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EAC Integration cannot stand on broken Constitutions

Birondwa Frank

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The geographical expression known as East Africa, has had the big dream of one day becoming an integrated, economic, cultural, and political entity with a single military parade, since the creation of these republics as  independent states in the 1960s. The African cultures and African languages spoken here are not identical, but from the beginning the leaders knew that these republics had real connections among their people – in fact some dreamed of an all-africa republic.

Why is it then, that these dreams have never been realised? Why is is that all the potential of an entity as big as that, lays wasted? All the regimes that come, they make some sort of attempts to form the one republic but fail flat.

The cause of this failure is that the state of politics – when you get down to the nitty-gritty of how governance is practiced  in each of the East African Community intending countries, there in lies the seeds of discord, which have prevented  the region from being a truly unified Geopolitical country. There are not rules the leaders stick to, everyone makes and breaks the rules as and when it fits, no proper rule of entrenched to follow.

Becoming a single-state, under a single political administration, covering six countries (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan) would be a monumental achievement, but the countries do not share a common and just political philosophy. The architectures and ideology in some of the countries are not based on popular beliefs, neither are they entrenched in human freedoms and rights, the people are ruled over

And yet the most interested countries, by expressions of their leaders, have leaders who have never conformed to civil rule. They have practiced from mild to full bloody military dictatorships. Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan fall in this trap. Tanzania and Kenya have had some basic common sense civilian leadership style, even though Tanzania’s socialist history may a big problem coming around to fly capitalist Kenya. These others, even though the leaders may tolerate each other for the duration of a conference or  a state visit, that is about all, do not read much into it. Any moment the leaders, especially these ex-military, self-crowned generals, even if they put on suits, underneath they have camouflage. They used guns to obtain the power they have, and can only use military platoons to codon off political power here, extinguish competition there, and any form of real competition based on ideas, does not stand a chance.

Moreover it is these same leaders who clamour the most, and potend to love African unity. Maybe in their whitewashed brilliant image, they think they can compete favorably on a wider canvas, but not knowing that in real sense, having failed to compete favorably at home, renders them incapable of competing on a wider canvas for political power.

How then can they participate in a geo-political government, where the people and they system would not tolerate  dictatorship?

Political integration, bringing together people across the cultures and political persuasions, this is the work of stable leaders, who are well practiced in common decency and democratic rule. It is not the work of former rebels or generals.

The countries of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan have never known democracy; presidents are propped by military, and run quasi-military governments.

Kenya and Tanzania, with poor their democracy but having managed to de-link military from politics, and better structured intelligence forces, from full time engagement in partisan politics.

As it stands, this dream is unrealistic under the current prop of leaders, owing to the very basic reality of their own leadership styles.

Global Politics

Opposition should protect its Own!

Birondwa Frank

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Opposition should protect its Own

A rare phenomenon exists in the groups opposed to the dictatorial regime in our country today, that makes them seem unfit for the great cause of liberation. Basic revolutionary code demands that a force must protect itself – its fighters, and those who support its cause, from the attacks of their common enemy.

But not Ugandan opposition groups. They view this – protecting the revolution, as the concern of each independent opposition group or person. This is also how they approach the task of liberating the country – going it solo!

They meet, “agree”, even “sign”… and yet before the sun goes down they lie, cheat and betray themselves.  Every day they say “all we want is to – overthrow this dictatorship, create authentic democracy and protect you.

Unless we believe that logic works the same way the chameleon works,  personally I don’t think protection, or democracy could come from one who does not stand on a principle for a full day!

It is because of believing such fallacies (misconception resulting from incorrect reasoning), that those who fought the 1980-86 struggle,  ended up creating bufere democracy and a mafia state 

We all know that the opposition parties/group/camps do not agree (consent), on pretty much anything, it doesn’t matter if they claim to agree, because the actions give it away, but the protection of revolutionary fighters like Nyanzi, and the supporters of the revolution – this is so pertinent that a mutual defense pact needs to be in place, for a common response against the strikes of the mafia regime, against them.

