Sunday, March 27, 2005

Prelude to Disintegration

Everything that is happening in Uganda indicates that the corrupt regime of Museveni is gaining momentum for final disintegration. There is going to be no guns fired. This is simply the peoples power at work. There will be some unscrupulous people who will attempt to hijack it but they will be crushed because the people have had enough suffering in the hands of various opportunists. So, if you are an opportunist, my advice to you at this time is to wait on the side until sanity has returned.

The Museveni empire/rule was built on chaos and misguided tribal sentiments and a horde of dissonant ideas:

  • That the north versus south was the issue
  • War in Acholi was keeping peace in Buganda and so on.
  • That Acholis and Lugbaras were banyanyas and biological substances
  • That only the NRA/NRM/Museveni could assure Ugandans of peace

It was divide and rule pure and simple.
The constitution was manipulated and doctored to suit the NRM but even then, it was pure brute force that kept Museveni in power all these years. And Ugandans, in their ways, have been tolerant of Museveni for various reasons, one of which is that they simply wish to get on with their lives. This is always mistaken for support for the existing regime.
Museveni missed many chances of becoming a truly great Ugandan leader in spite of the utter use of the military for his political purposes. People begged him and showed him the way, but he refused.
That many of the Museveni supporters in the army were from the west does not detract from the fact that those very same people are independent nationally oriented individuals who for one reason or another followed or joined the NRM. However, the sycophants like Bantariza wake up make their usual cry of LRA in the morning, herd people in the north to the concentration camp withouth means for survival, and call that a development program. A day's worth of work has been done. They then get rewarded by adoring soldiers who have no idea these leeches are the bane of Uganda and the reason why he is carrying a gun against his fellow countrymen.
The Bugandans have agitated for various forms of special treatment, but their messages never get through clearly. Opportunists jump in and confuse the issues that should be looked at, and in the end the central government is able to garner more support to the detriment of Ugandans and Bagandans in particular. Now we are moving towards that conditions in which a regime is suddenly going to be forced out of power and very soon, too. This should be the time for sanity and respect for all sections and communities in Uganda. We need no army to ensure peace in Uganda if the people are to remain supreme. We do need police power for civil purposes so that other political activities can be undertaken to establish the framework of Uganda government.
Museveni and his cronies are not going to take this lying down. As a matter of fact they are going to inject as much confusion as they can in the opposition parties. Messages of discord will be propagated. I dare say that the speech by Gilbert Bukenya telling Catholics that they will be the next president is very much in line with a Museveni tactic. It serve no useful purpose in ridding Uganda of NRM hegemony and can very well weaken any political party aligned with Catholics. Do you see where things are going?
I hope that the people of Uganda will not choose this path of divisionism but instead embark on creating a framework for a robust participatory and lawful administration.

Thanks be to God

Sunday, March 20, 2005

The Die Is Cast

The die has been cast. Museveni is surely running for election. But, more than that, it means that Museveni's plan to become president for life is now being implemented. Think of it: Why would Museveni change a whole constitution in order to benefit another president? The truth is that Museveni and his henchmen are not willing to leave power to another party. They would not change a constitution merely to allow Museveni to run. That would be risky because he could lose the election thereby installing an opponent to a life presidency. And that is not the aim of the demand for a change in the constitution.
This is a serious crisis. Museveni has been ruling Uganda for the last twenty years under dubious code names for democracy and each time Ugandans watch without as much as a simple raising of a hand. Museveni eluded detection by hoodwinking the majority to think in terms of northerners versus him leading Uganda. They say Animal Farm is a classic but that is an understatement. It is actually the bible of achieving power and keeping it.
As we approach the month of April 2005, here are the probable scenarios that will unfold in Uganda:

  1. Harassment and intimidation of opponents and non NRM supporters as has already happened to Peggy Ntegyereize of Kampala, will become widespread.
  2. People will lose their livelihood, then their homes as has happened in Acholi.
  3. Then, there will come a spate of arrests and confinements in various ungazetted locations.
  4. Next will come extra judicial killings then a state of emergency will be declared, elections will be postponed and all political parties banned forever.
  5. As a result, many people will go underground, form factions and armed units fighting initially independent and uncoordinated guerilla wars.
  6. And, finally, when NRM/NRA is sufficiently weakened, the various factions from all corners of Uganda shall unite to form the new Supreme Uganda Army, ushering in a new era of independence, equality and dignity and development for all. Museveni will be known as the last tyrant Uganda has known.

