always taken. Complacent citizens must shoulder the pain of oppression until they know the value of freedom and human dignity. The tragedy in many parts of Africa, however, is that citizens eject one group of leaders and replace it with a similar one.

    Festus Chuma,
    MakerereUniversity



    Pick another cabinet

    I am pretty sure that most of you are aware of the description the president has given his ministers. I am wondering how these ministers will take the country forward when they are asleep most of the time. I will advise the president to pick a new team of ministers now that the current one has let him down.

    It does not pay to stick with dead wood when one has a clear and free option of replacing the failures. It is in times like this that the nation waits to see decisve action taken. The alternative is to stop complaining and let business continue at usual - with sounds of heavy snoring.

    Okurut.T.Voga
    USA



    True meaning of our independence
    This is in response to the Daily Monitor editorial: “Mark independence, be wary of the future”, October 9. Uganda as a country has seen some improvement in the economic sector but a lot needs to be done. As the editorial suggested there are such high levels of poverty, corruption, and a failure of the political leadership to deliver on the promises they make during election time.
    Over the past weeks the headlines have been on the oil discovery in Lake Albert, the MPs car scheme (call it car scam) the Juba peace talks and inter-party meetings between the ruling establishment and the opposition parties. Reflect on the achievements Uganda has attained in the last 44 years of independence. The social services are a mess.
    Imagine what it means to our image when the largest hospital in Uganda runs out of oxygen gas and drugs and yet its managers comfortably sit in very large offices. As the editorial stated; Our posterity will not only hold this administration accountable for the political mistakes, many of which are frequently recounted like a litany by members of the brutalised opposition, they will also ask other searching questions.”
    The worry for many now is the oil discovery. To avoid ending up like Nigeria Uganda must learn from the Norwegians who have made use of the oil revenues generated by Statoil (an integrated oil and gas State-owned company) to have the best welfare system in the world in 34 years.
    The take on this is that the government has to have a clear policy on how the oil revenues can benefit the common man. Then, will our young generation know the true meaning of celebrating independence.
    Frederick K. Kiapi
    Kristiansand, Norway

    MuseveniKaguta said...

    Letters to the Monitor News Editor | October 18, 2006:

    Irrelevant speeches at national celebrations

    OF recent I have come to hate attending national celebrations like independence anniversaries.
    As we were celebrating our 44th independence anniversary, there are many things that happened which made me a bit sick. The so-called guests sitted in a tent, taking soft drinks while the wananchi baked under the scorching sun. Women groups presenting songs that did not depict the occasion but instead praised President Museveni and his ruling party.

    Are national celebrations for the Movement and President Museveni or every Ugandan?
    What pained me is that there was no positive reference that was made to the past leaders. Speaker after speaker told us how former presidents,were dictators. I thought the person that was supposed to feature most during the independence celebrations was Dr. Milton Obote, the man who received the nation’s instruments of power on October 9th 1962.

    The theme this year was the usual slogan we have heard, “Prosperity for all.” They told us to form groups in order to access the shs60 billion the government is going to put in Post bank. Everyone wants to prosper. But how will this come by when electricity is as scarce as the word itself. When people sit idle waiting for power, when thousands of graduates are jobless and there come a group of people telling us prosperity for all.
    I saw a lot of irrelevance.

    Paula Aruho Rwanbangye,
    Bushenyi

    Focus beyond immediate conflict for lasting solutions

    THE cost of ignoring conflicts especially those that are intractable in nature is enormous and we must resolve them. Most violent conflicts in Africa that at times escalate into massacres and genocide are the fruits we reap from political, social and economic mistakes of political actors.

    Intractable conflicts are hard to resolve because their underlying causes are often deeply entrenched and closely interwoven. Conflict resolution strategies that fail to account for the complexity of those causes or expect to resolve the whole conflict quickly are likely to be ineffective.

    It is yet to be seen whether the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the government of Uganda are a seeking quick solution to an intractable conflict while ignoring its root causes. Failure to approach the conflict objectively and holistically may create a basis for yet another round of conflict.

    It is now clear that Uganda is politically divided and differentiated on accessing resources and public goods. This development may easily be ignored yet history will record the story of the marginalised masses. It is becoming a trend that leaders who fail to acquire political legitimacy in good faith resort to conflict building practices. It is easy to think that allocating cabinet posts on regional basis satisfies the interest groups, but people do not need cabinet posts as such but equitable sharing of resources and service delivery.

    For the policy makers and implementers, it is well to remember that the genocide in Rwanda was not hatched in a single year. The root causes were not any thing that the present generation contributed to so much as those in the past, yet they were the victims.

    These causes are embedded in history; the resentments they spawn date from events that occurred decades or even centuries ago. Their origins may not even be remembered, yet they keep alive in the memory of the victims.

