Newscast Media ENTEBBE, Uganda—Ethiopian Emperors have never been timid when they threatened to cut off the Nile if their demands were not met. Those on the other end of these threats did not for a moment doubt that the Ethiopian Emperors were able to turn off the taps of the Nile. In his well-written and interesting essay, Ibrahim continues to say that the hegemonic policy of Egypt had not changed by twentieth century.
A Swiss affiliate to King Khedive Ismail of Egypt, Werner Munzinger, had once remarked that; “Ethiopia . . . is a danger for Egypt. Egypt must either take over Ethiopia and Islamize it, or retain it in anarchy and misery.” Egypt had attempted the first in 1832 and 1882 but failed. In today’s world, an invasion is unlikely since the use of force in international relations is strongly condemned.
At different occasions Egyptian top officials affirmed their strong will to intervene with force to any disruption of the status quo. In 1979 Anwar Sadat, then President of Egypt, said immediately after signing the peace treaty with Israel that “the only matter that could take Egypt to war again is water.” At another occasion he lashed out, “Any action that would endanger the water of the Blue Nile will be faced with a firm reaction on the part of Egypt, even if that action should lead to war.” Boutros Boutros Gahali, when he was the Egyptian Foreign State Minister, confirmed the same conclusion when he said “the next war in our region will be over the water of the Nile, not politics.” You may read or download the entire essay here.
According to Institute for Security Studies (ISS), the most controversial provision of the CFA is Article 14 (b) of the CFA, which reads: “not to significantly affect the water security of any other Nile Basin State’. Egypt and Sudan proposed that the article should be reworded as: “not to adversely affect the water security and ‘current uses and rights’ of any other Nile Basin States”.
The problem the six states have with the phrase ‘current uses and rights’ once again stems from the fact that those rights were granted during the colonialism era, which is a bygone era.
Egypt’s concern about the Nile being affected by the new agreement is addressed in Article III section 1. of the agreement that states: “The Nile River System and its waters shall be protected, used, conserved and developed in accordance with the following general principles: (1). Cooperation—The principle of cooperation between States of the Nile River Basin on the basis of sovereign equality, territorial integrity, mutual benefit and good faith in order to attain optimal utilization and adequate protection and conservation of the Nile River Basin and to promote joint efforts to achieve social and economic development…”
Ethiopia and other countries that are party to the agreement are developing projects pursuant to the same Article III section 6, that states:
Article III § 6—The right of Nile Basin States to use water within their territories: “The principle that each Nile Basin State has the right to use, within its territory, the waters of the Nile River System in a manner that is consistent with the other basic principles referred to herein.”
During the colonial period, Britain effectively controlled the Nile through its military presence in Africa. However, Sudan and Egypt signed another agreement in 1959 giving Egypt the majority of the water flow, while ignoring all the other countries within the Nile Basin.
Article 19, Article 20, and Article 21 of the Entebbe Agreement override the colonial agreements allowing the once-ignored countries to exercise more control over the Nile.
Article 19 states: Legal Status—The Commission is established as an intergovernmental organization and shall enjoy international legal personality, with such legal capacity as may be necessary for the performance of its functions, in particular, the capacity to enter into agreements, to incur obligations, to receive donations, and to sue and be sued in its own name.
Article 20 section 2 states: The Conference shall establish its own rules and procedures.
Article 21 states: Functions—The Conference shall be the supreme policy-making organ of the Commission.
Egypt’s Mohammed Morsy realizes a war against Ethiopia is a war against all other states within the Nile Basin. The most reasonable thing Morsy can do is attend the African Summit and resolve the Nile Basin conflict diplomatically.
The Nile is regarded as the longest river in the world stretching a distance of 4,130 miles, running through ten countries. The source of the Nile River is Lake Victoria, specifically in Jinja—Uganda, contrary to what fraudulent historians claim. Up North in Ethiopia, another section of the Nile called the Blue Nile originates from Lake Tana. The Nile gets its name from the Greek word “Nelios”, meaning River Valley. Click here to read or download the Entebbe Agreement.
Categories: News Tags: bujagali falls dam, Entebbe Agreement, entebbe uganda, Ethiopia Addis Ababa African Summit, ethiopia dam project, jakaya kikwete, kampala uganda, mwai kibali. meles zenawi, nile basin countries, paul kagame, pierre nkurunziza, source of the blue nile, Source of the Nile, Yoweri Museveni
Newscast Media NAIROBI, Kenya—Over a month ago, Somalia applied to join the East African Community (EAC) in a letter that was sent to Mwai Kibaki, Kenya’s president and the current head chairman of the EAC. Some might wonder why Somalia would apply to become part of the EAC since it is located in what is perceived by many as East Africa. To a foreign eye, that may appear true, but to a native African, the countries that make up East Africa are: Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Somalia is considered to be part of the Horn of Africa, and some go as far as classifying it as being part of North Africa.
To give the readers a little history of the EAC, it was conceived in 1967, by the aspirations of Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta, Uganda’s Milton Obote and Tanzania’s Julius Nyerere. This led to the formation of the East African Community that allowed inter-state commerce to happen between the three countries. Vehicles and trains from the region were marked with the abbreviation EAC to facilitate the free flow of goods across East Africa, and distinguish them from other African countries.