All these may occur simultaneously or one after the other, but the fourth stage is the point of no return with a complete ban on all political activities except those supporting NRM. So, Ugandans can prepare to live with this increasing tyranny or oppose it with all the force in their power now and avoid traveling through all these six stages. The fate of the country is in your hands.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Peace Related Work

This excerpt from Online Journal of Peace whose web address is given below may shed light in why peace talks have been failing in Uganda. There is a general underlying effort to 'finish them off' that makes government to aim at capturing rebel leaders during peace talks instead of conducting sincere talks.
  1. First of all there is no desire on part of the government to restore peace in northern Uganda.
  2. Secondly, there is no clear assessment of the reason for the war.
  3. And lastly, the venue for peace talk is not conducive to peace talk.

    Below is the excerpt.

    In spite of the defeat of Lakwena in 1987 and the 1988 peace accords, the war up to 1991 continued in much the same vein as it had prior to these events. A.G.G Pinycwa has commented that, "It is the persistence of the rebellion despite the defeat of Alice Lakwena in 1987 that irked and prompted Major General David Tinyefuza [sic] to launch the four month (April to July) intensive military operation of 1991 in which much of the Northern Region was for some time held incommunicado with the rest of the country…."(18) In fact, by Tinyefunza's own account to Parliament in 1996, as Minister of State for Defense in 1991, he should not have been the one to conduct this operation. However, the situation on the ground was such that the rebels appeared to be winning the war controlling the administration centers of both districts. In Tinyefunza's own words "I told you (Parliament) the army in Gulu was under siege; rebels were camped at Gulu post office…The forces of the enemy had occupied Pajim barracks and the town of Kitgum…"(19) Operation North, as this 1991 operation was known, is said to have been extremely brutal and, by many accounts, fueled feelings of disdain by Acholi toward the NRM. Though Operation North failed in its ultimate objective to end the insurgency once and for all, it took some time for the LRA to collect itself and the next couple of years saw a reduction in rebel activity.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

What Is Behind Lifting the Term Limit?

If Museveni and his NRA up to now still claim that Uganda is not ready for multiparty politics, or that only Museveni can lead Uganda, then it may be time to review their approach of using force to topple the previous government. A peaceful and progressive society cannot be built on force alone. It evolves from mutual understanding and needs between the members who are truly free to make their choices as they wish. It is also participatory in nature, thereby, allowing people to adjust their behaviors and expectations to blend with the whole society.
The so-called 10-Point Program adopted by Museveni while he was still in the bush was simply a means to capture the imaginations and subsequent support of the masses in order to gain power over them. Once there, the need for these encumbrances dropped off.
Just look at the NRM second 10-Point Program. It says, ‘Second, because insecurity in Uganda had been largely the result of "state-inspired violence," it could be eliminated through local democracy, "a politicized army and police, and absence of corruption at the top." Yet, nineteen and now going on to twenty years since NRM captured power, state inspired violence is the order of the day in Northern Uganda, particularly in Acholi. And as for corruption at the top I can say very little unless the top is Obote. This is now where NRM ‘leftovers’ and ‘rejects’ make their fortune before joining the inner circle of Museveni’s government. Acholi is now their proving ground!

What is the implication of Mbabazi’s defense as reported by Badru D. Mulumba in the Monitor of Mar 15, 2005?

He said term limits provide a weakened presidency because focus shifts from policies and legislative programs to campaign pledges and plans for presidential candidates

So if this is the case, how is lifting the term limit so Museveni can serve one more term going to help the presidency? Just one more term, which is his last, would make him a lame duck president. And automatically this would bring us to the weakened presidency, which is supposed to be corrected by lifting term limit. It seems to me that the NRM is simply duping the people one term at a time. What they really want is 'No limit' for presidential term when their man is in power and 'change limit' when UPC or any other party is in power. Some have gone as far as saying 'lift term limit for Museveni but thereafter, maintain it in the constitution.'

