Saturday, July 31, 2010
The hypocrisy of some Baganda
I find it hard to believe that the Baganda in NRM are really for Kabaka Mutebi and sincerely at heart cherish the Buganda ideals. This is against the background that President Museveni worked with many Baganda to get to where he is. It is hard to believe that it is the same person who approached people mostly in Buganda to give his NRA/M support. The cause for which many people lost lives and a number of those who survived are still waiting for NRM to deliver to them as they lost a lot. We have read what the likes of Owek. Njuba testify that the then Prince Mutebi was convinced to go to the then war areas to induce more support and the deal was to see some federo granted according to the testimonies by those in the know. The likes of Sam Njuba are people who can be trusted when they make this type of tells. It is unfortunate, that the would be good friendship with Buganda has gone to the extent of not only refusing Kabaka to visit people within the Constitutionally recognized part of Buganda but also, after the mess by the central Government which led to the riots of 11 September 2009 and the eventual loss of life and property, Government went a step further to close Central Broadcasting Service (CBS); Government has deliberately held on the monies due to Buganda which is rent dues to the tune not less than shs 9 billion as reported by the Buganda treasury sources! The people have expressed their wish for federo governance on realizing that decentralization the way it is has never been their wish, but NRM Government has denied this right to the people.
It therefore disturbs me and I fail to understand those people who are Baganda, and seem to understand what is going on well regarding the politics of the central government, but are still ready to give the NRM all the support and they at the sametime say; they cherish Kabaka Mutebi and the Buganda institution! These people; I doubt that they are really sincere. If they were sincere to Kabaka Mutebi, they would join opposition forces to see a change. It is clear that as we look for the Promised Land, the NRM is off the course. Can you imagine a country so poverty striken is deploying in Somalia!
It is true that the NRM Government's base is the shedding of blood some of which was of innocent people; time is now to reverse this trend and get a clean regime elected to power through people's votes and not shedding of blood.
I am very sorry for our children and grand children.
God, please remember your people.
The bible says that war is necessary, however, in the Uganda sense, what people expected is not what they are seeing, instead more evil is on ground; surely there is alot of sinning going on, and we need to address this anomaly.
Answer: Many people make the mistake of reading what the Bible says in Exodus 20:13, “You shall not kill,” and then seeking to apply this command to war. However, the Hebrew word literally means “the intentional, premeditated killing of another person with malice; murder.” God often ordered the Israelites to go to war with other nations (1 Samuel 15:3; Joshua 4:13). God ordered the death penalty for numerous crimes (Exodus 21:12, 15; 22:19; Leviticus 20:11). So, God is not against killing in all circumstances, but only murder. War is never a good thing, but sometimes it is a necessary thing. In a world filled with sinful people (Romans 3:10-18), war is inevitable. Sometimes the only way to keep sinful people from doing great harm to the innocent is by going to war.
The Ten Commandments: The Sixth Commandment - Do not murder. In Uganda much of what we are seeing now is murder. The Ten Commandments: The Sixth Commandment - Do not murder. 'You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.' LUKE 6:27-28 " But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you." Who possesses the authority to take human life? Who has the right to make that decision? The emphasis in the Sixth Commandment is on the word you. You shall not murder!
KABAKA COMPLETES BUTAMBALA TOUR - Source: http://www.buganda.or.ug/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1166:kabaka-completes-butambala-tour&catid=41
Friday, 30 July 2010 13:51
Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II has completed his tour of Butambala county with a call for serenity and endurance.
Kabaka Mutebi who has been on a three day working tour of Butambala stressed that it is very important for people to intelligently and patiently pursue their goals and objectives.
He recalled that many people were opposed to the restoration of cultural institutions with some arguing that such institutions would lead to blood shed but due to patience, Buganda Kingdom was restored.
Kabaka noted further that although the Kingdom is currently facing many challenges, people need to be more focused and patiently wait for their success. “Endurance does not mean weakness but a great sign for success”. He stressed.
Ssaabasajja Kabaka has toured Butambala County as part of the celebrations to mark the 17th coronation anniversaries and has engaged in a series of development activities.
On his first day, he toured Budde, Kibibi, Bulo and Ngando where he advised his subjects to strengthen their vigor towards work with more emphasis of agriculture and farming which he said can be exploited to develop and uplift people’s standards of living.
Kabaka was greatly impressed by the farms and various activities that he toured and thanked his subjects for the overwhelming support and the great turn up to welcome him and his cabinet.
On the second day, Kabaka officially opened the trade and agriculture exhibition at Kabasanda, commissioned an immunization exercise at Kitimba Health Centre IV, paid a courtesy visit to Hajji Kaddu Sserunkuuma’s home and Kamugombwa country resort also in Kitimba.
