Uganda’s police spokesman, Andrew Kaweesi shot dead outside home

Uganda’s second most prominent policeman was shot and killed in his car on Friday along with two other officers as he left his home in Kampala, police said.

Assistant Inspector General of Police Andrew Kaweesi served as the force’s spokesman and was one of the country’s most high-profile officers.

“He was shot dead this morning as he was leaving his home coming to work,” Inspector General Kale Kayihura told AFP.

A large crowd of local residents gathered at the scene where the officers’ dead bodies slumped inside a black vehicle, blood pooling under shattered glass alongside the car. The bodies were later taken away.

A local resident described seeing four men on two motorcycles attack the car the police officers were travelling in at around 9:30 am (0630GMT) as they left for work.

“Two motorbike drivers and two men with guns fired at the car. They shot very rapidly with guns that looked like AK47s,” said Mohammad, a motorcycle taxi driver who lives and works in the area.

“The motorbikes came from behind as the car was leaving Kaweesi’s house. The car driver tried to increase speed but they drove past the car and shot into it,” said the 30-year old who declined to give his surname.

“The motorbikes were new and the shooters looked professional. They weren’t wearing masks but I didn’t see their faces because I ran for cover.”

– ‘Shower of bullets’ –
Local mayor Charles Sserunjogi said he heard “a shower of bullets — many shots — from my house nearby”.

He said Kaweesi had lived in the neighbourhood of Kulambiro for about 10 years.

“I don’t believe what I’m seeing right now. I knew Kaweesi well and met with him about a week and a half ago to discuss tarmacking the road he was shot on.”

Kaweesi rose to prominence as he spearheaded the police response to widespread opposition party protests following a controversial 2011 presidential election.

After a stint as commander of Kampala Metropolitan Police he was appointed director of operations and then head of human resources before assuming the role of main police spokesman in August 2016.

He appeared regularly on television talk shows, his most recent appearance being Thursday night on NTV, one of the major private channels in the country.

Kaweesi’s killing resembles the assassinations of other high profile legal and military personnel.

In March 2015 Joan Kagezi, a senior public prosecutor, was shot in the street and the assailant escaped with an accomplice on a motorcycle.

In November last year Ugandan army officer, major Sulaiman Kiggundu — a former Allied Democratic Forces rebel — was shot in his car by gunmen travelling on two motorcycles. Both crimes remain unsolved.


Source: AFP

Joseph Kony: The killer loved his kids. – Yana Dlugy

Kampala — Long before I met Joseph Kony I knew his handiwork. I had covered attacks by his Lord Resistance Army rebel group in Uganda for years, including one in 1996 that will stay with me forever. It was in the village of Acholpii, where his henchmen massacred some 100 people. As in other LRA raids, the village was burned and bodies were scattered all over. But that’s not what struck me. As I walked into the bush at the edge of the village, I saw a baby, alive and sucking at the breast of his mother. Who was dead.

The LRA had razed plenty of villages like this. In April the previous year 300 people died in Atiak, in February 2004 more than 200 would die in Barlonyo. Kony, a self-styled mystic and prophet, launched a bloody rebellion against Kampala some three decades ago, seeking to impose his own version of the Ten Commandments on northern Uganda. Since then, his LRA has slaughtered more than 100,000 people and abducted some 60,000 children.

A victim of the Lord’s Resistance Army at a camp for the internally displaced in northern Uganda, February, 2004. The attack in which she was wounded left more than 200 civilians dead. (AFP / Peter Busomoke)

The LRA was pushed out of Uganda around 2004. Before the eviction, a series of failed peace talks were held with Kony and his lieutenants — that’s when I met him and his top commanders, including Dominic Ongwen, who this week went on trial at the International Criminal Court at The Hague on 70 charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity, the first LRA member to ever go on trial.

When the peace talks were announced in July 2006 I scrambled to get there. ‘There’ turned out to be a Congolese hamlet few people could locate on a map. The first leg of the journey to get there took place in a UN Antonov, to the notorious town of Maridi in South Sudan. We landed in heavy rain, with the nervous Russian pilots not even turning off the engines, so that they could leave the lawless town as fast as possible.