Because of these kinds of inconsistencies, it is easy to see that the NRM are not interested in democratic process unless it favors them. The cry for the lifting of term limit is intended to shield and give more time to inner NRM circle to hold onto power and hope that Museveni stays longer to their advantage. So behind the lifting of the term limit are:

  1. The military commanders who owe their existence to Museveni.
  2. Businesses that have benefited from Museveni autocratic rule.
  3. People who have committed excesses under Museveni.
  4. The sycophants

This is why nothing is changing in Uganda since NRM/Museveni came to power by force of arms. In fact now that Museveni has completely consolidated his power base and the whole machinery is working to their liking, there is no need to please the people. Hence the 'Omnibus,'- remember 'Umbrella?'- has been rolled out to take care of those pesky problems of passing every law in parliament. The 'Omnibus' will take the NRM to their ultimate destination of perpetual rule.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Hard To Change One's True Color

From its inception, the NRM has always sought to win the hearts of the masses while at the same time seeking to close the eyes of the people to total and meaningful freedom. It has been doing exactly what it accused former regimes of doing. In fact it has exceeded the previous regimes in all areas doing bad things to Ugandans. Its main aim was the comfort of its core leaders. Like the pigs in "Animal Farm" they have sought and reserved the best of the country for themselves.
Since they looted the Uganda Commercial Bank in Kasese, they have never found a more lucrative lifestyle than living on the sweat of the people while they threatened any uprising with "you don't want the northerners back" type of cries. If there was one thing the animals were united on, it was that they did not want Mr. Jones back. And so the NRM eluded detection for a long time.
How can Museveni and his henchmen equate peace in the south and west part of Uganda with misery and displacement of northern and eastern Uganda population? Museveni and his henchmen in the army are well aware of the possible consequences of their barbaric rule but they couldn't care less! Ugandans will have to sort the mess for themselves.
The drive for so call third term is a drive for more time to attempt to eliminate evidences of corruptions and outright theft and looting of the national coffer. Ugandans must unite to bring and maintain sanity in the country and rehabilitate the areas and people trampled over by the nefarious NRM.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Peace Negotiation? Stupid!

The message that major peace negotiators from LRA sides have defected should be viewed with skeptics.
These officers have been fighting for the last seventeen years, coming and going between Sudan and Uganda. Now, there is a chance to negotiate for peace. Is this the time they would surrender? Of course, not.
Reports from Kampala say that the donors are unhappy with LRA for resumption of hostilities against civilians. Why would the donor say something like this without also saying something about the government’s part in the resumption of hostilities? Remember it was widely reported that the donors want Museveni to negotiate peace with the LRA. Therefore, this Kampala report is a distortion or statement meant to mislead the general public.
There is no independently verifiable source that Uganda armed forces are not carrying out the atrocities against civilians.

DONORS have appealed to the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels to urgently demonstrate its commitment to peace by stopping attacks on civilians, reports Joyce Namutebi from Kampala.

This statement can mean so many things and chief among which is that attacks on civilians are perpetrated and controlled solely by the LRA. Or it can mean the donors control the LRA. We know that this is not true as the government soldiers are also attacking civilians with same effect as attributed to the LRA. Government soldiers also frequently pose as LRA.
Kampala administration is tailoring it’s response to the donor pressure that there should be a negotiated settlement to the conflict, which Museveni does not like. This attempt to negotiate peace with Museveni in the bush in Uganda should have been seen as a meaningless exercise intended lure the top LRA commanders as has happened. It happenned before to Eric Odwar's group in Corner Kilak.

We know that atrocities in the north are being committed by the NRA now UPDF. That is why the army does not allow independent reporters in Northern Uganda. For us to accept the government news sources, there must be confirmation from independent sources.

When the US went to war in Iraq, they had news reporter embedded with the battalions. Much as the news reporters seemed to have been too open for the army’s liking, they were more beneficial in according credibility to field commanders’ actions.

While Acholi clamors for peace, their weak position make it worthless for Museveni and his rebels-turned-government soldiers to take heed.

Herein, lies the path to peace in Acholi.