Kabaka later joined thousands of Muslims at Kabasanda Mosque for Juma prayers that were led by the Supreme Mufti Sheik Zubair Sowedi Kayongo.
Monitor, June 9, 2005
Buganda has little to thank the Movement for
I propose to be candid here, in order to put straight matters in which the perpetrators of falsehoods have repeated them so often that they themselves now seemingly believe them. "Great speech sir, the one you made last Saturday!" sang the sycophant to his political mentor. "I particularly admired the straightforward manner in which you twisted the issues!"
I read with consternation, and not without considerable disbelief, the content of the front page report regarding what the President had said about Mengo: clearly meaning the volunteers in the once GREAT Lukiiko and His Majesty's non-salaried ministers: titled "Movement to clean up Mengo" (New Vision, June 1).
Not only was the irony of the Movement government, as we know it today, "cleaning up" (as they are cleaning up the Treasury?) non-remunerated Baganda patriots, such an absurdity; but the forgetful or deliberate manner in which t he President twisted the facts of history, and the profanity of the language used against these Baganda nationalists (dabbed "wolves") was shocking.
Pray, tell me, how does the "wolf pack" of Mengo compare with the huge pride of lions prowling within the walls of the Cabinet room and the clan of majority hyenas gleefully laughing within the Chamber, or the trailing jackals and vultures benefiting from the leftovers of the kill?
NEGOTIATING FEDERO: Katikkiro Ssemwogerere
I have repeatedly said, that I did not take interest in the governance of this country until I entered S4 at King's College Budo in1944, thanks to Mzee Apollo Kironde. I have also said, and reiterate, that I have known no corruption (both graft and embezzlement), no prodigality with public funds, no untruths perpetrated, no malice, no vendetta and no shamelessness as I see under the monocracy of the phantom currently styled the "Movement." For oppression and intimidation Idi Amin and Paul Muwanga only exceed it. So who qualifies to label Baganda, who volunteer to make the best out of a bad job, "wolves"?
At one time I attributed crudity and sycophancy to ill breeding. But then how do we explain the unprincipled comportment of Apolo Nsibambi (said to have been the precentor of the praise songs at the reported meeting) and his relative, New Vision's praise-named "Uganda's leading columnist" extenuating his boss' tactless profanities; both of whose godly fathers (Nsibambi's and Nagenda's) conceived, sowed and spread the seed of Bulokole (Revival) in the early 1930s?
However, Museveni is said to have sounded bitter that his restoration of the Buganda monarchy had not been appreciated. Listen! Truth to tell, Museveni, the self-styled Ssabagabe, has no love for monarchies and monarchs: the reason monarchies should be wary of the ekisanja project.
Those of us mature and attentive enough around 1981-1986 will remember the popular mantra of his warriors: "We did not go to the bush to restore kingships." It did not take his agents long to inform Museveni of the reservoir of votes held by monarchist areas: for him to frantically push for the restoration of kingdoms "where they were popular."
This was about the time the Constitutional Assembly (CA) was preoccupied debating various articles of the Constituti on. Museveni realising that, with the Obote legacy still pervasive, antagonism against kingships in "republican" areas would throw out such proposal. Thus, for self-interest, he audaciously eschewed the abstracted CA and restored Buganda and other kingdoms through the Army Council; for an NRM-dominated CA to endorse later.
Remember too that although Museveni restored kingdoms he did not fund them: so that the former wealthy and autonomous Buganda kingdom, whose ebyaffe have yet to be fully returned, has had to tout the beggar's plate, for gifts from its citizens and well-wishers, through charity certificates: to sustain its bare framework, as the ever-increasing district councils get sufficient funds to spend and or steal.
Whereas the British had prudently arranged districts according to common interests such as language, the president, whenever elections are looming, grants district status at virtually the clan level (including today's rat-chewers): assuredly ta king Parliament's endorsement for granted. Without detailing the costs of running a legion of districts, consider the so many councils from the village to LC5 that we have; you may, however remotely, perceive the vast sea area in which the president fishes for votes.
Remember also, the fairly recent, and hastily withdrawn white paper proposal where his cabinet recommended that kings precariously reign at the whim of parliament where incumbents "violate the Constitution!" That is the love and respect the president radiates towards kings and kingdoms, eh?
Yes, the quest after votes denied highly educated and sagacious John Barigye kingship because leading Protestants, some surfacing from the bush, but still reeking of Ankole UPC's primitive 'science' and 'syndicate' ethnicity syndrome, which had sprouted in 1944, when ethnic majorities assumed advantageous significance, at the birth of district councils, told Museveni the unfounded fib that the majority Banyankore d etested the kingship. Thus Barigye lost out on his throne purely because he was his father's son.
