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Friday, 29 May 2015

BEHIND THE BURUNDI REFUGEE QUESTION

Recent protests in the Burundi capital Bujumbura have seen over 100,000 crossing the border to seek refuge in neighboring countries. Even before the protests had broken out on 26th April 2015, thousands from the country's northern region had already fled to Rwanda. Those refugees are facing acute health hazards in their countries of asylum with over 30 lives already claimed by a cholera outbreak that has hit the temporary reception center in Tanzania. Almost all of these refugees claim to have fled fearing for their lives against the potential threat posed by the ruling party paramilitary youth wing - the Imbonerakure. Although hardly any refugee was directly harmed or threatened by the Imbonerakure, there was a lot of rumors including that of  the Rwandese Interahamwe siding with government but it did not take root. This time round, its not the historical ethnic clashes that saw Hutu flee accros the border while Tutsi took refuge with the country in IDP camps. For this reason, among the refugees, there is quite a number of Tutsi too. Different news anchors and aid workers have presented a picture of a people who have have time to prepare for their journeys with intent to stay in their host countries no matter the situation in Burundi. This is confirmed by the type of personal belongings like solar panels, bicycles, mattresses, suitcases, stoves, and other personal effects. Further evidence is that of complete families with no incidents of missing family members during flight. No matter the situation in Burundi, more citizens will leave and seek refuge; already Uganda has registered 3000 refugees since the beginning of the protests yet it does not share a common border with Burundi. Those who fled to Uganda dis not arrive by air but went through neighboring countries which did not deny them asylum.

During colonial era, Burundians more especially Hutu were faced with harsh colonial administrative measures like forced labor and high taxes (commonly known as Ekoli in Kirundi). Non compliance was often met with harsh and humiliating punishments like the infamous Ibimoko (lashes) by the colonial administrators. Consequently, many Burundians opted to migrate to Congo, Tanganyika and Uganda.  In Tanganyika, they worked as casual laborers more especially in Railway construction and Sisal plantations. In Uganda, the introduction of cash crops economy demanded for labor that consequently brought about the largest wave of immigration. The abolition of Kasanvu (paid compulsory labor) system shortage of labor. Amidst this shortage of labor, in 1924 Mehta started the sugar factory in Lugazi. Cotton, sugar and coffee sectors were concentrated in Buganda and Busoga regions. Since Baganda looked down upon working on European or Asian plantations, migration of labor from other areas of Uganda to this economic zone was inevitable.

Soon the demand for labor especially especially with the emergence of the sugar plantations exceeded the available local supply leading to laborers migrating into Uganda from neighboring countries. n top of earlier migration, 1925 marks the arrival of Rwandese and Burundian immigrants who were escaping taxes, famine and oppression. By October 1925, 11,771 Rwandese and Burundian immigrants had entered Buganda. Many were destined for Lugazi and Kakira but majority were actually headed to work on cotton plantations and shambas in Buganda region. For the immigrants from Rwanda, Burundi and Congo, working in Uganda provided a much better quality of life. Many ended up acquiring pieces of land and settling into the country. A 1938 inquiry found that of the laborers working in the sugar industry in Uganda, 65.5% were from Burundi, Rwanda and DRC. The sugar industry had become so dependent on the migrant labor that they set up joint recruiting agencies in West Nile and Masaka to ensure steady supply of despite the colonial administrators of the respective countries trying to limit the immigration. It is very common for a Burundian to talk about his/her family member who disappeared in Buganda many years ago and stories of the first Burundians to buy bicycles having returned with them from 'Ibugande' (Buganda). They call it Manamba in reference to the employees numbers that they would be allotted in Sugar and sisal plantations in Uganda and Tanganyika respectively. Almost every aging Murundi knows about Mehta in Uganda.Unlike the Rwandese who are treacherous and prefer holding to themselves, Burundians are straight forward and easily assimilate with the host communities and that is why it is difficult to pinpoint Burundians who settled in Uganda decades ago. The likes of Mary Mutesi an NRM activist hailing from Kamuli are a typical example of Rwandese migrants who have failed to assimilate.

The first refugees from Burundi were those of 1972 following bloody ethnic clashes that fell short of amounting to genocide. About 200,000 fled to mostly Rwanda, Congo and Tanzania. Subsequent ethnic clashes led to more Hutus fleeing to the same countries of destination. The climax of the Burundi refugees was in 1993 following the ethnic clashes that followed the assassination of the first democratically elected Hutu president. It is estimated that about 580,000 Burundians fled following the events that were sparked off by the 1993 events. In his first speech, the slain Hutu President Ndadaye had appealed to the 263,000 Hutu refugees who had fled the country much earlier to return home. When the Rwandese Tutsi dominated RPF took over Rwanda, Burundian Hutu refugees residing in Rwanda at the time moved to Congo and Tanzania. When the new RPF government in Rwanda sought to forcefully repatriate its citizens from Congo and Tanzania, a number of Rwandese Hutu refugees escaped and joined the Burundi Hutu refuge camps in Tanzania and claimed Burundian citizenship.

Following the first Congo war, Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda troops backed the Congolese rebels then seeking to oust President Mobutu by sweeping through the territories where some Burundian Hutu refugees resided. Together with their Rwandese Hutu counterparts, these Burundi refugees moved to Tanzania. In Tanzania, the 1972 Burundi refugee lot had been housed in camps around Tabora region while those of the 1993 lot were housed in camps around the Kigoma region. It is in these camps that the rebellion to fight the Tutsi regime in Burundi were born. Over the years, a good number of Burundi Hutu refugees in Tanzania were resettled through the UNHCR

Burundi is a tiny and economically poor country whose average population density is over 300-500 people per Sq km. 90% of its population is involved in subsistence agriculture concentrated on the fertile,volcanic soils 100-800 m above sea level away from the arid and hot floors and margins of the rift valley. Historically, pressure on land resulted into extensive migration to Tanzania, Congo and Uganda. For small scale farmers, yields are barely enough to live off,let alone turn a profit from. High population growth and the return of over half a million from exile has made the issue of land more pressing. The country has the highest level of hunger with 88% of children chronically malnourished which hampers their physical and intellectual development. With almost non existence of a private sector, drought, plant disease, land scarcity,poor health and education facilities, abject rural poverty is the norm. The northern region more especially the province of Kirundo has become endemic to famine.

In 1972 when the first mass exodus of hutus took place, their land was given to Tutsis with official land titles as a compensation for their loved ones who had been slaughtered by the fleeing Hutus. In other cases, the Tutsis would simply seize land left behind by fleeing Hutus. In some instances the then Tutsi dominated government simply took over land for schools, hospitals, palm oil and sugar plantations, and other cash crops. Land grabbing and annexation was not restricted to Tutsi; even Hutu brothers who had remained behind would simply annex land belonging to their kinsmen who had fled. In some instances, those who had fled would sneak back and sell off their land in anticipation that they would never return to Burundi by being locally integrated in their host countries or be taken overseas. Some houses belonging to those who had fled to exile were sold by government. To compound all this, the government then enacted a law to the effect that whoever had regularly land for 15 years becomes the legal owner no matter how it was acquired.

During the civil war Tutsi never fled the country but would gather around specially protected areas by the Tutsi dominated army. As a counter insurgency measure, government had moved people (Tutsi and Hutu) into protected camps (IDPs) in order to isolate the insurgents. Even those who had fled the 1993 bloodbath but could not make it to neighboring countries were hurled into these IDPs more especially in the northern and central regions. Most of these people have not been moved back to their former places of abode due to scarcity of land.  Since 2008,government has set up a number of integrated rural villages for landless returnees and other vulnerable people who are identified by the local administrators. These villages are meant to foster healing and reconciliation and to act as a bridge between the returnees and the surrounding communities. The government put in place a land commission (CNTB) in 2006 for settling returnees, tackling land grievances and disputes. It is composed of 50 members (60% Hutu and 40% Tutsi) as required by the Arusha Peace Agreement. Burundians have a natural attachment to land even by intellectuals who can live without land. Land has social and cultural values with specific plots closely linked to a sense of identity. CNTB has been dividing plots between residents (those who did not flee) and returnees (those returning from exile) but may times such rulings are overruled by courts of law. Government promised compensation for both returnees and residents but nothing has been implemented. Because most of the returnees had either been born in exile, spent long in exile, and may be Rwandese disguising as Burundians, tracing their original land is not an easy task.  Returnees were promised land before repatriation but in many instances, returnees upon arrival in Burundi are housed in dormitory like Peace  Villages from where after moths or even years are moved to the Integrated Rural Villages. Nine of such villages are located in the three sothern provinces that have significantly contributed to the current wave of refugees into Tanzania.

With a minimal private sector offering few employment opportunities coupled by returnees having no vocational skills, minimal education, lack of capital and access to credit, lack of land for subsistence farming, life in exile is preferable to life in Burundi. Landless returnees are the most vulnerable and difficult to integrate. Access and entitlement to arable land on which to undertake subsistence farming and secure shelter are the most acute hurdles. Moreover, in exile refugees are able to get enough food aid to supplement what they grow on their own, early money from doing casual labor among the host communities, access better health facilities, free primary and secondary level education, if lucky be resettled overseas or be granted citizenship. A good number of Hutus who have been resettled overseas over the years are doing very well economically. Actually, with the power sharing arrangement in place coupled by big numbers of Hutus abroad, the economic balance is tilting in favor of Hutus. This partly explains why at the inception of the street protests in Bujumbura, 600 students from the University of Bujumbura attempted to seek asylum at the USA embassy and the presence of Tutsi among the refugees. Also, a good number of the 1972 lot that was granted citizenship by Tanzania made a fortune from tobacco growing in the Tabora region such that they are even resisting efforts to disperse them to different parts of Tanzania.

It is against the above background that the current wave of refugees fleeing Burundi is not proportionate with the threat paused by the protests thus may have difficulties conforming to the UN refugee convention that recognizes persecution based on race, religious, political etc conscience. However, on humanitarian grounds, they have a right to leave and seek asylum the same way other Africans are braving the storms on the Mediterranean Sea trying to enter Europe. 

