Thursday, 31 August 2017

#Museveni is smuggling sugar into #Uganda through #Somalia - Raila Odinga

Since 2015 Uganda and Kenya trade relations have been dominated by the ‘sugar politics'.  Kenya has persistently suffered a deficit whereby its local sugar production could not meet the demand. Uganda was cleared to export an average of 9,000 metric tonnes of sugar to the Kenyan market.

However, around late 2016 Kenya blocked Uganda's sugar exports to the Kenyan market accusing it of exploiting regional trade agreements. Kenya claimed that Uganda was simply importing sugar from Brazil and Egypt which is repackaged before being exported to Kenya. Note: Kenya produces more sugar than Uganda but because of poverty, Ugandans consume less sugar than Kenya thus supply in Uganda exceeds local demand. In many Africa governments, affordability of sugar by individual households is a key barometer of an ordinary person's wellbeing.  At the height of the sugar price crisis, a kilo of Sugar in Kenya rose from Ksh. 200 (7,000 Ug shs) to Ksh. 350 (13,000 UG Sh.) and in Uganda it rose from 5,000 to 7,000. This disparity boosted smuggling across the Kenya-Uganda border.

For the last two years now, Uganda has repeatedly and vehemently denied the allegations of sugar repackaging and exporting to Kenya. In July 2017 Museveni ordered leaders of sugar producing districts not to grant any new licences to new sugar factories unless there is sufficient supply of sugarcane. He had earlier decreed that for any new sugar factory to be established anywhere it must be at least 50kms away from an already existing one. This directive was contested by out growers, prompting a bitter row with district leaders. They argued that the directive is unfair as it favours well to do sugar producers and not the ones trying to come in. Museveni is all out to protect the three traditional sugar producers who have sustained his 31 years’ stay in power.  He warned that police would step in "to protect the territorial integrity of sugar factories" if his directive is not heeded.

Last week the proprietor of the newly established Atiak Sugar Factory, Amina Hersi Moghe accused the three leading sugar factories of illegal importation of sugar for resale in order to meet the demands. Her revelation corroborates the earlier argument by Kenya that Uganda was repackaging and exporting sugar imported from Brazil and Egypt. The Somali by origin, recently got a 64M shillings bail out from Museveni before he described her as "a gift from God to the people of Amuru". 

Coupled by her high level political, economic and social connections, the assertion is very credible. On the eve of the Kenya general elections, Raila Odinga told NBS Television that Uganda was exporting to Kenya the sugar it smuggles into the country through Somalia.  Given the Museveni regime's historical reputation of involvement in plundering and illicit trade wherever it has military expeditions, Odinga's assertion could be true. The Old Airport at Entebbe, which is exclusively used by the army, has in the past played a significant role in aiding smuggling. We have heard of commanders selling arms, ammunitions, food and fuel supplies, training for Al-Shabaab etc. and why not smuggling?

change of guards blog

Monday, 28 August 2017

VIDEO: Jamil Mukulu can’t get justice under the #Uganda #Museveni regime - #MuslimPersecution

First published by Change of Guards Blog on June 5, 2015

Who is Jamil Mukulu?
Jamil Mukulu is a Ugandan, Muganda by tribe and a Muslim. He came to prominence in the early 1990s when as a member of the Tabliq sect became one of the outspoken Muslims over the role of Museveni in the killing of Muslims in Mbarara in 1979 and Butambala in 1983. In 1991 the Tabliq sect had had a bloody confrontation with Museveni's security forces commanded by James Kaziini around the Old Kampala Mosque over Muslim leadership wrangles. Jamil Mukulu went into hiding until in 1996 when the ADF rebels struck western Uganda and Jamil Mukulu was alleged to be the leader of the group. With bases in eastern Congo, the ADF managed to survive and in the late 90s, it was about getting accepted in some parts of Bunyoro, Rwenzori and Ankole regions.

The rebel outfit is an alliance of a couple of rebel groups fighting the Museveni dictatorship notably NALU hence tagging it to Islamic fundamentalism is a wrong diagnosis. ADF is alleged to have carried out massacre of innocent civilians in both Congo and Uganda notably the alleged massacre of students of Kichwamba Technical Institute in western Uganda. Recently, it was linked to the spate of assassinations of Muslim Clerics in Uganda in which he is accused with others including the Australian based Cardiologist Dr. Aggrey Kiyingi who is intending to run for the Presidency against Museveni.

Uganda had initiated an Interpol arrest warrant for Jamil Mukulu and the USA had placed him on a sanctions list. Around April 2015 Jamil Mukulu was arrested in Tanzania by the Tanzanian authorities on other grounds since it had not identified him as Jamil Mukulu.

Extraction is a formal legal process by which persons accused or convicted of crime are surrendered from one state to another for trial or punishment. It takes place in accordance with bilateral treaties or multilateral conventions entered into by sovereign states. It is a form of international cooperation in criminal matters intended to promote cooperation in enforcement of criminal justice. However, any extradition law must contain appropriate safeguards for individuals where they would in the event of extradition suffer manifest injustice and oppression.

Many countries have domestic laws governing matters of extradition. In Uganda, it is the Extradition Act of 1964 that provides for matters of extradition. In Tanzania, there are three pieces of legislation that deal with matters of extradition thus:
-  The Extradition Act Cap 368
It applies only where there is extradition agreement with the requesting country. It lists extraditable crimes i.e. Murder and the related offences, injury to person amounting to homicide, abduction, rape and similar offences, narcotics and drugs, damage to property, falsification of currency and similar offences, forgery, misappropriation, fraud, piracy, slave dealing etc. However, it gives exception if the extradition fugitive has committed crimes in Tanzania or is serving a sentence. 

The Act strictly prohibits the extradition of political offenders.  The request for surrender of the fugitive criminal is made to the Minister by a diplomatic representative or by a Consular officer of the requesting country. The Minister may signify a Magistrate that a request has been made and require him/her to issue a warrant of arrest and detention in respect of the fugitive criminal. However, if the offence is of a political nature the Minister may refuse and in the same regard, the Magistrate must adjourn the case and refer the proceedings to the Minister pending his decision.

