Press Releases

UDU Message to Uganda Mothers

On this Mothers’ Day, United Democratic Ugandans (UDU) congratulates and wishes you all the best. We appreciate the work you do often under difficult conditions at home and abroad. You are wonderful mothers and we thank you. Besides motherhood, you have played and – in many cases – championed work in Uganda’s economic, social, cultural, ecological, spiritual and increasingly political areas. The role of mothers in education, healthcare, nutrition and general hygiene through organizations like Mothers Union is particularly noteworthy. Your current struggle to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms has been noticed worldwide and highly appreciated.

From time immemorial mothers have made history and championed major changes of historic significance. Mothers including in France, Russia, United Kingdom and South Africa played vital roles at critical moments in history. One of the reasons for their struggle was to get empowered so that they can participate fully in decisions that affect their lives. The mothers of Uganda need to be empowered with support of the government, development partners and other organizations.

UDU’s National Recovery Plan (NPR) accessible at has accorded gender issues a very high priority. A Department of Gender was created in the UDU Secretariat to ensure that gender issues get all the attention they rightly deserve. The head of the Department is Ms. Dorothy Lubowa.

Once again congratulations and best wishes on this Mothers’ Day.

Eric Kashambuzi

Secretary-General, UDU


Prime Minister Mbabazi on dispossessing Uganda’s smallholder farmers

Upon arrival from Israel, the Prime Minister stressed the need to rid Uganda of subsistence smallholder farming because Uganda can’t always wait for rain to plant. He added that Uganda needs to embrace technology like irrigation. Before he goes any further with this project, Ugandans need the PM to tell the nation:

1. Where he plans to put the dispossessed subsistence farmers. Uganda cannot at the moment cater for the 12 percent of Uganda’s population in urban areas where over 65 percent are herded in slums.

2. The Prime Minister should tell the nation why Uganda is going against small holder farmers that the international community including FAO, World Bank, G8 and the United Nations has agreed to support because they are more productive, more efficient, environmentally and socially friendly than large scale farmers and money has been allocated to support smallholder farmers.

3. Is Israel agricultural technology suitable for Uganda? Has this matter been carefully studied? If so would the Prime Minister publish the reports or give us a link where we can access them?

4. NRM has been talking about droughts and the need for irrigation as a panacea. But this has been more in rhetoric than in action. Are smallholder farmers blamed for lack of irrigation in Uganda? Or are they not capable of using irrigation when irrigation water is available? Can the PM tell the nation what happened to the money that was allocated to construct valley dams to inter alia supply irrigation water?

5. We suggest that the PM visits China to see how small scale farmers have increased agricultural productivity and China is feeding its over 1 billion people and has surplus for export. All this has happened because of appropriate policies initiated by Deng Xiaoping in 1979. Largely because of this agrarian policy and agro-processing, China’s poverty has declined by 90 percent.

6. The PM needs to draw lessons from India on the shortcomings of the Green Revolution. For a start chapter 6 of my book titled “Uganda’s Development Agenda in the 21st Century” might be helpful or visit where there are some articles on Gene and Green Revolution.

7. United Democratic Ugandans (UDU) has prepared a National Recovery Plan (NRP) with an elaborate chapter on agriculture and rural development. The Plan was transmitted to the government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is accessible at It might be helpful.

Ugandans are hurting and demonstrating against the government

The sketchy sad news reaching us through the New Vision report of a police officer killed in the nation’s capital Kampala, use of tear gas to disperse demonstrators and arrest of opposition leaders including the president of FDC and the Mayor of Kampala. Since 2009 demonstrations are increasingly becoming common especially since the fraudulent presidential and parliamentary elections of 2011. It is important to realize that demonstrations take place to register that something is wrong and needs to be corrected by the authorities elected to represent the interests of the people who are sovereign.

In Uganda many things have gone wrong led by corruption and the situation is getting worse. The public’s outcry and advice from other sources have been ignored by the government. The economic crisis and the attendant unemployment of youth, hunger, disease and poverty have reached intolerable levels. The emergence of rare diseases affecting children including the nodding disease and the one deforming children limbs is a cause of deep concern. Market forces and the private sector are not equipped to address all these mushrooming problems. The state has to step in and ease the suffering of the people of Uganda.