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Monday, 25 May 2015

AL-SHABAAB TERROR SCARE IS NOT WORKING FOR NKURUNZIZA; WILL IT SAVE MUSEVENI WHEN THE FOURTY DAYS ELAPSE!!!

Both Uganda and Burundi have peace keeping troops in Somalia thus they have enjoyed military and economic support from the West and the USA in particular. For Museveni, the Somali Peace Mission was a God sent opportunity to blackmail the West against any queries over his dictatorship. Whenever he is faced with an intense internal political dissent, he invokes the Al-Shabaab terror scare to curtail freedom of assembly, speech, and association. Being a master of deceit, he has repeatedly stage-managed  and fabricated terror threats that on many occasions have turned out to be a hoax but after he has achieved his intended goal.

He has enacted draconian laws designed to curtail political dissent under the guise of fighting terrorism - the Public Order Management Act, the Anti-terrorism Act and the current Anti-terrorism (amendment) bill. He has used the terrorism threat to inflate the Defenze budget at the expense of other vital areas like Health, Education and Education. He has in the same regard had a leeway to mismanage security services by creating factionalism in form of parallel security outfits i.e SFG, Flying Squad, Special Investigation Unit, Vioelent Crime Crack Unit, JATT, Crime Preventers, etc. He is about to link the present Teachers' strike to terrorism as a way of subduing the teachers into submission. The military drilling and arming of millions of party youth disguised as Crime Preventers, intensified recruitment into the Police Force, the constant transfers of Police Commanders, the eviction of certain categories and classes of economic players from the city center, the destruction of public schools, the rampant and mysterious fires in markets and other commercial premisses, militarisation of city law enforcement, the ongoing rampant arrests of urban youth in major towns for being idle and disorderly, destruction and reconstruction of markets whose rent is unaffordable, etc are all designed to counter the much anticipated 'people power'. It is in this regard that the Police Chief Gen Kalekyezi has averted a protest by the public transport sector by promising to investigate and arrest any police officer found to have been harassing transporters. He hoodwinked them when he stated thus: " ....do you think it is humane to let someone languish in prison because of committing a crime of disorderly behavior" adding that "lets be just in some cases. 

He has not publicly commented on the ongoing protests in Burundi because he is in the same boat. More so he is disappointed with the slow space of the East African Community intergeration that would have provided his much craved for Standby Brigade that would by now have reached Burundi to keep Nkurunziza in power. Immediately there was a coup attempt in Burundi, the following day  for the first time a video purported sent by Al-Shabaab showing an unmasked and non Somali fighter donning military fatigue and brandishing an AK 47 riffle went viral. In the video, 'Al-Shabaab is threatening to attack Uganda and Burundi. As usual Uganda issued a terror alert for fear that Ugandans would follow the Burundi example and invade the streets for protests against the 30 years of military dictatorship. At the same time leading opposition figures like Dr. Besigye and the Kampala City Lord Mayor were blocked from attending an Electoral Reforms workshop, arrested and detained. The two politicians were alleged to have plotted to cause insecurity in the city. Five days later, the same politicians were blocked from leaving their residences and proceed to parliament where they were supposed to present their views on electoral reforms to the parliamentary sectoral committee. It is reported that it took the intervention of the USA Embassy for the Police to lift the blockade.

Too late for Nkurunziza
Ever since Burundi deployed its troops to Somalia it had never been threatened by an Al-Shabaab (real or imagined) attack on its soil. Instead it has been Kampala that has always been under threat as if Burundi has tighter security than Uganda. President Nkurunziza had all along not exploited the Somali peace mission the same way Museveni has blackmailed the West and suppressed internal dissent under the guise of fighting terrorism.  In March 2015, he had paid Museveni a one day visit and his host must have advised him to invoke the Al-Shabaab terror threat once protests would commence. Indeed,when protests brokeout in Bujumbura the government branded them terrorists. Following the failed coup attempt and the purported Al-Shabab threats as contained in a video release, President Nkurunziza addressed the country claiming that he had been preoccupied with fighting the Al-Shabaab terror threat. Unfortunately, the terror card has not deterred the protests and the west's condemnation of his highhandedness in the protests. The USA and the UN have called for an independent investigation in the murder of an opposition politician. Belgium cut aid to the Police force and the electoral body. The USA has suspended military aid to Burundi. The AU has called upon Nkurunziza to respect the Arusha Peace Agreement.

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Sunday, 24 May 2015

BAHIMA WRECK HAVOC IN BURUNDI

In both Rwanda and Burundi, the Tutsi are believed to have originated from Ethiopia, the Hutu are Bantu who originated from west Africa while the minority Twa are the indigenous people. However, in Burundi the Tutsi social class is subdivided into the Banyaruguru and the Bahima. Because Burundi lies along the western rift valley, some of its provinces including the capital Bujumbura are located in the lowlands which much of the country is in the highlands. The Tutsi from the highlands are known as the Banyaruguru while those from the lowlands especially in Bururi are referred to as the Bahima. During the monarchy, the King was obliged to choose a wife from the Banyaruguru Tutsi of Muramvya and he was not supposed to pick a wife from among the Bahima. The monarchy was headed by the Baganwa who are neither Tutsi nor Hutus and that is how unlike Rwanda, in Burundi the kingdom was a uniting factor.  The Bahima have a sub-class called the Basapfu who regard themselves as neither Hima nor Banyaruguru. Legend has it that at one time the King wanted to have all Bahima killed but one boy escaped and hid in the reeds (sapfu). When he was discovered, he was brought to the court and placed under the protection of the King who named him Musapfu thus his descendants came to be known as the Basapfu.

The Basapfu allied with the German colonialists to tame the kingdom which was resisting colonialism. The German colonialists instigated a rebellion against the King and he had to give in. The King and the other local leaders helped the colonialists to extract taxes and forced labour. It is during the Belgian rule that the Hutu and Tutsi were defined in both Burundi and Rwanda. However, in Burundi differences amongst the so called Tutsi thrived. Following the revolution in Rwanda in 1959 in which the Hutu overthrew the monarchy, many Rwandese Tutsi fled to Burundi. In October 1965, the mainly Hutu Police force under Antoine Serukwavu backed a Hutu politician Gervois Nyangoma in an attempted coup. Tutsi civilians were massacred but the coup was reversed by the predominantly Tutsi army led by Captain Michael Mucombero - a young Muhima army officer from Bururi who was the Minister of Defence. Attacks on Hutus intensified and since then it became an open secret that Hutu had no place in the security forces.  In June 1966 Michael Mucombero became the Prime Minister under King Ntare V. In November 1966, Mucombero deposed King Ntare V, abolished the monarch, declared a republic and became its first President.

A new military regime led by Tutsi officers established a policy of discrimination against Hutu and any attempt to rebel by Hutu resulted in widespread massacre of Hutu. In 1969 following a foiled coup attempt, over 50.000 Hutu were massacred and the entire cream of Hutu in leadership positions were executed. In 1971, there was a split within Burundi's military and the resultant attempted military coup. This prompted the Hima President Mucombero to convene a military court martial that tried and executed nine senior military officers and life imprisonment of eleven others - all from the Banyaruguru Tutsi sub-class. He appointed his Bahima ethnic group from Buruli region to all top military and government positions.

In April 1972 a group of Hutu rebels organised from Tanzania attacked his southern stronghold of Bururi along the 70 km stretch of Lake Tanganyika up the the southern area of Nyanza Lac indiscriminately killing Tutsi and Hutu who did not join hands with them. These Hutu rebels declared the area as an independent Republic of Martyazo. The night before the attack, King Ntare V had been executed. Over one thousand Tutsi were massacred and the the Bahima dominated military regime exploited this development to make radical changes in governance. He appointed his most trusted Foreign Affairs Minister Artemon Simbananiye to the Minister of Internal affairs. In May Simbananiye coordinated a systematic massacre of Hutu through the country. With the help of the extremist UPRONA youths under their umbrella organisation, Jeunesses Revolutionaires Rwagasore (JRR) they helped to provide information to the military of all Hutu students in schools and University and Hutu members of JRR for massacre. The rebellion was contained but Tutsi officers would execute their Hutu subordinates. Truckloads of Hutu students, soldiers, police officers, teachers and public servants would head for killing grounds. By end of August, over 200,000 Hutus had been killed and tens of thousands fled to neighbouring countries especially Congo and Tanzania. No educated Hutu remained in Burundi thus paving the way for the next 20 years of Tutsi hegemony.

In 1976, Col Jean Baptiste Bagaza - another Muhima from Bururi and a distant relative of Mucombero toppled Mucombero. He had been the army's Deputy Chief of Staff. Mucombero fled to Somalia from where he died in 1983. In 1987, Jean Baptiste Bagaza was overthrown by Maj Pier Buyoya another Muhima from Rutovu in Bururi. Bagaza fled to Uganda where he stayed in till he returned to Burundi a decade later. Buyoya ruled with an iron hand amidst growing Hutu political agitation that witnessed the massacre of over 20,000 Hutu in 1988 in the northern region. He spearheaded the making of a new constitution that gave way to power sharing through general election.  In 1993 the first Hutu president Melchoir Ndadaye was elected  but three months later he was slaughtered by Tutsi junior officers. The junior officers (including Lt Kamana) fled to Uganda and were sheltered by Museveni up to now. The slaughter of the President Ndadaye led to untold violence on both sides with renewed exile for Hutus in neighbouring countries from where they organised an armed rebellion that led to the present power sharing arrangement. In July 1996, Major Pier Buyoya with support from the Tutsi army seized power again from the interim President Ntibatunganya amidst protests by Tutsi that the later had failed to halt Hutu attacks against Tutsi.

In Burundi this domination by Bahima from the southern province of Bururi is what gave rise to 'regionalism' which is another delicate issue in the social, economic and political life of the country. 
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BURUNDI PRE-COUP PROTESTS - HOW IT HAPPENED

3/3/2015 - Gabriel Rufyiri the head of the country's anti graft organisation (OLUCOME) warned about a plan to carry out acts of violence designed to tarnish the image of civil society.