Within 10 years, the EAC had dissolved, but was revived in 1999-2000 by Kenya’s Daniel Arap Moi, Uganda’s Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and Tanzania’s Ali Hassan Mwinyi, to the current EAC. In July 2009 Rwanda and Burundi that were initially considered part of Central Africa, applied and were admitted as part of the East African Community. Today the EAC is made up of the five countries (Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda) in the Great Lakes region.
Sudan applied to EAC but its membership was rejected for two reasons: The first reason was that it had no geographic borders attached to any of the East African countries. Secondly, Sudan practices Sharia law and no country in East Africa engages in that practice. South Sudan, has been encouraged to join the EAC, which will lessen its dependence on Sudan as it builds ties with East Africa. However, because political instability continues to plague the region, its application is being threatened as reported by Tanzania’s Citizen News.
Somalia comes into play by virtue of having its borders attached to Kenya, but faces several impediments, six (6) of which I will list below numerically:
Impediment #1: Somalia is considered a terror state and harbors the terrorist group Al-Shabaab as indicated in this report by the U.S. State Department.
This is in direct contravention of Article III of the EAC Treaty which clearly spells out the criteria used in expanding the membership of the Community.
Membership of the Community—Article III section 3(b):
(b) Adherence to universally acceptable principles of good governance, democracy, the rule of law, observance of human rights and social justice.
Because it harbors a terror group, it will be hard for Somalia to bypass this requirement of the East African Treaty.
Impediment #2: Al-Shabaab recently joined forces with Al-Qaeda, which does not strengthen its standing in the EAC community. An enraged Hillary Clinton wanted no part of discussions with the group, and ruled out talks with Al-Shabaab, saying that its decision to join forces with al-Qaeda showed “it is not on the side of peace, stability or the Somali people” as reported by the BBC in this article.
Impediment #3: Somalia observes Sharia Law, and just as Sudan was denied membership because no country in East Africa observes Sharia, there is a high likelihood the same standard will be applied to Somalia. Among many things, the strict interpretation of Sharia law also forbids girls from attending school, requires veils for women, beards for men, and bans music and television CNN reports here.
On the issue of Sharia, this law is decided by a Sharia court, yet to become a member of the EAC, it would mean that the East African Court of Justice would have jurisdiction over matters related to human rights and so forth. The decision of the East African Court also supersedes the decisions of other national courts in matters related to the Treaty. This is demonstrated in Article 23, Article 27, Article 33 and Article 35 of the East African Treaty as shown below:
ARTICLE 23: East African Court of Justice—Role of the Court
The Court shall be a judicial body which shall ensure the adherence to law in the interpretation and application of and compliance with this Treaty.
ARTICLE 27—Jurisdiction of the Court
1. The Court shall initially have jurisdiction over the interpretation and application of this Treaty.
2. The Court shall have such other original, appellate, human rights and other jurisdiction as will be determined by the Council at a suitable subsequent date. To this end, the Partner States shall conclude a protocol to operationalise the extended jurisdiction.
ARTICLE 33— Jurisdiction of National Courts
1. Except where jurisdiction is conferred on the Court by this Treaty, disputes to which the Community is a party shall not on that ground alone, be excluded from the jurisdiction of the national courts of the Partner States.
2. Decisions of the Court on the interpretation and application of this Treaty shall have precedence over decisions of national courts on a similar matter.
ARTICLE 35—Judgment of the Court
1. The Court shall consider and determine every reference made to it pursuant to this Treaty in accordance with rules of the Court and shall deliver in public session, a reasoned judgment which, subject to rules of the Court as to review, shall be final, binding and conclusive and not open to appeal. Click here to read or download entire East African Treaty.
Impediment #4: Piracy on the seas, is not only a regional issue that Somalia has failed to contain, it has become an international problem, once again in contravention to Article III of the EAC Treaty, particularly subsections (b) and (f).
Article III sections 3(b) and 3(f) state:
(b) Adherence to universally acceptable principles of good governance, democracy, the rule of law, observance of human rights and social justice;
(f)Social and economic policies being compatible with those of the Community.
The activity of Somalian pirates not only violates human rights because they have killed many hostages, but piracy also hinders commerce and economic policies, because merchant vessels containing goods and merchandise that are hijacked by pirates, are a source of income upon which various countries rely to grow their economies. CBS News reported the story of four Americans who were killed by Somalian pirates with a message from Muse Abdi who said: “Killing hostages has now become part of our rules. From now on, anyone who tries to rescue the hostages in our hands will only collect dead bodies.” Continue to Part II-Somalia’s impediments>
Newscast Media KAMPALA, Uganda—After having voted overwhelmingly to abolish term limits from Uganda’s Constitution on August 11, 2005, members of Uganda’s parliament recently voted to restore presidential term limits. Radio France Internationale (RFI) reported that the move to restore term limits was provoked by President Yoweri Museveni’s unwillingness to state clearly whether he would run for office again in 2016.
The same agency reports that the lifting of term limits in 2005 was as a result of ruling party MPs being given 1,520 euros to support the 2005 constitutional change, paving the way for Museveni’s reelection in the 2006 general election.