I sheltered in a bar where South Sudanese soldiers traded their bullets – measured out in plastic cups – for the same volume of moonshine gin or bottles of Ugandan beer. Afterwards they staggered off into the darkness, assault rifles and light machine guns dangling from their shoulders as they swigged their drinks and threatened to shoot anyone who stood in their way.

Ugandan soldiers on patrol in April, 2012, as they hunt for Kony in the jungle. (AFP / Stringer)

The next day we travelled further into the unknown, by 4×4 towards the place where South Sudan, Congo and CAR meet and where Kony had agreed to meet the press and the peace delegates. If it can be called a road at all, it was without doubt the worst I have ever seen, not that it slowed our South Sudanese military drivers (some of whom I’m sure I recognised from the bar the night before and some of whom drank beer as they drove).

Branches and thorns tore at my clothes as I bumped along in the back of the pick-up, clinging hard to the side. On at least three occasions different drivers rolled their vehicles over, sending passengers and possessions flying.

After a long day we reached an isolated South Sudan army camp called Nabanga and were offered abandoned, flea-ridden huts without doors to sleep in. For the next four days sacks of maize were my mattress and pillow, and biscuits and water were my meals as we waited for Kony. He never showed up.

Children walk on a road leading to the northern Ugandan village of Amuru on August 26, 2010.The northern Ugandan village of Amuru, home to many survivors of LRA attacks, August, 2010. (AFP / Marc Hofer)

Despite the disappointment I tried again when another opportunity arose. This time the UN airlifted us to Nabanga, avoiding the drunken high-speed drive through the forest. From there we drove deeper into the jungle to a place called Ri-kwangba where Vincent Otti, Kony’s number two and himself an alleged notorious murderer, was waiting for us.

An armed fighter of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) looks at a fellow fighter 12 November 2006 during a meeting between the rebel group's leadership and United Nations Emergency Relief coordinator Jan Egeland in Ri-Kwamba, southern Sudan.An LRA fighter during the talks in Ri-Kwamba, southern Sudan, November, 2006. (AFP / Stuart Price)

When we got there, dreadlocked young LRA rebels searched us, then disappeared with our bags as the march began. It was a fearful six-hour walk through forest and across rivers. What if Kony changed his mind and killed us all?

As darkness fell we reached a clearing that was the LRA’s main camp. It nestled beneath dense forest cover, with a high rock shielding its northern side and another on its eastern flank which doubled as a lookout. A spring on top of one of the rocks was said to be a sacred place for Kony. The water issuing from it was pristine, clear and cold, gushing into a narrow gorge overlooking the camp. In another clearing there were gardens of sweet potatoes, beans and vegetables. In a way, it was idyllic.

We were told to wait and ordered not to use phones or cameras until given permission to do so. A fire was lit as the temperature dropped.

Later, I was shown to a thatched shelter where a basin of warm water had been placed outside along with a bar of soap, a towel and a sponge. As I washed I wondered how I would find my way back to Uganda if things went wrong. I wondered whether the rebels would kill us in the night or if the Ugandan army would launch an assault. I wondered whether Kony would show up this time around.

We ate a dinner of rice, maize bread, sweet potatoes, fresh vegetables and smoked game meat. It was a welcome change from the dry biscuits of the previous Kony expedition. After supper I spoke with Otti by the fire. He was curious about life in Kampala, the Ugandan capital.

Vincent Otti, number two in the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), addresses journalists at Ri-Kwangba, September, 2006. (AFP / Stringer)

It was shortly after dawn when I saw Kony. He was behind a grass fence, wearing a T-shirt and an army cap, and playing with a baby who looked to be just a few months older than the one I had found suckling at his dead mother’s breast in Acholpii.

The time had come at last to meet this notorious warlord and his top commanders, including Okot Odhiambo and Dominic Ongwen who, like Kony and Otti, were wanted for war crimes by the ICC. Today, only Ongwen has been arrested after turning himself in. Kony remains at large, while Otti and Odhiambo are believed dead.

We drank tea together but spoke little. Ongwen was especially quiet and guarded. When Kony finally appeared he had changed into full military gear. We shook hands.

The author (r) shakes hands with Kony during their meeting. (Photo courtesy of Grace Matsiko)

During a rambling two-hour speech Kony – who claims spirit guidance – was frequently incoherent and prone to sheepish laughter. He denied killing people, claiming instead that he was “fighting for my people” meaning the Acholi tribe of northern Uganda. Otti later clarified that sometimes people might “die during crossfire”.