15/3/2015 - wife of the leader of the main opposition party Agathon Gwasa survives assassination but shot and injured. Note:  earlier on Feb 28th the wife of Gen Niyombare (the attempted coup leader) had narrowly survived assassination. 

17/3/015 - a leading human rights activist Karaveri Mbonimpa of APRODH issued a statement alleging that there was a list of 13 people who were being targeted for assassination. Among them civil society and political activists. 

18/03/2015 - In the northern province of Kirundo bordering with Rwanda, some few Burundian families are fleeing to Rwanda citing fear for their lives due to the ruling party youth wingers (Imbonerakure) being given military drills and armed. They further alleged that the men are being ordered to get bows and arrows failure of which a fine of 5000 Bu-Francs is imposed. Minister of Internal Affairs downplays the incident arguing that its a repeat of the same election rumours as had been the case during the 2005 and 2010 elections.

19/3/2015 - The OLCOME chief alleges that he is placed under surveillance and receiving threatening telephone messages for exposing the corruption in the land grabbing and inappropriate disposal of public property in the capital.

25/3/2015 - Defense Minister appealed to the members of the security forces to remain neutral in the upcoming elections and to respect the people's choice. No wonder, he was dismissed after the foiled coup.

29/3/2015 - opposition leader of ADC Ikibiri, Leonse Ndikumana complained about countrywide military drills for ruling party youths (imbonerakuri).

31/3/2015 - MP for Ruyigi province and former Minister Moise Buchumi who had been chased from the ruling party for opposing the 3rd term had his residence searched by the Police for arms.

1/4/015 - war veterans issued a statement in support of  President Nkurunziza's third term bid and promised
not to participate in the impending protests.

2/4/2015 - Managing Director of RPA radio station Bob Rugarika placed under surveillance after being released from detention over information pertaining to the murder of three Italian Nuns. He had just survived kidnap from Muramvya prison at night.

2/4/015 - Rwanda sets up two reception centers in Buesera and Nyanza for refugees fleeing the Burundi northern province of Kirundo.

2/4/2015 - Human rights chief Claver Mbonimpa promises to lead protests against President Nkurunziza's third term bid.

7/4/2015 - at one of the internally displaced peoples camp in the Kanyoshya Commune of Bujumbura city, anonymous letters alleging that ruling party officials were holding night meetings with Imbonerakure and issuing them with guns and lists of people to be killed are circulated.30 hand grenades are recovered from a certain location in the rural Bujumbura.

8/4/2015 - President Nkurunziza visits the northern province of Kirundo and issues an ultimatum for refugees who have fled to Rwanda to return home. The refugees in Rwanda respond by challenging Nkurunziza to solve the problem threats by the Imbonerakure against Tutsi and those opposed to the ruling party, retrieve the ID cards issued to non citizens.

9/4/2015 - Juvent Nduwimana, the soldier who implicated the former Intelligence chief Gen Adolph Nhimirimana in the murder of the three Italian Nuns is withdrawn from the Somali peace keeping mission and imprisoned.

10/4/015 - the Minister of Internal Affairs after visiting the Burundian refugees in Rwanda categorises the refugees into those Twa who ran away from famine, the criminals escaping justice and the few others who have political related grievances.

10/4/2015 - Capt Evariste Nkuyehanzi the former chief body guard to the dismissed Gen Niyombare (foiled coup leader) is kidnapped while driving the Gen's personal car in town.

10/4/2015 - Imbonerakure and other ruling party members demonstrate in Bujumbura in support of the third term for President Nkurunziza.

10/4/2015 - government of India advised its citizens to leave Burundi by April 30th for fear of looming violence.

16/4/2015 - anonymous letters purporting to have been signed by President Nkurunziza are circulating in Muyinga province with a message threatening those who are opposed to the third term. Journalists are also threatened. Office of the President issues a statement denies the rumours of violence.

21/4/2015 - three unidentified dead bodies are recovered in the Carama area of Kinama in Bujumbura city.

21/4/2015 - soldiers undergoing training exercise for peace keeping are withdrawn and exercise stopped so that they ready for helping the police in keeping the May/June election security.

21/4/2015 - the number of refugees fleeing to Rwanda reach 8500.
22/4/2015 - Government of Rwanda shifts Burundian refugees from near the common border in Nyanza to Mihama in Kalehe. Those in Bugesera and Rusizi to be shifted later.

25/4/2015 - Rwanda government grants prima-facie refugee status (automatic recognition) to 11,000 Burundi refugees. The Rwanda Ministry for Refugees reports an average of 800 refugees being received per day.

26/4/2015 President Nkurunziza is chosen as the ruling party flag bearer for the June 2015 presidential elections. Tension characterised by protests erupt in the capital Bujumbura. The Ministers of Internal Affairs, security, Information and in the company of the Chief Prosecutor visited independent RPA radio station that was leading in broadcasting the protests that had just erupted in the city. Police searched the station for arms before disconnecting all its landline telephone connections. In Bujumbura's Bwiza commune Police order for the closure of  Mwijabe  market but local defy and in the ensuing scuffle one person is shod dead by Police while another one is injured. In central Bujumbura civilians are gathering and barricading roads. Police is using water canons to disperse them but it is thin on the ground as a larger number is engaged in the suburbs trying to contain the protesters from reaching the city center.

27/4/2015 - protests resume with many residents from Bujumbura Rural joining the epicenter in Musaga. Police is stoned by protesters, vehicles burnt near the military barracks of Muha. From Kanyoshya commune, protesters went through 12th Street of Kinanira commune in an effort to reach the city center. n the road behind Muha barracks in Musaga, protesters clash with Police, teargas is blown back by the wind to the police lines thus chocking many. Columns of soldiers pass by the protesters on 1st and 2nd Street where they are applauded with clapping. One protester is shot bin the neck and foot by Police. Stoning by protesters intensify and Red Cross is assisting the injured. Police is visibly exhausted, 26 protesters are arrested by Police (including women and children). Shops are closed and protests spread to 3rd street. At 6.00 p.m protests cease. Imbonerakure hold a meeting as heavy deployment of soldiers is witnessed.

27/4/2015 - refugees fleeing to Rwanda increase to 4000 per day and totals 20408 with others received by their families not included. Reception centres maintained in Bugesera, Ngoma, Karehe, Gisagara, Nyanza and Rusizi.

27/4/2015  - Peter Mbonimpa of APRODH (human rights) and Francois Bizimana the FNL Spokesman are arrested by intelligence. Police and intelligence invade, manhandle journalists and close their media centre (Maison de la Presse) where media houses had converged for a press briefing from Mbonimpa. Police refused to talk to the media leadership. Radio RPA branch in Ngozi province is closed down on orders of the Regional Commissioner. In Gitega province, at Giswahili zone confrontation between protesters and the police left 2 members of FNL arrested and students forced to enter classrooms. In Bujumbura city, the residents had had sleepless nights due to fear of rumours of Rwandese FDRL/Interahamwe having come to help the ruling party quell protests. The Police Chief dismissed that rumour arguing that Burundi Police personnel hailing from the northern provinces bordering with Rwanda speak with a Kinyarwanda accent. Five protesters had been killed and over 200 arrested. In Kanyosha commune a radio Bonyesha journalist narrowly survived being killed by Imbonerakure as the District Commissioner looked on. Nine journalists so far manhandled by Police while Radio RPA journalists Niyongabo and Ntibandetse had their houses destroyed by Imbonerakure. Security organisations unveiled a grand election security plan and urged the public to avail the authorities with information pertaining to alleged information being given to party loyalists. Protesters allege the presence of Interahamwe and Imbonerakure dressed in Police uniform. Some protesters in Musaga alleged that they had even arrested one such Interahamwe.

28/4/2015 - Radion RPA closed down after the Minister of information accused it of inciting the protests. Radios Bonesha and Isanganiro had their broadcasts restricted to Bujumbura city. Social media connections shut down. Rumours that the protests are orchestrated and dominated by Tutsi circulates in Musaga which is the epicentre of the protests. Police fires live ammunition but the  army is not happy and opts to provide a buffer zone between the protesters and the Police. The army orders the Police to restrict its operation along the main roads and not to enter the streets. Near St Anna catholic mission, stone throwing intensifies and the protesters overpower the visibly exhausted police who are chased with several injured.

29/4/2015 - A police water canon truck overturns after falling into a ditch and destroyed an adjacent residential house in Bwiza commune. Several of the security big shots came to see the accident. A Burundi ECO journalist Protais Mudasigwa seriously beaten by intelligence operatives while he covered that accident. In Musaga protesters arrest someone who was in possession of a pistol. The suspect was putting on a truck suit while underneath he had a military uniform trouser. The suspect had just past the security personnel heading towards the protesters. Another suspected Imbonerakure had been found in possession of an AK 47 rifle. Protesters from the communes of Kanyosha, Kinindo and Musaga make a united front to break police defence lines and reach the city centre but are blocked by police under the command of the Regional Police Commander Ndirakobucca alias Ndakugarika (I 'finish you') injuring four of the protesters. Kinama and Kinindo communes for the first time enter the protests. In Nyakabiga commune there are no commuter buses at all, women and children have all fled leaving only the men and boys who are involved in  
protests. There are no markets as all the entry points are barricaded. Burning tyre and stones are in the roads. In the evenings the Police, Imbonerakure and Intelligence operatives come to kidnap suspected ring leaders.

30/4/2015 - Over 600 University of Bujumbura students flee and seek asylum at the USA embassy. The embassy officials meet the student's representatives but did not grant asylum. The students opted to stay at the embassy premises until their security is guaranteed. In Musaga, three cars are burnt to ashes, six protesters including one dead shot by the police, several injured and arrested. In Kinanira commune, a car carrying Police and Intelligence operatives was burnt by protesters. The Ministry of Defence issued a statement urging the army and Police to cooperate with citizens in handling protests. A nine year child shot by Police is buried. The USA ambassador call upon the government to get a solution for the university students camped at its embassy.

1/5/2015 - The Bujumbura Regional Intelligence Officer accuses the head of OLCOME of hurling grenades in the city. A police patrol car is attacked with grenade leaving two dead. Protests paused for two days.