However, Museveni argues that the reason he has stayed in power for 26 years is because Ugandans keep voting him back into office. In a CNN interview, Christiane Amanpour asked Museveni, “Do you not think that 26 years in power is enough?” To which Museveni answered: “There are so many issues to deal with. I can leave power when my party agrees.” The interview can be viewed below:
Museveni interview – Video courtesy: CNN
As you saw and heard in the video, Amanpour suggested it would be best to leave power on a high note, rather than be referred to as “Mugabe”. I researched to see where Amanpour may have gotten the “Mugabe” phrase. I discovered that it was actually former Uganda Ambassador Johnnie Carson who coined that phrase in an article he wrote on May 1, 2005 in the Boston Globe.
In the article Carson writes: “Many observers see Museveni’s efforts to amend the constitution as a rerun of a common problem that afflicts many African leaders — an unwillingness to follow constitutional norms and give up power. Museveni’s reluctance to move aside may also be motivated by a desire to protect those
around him, including his son and half brother, from charges of corruption for alleged involvement in illegal activities.”
Carson concludes the article by saying: “If Museveni succeeds in his desire to win a third term, we may be looking at another Mugabe and Zimbabwe in the making.” The full article can be read here.
Not only is the pressure coming from the members if parliament who voted to restore term limits, but also the local clergy are advising Museveni not to run in 2016 as reported by Africa Review here.
The Kony-Museveni dilemma
An effort for Kony to be apprehended has been launched, with Museveni offering soldiers to undertake the mission. This now makes him more useful, because it is doubtful that any other African country would be willing to embark on such an undertaking that includes many risks. As long as Kony is still out there, Museveni’s stay in power is assured, and as long as there is turmoil in Somalia, he will be needed by the West to fight that war.
During the Clinton era, when American troops were sent into Somali to help stabilize the region, they faced great hostility and several deaths occurred in which the Somalians dragged soldiers’ bodies in the Mogadishu streets. The U.S. will not let acts like that happen again, which explains the West’s willingness to let Museveni stay in power.
The emergence of Kony
Most journalists started hearing about Kony in the past 10 years, yet Kony first became active during the Cold War in the Reagan administration in 1985, before Museveni became president. At the time, Joseph Kony had not yet named his group the Lord’s Resistance Army. They were simply guerilla’s from the North. In the
African language the northern guerillas associated with Kony were referred to as “Anyanya”. There was even a saying that: “We won’t pray with our eyes closed, so we can see the Banyanya when they attack us.”
In 1986 Museveni ascended to the presidency through guerilla warfare and through the help of the dominant Ganda tribe in central Uganda. Museveni was not worried about the northern attacks because he had the support the largest tribe in Uganda. In order to get this support though, Museveni struck a deal with Buganda’s royal family to restore the kingdoms that had been abolished in 1967 after a new constitution under Milton Obote abolished all of Uganda’s kingdoms, including Buganda. Indeed, in the early 90s Museveni proved he was as good as his word, and restored the kingdoms, with King Ronald Mutebi, who at the time was in exile in London, becoming the Kabaka (king) of Buganda.
In the 90s Uganda enjoyed a relatively peaceful period, with little interruption from the guerilla’s in the North. By 2004-2005, the Lord’s Resistance Army of Joseph Kony was virtually non-existent and completely inactive in Uganda.
Today, Uganda’s three major problems are: corruption, lack of a consistent supply of electricity, and lack of employment particularly among the youth. As far as corruption is concerned, even Museveni himself said, “Uganda is full of thieves,” in a visit to Rwanda. It is the misappropriation of funds that has crippled development in Uganda’s infrastructure. The streets are filled with pot holes and most buildings do not meet the building inspection codes. If Kampala were to have an earthquake today, the city would literally have to be rebuilt from the ground up.
The reliability of electricity is also another problem and some Ugandans are resorting to alternative energy, to run their businesses. I wondered why there is a power supply problem today, yet during Idi Amin’s regime, it was unheard of not to have electricity. Uganda’s street lamps were all working including the traffic lights when Amin was president. The elevators (lifts) in commercial buildings were dependable and virtually every house with indoor plumbing had water flowing through the taps.
The answer lies in the population growth which during Amin’s time was at 12.8 million. Today, Uganda has a population of 33.4 million people according to the U.S. State Department. Uganda has been dependant on hydro-electric power, and with three times the population growth, the country has to invest in the energy sector something Museveni should have foreseen 26 years ago since Uganda has the second most fertile women in the world just behind Niger.
Knowing how fertile Ugandan women are, Museveni made a fatal mistake by not implementing measures to deal with the population growth. This has caused great dissatisfaction among the unemployed youth, and the frustration is also being exhibited by MPs and clergy moving to restore presidential term limits. If the country did not have an unemployment problem, nobody would care how long Museveni stayed in power.
