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Sunday, 26 April 2015

WHY MUSEVENI'S MILITARY REGIME IS OBSESED WITH UGANDA'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM

Introduction
Since its inception, the Museveni military regime has persistently been obsessed with the criminal justice system. They use it as a scapegoat for their failure to fight crime, deliver justice and a justification for torture, illegal detentions and detention without trial. They argue that the current system favors suspects in that the 48 hours constitutional requirement for suspects to appear in court and the right to bail should be scrapped. They have always taken advantage of criminal incidents like the recent so called terrorist attacks that have seen prominent figures in the country gunned down, to play on public sentiments into towing their line. Good enough the Chief Justice has stood his ground.

To able to understand their motivation, its prudent to examine the brief highlights as below:-

1.  Police Arrest
     Police has powers to arrest anyone suspected of having committed a crime, about to commit a crime, and has omitted to do anything that results into the commission of a crime. Such arrest may be prompt or after getting reports and carrying out surveillance on the suspect. In the later instance, surveillance (close watch) is meant to gather evidence, establish the suspect's associates and to confirm or dismiss the suspicion. It is criminal on the part of Police to use excessive force while effecting an arrest. However, though it is the Police that is mandated to keep law and order, several of the regime's security outfits have been competing with the police in carrying out arrests of members of the public. While the professional police would arrest and carry out a lawful search for any evidence, the other security personnel simply kidnap and loot the personal belongings of their victims. It is very common for some suspects to be arrested alongside with their furniture, vehicles, electronics etc.

2.  Police detention
Police has a detention facility located within the Police station and referred to as a Police Cell meant to hold suspects before they are produced before court. The purpose of detaining someone in the Police cells is to restrain him from escaping, those who show signs of being violent conduct and in some cases those who need protection. It is such suspects that are held in a Police cell that the constitution guarantees the right to be produced before courts of law within 48 hours. On their part, other security agencies detain their victims in ungazetted places commonly called Safe Houses. Of recent after the personalisation of the Police force, suspects are tortured by the Police while at the Police station. In some instances with the connivance of other security agencies. It is also during this stage that some suspects are transferred from the Police station to safe houses where they are detained and tortured. In some instances suspects are transferred from Safe Houses to Police stations. Intelligence agencies have had special cells within Police Stations where their victims are held and tortured. For fear of the of the injuries sustained during torture episodes getting to the public domain, the regime prefers the 48 hours constitutional period extended to weeks and months so that their victims could heal first.

3.  Registration of criminal cases at a Police station
All cases and complaints reported at a Police Station are recorded in the Criminal Record Book (CRB) which is normally kept at the front desk commonly known as the Counter. All the activities of Police officers during the course of their official duties are also recorded in a Station Diary (SD). When a complainant registers a complaint, it is registered in the CRB and allotted a Reference Number thus SRB/......../......../2015.  When a suspect is detained at in police cells, his particulars and the charges are registered too. In cases of illegal detentions and false charges like was the case with the Dr Besigye rape case, they tamper with such records.

4.  Criminal Charges
It is presumed that every Police Officer has some basic knowledge of the Penal Code Act which is the collection of most criminal offences in Uganda. At the time of the arrest it is a requirement of the law that the suspect be informed of the reasons for his arrest thus the nature of the charges. Even when making entries into the CRB, a charge or charges against the accused should be recorded. However it is the subsequent investigations that either confirm the earlier charges or disclose new ones. However, where the arrest is led by personnel from the intelligence agencies, they simply inform their victims that they are being taken away because of orders from "above'. In some cases the Police delibarately threaten suspect by slamming more graver charges so that they yield into patting with bigger bribes in order to buy their way out.

5. Police case File
Immediately a complaint is recorded in the CRB or a suspect is apprehended and brought to the police station, a case file is oppened up in respect of that matter. It is allotted a file number that corresponds with the CRB number. The Officer in Charge of Criminal Investigations assigns one of his detectives as the In-charge of that particular case. Such a case file may contain the charge sheet, the statements from the complinant, suspect and witnesses, investigation reports, documentary exhibits etc depending on the stage of investigations/inquiries. The assignment of which detective handles which case is done by the OC CID. In most cases it is detectives bring better financial returns to the assigning authority who are always assigned 'fat' files. In the ongoing 156 billion shillings theft saga, there is no way an investigation report by detectives could have reached the DPP without the case file and a case file cant have two contradicting investigation reports.

6.  Pre-trial role of the DPP 
The Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) has a constitutional mandate to oversee all prosecution of criminal cases in the country. It has stations throughout the country manned by Resident State Attorneys (RSA) who are Lawyers. They are assisted by State Prosecutors who are paralegals. Until around 2001, its the Police that used to prosecute criminal cases in Magistrates Courts but State Prosecutors were recruited and Police withdrawn from prosecution. In Kampala, while the DPP head office takes care of the High Court, its field offices are established at every Magistrate's court. Whenever the Police commences criminal proceedings against any suspect, they are required to forward the file to the RSA for perusal, legal opinion/advice and sanctioning of the charges. When the RSA is satisfied with the charges against the suspect, he sanctions the charges by way of signing and stamping on the charge sheet.  Once the sanctioned file is returned to the Police station, the suspect is supposed to be taken to court. If the RSA is not satisfied with the charges and the general course of investigations, he/she may direct that the charges be amended. In the later instance, the RSA is supposed to be mindful of the 48 hours constitutional requirement if the suspect is in Police custody whereby he may order the release on police bond depending on the nature of the case. In some instances the DPP has abused such powers i.e in January 2015 the Police in Sembabule arrested the Ntusi LC III Chairman on suspicion of murder. While at the court cells awaiting formal charging before a Court in Masaka, armed men forcefully set him free and fled with him. Later the RSA Masaka who had sanctioned the charges confirmed that the DPP had sent a telephone message for the suspect not to be charged. The suspect has strong connections with the regime's powerful Minister Sam Kuteesa. The Police and family of the victim were gravely frustrated and since then the suspect has never been charged.

7.  Police bond
This is when the Police releases a suspect before taking him to court on condition that he reports back as inquiries continue. It comes about when the Police finds less merit in the allegations or the case file has delayed with the RSA. It is only applicable on minor offences and is supposed to be given for free of charge. Once the Police is ready to take such suspect who had earlier been released on bond, it will cancel his bond, rearrest him/her and produce him before court. Police Bond is the major source of bribery for the Police. Innocent victims are blackmailed and criminal suspects let off the hook resulting into rampant acts of mob justice.

8.  Charge sheet
It consists of accusations against the suspect thus the law contravened and the brief particulars of the offense. The charge sheet is prepared and signed by the O.C CID and sanctioned by the State Attorney. In some offences like abuse of office, its only the DPP himself to sanction sanction the charge. A charge sheet is prepared in two copies - one copy remains on the Police case file while the other one goes to the court file. A poorly drafted charge sheet is referred to as being defective and if not rectified can lead to the case being dismissed in court. However, a defective charge sheet can be rectified by way of amendment. Amendment of a charge sheet also involves adding or removing accused persons and charges from the charge sheet. Where investigations have not yet explicitly disclosed the most appropriate charge, a provisional charge called a Holding Charge can be preferred for the time being.  CID officers and RSAs connive to prefer lesser charges in terms of gravity that dont match with the facts of the case. In such a scenario robbery can become theft, assault causing grievous bodily harm can become common assault like was the case with the WBS TV journalist who was brutally beaten by the Police Commander. Given the nature of injuries that the victim sustained, it was a clear case of attempted murder but the Police commander was favored with a lesser charge.  In some cases suspects or their agents by pass the CID and approach the RSA with a bribe so that he presses the CID to prefer a lesser charge. When the CID learn of such scenarios, they clash with RSA. Some RSAs, Magistrates and Police investigators are upright conduct their business professionally but they risk being isolated.

9.  Court File
When the Police takes an accused to court for the first time, the first step is to register the case in the Court's criminal registry. Such registration involves presenting only a copy of the charge sheet that was sanctioned by the State Attorney. Court opens up a file containing only the charge sheet and allocates it a court file number. When ever an accused person appears in court, the proceedings recorded in respect of his case become part of the that court file's contents. During the trial in case of any documentary evidence tendered both the defence and prosecution and admitted by court also become part of the court file contents.  The contents of the court file keep accumulating as the case progresses and may include copies of other court papers like duplicate bail forms, payment receipts, exhibit slips, photocopies of sureties' ID if any, bonds (passport and land titles) deposited in court in respect of bail etc. Court Clerks who are responsible for the custody of court files solicit money from accused with promise of tampering with court records but in most cases they act as go-between accused or their agents and the trial Judge or Magistrate.