So far the government has not done much except to produce some information and data on economic growth to 2010 and economic potential in the oil and tourism industries. The people of Uganda are not “prospering communities” as the Uganda Media Centre press statement of March 9, 2012 claims. Rather, Ugandans are hurting badly and the pain is getting worse. In this environment Ugandans have a right to assemble and express their opinions. The police force is expected to guarantee law and order and use its intelligence to identify and arrest those that cause trouble, not use tear gas to disperse demonstrators. Did those arrested cause the trouble? What Uganda authorities need to understand is that there is a wind of change blowing across the country. Ugandans are shedding fear that has characterized their existence since the 1970s. Tear gas may not be a solution; it could make matters worse.

What is needed is reconciliation: to find a middle ground on a win-win basis. Winner-take-all has lost value, if it had any. Using tear gas by authorities and throwing stones by demonstrators (we need to know who these are) will not solve anything. We need to remind ourselves about what triggered revolutions in France and Russia. The causes included unemployment, poverty, hunger, exploitation of peasants, high taxes and ideas from outside. And all these factors are present in Uganda at the moment. Recruiting more police officers and soldiers and building prisons and safe houses will not solve the crisis. Economic growth with equity, genuine representation in parliament and public service and state participation in addressing these challenges will go a long way in arresting the situation and returning the country onto a path of vibrancy and community prosperity, peace and security for all.

Eric Kashambuzi

Secretary-General, UDU


UDU – Mission and progress report

As 2011 draws to a close, it is appropriate to issue a press release restating the mission of the United Democratic Ugandans (UDU) and reporting activities that were undertaken from July to December 2011.

By popular demand at home and abroad an umbrella organization named United Democratic Ugandans (UDU) was established on July 9, 2011 at a conference hosted by Ugandans to the Rescue in Los Angeles, California, USA.

The mission of the umbrella organization is to harmonize activities of political parties, organizations and individuals at home and abroad opposed to the NRM system and speak with one voice for efficiency and effectiveness.

Conference participants came from the United States, Europe and Canada. Participants came from all regions of Uganda (central, eastern, northern and western).

The conference was convened to establish an umbrella organization; adopt a name for it; elect committee members; and adopt a work plan.

The umbrella organization was established by acclamation. Regarding the name of the organization, many proposals were submitted, followed by voting. United Democratic Ugandans (UDU) got the highest votes and was adopted as the name of the organization.

Delegates nominated eight candidates for the committee to run the affairs of the organization. The eight candidates were then elected by acclamation. They are:

1. Eric Kashambuzi

2. Dorothy Lubowa (gender affairs)

3. Joseph Magandazi

4. John Mayanja

5. Ismael Mulondo

6. Mubiru Musoke

7. Emmanuel Muwonge

8. Fred Ssali (youth affairs).

The committee was directed by the conference to meet separately and elect office bearers in line with the work to be undertaken (draft the constitution, mobilize resources, prepare National Recovery Plan, conduct outreach activities including external and diplomatic affairs and Uganda organizations) and report back to the conference for its necessary action.

The following office bearers were elected by the committee unanimously.

1. Mubiru Musoke (Chairman);

2. Eric Kashambuzi (Secretary-General with inter alia primary responsibility for external and diplomatic affairs);

3. Ismael Mulondo (Resource mobilization);

4. Emmanuel Muwonge (legal affairs with primary responsibility for registering UDU and drawing up UDU constitution and bylaws).

The list of office bearers was subsequently presented to the conference which adopted it by acclamation.

After a lively interactive debate delegates adopted the following work plan for the next three months (July 10 – October 8, 2011);

1. Registration of UDU;

2. Drafting UDU constitution and bylaws;

3. Membership drive at home and abroad;

4. Drafting a National Recovery Plan (NRP) as alternative to NRM policies.

The conference decided that the first UDU conference should be held in Boston (USA) on the eve of Uganda’s independence anniversary on October 8, 2011 to discuss progress on the above work plan and the way forward.

The Boston conference was held at Boston College as scheduled on October 8, 2011.

The overall theme of the conference was “What is Accepted in a Free and Democratic Society”

The first (opening) session was presided over by Dorothy Lubowa. Under this session, Mubiru Musoke, Chairman of UDU delivered a welcome message; Eric Kashambuzi presented the report of the Secretary-General and Haji Sebunya made a statement on behalf of FDC.