What the majority of unemployed Ugandans gripe about is that Museveni is spending most of the money on military equipment yet Uganda is not at war, instead of investing that money on programs that can help train Ugandans to be competitive in the workforce. Programs like vocational (hands-on) education, cooperative education, apprenticeships, work-study and research programs are more likely to benefit Ugandans and Uganda, but instead, all the talent in Uganda is migrating to South Africa where opportunities are bountiful, and the work pays handsomely. http://www.newscastmedia.com/term-limits-uganda.htm
Newscast Media — After examining the underlying factors in the Walk-to-Work demonstrations that are happening in Uganda, we can see that there are two types of battles being waged. Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni is employing the military and police forces to physically squash the demonstrations, while opposition leader Kizza Besigye is using psychological warfare.
The principles of psychological warfare:
Currently Besigye has won two important battles and Museveni handed them to him handily. The first battle that Besigye won was the hearts of Ugandans, and the second was the PR (public relations) battle. Besigye is now on the offensive while Museveni is doing damage-control due to the defective advice he was given. To understand the social and political dynamics of the events happening, one must turn to two of the greatest generals in the history of war tactics. The first one is Chinese General Sun Tzu who wrote the book The Art of War, and we also have to take look at Prussian military thinker Carl von Clauswitz who wrote Principles of War.
Sun Tzu said: “Therefore the skillful leader subdues the enemy without fighting.”
Von Clauswitz said: “Be audacious and cunning in your plans, firm and persevering in their execution, determined to find a glorious end, and fate will crown your brow with a shining glory, which is the ornament of princes, and engrave your image in the hearts of your last defendants.”
If we look at Sun Tzu’s statement, Besigye was able to win over the crowds and the media without firing a single shot. Public opinion has been in his favor since. Museveni’s mistake was that he waited for almost six days after the Walk-to-Work events, and police brutality had already taken place before he addressed the nation. At that point Ugandans had already made up their minds that it was Museveni behind the curtain orchestrating the violence against unarmed civilians. The damage had been done and by the time Museveni gave his press conference he could not unscramble the eggs.
The delayed response
One wonders, how Museveni could listen to such defective advice. When hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana and George W. Bush had a delayed response of just a couple of days, he faced a backlash for not addressing the nation sooner. Just recently, when Barack Obama spent weeks without addressing the nation or visiting the gulf coast during the oil spill of 2010, he too faced a backlash and was perceived as being out of touch with Americans and his approval numbers have been in free fall since. Museveni made the mistake of arresting and imprisoning protestors as well as waging war against the media. The local media has now decided to deny any coverage to government functions and are focusing on community news and events, as well as exposing injustices committed by government agents.
Besigye, on the other hand, has enjoyed the advantage of being able to tell his story to the local media as well as affiliates of international media organizations like the BBC, Reuters, Al Jazeera, CNN and so forth, without raising an army. Now that he has won the hearts of his people and the public relations battle, he faces another frontier – the psychological war.
Rhetoric, Logic and Dialectic:
Julius Caesar and Brutus using hints of rhetoric and logic to reason
The outcome of the next phase of the battle between Besigye and Museveni will depend on who is superior in psychological warfare, in order to produce the desired results. We now have to examine both men, and where their anger toward each other comes from. Some Ugandans believe Museveni’s hostility toward Besigye is a tribal issue between Ankole and Kabale-Kigezi. The reasoning is that Museveni has filled his cabinet and virtually every powerful position in his regime with his fellow tribesmen, and the balance of power tips in favor of those from the Ankole region. Anyone who challenges him who is not part of the esoteric continuum is therefore a threat to Museveni. Others believe that Museveni’s hostility toward Besigye comes from the perception that Besigye wants to share power with him, which the president feels is unacceptable, therefore to discourage such ambitions, he applies heavy-handed tactics toward his opponents. There are others who believe it is a battle of the recently-discovered oil in western Uganda, where each party desires to have a stake in those natural resources, and control the oil industry. There is yet another faction that believes the hostility is due to Besigye abandoning Museveni’s NRM in which he was a member originally, and later on joined another political party.
All arguments may hold a certain level of validity, but we must isolate the underlying cause of hostility and anger emanating from Museveni and his National Resistant Movement NRM toward Besigye and his supporters, and we also have to look at where the resentment and anger of Besigye and the demonstrators is coming from. We have to remember that not all the people walking to work in
protest of the cost of living are supporters to Besigye. These are simply Ugandans trying to get the attention of their government that they feel is ignoring their needs.
To answer the issue of anger, we have to turn to the Sophists, who were Greek philosophers of the highest order. Sophists were professional teachers of rhetoric and logic who believed that effective communication determined whether or not an idea was accepted, rather than its validity. They believed, it is not enough to identify something as beautiful; one must know why it is beautiful. In other words one must know the essence of beauty. In this case I will apply the same logic to a person. It is not enough to identify a person as angry; one must identify why the person is angry.
Museveni and his NRM’s hostility and anger toward Besigye:
Sophists explain that, we are angry with those who have usually treated us with honor or regard, if a change comes and they behave to us otherwise: for we think that they feel contempt for us, or they would still be behaving as they did before. We are also angry with those who oppose us, whom we perceive to be our inferiors: for all such persons seem to feel contempt for us; those who oppose us
seem to think us inferior to themselves, and those who do not return our kindnesses seem to think that those kindnesses were conferred by inferiors. For, by our hypothesis, the anger caused by the slight is felt towards people who are not justified in slighting us, and our inferiors are not thus justified.