10.  Plea taking
Is when a accused is produced before a court of competent jurisidiction and charges are read to him/her. In court the accused is expected to whether the charges are true or not. Usually an accused is produced before a court which has powers try the alleged offence. However, for purposes of expediency, even if the court has no jurisidiction an accused can be brought before it for simply reading to him the charges whereby he is told not to say anything (not take plea) because that court has no powers over the matter. In such a situation that court simply remands the accused to prison pending production before a competent court for plea taking. Where court has powers and the accused accepts the charges (pleads guilty) to the charges, he is convicted and sentenced but when he denies them (pleads not guilty), court will ask the prosecution about the progress of investigations. If the the investigations are not yet complete, prosecution will inform court so and pray for an adjournment. It the inquiries are complete, prosecution will inform court so and seek for fixing a hearing date to be fixed by court so that the case can be heard. If the case is bailable, court will inform the accused of his right to bail and if he fulfills the bail conditions, he will granted bail as he continues to attend court from outside prison. Where an accused appears for the first time before a court that has no powers over his alleged offences, he will simply be remanded (sent to prison) pending plea taking before a competent court. An accused can not be granted bail by a court that has no powers to try his case thus he/she has to apply in the higher court. In capital offences where accused has appeared before and been remanded by a court with no powers, once the investigations are complete the accused is committed to the High Court for trial. In capital offences qualifying for bail is only after a mandatory period of time except in extreme circumstances. However, in instances where money has changed hands, CID and Prosecutors connive to delay completion of investigations so that that mandatory period clocks and the accused is automatically granted by court and may have to disappear.

11.   Bail
In Uganda bail is a constitutional right. All offences are bailable only that in some offences bail is open at any stage while in others its only possible after a certain mandatory period of 180 or 360 days as the case may be. Bail is granted upon fulfilment of certain conditions depending on the gravity of the offence and the personal circumstances of the accused. Bail money remains the property of the accused no matter whether he/she is acquitted or convicted. It is recoverable upon presentation of a receipt that had been issued during depositing of the bail money in court. Some bail is non cash - only payable if the surities fail to fulfill their undertaking. Bail is a major source of bribery for prosecutors and Magistrates. Around all court premisses there are found people for hire commonly referred to as 'professional sureties' who are always standing surety for strangers upon a fee. Prosecutors and Magistrates know them and in most cases such accused granted bail under such circumstances simply disappear. When an accused fails to fulfill the bail conditions and is remanded usually for 14 days, in between upon payment of a bribe, a production Warrant is issued by the Magistrate to the Prison authorities so that he is produced before court for fresh bail application. Even where an accused has been convicted and is on remand in prison but he appeals against the conviction, he may apply and be granted bail pending appeal.

12.  Hearing of a criminal case
When investigations are still going on, the accused keeps appearing in court after every 14 days for mention of the progress of his case. Hearing of a criminal case commences once investigations are completed. It involves the Prosecutor adducing evidence before court to prove the accused guilty. It is at this stage that the trial Judge or Magistrate gets to hear of the details of the alleged offence for the first time. Both the prosecutor and the accused adduce evidence to prove their case. Witnesses are called to testify, exhibits tendered, and expert witnesses like Doctors, Auditors, Handwriting experts etc give their expert opinion. Prosecutors seek for witness summons from court and give the to Police detectives to look for witnesses. In some cases, the detectives acting alone or in connivance with the prosecutor deliberately dont bother to look for witnesses so that the case collapses. This is what transpired in the Col Bantariza trial in the court martial. In extreme cases vital evidence and testimony is deliberately not brought forward by both the investigators and Prosecutors so that a the prosecution case is weakened in favor of the accused. In most upcountry stations, it is very common for Magistrates, Prosecutors and police detectives to meet every evening in pubs so as to map out schemes for squeezing bribes from criminal litigants.

13.  Dismissal for want of prosecution
This is when the trial court dismisses a case before hearing it because the prosecution has without convincing reason the case has overstayed thus prosecution is not showing interest in pursuing the matter. Courts make this decision in consideration of the accused's right to a speedy trial. However, such dismissal is is done before an accused is put on his defence, the charges can be reinstated by the Prosecution for a fresh trial. Such a scenario arises out of a deliberate scheme by the  Police CID acting alone or in connivance with the prosecution. Here, investigations will have become indefinite and in some cases witnesses are not summoned at all so that the case collapses. This is what happened in the on going 165 billion shilling pension scam. In some cases, the CID does not sent the case file to the prosecutor whenever the case comes up for mention in court and every time the Prosecutor keeps informing court that the Police file is not available and once it becomes monotonous, court dismisses the case. However, in other instances such criminal proceedings will have been commenced simply to inconvenience the accused. This is called malicious prosecution and is common with politically motivated, business rivalry and revenge motivated criminal proceedings.

14.  No case to answer
After prosecution has presented all its evidence and closed its case during the hearing, it can not introduce fresh evidence. At this stage, its court to determine whether prosecution has made out a primafacie case (on the face of it) against the accused to warrant him/her to state his defence. If so, court rules that the accused should state his defence (put on his defence) and if not the accused is exonerated and set free on grounds of no case to answer. In the later instance, the DPP can bring back the case by instituting fresh criminal proceedings based on the same facts. Here, in some cases the CID acting alone or in connivance with the prosecutor will have deliberately left out vital evidence during the investigations or during trial. In a few cases the evidence will have been simply concocted as was the case with the Dr Besigye trial for rape and treason.

15.  Case to answer
This is where the accused has been put on his defence and court has weighed the evidence produced by the prosecution made a finding of a prima facie case having been made by the Prosecution requiring the accused to state his defence.

16. Prosecution and defense cases
Prosecution case refers to the criminal pleadings  in support of finding the accused guilty as charged. Prosecution team is led by the Prosecutor and the CID and composed of all the prosecution witnesses. However where stakes are high as was the case in the trial of Jackie Nsenga, the Deputy Director of CID testified for the defense because the accused is an in-law to the IGP Kayihura. The defense case is led by either the accused or if represented by his Lawyer and the defence witnesses.

17. Withdraw of charges
Once an accused is charged before court, its only the DPP personally who can withdraw charges by writing to the trial court that proceedings against the accused have been discontinued (nole prosecue). He need not state reasons for doing so and it is only possible at any stage of proceedings before an accused is convicted. However, in the Court martial such powers lies with useveni and that is why he so much prefers to take his political opponents to the court martial.Commando raids by the regime to reverse court decisions have also been witnessed where stakes are high.

18. Acquittal
When the trial court evaluates the evidence and arguments presented by both the prosecution and the defense and finds that the later outweighs the former the accused is exonerated and set free. Once acquited, such charges arising from the same facts will never be brought up against the accused. However the state has the option of appealing the acquittal. Where the accused has strong connections or the state has no interest, the matter ends there.

19. Bail pending appeal
This is when an accused is found guilty, convicted and sentenced but he appeals the sentence in a higher court. While waiting for the hearing of his appeal, he can in extreme circumstances apply for bail as was the case for former Permanent Secretary Kashaka who was convicted for abuse of office. As Ugandans and the donor community went to sleep, he was granted bail on 'medical grounds' because he is strongly connected to the military regime.

20. The role of the DPP head office
It oversees all criminal prosecutions throughout the country. In so doing it can call for any Police case file from any of its field stations more especially where a complaint has been lodged over the conduct of prosecution or investigation. In such a scenario, prosecution does not stall but instead a duplicate file is made out as the original goes to the DPP. In stations within Kampala, Mukono and Jinja, State Attorneys from the head office take over prosecution of some cases in the High Court. This is how the recently slain State Attorney came to specialise in high profile terrorism related cases.

Conclusion
The current criminal justice system in Uganda is fine. Where there are upright investigators, Prosecutors and Magistrates/Judges, justice can be done fairly and expeditiously. There is no law requiring that for an accused person to be produced in court, investigations should have been completed. Instead, a suspect can be arrested and produced before any court within a few hours, charged and remanded or given bail (depending on the circumstances of the case) as investigations are continuing. If need be why cant courts operate on Saturdays so that in some cases suspects are deliberately arrested on Friday afternoons so that they spend the entire weekend in police cells before they appear in court on Mondays. This practice has the effect of breeding bribery for police bonds in order to escape long weekend hours of detention and is also used in malicious arrests by the Police.

Because the military regime has no will to fight corruption and abuse of office, some of the different players in the country's criminal justice system subscribe to its ideology thus cadres. Theft of public resources and primitive accumulation of wealth is a regime's political ideology of creating a middle class. It is evident that there is more corruption and abuse of process in the lower magistrate courts than the higher courts who are mainly preoccupied with civil cases and criminal appeals. Some of the accused who get off the hook are regime cadres who enjoy protection at all costs. Selective prosecution is the official policy to deal with political dissent and the need to tame law enforcement agencies has been top on the agenda. No doubt, just as it has been the case with the Police and the judiciary, the regime must have recruited majority of the Prosecutors into its pay roll. The disbandment of the traditional Police intelligence unit - the Special Branch and the current proliferation of criminal investigations outfits every other day is designed to take care of the above schemes.

