Karamoja sub-region remains one of the areas with highest military deployment. The number of UPDF soldiers almost equals the number of civilians in the region. Our survival as NUP team entirely depended on how adaptive we could be in the midst of extreme persecution.
A week to elections, my counterpart supervising Southern Karamoja was arrested together with his team, the entire network of agents went into panic mode and disarray. They hid and disguised, I had to rush to Moroto to see if I could save the situation, I managed to beat the security and we met in the bushes to forge a way forward. Thank God, the remaining team led by Lukwago Ashiraph and Emmy Katongole was still strong despite the scary environment. The detained team remained in custody till 13th Jan and upon release,they were instructed never to set foot in Karamoja. No sooner had they left Moroto than the security got knowledge that I was in the district with agent letters and other polling materials. The hunt for us ensued, they were looking for someone with a long beard. We hid in a Kazigo for as long as possible….I left Moroto at 4AM only to meet a blockade at Nadonget. The car was searched, i was donning NRM attire, the police was confused. By the grace of God I was let go, I had to cover the entire 9 districts with 19 constituencies. No sooner had I left Moroto,than I got a phone call telling me about the arrest of the remaining team…the agent letters and money were confiscated. This was a huge blow, they were detained in a military barracks. Meanwhile in Lango,Acholi, West Nile and Western Uganda our teams were being arrested left right and center, Ainebyona the Diaspora leader wasn’t spared too. Basically the past election was purely a silent military mission. The team in Moroto was released on 14th at mid day after so much ballot stuffing had already been done. We tried to raise money and find letters again. It was a toll order but salute to the team, we managed to accomplish the task. The RDCs were so busy, in this sub-region, an RDC is like a military general. He moves with a battalion. They managed to create an environment that makes opposition politics a taboo in the region. NRM should be ashamed to claim victory or legitimacy, I can testify that without guns and bribery, NRM can’t be bowed to. It’s basically “raping” us. Let NRM pride in murder, bribery, brutality and other horrors but not in winning an election. Without such, NRM is a shadow.
I will give another account of the horrors of this regime being committed in the entire sub-region. Aluta continua.
Many thanks to all of you fellow Ugandans for mounting pressure and relentlessly demanding for the release of #Selector_Davie, dead or alive.He was today removed from the illegal detention in Makindye military barracks where he and hundreds of other NUP/People Power supporters have been held incomunicado. He was abducted from his home in Magere by soldiers on 12th January and he tells of grave torture visited on him and other detainees. He was paraded before the Bombo court martial this afternoon and released on bail in a very worrying health condition. Please continue demanding for the unconditional release of all political prisoners.#WeAreRemovingADictatorLikeCommentShare
On the morning of 16th of January, I received a call from our president H.E . Kyagulanyi Ssentamu Robert notifying me of a presser he had organised for all NUP MP-elects later that day. Upon my arrival at the first roadblock staged before the ‘Freedom Drive’ signpost near my President’s home in Magere, I encountered several members of local and foreign press. Some MPs too had already arrived. I had a press briefing with the press crew who briefly interviewed me about the political persecution I’ve faced on several occasions.
After interview, I sought clearance at the roadblock to access my President’s home but the officers referred me to their overall commander whom they said was ahead. They removed their barricades and I proceeded towards his home, where I encountered another roadblock I hadn’t been told about. I was informed from this roadblock that I wouldn’t proceed to my President’s residence under any circumstances without without clearance from the overall commander. The junior officers informed me that their commander was a few metres close to my President’s gate and therefore I should individually reach out to him to seek access to his home. I proceeded to the final check point to have a word with the commander.
I politely requested for passage into his home. He refused and ordered me to make a U-turn to go back where I was coming from. I told him that detaining my President at home without any charges was illegal, and then turned to walk back to my vehicle. No sooner had I turned my back to head back into my vehicle than the commander pushed my head and I fell down on my walking clutch. He grabbed the clutch and started hitting me with the clutch till it split in half. The commander then ordered his men to carry me shoulder high, and then dump me on the ground. Meanwhile, my driver was covering the incident from a distance using his mobile phone camera. They charged at him, confiscated his phone and thumped him mercilessly till he fled back into the vehicle. They then bundled me under the tyres of my vehicle and in the process my sunglasses shattered. They kept grilling me to explain what exactly Bobi Wine and NUP were planning. “What are you doing here? This is not Mityana. You think this country belongs to you?,” the commander barked. I kept wailing and calling out for help but no body could come to my rescue.
Later, the mobile police patrol car arrived and I was bundled in. My suitcoat had been torn in the process so they removed it together with my shirt and me and left my chest exposed. They then threw my broken sunglasses and clutch away, and then whisked me away at breakneck speed. I was driven to Kasangati Police Station where they confiscated all my belongings before putting me in a cell. They took my watch, cash worth UGX 1.7m, my belt, and then ordered suspects I had found in the cell to tie me up but the suspects declined. Angered by the defiance of the suspects, the police officers instituted more beatings on me. They hit my knuckles, ankles, elbows, shoulders, and my neck. One of them dug his nails into my face and left me scarred around the forehead and my eyes. When they were done with the battering, they started being me to leave the cells upon realising that my health had deteriorated. Operatives from SIU Kireka where I was tortured from last year including Musa Walugembe and Hamudan Twesigye were present at the scene. They ordered me to leave their cells saying that they had informed my wife and that she was already on her way to collect me. “We’ve talked to Bridget and we have the ambulance ready. We can drive you to the hospital of your choice or at home,” they said.