    It is well to also remember that people who want to keep the conflict alive often keep the historical roots of conflicts alive. Politicians, for example, frequently magnify the importance of these historical animosities as they did in Rwanda for their own gain. By playing up long-standing fears and resentments among their constituents, they can increase their own power.
    Our sad history should not be used as a scarecrow and a reason to entrench one’s self in power.

    Those engaged in the Juba talks must know that intractable conflicts cannot be resolved unless the underlying causes are addressed. It is important to address the substantive issues that gave rise to the conflict. Secondly, there is need to diffuse the fear, hatred, and other negative emotions that normally make a conflict intractable.

    Honest reconciliation drives should be initiated. This will require specific restitution and amends by government. The stubbornness of government in failing to to sincerely listen to those advocating serious reforms will cost the country dearly. A lesson from history: Had the medieval church paid attention to those who called for reforms, it would not have suffered the great losses of the time.

    David Kayumba,
    Pretoria

    MuseveniKaguta said...

    Another trip for M7


    Wednesday, 18th October, 2006




    By Alfred Wasike
    PRESIDENT Museveni has urged African leaders to remove bottlenecks that have stopped the continent’s transition to first world economy for the last 500 years.
    Delivering the keynote address at the 4th Annual African Business Leaders’ Forum in Johannesburg yesterday, Museveni asked why Africa had delayed to make the economic jump compared to Asia.
    The address, that was telecast live worldwide, was also addressed by Rwandan President Paul Kagame and former Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda.
    Museveni named the bottlenecks as the stifling of the private sector by African leaders after independence, lack of a developed human resource, the balkanisation of Africa into 53, mainly small and sub-optimal, countries with small markets, exporting raw materials, improving the regulatory framework by reviewing the old commercial laws and enacting new ones.
    “Instead of confining ourselves to transitional “leadership”, it is more illuminating to talk of the type of leadership that can cause this metamorphosis, this social transformation whereby Africa transitions from being a peasant society to a middle class, skilled working class society,” Museveni said (full address on Page 8).
    Kagame (right), who condemned bad leadership, said, “Leadership in Africa should be enlightened and focused to people’s needs.”
    “We need complementality between the private sector and governments so that we can meet the needs of our people better,” he said.
    He said, “On our people in the diaspora, Africa is not doing enough to lure its people back home. We need to do more to attract them to send home skills.”
    Kagame said succession should be orderly and in a stable environment.
    “We must build institutions that transcend individual. I don’t want a situation where when Kagame leaves, Rwanda collapses,” he said. Kaunda who kept referring to Museveni and Kagame as “these young men” defined leadership qualities as “the rare ability to love one another, doing unto others what you would like them to do unto you and loving all human beings whether they are related to you or not, whether they are from your tribe or not.”
    Now an anti-AIDS crusader, the white handkerchief-wielding Kaunda said, “We need to fight this scourge. We cannot do business efficiently with this killer in our midst. Africa is threatened by this disease and we must join efforts to get rid of it so that we can secure our future.”
    Ends

    MuseveniKaguta said...

    A discerning account of M7's intentions:


    GUEST COLUMNIST | Omar Kalinge-Nnyago

    EAC: Museveni factor
    October 19, 2006
    Last Friday October 13, President Museveni launched the national consultative process for the fast tracking of the East African political federation.

    In a speech that sounded more like a lecture in Political Economy 101, than a strategic document, President Museveni laboured at length to justify the need for federation but fell short on mentioning, even in passing, the possible reasons why East Africans may need to be persuaded to federate. The matter of the federation is the subject of a vibrant ongoing process of soul searching. It could go either way.

    In Dar es Salaam, President Jakaya Kikwete simultaneously launched the exercise against a back-drop of intense opposition from Tanzanians who expressed dismay at Museveni’s recent remarks on a radio talk-show that he would only relinquish power once the federation came on-stream.
    The Tanzanians’ anger was expressed by the immense exposure that president’s remarks received. That Friday, according to the Pan African News Agency, the remarks were given front page coverage in some local dailies.

    The Tanzanians are incensed by the perception that the Ugandan leader of twenty years had embarked on premature campaigns for the regional presidency in 2010 when the region becomes a single political entity. Should the public give the process a nod, EAC will become a common market in 2008, have a common currency in 2009 and become a federation on rotational basis in 2010.

    The longest serving president at the time will be given the mantle to lead first. The democratic elections are planned for 2013 after the presidency will have rotated in the three countries for one year each.

    This should explain why Museveni has hinted on relinquishing the presidency in 2013 to become East Africa’s first president, where there would never be another leader in an independent Uganda. Museveni is determined to become the longest serving and Uganda’s last president. This could also be why he does not want to ‘waste’ his time discussing his succession.

    There are also other truths that have not been told. The idea of fast tracking the federation was mooted by Hon. Mugisha Muntu on January 25, 2002. His motion in the EA parliament to set up a committee to fast track the federation was unanimously passed, and the committee embarked on its work.

    In June 2002, it presented an interim report, which the House adopted. The committee was forced to abandon its work because Uganda’s then minister of finance said he had no money for the item in the budget. Since decisions were by consensus, Kenya and Tanzania could not do much. The idea of fast tracking was suspended.