And Ankole missed having the widely travelled king, with the most impressive profile of all regal candidates, as their re-unification hub. Museveni, who swallowed the fib against James Kahigiriza's carefully researched submission, and loves being "winner," organised a meeting of the inventors of the fib and LC5 chairmen at his country home of Rwakitura, where the drilled toadies were "unanimously opposed" to the restoration. Yet Kahigiriza had meticulously paced Ankole and verified that at least the DP majority was largely in favour of restoring the monarchy. I doubt that we have seen the last of this issue!
Yes, the quest after votes, which gave women and youth (constituting the greater nationwide majorities) plus the disabled - and the army, special representation in Parliament: permitting him to bag two birds with one stroke: by gaining their votes and winning world ac claim as leading champion of affirmative action.
Yes, the quest for votes, which gives Uganda relatively one of the largest councils of ministers - and parliament - worldwide; to ensure that every part of Uganda is thankful to him for partaking of the national cake. Yes, the tail-wagging Movement majority parliament, that rubberstamps appointment of discarded cadres as advisers: who may not see, forget meet, the president they "advise" ever.
Indeed, the quest for votes, which spurred H.E. to arbitrarily legislate upon taxes, levied on boda boda riders. And presently abolishing graduated tax without any clear alternative income earner for the numerous districts he is in the process of creating, as he uses state funds to carry out his party's and presidential campaigns in the guise of inspiring "riches for all:" occasionally dragging his office in the murk by donning dry banana leaves, etc, all in the quest for votes.
Reading between the lines one sees that the so called regional "tier" decoy has the effect of firmly placing kingdoms' and federal regions' finances at the pleasure of State House. The President is reported to have said: "Those who have been at Mengo will not be returned - unless they are voted." This is correct: in that they will not be returned.
Indeed the peasants who, for close to twenty years, have been thoroughly brainwashed, by listening to no views except the gospel according to saint Museveni, who gave them sleep - in more ways than one - would never return them. Beware! If Lukiiko elections were held in Buganda today the regimented peasantry might exclusively return Movementists - including the Katikkiro. Buganda nationalists must go out NOW; and tell their people whom their friends and foes are.
Clearly, Buganda and other prospective regional "tiers" have been led down the garden path; and the Mengo team which negotiated with the President betrayed not only the interests of Buganda but of all kingdoms and prospective regions; now going to be virtually under the mercy and control of State House. Now, tell me, what it is that Buganda should feel thankful to the President about!
Space, dictates that we discuss VP Gilbert Bukenya's soap opera, and its social and legal implications, at the next available opportunity; when, time and space permitting, I should also give my perception of the ideal "federo" system, and how a combined opposition may defeat the Movement at the polls.
Security up ahead of Mukono polls
Sunday, 23rd May, 2010
President Museveni (in hat) greets voters in Mukono as Bakaluba Mukasa waves to his supporters
By Moses Mulondo
and John Semakula
AT the end of the Mukono North byelection campaigns yesterday, President Yoweri Museveni ordered for heavy Police deployment to avert any violence.
“I have heard of violent acts against NRM supporters. It is very unwise for anyone to think they can intimidate and fight members of a party whose leader is a chief fighter. We shall deal with them,” Museveni warned as some people cheered “bagambe” (tell them).
The President issued the warning at the Ssaza ground in Mukono town shortly after the NRM candidate, the Rev. Peter Bakaluba Mukasa, told him that a kiosk and car belonging to his supporters had been burnt by Betty Nambooze’s supporters.
Nambooze of the Democratic Party (DP) is Bakaluba’s main challenger. Voting takes place tomorrow.
In Seeta, where Nambooze held her last rally, there was heavy
presence of plain-clothes security personnel, the anti-riot Police and mobile patrol cars.
There are five other candidates in the race. They are Zirimala Kiggundu, Zimula Mukwaya, Charles Jjingo, Michael Mubiru and Pastor Mathew Talemwa.
The seat fell vacant last month when Bakaluba lost a petition in the Supreme Court over election malpractices.
Bakaluba was first elected as MP for Mukono North in 2001. He was re-elected in 2006 but the Supreme Court nullified his election over malpractices.
Bakaluba and Nambooze had competed for the seat in 2006. Bakaluba won by a margin of about 300 votes and Nambooze took the matter to court to challenge his victory.
Museveni returned to Mukono yesterday after campaigning for Bakaluba Mukasa on Saturday in Kyampisi sub-county.
The President promised to compensate people whose property was destroyed in the campaigns. He warned the residents against voting for the opposition.
“Every time you make a wrong choice, you get serious problems. When the people of Buganda made a wrong choice of forging an alliance with UPC, the unfortunate consequence was the 1966 crisis which made them regret.