-   The Fugitive Offenders (Pursuit) Act 57
This Act arises from the East African Community (EAC). The Act enables Police officers of contracting states to pursue within Tanzania fugitive offenders from such countries. In this Act, extraditable crimes are those identified under the Extradition Act Cap 368. The requesting country must have reciprocal provision for it to exercise that right. Under the EAC treaty Article 124 (5), member states agree to enhance cooperation in handling of cross border crime and provision of mutual assistance in criminal matters, including the arrest and extradition of fugitive offenders.

-   Mutual Assistance on Criminal Matters Act Cap 254
This Act arises from the Commonwealth member states. It provides for mutual assistance in criminal matters between Tanzania and any Commonwealth member state. There must be an existence of an extradition pact that binds them in the commonwealth family together with an arrest warrant from Interpol or from the requesting country.

In all the Acts, there must be a functional extradition treaty and the fugitive criminal offender is protected from extradition if the offences are of a political nature and not of criminal act. The criminal fugitive suspect has a right of appeal.

Uganda pushes for extradition
During May 2015 Uganda government lodged an extradition request for Jamil Mukulu through the Attorney General of Tanzania. The application seeks to have Jamil Mukulu extradited to Uganda to face charges of murder and aggravated terrorism. Attached to the application were indictment and affidavit of Uganda's Senior Police Officer SSP Oludu Francis, the Uganda Criminal Procedure Act, a copy of Mukulu's passport with picture and in names of Thomas Rwanga Musisi, arrest warrant issued by Jinja Magistrate court, Interpol arrest warrant, etc.

The matter is being heard by the Magistrates Court in Dar Er Salaam where the Attorney General of Tanzania is leading the petition. After a short delay for the Commissioner of Prisons to grant permission for Jamil Mukulu's Lawyers to access him for an interview, his affidavit countering the extradition application is submitted. In his affidavit, among other arguments, he is supposed to argue that he will not get a fair trial in Uganda if extradited.

Uganda's criminal justice system is incompetent
A recent report by World Justice Project (WJP) ranked Uganda amongst the worst performing countries when it comes to observance and upholding of the rule of law. It is the 95th out of 102 countries; 15th out of the 18 countries sampled in Sub-Saharan Africa and 12th of the 15 low income countries.

Scores and ranking was across eight categories among which is fundamental rights, government powers, regulatory enforcement and government powers. Launching the report, the Founder and CEO of WJP Mr. William Neukon said: "Effective rule of law helps reduce corruption, alleviate poverty, improve public health and education, and protect people from injustices and dangers - large and small."

The government's Human Rights Commission recently released its annual report in which the Army and Police were topping the rights violations. Illegal detention, torture, killing and maiming, and forced disappearances are the order of the day in Uganda under Museveni. In particular, illegal arrest and detention of Muslims of the Salaaf Sect to which Jamil Mukulu belongs for alleged links to rebel ADF is a decade old practice.

Victims are moved to various detention places where their families can not locate them. They are sometimes released without charges and Police often denies knowledge of their arrests. During a recent retreat of local government and intelligence officers at Kyankwanzi, Museveni expressed his disappointment with Police's poor investigation methods accusing them of "not doing enough to interrogate suspects in the murder of Muslim clerics." It has been widely reported in the local Uganda media houses that Museveni is irking to personally interrogate Jamil Mukulu once he is extradited to Uganda!

Since when did a head of State interrogate suspects or he wants to hold talks with him as earlier advised by Tanzania's Jakaya Kikwete? Since government has not come out to deny it, it can be taken as the true. A case in point is the recent escape from illegal detention of five victims four of whom were linked to terrorism related charges. They had been held in the notorious Kireka based Special Investigations Unit (SIU) since 2012. The four Ugandan victims had been arrested from the Rwenzori and Bukwo region on suspicion of being linked to rebel ADF.

The fifth victim was a Rwandese senior army officer Brigadier Rutinywa who had been held for over two years without trial on suspicion of having illegally entered the country with the intention of destabilising Rwanda. In spite of the existence of an extradition agreement with Rwanda, the Brigadier was not handed over; leave alone his anti-Rwanda political activities for which he deserves protection.

Brigadier Tomas Kwoyelo
Is a former commander in the LRA rebel group who was captured in 2008. Like others before him who were even more senior, he applied for amnesty under the Amnesty Act. In 2010 the Amnesty Commission forwarded his application to the DPP for consideration. The DPP did not respond but instead charged him with murder. Kwoyelo petitioned the Constitutional Court seeking a declaration that he was being discriminated since his colleagues like Brig Kenneth Banya and others had earlier been granted amnesty.

The Constitutional Court ruled that he had indeed been discriminated contrary to Article 21 of the constitution. The AG appealed to the Supreme Court which in April 2015 ruled that Brig Tomas Kwoyelo should stand trial in the Internal Criminal Division (ICD) of the High Court arguing thus: "it is immaterial that other persons with similar circumstances to the application have been granted amnesty because each case is decided on its own merits."

 James Katabazi Vs Secretary General of EAC and AG of Uganda - 119 (EAC 2007)
The above ground breaking case highlights the sad picture of Uganda's criminal justice system with regard to political opposition to Museveni's military dictatorship. Katabazi was arrested in 2004 with others over allegations that they were members of the rebel PRA that had been linked to opposition leader Dr. Besigye. As usual they were detained without trial till 06 November 2006 when the High Court granted them bail but before they could get their freedom the regime unleashed armed commandos who surrounded the High Court, threatened the Judges before re-arresting the suspects and remanding them again.

On 11th November, the same suspects were taken to the Court Martial and charged with terrorism and illegal possession of firearms. The Uganda Law Society petitioned the Constitutional Court seeking a declaration that the act of re-arresting and charging the suspects before the Court Martial was unconstitutional. The court made a ruling in favor of the petitioners but the regime refused to comply thus the detainees petitioned the East African Court of Justice.

The respondents conceded the facts as pleaded by the petitioners but pleaded that the deployment of security at the High Court was meant to prevent them from escaping to resume rebellion and that their re-arrest was for purposes of ensuring that they answer to charges of terrorism and illegal possession of firearms before the court martial. The EAC Secretary General initially claimed ignorance about the incarceration of the claimants but was reminded by the claimants' Legal team that under Article 71(1) (d) of the EAC treaty one of the functions of the Secretariat of which the SG is the head is to undertake either on his own initiative or otherwise of such investigations, collection of information, or verification of matters relating to any matter affecting the community that appears to it to merit examination.