A man expects to be specially respected by his inferiors in birth, in capacity, in goodness, and generally in anything in which he feels he is much their superior: as where money is concerned a wealthy man looks for respect from a poor man; where speaking is concerned, the man with a turn for oratory looks for respect
from one who cannot speak; the ruler demands the respect of the ruled. We feel particularly angry on this account if we suspect that we are in fact, or that people think we are, incompetent for when we are convinced that we excel in certain qualities for which we are criticized, we tend to retaliate through anger.
Besigye’s and the opposition’s anger toward Museveni:
People who are afflicted by sickness or persecution or oppression or any other unsatisfied desires are prone to anger especially against those who slight their present distress. Thus a sick man is angered by disregard of his illness, a poor man by disregard of his poverty, an oppressed man by disregard of his oppression, a lover by disregard of his love, a persecuted man by disregard of his persecution, and so forth.
Looking at how Sophists deconstruct anger, we have now traced the root of all the animosity and hostility that we have witnessed on display in the past four weeks in Uganda by the government toward the opposition, and the feedback they received as a result of their actions and inactions. The impending battle that lies ahead as mentioned earlier, is a psychological battle.
Who is your Judas?
Museveni and Besigye both have to identify the Judas or Judases in their circles. It will be a lot harder for Museveni to identify the Judases in his circle because he has too many advisers, and associates who constantly sing his praises privately and publicly. They therefore know too much about him and could become a liability to him, so he has no choice but to rely on his instincts. Besigye, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to have many people in his inner-circle other than his wife and lawyers, which is a very good thing.
Everyone has a Judas. A Judas is someone who smiles and winks at you, but is secretly plotting against you. A Judas resents the respect and love you receive from colleagues and seeks to weaken your influence among them. A Judas is a person who hugs you with one hand, yet stabs you in the back with the other. A Judas is a weak and spineless person who plays both sides. Judases are double-agents who pretend to be loyal, yet they root for your adversary. A Judas is quick to side with the enemy and is usually a “yes-man.” A Judas is a jealous and intimidated individual who resents success of others. Judases are flatterers and sycophants with overblown egos, who lack authenticity. Judases are narcissistic and always seeks approval, accolades and blow their own horns, due to deeply seated insecurities. A Judas is always praising your adversary. Your enemy will always bond with the Judas of your innercircle to sabotage your plans. Never reveal your plans to a Judas, once he is identified. The quickest way to identify a Judas is to observe the person in your inner circle who receives special treatment from your adversary. That is your Judas. When Judas reveals himself, your moment of glory has arrived.
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Analysis: Uganda Presidential Elections February 18, 2011 – Yoweri Museveni, Kizza Besigye, Norbert Mao Results
Newscast Media KAMPALA, Uganda — Uganda held its elections on Feb. 18, 2011, with a lot of speculation as to whether it will be a peaceful process. The three leading candidates in the Uganda elections are the incumbent President Yoweri Museveni of the National Resistance Movement (NRM), Dr. Kizza Besigye of the Inter-Party Cooperation (IPC) and Norbert Mao who represents the Democratic Party (DP).
There are indeed other players in the February 18, 2011 elections, however, I will focus on these three candidates (Museveni, Besigye and Mao) who are the front runners in this year’s presidential race. Below is a brief profile of Uganda that will familiarize the readers of this article with the country.
Full name: Republic of Uganda
Location: East Africa – Great Lakes Region
Population: 33.8 million (UN, 2010)
Area: 241,038 sq km (93,072 sq miles)
Major languages: English (official), Luganda, Swahili, various Bantu and Nilotic
Religion(s): Christian 85%, Muslim 12%, other 2%.
Currency: Uganda shilling (Ush)
Membership of international groupings/organizations: East African Community
(EAC), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), African Union
(AU), Commonwealth, United Nations (UN) – Non-permanent member of the Security
Council 2009-10, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) – Uganda
held the chair 2003/5.
Frederick Mutesa II: October 9, 1963 – March 2, 1966.
Milton Obote: April 15, 1966 – January 25, 1971.
Idi Amin Dada: February 2, 1971 – April 13, 1979.
Yusuf Kironde Lule: April 13, 1979 – June 20, 1979
Godfrey Binaisa: June 20, 1979 – May 12, 1980.
Milton Obote: December 17, 1980 – July 27, 1985.
Yoweri Museveni: January 29, 1986 – Present
This year’s battle for the State House has captured the attention of many local and international observers given what happened in Kenya, Zambia and Cote d’Ivore, when the election results were highly contested because there seemed to be no clear winner. In all three cases candidates of both parties declared themselves winners.
Dead Folk Voting:
Even before election day, reports of 140,000 dead people registered to vote, are troubling and raise concerns about whether this will be a fair election. It is not known to whose party the zombies belong, but Democracy Monitoring Group (DEMGroup) in Uganda has revealed that in addition to the dead voters, over 400,000 foreigners are registered to vote and 5,000 people over the age of 110 are also registered to vote. The entire findings can be read here in The Daily Monitor newspaper.