We stayed for days as efforts to start formal peace negotiations between Kony and the Ugandan government dragged on, and the LRA fighters and leaders got used to us being around. One evening Kony joined us as we watched a Jackie Chan kung-fu movie on Otti’s portable DVD player. I don’t remember which movie it was, but I remember that he often giggled, laughed and stamped his feet as Jackie Chan delivered punches to his opponents.

The day after, we began the long journey back to Kampala. The talks, sadly, did not result in peace and although the Ugandan massacres I once reported on have stopped in Uganda, the violence continues elsewhere — after being pushed out of Uganda, LRA continues to terrorize part of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic.

Residents return to their villages around the northern Ugandan town of Lira. Because of frequent raids on villages by the LRA, many residents come to Lira to spend the night, often on porches of shops. November, 2003. (AFP / Marco Longari)

Meeting in person some of the world’s most wanted men was a surreal experience. As I shook hands with him, I thought of the hundreds, if not thousands, of people who had been brutalized because of those hands. When our eyes met, he looked nervous and looked away. He appeared to be engrossed in his own world most of the time, but enjoyed the company of others.

But it was a rewarding experience as well, because it helped me to better understand the conflict and its players. I never expected Kony, a man allegedly responsible for so much death and suffering to be loving with children. But he was. His numerous wives and children were at the compound when we were there and I often saw him playing with his children. He bounced one on his knee and carried others around on his chest.

He had several wives and the children had nannies, mainly young girls who had been abducted from their homes and who would eventually become his wives too.

Evelyn, 23, former wife of Lord Resistance Army (LRA) leader Joseph Kony sits with her daughter, Mercy, 05 February 2006 at the Santa Monica Tayloring Centre for girls in Gulu, northern Uganda. Former Kony wife Evelyn, 23, with her daughter Mercy in northern Uganda, February, 2006,. Kony kept her in captivity for 10 years, during which she was often beaten and terrorized. (AFP / Jose Cendon)
Margret, 33, former wife of Lord Resistance Army (LRA) leader Joseph Kony stands beside a bicycle 08 February 2006 at the Santa Monica Tayloring Centre for girls in Gulu, northern UgandaFormer Kony wife Margret, 33, in northern Uganda, February, 2006. She was also kept in captivity for 10 years following her kidnapping. (AFP / Jose Cendon)

He laughed. It was rare, but he would usually burst into laughter unexpectedly. He didn’t smoke or drink alcohol, but he served me locally-made brown wine, which he said was made from sap from trees in Garamba and that he said he served only to his most valued guests. It was sweet and it made me tipsy for a little while, but that quickly vanished, leaving a sour taste in the mouth. He was a very good host, asking me if I had eaten.

I may not be covering the LRA actively anymore, but the story is not over for me. The next step for me — and many in northern Uganda — will be listening to Ongwen’s testimony during his trial at The Hague and following the course of justice for LRA’s victims, like that mother all those years ago whose baby was orphaned in the village of Acholpii.

This blog was written with Yana Dlugy in Paris.

Uganda rejects Amnesty’s accusation of extra-judicial killings

Uganda on Tuesday rejected charges by rights group Amnesty International that security forces carried out extra-judicial killings during clashes with the royal guards of a tribal king at the weekend.

Officials say no fewer than 46 guards and 16 police died when security forces stormed the palace of Charles Mumbere, the King of the Rwenzururu region, near Uganda’s border with Congo.

Jeje Odongo, Uganda’s Internal Affairs Minister, told a press conference in Kampala that security forces were being attacked, they had to defend and protect themselves.

“Security agencies do not have a shoot-to-kill policy. What happened is a situation of self-defense,” Mr. Odongo said.

Uganda has several tribal kings, who have a largely ceremonial role with some modest regional powers.

The Bakonzo, the dominant tribe in Rwenzori, have longstanding, colonial-era grievances against Uganda’s central government.

However the latest wave of unrest began shortly after Uganda’s disputed presidential elections in February.

Voters in the area overwhelmingly favoured Kizza Besigye, who ran against long-ruling President Yoweri Museveni.

Museveni was declared the winner, but Besigye rejected the results and his supporters insist he won the overall poll.

On Monday, rights group Amnesty International accused security forces of using disproportionate force, saying “many people appear to have been summarily shot dead”.