The second session on the National Recovery Plan (NRP) was presided over by Prof. Aloysius Lugira. Four themes from the NRP were selected for discussion:

1. “Liberty, Democracy and Good Governance” (introduced by Mubiru Musoke);

2. “Proportional Representation with Emphasis on Gender” (introduced by Dorothy Lubowa);

3. “We are Not Blind” (introduced by Fred Ssali);

4. “East African Cooperation and Impact on Uganda” (introduced by Eric Kashambuzi).

The presentations were followed by a lively interaction by delegates and presenters. They commended the committee for producing an excellent National Recovery Plan with detailed recommendations under each chapter. The plan was endorsed with a recommendation that the deadline for submission of comments should be extended to allow ample time for those who have not done so. The committee extended the deadline to December 31, 2011. A final plan will replace the draft which has been posted at UDU blog

The third and final session presided over by Charlie Lakony was devoted to evaluation of the work undertaken by the committee so far, the conduct of the Boston conference, lessons learned and the way forward.

The debate was very lively and constructive. The conference commended the committee for an excellent performance that exceeded expectations. Apart from presenting an excellent National Recovery Plan the committee transmitted it to the delegates timely – a month in advance of the conference – allowing them ample time to read, consult and make pertinent comments.

The creation of a colorful letter head for the organization and UDU blog were highly appreciated. The committee was called upon to continue to serve UDU.

During the six month period (July-December 2011), the committee has undertaken other activities that were considered topical in its work. Consultations with parties and organizations at home and abroad and development partners were conducted, press releases issued and articles on relevant issues published mostly at Ugandans at Heart Forum and

In the first press release the committee outlined the background to the formation of UDU and its mission among other things.

The committee contributed to the debate on Mabira forest stressing that it is a national treasure and should be preserved for present and future generations.

The committee contributed to the debate on possible environmental impact of oil drilling and processing drawing lessons from the unhappy Nigerian experience. The committee believes an environmental impact assessment should be undertaken (if it has not been) and updated regularly and the reports published for wide readership.

The committee also issued a press release on violation of human rights and freedoms including destruction of urban shelters in a manner considered inappropriate.

Articles on other items of interest were published. The committee made diplomatic contacts that have contributed to actions calling on the NRM government to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms and to govern justly. Vital networks and institutional memory have been established that will enhance UDU’s work in 2012.

UDU was invited to the London conference organized by FDC. We prepared a statement for the conference which has been posted at

The committee (Board of Directors) is putting together a work plan for 2012. It will be made available as soon as it is ready. Meanwhile, the committee urges Ugandans, friends and well wishers to visit regularly for updates on UDU’s activities.

Happy New Year

Eric Kashambuzi

Secretary-General, UDU

For further information, comments or suggestions please contact Eric Kashambuzi at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or telephone number 1 914 699 6132.

Statement on the Gross Violation of Ingrid Turinawe’s Human Rights

Gender Department (UDU)

By Dorothy Lubowa

The rule of law is enshrined in the constitution of Uganda but it is hardly observed by the Ugandan government. Rule of law has beenupheld by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights since 1948 and, as a result, has become a part of international customary law binding on all members of the United Nations including Uganda. Uganda has ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which protects the rights of all Ugandans to associate, assemble and express themselves as they see fit. Ugandan citizens, under the constitution of Uganda and the Convention Against Torture, have a right to be free from torture and inhumane treatment by the officials of their government.

Therefore all women of Uganda, and men who support them,in the international community:

Condemn the behavior of the Uganda Police who tortured IngridTurinawe while illegally arresting her without justifiable cause;

Are seriously disgusted by the silence of the government of Uganda and NRM regime on the issue of abusing women rights by the police;

Are further astounded and enraged by the savage violation of feminine dignity by the Ugandan police who denied committing the atrocities recorded on video available on u tube at;

Demand immediate rectification of all the wrongs committed by the Ugandan Security Forces against innocent Ugandans by arresting and punishing the individuals who perpetrated the illegal acts;

Call upon all people in the world to register their disapproval of this outrageous violation of human rights against an innocent Ugandan women.

We declare this for God, peace, liberty and justice in our country.


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