    In late 2004, in the run up to the presidential elections of 2006 the idea of fast-tracking the federation became an urgent issue, not for the real purpose of it, but for politicking. It was then presented as a new idea, having been crippled by Uganda herself.

    According to Hon. Wandera Ogalo, in a January 2006 article, when Uganda’s parliament passed the obnoxious third term amendment, the Tanzanian parliament raised concerns about the emerging dictatorship in Uganda. Museveni told Tanzania MPs to stop interfering in Uganda’s internal affairs. He had sown the seeds of mistrust and came out as not particularly respectful of other East Africans.

    Ordinary Kenyans have a slightly different problem. They see him as a war-monger. There are even concerns of the civil war in northern Uganda. According to Kenya’s political commentator A. Wandati, Kenyans would be wary of squandering their resources on a civil war in one of the confederates. He is of the view that the EA Federation should not be effected before the condition of the total peace in Uganda is met.

    This could perhaps explain why Museveni seems to be taking the Juba peace talks rather seriously this time, deciding to even personally fly to Juba. Plausible move, but again, selfish. He just wouldn’t want Joseph Kony to stand between him and the EA presidency.

    Ugandans are also not so enthusiastic about the federation tied to the ambition of one man. Many would find it agonising to have a president of 27 years (by 2013) rule them further under a “new arrangement”.

    Ugandans too are the odd lot in the region. Both Kenya and Tanzania are Swahili speaking. Uganda is struggling to implement its Swahili policy. Ugandans do not have a national Identity Card, and are therefore a risk to the region’s security.

    While free movement of persons of East Africa is crucial, it cannot be achieved without settling the question of identity. Any African, could pass through Uganda, start living in Tanzania and claim to be Ugandan, for, a Ugandan is not identifiable. For the East African Federation to hold, it may be necessary that the northern war in Uganda is ended, National Identity Cards are issued and Museveni is democratically replaced.

    It was Mwinyi, Mkapa, Moi and Museveni who resurrected the idea of the federation. The three are already retired. One is still precariously clinging onto power, to the dismay of the whole region.

    Perhaps Museveni’s lasting contribution to the federation would be to de-link himself from the outcome long before 2010 to save the federation from the fatal track it seems to be taking to the fast track Mugisha Muntu has intended. Then East Africans will have very little else to discuss.

    demtac1963@yahoo.com
    0752 656 352

    MuseveniKaguta said...

    Letter to M7 via: Monitor News Editor | October 20, 2006


    Mr President, we live in a State of unemployment

    YOUR Excellency, the public outcry has reached a crescendo, especially in the areas of unemployment, corruption and poverty. We are suffering the cruellest regime of unemployment in history.

    Mr. President, when I speak of people, I don’t mean those who eat bread and butter at each breakfast. When I speak of people, I mean doctors, engineers, lawyers, teachers, architects and other professionals who finish university with high hopes of participating in national development only to be welcomed by the biting truth of unemployment.

    These are the people I speak for. Those that find all roads of employment closed to them. The only hope for survival is to sell themselves to western ‘slavery’, which now appears in the form of “kyeyo”. These are the people who voted you with high hopes that you would lead them to the promised land.

    Your Excellency, poverty is skyrocketing and misery is the people’s daily bread. The people of Uganda are almost “democratically poor.” Ironically, amidst all this poverty a certain section of the middle class is seeking to spend taxpayer’s money on luxury 4WD cars.

    This is the highest degree of “man’s cruelty to man”. When will the sweat of the majority cease to be the bread of the minority?
    Mr. President, does it ever cross your mind or your dreams and visions that Shs 20 billion can change the lives of millions in this nation? Does it appear to you national leaders that with this money you can provide approximately Shs3.5 millions to each of the graduates of Makerere University as start-up business capital and change their lives forever, instead of leaving them to meander on the streets in search of unavailable jobs?
    Or do you consider that Shs 20 billion can start an industry. Industrialisation must not remain a false promise on your campaign posters.

    It kills me to realise that the future of this nation is in the hands of managers and parliamentarians who are capable of selling it together with its innocent citizens! Only God will save us!

    You amused me last time when you questioned the work ethic of your ministers. I would be impressed if you instead proposed Shs 20 billion shillings in projects that may tackle unemployment.

    Mr President, why should the state subsidise the rich. Don’t you know from your knowledge of economics that it is the poor who are subsidised if “Gross Domestic Happiness” is to be realised? Why don’t MPs acquire salary loans if they must buy these posh cars?

    Mr. President, use this money to provide starting capital to all new graduates and also start a loan scheme for students to enter tertiary institutions like is the case is in Ghana, Tanzania and Kenya.
    This way you will have become accountable to the “peasants of Uganda who voted you into power “

    Gerald K. Karuhanga,
    Guild President MUK,
    Speaker, Uganda National Student’s Association

    evision said...
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