The organisation said the government should ensure that “police and soldiers observe restraint and desist from extra-judicial executions.”

International rights watchdog Human Rights Watch also said on Monday that the government needed to investigate the conduct of security forces during the clashes.

Some opposition officials and critics have accused Museveni’s government of provoking unrest in the region as punishment for its support for Besigye.

Mumbere who was detained on Sunday, is being held at a prison in eastern Uganda and 149 of his guards have been arrested.

When asked what the king’s fate was, Odongo said that they were investigating the circumstances, adding that “if we are able to establish responsibility, charges will be preferred.”

Uganda: 149 alleged rebels arrested after assault on palace

At least 149 people have been arrested in a restive region of western Uganda where clashes with a tribal militia have killed at least 62 people, a government official said Tuesday as the security forces continued to search the mountainous the area for rebels.

Most of those killed or in detention are guards who protected a traditional monarch accused of harboring the rebels in the western Kasese district, a stronghold of the political opposition and near the border with Congo.

The king, Charles Wesley Mumbere of the Kingdom of Rwenzururu, is now in detention after his palace was assaulted by the military on Sunday.

At least 46 supporters of the king and 16 police have died in the clashes, according to Ugandan police spokesman Andrew Felix Kaweesi.

Interior Minister Jeje Odongo told reporters Tuesday that weapons, including automatic guns and a cache of crude weapons such as spears and machetes, had been seized following the assault on the palace.

The killings underscore tensions between longtime President Yoweri Museveni and influential tribal rulers who are constitutionally recognized but have no real authority or armies of their own. Ahead of presidential polls in February, which were won by Museveni, Mumbere came out in support of the opposition, a move that appeared to violate the traditional leaders’ code of conduct.

Museveni lost the popular vote in Kasese, and a month later clashes erupted between the security forces and militiamen who were believed to be loyal to Mumbere. Among the king’s supporters are separatists who hope to create a new republic called Yiira, which would include Mumbere’s Bakonzo people and their relatives across the border in Congo. The separatists are accused of printing their own money and even collecting taxes in some parts of the area.

In March, amid clashes between Mumbere’s supporters and security officials, Museveni vowed to defeat the separatists, who complain of marginalization by the central government 340 kilometers (211 miles) away in the capital, Kampala.

“There can never be a Yiira Republic,” Museveni said at the time.

Mumbere denies being the commander of the separatists.

Rights groups are urging Ugandan security forces to show restraint.

Amnesty International said there were shocking examples of unlawful killings and a complete disregard for human rights during the arrests, and that many victims seem to have been summarily shot dead and their bodies dumped.

Opposition leader Kizza Besigye described the killings as a “massacre” and posted a photo on Twitter purporting to show bodies of victims outside Mumbere’s palace.

The attack on the palace shocked many in this East African country that Museveni has ruled since 1986. Although tribal leaders only have ceremonial powers, are revered among their subjects and are influential in their regions. Television footage showed Mumbere being led to a police station as a soldier jerked him by the trousers following the deadly assault on the palace.

Museveni, who took power by force three decades ago, has struggled to win over the support of the Bakonzo people in presidential elections. There are frequent land disputes in the area, with many accusing the government of sponsoring land grabs. A new plan to divide Kasese district into two parts has also been fiercely opposed.

Ugandan Authorities Detain Opposition Presidential Candidate Over Security Threats

Ugandan authorities on Monday said that opposition candidate, Kizza Besigye, was detained by police as a “preventative” security measure.


Kizza was detained on Saturday -two days after he failed to beat long-serving President Yoweri Museveni in an election that observers say was flawed.


“Today, Besigye had mobilised a group of youth to storm the electoral commission.

“ We had information that they had planned to cause violence in the city,” Police Spokesman, Patrick Onyango, told newsmen.


Meanwhile, the EU, U.S. and Commonwealth observers to the Feb.18 elections all said that the polls were undermined by lack of transparency and fell short of key democratic benchmarks.


They also expressed concern over the harassment of opposition figures and the shutdown of social media in Uganda, where Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp have faced outages since election day.



Obasanjo Calls For Peaceful And Transparent Election In Uganda

As Commonwealth observers began deploying across Uganda, former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has called for a peace and transparency in Thursday’s election in the country


This is contained in a statement by Will Henley, Communications Officer, Communications Division, Commonwealth Secretariat, London, released in Abuja on Tuesday.


