The people’s power can’t be defeated

With my own initiative and resources and alone, I have researched, written and published extensively about the Horn and Great Lakes regions of Africa with a focus on Rwanda and Uganda – the two neighboring countries. I have tried to understand the root causes and consequences of endemic conflicts in these two regions.

By way of comparison, I have also tried to understand the causes and consequences of conflicts in the French, Mexican, Russian, Ethiopian and Iranian Revolutions and People’s Power in South Korea during the presidency of Syngman Rhee and in the Philippines during the presidency of Ferdinand Marcos.

I have concluded that by and large conflicts start when individuals struggle for political power to access economic resources and enrich themselves. In doing so, they rely on members of their class, ethnicity or faith – hence class, ethnic or religious wars.

The winners do everything to cling to power by using repressive tools like the military, intelligence and police and reliance on external support. They violate the political, civil, economic, social and cultural rights of the losers hoping the latter would be controlled and exploited forever.

My research findings show that no situation is permanent. Ultimately the rulers are resisted even by some of their supporters; the oppressed get organized and fight back and external support is withdrawn. And the revolution which has long-term, immediate and trigger causes occurs that more often than not is followed by a civil war as different groups that defeated the oppressive regime fight one another to capture power.

The story of Uganda is that coalitions of convenience, use of security forces and external support have failed to keep one group in power permanently. The lessons of the 1966, 1971 and 1979 conflicts; the Luwero Triangle guerrilla war and civil wars in Northern and Eastern Uganda show beyond a shadow of doubt that no one group can defeat and subjugate another forever.

To avoid a political explosion, it is suggested that Ugandans together as equals begin a process of finding lasting solutions without further delay. This will happen only when Ugandans are gathered together in a national convention to debate and decide how they want to be governed. Another war won’t do. An inclusive transitional government should be formed run by a presidential team to avoid concentrating too much power in the hands of one president.

The transitional government should then organize free and fair multiparty elections with the understanding that members in the transitional government would not participate in the elections as they would have advantages of incumbency over other candidates.

Those interested in my research work and findings please visit

Eric Kashambuzi


Social relations in Uganda must change

In Uganda the exploitative (feudal) relations between leaders and the people (lords and serfs) is on the rise in one form or another. God created us equal but man in his desire to dominate created divisions of rulers and ruled.

In Europe the feudal system developed after the fall of the (western part) of the Roman Empire in AD 476. Because of the instability that followed weak members needed protection but had no money to pay for that service. So they gave up their land. The king or overlord in turn gave part of the land (fief) to lords (king’s vassals) who in return swore to train and fight on behalf of the king as knights (horse warriors). Serfs therefore lost their land. In return for food, shelter and clothing etc serfs worked the lord’s land and virtually had no freedom. The feudal and manorial systems of exploitation began to be challenged through peasant revolts beginning in the 12th century and they eventually collapsed.

They were replaced by states with more powerful kings that ruled and exploited their subjects by ‘divine right’ i.e. their power came from God. They were answerable and accountable only to God. The people could not hold them accountable.

This exploitation was challenged beginning in the 17th and mostly in the 18th century. This period of resistance is called “The Age of Reason” or “The Enlightenment”. During this period people began to believe that all questions about the world could be answered by reason and by anybody, regardless of class. Therefore the lords or kings had no right to rule over peasants.

Europeans like John Locke, Galileo, Isaac Newton, Diderot, Rousseau, Voltaire and Hume etc championed this cause. Hume demonstrated how important it was to work things out for yourself (solve your own problems) – not just be told what to do by someone else (Museveni tells Uganda peasants to grow food for cash and not for the stomach and we go ahead and do it and end up hungry when we are selling mountains of food to neighboring countries and beyond to raise foreign exchange that Museveni then uses to buy military hardware and torture equipment against citizens). The ideas of the Age of Reason were used in the American and French Revolutions. They spread to Latin America and Haiti used them in its war of independence.