Court ruled thus: ".... if is immaterial how that information comes to the attention of the Secretary General. As far as we are concerned, it would have sufficed if the complainants had shown that the events in Uganda concerning the claimants were so notorious that the 1st respondent (Secretary General) could not but be aware of them."

The EAC had not concluded the necessary protocol giving the court jurisdiction to entertain matters of human rights. However, court reflected a bit on the objectives of the EAC as set out in Article 5(1) (2) and (3) on legal and judicial objectives. Article 6(d) rule of law - promotion and protection of human and peoples’ rights in accordance with the provisions of the African Charter on Human and peoples' rights. Article 7 on rule of law, social justice and the maintenance of universally accepted standards of human rights. The court concluded that it would not assume jurisdiction but would not also abdicate from exercising its jurisdiction of interpretation under Article 27(1).

It ruled thus: "We on our part are alarmed by the line of defense offered on behalf of the government of Uganda which if endorsed by this court would lead to an unacceptable and dangerous precedent, which would undermine the rule of law."

The petition succeeded but the regime in Uganda refused to comply and continued to hold the victims in illegal detention until some of them died in detention (Kifefe - brother of Dr. Besigye) and others sought Amnesty. Capt. James Katabazi - the lead petitioner died last week in a motor accident.

Jamil Mukulu if it is true that he was the leader of the ADF rebels was pursuing a political goal of dislodging the Museveni dictatorship. Therefore, he can not only be extradited but qualifies for Amnesty under the Amnesty Act like many others who have benefited after committing worst crimes in pursuance of a political goal. If Museveni manages to have Jamil Mukulu extradited from Tanzania by whatever means, it will set a very dangerous precedent for Ugandans who are struggling to free themselves from his 30 years of military dictatorship.

Unfortunately, because of the terror link, Ugandans have shied away from decampaigning the impending extradition of Jamil Mukulu yet they strongly believe he like other Ugandans can not get justice because of his political belief. This is not to tolerate impunity; and there is a high possibility that Jamil Mukulu may have committed the alleged crimes but he remains innocent until proved guilty by a competent and impartial court of law which is not present in Uganda under Museveni.

change of guards blog

Who are these #Rwandese being deported from #Uganda?

On the morning of 15th August 2017, a joint army and police security operation blocked vehicles along the Isingiro-Mbarara-Masaka highways in which 95 Rwandese children and adults were netted. By the evening
of the same day, all the 95 people had been ferried to the Uganda-Rwanda border post in two hired buses. The press was highly stopped in covering this operation. The army's 2nd Division Intelligence Officer (I.O), Fred Mushambo said that the arrested lacked ID documents before adding that if they were to conduct a countrywide operation, thousands of Rwandese would be netted. However, other reliable sources indicated that the arrested and deported Rwandese had the required national IDs and entry coupons and that is why they could not be taken to court.  

Why were these particular travellers of that day hastily targeted when, as put by the I.O, tens of thousands of Rwandese are illegally residing in Uganda?  A look at their physical appearance (pictured) gives the answer. Could the victims have been fleeing gross repression and economic hardships in Rwanda? In some instances, it is a state policy for Rwandese to migrate in order to ease the pressure on limited land and other resources and Uganda has been the top most destination.

On 1st January 2014 Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda under the auspice of their Coalition of the Willing (COWI), entered into a pact that allows free movements of their citizens among their three countries. It allows for the use of their respective National ID documents as travel documents to be presented to an Immigration Officer at the border post who in turn issue a stamped coupon as an entry permit. Statistics show that at it’s inception (January 2014 - June 2015) by using ID/students Cards, 1.311,827 Rwandese travelled to Kenya and Uganda while a total of 256,691 Kenyans and Ugandans travelled to Rwanda during the same period.

Through the 1995 Constitution, Museveni recklessly granted Ugandan citizenship to all Rwandese.  In pursuance of this golden opportunity, the Rwanda's Constitution allowed Dual Citizenship to its people. On 10th April 2016, the then figurehead Minister of Internal Affairs, Rose Akol ordered Rwandese nationals holding Ugandan national IDs to surrender them. She said; "There is still a big number of Rwanda nationals possessing our national IDs; the high number of illegal immigrants has increased pressure on the economy." 

The Immigration Officer at Mirama Hill, Stephen Mutambi also disclosed that some Rwandans are using Uganda IDs to enter the country while others were using illegal routes such as River Kagera. He further said; "Apart from those that possess two IDs and are Ugandans, there are those using illegal routes like R. Kagera, especially when the water levels have reduced."  Why would some one take the trouble to use risky and illegal routes when there are no restrictions at the official entry and exit points???  Why would an immigration officer contend that "...those that possess two IDs and are Ugandans"!!!!! No wonder, the following month Minister Rose Akol was sacked because she had questioned the Rwandese possession of Ugandan IDs.

In January 2017 the police in Kabaale rounded up and deported eight Rwandese sex workers whom they accused of stealing from their clients. Since time in memorial Rwandese sex workers are renown for flocking into Uganda for sex business. It’s not by coincidence that last week it was reported that the police chief, Gen. Kalekyezi had hired sex workers at 200,000 to each of the 200 sex workers in order to boost his spy network.

Early this month 9,674 Rwandese in Uganda cast their vote in Rwanda's general elections at the Rwandese Embassy in Kampala. Of these, 9,554 (99.08%) voted for Paul Kagame. These voters came from different parts of Uganda. Of course, many more tens of thousands of Rwandese who do not wish to be publicly identify as Rwandese did not show up.

On 4th August 2017 the army under Col. Joseph Balikudembe led an operation in Mubende to violently evict illegal gold miners.  The army claimed that the mines had become a hub for illegal immigrants including Rwandese and their genocidal Interahamwe rebel group.

On 10th August 2017 a Rwandese National, Reno Rutagugira resident in Kampala was kidnapped and held by Uganda's CMI operatives under Capt. Agaba. He is accused of having been a Rwanda government spy in Uganda who has been instrumental in hunting down suspected Rwandan dissidents in Uganda. The Rwanda Embassy has come out to say that the victim had lived in Uganda with his family since 2014 as a businessman and that he was being held by CMI.