The statement said that Obasanjo, the Chair of the Commonwealth Observer Group, joined the team in Kampala on Monday ahead of the presidential and parliamentary polls.


“As observers, we hope to see a transparent and credible election process. Our eyes are open, and we will report what we see without fear or favour. All stakeholders, including party candidates and supporters, election officials, police and security forces, should play their part in ensuring voters are free to express their preference at the ballot box.


“They should ensure that the election is conducted peacefully, without resort to intimidation or violence,” it quoted Obasanjo as saying.


He expressed the group’s determination to be utterly impartial and objective in conducting its observation duties, acting in the group’s individual capacities as independent commonwealth citizens.


“Our assessment will be our own, and we will aim to be as constructive as possible.

“I wish the people of Uganda well and pledge the unwavering solidarity of the Commonwealth family to the strengthening of the country’s democracy,” Obasanjo said.


The statement said that on Tuesday, Obasanjo and heads of other international observer missions in Uganda cautioned Ugandan stakeholders over the elections.
It stated that the group called on them to “refrain from any act, statement or dissemination of information that may cause tension, ill-will, disturbance, intimidation and adversely affect the peaceful and orderly conduct of elections.”
It stated that the Commonwealth Observer Group had been in Uganda since Thursday, adding that the 13-member team had Senator Amos Wako, a former Attorney-General of Kenya, as vice chairman.
It explained that since its arrival, the group had met the Electoral Commission to discuss preparations for polling day.
The statement added that the group had also heard from political parties, citizen observer groups, human rights, gender and youth groups, as well as resident High Commissioners from Commonwealth countries.




Leading Opposition Candidate In Uganda’s Presidential Election Promises To Build A Museum In Idi Amin’s Honour

A leading opposition candidate in Uganda’s presidential election has promised to repatriate the remains of the former dictator, Idi Amin, and build a museum in his honour.

Amama Mbabazi, the former prime minister, said he wanted to reconcile different factions in Uganda. Too often, they divided the country between Idi Amin’s people, Milton Obote’s people and Yoweri Museveni’s people, he said.

Amin’s eight-year rule from 1971 to 1979 was characterised by bloodshed and eccentricity. He killed opponents, often brutally, and expelled Uganda’s Asian population, before being overthrown by Obote. He died in exile in Saudi Arabia in 2003.


Mr Mbabazi is running for the first time against Mr Museveni in elections after falling out with his former close ally. The president is seeking a fifth term in the fiercely contested election due on 18 February.

By the way, how many people watched that movie on Idi Amin years back? Was really really so scary. No one is indeed above God.

More Troubles For MTN As Uganda Fines Telco $622,000

It is not only in Nigeria that MTN has run foul of the rules. It is also in hot water in Uganda, going by this report by Uganda’s New Vision newspaper:


The Commercial court in Uganda has ordered telecom giant, MTN Uganda to pay a sum of Shs 2.3bn (about $662,000) in damages to EzeeMoney Limited for sabotaging its business.


Justice Henry Peter Adonyo on November 6, 2015 also ordered MTN to stop acting in unlawful and anti-competitive manner, which denies other businesses an opportunity to prosper.


Justice Adonyo said MTN should pay Shs 800m to EzeeMoney in general damages for loss of business. It should also pay a penalty of Shs 1.5bn in punitive damages to deter not only MTN but also warn other companies against uncompetitive business tactics.


It all started when EzeeMoney, which runs an e-money business, obtained a contract from MTN for the provision of digital transmission [E1] and 30 fixed telephone lines to carry out its mobile money business.


EzeeMoney then contracted Yo! Uganda Limited (YUL) to implement the service after Uganda Communications Commission, the regulator, approved it on December 2012, to use the 7711 short code to enable its customers to subscribe for e-money services.


But in 2013, MTN cancelled the contract, saying EzeeMoney was a direct competitor to its mobile money business. Through AF Mpanga and company advocates, EzeeMoney went to court, saying MTN’s action “restricted and distorted competition.”


EzeeMoney said MTN also damaged its ties with YUL and deprived it of services of other telecommunications operators. It argued that MTN used its exclusivity agreements to stop its agents from working for any other firm with similar business, further limiting competition.