They then handed back some of my belongings thye had confiscated and then bundled me into their ambulance. It was around then that our Spokesperson Hon. Joel Ssenyonyi arrived. I had left him at the police road block. On his arrival, the police goons rushed me to Rubaga hospital and dumped me there without even saying anything to the hospital management. Subsequent medical examination revealed that I had sustained injuries around my eyes and face. My neck bone was injured, and I had sustained abdominal muscular strains that todate have affected my walking and standing abilities. I cannot sit or stand on my own. My limb joints too were weakened and can’t ably support my locomotion. The knuckles, ankles and fingers still hurt. Up to now I’m still languishing in agony but I’m steadily recuperating and I believe in a few days I’ll be discharged. Doctors have now advised me to take rest and go for further medical management so that I can fully recover. I’m however puzzled by the police remarks that whatever I faced was self inflicted. This is a consistent narrative they’ve sustained right from the first time they tortured me in their custody to evade accountability. Regarding the struggle, even as I’m confined to my sickbed, I will not give up. We are not giving up regardless of the repression imposed on us. I will start from where I had stopped. Our struggle is within our souls. You may weaken our bodies but not our resolve. We are still firm and focused. It is only a few of us confined to sickbeds, jail cells, torture Chambers and the like. Majority of those in the struggle are free. Our struggle will continue until our country is free from the chains of dictatorship. #JusticeForTortureVictims#WeAreRemovingADictator#FreePoliticalPrisoners
Sadly to announce the death of our comrade’s father 😢….Achileo kivumbi a personal bodyguard to the elected president Bobi Wine has lost his dad. Unfortunately he is still detained with Nubianli lie Eddie Mutwe and others incommunicado
Fellow Ugandans, I greet you all in the name of the almighty God. I am grateful that I finally have an opportunity to speak to you today, even when my home is still surrounded by soldiers and the police.I am under illegal house arrest and continue to live through this humiliation, but my spirit is strong. I am strong because am aware of the trials and tribulations that those who came before us had to endure in their fight for freedom and democracy.
I am even consoled by the constant reminder that what I am going through today is nothing compared to what many of our comrades and supporters have had to go through for the past three years since we started the People Power Movement! As all Ugandans know, many comrades are dead, others are in hospitals nursing wounds of torture and very many others are in prison for standing for the truth.
Fellow Ugandans, today I stand here to make my first address after the election of 14th January, which all of you know that we won, and which Gen.Museveni aided by Mr Byabakama and the militarily rigged with impunity and which is the reason why am now under house arrest. I must state right from the beginning that we went into this election knowing the nature of the regime we are up against but trusting the people of Uganda to assert their voices. Like many other ruthless dictators, Museveni organizes elections in order to pay lip-service to democracy and to try to buy legitimacy from the world. He was therefore determined to take the nation through the same old ritual this year. Unfortunately for him, he miscalculated this time round.
The question we’ve been getting from some people has always been, why participate in an election that you know was already rigged? As I have said time and again, we participated in this election because we have confidence in the power of the PEOPLE of Uganda. We participated in this election because we believe that the voice of the people can speak loud and clear, and they spoke and everyone felt that.Today I stand here to thank you, fellow Ugandans, for turning up in unprecedented numbers to vote. Mr. Byabakama and his Electral Commission are trying to downplay the numbers of the people who voted, but even the blind could see the overwhelming turn up of Ugandans on the 14th. So on behalf of the National Unity Platform and on my own behalf, I want to thank you for turning up and for voting for change. My message to you today is that your effort was not in vain. Let me also appreciate my fellow presidential candidates for putting their foot forward, but most importantly for rejecting Museveni’s fraud.
Therefore fellow citizens, as I speak to you today, my heart is full of gratitude and confidence because eight days ago you went to the polls and overwhelmingly chose the National Unity Platform and myself to lead you in repairing our broken Nation, which has endured the pain of dictatorship under Gen.Yoweri Museveni for 35years.Unfortunately, Museveni yet again committed a coup against the Constitution and the people of Uganda. By 6:00pm on the day of voting, it was clear from across the country that despite all the rigging he had done, Museveni was defeated resoundingly. From the East to the West; from the North to the South and Central region, it was clear that Ugandans in their masses had rejected the Museveni dictatorship and chosen a New Uganda! Unfortunately, Museveni is such a poor student of history; including his own history.
In a book titled Mission to Freedom written by himself, he justified his decision to go to the bush and start after a rigged election as follows: He said, and I quote;“In December 1980, Ugandans went to the polls. By late afternoon on December 11th, it was clear that UPC and Obote were headed for a resounding defeat inspite of all the rigging they had done at the earlier stages of registration of voters, nomination of candidates, and demarcation of electoral boundaries. The UPC was seized with Panic. Paul Muwanga…..took over the powers of the Electoral Commission. ….. The following day 12th December 1980, using their control of the national radio, the army, the police and other state machinery and backed by the Tanzanian government, Obote and Muwanga announced their coup. ….Once again, a minority, unpopular clique was imposed on the people of Uganda, leaving them with no option but to take up arms in defence of their democratic rights.”This was Museveni speaking! And here we are yet again.
Just replace the actors in that article with Museveni, Byabakama and the like, and it will become alive again. Throughout the campaign period the People of Uganda generally, and more particularly my supporters and myself endured untold suffering, torture, degrading and inhuman treatment on the orders of Gen Museveni. This included but not limited to the dark days of 18th and 19th November 2020 which saw over one hundred innocent, unarmed citizens murdered in cold blood by the police and military.Gen Museveni later bragged about these cold murders and his executioner Gen. Tumwine promised to murder some more, if they dared question how they are being governed. He said “comply, comply, comply…cooperate, cooperate, cooperate”Fellow citizens, when I was nominated to run for President, I informed the nation that this was not just a mere election but a REVOLUTION. And I want to tell you today that the revolution is going on and nothing will stop it.