Is it the Gen.Tumukunde and Gen. Kalekyezi power struggle at play or a resumption of the Kagame and Kaguta power ego of the Congo War? However, what is clear is that Museveni's constitutional provision granting citizenship and the COWI free movement of citizens’ pact have come back to haunt him and the country at large.

change of guards blog

Sunday, 27 August 2017

PICTURES: #Uganda's #Museveni is fidgeting with birth, baptism dates to conceal his #Rwandese ancestry

Early this month, Museveni was at a local Anglican Church in Ntungamo where he excitedly claimed to have discovered his baptism records of 3rd August 1947.  He remarked thus; "I thank God for the 70 years I have spent baptised because those are many years, and yet I am still strong."  He went ahead to reveal that his date of birth is September 1944 before further revealing that; "I was born at Mbarara Hospital when it was still at the current Municipal Council offices; it had not been shifted to where it is now. When I went back to look for my Birth Certificate, I couldn't find it there. When I started asking old people they told me I was born in September 1944."

The above revelation comes at a time when the debate over the lifting of the 75 years, constitutional age limit has gained momentum. As usual, gullible Ugandans jumped into conclusion that he is trying to circumvent that obstacle but forgot that being born in 1944 means that by the time of the next elections in 2021, he would be above 75 years. The big question is; what did he intend to achieve from this discovery?

Ever since he embarked on his Presidential ambitions more than four decades ago, his citizenship has always been under scrutiny.  He claims to be a Ugandan of Banyankole tribe and a Muhima by ethnicity.  During the 1980 elections, the Bahima in his adopted home of Nyabushozi branded him a Munyarwanda immigrant before totally rejecting him in favour of Sam Kuteesa of the D.P.  When Museveni took to the bush for his guerrilla war he accorded preferential treatment to the Banyarwanda refugee fighters - a factor that was later on to breed a lot of friction within the NRA ranks.

Immediately after taking over power in 1986, he enacted an Anti-Sectarian law with the sole aim of deterring whoever would attempt to question the presence and dominance of Banyarwanda in the rank and file of his NRA. Shortly after, he repealed the citizenship law that required proof of ancestry as a qualification for Ugandan citizenship.  Previously, one was required to prove that at least one of his/her grandparents had been born in what became Uganda prior to the 20th Century.    He instead decreed that all one needed was to prove that he/she had been residing in Uganda for five years. The decree attracted a lot of public outcry that forced him to reverse the law. In 1994 while addressing a public rally in Gulu, students of St. Catherine Girls' Secondary School publicly called Museveni a Munyarwanda; they shouted ".... look at him, he is a Munyarwanda proper."  Museveni retorted thus; "...these girls are saying I am a proper Munyarwanda. Maybe they bore me and they are in a better position to explain to us."

In 1995 he succeeded in including the Banyarwanda to the list of indigenous tribes of Uganda making every Munyarwanda on planet earth a Ugandan. He did so in preparation of grounds for the central role the Banyarwanda were to take in his life presidency scheme. In May 1997, the then M.P Makindye, Hon. Nsubuga Nsambu at a public gathering warned Museveni against land grabbing by referring to him as a 'Mujja na nyina' (a kid who is already born at the time the mother gets married to another man).  He was arrested and detained for two days and later charged with sedition but in September 1997 the charges were withdrawn.  This incident marked the phasing out of the common reference to his young brother, Gen. Saleh as "Museveni's half brother". 

All along, Ugandans have never interrogated as to why for many years Gen. Saleh had been referred to as Museveni's half brother. The rumour had been rife that the young Museveni had come with his mother before she came to be married to Amos Kaguta who fathered Gen. Saleh. It was until he came to power that Museveni adopted the third name, Kaguta.

In 2009 Museveni amended the Citizenship and Immigration Control Act S.12 to provide for citizenship by birth for anyone born in Uganda whose parents or grandparents is or was a member of the indigenous tribes existing in and residing within the boundaries of Uganda as at the 1st February 1926, Banyarwanda inclusive.  The amendment went ahead to grant citizenship to anyone born outside Uganda one of whose parents or grandparents was a citizen of Uganda by birth. S.4 (b) grants citizenship to anyone who has continuously lived in Uganda since 9th December 1962. S.14 (2) (b) grants citizenship to any person who has legally and voluntarily migrated to Uganda and has been residing in Uganda for at least twenty years on top of other requirements like a good command of the English language or 'a prescribed local language'.

A further amendment under S.14 (1) (a) (ii) sought to eliminate Rwandese Hutu refugees from accessing citizenship thus; ".... every person born in Uganda who at the time of birth neither his/her parents and none of his/her grandparents was a refugee in Uganda."  At the time, Uganda was no longer a host to Banyarwanda Tutsi refugees but only Hutu and the few Tutsi who still come in as refugees are simply forcefully returned to Rwanda to face severe persecution. In the 2013 National Land Policy Museveni strongly condemned those who classify "cross border population movement as refugees or internally displaced people because of shared common heritage and culture." Since then Rwandese Tutsi have been flocking different parts of Uganda under the guise of being nomadic pastoralist Balalo in a well orchestrated land grabbing scheme under the guise of the search for pasture.

There is growing debate over the immense powers wielded by Banyarwanda under the Museveni regime.  The most current debate has been triggered by a revelation over how Museveni failed to attend university at Makerere University. It has been revealed that in the late 1960s Museveni failed to rise the required ten Graduated Tax tickets from his father. The then Central Scholarship Committee had that as a mandatory requirement to prove the applicant's citizenship, belonging and locality since its only Ugandans who would pay that tax. The then President Obote is said to have attempted to influence the committee in favour of Museveni thus; ".... I want him to join Makerere University because he is one of my UPC Youth Wingers who qualifies but he can not meet the requirement of ten Graduated Tax tickets."  The committee is said to have stood its ground prompting Museveni to send Museveni and fur other youths to Tanzania's Nyerere for help in having them study at Dar Es Salaam University.