The incumbent Museveni faces former opponent Kizza Besigye for the third time, and also a newer face representing the Democratic Party, Nobert Mao. Museveni’s advantage is that he has name recognition and access to resources to sustain his campaign. Besigye has the advantage of having developed strong grassroots amongst the largest ethnic group in Uganda called the Baganda. Norbert Mao has the advantage of bringing a fresh outlook to Ugandan politics and strong support in the North.
Yoweri Museveni’s challenges:
Having been in power for 25 years, Museveni will attempt to garner Ugandans’ votes in order to stay in office for another five years. He faces several challenges, not only from his opponents, but also trying to convince voters that he is the right man to lead Uganda in this new decade. Museveni’s toughest challenge lies in the central region – Buganda. The region is predominantly occupied by the Baganda people whose vote is absolutely necessary should any of the three expect to win. However, the tension between the kingdom of Buganda and Museveni’s NRM government has been an impediment to Museveni and the way he is perceived by the Baganda.
Realizing how deep the rift between Buganda and his government had become, Museveni was prompted to write the King (Kabaka) of Buganda Ronald Mutebi a letter that yielded him an audience with His Majesty as reported by state-owned newspaper New Vision.
What Museveni may be inadvertently overlooking, is that the people from Buganda kingdom consider themselves Baganda first, then Ugandans second, whereas non-Baganda consider themselves Ugandans first, then their ethnic tribes second. The reason is because Buganda as a kingdom, was a separate nation state before the British arrived. The British conquered all surrounding kingdoms except Buganda.
After realizing the difficulty they faced in conquering Buganda, the British persuaded the Kabaka (King) to join the rest of the kingdoms and form an amalgamation that would result into the birth of a nation now called Uganda. The Baganda elders together with the king voluntarily accepted the proposal.
If you were in Uganda and asked a non-Muganda: “Tell me about yourself,” the person would say, “My name is so and so, I am a proud Ugandan from such and such a tribe.” However, if you were to meet a Muganda and posed the same question, the person would answer, “My name is so and so, I am a proud Muganda from such and such a clan.” Rather than identify themselves as Ugandans, they will identify themselves as Baganda. It is only when they are outside Uganda that Baganda identify themselves as Ugandans.
The pride of the Baganda people lies in the fact the Buganda kingdom, before it became part of Uganda, was one of only two nations (Liberia and Buganda) in Africa, that was never conquered. Even Ethiopia, was conquered on Oct. 3, 1935, when Italy invaded it. On June 1, 1936, the king of Italy, Vittorio Emannuelle III, was also made emperor of Ethiopia. It wasn’t until 1941, during World War II, that British and South African forces conquered Ethiopia, restoring Haile Selassie back to his Emperorship. So even though King Mutesa I of Buganda voluntarily accepted British protectorate status in 1894, Buganda was never defeated or conquered by colonial armies, as a stand-alone nation state.
As a Psychology graduate, I have determined three necessary ingredients that are required before a voter can cast a vote for a candidate. These ingredients are universal and cross-cultural. The first element that is necessary is rapport. People have to get to know a candidate before determining whether the person is worthy of their vote. It’s the reason candidates spend millions of dollars on ads trying to sell their image or message. The second element is the emotional connection.
Once voters get to know a candidate, they have to be able to connect with that person on an emotional level. They have to know that you feel their pain. This is the most important stage because it builds comfort which translates to trust. No matter how much name recognition one has, if voters distrust a candidate it is very hard for him or her to win over those voters. This is the stage where the goal of the candidate must be to win over the hearts of the people.
The last and final stage that is an after-effect of establishing an emotional connection is loyalty. After voters are familiar with candidate and connect emotionally with that person, they will become loyal supporters of the same. With loyalty people open their checkbooks, offer to volunteer for the candidate by performing tasks like hanging posters, spreading the candidate’s message through word of mouth, launching Web sites or blogs in support of the candidate, defending the candidate and recruiting other voters to vote for the candidate.
It is important for a candidate to get people to vote with their hearts, for when people vote with their hearts, they are literally “sold-out” to their candidates. Those who win over the hearts of the voters, win elections. Museveni’s challenge, particularly in the central Buganda region, is to overcome the emotional disconnect that exists. The Baganda have to feel that he relates to their needs, and is not just pandering to them. Buganda is Museveni’s Achilles’ heel.
In the northern region of Uganda, Museveni also faces the prospect of two other candidates in these elections, (Norbert Mao and Dr. Olara Otunnu) who are northerners by descent, tapping into his voting pool, because the northern people who are Luo, may lean toward their fellow tribesmen out of loyalty. As for the western region, IPC candidate Dr. Kizza Besigye who hails from the West like Museveni, has heavily campaigned there as he seeks to claim a chunk of that western pie.
Kizza Besigye’s challenges:
While IPC’s Besigye may not have the resources Museveni has, he too has name recognition in Uganda nationwide. In the West, he will have to work hard to put a big dent in the vote from Ankole region that is more likely to vote for Museveni in these elections. He doesn’t need to dominate in the North because he seems to have stronghold in the Buganda region. Unlike Museveni’s challenge that is an emotional disconnect the Baganda feel, Besigye’s challenge is psychological. Besigye has mentally conditioned himself and his voters to believe that on February 18, there will be foul-play perpetrated by the government as reported by Daily Monitor newspaper in this recently published article.