Protecting your own is a cardinal principle in revolutionary politics. Not only locally, but also regionally. The popular rebellion in Sudan North should by now have benefited from loud voices of support from Ugandan opposition.

How to do it – protecting fighters is protecting the revolution

The strategy of political opposition in Uganda should be broad in its coverage of political matters, and all inclusive in terms of its appeal.

Exposing the evils of the junta regime locally, regionally & internally

The opposition groups should seize every incident of the mafia and junta regime, each time they unleash terror against the citizens, killing of innocents, jailing innocents, and using the judiciary system as tools of political oppression. The opposition should seize each and every incident of these to decisively record, report and expose it across all corners of the country, the region and the international forums. This is a core function of peaceful opposition, and it should not be done without coordination of the groups, but all opposition players should have a common approach to exposing the regime. The junta regime loosing credibility locally, regionally & globally for its jailing opponents, activists, shutting businesses of those perceived to be not supporting the military junta in private sector, stiffing free speech by shutting newspapers and radios, and creating  sub-human conditions for citizens in hospitals, schools, jails – these serve as material to build the right momentum for popular liberation of the country.

Pinning down the Individuals who carry out injustice

The individuals within the junta regime who are the executioners and purveyors of injustice who carry out the matching orders from the political junta, against citizens, should be meticulously recorded in the black books of Uganda’s history.  Their names should be mentioned out out of the noise and cries they met on innocents, to be on the record as tools of political persecution, so that they may not escape justice when the junta can no-longer protect them. The opposition needs to be meticulous, thorough and scientific when pinning injustice to the real individuals who carry them out, and all their assistants – you cannot bring justice to a land without pinning the ones who committed the injustice. So all those members in the army, police, intelligence, judiciary and other areas of the junta state who are doing the work of political mercenaries should be well documented and exposed to the public, for the day of reckoning

Again this something that all political opposition would find common ground on, since they’re affected by it, so a common approach and efforts to doing it is the right answer to protecting themselves against the excesses  of the junta regime

It is not logical to say say: we’re going to win the coming election, if you cannot win personal freedom first. Obviously you’re not allowed to mobilise for the said election. If as opposition politician, your personal freedom is debatable, then by all means your mission is not winning elections, it is winning freedom!

Do not claim on the podium, to be the poster child of certain values, while in fact, there is no evidence of you having put such values in action

 

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Global Politics

When will Uganda’s “bourgeoisie” join the peaceful revolution?

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Uganda’s “Working Class” – is some of the most submissive people on the planet. A history of brutal presidents has taught the populations to always run into hiding, and keep quiet about the egregious acts and conduct of the leaders.

This does not spare the “learned” “intellectuals” “working class” “business community”, “the bourgeoisie” class of the country.

The presidential age is about to be expunged from the constitution- one would imagine that this is the last straw, the intellectuals are finally going to take a stand against the regime and act.

Whereas some politicians have come out and and said this is a “do or die” moment, and have already fought in parliament to stop it – this is too little too late.

This resistance against the regime slipping the country into anarchy, has the potential to get the full backing of the masses, and mass action, but the bourgeoisie are dead silent. No voicing, no sponsorship, no demonstration, no pulling services, no withdraw of workforce – it is business as usual.

Uganda would have the same political type as North Korea other kleptocracies (rule by thieves), where the state is the one which decides the political rights of  the people – as opposed to democracy where the people are in control of political destiny of the country.

What is surprising is that there are ‘political elites’ on each side of this discussion, although the regime elites are relying more on the regime military groups to marshal the opponents while the bill read or ‘debated’.

There are very many observations that have been made, as the cause of Uganda’s degeneration from the democratic promise ushered in the 1986 revolution. And that is that the political class and working class have remained complacent as freedoms of assembly, free speech, mobilization, representation, justice, were being taken away by the state, and vested in the hands of the regime leaders. All institutions

  • Police
  • Army
  • Judiciary
  • Parliemnt
  • Civil Service

It is hard to find them working for the people.  This is because the educated, have become complacent in this crime. The biggest contribution they can do is a Facebook post.

 

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