On 8th November 2002 while addressing a three days’ regional integration symposium in Kampala, Museveni dismissed concerns of a conspiracy by some communities to create or revive a Hima/Tutsi Empire in the region. However, he disclosed that he "had learnt of the alleged conspiracy sometime back when Mwalimu Julius Nyerere when he sent me a message about it.  Nyerere said that the conspirators were some communities in Uganda and Rwanda."  Museveni further remarked that; "It is true that there are communities in the region that go by those names or their variations.  The Hima in Uganda, the Hema in Congo and the Tutsi in Rwanda."  On 29th January 2012, Museveni and Kagame convened a meeting at State House in Kampala with Banyarwanda in Uganda to iron out their leadership wrangles between Dr. Eric Kamuhangire (Museveni's Senior Advisor on Culture) and tycoon Donant Kananura.

It is not by coincidence that Museveni has stuck to his guns in continuing to have Gen. Kalekyezi as his defacto Vice President despite his gross failures.  In the mid 1950s, Gen. Kalekyezi's father, John Kale stole 30 guns and hundreds of ammunitions that he intended to use against the government. He was arrested by the colonial authorities and deported to Rwanda. Who is fooling who!

change of guards blog

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

PICTURES: Behind #Museveni's u-turn on statutory agencies/authorities - #Uganda

When Museveni took over power in 1986, he inherited a vibrant public service and sound government infrastructure. It’s only the army that he had successfully dismantled. He came into office with a biased mindset that the officials manning the different government structures owed their loyalty to the previous regimes. He was therefore concerned over how to bring into the public service his regime cohorts. To overcome this hurdle, he went ahead to discard some statutory bodies like Lint Marketing Board, Coffee Marketing Board, UEB, URC, NYTIL, National Parks and Game Departments, Customs, Uganda Airlines, etc. and instead created new ones to run parallel to Ministries.

Consequently, over 40 statutory bodies have been created during his 31years’ hold onto power. These agencies and authorities have been attracting huge funding from both the central government and external donors. Museveni has been the sole appointing authority for the top executives of these agencies who in turn have been recruiting and firing staff as opposed to the public service standing orders. Museveni has directly been sending individuals to these agencies to be employed as top and middle cadre staff and that is why they are dominated by people from his home region and a few regime cohorts from other regions. The mode of recruitment has been based on patronage - 'who knows who.'

Their salaries and emoluments are high above the salary structure of mainstream public servants. The Executive Director of URA's monthly salary is equivalent to the monthly salary of 12 Doctors in a government hospital while the salary of a driver in URA is equivalent to the monthly salary of three Doctors in a government hospital.

These agencies/authorities have been agents of theft of public money and land grabbing. The people from those tribes who are dominating them have accumulated immense wealth that will sustain them and their generations to come. The recent discovery by Ugandans that Museveni had dished out 6b shillings (US$ 1.7m) to a group of 42 public servants who are also among the best paid in the country, ignited a serious debate on wanton sectarian and patronage driven misuse of tax payers' money. It brought into question the disparity in remuneration prompting Museveni to order for putting in place a Salary Review Commission. The agencies have always been more funded and facilitated than their mother ministries.

By making a sudden about turn and questioning their relevancy and efficiency, he is attempting to diffuse the rising tempers by pretending to do away with these agencies yet in actual fact he is
intending to push his people who have been manning them into mainstream public service through the back door.

Most of these agencies and authorities have been involved in heinous crimes against Ugandans:
·        NEMA has presided over destruction of wetlands
·        NFA has facilitated the destruction of forests and land grabbing
·        NDA is responsible for the lack of drugs in public hospitals
·        UWA is reputed for stealing tons of ivory from their custody
·        FIA is responsible for the chaos in financial institutions
·        UIA is responsible for fake investors who provide the cover for land grabbing and the list is endless. 

It is these atrocities that Museveni is trying to cover up from public scrutiny and possible legal proceedings.

When the opposition leader, Dr. Besigye was rigged out of the February 2016 general elections, he threatened to form a parallel government.  He mentioned disbanding and restructuring of these bogus agencies/authorities which to this date remains top on his agenda. Somehow Museveni got to know about it and he is now trying to act smart.

The regime is financially bankrupt and on top of the money generated by the presence of refugees and the Somalia Peace Keeping Mission, it intends to tap into and take direct control of the external funding for some of these agencies.

Otherwise, if Museveni is serious with cutting the cost and ensuring efficiency, he would reduce the size of his over 75 Cabinet Ministers, over 400 Members of Parliament, over 130 District Commissioners, over one hundred useless Presidential Advisors, etc.  Not to mention the sacks of millions of tax payers' money that he dishes out at public functions.  It is through the same method of creating parallel units that he has managed to undermine the performance of the armed forces and other security agencies.

Once again, Museveni has duped gullible Ugandans and they preparing to resume their deep slumber.  By the time they wake up again, it will be around the next elections season and he will have prepared another doze of anesthesia. Moreover, at the end of the day his strategic agencies/authorities will remain intact.


Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Why #Muslim leaders are killed in #Uganda - #Islam #HumanRights

First published by Change of Guards Blog on July 7, 2015
Around 1844 Arab traders from the coast of present day Tanzania reached the Kingdom of Buganda and brought with them the religion of Islam. They were coming from Unguja (Zanzibar) Island and in Mengo the capital of Buganda they set up their base at a place that came to be known as Lungujja. This was during the reign of Kabaka Suna II who embraced Islam though he could not be circumcised owing to Buganda tradition of the Kabaka not shading blood.

Kabaka Suna II was succeeded by Kabaka Mutesa I who became Imam after declaring Islam as the official religion of his kingdom. He was also not circumcised and in 1976 arrived Moslems from Sudan who criticised other faithfuls for being led by an uncircumcised Imam/Kabaka. These new entrants instigated a rebellion against the Kabaka that saw 140 local Muslims being executed on orders of the Kabaka.

It was amidst that dilemma that the first European explorers arrived at the King's palace and he wrote a letter to England inviting Christian missionaries into Buganda. In 1877 the first Protestant missionaries arrived followed by the Catholics in 1879. The King allied with the Christian missionaries thus replacing Islam with Christianity as the state religion in Buganda. Muslim influence in the palace was contained but till his death Mutesa I had not denounced the Islamic faith. His step brother Prince Nuhu Mbogo remained a committed Muslim.