The regime is desperate to close this chapter and pretend that everything has returned to normal, but I will tell them today, this is only the beginning. The people of Ugandan had every reason to fight for freedom, and now they have an even bigger reason, Their victory was stolen in broad daylight and they are going to defend it.Like most National and International bodies have noted, this election was marred with massive irregularities including state inspired violence, intimidation and harassment of my supporters, myself and other opposition candidates, ballot stuffing with pre-ticked ballot papers in favour of Museveni, alteration of Declaration of Results Forms, Confiscation of Declaration Forms from our agents by Security Personnel, flawed tallying processes, etc.
In many districts across the country our agents were picked from polling stations and detained. To date, many of them are still missing. Amidst all this, Museveni switched off the internet and ordered the local media not to cover the incidents of election fraud and human rights violations. To complete their immoral scheme and to cover up all this evil, they immediately placed me under house arrest and up to now, am still held captive surrounded by the military. It will be remembered that two weeks to the election, my entire campaign team was arrested 49 of them were charged before the military court with a fabricated case of illegal possession of firearms! They include;Twaha Ali aka Nubian Li Daniel Oyerwot aka Dan MagicSebuufu Edward Eddy MutweAganba Athony aka Bobi YoungNyege William aka Kyuma Kya YesuMwijukye Lukman aka Kampala LookmanMuddy NtambiNyanzi William aka MbogoSuki wa BobiNajja sherifRacheal AkiikiNansove SafinaMuwaNamwanje JamilaSemakula HassanKyalimpa Kenny aka sky soldier 18yrsMiiro JohnNsubuga Muhammad Matovu AdamTamale IbraKafooko Stanley aka KistanKivumbi AchleoNyanzi Kaddu IsmaelManga MuzafaluKivumbi Rober aka Mighty familyObicho bonnetSekilanda Samson aka GiantDemands Brian aka M7 must goKatumba RobertNamubiru FatumaNamuyimba Joy aka Joy StrongTwashemelirwe Monica Lutaaya OliverMpanga CharlesKyabaggu Gesera aka Pympa productions Mutalya GeofreyMusic BenedictKalyango BakerMukasa Husein aka OsheSanders JohnBoscoMuganga IsmaTamale FahadMurusha BashirOnzima Geofrey aka TowerLule David Bwanika aka Selector Davie was abducted by the military from his home on the night of 12th January and has never been seen again. Over 3000 supporters were picked up by security and up to now, the whereabouts for most of them are still unknown.
These and many other irregularities and fraudulent actions for which we have overwhelming evidence prove one thing- this has been the most fraudulent election in the history of our Country. It is certainly ten times more fraudulent than the 1980 elections which Museveni hinged on to go to the bush and start a war which claimed more than half a million of our people. What happened on 14th of January is an insult the memory of all those who have paid the ultimate price so that democracy reigns in Uganda.Article 1(4) of the Constitution of Uganda provides that the People shall express their will and consent on who shall govern them and how they should be governed through regular, free and fair elections. But for Museveni and his regime, they have eliminated the words “free and fair”.We therefore, categorically and unequivocally reject the results manufactured by Gen Museveni’s operatives and read by Mr. Byabakama because they do not in any way represent what the People of Uganda chose on the 14th of January 2021 and we have overwhelming evidence to this effect. We call upon the People of Uganda to reject this mockery and refuse to acknowledge Museveni as the winner of the January 14th polls because we defeated him.
Ugandans must resist his treasonous attempt to forcefully impose himself on us as president. Resisting tyranny is not only a right- it is a DUTY for oppressed people to carry out. We encourage all of you to use all non violent and legal means and ides at your disposal to engage in this fight for complete freedom. We have always said that People Power is Our power. The stolen votes belong to the People of Uganda. The people of Uganda must rise to the occasion and free themselves and their country from that small group of gunmen who do not care about our future and that of our country Uganda. Unlike Museveni who unleashed untold violence and suffering on our people in the 1980s, we choose non-violent strategies in the pursuit of freedom and democracy. We are committed to non-violence because we despise violence. That is why we are fighting against a violent tyrant. Studies have shown that non-violence is even much more effective in breaking violent dictatorships.
I therefore encourage all of you citizens to take a firm stand against the M7 regime.Finally, many Ugandans are eager to hear our position on whether or not we shall go to court to challenge the thuggery and fraud. From the 17th of January when the coup was announced, we have received numerous calls advising us on different strategies and we’re we are grateful. Those who are against going to court have told us that it is a waste of time. They have argued that the composition of our Supreme Court as it is today would not rule against Gen. Museveni because he is the one who has appointed all of them to the bench. They have made reference to the past cases filed by Dr. Kizza Besigye and Amama Mbabazi in the same court and how the decisions were arrived at.
They have argued that to go to court is to give Museveni another stamp of legitimacy. Then there are those who are advising us to go to court. Even when they are skeptical about the outcome, they think we have an opportunity to file all this overwhelming evidence before a court of law both for the present and future reference. They think we should exhaust all the present legal avenues and if they have any shortfalls, use this opportunity to expose them. I must add that the regime has been actively trying to frustrate any attempt to go to court. They have intimidated our polling agents, but most crudely confiscated more than 4000 of our Declaration of Results forms, which are of crucial importance in an election petition. We have tasked the authorities to return these forms, but they are yet to respond. The leadership of the National Unity Platform is in the process of consulting stake holders but most importantly the common people and in a few days, we shall communicate our decision to the nation.As regards my illegal house arrest, the police and military have still failed to explain their presence in my home.Fellow Ugandans, stay strong and cheer up. The harder the battle, the sweeter the victory. #WeAreRemovingADictator
This is brother Kagimu Umar Jim, a very committed comrade. Like any young other Ugandan looking for survival in our harsh economy, Kagimu has worked in the printing business for some years. He has been printing People Power and NUP materials, including posters and fliers.