In a January 28, 2013 letter to EzeeMoney, MTN appeared to say its business would be disrupted if the former was given access to its platform.


“EzeeMoney is in direct competition with MTN in the provision of mobile money,” read the letter in part.


Justice Adonyo said the letter confirmed that MTN was stopping services of the company because it considered it a competitor.


“It is testified that when YUL required the defendant [MTN] to activate the plaintiff’s [EzeeMoney]short code on its platform, the defendant declined to do so on the basis that the plaintiff was in direct competition with it,” the judge observed.


“YUL then seeing that the plaintiff couldn’t carry out the business they had agreed together, by a letter dated 7/2/2013, did terminate all services with the plaintiff as YUL did not want to jeopardize its relationship with the defendant.”


David Mpanga, EzeeMoney’s lead counsel, said MTN’s action of not activating the short code and the subsequent cancellation by YUL led to loss of business.
“The denial of the use of the defendant’s [MTN] platform to the plaintiff [EzeeMoney] by the defendant would thus be an act which is prohibited within the meaning of section 53(1) (a) of the Act [Communications] for it limited competition,” Adonyo said.



The judge also found that MTN coerced its agents to reject EzeeMoney. One witness, Sammy Mwathi, told court that he was an MTN money agent and he was restricted from dealing with other firms in the same business by signing exclusivity agreement.


“The perusal of the exclusivity agreement itself confirms the position that the defendant acted outside the law for it appears it used coercive methods like denial of services to its agents,” he said. “[This] prohibited fair competition… and [was] contrary to the provisions of the law.”


Credit : Uganda’s New Vision newspaper, PM News

UK Detectives Find A Fleet Of 29 Stolen British Vehicles In Uganda!

Detectives tracing a Lexus stolen from London have ended up tracking it to Uganda – where it was found alongside a fleet of British cars worth more than £1 million. The National Crime Agency was able to use a smartphone app to trace the journey of the stolen RX450h (top left) 6,000 miles to the Uganda capital Kampala, where they were stunned to find it alongside 28 other luxury cars which had been stolen from the UK by the car-smuggling gang. Luxury right-hand-drive cars are in great demand in land-locked Uganda. Locals still drive on the left as part of the British colonial legacy though. More photos below…

Tony Ademiluyi: Yoweri Museveni’s Anger

Idi Amin was a great scourge to not only the people of Uganda but also the people of East Africa. It was no surprise that Mwalimu Julius Nyerere teamed up with Yoweri Museveni, a then budding rebel leader to dislodge him from office and send him into exile in faraway Saudi Arabia where he lived till he passed on. The popular Milton Obote who led the country to independence was brought back to power in 1980. Museveni having tasted the forbidden apple teamed up with some disgruntled elements and sent Obote packing for good. He shed off his Marxist ideals and embraced neo-liberal ideologies as advocated by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. State owned enterprises gave away to the novel trend of privatization; he massively cut back government spending and preached a nationwide gospel of self-reliance. This won him admiration from the west as he was seen as a reformer and he instantly became the western poster boy for African leadership.

The HIV/AIDS Syndrome ravaged the former British colony and the death rate was rather alarming. He instituted a state wide policy of the ABC – Abstinence, Monogamy and Faithfulness to a partner and the use of condoms. However, he greatly de-emphasized the use of condoms and preached that it should be used sparingly as the last resort. His efforts are said to have curtailed the ugly spread and upped the ante of his global reckoning. A 2004 study published in the journal ‘Science’ concluded that abstinence among young people and monogamy rather than the use of condoms contributed immensely to the decline of the spread of the incurable HIV/AIDS in the country. This assertion was further corroborated by Edward Green, a medical anthropologist at the Harvard School of Public Health in a research on the issue.

In 1995, the Ugandan Constitution imposed a two term limit on the office of the Presidency in order to forestall the ugly trend of dictatorship that is the bane of African leadership. Sadly, the banana peel of the sit tight syndrome became his Achilles Heel as he got the constitution altered and in currently in his fourth term with plans to go for a fifth term next year at over 70.