3/5/2015 - Defence Minister appeals to the politicians to respect the Arusha Peace Agreement and the constitution.  Protests resume in Kanyosha and musaga with a joint front line at the Junior Seminary and confronted by Police. They are on the lookout for the notorious former Intelligence Chief Gen Adolphe Nshimirimana who is said to be moving in a military vehicle and shooting at them. They burn tyre, erect barricades and call upon the youth to join the protests.  A group called Coalition for the Defence of the Arusha Peace Agreement calls upon the Police to respect international humanitarian law. Mwaro and Bururi provinces join the protests - in a confrontation with Police in Matana commune one policeman is injured by protesters at Munyira. In Bujumbura, protesters from Kanyosa, Mugongomanga and Mukika converge at Janda. In Buterere commune the perimeter fence for the residence of the District Commissioner was destroyed by the protesters. One notorious intelligence operative called Kazungu who had gone to arrest a resident was blocked by protesters.

4/5/2015 - In Nyakabiga commune protesters blocked the convoy carrying the First Lady forcing it to take a different route. Protests and shootings in different communes of Bujumbura intensified. In Musaga commune, behind Muha barracks at 1st Street, the visibly tired Police is simply seated under tree shades at their barracks while the protesters are camped 30 meters away singing and holding plackards bearing photos of President Nkurunziza, Intelligence Chief Bynyoni, Gen Adolpe Nshimirimana and RPC Gervois Ndirakobucca alias Ndakugarika who are held responsible for the bloodshed. The protesters express lack of confidence in the Police that is firing at them and hurling grenades. A bloody confrontation is at the Bridge that separates Musaga and Kanyosha.

 5/5/2015 - Burial of army Corporal Enfren Hatungimana who had been shot dead by Police on 30th. The assailant Policeman had been part of the Police squad that had been escorting the intelligence officer In-charge for Kanyosha and Musaga a one Dassin Joe. The protesters thereafter had intercepted their vehicle and burnt it before handing over the assailant to the army.  In Kanyosha commune, Imbonerakure hurl five grenades at the camp for the internally displaced in Quartier Kajiji injuring an old woman and her two grandchildren. Someone had tricked the protesters by using loudspeaker to gather them purportedly for a messagefrom the UN instead grenades were hurled at the crowds. The Kanyosha commune administrator was present and a vehicle carrying intelligence officer drove through Kanyosha heading to Musaga while spraying bullets. About 100 Imbonerakure move through 7th Street and confront the protesters. One Imbonerakure arrested by protesters and handed over to the army. The protesters overpower the imbonerakure up to the main Buj-Rumonge road.

6/5/2015 - In Kinindo a van carrying bread for sale is intercepted by protesters at Umuco near the university and is set on fire. This is the fourth vehicle to be burnt; the other three belong to the intelligence. In Kinama, one protester is shot dead during the early morning protests and shootings. In cibitoke, protesters chase a soldier who has let the Police to attack them. In Gitega province, a grenade is hurled at a secondary school but no injuries. Earlier on anonymous letters had been sent to the school threatening them to close the school. The Kanyosha commune administrator is pinned for having been part of those who hurled grenades on 30th that injured three people. In Kinama commune, three Imbonerakure hurl a grenade that kills two protesters. Protesters further accuse soldiers of not protecting them before they chased,arrested and badly beat one imbonerakure while others fled to Cibitoke. Protesters followed them up to their house in Cibitoke from where military equipments were recovered. In Nyakabiga one suspected Imbonerakure arrested from near the university, beaten to death and the body burnt beyond recognition. The victim was suspected to have been part of the Imbonerakure who were being deployed by intelligence officer Kazungu. However civilsociety leaders condemn that act of mob justice and appeal to protesters to desist. In Gisozi, a nine year old school boy is shot dead three times by Police.

7/5/2015 - In Musaga north, inteligence operatives are carrying out surveillance on protesters. Protesters set fire on a drinking joint at Muhundukazi before being confronted by the Police and fleeing. Despite the early morning down pour, the protesters are moving cautiously for fear of a heavy deployment of Police who intend to arrest those who had burnt to death one Imbonerakure. However, soldiers are providing a buffer zone. In the afternoon, around the LEO Tel Company head office in the city center, the Police confronts a funeral procession for Arnol Nkurunziza and Pascal who had been shot in Musaga and Nyakabiga respectively. The heavy police deployment under the command of the Bujumbura Regional Police Commander order the procession to turn back and tension gets high with protesters singing the national anthem before the procession accepts to take the route near the Source of the Nile Hotel.

8/5/2015 - The Minister of Defense released a statement by the National Security Council ordering all roads to be opened, all protests to be stopped, schools to open including the University of Bujumbura, and civil servants to report for work within 48 hours. The statement also urged journalists to report accurately and responsibly. The same statement appealed to the diplomatic community to render a helping hand in the upcoming elections. However, the statement appealed to the leaders to respect the freedom of assembly and expression. No wonder, the Minister of defense was dismissed following the foiled coup attempt. In Nyakabiga a confrontation with the Police left two dead and ten injured (including three security personnel) as soldiers simply stood by. Security cleared barricades but protesters returned them immediately after. In some zones residents resort to maintaining their own security while accusing Police and intelligence officers of killing them. Police attack in Nyakabiga leaves two people dead.

10/5/2015 - the 48 hours altmatum by the Minister of Defence has elapsed but the protesters are continuing. In Kinindo and Kanyosha, roads are still barricaded. A PSV was burnt on the BUJ- Rumonge road. On the main road from Musaga to the city center, Police is removing barricades but protesters have devised catpaults to fire stones at them. At the burial of the student

11/5/2015 - In Ngagara commune at its border with Cibitoke, protesters intercepted a PSV ferrying passengers and the driver told them that he was not concerned with the protests before his vehicle was set ablaze. In Kanyosha, at Musama zone two people suspected to be Imbonerakure are killed by their own grenade inside their house. One of them is identified as Christopher who had been notorious for harassing residents. The grenade was among those that were being issued out to Imbonerakure without sufficient weapon handling training. In Kirundo near the International school, residents for the first time get involved in protests demanding for the release of those arrested, the Police to stop killings, and the reopening of the closed radio stations while vowing to reach the city center.   In Kanyosha commune, protesters blocked from accessing the main Buj-Rumonge road junction. Teargas and live ammunitions are used on protesters. In Buterere commune, the commune administrator's car is set ablaze while she escapes and flees the commune leaving her residence to be guarded by soldiers. A ruling party branch office is set on fire before one rifle and military fatigue are recovered from the same office. Butere commune had all along desisted from protesting but had now been provoked by the notorious intelligence officer Kazungu who had gone to their area to arrest some residents on allegations that they were in possession of grenades.

12/5/2015 - APRODOH's Claver Mbonimpa issues a statement alleging that there was a secret plan to dress Imbonerakure in army fatigue and sent them to shoot at protesters so as to tarnish the image of the army. In some zones, residents have devised their own security measures through night patrols where by each family provides either one person or 5000 Bu Francs. Some Imbonerakure have joined the protests in Kanyosha but are fearing to be seen by their colleagues. Rsidents are blowing whistles and moving from door to door calling upon residents to join the protests. Men, women and the youth join the move but are blocked at the junction of the main Buj-Rumonge road. At an alternative route, they are also blocked at the bridge separating Kanyosha and Musaga communes.  In Musaga, one person is killed and three others injured.

13/5/2015 - President Nkurunziza heads for Tanzania for talks over the crisis. A combined huge processions comprised of protesters from Musaga, Kanyosha and rural Bujumbura are intent on reaching the city center. Gen Niyombare announces that he has taken over government. Huge processions of protesters enter the city center waving the national flag and are confronted by the Police at St Michael near the Ndongozi newspaper. Stone throwing is answered by heavy teargas and live ammunition. The protesters are overpowered and pushed back before they reorganise and take a different route via the Novotel Hotel. RPA radio station is set ablaze by loyalists. Protesters go into jubilation over assumed victory.

OBSERVATIONS
-  The protests were and continue to be led by the two human rights activists i.e Pacifique Ninahazwe and Claver Mbonimpa while the oppositionpolitical leaders are silent.
-   The protests have not gone beyond Bujumbura simply because in the countryside, the Police, Imbonerakure and the intelligence have so much subdued the population that it cant rise its head.
-   Had it not been for the Army, the clashes between the Police/Imbonerakure/Intelligence and the protesters would have been more bloodier.
-   The propaganda attempting to link the protests to ethnicity and the Rwandese Interahamwe factor has failed to take root.
-   Interestingly, there has not been any form of looting during the protests.
-   It was very disgraceful for university students to seek asylum at the USA embassy.
-   The situation on the ground did not correspond with the maginitude of refugees fleeing the country.
-   Unless the protests specify specific geographical targets and get hold of them, they may not achieve much as they risk getting exhausted and being infiltrated.
-   Because of the past civil wars, there are many grenades and fire arms in the hands of locals thus not all the grenades may have been hurled by loyalists.

INFORMATION IS POWER

Monday, 18 May 2015

IDDI AMIN CONSPIRED TO ASSASSINATE BURUNDI'S LAST KING

In march 1966 Burundi's King Mwambutsa left for Switzerland and stayed there for months as had always been the tendency. In June 1966 he sent his only son Prince Charles Ndizeye from Geneva to Burundi in advance to prepare for his (King) return. Instead, upon reaching Burundi the young Prince Charles then aged 19 years declared himself king and adopted the name of Ntare V. The Barundi of all ethnic backgrounds accepted him because of the love they had for the kingdom. He went ahead to form a new government with the former Minister of Defence Col. Michael Mucombero as his Prime Minister. The deposed king Mwambutsa sent him a message to the effect that there was a group that intended to take advantage of his tender age and destroy the kingdom. Mwambutsa opted to remain in exile in Geneva.