Because the ruling military dictatorship is bent on arresting and detaining people for ill motives, torturing them in ungazzetted places, detaining without trial, it is not comfortable with the two constitutional provisions that guarantee the rights of an accused who is presumed innocent until proved guilty by a competent court. It is therefore misleading for the executive to advocate for the amendment of the law and it should be resisted at all costs. Good enough, the Chief Justice has vehemently warned against towing that line.

INFORMATION IS POWER

http://changeofguards.blogspot.ca/2015/04/why-musevenis-military-regime-is.html



Friday, 24 April 2015

#Museveni's militarism has rendered political parties irrelevant - #Uganda



30 years of military rule
In January 1986 Museveni became President of Uganda after manipulating the then ruling military junta. During his inaugural speech he stated thus: "The problem of Africa in general and Uganda in particular is not the people but leaders who want to overstay in power."  He promised to rule fora four years’ interim period after which a free and fair election would be held for Ugandans to elect a leader of their choice. He adopted a Marxist oriented approach to governance by establishing a no-party democracy. At the end of the four years’ interim period he extended it for another five years under pretext of making a new constitution for Uganda. Indeed, a new constitution came into force in 1995. Among the pillars of the 1995 constitution was Article 105 that placed a two five-year term for the President.

In 1996 the first general elections were held but still under his military rule disguised as a no-party democracy. In 2001 another general election was held still under the same military dictatorial environment. Since his constitutional two five years’ terms were coming to an end, in 2005 he instead bribed members of parliament to amend the constitution by scrapping the constitutional two term limits. He lifted the over a decade old ban on political parties and turned his ruling NRA/M into a political party for which he contested for the presidency.

During this first multiparty elections, the role of the military in ensuring that he retains the presidency became an open secret. The role of the military became more open during the 2016 general elections whereby it was responsible for harassment of the opposition, intimidation of voters, ballot stuffing, arrest and shooting of opposition supporters etc. No wonder the courts of law have twice upheld that in both instances, elections were not free and fair.

Entrenchment of military dictatorship
Following the repeat of the same scenarios during the 2011 general elections, the opposition found it a waste of time to resort to courts of law. Instead it spearheaded the masses who took to the streets to express their anger. Such protests were only in the capital, Kampala while the rest of the country was bent on speculating that Museveni was to serve his last term as he prepared to hand over to his son come 2016. It is this speculation that made the likes of his former ally Amama Mbabazi to start mobilising for taking over from Museveni in 2016.

Instead, Museveni has been worming up for seeking another term in 2016. Knowing that Ugandans are tired of his dictatorship thus no easy sail, he resorted to digging trenches in preparation for the tough times ahead. He has completed the personalisation of the army by creating a 10,000 plus strong elite force under the command of his son. He has militarised the Police force by deploying army officers to take command of the force, giving it military training in military camps, and created more security outfits without regard of the constitutional provision.

He is involving the military in suppressing political dissent, participation in civilian politics and implementation of government programs. He bribed, manipulated and intimidated his cohorts into endorsing him as their sole candidature. He is buying off MPs and other government officials to popularise his sole candidature. d serving soldiers into the agricultural sector purposely to further the gospel of his sole candidature as he selectively retires more soldiers’ cadres with the same mission. He has deployed Under the guise of poverty alleviation; he is traversing the country to popularise his sole candidature while dishing out billions of tax payer's money to his cohorts.

The army through the Minister of Internal Affairs who is a military General has been involved in registering and preparation of National IDs which are to form the voter's register for the 2016 general elections. The military regime disguised as a political party is so fused with the state that the former uses public resources in financing his life presidency scheme. The introduction of the draconian Public Order Management Act in 2003 which is similar to the UPC's Public Order and Security Act of 1967 was meant to stifle political dissent. He is scheming for a constitutional amendment in respect of Article 102 pertaining to constitutional age limit of 75 years so that he qualifies to rule beyond 75 years’ age.

He is busy indoctrinating the youth through compulsory attendance of quasi military drills and ideological manipulation under the guise of patriotism. It is now compulsory for all those who complete high school to attend such indoctrination programs before joining institutions of higher learning. Even those already in such institutions are dragged to such indoctrination centers. A serving senior army officer Gen Aronda recently told people in Rukungiri that: "You must support the NRM party and ignore the propaganda from FDC and other opposition empty talks. Its only the NRM that can deliver." His Electoral Commission is bent of delivering another rigged victory for him come 2016.

It has released an election road map for a four months’ campaign period, displayed voters register, and promised ten billion shillings as facilitation for political parties. The ruling military dictatorship is to pocket over 80% of this funding. District Commissioners, Chief Administrative Officers, Internal Security Officers, and Police Commanders have been dragged to the indoctrination centers for months of brainstorming on how to go about the 2016 election rigging. Security Officers under the cover of city law enforcement are busy systematically getting rid of the city center of hawkers, vendors, taxi and commercial motor cycle riders in order to suffocate any efforts to peacefully demonstrate.

A new bill seeking to regulate NGOs is in offing. It is designed to silence critics and negate the very essence of freedom of association and expression. It is targeting civil society organisations especially those to do with human rights. It stipulates that such organisations shall not engage in any activities which are prejudicial to the interests of Uganda. It imposes heavy fines and long periods of imprisonment.

Opposition parties should transform into a resistance forum
From the above it is clear that the opposition parties have been and continue to play the role of a lame duck that simply accompanies the military dictator to legitimize his hold on power. There is no ruling party in Uganda thus there is no need for opposition parties. The level of oppression meted out on the population by the military dictatorship calls for a mass uprising to bring about political change. Once such change is achieved, political parties can go back to their respective constituencies and participate in democratic elections that are free and fair. The so called opposition parties have the task of mobilising the masses to reclaim constitutional order.

Pushing for electoral reforms is not tenable under the current Museveni military dictatorship. He can even give in to all their demands for electoral reforms that were put forward except reinstatement of term limits but still carries the day through rigging. However, after he will be re-elected in 2016, he will reinstate the two term limits. The peanut funding of political parties by the regime is simply a mockery whose timing is designed to divide them. Opposition parties should pick it but donate it as a block to the public. The opposition parties should demand not more than the reinstatement of presidential term limits. Article 3 of the constitution makes it treasonable for anyone to amend the constitution. The same article confers a right and duty to every citizen to resist any such attempt to overthrow, abrogate, amend, and suspend the constitution.

Because of bribery and numbers in parliament which has been his main weapon, invoking Article 107 of the constitution is not tenable because it stipulates that the President may be removed from office for misconduct or misbehavior if he/she has conducted himself/herself in a manner which brings or is likely to bring the office of President into hatred, ridicule, contempt or disrepute or if he or she has dishonestly done any act or omission which is prejudicial or inimical to the economy or security of Uganda. Such a move would require a notice to the speaker signed by not less than one third of all MPs.

Gen Ssejusa is pushing for this line and is in talks with some opposition parties. He has been shunned by the FDC simply because he has personal issues with Gen Mugisha Muntu who is the FDC President. In the late 80s when Museveni appointed the more junior Mugisha Muntu as the army chief, the likes of seniors like Gen Ssejusa did not like the idea. Many including the late Brig Chief Ali and even Tinyefuza himself avoided meeting Mugisha Muntu at least not in uniform so that they do not salute him. It is against that background that Gen Ssejusa who was at the time the Minister of State for Defence, went on to command Operation North before Museveni recalled and retired him and ordered Muntu to directly oversee the operation.

The subsequent friction between Gen Sejusa and the establishment though justified had such roots. It is unfortunate that the two Generals can’t forget and move forward but that is how Museveni applies the divide and rule to deal with his perceived political opponents. Bad enough, Museveni is warming up to arrest and curtail Gen Ssejusa's political activities unless the later gets smarter before its too late. For the opposition political parties to be preoccupied with internal squabbles for leadership positions or joint fielding of candidates, they risk getting more divided. The priority is not democratic electoral reforms, to take part or to boycott the elections but to rally the desperate masses into getting rid of Musevenism and his military dictatorship.