“Vote for NRM because we are the people who fought for the peace you enjoy. Nambooze and her group contributed nothing. Peace is like oxygen. Until someone covers your mouth and nose, you cannot realise how important it is.”
“Like this Nambooze. She traversed Buganda deceiving the people that I had introduced the land Bill to steal Buganda land yet the purpose of the law was to defend the poor bibanja holders from being evicted. That was hypocrisy. Since we passed the land law, which Buganda land have I stolen?” the President asked.
At around 4:00pm before proceeding to the main rally at Ssaza, Museveni visited Mt. Lebanon Christian Cathedral where Bishop Samuel Lwandasa disclosed that the Pentecostal church leaders in Mukono had resolved to support him for a fourth term in 2011.
“You are the only Ugandan president who has fully supported the growth of Pentecostal churches. We appreciate you for the freedom of worship,” he said.
During the rally at Ssaza ground, Museveni received 180 FDC and DP members who crossed to the NRM.
Bakaluba appealed to the Mukono residents to vote for him and not to “ashame the president who has been a victim of Nambooze’s abusive politics.”
As early as 11:00am, the election fever had gripped Mukono, especially the urban centres. Boda-boda cyclists, carrying placards of their candidates, chorused their party songs and praised their candidates.
Vehicles with blaring music and trucks carrying dance groups criss-crossed the constituency.
“It is now very hard to tell who will win this election because both Bakaluba and Nambooze seem to have a lot of support,” said John Mulinde, a resident of Mukono town.
Museveni's False Promises to Buganda – Source: http://allafrica.com/stories/200908140865.html
15 August 2009
President Museveni met several times with Prince Ronald Muwenda Mutebi, who would later become the Kabaka of Buganda, during the 5-year bush war (1981-1986), and agreed on secret deals - including Federo - in exchange for Buganda's support, senior officials from the kingdom have said.
Now, furious over what they perceive as a "betrayal" of those promises after President Museveni was installed into power, the Buganda Kingdom officials have broken their silence on some of the deals which they claim were agreed between the Kabaka and the President.
Saturday Monitor's Robert Mwanje explores how the royal family and opinion leaders in Buganda were courted by Mr Museveni during the liberation struggle - and how they now claim that the President's failure to honour those promises lies at the heart of the differences between the kingdom and the central government.
A cacophony of joyous shrieks and the beating of traditional drums are expected to set the scene of a musical festival tomorrow as Buganda Kingdom observes the 16th coronation anniversary of Kabaka Mutebi.
Beneath the celebration and festivities, delayed for close to a fortnight over the latest perceived slight of Buganda by the central government, will lie thinly-disguised displeasure and discomfort from the kingdom's dignitaries over unfulfilled promises.
Mengo officials said this week that during the 1981-86 rebellion, which saw the brunt of the fighting take place in Buganda, Mr Museveni secretly met the future king and successfully lobbied for support from his subjects, promising to return the colonial-era privilege of a federal system of government (Federo) once he took power.
Mr Peter Mayiga, the kingdom's information minister, told Saturday Monitor that in the unwritten agreement, Mr Museveni, then a guerrilla leader, also undertook to restore traditional kingdoms abolished by late President Milton Obote in 1966 and return Buganda's properties seized by the central government.
"There was no opportunity of signing a written agreement with NRA since it was a rebel group then. It was illegal according to the Constitution of Uganda," Mr Mayiga said.
The crumble of the Gen. Tito Okello Lutwa-led military junta and NRA's January 26, 1986 capture of power could have helped save rebel collaborators, many of them Baganda, from possible prosecution for treason.
Senior Baganda officials were quickly appointed to government positions and Prince Mutebi was enthroned as Kabaka in 1993, marking the return of traditional kingdoms, albeit as cultural institutions whose leaders were barred from active involvement in politics.
The central government also returned several properties to Buganda, including Bulange, the seat of its government in Mengo, a city suburb, and markets in the city.
Relations have since turned lukewarm and sometimes hostile over the return of the 9,000 square miles of land given to Buganda by the colonial government but appropriated by post-independence governments, and the granting of Federo to the kingdom.
Officials in the kingdom now claim that the two demands are not simply aspirational but were promised to them in exchange for Bush War support. The Regional Tier, proposed by the central government as an alternative to Federo, which would allow willing districts to cooperate on service delivery, was rejected by Buganda but remains on the books.
In an interview with Saturday Monitor, Buganda's Deputy Katikkiro Hajj Nsubuga Nsambu, accused the central government of hamstringing the kingdom's development in order to weaken it and undermine its leadership before their subjects. He said for the unreserved support to the NRA guerrillas, all that Baganda gained was the 1993 symbolic restoration of Kabakaship with no real powers.
Worse still, he said, the central government has maintained a grip on Buganda's vast properties, among them county and sub-county headquarters across the region as well as the disputed 9,000 sq. Miles of land.