When Kabaka Mwanga II fell out with the Christian missionaries and executed local Christian converts, he was deposed. His brother Kiwewa was installed as the Kabaka but was soon replaced by Kabaka Kalema who professed the Islamic faith and accepted to be circumcised. His reign witnessed the first Muslim Katikiro (Prime Minister) Abdu Kadir Kyambade. Soon after Christians united with the traditionalists and deposed Kabaka Kalema, expelled Muslims from the palace, and exiled prominent Muslims from Buganda. Prince Nuhu Mbogo was exiled in Bunyoro while other Muslims took refuge in Ankole. The Muslims continued to regard Prince Nuhu Mbogo as the King of Muslims in exile.

In 1890 when the IBEA took over the administration of the territory, Capt. Lugard persuaded Prince Mbogo and the sons of Kalema to return to Buganda. Instead upon return Prince Mbogo was detained and the Muslims attempted to regain power using Sudanese and Egyptian troops. The scheme was foiled and Prince Nuhu Mbogo was exiled to the Seychelles Islands till 1898 when he returned from exile. The 1900 Buganda agreement allotted only one county of Butambala to Muslims out of the 20 counties that made up Buganda at the time. Prince Nuhu Mbogo was released and recognised at the leader of the Muslims. He was given 250 Pounds pension and 24 sq. km of land on behalf of Muslims. In 1921 Prince Nuhu Mbogo died and was succeeded by his son Prince Kakungulu as the leader of the Muslims.

A county chief of Butambala challenged Prince Kakungulu's leadership credentials prompting the later to go to Zanzibar for religious studies. Soon a wrangle erupted among the Muslim community based on the Juma and Zukuli prayers. It took the intervention of Mecca for the two groups to co-exist. Again, another wrangle over Juma Nkade and Juma Mpya cropped up with the former opposed to the Matali and Hadith.

Juma Nkadde established its headquarters at Bukoto Nateete mosque with prominent leaders such as Abdu Kadir Mbogo and Mugenyi Asooka and came to be known as the African Muslim Community Juma Sect. The Juma Mpya was led by Prince Badru Kakungulu and Muhamad Ssemakula and came to be known as the Jamiatil Islamia with its headquarters at Kibuli Mosque. It advocated for the citing of the moon first before starting to fast and also it celebrated Idd. Because of its links with the royal family, Juma Mpya got closer to the political powers of the time.

After independence in 1962, the Kabaka of Buganda who was also the President helped the Kibuli faction of Jumiat Islamia to become Uganda Muslim Community (UMC) to cater for all the Muslims of Uganda. After the events of 1966, President Obote used the educated non Baganda Muslims to form National Association for the Advancement of Muslims (NAAM).

This brought on board the likes of Abasi Balinda, Adoko Nekyon, and Ishak Magezi on one hand and the likes of Sheikh Obed Kamulegeya, Swaibu Ssemakula, Abu Matovu and others. UMC remained attached to the royal family, elderly and the uneducated. In 1968 UMC clashed with NAAM at Kemishango in Kajara, Ankole where by Idd Kawaganya (father to Imam Kasozi) and Dauda Moshi (son of Mutasa) were killed by the Police that was commanded by Rwakanengyere (father of Kale Kayihura - Museveni's IGP) and the government official Abasi Balinda.

In 1972 under the reign of President Iddi Amin, a national conference convened in Kabale whereby Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) was born. Its constitution was formulated whereby among other provisions Muslims in Uganda were to be led by a Chief Khadhi. UMSC was registered as a company that could sue and be sued. Sheikh Abdu Razak Matovu was elected as Chief Kadhi with Sheikh Ali Kulumba as Deputy Chief Kadhi. UMSC took up Old Kampala mosque as its headquarters. In 1973 Sheikh Abdu Razak Matovu was replaced by Sheikh Sulaiman Matovu till 1978 during the war when he resigned. Haji Mufanjala took over as Acting Chief Kadhi.
During that time (1972 - 1978) Islam in Uganda enjoyed unity and progress. It acquired land, property, factories, Headquarters at ld Kampala, Registered with OIC, Iddi was celebrated on same day by all Muslims, and scholarships for Muslim students were available. However, Muslims in some parts of Ankole and Buganda suffered gruesome reprisal attacks following the overthrow of Iddi Amin.

The post Iddi Amin UNLF government sought to reconcile with Muslims over atrocities meted against them during the war: Prince Badru Kakungulu recommended Sheikh Kassim Mulumba as the new Chief Khadhi. At a Mauledi in Mbarara, Sheikh Kasim Mulumba cited the slaughter of Muslims at Kiziba and declared that the liberation had come finish Muslims.  In 1980, Sheikh Mulumba refused to organise elections and instead Prince Badru Kakungulu organised a meeting at Makerere University where a new team of leaders was put in place with its headquarters at Kibuli.

At the meeting a new position of Mufti was created and occupied by Sheikh Abdu Razak Matovu. Sheikh Obed Kamulegeya was made the Chief Kadhi, and Prince Badru Kakungulu made the Chairman of UMSC. A rivalry ensued and in 1982 the matter was referred to the Muslim World League which ruled that the two factions should merge. Sheikh Abdu Rizak Matovu came in as Mufti, Sheikh Kassim Mulumba as Chief Khadhi, Sheikh Obed Kamulegeya as Chairman and Issa Lukwago as Secretary General.

Sheikh Kassim Mulumba was replaced by Sheikh Obed Kamulegeya as Chief Khadhi. Sheikh Kassim Mulumba insisted that he was the rightful Chief Kadhi and set up his headquarters at Masjid Noor Mosque on William Street. Sheikh Obed Kamulegeya using his old connections with President Obote (during the days of NAAM in the 1960s), chased Sheikh Kassim Mulumba from William Street but he instead relocated to Rubaga road mosque where he continued to thrive on the political support of UPC's Paulo Muwanga.