On Thursday last week, armed men moving in a minibus (drone) vehicle with concealed private number plates raided his working place at Nasser Road. They suspected him of having some of our DR Forms! They violently arrested him. His family says he is being held at Mbuya military barracks!
Kagimu becomes the fifth person targeted by the regime over DR Forms. To date, over 8000 copies have been confiscated by security operatives from leaders and agents. Having lost the election resoundingly, Museveni is trying to kill all the evidence. But the evidence is all over.
Kagimu is one of the thousands of young people languishing in military jails and other prisons, simply for working for good governance. Hang in there comrades. Freedom is in sight.
Meanwhile, we continue to gather evidence of vote rigging, ballot stuffing, violence by security operatives, alteration of DR Forms, etc. Please forward all forms of video ot pictorial evidence via Whatsapp to +256 701 458299.
I met Lule David Bwanika aka 𝐒𝐞𝐥𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐨𝐫 𝐃𝐚𝐯𝐢𝐞 𝐔𝐠 in the same year I met Barbie Kyagulanyi He was adopted at the age of 9 by Barbie’s Aunt who lived in Nsambya. When Barbie came to Kampala in her S.6 vacation, she lived with her aunt in Nsambya and therefore lived in the same house with her Auntie’s adopted son, her adopted cousin.When I met Barbie, it was this ‘adopted’ brother in law of mine that would be the go between me and Barbie throughout all our young courtship.Davie and I became so close that following in my footsteps, he also went into music and became a succesful DJ and sound engineer. He also became so outspoken about issues of his country Uganda and was very instrumental in our campaign. He was our sound engineer on the campaign trail.Like hundreds of my close working associates, Davies’s home in Magere was raided by soldiers on the night 12th of January, they beat him so bad before they bundled him in a drone van they came with and took him away. It is two weeks now and we all don’t know where he is. Efforts to search for him have all been futile. We suspect that, like many comrades who have been abducted by soldiers, he must be languishing in some torture chamber or safe house some where, or even murdered. I pray that you’re still alive my brother, where ever you are. We are with you, you’re in our hearts and prayers It is always darkest before the sun rises. God is with us. Tetulina musango!#FreePoliticalPrisoners
Dear young women and men of Uganda, today our country marks its 55th independence anniversary! I feel the urgency to communicate to you on this day, and through this letter on three things; the state of our country, the prospects for the future, and what each one of us must do TODAY to better our destiny. I know this letter is a bit long, but I beg all of us to read it. We should disapprove those who say that in order to hide something from an African you should put it in writing!***************************** “…..We are that generation.
The grandchildren of the independence generation and the grandparents of the future generations….. We must within ourselves find solutions, since our leaders don’t seem to care for the next generation but instead care for the next general-election…… We are the country, we are the future, we are the change we badly need. We are the youngest population in the world, we stand a chance. We are the leaders of the future and the future is today. If we only come together we can change our destiny.” These are some of the lyrics from my song called ‘Uganda’ (ft. Nubian Li).Firstly, I commend all of you for the zeal you show each day for a better country. Every day, wherever I go, whenever I read your social media engagements, whenever I tune into the radio and TV- I see a generation which is passionate about their country! I see young men and women who are tired and fed up of a country which does not work for them and a system which is disconnected from their daily realties.
The reason why I am writing to you today is because on an almost daily basis, these same young people, who unanimously agree that there is a problem, also ask me the question- “WHAT CAN WE DO?” The state giving up is real. Many have resigned to fate.Now, in 1962, exactly 55 years ago, the colonialists handed over this country to our grandparents. As we all know, as they left, they handed over a country which worked. Infrastructure was in place, having been built by the British- Mulago Hospital, Makerere University, roads, schools, power generating plants etc. Institutions of government functioned- the public service, the police force, public transport, agriculture, etc. Merit was rewarded, mediocrity was shunned – if you worked hard you were rewarded.
The ‘colonial’ government gave scholarships to intelligent young people to study here or sent them abroad to further their education and help build the nation upon return, without need to pay any bribe or to go through a ‘big father.’ Many of us have watched the short video titled ‘Africa’s largest Airport Opened’ in reference to Entebbe Airport when it was first opened. Professor Oloka-Onyango best describes what our country was like at the time in his book ‘Ghosts and the Law’- “The country was thus still in an age of innocence”. Newspapers of the time paint a picture of some kind of tropical paradise, of course with the nickname ‘Pearl of Africa’…… One could travel from Jinja to Kampala in one hour straight without meeting a pothole, and all traffic lights in Kampala- which were many more than they are today- worked. The railway network could take you virtually around the whole country.
Cinemas existed not only in the capital but in major regional towns. Although education had not been universalized via UPE, a student from a rural school in Uganda could favorably compete with a student from the city.It seemed like a time of order and tranquil governance; a time of social stability and economic prosperity.” Those who got a copy of the Uganda Argus of October 9th 1962 (reproduced by the New Vision last week) must have read that Education took 27% of the national budget because the government at the time understood that quality education was a precursor to national development and improving the living standards of the people.
They did all this, operating with a meagre budget, nothing compared to our present even when the value adjusted to the present. Therefore, when our forefathers agitated for independence before and in 1962, their problem was not poor service delivery or a failed system. They were simply agitating for self-governance. They wanted to free themselves and their children from the indignity of being ruled over by the ‘white man.’ They understood that having good infrastructure, excellent service delivery and a functioning healthcare without political freedom meant nothing.