President Museveni and the Kabaka at an exhibition. FILE PHOTO
President Museveni's media advisor, Mr John Nagenda, helped arrange some of the meetings between the President and the future Kabaka and confirmed that at least three meetings took place in Kabale, Kilembe-Toro and in Masaka. Mr Nagenda, however, says that the Federo "promise" is being conjured up.
"I was instrumental in bringing the now Kabaka who then was Prince Ronald Mutebi and he was given a warm welcome by the now President," Mr Nagenda told this newspaper by telephone, "But there were no agreements whatsoever." He, however, said he only attended two of the hush-hush meetings and is unaware of specific understandings reached - or breached.
"I personally think President Museveni has played the game very fairly. Both sides have benefited," Mr Nagenda said, without elaborating, and admitted that Prince Mutebi's endorsement boosted Baganda support for the NRA rebellion.
Information Minister Kabakumba Masiko says any agreements reached during the guerrilla war, if at all, have been overtaken by events and Mengo should negotiate with the central government, as suggested by the President, if the kingdom hopes to achieve its goals.
"The bush war was totally different and now the issue is the government. Besides, some of the assets have already been returned," she said.
Although neither the Kabaka nor Mr Museveni have spoken publicly about their secret meetings during the Bush War, the present griping by senior Mengo officials appears to echo the king's displeasure as expressed to trusted courtiers.
With no documentation and witnesses to the so-called 'gentleman's agreement', Buganda kingdom finds itself in a fix - used to mobilise for a war propelling Mr Museveni to State House then nursing the anger of being sidelined from the full feast.
On the other hand, the central government is concerned about what its officials perceive as the increasing politicisation of the institution of the Kabakaship despite the constitutional provisions which bar traditional leaders from engaging in politics.
Cracks in the relationship between Buganda and central government reached a watershed moment in 2007 after Mengo vigorously campaigned against proposed amendments to the 1998 Land Act, which have since been shelved.
The latest conflict revolves around the central government's plans to take over the running of the capital, Kampala, and annex land from surrounding Buganda districts in lieu of ceding control of Mengo Municipality, which contains the Kingdom's historic and other cultural sites.
Mr Medard Ssegona, the kingdom's deputy information minister, said the coronation anniversary, initially scheduled for July 31, was deferred because "we had no reason to celebrate when government was humiliating us", in reference to embarrassing press reports about the Kabaka in government media which the Kingdom blamed on the central government.
President Museveni's spokesman Mr Tamale Mirundi said Mengo and the central government would iron out the differences.
"The two institutions are interdependent," he said. "The President can't decide to leave Mengo and as I talk now fresh talks between the two parties must be going on. It's a must that the President must keep in talks with cultural rulers especially Buganda".
Officials in the Kingdom will hope that lessons are learnt from history and if new talks with the central government are successful, any agreements reached will be written, signed - and honoured.
I’ve never promised federo — Museveni - Source: http://email@example.com/msg15011.html
By Richard M. Kavuma
July 27, 2004
KAMPALA — President Yoweri Museveni told the Buganda delegation on Sunday that at no time during the bush war did he promise Baganda federo. As details of the eight-hour talks at State House emerge, The Monitor has learnt that Museveni also said federalism is not what Uganda needs today. Sources at the meeting, however, quoted the President as saying his strong views did not prevent him from listening to others.
Katikkiro Joseph Ssemwogerere led the eight-member team to negotiate for Buganda’s demands, with federo on top of the agenda. Museveni, who was said to be in a jovial mood, chaired the talks also attended by Prime Minister Apolo Nsibambi, among others.
The talks come after the Cabinet rejected Buganda’s principal demands in its white paper due to go to Parliament as part of Uganda’s constitutional review process.
Hundreds of Baganda federalists demonstrated against the Cabinet and the kingdom has cancelled the annual celebration of Kabaka Ronald Mutebi’s coronation. Nsibambi said the meeting was very amicable and that a lot of issues were clarified.
“A lot of misunderstandings between the central government and the Kabaka’s government were ironed out,” Nsibambi said. He confirmed that the two parties will meet again on Thursday.
Mengo sources said Museveni explained that small countries like Uganda must move towards larger regional blocs, instead of narrow interests within their boundaries. Buganda’s team is reported to have put up a spirited response on federo and the other contentious issues.
“Ssemwogerere said what Museveni wants is what Buganda wants. The only difference is in how to achieve it,” said a Buganda source who attended the talks.
The Katikkiro argued that Museveni’s regional blocs would be shaky if there were scuffles and discontent within the member countries. The Buganda team also made a case for including Kampala in Buganda and the controversial 9,000 square miles of land.
Buganda Cabinet Secretary Charles Peter Mayiga declined to give details.