Sadly in Uganda under NRM feudalism is spreading. Land is being grabbed by the rich or at gun point who are pushing landless people into urban slums or exploiting them if allowed to stay on the land. We hear of new landlords emerging in Buganda that are likely to be approved by Lukiiko and could be extended to the entire country and approved by parliament. Who are these new landlords or masters?

Peasants and urban dwellers are being taxed heavily as happened in the European feudal system. Ugandans have virtually no freedom as happened in feudal Europe. Rujumbura constituency is hereditary, owned by Bashambu family. Independence MP was Karekaho Karegyesa. He passed it on to Jim Muhwezi who will pass it on to his son, daughter or a close Mushambu relative whether qualified or not and the people are silent. Matthew Rukikaire whom I think was a better man to represent the constituency and I would have supported him going by what I knew then about him was blocked until Muhwezi was ready because Rukikaire is not a Mushambu. He eventually gave up politics.

Museveni is methodically moving towards making his son Muhoozi the next president and we are watching hopelessly. This has got to be stopped. But to do that we need to get organized. Sadly, the opposition has been infiltrated by NRM people at home and abroad. We don’t know who Duncan Kafero is working for? There was a rumor, not yet denied, that he was working with Sejusa. We don’t know what Mbabazi is up to? Some of the opposition leaders are in bed with Museveni but confuse us: look at the business they have, the jobs their relatives are landing, travelling on diplomatic passports, money deposited on their foreign bank accounts.

Upon probing, some Ugandans who had positioned themselves as members of the opposition have changed their position. They are now saying or through their representatives that they are not in the opposition but are activists for democratic change within the established political institutions which remain confidential.

Amama Mbabazi should explain why he chose to leave the post of Secretary-General to which he was elected and the president or party chairman could not dismiss him from. Being removed as prime minister was within the powers of the president because he appointed him and was confirmed by parliament. Mbabazi could have clung to his post of Secretary-General but he abandoned it on his own: Interesting development.

Against this backdrop, I have resisted joining or be joined by any Ugandans who show up as members of the opposition for the sole purpose of removing Museveni (not even NRM as some have suggested under the slogan of Musevenism) from power.

If there is no long-term plan for governing the country after NRM is gone which will happen sooner or later there will be a civil war among so-called revolutionaries or resistance by the people when the military takes over which I think Duncan Kafero and Sejusa are planning jointly or separately – just wait and when the people have triumphed you move in with your soldiers including possibly mercenaries and take over government.

That is what happened in Ethiopia in 1974 and when the people resented a military take over there was a civil war. That seems to be happening in Burkina Faso where the people carried out the revolution. The people representatives should form the transitional government: not Compaore soldiers.

Fighting also erupted in Iran after the 1979 revolution. Here is what happened. “At home, the revolutionaries who had toppled the shah found themselves divided over the very fundamentals of the new regime: whether it should embrace theocracy, or republicanism, socialism, or mercantilism, liberty or justice. As the radical clerics around Khomeini closed ranks, opponents of the new revolutionary order faced everything from firing squads to street combat, culminating in the execution of thousands of political prisoners in 1988. The opposition that the Islamic Republic did not decimate it intimidated into silence”(Foreign Affairs January/February 2014).

This is the kind of outcome I am trying to avoid in Uganda by joining with anyone who claims to be an opponent of Museveni and NRM. Ugandans let us from now on be guided by reason, not emotion on the basis of tribe, ethnicity, religion, gender or region. Let those aspiring to be leaders articulate what they would like to do after NRM has exited. They shouldn’t keep silent or complain about NRM wrongs without giving solutions while ordinary people are struggling to remove the oppressor and when NRM is gone they spring up and take over.

Those with guns or connections of birth per se should not be allowed to rule over ordinary people who have the power once they know how to use it. Revolutions exist to change such social relations. I support peaceful revolutions as we have seen in Burkina Faso. Soldiers there should not be allowed to turn it into a civil war.