To them, it was important to have both economic development while at the same time exercising their God-given right to self-determination! They wanted a black man or woman on the steering wheel of the country because they thought ‘Our own shall not betray us. Our own shall not enslave us. Our own shall be accountable to us.” Therefore, Independence Day was celebrated with pomp and flair. For the new Uganda, some lyrics of the national anthem went like this; “United, free for liberty together we’ll always stand. Oh Uganda, the land of freedom, Our love and labor we give….In peace and friendship we’ll live.” These lyrics echoed the kind of hope our forefathers had for this country. As they watched the Union Jack (British flag) go down and our Ugandan flag rise up- their hearts were filled with joy and anxiety. They visioned a better future for their children and their grandchildren- which is our generation.
They could never imagine that anyone- let alone their own black-man would ever step on and undermine the sweat, labor and in some cases blood, which they expended to create the nation of Uganda!We all know what has happened to our country for the past 55 years. We have all witnessed the crushed promise- captured very well in the preamble to the 1995 Constitution, a history characterized by political and constitutional instability, tyranny, oppression and exploitation. The shattered hope!In 2017, it is not yet Uhuru! True independence still eludes us.
The good which the colonialists left has long been destroyed and the freedom which our forefathers struggled to give us only remains in song. It is shameful- a serious indictment on our leaders that many Africans, many Ugandans would rather have the colonialist rule over them than have one of their own who disrespects them in every way.Yes, some progress has been made- but as if we live under a spell, there have always been people in these 55 years who are enemies of progress.
They work so hard to destroy the little we have achieved and throughout our history, we have often times had to start afresh! Mothers die in child birth, unemployment is everyone’s, the healthcare system is sick, corruption is the headline, the national debt has already placed a charge on our unborn children and grandchildren. The economic models are just irrelevant for the present times.I watch with misery thousands of young Ugandans who struggle to get onto that plane to go and give their labor abroad- many times in great suffering. We have seen stories of young girls who go to find a job only to be turned into sex slaves and sometimes tortured to death.
We all know that doctor or nurse who had to leave Uganda for greener pastures; even in other African countries! Although they would love to remain here and serve their people who are in great need, the system doesn’t appreciate their services. Poverty is appalling. Only last month, Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), a government agency, announced that 10 million Ugandans now live in poverty, and the numbers have not been reducing but increasing. 3.4 million of our people have slipped into poverty since 2012! Our GDP growth stands at a mere 3.9%! As the gun reigns supreme, those who hold it- our brothers and sisters in the forces are equally hit hard (and sometimes harder) by these same unfortunate conditions. 30 has become the new 18. Previously, young people were able to stand on their own at 18 years of age, today, majority can hardly find their feet until about 30 or more.
Even then, most are glad to be underemployed, and only very few are able to find befitting employment. The education system is dead. The curriculum is not relevant to the needs of this generation. Only last week, a World Bank development report (Published in the Daily Monitor) revealed that at least 80% of pupils in Primary Two in Uganda cannot perform a two-digit subtraction, and 61% cannot read a single word of a short sentence! Uganda, according to the report, is the second country in the whole world with pupils who cannot count. Yet these children everyday sing – “We young women and men of Uganda, are marching along the path of education singing and dancing with joy together uniting for a better Uganda. We are the pillars of tomorrow’s Uganda…. Let us rise now embrace true knowledge yielding disciplined resourcefulness to rebuild a great, great Pearl!”…Empty words! Many studying on a hungry stomach, under trees and in most cases being taught by equally hungry teachers! This is the country in which our children are born in! Apart from very few, many of us understand the struggles our parents or guardians have gone through to raise us in this country. And indeed, we each understand the struggles we go through every day to afford a decent life in mother Uganda. Individuals and families are working so hard but the returns are too low. The phrase ‘times are hard’ used to be seasonal but it is now a daily for most of our people- January to December, times are hard! Constitutionalism and the rule of law remains an aspiration.
We are constantly reminded that power originates from and is sustained through the gun! We, the people cannot express ourselves freely. We cannot assemble freely. Political leaders who oppose the status quo cannot move freely in their country. This is not yet Uhuru. This is not the freedom our fathers bestowed upon us.I can go on and on but we must not just lament. I have delved into the history and the present to try and put things into context. But I know that we all understand what is at stake. I just want each one of us to ask the one fundamental question – “What went wrong?” We well know that many African countries started with Uganda, some starting on an even worse footing than us- but now more than double us in terms of GDP growth and their people live in tranquility, dignity and freedom.
The answer and indeed the only difference between countries which have seen the fruits of independence and those which have not lies in only one word- LEADERSHIP.How a country is governed determines if it will succeed. Patriotic, selfless, courageous and competent leaders who put their country first, made progress for their people. And the opposite is true. As Proverbs 29:2 says, “When the righteous reign, people rejoice. But when the wicked rule, people groan.”My message to you young Ugandans is this, the responsibility to build or fail your country lies completely with you! As Frantz Fanon says, “Each generation must discover its mission, fulfill it, or betray it.” John F. Kennedy also said, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” Can we therefore stop lamenting only and think about what we can individually and collectively do to redeem this country and set it on a path to true independence? Can each one of us ask this noble question- “What kind of country do I want my child to grow in? What can I do to create that country?” As a generation, what shall we be remembered for? For looking on while our country went to the dogs or for standing up for what we believed was right?Some of us continue to support a system and politicians who we know are not working for us.