“We gave Museveni our position on three issues and they are well known - Federo, Kampala and land,” Mayiga said. “They also gave us their proposals. We are going to meet again after consultations,” he said.
Museveni-Buganda bush war deal: Who is telling the truth? - Source: http://www.independent.co.ug/index.php/cover-story/cover-story/82-cover-story/1848-museveni-buganda-bush-war-deal-who-is-telling-the-truth
Tuesday, 29 September 2009 19:08 By P. Matsiko wa Mucoori & Odoobo C. Bichachi
Was there an agreement between rebel leader Yoweri Museveni and Buganda monarchists in the bushes of Luwero as the two fought Milton Obote’s UPC regime in 1981-85?
[Rebel Leader Museveni tours some of the liberated areas.] President Museveni rejects the existence of any such agreement.
“When we triumphed in 1986, the subject of restoring the traditional leaders started coming up. Even in the bush, opportunists like the late Kayiira started bringing it up. In the bush, however, especially during the Kikunyu conference of 1982, the NRM openly rejected Kayiira’s position of talking about monarchies. We said that we were fighting for the freedom of Ugandans; once the Ugandans had got their freedom they would decide on what to do. That was our position. Our major points were captured in the 10-Points Programme.
Therefore, those liars who say that we committed ourselves to monarchism in the bush should be disregarded,” Museveni told the country in his national address after the recent riots across Buganda protesting the blocking of the Kabaka from visiting Kayunga.
Yet many Baganda, especially elders who were part of Yusuf Lule’s Uganda Freedom Fighters (UFF) that merged with Yoweri Museveni’s Popular Resistance Army (PRA) to form National Resistance Army/Movement (NRA/M) insist there were agreements. And that there was not just one meeting at Kikunyu; there was a meeting in Matugga, one in Nairobi, one in London and another in Tripoli, Libya.
“By just talking about the Kikunyu meeting, Museveni is being diversionary because that meeting was with Uganda Freedom Movement (UFM) of Kayiira not UFF. Let him tell the country about what he agreed with UFF,” one of those familiar with the agreements said, adding that the 10-Point programme was actually a 12-Point programme and that some things were left out of the public document because of sensitivity on how the rest of the country would take it.
Be that as it may, nearly everyone who was either party to the UFF-PRA agreements or is privy to the contents of the agreements is so scared and cautious that they only reveal minimum information.
One of them, a senior NRM leader was so terrified and broke down in tears when we asked him about the agreements and what exactly transpired in those early years of the war.
“My colleagues are dead. Do you want me dead too? Please let’s not talk about those agreements now. I have written down everything; my children will publish it when I die,” he told The Independent with tears streaming on his cheeks.
[Kabaka Mutebi ] Even one of Yusuf Lule’s sons, Wasswa Lule, is also guarded about the agreements. Wasswa often travelled with his father and was also privy to what transpired in the London meeting between then Prince Ronald Mutebi (now the Kabaka of Buganda) and Museveni at Yusuf Lule’s residence in London. This is the meeting President Museveni referred to in his speech after the recent riots. But when Wasswa was asked about details of the agreement between NRM and the Buganda fighting groups in Luwero, he remained guarded with his words.
The Buganda-Museveni bush war agreements seem to be at the centre of the current bad blood between the two former allies. President Museveni, according to Buganda, broke the agreements – having only gone half-way – and this is possibly the reason they are unwilling to seriously engage him in talks to reach any further agreements. On the other hand, for two years Museveni has frantically worked the phone to get the Kabaka’s ear. He knows that without Buganda, his grip on power is tenuous. Buganda, arguably, helped him ascend and remain in power for 23 years. He needs it to stay in power and “win” the 2011 elections.
The Independent has not yet managed to get a copy of the UFF/PRA/UFM agreements but has established that copies exist and some of the former UFF operatives and fighters are still alive, including some members of the UFF High Command but all are too scared to reveal anything, let alone talking about the bush war. The late Ahmed Seguya, the first NRA commader was from UFF.
Wasswa Lule came close to revealing anything. He said Museveni and the late Lule agreed on restoring Kabaka and a kingdom with administrative powers. This would imply that Museveni and Lule agreed on restoration of Buganda Kingdom to its federal status of 1966 before Obote abolished the kingdoms.
He however refused to say whether the agreement was verbal or written.
“The people of Buganda did not contract with NRM in the bush for the restoration of a traditional leader as restored, a cultural leader, an Aga Khan, a paramount chief, a traditional chief or village chief. And the 1993 Constitutional Amendment Statute is considered to have been merely a dress rehearsal for greater things to come…. We have never sought for a constitutional cultural head whose existence does not require constitutional recognition. That’s all I can say for now,” Wasswa said.