History of mass defiance and uprisings in Uganda
Mass uprisings have happened in the past and can happen again thus: -
-   Lamogi rebellion was fought by the natives of present day Amuru district in 1911 against British colonialists.
-   Nyangire rebellion was a peaceful defiance turned bloody between the Banyoro and the British colonialists and their Baganda chiefs.
-   The Bataka uprising in Buganda of 1949 was the climax of a series of defiant actions against economic inequalities. In 1948 Baganda had made an uprising to push for direct representation in the Lukiko. The role of Ex-servicemen in the uprisings in Buganda can’t be underrated. It is such uprisings that gave shape to nationalism that saw the formation of the first political parties and the demand for self rule.
-  The nationalistic defiance of Baganda nationalism compelled the colonialists to bring back their King who had been exiled in the UK.
-  The 1962 Rwenzururu rebellion for independence and freedom from the yoke of the Tooro Kingdom persisted through the 80s and achieved some of its objectives.
-   The 1966 attempted assassination of then President Obote by Baganda nationalists in revenge for the attack on their king by ordinary Baganda led by Dan Kamanyi who is still alive sough the assistance of disgruntled former soldiers in laying the ambush around Port Bell Road in Kampala. Instead its his Vice President Babiiha who was injured but the message was clear. The plotters fled to Kenya from where they killed the spies that Obote had sent to track them.
-   The massive uprising by the people northern Uganda who rejected Museveni's rule right from the start has persisted for the last 30 years.
-    The 2009 riots by Baganda after Museveni blocked their king from visiting part of his kingdom in Kayunga which Museveni had wanted to curve out of Buganda sent him a clear message. The Mabira forest riots in defence of the environmental concerns and land grabbing was another clear message.
-    The FDC led walk-to-work demonstration in Kampala following the 2011 rigged elections was an eye opener to Museveni and he has since then embarked on investing heavily in riot control as part of his life presidency project.
-    The 2014 massive daylight simultaneous and coordinated attack by poorly armed locals on police and military installations in the Rwenzori region was the most worrying for Museveni. It was an open expression of anger by sections of Ugandan masses.
-  The most recent yelling and stripping naked hundreds of old women in Amuru before Internal Affairs and Lands Ministers in protest against the regime's attempts to grab their land is a classic example of a peaceful but determined defiance against a military dictatorship that can bring about immediate positive results.

Conclusion
Should the opposition party leaders fail to provide the much craved for leadership to the masses of Uganda in order for them to reclaim their country from Museveni's military dictatorship, history will judge them harshly. The bold and brave attack on Police and army installations by the locals in Rwenzori region that left hundreds dead is one such example of how desperate the masses are in craving for change. Should the masses fail to reclaim their country, we shall see total submission to Museveni's dictatorship and entrenchment of Musevenism for the next decades that will be a burden to our children and grandchildren while being misinterpreted as peace and stability.

INFORMATION IS POWER

Sunday, 19 April 2015

WHY MUSEVENI CANT BE 'FATHER OF THE NATION'

Honorific tittle
'Father Of The Nation' is an honorific tittle given to a man considered the driving force behind the establishment of his country, state or nation. In monarchies, the monarch was often considered the "father/mother of the Nation" or as a patriarch to guide his family.

Many dictators bestow titles upon themselves, which rarely survive the end of their regime. Eyadema of Togo had titles like Father of the Nation, Elder Brother, and Guide of the People. Mobutu of Zaire was often referred to as; The Messiah, The Helmsman, The Leopard, The Sun, The Cock Who Jumps on Anything That Moves.

In post colonial Africa, Father of The Nation was a tittle used by many leaders both to refer to their role in the independence movement as a source of legitimacy and to use paternalist symbolism as a source of continued popularity. On Joseph Stalin's 70th birthday, he was bestowed with the tittle "Father of Nations" for his establishment of  "peple's democracies" in countries occupied by the USSR after World War II.

The tittle "Father of the Nation" is sometimes politically contested. In 1972 the constitution of Bangladesh declared Sheikh Majibur Rahman to be "Father of the Nation" but in 2004 the BNP government removed this. The opposition Awan League led by Rahman's daughter protested to no avail. A motion in the parliament of Slovakia to proclaim controversial pre-war leader Andrej Hlinka "Father of The Nation" nearly passed in 2007.

The following individuals were bestowed upon the tittle of "Father of The Nation":-
1. George Washington                                               -                  USA
2. Ahmed Shah Durran                                              -                  Afghanistan
3.  Sir John Macdonald                                              -                  Canada
4.  Carlos Manuel de Cespedes                                  -                  Cuba
5.  Kwame Nkuruma                                                  -                  Ghana
6.  Sukarno                                                                 -                  Indonesia
7.  Thedor Herzil                                                         -                  Israeli
8.  Jomo Kenyatta                                                       -                  Kenya
9.  Kim Gu                                                                  -                  Republic of Korea
10.  Sam Nujoma                                                        -                  Namibia
11.  Nelson Mandela                                                    -                  South Africa
12.  Peter I                                                                  -                   Rusia
13.  William the Silent                                                   -                   Netherland
14.  Sun Yat Sen                                                           -                   Republic of China
15.   Julius Nyerere                                                       -                   Tanzania
16.   Donald Dewar                                                      -                    Scotland
17. Tanku Abdul Rahman                                              -                   Malaysia
18.  Gustav I                                                                 -                   Sweden
19.  Sheikh Zayed Bin Al                                               -                   UAE

and a few more others.

Museveni the "Father of the Nation"
For over two decades now, Museveni has systematically been attempting to rewrite the history of Uganda in order to suit his life presidency schemes. He has no regard for the contribution of past leaders in nation building and is struggling to spread a belief especially among the unsuspecting youth that Uganda started with his coming to power three decades ago. The above list of past world leaders who have held the tittle of "Father of the Nation" clearly indicates that majority of them led the struggle for independence and the birth of their respective nations. In the case of Uganda, the tittle of "Father of the Nation" is undoubtedly suitable for Dr. Apollo Milton Obote who took over power from the colonial masters. But because of the distortion of Uganda's history by self seekers, Dr. Obote was at one time publickly described by Museveni as a "Swine". However despite all the belittling, you cant separate Dr Obote's name from Uganda's independence. Every 8th October of every eve of Uganda's independence commemoration, Museveni hates watching replays of Dr Milton Obote receiving the instruments of power from the colonial masters 50 years ago. If he had the means, he would completely destroy those footage but with modern technology its too late. If Dr Obote alone cant be recognised as the "Father of the Nation" then Uganda deserves to have "Fathers of the Nation" in the likes of I. K. Musaazi, Dr Obote, Ben Kiwanuka, Sir Edward Muteesa, and a few others who led the struggle for independence.

Museveni who came to power 30 years ago has demonstrated that he is more power hungry than all past leaders, the human cost of his coming to power stands higher that any other past leader, he is leading is corruption and abuse of office, sectarianism has reached its peak during his regime, control of the economy by a small clique is the official policy, etc. In December 2014, this blog ran an article with the tittle: "Museveni Abusing the Institution of National Heroism" in which we highlighted the fact that Museveni was planning to bestow upon himself the tittle of "Father of the Nation". Plans are underway to officially bestow upon him that tittle on 1st May 2015 during the Labor Day celebrations. This is an action that can be blocked by a court order if some sensible Ugandan sought for an intervention. However, for his cohorts who have been physically kneeling before him, such a tittle is long over due. The tittle signifies the level of dictatorship in Museveni and if bestowed it will not survive the end of his regime.

Cry the beloved country!!!!

INFORMATION IS POWER

Friday, 17 April 2015

COLD BLOODED MURDER AT UNIVERSITY - FRUITS OF ANTI-TERRORISM VIGILANCE

Anti-terrorism vigilance
A few weeks ago a Prosecutor was shot dead in Kampala by suspected 'humane terrorists'. Humane terrorists because they spared the victim's three children who had been together with her at the time of the shooting and all the circumstantial evidence shows that the killer had no intention of killing the children. Terrorists are re-known for killing indiscriminately so as to cause as much pain and scare as possible; that is why they even blow up themselves.
That incident sparked off a Police-led nationwide public campaign to counter terrorism. The Inspector General of Police (IGP) personally assumed the role of Police Spokesperson on terrorism matters. After the initial wide coverage by local and international media houses linking the killing to Al-shabaab, the IGP later exonerated and has since linked the murder to 'organized crime' -  what ever that means! Following the terror attack on a university in Garisa Kenya, the IGP organised Makerere University Students for inter-religious prayers to pray for victims of the Garisa attack. It was followed by a solidarity march from the university campus through the city to the Kenya High Commission in Kampala. After the march, the IGP organised and addressed a security forum at Makerere University Main Hall. During the event he emphasized popular vigilance among the student community. He told the students that: "you are high targets because terrorists always want to hit where it hurts".
During the same function, the Deputy Vice Chancellor hailed the IGP for enhancing security es measurat the university and strengthening security committees. The Guild President called upon the students to be vigilant adding that security is their responsibility thus: "as leaders we will do our part by inviting security experts to do sensitization on security. Throughout his crusade, the IGP is urging the public to be cautious with strangers, watch one other (spy) and fight crime. Since the sensitization is ill-motivated, the message has been vaguely received by the public thus its effects are devastating.