Eric Kashambuzi

Why Uganda needs opposition with a long-term common vision

I supported NRM’s ten-point program which was well written, inclusive and put Ugandans at the center of development. Sadly, the program was suddenly and unceremoniously abandoned in mid-1987 before implementation started. It was replaced by a ‘shock therapy’ structural adjustment program (SAP) that the NRM had vehemently opposed during the Obote II regime and vowed to scrap it once in power.

Museveni rejected advice from Ugandans and some foreigners that urged a gradual and sequenced approach to minimize the adverse impact on poor and vulnerable people. The minister of finance who was an economist was dismissed and replaced by a medical doctor. Museveni then relied on foreigners who tutored him about the merits of market forces (S. Mallaby 2004).

The design and implementation of the program were placed under the care of the IMF and World Bank apparently for lack of domestic capacity (P. Langseth et al., 1995) when in fact there were many qualified and experienced Ugandans eager to come home but Museveni was not keen to receive them (The Courier Sept-Oct. 1993).

When my efforts to persuade the government to have a cushion like school feeding program against the pains of structural adjustment were rejected, I shifted from advising to opposing the government. Since then, some groups and individuals have urged me to join them for the sole purpose of unseating the NRM regime. I have been reluctant until there is a clear common development vision acceptable to all groups to minimize conflicts.

Experience shows that when groups or individuals with different ideas come together as in the French, 1848, Mexican, Russian, Ethiopian and Iranian Revolutions etc for the sole purpose of removing an oppressive regime without agreeing on what to do next, there have been problems including civil wars that should be avoided after NRM has exited. Let us examine the three cases of Ethiopia, Iran and Uganda by way of illustration.

The Ethiopian revolution was initiated by civilian mass protests in urban and rural areas. They were triggered by the 1973/74 increase in oil prices and the famine that began in 1973. As the civilians were within sight of removing the imperial regime and capturing state power by peaceful means, the soldiers stepped in, toppled the regime and formed a military government (Dergue) without consulting civilian organizers. The latter, in turn, demanded removal of the military government and the establishment of a people’s government consisting of representatives of workers, peasants, teachers, students, public servants, traders, soldiers and women. The military government rejected the demand and warned that resistance would be crushed. The rank and file soldiers also made some demands. The failure to reach a compromise on power-sharing resulted in a bloody civil war.

Within the Dergue itself differences emerged as well and fighting erupted. General Aman Michael Andom the first head of the Dergue was killed in November 1974. Andom’s successor General Tafari Bante was killed in February 1977. The second vice-chairman of the Dergue Atnafu Abate was killed in November 1978, leaving the first vice-chairman Mengistu Haile Mariam in charge of a country that descended into a political, economic and social crisis.

In Iran, the Shah’s authoritarian and corrupt regime resulted in a political, economic and social crisis. The Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini from his exile in France called for a mass protest to end the Shah’s regime. The response was enormous and brought together groups from all walks of life and differences: leftists and rightists; liberals and conservatives; intellectuals and bazaar merchants; radical and moderate clergy; and impoverished slum dwellers with the sole purpose of ending the Shah regime.

Following the departure of the Shah into exile, the clergy under Khomeini seized power, a decision that was rejected by other groups. There were fights and those opposed to the clergy were dealt a heavy blow. The clergy then proceeded to Islamize Iran’s culture (Monika Gronke 2009).

Regarding Uganda, the imminent fall of Amin regime in 1979 brought together groups with diametrically opposed ideas to form a transitional government at a hurriedly organized conference in the Moshi town of Tanzania. The only thing delegates had in common was to replace the Amin government and govern apparently on the basis of the Moshi Spirit that was not clearly defined, much less understood, leading to different interpretations. Differences surfaced as soon as they took office. The Consultative Council or Legislative Assembly disagreed with the National Executive Committee or the cabinet especially on the powers to make public service appointments. The two branches of government could not compromise. Within 68 days the president was gone replaced by Godfrey Binaisa who had been locked out of the Moshi conference. His presidency lasted less than a year and was succeeded by a Military Commission made up of members that disagreed on virtually everything. The seeds of instability planted at that time germinated into oppressive regimes, deaths of tens of thousands of innocent people especially women and children and a militarized administration that has employed many instruments such as safe houses, anti-sectarian and anti-terrorism laws to deny Ugandans the exercise of their inalienable human rights and fundamental freedoms.

