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May 24, 2013 at 1:43 pm #18551Alex KigongoKeymaster
OF/ OBBI1/ TR-BUG
22th April 2013
To the Peoples of the Original 15
(Kingdoms, Territories and Districts
That formed Uganda at Lancaster)
Re: THE TRUTH SHALL SET US FREE
Olukiiko Lwa Bazzukulu Ba Buganda International is Buganda Kingdom’s worldwide grassroots organization. We are writing in great distress over the signs of the times that proclaim a regime change around the corner. This in Uganda is always a violent process with many lives lost and properties destroyed. Even though this usually happens mostly in Buganda, severe atrocities have been committed in other regions too. For this reason, we are calling to all of you, individually and collectively, to join us in working towards a change management strategy. To start with, we have to go back and look at Uganda’s past and present and decide on the most logical and effective course of action.
In the year 1962, groups of people from the Kingdoms of Buganda, Ankole, Toro and Bunyoro, the Territory of Busoga, Districts of Acholi, Lango, Teso, Bukedi, Bugisu, Kigezi, Karamoja, West Nile, Sebei and Madi went to Lancaster in the United Kingdom to take part in a conference for the formation of the country Uganda. These were the original 15, designated as kingdom, territory, etc., according to their preferences. They represented every individual man and woman from their respective areas. Coerced as the Union was, choosing it over conflicts with our conquerors burdened us with a responsibility towards its member groups. Nevertheless, many who occupied the leadership positions ever since chose to become colonial agents. They did not hesitate to speak and act in ways detrimental to some groups. Their subservient mentality drove them to conduct an aggressive brainwashing program on their people, pushing them to commit crimes with far-reaching consequences. The people’s fault was failure to search for the truth, in some instances ignoring it even when obvious, thus condoning injustice and refusing to think their own thoughts. This is a problem, which we must solve in order to reverse this trend of total destruction threatening us all.
The colonialists and their agents had a plan, to assimilate the different peoples into a common culture at breakneck speed. The intent of this was the extinction of any remnant of indigenous characteristics that would inspire rebellion against the British Empire, over the long term. They called this, breaking eggs to make an omelette. The trouble was that each agent in charge wanted the final product to be a hybrid of his own and the English cultures. The other groups resisted. Buganda being at the center of all this, did so relentlessly. The differences persisted, albeit wrapped in hypocrisy. What would have been natural borderlines in a true and voluntary multicultural union ended up being splits in a dysfunctional unit. Through these cracks, enemies from within and without would take hold and pull to complete the damage. Today, it is a common secret that people feel loyalty only to their Kingdoms, Territory and Districts. At times like this, each of them sits in council discussing their group struggle. They scheme to fight, conquer and oppress others to secure for themselves the lion’s share of what Uganda has to offer, though some just struggle for their survival in the only way that appears possible. However, the past has taught quite a few sharp lessons to those who unreservedly thought and acted as Ugandans. The betrayals, arrogance, lies, theft, insults and gruesome crimes have been a tough drill to forget. As a result, this time around, hoodwinking the public is extremely difficult. Moreover, without trust the prospects of working together look dim. Anyone feigning ignorance of this is either self-seeking or incompetent. Meanwhile we hang between the devil and the deep blue sea.
Here in Buganda, children are murdered in sacrificial rituals, people of all sexes and ages are raped in broad daylight, bludgeoned with iron rods, burnt with acid, whole families butchered and many innocent people locked up in prisons, while frequent poisonings threaten to undo our social fibre. All this has made ours a fertile ground for diseases. There is land grabbing, disinterment of our dead, burning of schools and work places, destruction of shrines, desecration of our norms and traditions, as well as violation of the ecosystem and distortion of our history. Public funds are stolen, health and education are in the gutter, properties robbed, people displaced and our ancestral land auctioned off to foreigners. All these together qualify as high-key systematic genocide of the Baganda. Uganda is on a free-fall descent down into the pit. It is indisputable now that only the truth shall set us free.
All over the world, the Baganda are demonstrating a great will to come to terms with our past and present, as well as take responsibility of our future through brainstorming. We have put together the ideas we have gathered from these meetings, to help boost individual and group endeavours in finding lasting solutions to our common Ugandan problems. From these we have chosen ten redemption points attached to this letter. It has been said that wars begin in the mind, and that is where they must end first. It is imperative that we understand the impossibility of building order on disorder. Uganda was built on a bad foundation for all the wrong reasons. Nevertheless, we are all leaders at different level of society. Fullfilling this responsibility should be high on our list of priorities. We need to start thinking and working seriously about saving lives above everything else. For the lives we save might be our own or those of our loved ones.