When reminded that the Kabaka has been restored and is recognised under the constitution, he retorted. “Do you think Lule would sit to discuss obwa Kabaka bwomulujja (a household monarch)? Nobody in their own senses would do that. Kayunga is in Buganda but the Kabaka cannot go there. He can’t go here or there. What type of Kabaka is that? Lule would not discuss restoration of such a Kabaka.”
When pressed harder, Wasswa said he would say more at an appropriate time because “the struggle is gradual.”
The existence of the controversial agreement is also alluded to by a bush war historical Sam Njuba, now MP for Kyaddondo North. He talked of a meeting in Libya during the bush war time. He says this meeting involved various people such as Godfrey Binaisa, Balaki Kirya, the late Andrew Kayiira, Lt. Gen. Moses Ali and others but there was no specific delegation for Buganda nor did they discuss anything particular for Buganda. He says the meeting discussed general issues of a united national front which was to be launched in London. However he added that although there was no specific discussion on Buganda issues, it was generally agreed that the struggle was for correcting mistakes of the past regimes and restoring the constitutional order of 1966.
By 1966 Buganda kingdom was a federal state with the Kabaka as the head.
Njuba could not comment authoritatively on whether in the subsequent meetings in Luwero, Museveni and Lule made an agreement on restoration of the Buganda monarchy. He said he was not part of those meetings but contended that the Baganda groups in Luwero were strong monarchists and they couldn’t have entered an agreement with Museveni that did not involve restoration of federo and the monarchy.
Njuba’s hypothesis was confirmed by an NRA/M bush war historical Hajji Abdul Nadduli, the former Luwero LC-V chairman. Nadduli told The Independent that there was a meeting and an agreement between NRM and Buganda fighting groups in regard to the restoration of the monarchy and federo.
He said all the Buganda fighting groups, be that of Lule or Kayiira wanted restoration of Buganda kingdom and federo. It did not matter which group. Nadduli said that in September 1982, NRA/M and the Uganda Freedom Movement met for a whole week at Kikunyu in Makulubita sub-county, Luwero, and agreed on the restoration of the monarchy. He said they also agreed that after the war they would sit and discuss “federo, the kingship and the like.” He said it was even incorporated into the 10-Point Programme (the NRM’s bush war working document).
He said that there was general agreement that upon capturing power, they would redress errors of the past regimes. He said that under this principle, they agreed on the restoration of the abolished kingdoms, return of their properties and the entity [monarch]. He said this was not only for Buganda but all the affected regions of Uganda which had kingdoms as of 1966.
What does Nadduli say about President Museveni’s statement that NRM never agreed with Buganda to restore the monarchy?
[President Okello Lutwa and Museveni exchange agreement documents at the conclusion of the Nairobi peace talks in 1985. Looking on right is Kenyan President Daniel Arap Moi.] “Then how did the Kabaka come to the bush during the ceasefire between NRA/M and Okello Lutwa group?” he asks, adding “the Kabaka toured Luwero, Mubende, Mpigi, Masaka up to Katonga.”
Nadduli is the only person who was involved in the Kikunyu meeting who said there is a written agreement between the NRM and UFM. President Museveni has maintained that issues of the monarchy and federo came up in several meetings in the bush but there was no written agreement on the subjects. He said he never committed himself on restoring federo nor the kingship. But Nadduli equates Museveni’s statements to Apostle Simon Peter’s denial of Jesus in the Bible on the day he was crucified.
“That’s a Peter’s denial. Do you think when Peter denied that he had ever known Jesus, he was telling the truth? We wrote something on the things we agreed on at Kikunyu. It’s there. Ask the people who were there like [Moses] Kigongo. They have a copy,” Nadduli said.
Hajji Moses Kigongo declined to discuss anything about the agreements with The Independent.
Another UFF veteran who spoke on condition of anonymity said that in the bush, the catchword was “Kabaka ya’tutumye” (we are the king’s agents) and Col. Kasirye-Ggwanga and other Baganda rebel officers went on every peasant’s door telling them this and asking for their support; food or concealment from government troops.
Why Museveni allied with Buganda
[Olara Otunnu] The story of Museveni’s war against Obote II seems to be littered with broken promises, suspicion and betrayal. According to information available to The Independent, Museveni was forced to make alliance with Buganda fighting groups after he found the ground hostile to him, and after he had inexplicably broken an alliance with Uganda National Liberation Front – Anti-Dictatorship (UNLF-AD) forces.
According to our source, before the launch of the bush war on February 6, 1981 Museveni’s PRA was suspposed to attack Kabamba barracks in Mubende with forces of UNLF-AD led by Augustine Kayonga and Chefe Ali which had set up bases in the Rwenzori Mountains. The UNLF-AD Kayonga’s group had been tasked with making all the reconnaissance and attack plans which they shared with Museveni’s PRA, through its commander Sam Magara. Magara and Kayonga had been classmates at Dar es Salaam University and enjoyed good rapport.