Hardly two months elapsed before the relationship between the King and his Prime Minister showed signs of cracks. When the King dismissed some government ministers using a radio announcement, Prime Minister Mucombero reinstated them before deploying soldiers at the national radio to block the King from accessing it again. The soldiers even took over all housed adjacent to the radio station in order to ensure that the King does not even come closer. Two weeks later Col Mucombero deployed heavy armaments at strategic locations in the capital Bujumbura. In November 1966 Col Mucombero announced the overthrow of the King, abolished the monarchy, declared the Republic of Burundi and made himself the President after promoting himself to the rank of Lt. Gen. At the time King Ntare V was on an official visit to the then Zaire but The King had hoped to return to Burundi because he believed that since he had the support of the people they would support him to regain his kingdom.

From Zaire, the deposed King Ntare V proceeded to exile in Europe, reconciled with his father and planned an armed return to his kingdom. As part of the armed return preparations, in March 1972 he visited Uganda and was welcomed by then President Iddi Amin. The King had been accompanied by some members of the royal family namely Emmanuel Biha (son to Leopold Biha who was one time Prime Minister of Burundi), Mathias Hitimana, Prince Andrew Ndagijimana. Iddi Amin received them in high esteem and they had no doubt that he was to offer them the necessary military back up. They were accommodated in the International Hotel Kampala and treated as State guests.

Burundi's President Mucombero got information about the King's presence in Uganda and he dispatched intelligence agents to confirm. Next it was his then Minister of Foreign Affairs Artemon Simbananiye who visited Uganda to seal the deal. Iddi Amin first tricked Prince Ndagijimana by getting him out of the hotel and killing him. They he told King Ntare V that Prince Ndagijimana had been facilitated to secretly go and greet his mother near the border with Burundi. The King had earlier smelt a rat when he saw suspicious people in the company of Iddi Amin around the same Hotel they were staying but he had no alternative. Shortly after Iddi Amin deceived King Ntare V and Prince Emanuel Biha to board a military helicopter purportedly to go and meet Prince Ndagijimana (who had already been killed at the time). Instead the Ugandan military helicopter and three hours later it landed in Gitega, Burundi and the King Ntare V was handed over to the government.

King Ntare V was placed under house arrest at the former Palace but two days later the newspapers reported that he had been shot dead while he attempted to escape. His grave and remains, if any has never been traced to date. Some reports indicate that that he was simply executed by his guards Capt Onesmus Ntabiriho and Lt Charles Nyabenda on the orders of President Mucombero. President Iddi Amin claimed that he had received a written assurance from his Burundian counterpart that the King would be safe if he would return and live as a private citizen. His father opted to remain in exile where he died after making a will wishing  that his remains should never to be returned to Burundi. He had lost his only two sons (Prince Rwagasore - Burundi's first Prime Minister and King Charles Ndizeye Ntare V; who were both victims of greed for power).

INFORMATION IS POWER

Friday, 15 May 2015

BURUNDI FOILED COUP ATTEMPT UNDERMINED THE PEOPLES' POWER IN FAVOUR OF NKURUNZIZA

On 27th April 2015 protests broke out in the capital Bujumbura against President Nkurunziza's intentions to contest for a third term in elections set for June 2015. The protests that were predominantly comprised of urban youths from the unprivileged class had entered a successful third week before the attempted military coup hijacked it two days ago. Though initially lacking proper political opposition and civil society focused guidance, the third week was slated to witness a formidable stand off.

The protest had gained legitimacy inside the country, in the region and internationally. The regional leaders in the region who had convened in Tanzania would not have arrived at any other solution other than urging President Nkurunziza to pull out of the Presidential contest. With sustained domestic, regional and international pressure, President Nkurunziza would have risked isolation if he would not heed to the call.

The army had initially played a neutral role by providing a buffer zone between the protesters and the the Police and the paramilitary CNDD-FDD youth wingers (Imbonerakure). Though the protesters had lost about 15 of their member, several injured and been contained in the suburbs, they were gaining upper hand. They had been able to pick enough courage to beat up and in some instances disarm their attackers. They had managed to capture one Imbonerakure and burnt him to death.

ut of the blue, an army General without proper planning and analysis of the general situation on the ground, simply went on radio to announce that he had overthrown President Nkurunziza. The protesters declared victory and abandoned their protests by going into celebrations and merry making. What had started as a popular mass uprising turned into an attempted military coup that threatened to tear the army apart. That development provided an opportunity to Nkurunziza's loyalists to met their wrath on all those they had all along longed to harm.

The regional and international opinion shifted from simpathising with the legitimate protests to condemning the attempted coup. The military Generals who had all along been in bed with Nkurunziza and had access to all military means to overthrow him had not done so. Now that the unarmed civilians had initiated their move, these opportunistic military Generals simply jumped in solely to seize the opportunity to grab power. It happened in Egypt when the military hoodwinked  the protesters by stage managing a take over and indictment of former President Mubarak and very soon Mubarak will be a free man. ur people dont learn from history even when it is very recent.

Now that the coup has failed, President Nkurunziza is to use that excuse to extend elections, purge his opponents, force others to flee thus another rebellion that will drag in regional players. For Nkurunziza, the attempted coup presented a golden opportunity for him to hold on power by all means. However, the incident is a testimony of how peoples' power is supreme. The role of the military can not be ignored in such a situation but it should be subjected to the civilian authority (people's power) if such mass uprising is to achieve its intended objective. ne can rightly argue that Gen Niyombare and company came in to early. The best should have been for the General to lead the protests.

Burundians should quickly resume protests but in a more organized way and push on with their demands until Nkurunziza drops his third term bid. By Geographical comparison with Kampala city, the city of Bujumbura is much smaller. The hot spots of the protests like cibitoke, Kinama, Ngagara, Mutakura and Nyakabiga can be compared to Nankulabye, Kasubi, Bwaise, Kawempe, and Mulago in Kampala. State House in Bujumbura is found in the posh areas of Kiriri/Kigobe that can be compared with Nakasero and Kololo.  The major three military camps i.e the infamous Muha barracks, the military academy and the maximum prison are located in Musaga which can be compared to Bugolobi and industrial area in Kampala. The Police Headquarters is located in Nyakabiga area which can be compared to Nakulabye in Kampala. The city centre in Bujumbura that spreads to Lake Tanganyika can be compared to areas of Katwe, Makindye and Nsambya in Kampala spreading to Lake Victoria in Gaba.  The infamous swahili speaking Burundians and congolese occupy area of Buyenzi and Bwiza which can be compared to Nateete and Ndeeba in Kampala but these residents have not been active in protests. Behind Buyenzi and Bwiza is the industrial zone through which goes the road to the airport. The national radio and television are located in the city center area of Kabondo that can be compared to Muyenga in Kampala. The private radio stations from where the fugitive General made announcement of the coup is in the city center thus the first time the protesters dared to reach the city center. The major hot spots of the protests are separated from the rest of the city by a big River Ntahangwa which provides a tactical advantage for the Police in containing the spread of the protest.  The University of Burundi is located in Nyakabiga but the students have not been involved in protests instead they took refuge at the USA embassy square. The Uganda Embassy is located in Mutanga which is compared to Naguru in Kampala. That is the rough comparison sketch map of Bujumbura city.

INFORMATION IS POWER

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

BURUNDI PROTESTS - LESSONS FOR ANTI-MUSEVENISM UGANDANS

Ruling party
CNDD-FDD was formed in 1994 following the assassination by the Tutsi dominated army of the first Hutu President Ndadaye. It was led by Leonard Nyangoma and drew its political leadership from Hutu intellectuals from mostly the southern Province of Bururi.  However its fighters were drawn from different parts of the whole country and had its bases in the refugee camps in Tanzania. By 2001, the rebel outfit boosted of about 25,000 fighters under the leadership of Bosco Ndayikengurukiye. In October 2001 the little known Peter Nkurunziza the current President split the rebel outfit taking with him about 90% of the rebel fighters leaving the rest to his rival Bosco Ndayikengurukiye who signed a truce with the government. In December 2002, Nkurunziza also signed a ceasefire with government. These ceasefires gave way to the Arusha Peace Agreement that stipulated a power sharing agreement between majority Hutus who are 86% and Tutsis being 14% of the total population. Under the arrangement, the National Assembly was to be comprised of 60% Hutus and 40% Tutsi, the Senate was to be 50/50 and the army was also to be shared at 50/50.

In 2005 a constitutional referendum approved a new constitution by 92% votes but the Tutsi dominated parties argued that the new constitutions did not give Tutsi enough guarantees. The CNDD-FDD registered as a political party and won parliamentary elections with 80% votes. The following month Peter Nkurunziza was voted by the National Assembly as President unopposed for a five year term. His CNDD-FDD allied with the Tutsi dominated parties. In 2007 the CNDD-FDD National Chairman Husein Rajab was deposed at the party congress and thereafter arrested on allegations of treason before being convicted and sentenced to 13 years imprisonment. This is similar to what happened to Museveni's former Secretary General and Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi. In 2010 Nkurunziza won the general election that were boycotted by the mainstream opposition parties. In April 2014 he attempted without success to amend the constitution for a third term but missed it by one vote. In the same futile move he attempted to amend the constitution to replace the two Vice Presidents (one Tutsi and the other Hutu) with a Prime Minister - a move that would have undermined the power balance. Despite the above setbacks, he went ahead to scheme for a third term among which he was training and arming his party youths commonly known as Imberakuri (those who see far) which is the equivalency of Museveni's  Crime Preventers. A top UN official who authored a report about this arming of the youth was expelled from the country.

Following the failed constitutional amendments the following developments took place:

-  The Minister of Internal Affairs publicly stated thus: "My advice to politicians planning to vie for the presidency is to prepare to knowing that they will contest against the current President." On 21st March 2014 both the CNDD-FDD and the Presidency spokesmen announced that is was only the party congress that was empowered to nominate a presidential candidate.He was simply hoodwinking Burundians while buying time the same way Museveni is hoodwinking Ugandans.

-  In January 2015 CNDD-FDD Senator Richard Nimbashe gave a press release opposing Nkurunziza's third term bid and went further to state that the same view is held by many party members. He was immediately expelled from the party, senate and his position at the Land Commission (CNTB).

