News 2008


Next in line of turmoil: Uganda?


Museveni (nicknamed M7), who is said to not be a Muganda but a Tutsi and "his" Uganda seems to come into similar trouble at home as Kibaki in Kenya, whom he held the stirrups.

TIGHT SECURITY: Riot police patrol Kisekka Market during the riots, where four people were yesterday shot and seriously injured by the police yesterday. Photo by Stephen Wandera

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Ugandan MP charged with sedition

BBC -Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Ugandan opposition MP Betty Kamya has been charged with sedition, promoting sectarianism and inciting violence.

The move comes after she wrote an article calling on Ugandans to emulate the example of post-poll Kenyans to force the president from power.

Betty Kamya is known for being outspoken

(Ed. Note: See the original article below on this page!)

On Sunday, President Yoweri Museveni wrote a 17-page open letter, in which he said he would sue the MP.

President Museveni has been in power for more than 20 years

Opposition leader Kizza Besigye said the case proved the government wanted to cripple all opposition.

Charges denied

The BBC's Joshua Mmali in the capital, Kampala, says it is not clear whether Mr Museveni instigated the arrest and prosecution of the outspoken opposition MP.

But her arrest came a day after his letter appeared in the Sunday Vision newspaper.

"Like Kenyans, we are going to have to fight to extricate ourselves from Museveni's paws," Ms Kamya wrote in her article on 28 January in the Ugandan Monitor newspaper.

The lead prosecutor said this statement was tantamount to an open declaration of war against the president.

Ms Kamya also questioned Mr Museveni's Ugandan nationality in her article.

The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) MP denied all the charges, and was granted bail.

Dr Besigye, the leader of the FDC, is himself on bail, accused of treason in 2005. His case is still awaiting trial.

In 2006, he lost to Mr Museveni in presidential polls which the FDC alleged were rigged.

In neighbouring Kenya, at least 1,000 people have died in violence following elections in December which the opposition says were rigged.

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Beti Kamya charged on four counts



THE special envoy in the office of the president of the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Ms Beti Kamya, was yesterday charged with four counts of sedition, promoting sectarianism, inciting violence, and promoting war on the person of the President.

The charges stem from Ms Kamya's opinion piece titled "Where is Museveni's heart?" which the Daily Monitor newspaper published on January 28.

Prosecution, led by Buganda Road court Resident State Attorney, Ms Carolyne Nabaasa, alleged that Ms Kamya's article, which in part stated "…like the Kenyans, we (in Uganda) are going to have to fight to extricate ourselves from Museveni's paw…" was tantamount to an open declaration of war against the person of the President.

Ms Kamya behind bars at Buganda Road Court cells after she was charged.                              Photo by Stephen Wandera

Court, presided over by Chief Magistrate Margaret Tibulya, further heard that Kamya's statements in the said article were likely to promote feelings of ill-will and hostility amongst Ugandans, especially against the Bahima community.

Prosecution claims that by writing that, "(President Yoweri) Museveni seems to have a vengeance on Uganda, as if the country was unkind to him and must pay for his suffering," Ms Kamya, who is also MP for Rubaga North, intended to excite disaffection against the person of the President.

Earlier in the day, police grilled Ms Kamya, who was accompanied by her lawyers Yusuf Nsibambi and Abdu Katuntu, for close to four hours.

The interrogation, carried out amid heavy security deployment, was ostensibly to elicit additional information in connection with the contested article. FDC party President Kizza Besigye and the party's national chairman, Mr Suleiman Kiggundu, were barred from accessing Ms Kamya during the tough questioning.

"This (blockade) is not something new, it's the approach of the government to cripple opposition," Dr Besigye said, sounding dejected.

After Ms Kamya finished recording her statement, detectives drove her to Buganda Road court where she was formally charged with sedition, promoting sectarianism, inciting violence, and promoting war on the person of the president.

She, however, denied all the four charges and was granted Shs2m non-cash bail after prosecution accepted the bail application.

"I have no objection to the sureties. However, court should be more strict on the sureties and the accused," Ms Nabaasa said.

In her preliminary ruling, Ms Tibulya said: "Since there is no objection from prosecution, the accused person is hereby released on non-cash bail of Shs2 million and her sureties are bonded at Shs3 million each".

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Original article by Mrs. Beti Kamya

published in the DAILY MONITOR (Kampala) on 28. Jan. 2008

- the article is no longer on the Daily Monitor's website -

Where is Museveni's heart?


When the White-man came to Kenya holding a Bible, he found us with our land. He told us to close our eyes to pray. When we opened our eyes after prayers, we were holding the Bible while he held our land....."

said Jomo Kenyatta as he justified the bloody Mau Mau (Mzungu Aende Ulaya Muafrika Apate Uhuru) war that ousted colonialism out of Kenya. Writing this article on January 25, I'm thinking how befitting that we should remember Kenyatta's words on the eve of January 26 as we wait to "celebrate" (my foot!) the 22nd anniversary of the NRM victory!

Indeed, Museveni came holding "peace" and "sleep" while Ugandans held factories, banks, buses, airplanes, railways, co-operative unions, food silos, fuel reservoirs, hotels, schools, Kampala City and land. He convinced us to catch up on the long eluded sleep while he sorted things out.