Vigilance results into cold blooded murder
Amidst terror tension among the student community and the general public, on 12th April 2015 students of Nkurumah Hall of residence beat to death David Ojok. He had graduated from the same university four years ago with a Bachelors degree in Computer Science. After graduating he set up a computer workshop and a stationery shop in the neighboring suburb for which students of the same university had been her clients. On the fateful evening, he had gone to Nkurumah Hall to demand for his 500,000 shillings debt from one of the students. When he was sighted knocking on doors while looking for that student who owed him the said money, the students raised an alarm; "thief" and he was lynched to death. The Police reluctantly picked the Hall Chairman but the matter will be swept under the carpet because that what the much advocated for 'anti-terrorism vigilance' is all about.

We are yet to see more of such incidents as the NAZI Gestapo form of security management takes root among unsuspecting Ugandans.

INFORMATION IS POWER

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

HOW GEN ARONDA SAVED NORTHERNER'S PROPERTIES

"......... in 1986 when I was charged with protecting Northerners from being evicted in Kampala from their property by soldiers."
                                   Gen Aronda in interview with The Daily Monitor - 5th April 2015.

Upon taking over power in 1986, Museveni's NRA did not trust the Police that was 'Northern' dominated. The army took over policing duties throughout the country.
                    "..........the soldiers feel that the Police is not serious with criminal elements and they are corrupt. The army had to come in and insist that criminals must be punished. It happens in all countries, there is a time when the army assumes the duty of internal security."
                                  Museveni in an interview with the Daily Nation 26th January 1997.

The NRA had been poisoned all throughout its indoctrination program that they were fighting to dislodge the Northern Uganda dominated government and army. While it is true that the so called 'Northerners' had dominated government and the security services, they had not accumulated personal properties because they had not stolen public money as is the case now under Museveni. Instead they occupied government buildings that were either under Kampala city Council (KCC), National Housing Corporation (NHC), and Departed Asians Property Custodian Board (DAPCB). Such properties were located in Nakasero, Kololo, Ismail Road in Mbuya, Bugolobi, Old Kampala, Rubaga Road, Buganda Road and Entebbe Municipality in Kampala. The trend followed in some other urban centers.

For purposes of morale boosting during the bush war, it was very common for Commanders to select someone from among the lower ranks to stand out from the crowds and explain to the unsuspecting fighters how marvelous Kampala city was in terms of houses, cars and urban life in general. Amidst cheering by the fighters, a Commander would pose the question thus "Are you ready to head for Kampala and capture it?" and everyone would yell in approval. Indeed upon taking over Kampala, top commanders rushed to grab houses, cars and other properties. The location and financial value of the such properties on the seniority of the Commanders. Since there were no formal ranks in the NRA at the time, most of the top commanders had a feeling of being equal in rank and the location and monetary value of the property acquired, the fleet of cars coupled by the nature of office assigned to at the army headquarters at least brought in some semblance of who is senior to who. The top most occupied Kololo, followed by Nakasero, etc. However this phenomena had negative impacts in that it cemented the internal grumbling, bickering and backstabbing that threatened the cohesion of the army.As the NRA Commanders were fighting over property in Kampala, majority of the ordinary fighters continued living under 'tree shades' for the next three decades. In some cases, top commanders would acquire extra property for their friends and relatives.

At the time Civil servants, army officers and political leaders of the previous regimes had either abandoned the property and fled to exile were in hiding. In some cases its only the family head who would have fled leaving the family behind. In the later instance, its the family that had to be threatened and harassed until they vacated the property or else they risked being branded Bipingamizi (counter revolutionary). In most cases, such houses were found intact in terms of furnishings and some of the new NRA occupants would simply carry away such furnishings. Former President Dr Obote's house in Kololo was taken over by an army senior officer for over two decades only to vacate it a few hours before his (Obote) body was about to land from exile. His other house in Lira Town was ransacked by the NRA before turning it into a military detach. Gen Owite Ojok's farm in Loro was destroyed before turning it into an army Division headquarters. The family house of Gen Bazilio Okello in Kitgum was turned into an army detach thus the list is endless.

Upon taking over power in 1986, Museveni assigned then Junior Officer One (JO I) Robert Aronda to take charge of the Central Police Station in Kampala. He led a squad of intelligence officers comprised of among others; Rwija, Muruli, Gumisiriza, Kakwavu, Rwigamba, Mbugane, Mutabazi, Murenzi, and others some of whom were attached to the Custodian Board (DAPCB). Apart from the first two who hailed from Tooro and Bunyoro respectively, all the rest were Rwandese refugees who are now senior army officers in Rwanda. The Aronda team had the task of pacifying Kampala city of the so called Bipingamizi. That way, many Bipingamizis were detained, harassed and intimidated into either hiding or exile. Aronda acquired for himself a palatial house on Buganda Road that is currently housing the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC). His immediate neighbor was Col Nasur Izaruk. Let him tell Ugandans what happened to the former occupants before he occupied it from 1986 to the mid 90s when he relocated to the Minister's village in Ntinda. Most of such houses were reverted to personal possessions by some top NRAs while others were sold off under unclear circumstances.

Therefore, Gen Aronda's statement that he protected northerners is misleading. The only compensation for the deliberate harassment and deprivation of northerners is the current opportunistic handover of top management of the NRA's political wing to the likes of Tadwong, Omona, Ogwang, Anite, Odoi and such others.
Congs Gen Aronda for being compassionate!!!

INFORMATION IS POWER.


Thursday, 9 April 2015

UGANDA'S LIBERAL REFUGEE POLICY FROM A SECURITY PERSPECTIVE

The 1960 Control of Alien Refugee Act
This Act required refugees to reside in gazetted settlement camps.They would only be allowed to leave the camp with permits for specified purpose and duration. Only a few were allowed to live in urban settings i.e those with security concerns, health care, pending resettlement to third countries and those with proven self sufficiency. At the time and throughout the 70s, 80s and 90s, Uganda was host to mainly Rwandese, Congolese and Sudanese refugees. However, despite that restriction of movements policy, many Rwandese Tutsi refugees left the camps and settled among the locals, acquired local names, property, and jobs both in government and the private sector. This way they went as far as enlisting into the host country's security services and participated both in the defence and overthrow of the Iddi Amin regime. During the post Iddi Amin governments, Rwandese refugees played a key role in fighting the UPC government alongside Museveni's NRA and brought him to power. Having been at the helm of the country's military and political power base, they organised/planned the invasion of Rwanda that culminated into the 1994 Genocide. After taking over government in Rwanda, those who wished to return to Rwanda did so and those who wished to stay remained. However, RPF combatants who opted to desert the army would flee and settle with their relatives in Uganda and the government could not identify them. The inclusion in the 1995 Constitution of the Banyarwanda as one of the indigenous tribes of Uganda automatically cancelled their refugee status. The Congolese refugees who had earlier fled the political turmoils of the 60s and 70s had long returned to their country. Its the Southern Sudanese refugees fleeing the then SPLA war against Khartoum that dominated the refugee situation in Uganda during the 90s.

Refugee Management in Uganda
The Refugee Act of 2006 that repealed the 1960 Control of Alien Refugee Act created a Department of Refugees (DOR) under the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) and a Ministry of Refugees. There are in place a number of traditional refugee camps like Nakivale and Oruchinga in Isingiro district, Kyaka II and Rwamwanja in Tooro, Kyangwali in Hoima, Kiryandongo in Masindi, and then in West Nile and Nothern regions there is Paralonyo, Rhino Camp, Mvebi, Madi Okollo and the integrated camps of Adjuman district. Unlike the usual overcrowded refugee camps, settlement camps are designed in such a way that each house hold is allocated a plot of land sufficient enough to cultivate and sustain it food requirements and even sell the surplus. Refugees in the settlement camps share with the locals the same social services provided by by the government. The government provides civil servants, drugs, health workers, teachers and security officers to the camps.  A good number of local and international NGOs supplement government in providing for these refugees.
Currently Uganda has about 400,000 registered refugees originating from DRC, South Sudan, Somalia, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Eritrea and Ethiopia. South Sudan provides the highest number followed by DRC and Somalia. Majority of these refugees live in settlement camps about 50,000 registered refugees live in urban settings more especially in the capital Kampala. There are about 5000 so called returnees who were expelled from Tanzania in 2013 that are accommodated at an ungazetted camp at Sango Bay. Their status is not clear but government is planning to resettle and issue them with national IDs. There are former Congolese M23 combatants who are accommodated at the Bihanga military camp and whose status in Uganda is not clear. These are foreigners inside a military camp where a citizen is restricted from accessing!! While majority of refugees in Uganda are registered, there are thousands out there settled among the locals without the knowledge of the authorities.