These three cases demonstrate unambiguously that efforts to change a repressive government, must be combined with an agreed common blue print that promotes inclusive societies and institutions that guarantee peace, security and development for all.


Keynote address: Working together to empower African children through safe water and good sanitation


Eric Kashambuzi

Let me begin by thanking the people of San Diego for the warm welcome. I also thank the organizers especially Ms Vickie Butcher for inviting me to participate in this 18th Annual Africa Trade & Business Conference on the theme: Building Sustainable Economic Bridges Back to Africa. This conference is taking place so soon after the historic USA-Africa Summit, thanks to President Barak Obama’s vision and after the United Nations General Assembly renewed its efforts to provide safe water and good sanitation between now and 2030.

While addressing participants during the Africa week at the United Nations that ended yesterday, the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations Jan Elliason expressed his personal support to the efforts to provide good sanitation which he has championed in the Call to Action on Sanitation since 2013.

He reported that around the World two and half (2.5) billion people don’t have toilets and over one billion people practice open defecation.

As a keynote speaker, I am going to focus on the need for partnership between Africans and Americans in finding lasting and affordable solutions to the challenges of water, sanitation and hygiene in general that African children face.

Children everywhere are more vulnerable than any other demographic age group to the ill effects of contaminated water, poor sanitation and lack of hygiene. For instance, children under five years of age account for 90 percent of deaths from diarrhea.

To understand the challenges of water and sanitation and find lasting solutions we need to understand ourselves first and operate from the same page. Education and training especially of the youth on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean will play a key role in this endeavor.

It is well known that conflicts, misunderstandings and even wars as well as poor design and implementation of development programs often spring from poor communication.

But before doing that let me thank those Americans that have already collaborated with Africans on the critical issue of water and sanitation for African children. Water for Children Africa, Inc. which was founded in 1993 deserves special appreciation for its clear mission and work already done in Africa. For easy reference, the mission is to:

1. provide safe, sustainable water to rural villages through the transfer of appropriate technology;

2. Train recipients in repair and maintenance of equipment, public health education, and economic development;

3. Build an entrepreneurial bridge to improve the commercial relations between the U.S. and Africa; and

4. Help U.S. youth develop leadership skills and vision for the future development of Africa.

In her remarks at the 17th conference on Trade and Business Ms. Vickie Butcher said: “We inspire and educate youth to direct their creativity and skills to the development of the African continent”.

During the late 1960s and early 1970s when Africa was emerging out of colonialism I was a graduate student at the University of California at the Berkeley campus. At that time there was a shared feeling among African students that our African-American brothers and sisters regarded us as belonging to a lower social class that drove some of us to the other camp that painted African-Americans as lacking in many respects.

This divide made it difficult to work together even when we were taking the same classes.

The good news is that with time the perception is changing because as Americans visit Africa they have realized that the situation is different from what had been presented in the media.

There is also recognition that all human beings are born free and equal in rights and dignity regardless of race, class, gender or geographic location. We should therefore listen to and treat one another as equals.

Education and training, visiting Africa and interacting with one another more often as in this conference will help bring us closer together. Ms. Vickie Butcher hit the nail on the head when she stated that “Past trips to Africa, surveys, interviews, team experiences and lessons learned continue to be the building blocks for the future activities of our organization. We continue to strive for better approaches to provide safe water, sanitation, hygiene, housing and agriculture to rural villages”.