We align ourselves with leaders who only use us to get into positions of leadership only to forget us and return to us in the next election! All over the continent of Africa, we have seen wars and conflict spearheaded by young people. Who are they working for? Some greedy, power-hungry maniacs who are not bothered at all about them but about themselves and their own children! Like the proverbial grasshoppers which fight amongst themselves in a bottle, we often forget what the real problem is and turn against each other for petty reasons. Even from debates on social media, you see forces in disarray- young Ugandans insulting each other because they belong to different tribes, religion or political parties etc… Yet these two young men or young women share the same challenges and problems every day.
They are both unemployed, they both struggle to put food on the table; they both struggle to raise some little money to help parents or guardians who brought them up; and when they fall sick, both have to be admitted in some dilapidated hospital!Rather than fight amongst ourselves and seek the attention and small favors from people whose cause we do not belong to; rather than continue to be used to fight other people’s wars, let us envision the kind of Uganda we want, and embark on building it. We must never forget that about four decades ago, young people in Uganda faced similar dilemmas that we face today. They had a choice to make. They refused to sit down and fold their hands and watch as the country went to the dogs. We are once again at that point. Our generation does not have to resort to violence because as we have seen violence begets violence and the cycle never ends.
But we can do something to refocus the direction of our country! Young people ended apartheid, young people marched against slavery, and yes, young people fought for Africa’s independence. We should remember that there are some generations in this country which have been bypassed- which have not played any contribution to the development of this country. If we do not make a conscious decision today, we may become one of them.
The Obote, Kiwanuka generation fought for Independence, the Museveni generation fought against instability rising out of bad politics. There is a generation which came after- people who are presently in their late 40s and 50s. That generation did not play a decisive role. They are approaching the evening of their years, and those who I speak with, regret the missed opportunity to substantially contribute to this nation’s development. They were told that they were leaders of tomorrow.
They waited for that tomorrow, and it never came!Remember this- we shall not be young forever- not even much longer. The statistics are clear. They are on our side! The median age of Uganda is 15. More than 77% of the people are below 30 years of age, and over 80% below 35 years of age! The average age of our cabinet ministers is about 65 and the young people continue to be sidelined. Rather than demand for and take their place in shaping their country, the majority continue to beg for handouts from the minority- turning themselves into subjects of patronage. Out of the many intelligent, young Ugandans with great potential, it is the likes of Hon. Evelyn Anite and Hon. Ronald Kibuule who get appointed become ministers- to represent this generation! This should and must bother us! It saddens me that our leaders are always on the plane visiting countries which with even fewer resources and less opportunities have been able to work for their people and make great strides. And yet, they return here to superintend over this mess!Let me also speak to you, young people who live in some bit of comfort which has made you complacent. Some of us are luckier than the majority in this country.
We are doctors, lawyers, musicians, bankers, insurers, IT specialists, economists, engineers,etc. We often feel comfortable and because we can afford some basics of life, we have become depoliticized. The temporary comfort has blinded us to the bigger picture and to the problems of our country.Our silence in the face of injustice is loud. Our inaction is costly. Many of us do not even vote! By so doing we do not only betray our generation and country, but the effects of a badly run country will soon catch up with us. Assuming you were driving upcountry and you are involved in an accident and there is no ambulance or there is no blood in the nearby hospital (if there is one)- all of a sudden your disinterest becomes costly. If you’re a lawyer and the country’s Constitution is constantly undermined, sooner than later you may have no job. Therefore the struggle for a better country must involve all of us- men and women, young and old, from rural and urban areas, educated and not educated, ALL OF US. Our country is endowed with enormous natural and human resources.
There is no aspiration we cannot achieve, no height we cannot reach, no obstacle we cannot overcome. LET US UNITE, determine and purpose to take the long tiresome journey to make this country better. We must build a country which works for everyone. Where merit is rewarded. Where if you work so hard you are 100% sure that you will succeed. Where all persons are equal before and under the law. Where freedom of expression and assembly are respected and protected. Where a national Constitution is indeed supreme, popular and durable. Where all persons are proud to be called UGANDANS. I will repeat that this is achievable. And this won’t come from any politician. Not from any leader- not even me. We should not wait for another prophet. It all begins and ends with ‘WE THE PEOPLE”Your friend and comrade,Kyagulanyi Ssentamu Robert – Bobi Wine
HERE IS THE COPY OF THE NUP FULL MANIFESTO 2021-2026 IN PDF.
National Unity Platform manifesto 2021-2026.
A vote for the National Unity Platform is a vote for: I. People-Centred Governance II. Equal Access to Quality Education and Health Services III. Inclusive Economic Development IV. Land, Natural Resources & Environmental Protection V. National Security and International Relations.
THANK YOU MBARARA. THANK YOU UGANDA. BEHOLD MY MANIFESTO LAUNCH SPEECH 7th November, 2020
The people of Uganda gathered in this place and those watching us all over the country and all over the world;Madam Deputy President, Western UgandaMr. Deputy President, Central Uganda;Madam Deputy President, Northern;Mr. Deputy President, Eastern Region;The next first lady of Uganda Mrs. Barbara Itungo Kagaaju Kyagulanyi;Distinguished leaders of the NUP!
Abantu ba Mbarara, muri buhooro? Muri buhoorogye? Mugumire? First of all, it is not by mistake that in observing protocol, I started with you, the ordinary people before recognizing the leaders! No, this is intended because we have told you time and again that it is our policy to put the people of Uganda first in everything we do. Our assurance is that when we take over government, which we shall soon do, the people of Uganda will for the first time in history become the bosses and the leaders will be servants!