The 1985 military coup of the Okellos took place when the two rivaling Muslim leaders were in Mecca from where they agreed to unite. Upon return from Mecca, Sheikh Mulumba chased Sheikh bed Kamulegeya from the UMSC headquarters at Old Kampala. Sheikh Obed Kamulegeya appealed to the Muslim World League (MWL) who ruled that the two should step aside to pave way for election of new leaders. An interim leadership saw Sheikh Rajab Kakooza as Chief Kadhi, Alhaji Ntege Lubwama as Secretary General and Sheikh Ibrahim Luwemba as Deputy Chief Kadhi.

Later on, Sheikh Rajab Kakooza organised elections that saw Sheikh Luwemba become the Mufti and Ali Ssenyonga as the Chairman UMSC. The Prince Badru Kakungulu faction led by Abu Mayanja proposed that the elections be nullified on grounds that Sheikh Luwemba had no qualifications. Sheikh Rajab Kakooza allied with the Tabliq Salaf sect and refused to hand over office. Sheikh Luwemba set up his headquarters at Rubaga Road Mosque before going to court. In 1991 court ruled that Sheikh Luwemba's certificate in Islamic law from Libya was the equivalency of the constitutional Degree in Islamic Law. The Tabliq stormed UMSC headquarters at Old Kampala but were neutralised by the NRA MP under the Command of then Maj James Kaziini.

Sheikh Ibrahim Luwemba took office at UMSC headquarters at Old Kampala while the defiant Sheikh Rajab Kakooza moved and set up headquarters at Kibuli Mosque. It is during Luwemba's tenure that with guidance of the central government some UMSC property was returned to the Indians. In 1993 Museveni initiated a Muslim Unity and Reconciliation Conference that was overseen by Prof George Kanyeihamba. During the sessions in Kampala and the follow-up meeting in Mbarara, it was resolved to drop both Kakooza and Luwemba and instead Sheikh Ahamed Mukasa was elected as Mufti and Deputised by Sheikh Zubair Kayongo (both from the Kibuli faction).

Museveni rejected the elections arguing that he had expected the assembly to make recommendations instead of electing new leaders. A swearing in ceremony slated for the Clock Tower grounds was stopped by the Police under the directive of then Vice President Samson Kiseka. The function went ahead at Wandegeya mosque and the Sheikh Mukasa faction established its headquarters at Kibuli mosque. Sheikh Kakoza's reign had ended but it gave rise to the fresh Mukasa - Luwemba rivalry. The Museveni regime recognised both such that on one occasion during a public function where both had been invited they had to fight over a microphone.

In 1997 upon the death of Sheikh Luwemba, he was replaced by Sheikh Semakula. In 2001 the two groups agreed to hold general elections for a new leadership that would unify the Muslim community.  The Kibuli faction fronted Sheikh Kakooza for Mufti and Hassan Basajjabalaba for Chairman UMSC. Old Kampala faction's Sheikh Ramadhan Mubajje was elected Mufti and Hassan Basajjabalaba became the Vice Chairman of UMSC. 10 Sheikhs from the Kibuli faction led by Sheikh Zubair Kayongo denounced the election of Sheikh Ramadhan Zubair Mubajje. There was some semblance of peace during the next five years of the Sheikh Mubajje administration. A land title for the Old Kampala UMSC headquarters was secured, construction of the National Mosque was completed, and confrontations between the Tabliqs and other Muslims was contained.

However, in 2006 discontent over sale of UMSC property divided the UMSC into two factions. The Chairman UMSC resigned paving way for his Deputy Hassan Basajjabalaba to take over. Mufti Mubajje, Chairman Hassan Basajjabalaba and Secretary General Edrisa Kasenene were implicated in the irregular sale of those property. The property in question are the three plots - two on William Street and one in ld Kampala bought by Hassan Basajjabalaba and Drake Lubega.

In 2006 a number of top clerics including Sheikh Hassan Kirya (recently murdered took the matter to court. In court, Mufti Mubajje was exonerated but court made a finding that property had been sold by UMSC which was constitutionally permissible. The decision brought about further discontent among the top clerics resulting into the dissidents electing Sheikh Zubair Sowed Kayongo as Supreme Mufti of Uganda with Sheikh Abdu Hakim Ssekimpi as his deputy.

Consequently, some District Kadhis and Imams who declared support for Supreme Mufti Kayongo were sacked by Mufti Mubajje. In 2012 alone a number of leading Muslim Clerics were murdered including Sheikh Ssentamu. Museveni said that shortly before his killing Sheikh Ssentamu had had telephone conversation with ADF rebel leader Jamil Mukulu.

Around late April 2012 Sheikh Abdu Karim Ssentamu of the controversial William Street Mosque was gunned down in the city center.  Around the same UMSC organised elections that were opposed by the Kibuli faction. Government provided security coverage for the elections to take place. The irritated Kibuli faction moves to forcefully take over the Old Kampala mosque. Minutes before setting off to attack their rivals, leading clerics addressed the visibly charged crowd of faithfuls thus: Sheikh Muzaata who declared Museveni as the number one enemy of Islam added "Museveni should receive a medal for harassing Muslims." 

Sheikh Kisambira said: "We have met Museveni seven occasions. On one of them he promised to help sort out the leadership wrangles but only after his election in 2011. But what has he done instead? He has sided with Mubajje the thief." Sheikh Umar Sadiq Ndaula told faithfuls that: "Behind all this is no one, but the government. There is no one responsible but this government. I want to assure you that Museveni and all his people are the ones behind all this. We were one community, but this government connived with Mubajje to change the land titles. As the charged crowds were heading for Old Kampala, they were met by a heavy deployment of Anti riot Police at around the Clock Tower who used tear gas.

At Old Kampala, Military Police was firing live bullets. The security forces managed to overpower the irate crowds and some of them were arrested. Following the incident Museveni summoned the leaders of the Kibuli faction for a meeting. Sheikh Muzaata while addressing the faithfuls at Kyabadaaza in Mpigi said that their meeting with Museveni was full of threats and insults and nothing constructive was reached: "President Museveni has opened war against all religious leaders but he will not win. Some of us have already written our wills because we know that we shall be arrested and killed anytime but they will not stop us from fighting for the same cause." In late June 2012 Hajji Kiwewa of the Kibuli faction was gunned down in the city suburb. In August 2012 Sheikh Mudungu was gunned down, followed by Maganda and Ssentunga.