-   On 13th February 2014 the National Intelligence Service (SNR) issued a Memo warning the President against attempt to seek a third term. It advised him to cede power at the end of his second term for the good of himself, his family and the party. Instead, the Director of SNR Gen Godfroid Niyombare was dismissed from service.

-   On 1st March 2015 former CNDD-FDD national Chairman escaped from the main prison after serving for 8 of the 13 years. He later told a foreign radio station that he had been assisted by top government officials and some fighters who were in the bush. He claimed that he had supporters in all government institutions.

-   On 6th March 2015 the Catholic Bishop of Bujumbura Evariste Ngoyegoye preached against the 3rd term thus: "After analysis of the Arusha Peace Agreement and the constitution, by questioning our hearts as citizens who love their country and as shepherds of the church, we say that Burundians have agreed that the person elected to lead Burundi can not go beyond two terms of five years each". The statement sent shock waves throughout the country given Burundi's religious structure where 62% are Catholic, 6% Anglican and the remaining being shared by different smaller christian denominations and a significant number of Muslims. Right from the inception of the country's violent history, the Catholic church was accused of being a "church of silence" for its liberal stand. The Bishop declared nine days of prayers for peace and transparency in the elections.

-   On 11th March 2015 CNDD-FDD Chairman Pascal Nyabenda told the BBC that opinions polls had indicated that CNDD-FDD supporters, the Bagumyaibanga (those who keep a secret)  want President Nkurunziza to seek reelection. Immediately after, the party Spokesman stated that there had not been a survey for such opinion polls and that the party had other people who could stand for the presidency.

-  On 14th March 2015 the CNDD-FDD Council of Elders which is the highest body of the party met in the presence of President Nkurunziza and overwhelmingly rejected his third term bid.

-   On 23rd March 2015 a statement signed by 17 members of the CNDD-FDD top executive body urged Nkurunziza not to seek a third term. Among them were the Spokesmen for both the party and the presidency. Two days later ten of the seventeen dissenters were sacked from the party and their positions. The statement from the Presidency accused them of conspiracy to destabilise the party and the country. This is what happened with the likes of MP Ssekikubo and group and all others suspected of being pro-Mbabazi.

-   The Imbonerakure - a paramilitary and armed youth wing of CNDD-FDD has been at the forefront of the push for third term for President Nkurunziza throughout the country. Their equivalency in Uganda is the Crime Preventers and patriotic clubs members whom the Police is providing with paramilitary skills in exchange for supporting Museveni's sole candidature.

 -  On 26th April 2015 the CNDD-FDD congress nominated Nkurunziza as the party's flag bearer. The following day 27th April, protesters opposed to his third term took to the streets of the city's suburbs. The general elections are scheduled for May 26th 2015 while the Presidential elections are scheduled for June 26th 2015. Just as is the case with Museveni,separating the two elections is designed to give the incumbent an added advantage over other contenders.

-  The Constitutional Court quashed the objection to his reelection by upholding that he was eligible for reelection. The Vice President of the constitutional court Justice Slyvere Nimpagaritse who was one of the 7 man panel that determined the petition fled to Rwanda citing that the government had coerced the Justices
with death threats.

-  Immediately after the court's pronouncement, President Nkurunziza registered as a Presidential candidate seeking another term in the upcoming June 2015 Presidential elections.

President Nkurunziza's legacy
Nkurunziza inherited an ethically divided country. Through a coalition with Tutsi party UPRONA, he managed to contain the ethnic divide. The Arusha Peace Agreement was an institutional arrangement that created a power sharing agreement between the elites of the two ethnic groups. This coalition of Tutsi/CNDD-FDD fell apart following attempts to tamper with the constitution in 2014. His reign brought relative peace in the country, he got closer to the common man through community service and he is a singer a choir member in one of the born again churches, allowed a vibrant press though with stringent conditions and persecution of individual journalists, introduced free education and antenatal and medical services, promoted agricultural and veterinary services, promoted sports (being a sportsman by profession), facilitated the building of small scale factories, made strides in road construction, attracted foreign aid and investment, and he won several international prizes. He created an environment for freedom of association, expression and assembly though with some degree of repression and in some instances grave consequences. He initiated a land redistribution scheme that has generated alot of controversy more especially among the Tutsi who had grabbed land when the Hutus fled the country decades ago. He has been dragging his feet over constituting a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (CVR) simply because of his alliance with the Tutsi who are the major culprits in the country's violent history. During 2010 campaigns he promised to build dams to improve on the country's energy needs but he has not done anything so far to address the endemic problem of rampant power cuts and its rising tariffs. The land reform scheme (CNTB) is seen as a victor/vanquished based and viewed with suspicion more especially by the Tutsi. Burundi has a high population density and very limited natural resources thus most of the population remain economically suppressed and resign themselves to subsistence agricultural farming. With baiting poverty and poor health services, surviving is the norm and living is a privilege. Save for Bujumbura the capital, CNDD-FDD enjoys an organised political force in the rest of the country such that even without ballot stuffing and intimidation, it can win an election. CNDD- FDD manages a barrage of satellite political parties that legitimise its victory in case of a boycott by major political parties.
Opposition and civil society
- Leonard Nyangoma the founding father of CNDD-FDD split from the party in the late 1990sdue to to ethnicity being a hardliner Hutu,  but retains its remnants under CNDD which is dominant in Bururi which is the equivalence of Ankole region in Uganda. It is in Bururi where the Hima, Tutsi and Hutu are equally strong. Unlike Rwanda, in Burundi they have Himas as an ethnic class more privileged than Tutsi. Since the 2010 elections, Nyangoma remains in exile.Burundi society is subdivided into four categories i.e Abaganwa, Abatutsi, Abahima, Abahutu and abatwa. The Baganwa were the rulers during the days of the monarchy, the Tutsi  and the Hima are two distinct groups each with separate clans and specific roles in the kingdom. The Batwa were the makers of pottery. Unlike in Rwanda, in Burundi Hutus helped run the kingdom; they were the closest advisors to the king and servants at the court (serving at the court was an honour). Tutsi were herders who had no role at the royal court while Himas were very prevalent at the royal court because they had other imprtant functions among them herders of the kingdom's sacred bulls.  After the abolition of the monarchy in Burundi, the Hima though continue to be identified as such, they are commonly classified as Tutsi. Therefore the meanings of Tutsi and Hutu in Burundi is different from the meaning of the same in Rwanda.

-  Following the genocide against Burundi Hutus in 1972, many Hutus fled to DRC and Tanzania. In 1980 the Hutus in refugee camps in Tanzania formed the Party for the Liberation of the Hutu People (PALIPEHUTU). It was founded by Remmy Gahutu who later died mysteriously. In 1985 it established its armed wing that came to be known as PALIPEHUTU-FNL. In 1990 a splinter political group formed FROLINA. In 1991 the armed wing, PALIPEHUTU-FNL led by Kabura split from the political wing of PALIPEHUTU. In 2002 the military wing further split into the Kabura and Agathon Rwasa factions. It draws its support from mainly central regions of Mramvya and Lake Tanganyika. PALIPEHUTU-FNL fought in the second Congo war on the side of Kabila, FDRL and Mai Mai militias. It signed a ceasefire agreement with the CNDD-FDD government in 2006 and in 2008 it signed the final peace agreement. It registered as a political party and was compelled to remove the acronym PALIPEHUTU. It is the main opposition party though it split into two factions  whose armed fighters are still active active in the Fizi and Uvira territories of DRC. It boycotted the 2010 elections and its leader Agathon Rwasa went into hiding but returned to Bujumbura two years ago and is vying for the presidency in the forthcoming elections. f recent FNL is trying to reconcile with the Tutsi dominated UPRNA.

-   MSD is led by Alexis Sinduhije who is considered as the most charismatic and appealing to the urban elites and draws support from mainly the capital Bujumbura's middle and upper class. He went into hiding after he was accused of forming an armed group based in DRC. He was sometime back arrested in Tanzania and deported back to Belgium where he had come from. He retains significant mobilisation potential in urban Bujumbura.

-   ADC - Ikibiri is an umbrella political movement comprised of various opposition splinter groups from FRODEBU (Sawanya), CNDD from CNDD-FDD, and a few others. It is led by Leoance Ngendakumana but it has failed to rally a large anti-government alliance. It has failed to attract key players like MSD and UPRONA (the Tutsi dominated party).

- UPRONA is the party associated with Burundi's independence and cherished past leader Prince Rwagasore and Tutsis. It is led by veteran politician Manwangari. It has lost influence and repeatedly changed alliances - initially it allied with the ruling CNDD-FDD in return for protection from past misdeeds to Hutus. It split with one faction led by Nditije but it was refused registration as a party and another faction remaining allied to CNDD-FDD. Currently it is suspected that it is in alliance with Agathon Rwasa's FNL.


- FRODEBU was founded by the first Hutu President Ndadaye and is currently led by Jean Minani.

-  FRONDEURS  is a group comprised of former members of government and security circles who have been sidelined for being outspoken against the 3rd term for Nkurunziza. Gen Niyombare (dismissed intelligence chief), Richard Nimbesha (former CNDD-FDD Senator), Festus Nyanyungu (former Minister), Gabriel Nizigama (former Minister) and a few others.

-   Party for National Recovery(PARENA) led by former President Jean Baptiste Bagaza.

-   There are about 30 other smaller political parties who don't even have parliamentary representation.

-     There are over 1000 civil society organisations and two big trade unions. Tutsi dominate civil society organisations and the media. 

Protests
On 27th April 2015 protests started in the capital Bujumbura. It started from the Tutsi dominated areas of the city like Ngagara, Cibitoke, Musaga, Nyakabiga, and Mutakura. The protesters comprised of mostly low income, unemployed, and uneducated male youths from the less privileged backgrounds. Even during the era of Tutsi regimes, anti government demonstrations used to originate from these areas. The Police and the Imbonerakure were at hand to stop the protesters from reaching the city center by shooting dead two people and injuring others. Government claimed that the first two to be killed were members of its paramilitary youth wing, the Imbonerakure.