United States President Barack Obama came down hard on African rulers who have made their life seats their gods and urged them to vacate their exalted seats at the expiration of their terms. He made this known in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital when he made history by being the first American President to address the African Union. He went on to opine that he was popular enough to get a third term but that he was constitutionally barred from taking another shot and wants his brothers in Africa to emulate that. This obviously did not go down well with Museveni who saw this as an indirect attack against him. There were speculations that Obama chose to boycott Uganda in his last official visit to Africa as a result of her appalling human rights records. His apologists dismissed that and said that his anti-homosexuality stance which saw his signing into law of the anti-gay bill last year which severely criminalized homosexual relations to the chagrin of Obama was responsible for the latter not visiting her.

At a joint press briefing in Kampala on August 12 in the company of Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta, he said that Obama should respect the will of Africans who democratically elect their leaders. ‘I don’t know what he meant; I don’t care, that is none of my business. For us in Uganda, we rejected this business of term limits. If I am in power because I am voted by the people, then I am there by the will of the people. We are going to have elections here. Ugandans will tell you about the term limit. I have no apology to make to Obama; it’s the United States which has term limits. Look at Israel, UK, and Germany. They don’t have term limits.’ Kenyatta reiterated Museveni’s stance and said that the popularity of the leader of a country wasn’t determined by term limits. Leaders should be chosen by the ballot rather than by imposition.

Grey areas are raised by Museveni’s outburst. Were the people really consulted before the constitution was brutally altered to accommodate his ‘Divine Right by King Ambition’? Will the people have willingly agreed to his indefinite rule if a free and fair referendum was conducted? The countries that he mentioned which don’t have term limits have a historical reason for it which has worked perfectly for them. The reason why many African nations opted for the American system of government with term limits even though the only colony America ever had in the continent was Liberia was because of the need to avert the sit tight syndrome and it was the best way to cater for the diverse needs of the largely heterogeneous nature of most Sovereign African States. His reasons were only a sinister way of endorsing his morbid and rapacious appetite for power for its mere sake.

The current crisis in Burundi for instance is as a result of the inordinate ambition of the President to seek a third term. Lives are being lost daily but does it matter to him? What does Museveni still want after 29 years in power? The failure of a leader lies in his inability to groom a worthy successor. Is Museveni saying that 29 years is too short a time to not only have an exit strategy but to hand over to one who would continue from where he stopped?

The Arab spring which proved partially successful in North Africa for the mere fact that three dictators were toppled should be extended to East Africa and then ultimately to South Africa to get Robert Mugabe out. We are tired of failed autocrats propping up asinine reasons to continue to hang on to power when their rule has been devoid of any resounding success.

George Washington was given the crown and was asked to be King of the newly independent America with the first Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton acting as the crown bearer. He turned it down and reminded them that the Absolute monarchy which was a vestige of colonialism that they had just dislodged should be jettisoned for egalitarianism and opted to be President for just two terms instead. This precedent has stuck in Uncle Sam till date. Power is now naked and has devolved to the floor and lies in the hands of the people. It is up to them to determine whether they can still bear the ugly fangs of autocracy. Change should not be an ugly word! Africans unite and chase away heartless beasts who masquerade as ‘leaders’.


Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

Uganda Celebrates Gay Pride

A Ugandan beach got a colorful makeover on Saturday, as dozens of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people—and their supporters—marched with rainbow flags and umbrella just outside the country’s capital, Kampala.

The event was the culmination of a week of pride festivities, including a transgender awareness day and film screenings. The celebration comes just one year after the country struck down one of the harshest antigay laws in Africa.

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No More Bride Price Refund After Divorce In Uganda

In Uganda, as in many other countries such as China, India, and Nigeria—it is customary for the groom to give money or property to the bride’s family as a token of goodwill before marriage. This dowry is called a bride price in Uganda. But what happens if you get divorced?

Uganda’s highest court has now ruled that it is unconstitutional for men to ask for a refund on the bride price upon divorce in a “customary marriage,” which is one takes place under traditional law. The court ruled that refunding bride prices infringes on the rights of women to divorce, instead making it seem as if they are things to be bought and sold.

It was the MIFUMI Project—a women’s rights organization based in Uganda—that brought the case before the court. The organization argued that allowing men to ask for a mandatory refund from the bride’s family implies that women are property, and that women in abusive relationships seeking a divorce are likely to be trapped if they have no funds to pay back the bride price.