In June 2012 Museveni put in place a committee under Prof Taracis Kabwegyere charged with probing the causes and solutions to the Muslim wrangles. The Committee that was comprised of three government officials had three representatives from each of the two factions. Museveni had given them two weeks to have completed the probe but it pleaded for three months. Instead it took eight months to finish its work when in February 2013 its report was ready for submission. Instead the committee got stuck with its report for another 16 months while waiting for an opportunity to have audience with Museveni and hand in its report.

In August 2013 Muslims in Luwero district led by Hajji Naduli decried government failure to release the report but the Nakaseke RDC defended the delay arguing that "the President needs time to study it and investigate allegations that Muslims are incited by people abroad."  It was on 14th June 2014 when the committee finally met Museveni.  Committee Chairman Prof Kabwegyere attempted to read a 20-page executive summary of the 60-page report but Museveni stopped him preferring to read it himself. For the next 30 minutes the room fell silent as Museveni went through the executive summary. Thereafter, Museveni engaged the committee in a three-hour discussion of the report.

He promised to meet the committee again after one week and a half to discuss the eventual implementation of the report's recommendations. As the committee members were leaving, Museveni tasked them to furnish him with information on why Muslims live mostly in townships at their next meeting. The committee had found that UMSC had a lot of land (including 11 acres of land near the Clock Tower in the heart of Kampala city), industrial and commercial holdings, ranches in Masindi, Nakasongola and Sembabule (mistakenly confiscated during the ranches restructuring exercise) and 814 properties formerly of Asians given to UMSC.

The report among others recommended that all the Muslim properties should be placed under a Property Trust so that they are registered and protected against encroachment. Further, that the UMSC needed a new constitution through a constitutional review commission since all the parties wanted unity. Unfortunately, since then Museveni has never met the committee again and instead what followed was the mysterious killing Muslim clerics that has persisted to this day. 

Government without substantiating has persistently claimed that the killings are carried out by rebel ADF which it associates with Islamic fundamentalist terror groups like Al-Shaabab and Al-Qaeda. Locally government associates ADF with the Tabliq sect. A number of Muslims more especially of the Tabliq sect; including their leader Sheikh Kamoga have been arrested and indicted before court. Among the other suspects still at large are Jamil Mukulu (the ADF rebel leader) who is currently detained in Tanzania while undergoing an extradition process and Dr. Aggrey Kiyingi the Australia based Ugandan Cardiologist who expressed intentions to contest for the Presidency. Muslim clerics from the Kibuli sect continue to be killed and government has no clear explanation.

The so called Tabliq sect originated from the early 1980s when young Muslims opted to spread Islam through voluntary service. Later their movement came to be known as Society for Propagation of Islam and Distraction of Quadianism (SPIDIQA). It was started by Sheikhs Mazinga and Kizito Ziwa. The group's revolutionary preaching appealed to the youth more especially in and around Kampala. That is how the likes of Jamil Mukulu converted to Islam from Christianity. Soon the movement turned into a faction based at Nakasero and independent of Kibuli and Old Kampala.

Sheikh Idrisa Lutaaya was made the Mufti while Kizito Ziwa became the Chief Khadhi and among other leaders was Sheikh Zubair Bakari. Ziwa's radical teaching forced Lutaaya to pull out and very soon Ziwa was expelled from the group. Kizito relocated to the neighborhood of Nakasero mosque but was quickly forced out by the government backed Zubair Bakari faction and he relocated to Kisenyi. The main Tabliq sect established base at Nakasero under Muhamad Kamoga. The Tabliq grew more intolerant to UMSC but during Sheikh Kakooza's administration a number of Tabliq leaders on board - Abdalah Kalenzi appointed District Kadhi for Kisoro and Kabale while Mubajje was appointed District Khadhi for Mbale.

The Kamoga group became more radical such that at one time they invaded and occupied the ld Kampala Mosque for a few days but failed to consolidate their hold. The second attempt was led by Jamil Mukulu in the early 1991 that ended up in bloody clashes with the army led by then Maj James Kaziini. One Policeman and two Police dogs were killed during the clashes. A number of Tabliqs were arrested including Jamil Mukulu while Kamoga fled to Kenya. Kakeeto took over as the Emir Daula and established District and regional Emirs. While in Luzira Prison Jamil Mukulu mobilised Muslim youths with radicalism and militant views. When they were released from prison they defied the leadership of those who had not been to prison - less Iman (faith).

They formed the Salaf faction of the Tabliq and established strongholds in Itendero, Kyazanga and parts of Busoga. When the army's 1st Battalion under Maj Rwija flushed out suspected rebels from their hide out in Buseruka in Hoima, Jamil Mukulu managed to escape. A few years later in 1996 a rebel force with bases in Congo attacked western Uganda. Since then the group has been called ADF, linked to Islamic fundamentalism and Jamil Mukulu alleged to be its leader. Since then government has linked some sections of Muslims to terrorism, arrested, detained, tortured, killed them.

Most if not all those who have been targeted in the ongoing systematic killing of Clerics have ever been linked to treasonous activities, either detained and released on amnesty or held and questioned by security services. They all belong to the Kibuli faction that is opposing the government backed Old Kampala faction. The Kibuli faction is historically linked to Buganda kingdom which Museveni is struggling to weaken. There is an ongoing government backed land grabbing and Islam in Uganda has valuable land thus why Museveni rubbished the Kabwegyere report.

The killings serve to divert Muslims from resolving their wrangles through the implementation of the recommendations of the Kabwegyere report. With the end of the northern Uganda insurgency, its only the Islamic linked ADF rebel group that is still active thus the need to eliminate its pillars. The current killing of Muslim Clerics does not pose any threat to the Museveni regime thus why the perpetrators can’t be got. In the late 1990s when there was bomb explosions in Kampala, government moved very fast to neutralize the perpetrators.

If the killers were targeting government or other public figures, the perpetrators would be got within hours. However, now that the Muslims have passed a vote of no confidence in government efforts to protect their lives and have threatened to defend themselves, obviously, the killings will automatically stop for now only to resume after elections in mid 2016. For now, Museveni has donated tons of Sugar, maize flour and cooking oil to both factions for the Ramadhan fasting.

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