Opposition groups and the civil society called people to the street with promises that the protests would last as long as their demands were not met. However, it is evident that these leaders had not taken time to plan. The leaders were not on the ground but were instead on radio and social media.  Three independent radio stations were closed including Africa Free Radio (RPA) popularly known as 'the voice of the voiceless.'  While radio RPA was completely shut down, the other two stations i.e Bonesha and Isanganiro were curtailed from broadcasting outside Bujumbura city and APR had its land line telephones cutoff.The regime went ahead to shutdown social media like Whatsapp, Twitter etc. The protesters set up barricades in areas of cibitoke and the police responded with firing live bullets directly at protesters. As  the protests progressed, it became evident that the elites had shunned it. The Media House - a gathering place for Journalists was closed down immediately after arresting Pier Mbonimpa a leading human rights activist and President of the independent rights organisation, APRODH.

The Imbonerakuri hurled a grenade at protesters in the Kanyosha suburb that left dozens wounded. In the meantime thousands of refugees had been fleeing the country to neighbouring Rwanda, DRC and Tanzania. The highest number is said to have fled to Rwanda and is predominantly Tutsi. It is this group that fled to Rwanda that commenced the rumour that the Rwandese Hutu militias were being used by CNDD-FDD in quelling the protests. About 600 students from the University of  Burundi sought protection from the USA embassy by camping in its open square. President Nkurunziza addressed the nation calling for calm arguing thus: "... the current crisis is nothing compared to what we experienced in 1993 - 1994 at the start of the civil war." The government termed the protesters as terrorists who were leading an insurrection. A week later, government and the opposition met but could not come up with a comprehensive solution. The Minister of Internal Affairs led a team of government officials to Rwanda in an attempt to convince the refugees to return home. The refugees objected citing fears of the CNDD-FDD paramilitary youth wing, Imbonerakure.

By the time the protest was paused for one day last Friday, 17 people had been killed.

International Community
On 27th February 2015 the USA Deputy Secretary of State had cautioned thus: "We hope that the presidential elections will follow the Arusha Peace Agreement concerning term limits". Just a few days into the protests, Foreign Affairs Ministers from the East Africa Community member states visited Burundi. Rwanda's President Kagame told a convention in Switzerland in reference to the protests in Burundi thus: "If your own citizens tell you that we do not want you to do that or to lead us, may be they are saying you have not done enough for them." Russia blocked a proposal by the UN Security council to issue a statement on the crisis in Burundi by arguing that: "its not the business of the security council and the UN charter to get involved in constitutional matters of sovereign states" said Russia's Ambassador to UN.South Africa's President appointed the Minister in the Presidency Jeff Rodebe as his special envoy with a task of carrying a special message to Nkurunziza for him to step aside from running for a third term. On 5th March the EU warned that running for a third term was risky.The AU Commission Chief said that it was clear that there shouldn't be a third term for the incumbent adding that; "prohibition and repression of peaceful demonstrations expressing legitimate concerns would violate the conditions necessary for a credible and transparent vote". The head of the EU election monitoring mission in Burundi expressed concern over violence. The USA Secretary of State criticised Nkurunziza's desire to cling to power.The ICC Chief Prosecutor said that his office was closely following events in Burundi. The UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes appealed for calm. Belgium has suspended funding for the elections and support to the Police while the USA has threatened sanctions. The UN denied earlier reports that Secretary General Moon had requested Uganda's Museveni to intervene in Burundi: "We dont have any comment on what the Uganda authorities said and we did not put out a read out of the meeting. our efforts in Burundi involve getting the parties to engage in dialogue with each other and have nothing to do with military intervention". The Presidents of the Four Presidents of the East African Community member states are meeting in Dares-salaam over the crisis in Burundi.


Role of the Security services
Following the Arusha Peace Agreement, the former Tutsi dominated army (FAB) was incorporated with the former rebel combatants to form a new national army (FDN) at 50/50 for Hutu and Tutsi respectively. It has undergone training by major world powers and it has expressed its professionalism in various peacekeeping missions. Its independence is evidenced by its neutrality in the current protests where it has provided a buffer between the protesters and the Police/Imbonerakure - a stand made publicly clear by both the Minister of Defence and the Commander of the Army.  Earlier on the Minister of Defence rejected President Nkurunziza's attempt to incorporate armed elements of the Imbonerakure into the national army. Nkurunziza relies so much on the police and the intelligence services to maintain a grip on power while suppressing political dissent. The Minister of internal Affairs Eduardo Nduwimana is a hardliner who coordinates the National Security Council, the Police, the secret service, Nkurunziza's inner circle and the party's paramilitary youth wing, Imbonerakure. The secret service (SNR) formerly headed by the ruthless killer Gen Adolph Nshimirimana has licence to kill. Gen Nsimirimana headed Nkurunziza's intelligence services right from the time of the war until recently and is responsible for much of the extra judicial killings that were experienced by the country in recent times. He is now an Advisor to the President but also doubles as the brain behind the Imbonerakure youth wing that is headed by Denis Karera. Gen Gullaume Bunyoni the current head of the Secret service is another Nkurunziza loyalist and a key player in the later's political schemes.

Electoral Commission
The Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) is aligned to CNDD-FDD. f recent it has been involved in registering and distribution of new IDs to Burundians. The exercise is marred by irregularities and is suspect. There has been instances of multiple registration and issuance of IDs. It allowed the reliance on Baptism cards, school IDs, Driving permits etc in identifying eligible voters for registration. The application forms for biometric ID consisted of suspicious questionnaires i.e Bank Account, Land possession, etc. Because of lack of independence, owing to the ongoing crisis, it has failed to declare a halt in the upcoming electoral exercise.

Forecast
CNDD-FDD can not survive without Nkurunziza because like Museveni he has turned it into a personal cult. The opposition is banking on failing Nkurunziza's bid for another term so that they can trounce on CNDD-FDD. The East African leaders will not do much to change Nkurunziza'a stand. Museveni is in the same boat with Nkurunziza and that is why he has never commented on the ongoing crisis fearing that a successful protest in Burundi will stage the stage for Uganda. Rwanda's Kagame has no good relations with Nkurunziza owing to the recent misunderstanding between Rwanda and Tanzania where the club of Kagame, Kaguta and Kenyata attempted to isolate Tanzania from the East African Community but Nkurunziza sided with Tanzania. Rwanda is attempting to draw in its own FDRL rebel group into the current protests in Burundi by coaching refugees to allege that FDRL is siding with CNDD-FDD in targeting certain individuals. It is most probable that Rwanda is fuelling the protests and already Burundi has expelled a Rwandese Anthony Masonzera who was the CEO of ECONET, the countries giant telephone company. The minority Tutsi in Burundi during their hey days helped the Tutsis led by Kagame to seize power in Rwanda during the early 90s. Burundi has a number of armed groups in opposition with bases in the DRC and sympathisers within the country but because the army has taken a neutral stand, these armed groups have not joined the current political arena in spite of the killings the Police continues to met on the protesters. However, should the FDRL factor succeed in swaying the legitimate protests, then the crisis will take a Tutsi/Hutu dimension that will result into a resumption of ethnic hostilities.However, it would be a disservice if the men in uniform from either side hijacked the people's revolution as was the case in Egypt.

The protests lack political leadership and guidance and if the opposition and civil society do not come in to give guidance, the protest will be infiltrated it and dies out due to fatigue.  The international community has clearly pronounced itself and its upon the people of Burundi not to relent and loose such a golden opportunity but to carry out focused protests in defence of the constitution. Sort of that, Nkurunziza is determined to go ahead with the elections though campaigns and election will be marred by intimidation and violence. His determination is contained in a promise he made when he was registering his candidacy by promising that this was going to be his final term.

INFORMATION IS POWER. 


Thursday, 7 May 2015

"ADF" KILLS TANZANIAN PEACEKEEPERS - WHAT A COINCIDENCE!!!!!

Tanzania defeats M23 rebels
In May 2013 during a special meeting of heads of state from the Great Lakes region and attended by the UN Secretary General in Adis Ababa, Tanzania's President Kikwete called upon the presidents of Rwanda, Uganda and DRC to hold direct talks with their armed opposition groups that are based in the eastern DRC. That brotherly call made in good faith was misinterpreted and blown out of proportion by some quarters. Rwanda's Kagame said he would never discuss the topic but would wait for Kikwete at the right place and strike him.

 In August 2013 Tanzaniat sent its troops to eastern DRC under the UN mandated Intervention Brigade comprising of 3069 troops drawn from South Africa, Malawi and Tanzania. Made up of one artillery unit, one Special Forces Unit and a reconnaissance company, by November 2013 the Brigade had flashed the M23 rebels from the DRC territory. Earlier on, just a day after the UN passed the resolution to deploy that Brigade, the then M23 Chief Gen Bosco Ntaganda surrendered to the USA embassy in Kigali. Brig Sultan Makenga took over command of the Museveni and Kagame backed rebel outfit. The political leaders of M23 in Uganda sent an open letter to Tanzania protesting its intervention and warning that its decision was a "dangerous adventure." Of course this message was indirectly reflecting Kagame and Museveni's stand on the matter. When they were defeated they just retreated across the common frontiers to Uganda and Rwanda where they continue to live in military camps waiting for an opportunity to resume rebellion in DRC.

ADF reorganises in North Kivu 
In late April 2015 reports were rife that the Uganda rebels were re-organising in some parts of North Kivu province for an attack inside Uganda. Pro Rwenzururu Kingdom and Bwamba kingdom militias were also reported to be undergoing military training inside DRC. Uganda's Special Forces and Commando units were reported to have been deployed at strategic locations along the common border. Eastern DRC based UN Radio Okapi reported that 200 Uganda soldiers hand entered the DRC territory of Beni in North Kivu province. The Uganda army Spokesman denied the reports but the Defense Minister said that the army was ready to attack and flush out the ADF if Kinshasha granted permission.