Countrymen and women, I bring you greetings once again and I thank God for giving us this opportunity to meet here in Mbarara to launch the manifesto of the National Unity Platform. All I can say is, Ebenezer, thus far the Lord has brought us, and we believe that he will guide us into the new Uganda! Fellow citizens, before I go into any policy alternatives, allow me to mention that the greatness of any nation does not lie in having a beautiful manifesto or even in having many well written policy documents. The greatness of any nation lies in the commitment of leaders who say what they mean and mean what they say.
It lies in having patriotic leaders who relate with the challenges of ordinary citizens. Brothers and sisters, the greatness of any nation lies in having leaders who are focused on the next generation and not on the next general election. I am not saying there is no value in having a manifesto.
But I want to emphasize that no matter how beautiful the ideas of any candidate in any manifesto are, if there is no will from the leaders to improve the lives of the people, it will be nothing but just words. And to emphasise this point, ladies and gentlemen, just look at all the NRM manifestos since 1996.
A quick scan through their promises each election year shows nothing but lies, false promises and contradictions. Just in the last election year, General Museveni went as far as lying to our young children. He moved all over the country promising that government would provide free sanitary pads to school-going children in order to enable the girl-child stay in school. Up to today, this promise, like very many others remains in words.
When she was asked about this, Gen. Museveni’s wife, who doubles as his Minister for Education claimed that there was no money to fulfill this promise. The government has never failed to find billions of shillings to bribe MPs to pass bad laws. They have never failed to find billions of shillings to buy off political opponents or hire mercenaries to sing praises for the regime. They have never failed to find money for luxurious travels abroad for the political class. Yes, they have never failed to find money to purchase teargas and such other oppressive equipment.
But they could not find money to purchase sanitary pads for our young children so as to enable them keep in school. It will be remembered that the rate of children dropping out of school in Uganda is one of the highest in Africa and indeed the whole world.According to UNEB figures, out of 12.2 million children who started P.1 over the past twenty years, only 6.9 million children were able to complete P.7. That is only 57%.The drop-out rate is even much higher in the case of female children. Here in Mbarara, 10,099 children aged between 6 and 15 years are not attending school! Over 72.9% of the people in the greater Mbarara district have only S.4 as their highest level of education.
According to UNESCO, more than half of all female children who begin primary school in Uganda do not complete P.7! In part, this is attributed to the lack of sanitary pads. That a government can fail to find money to save our female children and yet find money for luxury and repression speaks of the worst misuse of public resources coupled with an absolute lack of empathy by a regime which is detached from ordinary Ugandans. It speaks to a government which does not care whatsoever about the plight of the people! The election year is yet again upon us, and once again, Gen. Museveni has come with the same promises, which he has no intention of fulfilling; not now, not in the future.
This is the tragedy of Uganda. Comrades, my assurance to Uganda is that we are not merely making promises in order to win power! No. The National Unity Platform is committed to working with all Ugandans to improve their lives. We believe that immediately after taking over government, every Ugandan from Kaabong to Kisoro, from Yumbe to Busia will experience meaningful change in their way of life. As you have heard already, we have clustered our promise in five critical points which we call the first-five. These are not merely promises.
These are action points which we believe can and shall be achieved. Our promise to the teachers of Uganda is that we shall prioritize their welfare. Teachers must not wait for three months to be paid a salary that is not even enough to pay school fees for their own children. Teachers should be respectable citizens. Our government will ensure that teachers earn a decent salary, that they live in decent accommodation and have access to meaningful benefits when they retire. Our promise to the health-workers is that their work will be respected and rewarded by the government. Today, Uganda loses over 100 doctors every year who leave the country in search for greener pastures abroad. Some even go to neighboring countries such as South Sudan, Kenya and Rwanda.
The lower level health-workers are not exempted from the challenges of poor payment, lack of training opportunities, the absence of equipment in the health facilities, etc. My own mother was a mid-wife and I understand the challenges mid-wives go through. In some cases they have to use candles, torches and tadooba lights to assist delivering mothers. Our promise to all the health-workers is that our government will prioritise their welfare and ensure that they are paid well and on time. Once again, let me repeat our promise for our security forces- the soldiers, police officers and the prisons officers.
There is no reason why soldiers should live in dilapidated houses, in many cases without running water or even electricity. When you look at the conditions of the police stations across the country, you wonder why these police officers, which the regime relies on to keep in power against the will of the people, are treated with so much disrespect. About twenty years ago, the World Health Organisation called for a complete elimination of the use of asbestos because it causes lung cancer.
To date, police officers in our country live in old asbestos roofed houses. Of course poor housing does not only affect our men and women in uniform but all citizens. According to the Uganda Beaural Of Statistics report, 94.3% of the people in Mbarara district are not living in decent houses and over 1000 households don’t have any toilet facility! Our soldiers, police officers and prisons officers live like beggers even when they do a lot of work. There is no fairness in promotions and deployments. In many cases, promotions and deployments are not based on merit, but on who knows who. Our promise to our men and women in uniform is that they will be paid better as soon as we are in government.
We understand that some of our pledges will take some time to implement, but our promise to pay a minimum of 1 million shillings to the soldiers and police officers will take immediate effect. This is because that money is available, and we know it.We shall get all that money hidden and then stolen in form of classified expenditure, and use it to improve the lives of these men and women who keep awake at night to keep us safe. I have said it before that the majority of our police officers and soldiers are good people and decent citizens.
Even when they are sent to beat and kill us, many of them do not like beating us. Therefore, we must commit to improving their welfare and in turn demand them to respect the rights and dignity of the citizens.Our promise to the Ugandan youth is that we shall find meaningful employment opportunities for them. In our first term of office, our plan is to create five million jobs! We shall do this by refocusing our priorities, investing in technology and embarking on a massive industrialisation agenda.Our promise to all Ugandans is that we shall safeguard their land and put an end to the massive levels of land grabbing. No citizen should be deprived their land illegally, and if that should happen, they must have access to justice. Our promise to ordinary citizens who work in the informal sector is that your work will be valued and rewarded.