On the agreed date, Kayonga brought his forces from the mountains 24 hours before striking time to the rendezvous (tactical base). They were 55 men armed with 15 guns and an RPG which had been given to them by Magara. Hungry and tired, Kayonga’s force waited for Museveni’s group to make contact but they never did. They waited another two days. They lost hope and decided to withdraw to their mountain bases feeling demoralised and betrayed.
[Paul Ssemogerere] Two days after their withdrawal on February 6, Museveni attacked Kabamba, which was a training school, with 40 men armed with 27 guns. The attack was however messed up because Elly Tumwine, who was then a Lieutenant in the national army UNLA, panicked and shot a UNLA sentry who was manning the Quarter Guard, alerting the entire barracks. In the result, a Tanzania instructor who was polishing his shoes in front of his house jumped into the armoury. He started firing from inside and made it impossible for the advancing rebels to break into the armoury. The Tanzanian instructor threw a grenade at the advancing rebels and wounded their commander. The Museveni rebels gave up on the armoury but managed to grab a few guns and supplies in the barracks using their inside collaborators.
Both Augustine Kayonga, who is now a lawyer based in Fort Portal, and Prof. Edward Rugumayo – who together with Prof. Dan Nabudere were the political leaders of UNLF-AD – confirmed the aborted joint attack on Kabamba.
“We were surprised when PRA did not turn up. We thought their commander Sam Magara had got green light from Museveni but it seems there was something we did not know,” Kayonga told The Independent, adding that his group felt betrayed
“They thought that we should not get a boost and that our presence in the Rwenzori or that of any other fighting group was a threat to their quest to get power. He [Museveni] never forgave Magara for giving us an RPG,” he concluded.
Interestingly, this incident has never been acknowledged in NRM’s version of history of the war against Obote II; not even in President Museveni’s book, Sowing the Mustard Seed.
Other mysterious/broken deals?
[Lt. Gen. Moses Ali ] The Independent received that Museveni may have entered into agreements with several other fighting groups opposed to the Obote II regime but interestingly, all the players remain cagey – and some even fearful, suggesting that the agreements were betrayed, the price for pursuing them could be high, or they are not based on solid ground.
For example in a side agreement with then Brig. Moses Ali’s Uganda National Rescue Front (UNRF), Museveni reportedly agreed that Ali would be vice president of Uganda at the rank of General upon capturing power. But this was kept a secret between the two because they did not know how the other fighting groups would receive it given that Ali had served in the much hated Idi Amin regime.
Well, Ali was never appointed vice president and was in the early years of NRM/A arrested for treason. Analysts say this was because he tried to follow up this agreement. Ali, who was recently promoted to the rank of Lt. General and retired, declined to discuss the matter when approached by The Independent.
President Museveni also is said to have made an agreement with the Democractic Party while fighting in the bush and after taking over Kampala. Former DP president-general Paul Kawanga Ssemogerere and its former secretary general Robert Kitariko in the past referred to a “gentleman’s agreement” with Museveni in 1986 which he failed to honour.
When The Independent contacted Ssemogerere about the issue last week, he said it was “a long story and this may not be the right time to discuss the matter,” promising that when he thinks all is fine, he will contact us and tell DP’s story with Museveni.
Museveni also reportedly betrayed a gentleman’s agreement with Olara Otunnu, then Uganda’s ambassador to the UN in 1985. According to Otunnu, Museveni was the second person to call him immediately after Maj. Gen. Bazilio Olara Okello staged a coup against Obote’s second government. Museveni who was then in Sweden informed him that the army had overthrown Obote and that from the information he had, they were planning to call Otunnu and give him the job of foreign minister. Museveni reportedly requested Otunnu to accept the job because he wanted someone serious on the other side with whom to talk peace and fix the country. Otunnu became foreign minister and led the peace talks in Nairobi on the Lutwa junta side. Unknown to him, Museveni was not interested in peace talks and continued organising his forces. It is during this time that Prince Mutebi toured various parts of Buganda and western Uganda which were under NRA control. Eventually, Museveni launched a putsch against the Okello government, overrunning the regime on January 25, 1986 although he declared victory on the following day to avoid a coincidence of the January 25, 1971 when Idi Amin overthrew the Obote I government in a coup.
Can Buganda trust Museveni?
With this background of alleged broken promises, betrayed trust and unacknowledged roles, analysts think it will be difficult for President Museveni to weave another credible and sustainable political alliance with any group especially Buganda. This, they say, explains Buganda’s reluctance to enter any further agreement with Museveni.