We slept for 20 years. When we woke up, we were holding peace while he held all our assets! And like the Kenyans, we are going to have to fight to extricate ourselves from Museveni's paws, now deeply entrenched in our everything. It is not going to be easy, because no thief, robber, looter or colonialist ever let go of their loot easily... and Museveni has been more cunning than most, saving the gun for the final onslaught of Uganda.

Those who may not have noticed, Inspector General of Police, Kale Kaihura's latest orders, not hold any congregation beyond 20 people without his authority, is worse than article 269 of the 1995
Constitution of Uganda, which banned political parties' activities except those of the NRM party, and worse than the first Political Parties and Organisations' Act (PPOA) which restricted political parties' activities to their headquarters, for which it was ruled unconstitutional by the High Court.

If fully enforced, which Kaihura's decree is intended to be, one cannot baptise his/her child and hold a party of more than 20 people without his permission - but that is not the tragedy.

The tragedy is that most Ugandans, especially NRM MPs have not realised that this country has been repackaged as a revised one party, vicious, (repeat "vicious"), dictatorship, with their full support. It has been whispered for long that President Museveni is not a Ugandan by birth, which I used to dismiss on grounds that it is enough that he is a Uganda now and that it is his performance that matters.

Watching how he has systematically destroyed every sector of this country - the civil service, education, health, industries, police, parliament, judiciary, transport, the executive - I'm beginning to
wonder whether a born national would do this to her/his country.

Museveni seems to have a vengeance on Uganda, as if the country was unkind to him and must pay for his suffering. No one can do what Museveni has done to Uganda unless they have a score to settle! I appreciate the Rwandese armed group that left Uganda in 1990, most of whom, born and bred in Uganda, could have assumed Ugandan citizenship, but whose hearts never left Rwanda, even as they were not yet conceived in their mothers' wombs. I understand that like every Jew's heart (born and unborn) remained in Israel during the 1,000 years of exile and yearned to go back, so the Rwandese hearts, born and unborn, yearned for home.

But where is Museveni's heart? Where does he yearn to go, and if nowhere, why destroy the only country that he knows? Can't he see that this sectarian thing he is nurturing is not only dangerous but
unsustainable? Does one need to be soothsayer to see that he is leading Uganda to a terrible genocide, with only one community eligible for State House scholarships, lucrative jobs, land allocation, control of security organisations and the country's finances in 20 years?

Isn't it obvious that time will come, no matter how long it might take, when all his misdeeds will be undone, at great cost to his favoured community?

Museveni might accuse me of a sectarian article but I hope his overpaid intelligencia tell him that these words are on every pair of lips in Uganda, and if he doesn't know it yet he is the only one! My
appeal is to the influential Bahima - restrain Museveni, don't let him do this to you, it is not sustainable, think of your children, think of the majority Bahima who are not party to this madness, but who will pay the ultimate price when you, beneficiaries of the madness have fled.

When the Whiteman found Mau Mau and Mugabe's Zimbabwe too hot to handle, they went home, when Amin showed Ugandan Indians the door, they had India to call home, and when things become unbearable for the White South Africans, they can evoke their British or Dutch ancestors and return "home", but where will the poor, ordinary, innocent Bahima go, their home being Uganda? Celebrate wisely, restrain Museveni.

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See positive side of Uganda’s tribes


Monitor Online - Kampala

04. Feb. 2008

Forty-five years of independence, twenty-two of them under the enlightened leadership of the National Resistance Movement, the problem of tribalism is still troubling Ugandans. Following the catastrophic events unfolding in Kenya due to festering tribalism, Ugandans need to tackle this issue of tribalism once and for all.

Although the problem of tribalism is as old as colonialism which made Ugandans specialise in occupations along tribal lines, the country’s leaders at independence who played tribal alliances to get power made the matter worse.

While the ruling party of the sixties sought to entrench itself by promoting tribal division and hatred to the extent of using military force, it still lost power in a military coup to an illiterate soldier. And the masses came out to celebrate the fall of the government.

The military government united the Ugandans in misery but when it fell, the old leadership that had been deposed in 1971 regained power and were soon back at their tribal games.

The army was basically from two tribes and little wonder, since that government fell 22 years ago, the senseless resistance and subsequent actions that have cost lives and resources have been concentrated in just one sub-region in the north of the country.

So aware are all adult Ugandans of the damage and pain caused by negative tribal practices and the denial that they exist that today, it is sad when high profile leaders accuse the top leadership of the NRM of petty tribalism.

We have had former Health minister Mike Mukula, former Local Government minister Bidandi Ssali, FDC and DP women leaders Beti Kamya and Betty Nambooze respectively. Are they just talking because they (with the exception of Mukula) are in opposition or do they have evidence?

We have had parliamentary committees probing the tribal composition of Uganda Revenue Authority and now the command jobs in the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces. Is it because the chairpersons of these committees are not NRM diehards?

But if tribes do exist in this country, why can’t we be smart and seek to benefit from the cultural diversity, rather than using them as a source of division and spreading negative energy?

If everybody believes their tribe is good, why don’t we seek the aggregate of all this good and use these as building blocks for a better Uganda? What is the point of moving back 42 years to the point where mediocre leaders sought to use tribal hatred as a method of governance? And in any case, did they succeed?

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