Please pass on this letter and the Ten Redemption Points to as many people as you can.
God and Buganda, One Spirit, One Living Heart
Long live the Kabaka of Buganda Ssaabasajja Muwenda Mutebi II
Major General Elly Kigozi
OBBI – Secretary Diaspora (London)
CC: Ssaabasajja Kabaka Muwenda Mutebi II
CC: Traditional Leaders of the other 14 of the Original 15
THE TEN REDEMPTION POINTS FOR UGANDA
The ten redemption points are some of the most important things we have to understand in order to stand a chance at succeeding in improving the circumstances we live in, as we struggle to build a better world for our children and the future generations. We encourage people to do more research on the information herewith, even though we are sure the reasons and explanations allow an individual full responsibility for words and actions — or silence and inaction.
1. African Slavery – Let us start with the most disastrous part of our history that exerted a determining impact on all that has happened since, up to where we are today. The African slave trade began in 1440. The first in the trade was Portugal, later joined by other European countries like France, United Kingdom, and Spain. Later, wary of the growing slave population, the very countries that provided the slave market started advocating for the abolition of the trade. Then Europe switched its interest from the people to the resources of Africa.
2. Scramble for Africa – It all started with King Leopold II of Belgium who wanted Congo all for himself. The European countries at the Berlin Conference had shared out the African territories among themselves; partitioning was the way the Europeans avoided warring among themselves over Africa. What Ugandans must understand is that by the time the whites got to Uganda their actions they had already decided upon their course of action. All that the African Kingdoms, territories and districts could do was fight and lose to this stronger enemy, as some did, or try to negotiate their terms of surrender.
3. Colonization – This was the invasion, occupation, and annexation of African countries by European imperial powers during the period of the New Imperialism (1870–1914). Men, mainly soldiers, invaded and occupied the lands and subjugated the original inhabitants. In 1894, the British colonialists adopted the name Uganda, from a Swahili pronunciation of Buganda, to include the surrounding area. Nevertheless, this was just a non-official assumption, because whatever action was taken concerning Uganda was only about Buganda; in the agreement of 1900, the Kingdom of Uganda was simply Buganda. The colonizing terms or agreements made afterwards were separate and different for each Kingdom, territory, and district.
4. Independence – When a country is successfully invaded, it is controlled by its conqueror. When this practice ends, the once conquered is spoken of as independent. The “Uganda” presented at independence did not exist when the protectorate agreements were drawn; each of the original 15 Kingdoms was individually and separately invaded and occupied. Therefore, independence could not properly be granted to the entity “Uganda” which had not then existed. Uganda was officially formed on what is called its Independence Day. A reasonable question to ask is why Britain was so determined to create Uganda even if it required bloodshed. The idea was to push different peoples together but prevent them from uniting. This is always done for power and economic gain. Independence itself was preceded by threats, kidnappings and was finally obtained on conditions. There can be independence without freedom, but there cannot be freedom without independence.
5. 1966 Mengo massacre – As Prime Minister, Obote was implicated in a gold smuggling plot, together with Idi Amin, then deputy commander of the Ugandan armed forces. When the Parliament demanded an investigation into the crime, Obote suspended the constitution and declared himself President, a position formerly held by the late King Muteesa II. According to the Baganda tradition, no one sits above the Kabaka, because that place is already occupied. The Almighty God rules Buganda supremely according to His Universal laws; and in His shadow sits the (King) Kabaka on his throne as Arbitrator – (nga alamula.). Obote thus claimed a position above the Kabaka, which to the Baganda was trying to take the place of God; he allocated to himself almost unlimited power under state of emergency rulings. He ordered the arrest and detention of several members of his cabinet without charges. The late King Muteesa II gave Obote a two-week ultimatum for a meeting with the original 15 to revise the constitution, or else the federal agreements would be invalid. Obote responded by attacking the Lubiri (Palace), alleging that there were weapons hidden in there to be used in overthrowing his government. Eyewitnesses say the Ugandan Army with the help of British and Israeli military troops carried out the assault upon the palace. The search took place with no weapons found. Edward Muteesa II and his government had agreed to the union on condition of 25 years of probation. Now with the agreements scrapped, the legitimate government overthrown, Buganda Kingdom’s palace attacked and genocide carried out on the Baganda, Buganda was automatically and legally cast out of Uganda and turned it into an occupied territory.