Refugee status determination process in Uganda
For those who upon entry into the country are received by the authorities and taken to the settlement camps, it is the Settlement Commandant who carries out their registration. For the asylum seekers who upon entry into the country they proceed to the capital Kampala, they are required to report to the Crime Intelligence unit at Old Kampala Police Station for registration. At the Police station they are issued with a Registration Card and instructed to proceed to the DOR in the Prime Ministers office. At the Prime Minister's office they are registered and given an appointment for an interview. Each registered house hold is issued with an Asylum Seekers Attestation renewable after three months till a decision is made by the Refugee Eligibility Committee. The asylum seeker returns to the Police station for another interview.  Successful applicants are issued with Refugee IDs by the OPM and given the option of either staying in the city or proceeding to the settlement camp. For those whose applications are not successful, they have the option of appealing and the appeal interview is conducted by the Police's Crime Intelligence Unit. For majority of refugees in Uganda, they do not go through this process but simply qualify under the Prima facier (on the face of it) arrangement or automatic recognition. Imagine with the outspoken corrupt tendencies by the Uganda Police, such sweeping powers are prone to abuse thus serious security breach.

Urban refugees
In 2009 the UNHCR released its urban refugees policy. In October 2009 while addressing the organising committee of the AU summit on Refugees, Museveni advocated for urban refugee settlement. He argued that: "........ why cant we think of refugees outside camps because land will not always be there." About 5000 urban refugees were registered in Kampala alone by the department of refugees. They have established residential zones i.e Kisenyi for Somalis, Katwe Kevina, Old Kampala and Massajja for Cogolese, etc. They come to the city either from escaping the hard life in the settlement camps or directly from their home countries and in some rare cases from third countries of transit. They form associations, set up own schools, establish own born again churches, initiate group projects etc. At Old Kampala Primary School, out of the 900 pupils, 400 are refugees. A good number of local and international NGOs work with urban refugees in Kampala city. The urban refugees are involved in all sorts of business enterprises to make ends meet and of course including crime.They have their own community leaders and well set out networks whereby they receive and help the new arrivals to access the refugee status process. In July 2012 a visiting top US diplomat commended Uganda's policy on urban refugees but during the function the Mayor for Rubaga Division decried the behavior of some of these urban refugees describing them as a security threat thus: "some of them come with pistols and sharp objects. They are very uncooperative and do not respect hygine of the places they live." The Refugee Department carried out a massive registration exercise in 2014 for urban refugees in the city before issuing them with one year renewable IDs. In the West Nile and some parts of northern Uganda, a good number of South Sudan refugees who fled the the recent insecurity simply rented houses in urban centers. In November 2014 Refugees Minister Hillary Onek directed local authorities to register all such urban refugees.

Refugee freedom of movement
Refugees have a right to travel documents, access to employment opportunities, freedom of movement and to own property. In return they have the obligation to abide by the laws, maintain public order measures, not to endanger state security, not to engage in political activities etc. The Uganda government relaxed rules to enable refugees make a living in the country; find work and settle. The government argued that refugees who contribute to the economy through generating wealth should be able to  travel freely out of Uganda without being locked in one place. On top of issuing IDs, the government unveiled the Refugee Passport in 2014. It was aimed at assisting them seek , study, do business and access medical opportunities abroad. The 32 page Blue passport booklet is titled: "Republic of Uganda, Convention Travel Document. It is issued by the Passport Control Officer at the same cost like a normal citizens passport. Inside the front cover it is clearly printed that it is issued in the name of the President of the Republic of Uganda who is requesting and requiring all those to whom it may concern to allow the bearer to pass freely without let or hindrance and to affords the bearer such assistance and protection as may be necessary." It is valid for ten years as long as the refugee status still holds. The bearer enjoys visa free travel privileges extended by signatories to the 1951 refugee convention.
Whereas a normal UN Refugee Travel Document is issued in accordance with Article 28 of the UN Convention of July 1951, the Uganda design bears the July 1967 Convention. The Uganda model is a unique design to suit the sinister designs of the regime.

Refugees or immigrants
The Great Lakes, South Sudan and Horn of Africa regions have experienced conflicts that have left millions displaced. Refugees are identified by the 1951 UN Convention on Refugees. For decades South Sudanese sought asylum in mainly Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia. Somalis have been dominant in Kenya with a few ending up in Uganda in recent times. Rwandese Tutsi refugees were dominant in Burundi, Tanzania, Congo and Uganda. Burundian Hutu refugees were prevalent in DRC and Tanzania. Following the take over of power by Tutsis in Rwanda, it was the turn of Hutus to flee to mainly DRC and Tanzania. Burundian Hutus who would flee the Tutsi dominated governments were initially hosted by the former Hutu dominated government of Rwanda, Congo and Tanzania. Following the take over of Tutsis in Rwanda and the subsequent invasion of , the Burundian Hutus relocated to Tanzania. Following the independence of South Sudan, its refugees repatriated in big numbers only to return following the recent conflict. Rwandese Hutu refugees were forcefully repatriated from Tanzania in 1996. Recently Tanzania granted citizenship to thousands of Burundian refugees of the 1972 lot and repatriated thousands of the 1993 lot.
Following the armed conflicts in DRC following the overthrow of Mobutu, Congolese from the eastern region have sought asylum in Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania and Uganda.

Although a number of Rwandese Hutus were repatriated from eastern DRC, thousands still remain there among them those bent of fighting the Kigali regime. When the going gets tough for these Hutus in Congo, they relocate to either Tanzania, Uganda but pose as being Congolese. Even Burundians who did not want to go home from Tanzania claim to be Congolese. The same applies to Rwandese Hutus who had earlier sought asylum in Tanzania claiming to be Burundian had to relocate to Uganda while claiming to be Congolese. Genocide suspects and other innocent Hutus haunted by the frequent threats from the government in Rwanda find safe heavens in Uganda. Those who have the means move further south in countries like Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia and South Africa. In Uganda some immigrants don't even report to the authorities but simply settle among the communities. Lack of land in Burundi and Rwanda has also contributed to the migration of their citizens to Uganda by first claiming refugee status before melting into the communities and settling down, That way they acquire land and then arrange to have more of their friends and relatives to join them too. In Uganda, Rwandese and Burundians take advantage of their closeness to the Bafumbira of South Western Uganda by claiming and being viewed as Bafumbira while seeking to settle in other areas of the country including urban settings. This arrangement has been exploited by criminals who escape justice.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has an arrangement whereby it helps to resettle a small number of refugees from the country of first asylum to other countries overseas like the US, Canada, Australia and some European countries. Thousands of Rwandese, Congolese, Sudanese, Somalis etc refugees residing in the Great Lakes region have benefited from this arrangement. Like is happening in across the Sahara desert in an attempt to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe by those from the horn of Africa, there are irregular movements withing the Great Lakes region in pursuit of the same. Those who are already refugees are reluctant to repatriate in anticipation of being resettled overseas while those seeking better economic prospects just pack their bags before crossing the frontier to claim asylum in order to try their luck on being relocated by the UNHCR. For the economically hard hit Rwandese Tutsis from inside Rwanda, the false claim of being Banyamulenge qualifies them for refugee status. That is how you find a particular refugees is registered in a number of countries in the region but under different names and nationalities. They have overtime mastered the art of articulating false claims that convince the authorities who handle refugee status eligibility. Owing to the above, there is a lucrative business involving human trafficking revolving around the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes region and connecting to Southern Africa regions and the French Islands of Mauritius and Mayote. The other Somali youths rounded up in Kampala last year and indicted for terrorism including two girls could be victims of such irregular movement of the so called refugees. Also, that is how many of them are always visiting their home countries to check of families and friends, attend weddings and burials or get holidays when the school term ends. In so doing they manage cross-border illicit trade in precious minerals and other merchandise.

Israeli's African refugees swap
In 2014 it started as a rumour that Israeli had reached a secret deal  the Kampala regime to receive and keep Eritrean, Ethiopian and Sudanese refugees repatriated from Israel. The deal was alleged to involve receiving and keeping them in the country or helping them to transit to their home countries. In return Israeli was to supply Uganda with arms and agricultural support. The regime in Kampala vehemently denied the existence of such a deal but shortly after an Israeli arms dealer was arrested at Entebbe over illegal importation of arms into Uganda. In court the suspected arms dealer claimed that it was the government of Uganda that was importing arms from the Israeli Weapons Industry. The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Defence of Uganda owned the arms but there was no trace of any payments for the arms made by Uganda nd the matter just ended there. Investigative Journalists traced two Ethiopians Barahawa Fransa and Jamal Nesredin Hassan as two Ethiopians residing in Kampala who had already been dumped in Uganda from Israeli under the arrangement. Earlier in 2011 Museveni had made frequent visits to Israeli and currently there is a big group of Ugandans undergoing training in Agriculture in Israeli. It is only last week that Uganda's Minister of Foreign Affairs acknowledged the presence of the arrangement thus: "..... this matter has been raised before us, and since it is getting serious, we should look into it." This followed Israeli's announcement that 2000 African refugees were ready to be dumped into Uganda and Rwanda. Under the arrangement, the government of Israel gives the affected refugees 7000 US$ to the affected refugees in return for accepting to leave Israeli voluntarily. The Kampala regime could be attracted by those few dollars that the refugees are bringing with them.