The danger of being trapped into that state of mind is that the voters in Uganda may not come out in large numbers, believing that Museveni is pre-destined to win the elections, and their vote would simply be a waste of time. The article quotes Besigye as saying: “Dictators cannot be removed by free and fair elections.” If he conditions his voters to think that way, it might eventually become a self-fulfilling prophesy. Besigye’s task is to transcend the psychological impediment that seems to plague him, and instead motivate and boost the moral of his voters to show up in droves on election day.
Norbert Mao’s challenges:
As for Democratic Party’s Norbert Mao, he does have the advantage of being multi-ethnic and an effective communicator. He also is using social networks to mobilize and update his supporters. Being a northerner, Mao is guaranteed to dominate Acholiland in northern Uganda. While Museveni has to deal with the emotional impediment, Besigye with a psychological one, Mao’s challenge has to do with identity.
At the very beginning of the campaign Mao was dogged because of his last name. Many wondered how an African could have a Chinese name. Others who appear to have been Mao’s former schoolmates claimed that Mao had named himself after one of Uganda’s infamous presidents Milton Apollo Obote. Mao realized he had to contain this rumor because if he didn’t, he would instantly lose the support of the Baganda tribe who have never forgiven Obote for ordering a military raid on Buganda’s King Frederick Mutesa II that eventually caused him to seek exile in England in 1966 where he eventually died.
On his Facebook page on February 17, 2010, Mao responded by saying:
“I was amused when I found that the Obote bogeyman was being used against me. Some people have started a whispering campaign that my name MAO stands for Milton Apollo Obote! Yet in reality this is a clan name from the P’Mao clan of Pawel in Acholiland whose great great great grandfather was called Mao. I also have over a dozen other Acholi names given to me by my many relatives. But this is the nature of the game. But we shall not be cowed. Our counter attack will be lethal.”
In a January 16, 2011, article published by the Uganda newspaper the Weekly Observer, Mao is quoted as having said that a certain professor told him that it was not yet time for Uganda to have a president from northern Uganda.
“You can allow them (people from northern Uganda) to guard you, drive you, take your children to school; you even marry them, but you can’t allow them to be presidents,” Mao quotes the professor.
Mao’s challenge is to get voters to accept him regardless of his identity as a northerner. Rather than spend time defining himself or trying to fit in, Mao needs to place more emphasis on continuing to articulate his message, contained in his manifesto that he launched on January 14, 2011.
All Eyes On Uganda:
The international community has already sent its foot soldiers to Uganda to monitor the elections. On February 6, 2011, the Uganda Monitor newspaper reported that US Deputy Secretary James Steinberg and Ass. Secretary Johnnie Carson, were in Uganda to meet with presidential candidates and assess the situation. One might ask why the U.S. and the international community have a strong presence in
Uganda. The reason is because, according to this report by the U.S. Agency For International Development (USAID) Uganda is receiving billions of dollars in foreign aid from the American people.
Part of that money is supposed to be used for Political Competition and Consensus Building as indicated in the report, and these coming Uganda elections fall into that category.
In a January 28, 2011, press release, the European Union said: “The European Union is deploying an Election Observation Mission (EOM) for the general elections in Uganda, scheduled to take place on 18 February 2011. Led by Edward Scicluna, Member of the European Parliament, the 110 EU observers will assess pre-election preparations and campaigning across the country, voting, counting and tabulation of the results on Election Day, as well as the post-election period.”
Baroness Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said: “The forthcoming elections are important, not only for Uganda but also for the region. They are only the second multi-party elections to have taken place in Uganda since the National Resistance Movement came to power in 1986. The EU values the very good relations it has with Uganda. I strongly hope that the Ugandan people will be able to express themselves freely in these elections. Under the Cotonou Agreement the EU has agreed to reserve for Uganda the substantial sum of Euros 439 million for the years 2008-2013. After the 2006 elections in Uganda, the Commonwealth Secretariat released a negative report saying: “There were some serious irregularities and significant shortcomings and there is scope for substantial improvement.”
Kizza Besigye has said that he will tabulate his own results. Museveni says he will rely on results from the Electoral Commission, while the European Union announced that it will present its initial conclusions in Kampala a few days after the close of polls. The mission will remain in Uganda to prepare a comprehensive report after the elections, including recommendations for improvement to the electoral process, based on a thorough assessment of the entire election process.
It will be interesting to see whose results the Ugandan voters consider legitimate after February 18.
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Masses by the thousands in Tunis gathered and demanded the resignation of President Zine
al-Abidine Ben Ali
Newscast Media TUNIS, Tunisia — The expression “Yezzi Fock” is a Tunisian slang for “enough is enough”. Africans in general seem to be tired of regimes that win elections on the premise that the leaders are for the people, yet once in office, the majority of these leaders want to cling to power, and will not hesitate to squash opposing voices or oppress the very people that put them in office.
What happened in Tunisia should be taken very seriously by the international community that has a tendency of just standing by and sweeping injustices and atrocities committed against Africans under the rug. Africans in Tunisia knew that they were not going to receive any outside help, so they banded together and ousted their leader President Ben Ali.