I urge Americans and Africans not only to continue to listen to one another but most importantly to hear what one is saying to the other and internalize the messages so that we find a common ground, shared vision or a framework within which to build sustainable economic bridges back to Africa.

All I can say at this juncture is that in rural Africa where levels of poverty, illiteracy and disease are very high we need to listen even more to what peasants are saying lest we are misunderstood as elites that know what is good for rural Africa. Let me add that even in this sad environment, African peasants know what they want and even what to do but need an enabling environment and effective participation in matters that affect their lives. Those with open minds and ears that have visited Africa or worked and lived among rural communities can attest to this.

Therefore African and American partnership should create an enabling environment that helps African rural communities to articulate the challenges they face in accessing safe drinking water and adequate sanitation at home and at school. Americans should therefore develop skills and creativity to respond appropriately to African needs rather than dictate what African peasants and their children need in water and sanitation matters.

Another point I wish to stress is that in our partnership we need to recognize that water and sanitation is an integral part of overall economic and social development processes. Thus, development will be retarded through poor health of Africans due to unsafe water and poor sanitation.

Fortunately the international community and increasingly other entities understand the link between safe water and good sanitation and rapid and equitable development and poverty eradication.

That this linkage has been appreciated water and sanitation was included in the Millennium Declaration and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that were adopted by world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly of 2000. It was agreed in the MDGs to halve the proportion of people without access to safe water and adequate sanitation by 2015.

In 2006 the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) published a Human Development Report (HDR) on water and sanitation. It said in part “Throughout history water has confronted humanity with some of its greatest challenges. Water is a source of life and a natural resource that sustains our environment and supports livelihoods. But it is also a source of risk and vulnerability. … In a world of unprecedented wealth almost 2 million children die each year for want of clean water and adequate sanitation. Millions of women and young girls are forced to spend hours collecting and carrying water, restricting their opportunities and their choices. And waterborne infectious diseases are holding back economic growth and poverty reduction in some of the poorest countries”.

In his remarks on this report the former Secretary-General Kofi Annan stated that “Access to safe water is a fundamental human need and, therefore, a basic human right. Contaminated water jeopardizes both the physical and social health of all people. It is an affront to human dignity”.

And Kevin Watkins added that “Deprivation linked to water is a source of poverty, of inequality, of social injustice, and of greater disparities in life chances. That deprivation matters because water is a human right – and none of us should turn a blind eye to the violation of human rights. Nor should we tolerate a world in which over 1 million children are … dying for a glass of water and a toilet”. In developed countries safe water and good sanitation are taken for granted.

Given poor performance in the provision of safe water and good sanitation, the General Assembly has again in 2014 in its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as part of the post-2015 development agenda from 2016 through 2030 stressed the importance of water and sanitation and established goal 6 and targets and means of implementation:

Target 6.1: by 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all;

Target 6.2: by 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all, and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations;

MOI 6.b: support and strengthen the participation of local communities for improving water and sanitation management.

You can clearly see that there are similarities between the work you are doing and what is being undertaken at the United Nations level on water and sanitation.

Ipso facto, Water for Children Africa, Inc. should be commended for deciding to focus on safe water and adequate sanitation in Africa for maximum impact rather than scatter limited financial and human resources over many sectors with minimum or no impact at all.

The urgency of providing safe water and good sanitation was highlighted in a special report published by African Business in December 2013. It underscored that “Without water, there can be no human existence. While easy and cheap access to clean water is taken for granted in developed and many developing regions, Africa is still lagging behind. Few African cities can claim to be able to provide water to all the people who live in them and rural areas fare even worse”.

The report added “An equally important related utility, sanitation, is often ignored but its economic cost to the continent is around $30 billion. The cost in terms of poor health, illness and wasted time is almost incalculable”.