Crime
It is not by coincidence that the following incidents involving people who are not Ugandans have take place of recent:-
-    The star state witness in the trial of the 2010 terror attack in Kampala,a one Mugisha Muhamad claims to be a Ugandan citizen born in Rwanda in 1983. That he relocated to Uganda in 1998 for fear of reprisal attacks by genocide perpetrators. That he stayed in Nakivale camp though he was not a registered refugee in Uganda and had no refugee status. That while at Nakivale camp he converted to Islam and left the camp later to South Africa, Kenya and Somalia where he trained with Al-Shaabab. His cross examination continues in court and we are yet to hear more shocking revelations.

-  July 2012 a Rwanda Genocide suspect, Kwitonda was  arrested in Kampala by the Police. He had fled Rwanda in 2001 and had been a resident of Kasubi in Kampala. Police acknowldged that the suspect had been giving huge sums of cash to security officers to evade arrest.

-  On 14th January 2015 another Rwandese Genocide suspect, Jean Paul Birindabagabo was arrested in Mpigi where he had been a Pastor at Buwama after he crossed from Congo years earlier.

-    In June 2014 15 armed attackers on a Pentecostal Church in Kyegegwa left three dead including a Police Officer who had rushed to the scene to intervene, One of the victims Beata Mukashaka bears a Congolese Tutsi or Rwandese name but was found to be a resident of the area that has historically had no Rwandese. Three suspected attackers i.e Hakizimana Abdu Salim (the Imam of the local Mosque), Hassan Mubarak Awera alias Sazimana Silvester and Niyosenga Ibrahim Tulole mysteriously died in Police custody. They had been part of the 18 suspects rounded up by locals and security agents as they emerged from a sugar plantation where they had been hiding. Later on the army ambushed and killed a one Abdul Aziz and captured James Muhamad Kahungu. The army Spokesperson said: "These people are known in the area. Even the one killed was identified by the father. They are Islamic extremists and they have been telling people to convert to Islam." Police also arrested and paraded the commanders of the group they had arrested from Ibambala Forest whom they claimed had revealed vital information in which the group had been recruiting and training under the guise of spreading the Muslim faith. Top leaders of the group were identified as Yahaya Sharif Kalemba from Kanungu and Abdurahim from Kabale. Some of the above names of the suspects sound Rwandese; could they be part of the groups who just sneak into Uganda, acquire land and settle?

-   It is alleged that when Kagame's former bodyguard Lt Joel Mutabazi fled Rwanda and sought asylum in Uganda, he sent for his firearm that he had left hidden in Rwanda. Once delivered in Kampala, he used it to stage manage an attack on himself so that the government could speed up the process of granting him refugee status and eventual relocation overseas by the UNHCR. Indeed following this incident, his personal security was enhanced by putting in place police guards and accommodation in a Hotel. It is said that that firearm was later thrown in a pit latrine in Kampala but maybe it is out there doing damage to Ugandans. How many arms are brought into the country by refugees?

-    In 2011 dissident Rwandese Journalist was shot dead in Kampala and the following day is when an alleged stage managed attempt on the life of Lt Joel Mutabazi was made. Six months later another Rwandese refugee Jerome Ndagijimana had his throat split open in Kampala. In another incident a Rwandese refugee alleged to have been kidnapped by agents of the Rwanda government, tortured and dumped in the city council mortuary. While it is true that the Rwanda government sends hit squads to harm dissidents, it is also likely that some criminal refugees stage manage or carry out real harm against one another in order to enhance the much craved for relocation overseas by the UNHCR.

-   In January 2015 three suspected government drugs thieves were arrested. The three, Ruisagara John, Ntale Sunday and Nyiringirimana Jean Piere confessed to stealing and selling the drugs and other medical equipments to neighbouring countries. Given the fact that all the suspects bear Rwandese names, it is also highly possible that their stay in Uganda and free movement to run their drug syndicate is under the guise of being refugees.

Conclusion
Uganda's liberal refugee policy is healthy on humanitarian grounds. However there may not be in place sufficient safe guards to ensure that the system is not abused and exploited by criminals disguising as refugees. The regime is bent on tapping the huge donor community funding for refugees and improving its international image without minding much on national security. Museveni in particular is interested is managing a scheme of selective resettlement of  certain communities in Uganda.


On 7th February 2013 Museveni chaired a cabinet meeting that passed the National Land Policy. Among the major highlights of the policy is a section dealing with CROSS-BORDER POPULATION MOVEMENTS. Under this section it is argued thus: "Cross-border population movements are frequent as a result of conflict,ecological and environmental stress or interactive accommodation among cross-border communities sharing common heritage and culture. A significant proportion of these populations sometimes end up being classified as either refugees or internally displaced persons. Settlement or resettlement of such populations often leads to severe strains on resources and/or serious environmental damage. Government will develop a framework to regulate, manage and mitigate the negative consequences and maximise the positive impacts of cross-border population movements. Government will respect the regional and international conventions governing the settlement and treatment of refugees and internally displaced persons. Negotiate protocols for the reciprocal treatment and settlement of mass cross-border movements and jointly implement  with neighbouring countries, measures for effective border management, control and supervision."  From the above it can be said that according to Museveni, there are no refugees in Uganda but cross-border communities sharing common heritage and culture.


INFORMATION IS POWER

Friday, 3 April 2015

MURDER OF A PROSECUTOR - IS IT BUSINESS AS USUAL?

Introduction
On 30th March 2015 two assailants travelling on a numberless motorcycle shot dead Senior Principal State Attorney Joan Kagezi in Kampala. She was shot while driving home together with her three children. The assailants managed to flee the scene and are still on the run. The deceased had been a lead prosecutor in some of the terrorism related cases that are under trial. She had also been the head of the international crimes desk in the DPP's office. It is against this background that her murder is linked to terrorism.

Public statements
The incident was instantly picked by local and international media  and has since been accorded wide coverage with emphasis on her role in prosecuting terrorism related cases. The Inspector General of Police (IGP) initially said that: "I dont want to make a statement of fact ....... but am not ruling out or ruling in Al-Shabaab or any other terrorist organisation. The same IGP later stated that: "murder served to increase Police resolve to hunt down and bring to justice all those elements bent on disturbing the peace and development of the country." linked the murder to terrorism but his current stand is that it is not linked to Al-shabaab. Later he During the church service the IGP requested the Judiciary to overhaul the current criminal justice system that he said was favoring criminals. The Minister of Information called upon the public to avoid sensationalising the criminal nature of the killing and to respect the honor and dignity of the deceased. The Minister of Internal Affairs made a statement on the floor of parliament to the effect that the murder had been carried out by organised crime syndicates. The Minister of Security vowed to review and strengthen gun laws. At the scene of crime, Director of public prosecutuion (DPP) said that the killing had strengthened their resolve to ensure that justice prevails in the country. During the church service he said that they will neither surrender nor retreat. The Chief Justice responded to the IGP's call for overhaul of criminal justice thus: "Lets be careful.............they wanted to frighten us . Lets not fall into their trap and pass laws which will actually run down the rule of law." The Uganda Law Society (ULS) put a bounty for whoever gives useful information to the Police. The US embassy issued a statement renewing its support to Uganda government's efforts to combat international terrorism. The Irish Ambassador speaking on behalf of the foreign missions, status thus:  "war against terrorism is for all of us and we must stand firm against it." Amidst clapping, foot-stamping and ululation by mourners, the days' preacher Canon Oboth Owino blamed government for not giving enough security for the stain attorney. He added: "am not saying you killed her, am saying let it be a lesson. On the surface, we look good people, but inside we are violent people. We are destroying our country by violence and bloodshed. That is unfortunate." The IGP described the deceased as a partner with security agencies in cracking crime and that she had died in the line of duty. Obviously, she will be awarded a Nalubale medal at the next heroes day. It as if she was considered as a regime's cadre prosecutor.