Before tackling Tunisia, one must ask oneself the question, why would a country like Tunisia that is not known for public demonstrations take such a quantum leap to oust its leader? The answer lies within three countries: Kenya, Zimbabwe and Ivory Coast. In both Kenya and Zimbabwe, there were no winners or losers in the elections and the international community just winked. In Ivory Coast there was a clear winner, Alassane Ouattara, who won by 54 percent against current leader President Laurent GbaGbo’s 45 percent. Upon learning the results, the military closed the country’s borders and international news sources were suspended. Paul Yao N’Dre, chairman of the Constitutional Council, which validates election results, and a staunch ally of GbaGbo, proceeded to declare the elections “null and void.” Once again the international community did nothing as GbaGbo held on to power.
At an address at the Episcopal National Cathedral, Washington D.C. on March 31, 1968, Martin Luther King said, “On some positions, Cowardice asks the question, “Is it safe?” Expediency asks the question, “Is it politic?” And Vanity comes along and asks the question, “Is it popular?” But Conscience asks the question “Is it right?” And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right. This is the challenge facing modern man.”
The people in Tunisia weren’t having it. They knew that no regime change would occur if they themselves didn’t do something about it. On Thursday January 13, 2011, knowing that their freedoms and liberties were at stake, Tunisians finally said, “Yezzo Fock!” Within 24 hours, a mass uprising swept the nation like a Tsunami demanding the president resign. The people finally succeeded in running President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali and his family out of the country. He is reported to have fled to Saudi Arabia as a refugee after being president for more than 23 years.
The House of Saud released a statement saying, “Out of concern for the exceptional circumstances facing the brotherly Tunisian people and in support of the security and stability of their country… the Saudi government has welcomed President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and his family to the kingdom,” the statement read.
Many Tunisians were especially overjoyed at the prospect of life without Ben Ali’s wife Leila Trabelsi and her family. Leaked U.S. diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks had discussed the high levels of nepotism and corruption displayed by her clan. But U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley rejected any notion that WikiLeaks disclosures led to the revolution in Tunisia, saying Sunday that Tunisians were already well aware of the graft, nepotism and lavish lifestyles of the former president and his relatives.
Tunisian media reported one brother-in-law of the president, Imed Trabelsi, was attacked by an angry mob at Tunis airport and died. The reports could not be immediately confirmed.
In Africa, rarely do heads of state hand over power peacefully to their opponents if they lose elections. The “clinging to power syndrome” permeates all levels of politics that’s the reason why governments intimidate their citizens into submission using the iron fist. The police’s idea of controlling riots is to shoot citizens with live bullets or to smash their heads with batons. This is because they too have a stake in whichever regime they serve, so when regimes get toppled, the oppressors have no choice but to flee because they were the very ones committing atrocities against their own citizens.
Corruption in autocratic regimes and rigging of elections is not uncommon. These types of leaders might resort to force, manipulation, or even threats to accomplish their goals. Media houses in such regimes are either state-owned or are bought off to paint a favorable picture of the autocratic leader, and also subdue the citizens using psychological warfare. In such countries, journalists literally have no freedom of press. Numerous stories are aired everyday where journalists are arrested and jailed because a leader may not like the tone of an article written.
Another African country to watch is Uganda, that will be having its elections on February 18, 2011. The battle will be between the incumbent Yoweri Museveni whose ruling National Resistance Movement party has been in power since 1986, and Kizza Besigye representing the Inter-party Co-operation. Neighboring Kenya had elections in which both Raila Odinga and Mwai Kibaka declared themselves winners which resulted in riots. The battle the incumbent Museveni of Uganda is facing is winning over the largest tribe –the Baganda.
The Baganda people feel oppressed even though they supported Museveni during his guerilla wars in the 80s that eventually landed him in the presidency. This one tribe alone is enough to swing an election one way or another, so the task Museveni has is to win over a majority of this tribe, which would take a miracle, since the government has been at loggerheads with the kingdom of Buganda, going as far as requiring the King to get a permit to travel in his very own kingdom. Despite its troubled past, the nation is very rich in minerals including gold, lithium, uranium, diamonds, copper and dozens more, and has recently discovered large oil reserves.
The United States including the rest of the international community should keep an eye on how the elections unfold in Uganda on February 18, given the tribal tension that permeates the Pearl Of Africa.
The ousting of President Ben Ali is a reminder to all autocratic and authoritarian leaders that nothing lasts forever. Even the Romans, as great and sophisticated warriors as they were, succumbed to the determined barbarians who defeated them with sheer will-power and determination.
Victor Marie Hugo the great French poet put it best in Histoire d’un Crime which translates to (The History of a Crime) written 1852, published 1877, when he wrote, “No army can stop an idea whose time has come.
Categories: News Tags: Buganda Kingdom, February elections Uganda, Federo Buganda, Kizza Besigye, President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, The Kabaka of Buganda, the land bill, Tunis demonstrators, Tunis news, Tunis riots, Tunisa president Ben Ali, Tunisia new government, Tunisia news, Tunisia president Ben Ali Saudi Arabia, Uganda election results, Uganda elections 2011, Yoweri Museveni