In 2008 African government agreed to allocate and spend at least 0.5 percent of their GDP on sanitation and hygiene and to have other budget lines for water and sanitation to improve accountability and track progress. Notwithstanding, implementation has fallen far short of commitment. As a result around 2,000 children die daily due to diarrhea caused by lack of access to safe toilets and clean water. Money that could have been invested in productive activities covers health costs. “If everyone had access to adequate sanitation and water services, patients would save themselves $565 million and world’s health sectors would save around $12 billion every year”.

Contaminated water and inadequate sanitation have lowered school attendance and performance and work productivity with an adverse economic impact of about 3 percent of GDP.

Besides, children can’t learn when they are too weak as a result of morbidity associated with waterborne diseases. UNICEF has reported that only 33 percent of primary schools in sub-Saharan Africa have adequate sanitation facilities. Consequently where adequate facilities and services don’t exist waterborne diseases spread rapidly and affect children who either cannot concentrate in class or stay out of school altogether. The education of children especially of girls is therefore impaired.

When women are educated, they acquire skills for productive employment, get good jobs, earn high incomes, reduce poverty and become empowered. Empowered women are able to manage their reproductive behavior without spouse pressure and end up with fewer children, contribute to reduction in population growth and lower child dependency and thereby increase savings for productive investments.

We know that the world has enough technology, expertise and financial resources to solve water and sanitation-related problems. What is needed is the will to do so within Africa and between Africa and her partners.

Investing in water and sanitation is also good business. The World Bank has shown that every $1 dollar invested in sanitation yields a return of $5 dollars. Furthermore investing in sanitation by encouraging communities to build toilets and water supply facilities and teaching children the basics of hygiene reduces morbidity and mortality from waterborne diseases considerably.

It has been shown that washing hands with soap in running water before touching food reduces the incidence of diarrhea by 50 percent. It has been recommended that where soap is not available, ash can be used (Facts for Life. UNICEF et al., Fourth edition, 2010).

Education and training will therefore play an important role in addressing the challenges of water and sanitation. Schools and community centers are the best places to create awareness of the impact of hygiene on health and economic development. Besides teaching hygiene schools need to provide separate clean private facilities for girls to be able to attend to their sanitary needs. Often girls miss classes during their periods because of lack of suitable facilities.

Investment in water and sanitation is not only good business; it is also relatively cheap. Studies conducted in Madagascar and reported in African Business in 2013 show that communities spend up to $9 for a basic model toilet with cement and wooden cover. An improved toilet with a ceramic slab and pan costs an average of $20. A sanitary mason reported that even when there were micro-finance facilities, some households chose not to borrow but pay cash once they understood the importance of toilets.

In my own home village in Uganda I worked with communities to tap spring water and construct latrines cheaply. The communities supplied labor and I paid for cement, sand, pipes and the mason to construct wells at an average of $15 each. Harvesting rain water was also achieved through using drums and water tanks made of sand and cement.

Communities were also assisted to construct latrines and trained in washing their hands in running water with soap or ash and to keep water in clean containers. Consequently, child morbidity and mortality declined considerably and their nutrition improved because of reduced incidence of waterborne diseases.

It is important to stress that awareness of the health and economic benefits of safe water and adequate sanitation has to be created in the community before sustained response is generated so that communities can choose to spend their meager resources on safe water and sanitation than on something else.

African and American partners need to understand that creating awareness must be a prerequisite for providing safe water and adequate sanitation.

Many worthy projects have not been sustainable largely because the so-called beneficiaries were not engaged and had no interest to invest in maintaining them. It is therefore very important that we keep in mind the necessity to engage African communities at all levels so that in the end these communities become the owners of the process and outcomes.

Thus, for this purpose human and institutional capacities for water and sanitation should be constructed within African rural communities.

To conclude, the overall lesson we have learnt is that education and training are and will remain the key instrument in creating awareness of the importance of safe water and good sanitation and in understanding one another better. Regarding the latter, the recently concluded and historic U.S – Africa Summit will play a critical role.

Thank you for your attention.