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Cars Are Made in Africa… (Must Read)

Kiira Motors Corporation, Uganda

Originally developed by students from Uganda’s Makerere University for a project headed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the sedan hybrid electric vehicle called the Kiira EV SMACK was designed for the region, local terrain and consumers’ ability to afford the car. The five-seater sedan is powered by a rechargeable battery and also has an internal combustion engine-based generator which charges the battery. The first commercial vehicle from this line is expected to rollout in 2018

Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company, Nigeria

The domestic vehicle maker Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company has built on its success of manufacturing buses and trucks to launch a passenger car line comprised of a truck (IVM 1021A) and a Sports Utility Vehicle (IVM 6490A). According to the company website, the automobile company was commissioned by President Goodluck Jonathan and founded by Mr. Innocent Chukwuma.

Kantanka Automobile Company, Ghana

The Ghanaian based automobile company founded by Apostle Safo Kantanka, assembles its passenger vehicles (mainly SUVs and pickup trucks) at the company’s manufacturing plant located in Gomoa Mpota in the central region of Ghana. The automobile company has reportedly pushed back commercial release of its models pending approval from the Ghana Standards Authority.

The commercial success of these “made in Africa for Africans” cars will depend on the uptake by African consumers.


Ugandan Maid Pleads Guilty To Child Abuse


The Uganda maid who was filmed battering that little girl a few weeks ago was in court today Dec. 8th where she pleaded guilty to child abuse.

Jolly Tumuhirwe, 22, who was in court with her mum, asked her parents, the girl’s parents and all of Uganda to forgive her.

According to the BBC, the girl’s father Eric Kamanzi broke down in court when Jolly asked for forgiveness. Jolly faces up to 15 years in prison for the crime or a fine of about $400 (£260) or both.

Her case was adjourned to Wednesday December 10th when the judge is expected to sentence her. She was led away in cuffs by prison officers after the session this morning.

Source – Global news

Abductions by Uganda’s Rebels on the Rise

Uganda’s Lord’s Resistance Army rebels have launched a string of attacks across central Africa with a “steady increase” in abductions, the United Nations said in a report seen Thursday.

 The elusive jungle insurgents, who raid villages and enslave residents, have abducted 432 people so far this year, a “steady increase” from last year and more than double the number in 2012, the report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) read.

Those captured, often children, are forced to work as fighters, sex slaves or porters.

Long driven out of Uganda, small bands of LRA fighters now roam forest regions of Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and South Sudan, launching over 150 attacks and killing at least 22 people this year.

Over 160,000 people have been forced from their homes in areas of DR Congo, CAR and South Sudan where the rebels operate, including over 30,000 living as refugees in neighbouring nations.

Rebel chief Joseph Kony, who launched a rebellion in Uganda two decades ago, is wanted by the International Criminal Court along with fellow top commanders on war crimes and crimes against humanity charges including murder, sexual slavery and for using child soldiers.

The US Department of State is offering a $5 million bounty for information leading to his capture.

Kony, who claims mystical-religious powers, has long been reported to be based in the Sudanese-controlled Kafia Kingi enclave straddling the border with South Sudan, as well as in neighbouring Central African Republic.

The Ugandan army is leading a US-backed African Union force tasked with capturing the LRA’s leaders.

According to the UN, the LRA has killed more than 100,000 people and kidnapped more than 60,000 children in almost three decades of attacks.

Credit: Yahoo News

Five Ugandans in Isolation after Ebola-like Marburg Virus Death

Ugandan health officials said Monday that they are continuing to monitor five people feared to have contracted the Ebola-like Marburg virus, even though all suspected cases so far have tested negative.

A 30-year-old medical technician died from Marburg on September 28, 11 days after falling ill, at the Mengo hospital in the capital where he worked, sparking alarm in the east African nation.

“All the alert and suspect cases have been thoroughly investigated, and have all tested negative for the Marburg virus,” primary health care minister Sarah Opendi Achieng said in a statement on Monday.

But five people are in medical isolation as doctors monitor their health as a precautionary measure.

The Marburg virus is one of the most deadly known pathogens. Like Ebola, it causes severe bleeding, fever, vomiting and diarrhoea and has a 21-day incubation period.

The government has made repeated appeals to the public “to remain alert” and observe the precautions to control the spread of the virus.

Like Ebola, the Marburg virus is also transmitted via contact with bodily fluids and fatality rates range from 25 to 80 percent.