Peacekeepers killed
Early this week suspected Uganda ADF rebels ambushed and killed two Tanzanian peacekeepers at a location 20 km north of the eastern DRC town of Beni in the North Kivu province. More four Tanzania peacekeepers are reported missing following the same incident. Earlier on a MONUSCO helicopter carrying its military chief had come under fire from unidentified gunmen in the same area. The UN Secretary General condemned "the continuing atrocities perpetuated by the ADF against defenseless civilians." Martin Cobler the head of Monusco said "I wont tolerate anymore of these repeated attacks against blue helmets in Beni territory." The DRC army is reported to have earlier on fought and killed 15 ADF rebels and recovered 6 AK 47 rifles after killing the rebel third ranking top commander.

ADF Chief arrested in Tanzania
On 30th April 2015 news started trickling in that the overall head of the ADF rebel group, Jamil Mukulu had been arrested in Tanzania. The Uganda security services are reported to have swung into action trying to liaise with their counterparts in Tanzania in order to identify the suspect and possible extradition. A delegation led by Uganda Police's head of Counter terrorism is said to have traveled to Tanzania early this week but were reportedly denied access to the suspect. Later it was reported that the government of Tanzania intended to hand over the suspect to DRC instead. On Wednesday the Uganda Police said that it had formally requested Tanzania to extradite the suspect to Uganda. In the late 1990s, Uganda courts issued an international arrest warrant against Jamil Mukulu but Uganda  has no extradition treaty with Tanzania. Early in the week, Museveni met Tanzania's President in New York where it is thought that the issue was discussed.
During the same time, it is reported that ADF's Chief of Intelligence Fenehasi Kisokeranio defected and met Museveni in Kampala.

African Solutions for African problems
At the UN General Assembly in New York this week, Museveni reiterated his earlier stand against UN led military interventions in Africa. He argued thus: "....last minute high handed interventions without a thorough understanding of the dynamics of the situation are wrong and injurious....."  Obviously the UN Intervention Brigade that defeated his M23 was part of what he was referring to. In particular, both Museveni and Kagame were affected by Tanzania's deployment against their own M23 in DRC. They had anticipated that being a member of the East African Community, Tanzania would blindly support their nasty schemes. However, the same Museveni is a using the UN backed Somali peace keeping mission to blackmail the west. In 2012 when the UN group of experts released a report implicating Uganda in assisting the M23 rebels in eastern DRC, Museveni threatened to withdraw his troops from all peace keeping missions and the UN had to back off.

Questions
1.  Could the Museveni's army alleged to have crossed to DRC been the ones who ambushed the Tanzanian peace keepers so that Tanzania could change its stand on the extradition of Jamil Mukulu?  Note: During the Ituri carnage when MONUSCO dragged its feet in attacking Tom Lubanga's UPC, Uganda's Gen Kayihura ambushed UN peace keepers and a green light to subdue Lubanga was issued.

2.  With such recent setbacks among the rank and file of ADF, does it have the stamina to engage the UN peace keeping and DRC forces?

3.  How does Jamil Mukulu case differ from M23's Brig Sultan Makenga who is currently sheltered by Uganda?

4.  Assuming Tanzania stumbles on its undisputed reputation for respect of international humanitarian law and respect for human rights and handed over the suspect to Museveni, can Jamil Mukulu get justice in Uganda?

5.  For how long will Museveni continue fooling the world?

INFORMATION IS POWER

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

LIKE TOORO'S OYO, BUGANDA'S KABAKA ALSO STAYS OUTSIDE HIS KINGDOM

Introduction
The Kingdom of Tooro in the western region of Uganda is facing a crisis whereby the King is accused of abandoning his kingdom to stay in the capital city of Kampala which was formally part of Buganda Kingdom. His reign is under threat by his cousin Prince Kijjanangoma who has proclaimed himself king on among other grounds that the substantive King Oyo deserted his kingdom. The King of Buganda also resides in the capital city of Kampala that was in 1995 constitutionally proclaimed not to be part of Buganda Kingdom but has not been accused of desertion by his subjects.

Background
In 1966 following a clash between the central government and Kingdom of Buganda whose seat was in the capital city Kampala, the king fled into exile, kingdoms were abolished, kingdom properties confiscated and Uganda was declared a republic. The confiscated properties more especially the much cherished and valued land was vested in the Uganda Land Commission. The developments culminated into the deep rooted hatred of the then UPC I government and its then President Milton Obote by some good number of Baganda. It is that hatred that was fomented and exploited by Museveni in the early 1980s during his pursuit of his presidential ambitions disguised as a liberation war. In order to undermine the other Buganda aligned fighting groups, Museveni promised to restore the Buganda kingdom in return for support. During the Nairobi Peace talks in late 1985, he smuggled Prince  Mutebi to the rebel territory in order to reassure the Baganda and in particular the fighters who were at the time expressing dissatisfaction following the death of the rebel chairman Prof Yusuf Lule.

After taking over power in 1986, Baganda immediately embarked on agitating for the return from exile of Prince Mutebi, the restoration of the Kingdom and the return of the properties. Museveni's military government at the time referred to the agitators as "disgruntled opportunists purporting to be monarchists" before threatening "strong action".  Museveni met clan elders, allowed Prince Mutebi to return in secret but a few days later prominent Baganda were accused of plotting to overthrow his military government and restore the King. Museveni insisted that  the issue of restoring the King was a matter for the constitution making process that was taking place at the time. However, in a twist of events, in 1993 he chaired the Army Council session that passed a resolution to restore the Kingdom of Buganda. The Traditional Rulers (Restitution of assets and properties) Act of 1993 returned some properties but provided for the return of others after negotiations between the central government and traditional rulers. Since then Museveni has been scheming to undermine the Kingdom of Buganda.

Redrawing the map of Buganda
For decades now, Museveni has been orchestrating the dientergration of Buganda. He has formulated new districts out of the original districts of Buganda basing on the divide and rule policy. With the new districts, he  has managed to create sub-autonomous entities within Buganda Kingdom. The Sebanyala in Bugerere, the Sebaruli in Buruli, the Sebakooki in Kooki and the Sebamooli in Sembabule are such sub-entities. In 2007 the King of Buganda was stopped by the military regime from visiting his kingdom area of Buruli. In 2010, he was again blocked by security forces from visiting Bugerere prompting violent protests and clashes between his subjects and the security forces that culminated into the killing of over 30 of his subjects.

Buganda Kingdom officially recognises 18 sub-counties spread over the original districts of Kampala, Mukono, Mpigi, Luwero, Mubende, Kalangala, Masaka, Rakai, and Kiboga. The seat of the Buganda Kingdom has historically been in Kampala but during the 1995 constitution making process, Museveni managed to strike off Kampala district from the above list as stipulated in the First Schedule. Buganda's push for federal status was defeated in the Constituent Assembly through bribery, intimidation and manipulation. Instead, Museveni has been trying to push the Regional Tier system on Buganda's throat. Museveni set out to rally the rest of the country while decampaigning Buganda. However, some other parts of the country are now also feeling the brunt of organised land grabbing schemes in their respective geographical areas by the ruling military clique. It is fashionable for regime cohorts to acquire large chucks of land in Buganda rural areas of Gomba, Mubende, Mpigi, Nakaseke, Kiboga, Luwero, Wakiso and Buruuli for diary farming while targeting strategic urban chunks of land within KCCA for real estate and speculative purposes. The impoverished and powerless Baganda cant resist the temptation of huge sums of cash, intimidation and manipulation by the regime cohorts.

In all the above mentioned schemes, Museveni was targeting Buganda's much cherished and valued land. Land grabbing by the regime's cohorts who wield the power of ill-gotten cash from public coffers is the order of the day. The scheme has been gradual; having started from the 1995 constitution and then the enactment of the Kampala City Council Authority Act. Article 5 of the constitution empowered him to create districts that have eaten into Buganda's cohesion. Article 26 empowered government to acquire land in public interest, it identified public land to include statutory leases to urban authorities, leases granted out of urban land to be reverted to freehold, citizens owning land under customary land tenure to acquire certificates of tittles and bonafide occupants of mailo land, freehold, or lease hold to enjoy security of occupancy. Here he was targeting the Kabaka's and his Chief's land which is spread in many strategic areas including the bigger part of Kampala city. Article 178 provided for two or more districts to be free to cooperate in areas of intra-inter development projects. Here he was targeting Kampala, Mukono, Wakiso and Mpigi in order to expand Kampala city thus eating more into Buganda. Article 179 empowered parliament to alter boundaries of districts and to create new ones. The intention here is to further disentergrate Buganda Kingdom. Article202 empowers the President to take over administration of any district in situations of emergency or ineficiency. Here he was preparing grounds for taking over of Kampala City. Article 277 excluded the defunct Kampala City Council (KCC) from the urban authorities that could constitute lower local governments.

To galvanize the above constitutional provisions, he enacted the Kampala city council authority (KCC Act of 2010 that saw the disbanding of Kampala City Council (KCC) formmerly headed by the Mayor and the Town Clerk.  The KCCA Act provided for the Administration of Kampala by the Central government, the creation of a Metropolitan Area to include the neighboring districts of Mukono, Mpigi and Wakiso. S.22 created a Metropolitan Physical Planning authority that handles and addresses planning issues in Kampala, Mukono, Wakiso and Mpigi. It ensures that land use in the city and metropolitan area follows designated plans, irrespective of of the land tenure. To enforce the scheme, a Special Police force known as the Metropolitan Police Force was put in place by S. 26 of the Act. S.27 provides for the KCCA to render advice and assist in controlling development, and to administer town and country planning schemes in any areas in the neighboring districts within agreed distance from the boundaries of its jurisidiction. Here, KCCA area of control is extended into the neighboring districts.

The appointment of the Minister for Kampala and the KCCA Executive Director coupled by the denying the elected Mayor from accessing his office, was in line with the sinister schemes by Museveni to facilitate land grabbing. The city is expanding in all directions except the southern part that is incumbered by the lake. It has gone as far as Kabanyolo, Matuga, beyond Wakiso town, Nsangi, beyond Entebbe Airport, and beyond Mukono town. The King of Buganda continues to reside in Kampala which is outside Buganda Kingdom that continues to loose territory to Kampala.
Eeeeekiiiiiiiiiiiiitibwaaaaa Kya Buuuuugaaaaaanda..................................

INFORMATION IS POWER