Those who ride boda-bodas, the taxi drivers, the mechanics, ordinary businessmen and women, the house-maids, industrial workers and other categories, the principle must be that if you work hard, you must earn from your labor. As the Banyankole say, ebirungi biruga omu tuutu. (Hard work pays) We shall stop the witch-hunt of private business owners who are persecuted for real or perceived opposition to the government in power. We shall ensure that the taxes imposed on businesses are reasonable and once collected, those taxes must be put to the right use.Our promise to the mothers of Uganda is that you will never again feel unsafe giving birth in a Ugandan health facility. As we have pledged, we must have a maternal health facility at every sub-county in Uganda so that mothers do not have to move miles to access a mid-wife.
Here in Mbarara, more than 15% of the households are more than 5 kilometres away from a health facility! We will be guided by the Maputo Protocol and the Abuja Declaration and we shall invest heavily in healthcare, specifically targeting women and children.Our promise to the local investors is that we shall treat you the same way as we treat foreign investors. In this way, domestic innovation projects will be supported with business accommodation for a limited period. They will get tax waivers and energy subsidies. Uganda is full of young talent. We shall focus on promoting this expertise in our midst by investing in skilling programs for young people, and deliberately finding opportunities for them to practice their skills. To increase access to capital, the National Unity Platform shall begin the process of facilitating the setting up of trust funds. Beneficiaries of this will be secondary school students and early school leavers. Investment trust funds can be banked and invested domestically or overseas.
In this way, we shall promote a savings culture and promote entrepreneurship. Our promise to the farmers is that we shall focus on sourcing for the right in-puts, encourage and support cooperative unions for farmers. We shall source for regional and global markets for Uganda’s agricultural products, and we shall strive to make our products competitive on the world market. In that regard, I stand here mindful that the people of Mbarara and Ankole generally, whose lives largely depend on farming have in the recent years faced many problems including fake drugs and pesticides, low prices for their milk and Matooke etcMany farmers have lost cows, while those who specialize in crop production have been disadvantaged in many ways.
We must be more innovative and change the the way things are going.Our promise to Ugandans in the diaspora who continue to support our struggle is that we shall run a better government and build a better country, which you will all be very glad to come back to. I could go on and on Ladies and Gentlemen. But like I have already indicated, our future does not lie so much in what we promise today, but in our commitment to improving the lives of our people.
We are committed to improving the lives of entertainers like myself, the artists, the comedians, the writers and all the creatives. We are committed to finding opportunities for all professionals. We are committed to improving the lives of persons with disability and ensuring their full inclusion in national development. We are committed to fostering gender equality in the economic, social and political spaces. Women and girls must have the same opportunities as men and boys to contribute to national development.
We are committed to building strong relations with neighboring countries and the global community generally. We are committed to promoting peace and security, focusing both on the physical and economic security for our people. This is our promise to Uganda. In the new Uganda, the opposition will not be the biggest enemy of the state. Instead of turning our guns on citizens for disagreeing with us, we shall turn all guns on poverty levels that are ever skyrocketing under Museveni. It is painful when one travels across this country and sees the levels of poverty and lack. Therefore countrymen and women, I call upon you to vote for me and the National Unity Platform in the coming election.
A vote for NUP is a vote for democracy and the rule of law in our country. A vote for NUP is a vote for equality and fairness. A vote for NUP is a vote for constitutional reform, where we shall restore and fix term limits. In the new Uganda, it will be treason for anyone to attempt to remove term limits, or to extend their term beyond two presidential terms. A vote for NUP is an assurance that citizens will never be persecuted for disagreeing with the government. A vote for NUP is a vote for servant leadership. A vote for NUP is a vote for improved welfare for our soldiers, our police officers, our teachers and our health workers. A vote for NUP is a vote for improved infrastructure, focusing on feeder roads. A vote for NUP is a vote for economic transformation. A vote for NUP is a vote for the closing of the income gap between the rich and the poor. A vote for NUP is a vote for rewarding agricultural activity. A vote for NUP is a vote for improved relations with the global community, and the respect for our country among nations. A vote for NUP is a vote for massive investment in athletics and sports. A vote for NUP is a vote for the protection of our natural resources as a country which Gen. Museveni now treats as his personal wealth. A vote for NUP is a vote for deployment of science and technology. A vote for NUP is a vote for zero tolerance for corruption, not only in words but in practice. A vote for NUP is a vote for discipline in spending public resources. It is a vote for a smaller yet effective public administration. Fewr ministers fewer MP’s and yet better governed country.In a nutshell ladies and gentlemen, A vote for NUP is a vote for a renewed commitment to the dignity of all citizens of Uganda.
For the respect of fundamental human rights. For the recognition that all citizens are equal before and under the law. That will be a new Uganda for us. A Uganda In which citizens are free to enjoy their God given rights and freedoms.I know that many of you will ask me what will happen after you have given us that vote. My call to all citizens remains that we should turn up in very large numbers to vote. When we vote, let us all take responsibility to guard that vote. When we guard that vote and anyone attempts to tamper with it, it is our responsibility to defend that vote and it is within the law.We have done this before in Kyadondo, we have done this before in Bugiri, we have done this before in Rukungiri and we have done it before in Arua. It is now time to do it all over Uganda.This is a liberation struggle. It will take all of us citizens to complete this mission. God bless you. God bless Uganda.
Kyagulanyi Ssentamu Robert Presidential Candidate Kyagulanyi Ssentamu Robert Musinguzi Presidential Candidate