Money, propaganda and firearms won’t bring peace and security to Uganda

Since NRM government and its leader Museveni were identified as the darling of the west, much foreign aid money, experts and firearms have been poured into Uganda. At the same time Museveni agents have poured propaganda into western capitals and the media. It’s now close to thirty years since Museveni captured power by force with external backing financially, politically and diplomatically. Yet, western support appears to be steady, witness Uganda foreign minister’s election as president of the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

I have maintained and still do that unless we come to grips with the real causes of Uganda’s problems, the country will continue to drift towards a revolution and subsequent civil war regardless of external support. There are two principle factors that we must deal with without fear or favor: intra-Nilotic fights for power and Baganda separatist attitude.

Intra-Nilotic fights for control of political power and access to resources

People who have covered Uganda as scholars or general commentators will tell you that Uganda’s main problem is ethnic conflict between Bantu and Nilotic people, the former in southern Uganda and the latter in the northern region. Nothing is farther from the truth. The fact of the matter is that since independence, political struggles have been intra-Nilotic. What Ugandans and foreigners didn’t know is that Tutsi, Bahima and Bahororo in southern Uganda speak Bantu language and carry Bantu names but they are ethnically Nilotic.

It is now well established that their Nilotic Luo-speaking ancestors came from Bahr el Gazal in the southern part of present day South Sudan, the cradle of Nilotic people in Uganda and western Kenya. Because Tutsi, Bahima, Bahororo and Banyamulenge men don’t intermarry with Bantu people, they have retained their Nilotic identity. One of the characteristics of Tutsi (Tutsi, Bahima, Bahororo and Banyamulenge) is their determination to control the political process and stay on top of others. They feel God created them to rule others. It is therefore their birth right. It is for this reason that political fights have been among Nilotic people such as Ibingira and Obote, Obote and Amin (it is reported subject to confirmation that Amin’s father was Nilotic), Obote and Museveni, Museveni and Okello. The current leaders of all major political parties in Uganda – NRM, FDC, DP and UPC are Nilotic. Increasingly in the Diaspora they are beginning to dominate witness the closeness between Sejusa and Amii Otunnu – both of them of Nilotic ancestry.

Baganda separatist spirit

It is well known that Baganda consider themselves separate from others. They have continued to falsely believe the British colonial administration made them a special group even when paragraph three of the Uganda Agreement of 1900 clearly states that Buganda is a province like any other. They rejected participation in Legislative Council (LEGCO) for fear their special status would be eroded. They rejected the 1959 recommendations about the future of independent Uganda. They boycotted the 1961 general elections.

Kabaka Yekka (KY) stated just before independence that unless Buganda and the Kabaka stand above everyone else Uganda will never see peace and prosperity. They facilitated the coup of 1971 and provided guerrilla facilities in the Luwero Triangle to Museveni to topple Obote II regime. In the Diaspora, they demand to lead any organization as was experienced at the Los Angeles conference in 2011. Baganda have established radio stations like radio munansi where you are allowed to broadcast only according to their agenda.

Now Baganda led by London-based Mutagubya, Gyagenda and Sempala are demanding Baganda only independent state. Radio Munansi carries these messages regularly calling on non-Baganda to leave Buganda as was done in 1966 when the Lukiiko decided that the central government should quit Buganda soil. Earlier in 1960 Buganda seceded but had no means of enforcement.

To sum up: unless Ugandans, our friends and well-wishers are ready and willing to address these two challenges head on, money, technology, expertise, propaganda and firearms won’t bring peace, security, stability, dignity, prosperity and happiness to Uganda.

Since 1987 Uganda has been the darling of the West. That has not prevented the country from becoming a failed state vulnerable to domestic and external shocks. Let us be realistic and act before it is too late. Uganda needs a peaceful and inclusive society at the political, economic and social levels. Continued NRM exclusive policies and practices will only consolidate the marginalized into forces that will destabilize the country and possibly worse. Let us be clear about that.

Eric Kashambuzi


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