Investigations
By coincidence the criminal investigations chief was the first police officer to reach the scene of crime and she even helped in the evacuation of the victim to hospital. It is said she had been a few meters away from the scene of crime in the heavy traffic flow. Eye witnesses are reported to have witnessed two men riding a numberless motorcycle with one of the men being light skinned and slender. The description of the suspects fits well into the army's fugitive Capt Peter Mushabe of CMIwhomthe army last week reported to be hunting for over armed robberies in the country. The Police Anti terrorism squad sealed off the scene of crime. The IGP arrived shortly after and embarked on a journey of issuing out choruses of statements.Two blank catridges were recovered from the scene of crime and the IGP said their "forensic examination will help to know if the gun used has ever been used in other crime incidents". This is impossible instead what can only be established is the calibre o fthe bullets and the type of gun used unless the particular gun is recovered then a comparison can be made. The IGP went ahead to state that Bodaboda  (commercial motor-cyclists) business was increasingly aiding crime and becoming a major national security concern. He added "Yes, Joan has been killed but we have concrete evidence and eye witnesses all ready to testify in the matter, the government is firm and we shall run it to the end." The Minister of Internal Affairs and the DPP also visited the scene of crime.  Anti-terrorism squads barred people from entering the mortuary im Mulapo hospital when the body was being examined. Other people who wanted to correct their departed ones were kept waiting for the whole day. The IGP who visited the scene of crime several times also visited the mortuary in Mulago to see the progress. Journalists were barred from entering the the deceased's residence which was heavily guarded by anti-terrorism squads. The army joined the the investigations and the CDF justified it thus: "we have put in place a team to assist the police in the search for the murders who killed the state prosecutor. A tead of senior army officers led by Gen David Muhoozi will join the Police." He added that: "we as security organisations in Uganda agreed that in case of such a security hitch, we have to join efforts and maintain peace and stability in our country."

What do suspects gain from murdering the Prosecutor? 
A prudent prosecutor prosecutes according to the set criminal procedure rules and rules of evidence. He relies on the evidence available on the case file that was gathered by the Police and does not manifucture his
or her own evidence unless  it is persecution and not prosecution. During the trial, the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty by court relying on the evidence presented by the prosecution. During the trial it is the exhibits and the witnesses who should be accorded maximum security so that their destruction does not compromise the success of prosecution. The deceased was only a lead prosecutor who had other assisting prosecuting attorneys who will carry on with the task. For the accused to mastermind the murder of a prosecutor, it does not work in his/her favor. Instead it has the effect of jarpordizing fair trial to his detriment. However for common criminals, it is possible to target a prosecutor but in the instant case we are told the suspects belong to organised crime syndicates who knows the role of the different players in criminal justice?

How does the regime exploit the murder?
Recent events have demonstrated the judiciary's resolve to exercise its independence from the executive. The regime is pushing for the scrapping of bail in some cases like terrorism which has replaced most of the capital offences in the country. In the past the executive has deployed armed commandos in courts of law to reverse court decisions and intimidate judges. Cadre judges have been seconded to the bench and the bar to serve the regime's interests. It knew that it could not succeed in having bail scrapped. The regime thrives on using terror threats to suppress interal political dissent and to blackmail the west. The regime has a wider scheme of removing bodabodas, street/market vedors, taxi operators and others in that category from the city center in order to suffocate the much anticipated mass demonstrations. It has always longed to maintain the presence of soldiers on the street. It is faced with the uphill task of justifying supplementary budgetary expenditures under the guise of improving defence and national security. The IGP has already embarked on the crusade of mobilising different interest groups in the city with appeals for calm and cooperation. The regime has been faced with the dilemma of justifying the creation of the so called Crime Preventers who have become a menace in some communities. The regime also faces the obstacle of securing the arrest and extradition of Dr. Agrey Kiyingi from Australia on allegations of aiding and facilitating the recent murders of moslem clerics. The murder of the prosecutor has presented a golden opportunity. Already, the presiding Magistrate in Jinja over the indictment of 21 suspected terrorists this week had the guts to send the defence council to jail over flimsy reasons and nobody is bothered. Once public opinion has been swayed, the so called terrorists can even target leading political opposition and civil society leaders.

Questions
1. Why did the Minister of Internal Affairs appeal to the public not to sensationalise the muder; did he anticipate the public to riot over government failure to provide security?
2. Why did the IGP personally dominate all the events both physically and verbally? Doesnt he trust his spekespersons?
3. Will this incident compromise the independence of the judiciary in return for physical security from the executive.
4. Was the prosecutor's murder masterminded by those behind the alleged terrorism in the country?
5. Has the regime not been issuing out unregistered guns to its cadres?
6. Was it not Museveni who initiated the use of motorcycles as a easy means of getting away from the scene of crime during the bush war when he used to ride a Vespa and pose as a Hajji?
7. The assailant spared the deceased's family during the attack; whom was the police trying to protect by imposing heavy security restrictions on access to the family home and mortuary?
8. How did the IGP manage to assemble "all the evidence and eye witnesses ready to testify in the matter" just within a few hours after the incident?
9. What can a team of senior army officers deployed to help the police do that can not be done by the traditional military units like CMI and JATT?
10. Given the repeated incidents of murderers getting away on motorcycles, how courageous were the killers to in the instant case to have trailed their victim in the city moreover riding on a numberless motorcycle?
11. Who are the "good looking people on the surface but inside they are violent" that the preacher was referring to?
12. Why would a terrorist bent on unleashing terror spare the deceased's children who were with her at the time?
13. Were the terrorists not mindful of the likely presence of government officials who could be armed or having body guards in that heavy traffic flow?
14. Could the deceased have been working for intelligence agencies thus compromising the independence of the institution of the office of Public Prosecutor?

The act should be condemned in the strongest possible terms and RIP Joan.

INFORMATION IS POWER

http://changeofguards.blogspot.ca/2015/04/murder-of-prosecutor-is-it-business-as.html





MUSEVENI'S KIBOKO SQUADS STARTED IN THE EARLY 80s

"I also participated in the UPM campaigns in Ankole sub region. I recall one day when as a member of Yoweri Museveni's campaign team we chased Democratic Party's Sam Kutesa's campaign team from Rwabarata monthly market. We booked with the authorities to hold a rally there on market , but when we found Kuteesa's team there with music system, we bought herdsmen's canes, took them on , and held our rally thereafter."
                            The Observer - interview with John Musinguzi in February 2012 under the headline:
                             Nonentity who made big sacrifice.

In 1980 Museveni as leader of UPM contested for both the Presidency and the local area parliamentary seat. Despite the above mentioned intimidation and violence the people stood their ground and he miserably lost to DP's Sam Kutesa. That is when he took off to launch the five years rebellion. John Musinguzi from Kazo was awarded by Museveni with a Nalubale medal during the the army day celebrations held in Kasese. That medal is awarded to civilian activists who have contributed towards the political development of Uganda through armed struggle, civil disobedience and otherwise. At the back of the medal it is written "Peoples' Resistance Struggle". Musinguzi who did not go to the bush but had been a strong UPM supporter could majorly remember the fight against the DP candidate in Rwabarata market as his contribution. Despite the violence meted out against then DP's Sam Kutesa, he throughly beat his rival Museveni hands down in Nyabushozi constituency.

Armed bands terorising the population especially during the elections started with the Kalangala Action group under Major Kakooza Mutale.  In 2005 the hooded and armed commandos raided the High Court to reverse a court decision granting bail to PRA suspects. Other paramilitary groups dressed in civilian clothes, armed with big sticks beat up demonstrators during the Mabira Forest demonstrations. In a meeting with Asian businessmen, Museveni praised their action saying that they were courageous patriots who were fed up with hooliganism engineered by political opportunists. This green light from the fountain of honor gave way to more of such groups. The Police mobilised vigilantee groups from among the taxi touts, vendors, bodaboda raiders, army veterans armed them with long lean canes - the kind normally used by cattle herders. The goons dubbed as Kiboko Squads would be trained to do dirty work for the NRM. Kiboko is a swahili word for a Hippo and from its skin were extracted whips or canes used to administer corporal punishment. These squads were commanded by security operatives from CMI and ISO and  had their command post at the Central Police Station while KCCA law enforcement department provided the logistics. These muscular men wielding clubs and sticks would indiscriminately cane anyone who would come in their way. They operated alongside the anti-riot police operations but the police never owned the squads thus designed to avoid responsibility for state inspired violence. Its only a one Juma John Semakula the self confessed leader of the Kiboko Squad who confessed in an Interview with Bukedde and the New Vision as having beaten up voters at Kakeeka in Mengo. That the squad was responsible for violently disrupting opposition political assemblies. He was arrested by Kayihura and the matter died a natural death.

Therefore Museveni's use of violence is is as old as his childhood ambition to gain the presidency. As elections are approaching, we are yet to see another round of such goons at work; this time they will take the form of the so called Crime Preventers who are gradually becoming a nuisance.

INFORMATION IS POWER