6. Uganda Today – It is a long held tradition in some ethnic groups in Uganda that when they commit atrocities, or even before, they start shouting out that their victims are responsible. One example is the way Bunyoro historians accuse Buganda of stealing its territories; Baganda historians say that Bunyoro stole their land and they, the Baganda, merely reclaimed some of it. However, Bunyoro calls itself the “Great Bunyoro Kitara Empire” – the Sword Empire. Imperialism is the policy of extending a country’s power and influence through diplomacy or military force. Who and why did they burn the Bugandan Bulange historical archives? When you consider the evidence, the truth shines through.
The second example is when Obote called the late King Muteesa II an imperialist lackey. He seized the presidency, and proceded to evicting the late King Muteesa from the State residence. He sent his men to load the late King’s possessions on a lorry headed for the palace. The lorry drove through Kampala with a banner that read: “Here are the belongings of the Ex-President of Uganda Muteesa being taken from State House.” Today it is common knowledge that in all this, Obote was collaborating with the British and the Israelis. He later accused Amin of doing the same in 1971 after the coup. Their collaborations are confirmed by such historical references as the Encyclopaedia Britannica.
Another piece of proof; the late King Muteesa II had rejected the British idea of an East African Confederation. Obote made his “pigeonhole” constitution in 1967, the same year the EAC was formed. Right now, the peoples of Western Uganda say the Baganda are thieves, yet they constitute the majority of officers in a government that is emptying the country’s coffers. The responsibilities for the massacres that took place in Luwero and in the North are hurled back and forth. All these crimes have been committed by armed forces belonging to one ethnic group or another. To stop the massacres and the theft, no one should be allowed to hold a gun outside the territory of his ethnic group.
7. Ethnic Solidarity – A tribe is a small nation, also used as a derogatory name for non-European nations. Within one’s tribe or nation, tribalism or nationalism is patriotic, a good thing. Nevertheless, outside one’s territory, nationalism or tribalism has many a times been used as a tool to justify the occupation and killing and subjugation of another people. Weapons by themselves are not useful without people willing to take up and use them. No one man can oppress a whole people by himself, even if with all the weapons of the world. This group responsibility is always taken to be a product of individual responsibility. However, before anyone takes up that gun he must asks himself first whether it is in his or his children’s best interests. As for the love of our kin and kith, that is an honourable thing. But it is not love if you do not accept a person with his or her faults. We must embrace our group differences in full awareness, acceptance and respect to the uniqueness of each of them. A nation’s traditions are its personality. We can work together without changing anyone against his or her will.
8. Federalism- from Latin foedus meaning “covenant, league, treaty, alliance,” related to fides “faith”. In English federal means pertaining to a state formed by agreement among independent states. In a homogeneous population, a federal system of government installed from the top improves standards in delivering services. In populations comprised of different peoples, federal systems are made from bottom up as a foundation to harness diversities into an alliance. Though the colonial headquarters were in Buganda, they dealt with each Kingdom, Territory and District separately. Local funds were used to build in Buganda as usual. For thisreason, when the Kingdoms asked for a federal system, no one complained or asked for a refund of money spent on another region. Even if it was so, this was the responsibility of the colonialist and not of that particular Kingdom, Territory or District.It is strange that some people think that the European conqueror came all the way from Europe to become the African’s slave.
When the Constitution that had taken into account some groups’ desire for a federal system was abrogated, apart from Buganda, there was no official response the other of the original 15. Some individuals were even happy about it. Now some maintain it should be reinstated. However, what precautions have they taken to ensure that this time around it will not get the same treatment as before? There is a possibility that some areas are not interested in a federal system because they are already running their local governments. Most parts of Buganda have people from other areas in all leadership positions.
Any change in the fundamental structure of Uganda’s existence is not the responsibility of the president, or any other office of the central government. The federation question was before and is today an issue that concerns the original 15. They are the stakeholders in the making of this Union. Likewise, taking the ethnic groups affairs to the Ugandan ballot is wrong – like a couple asking their child to mediate in their marriage problems. Moreover, each person does not come alone into a federal system, but in a group. The group should make its own independent decision, in an election or however they choose, and present it to the rest, together with its suggestions and/or conditions. This will promote a feeling of safety for people who reside in areas other than their origin. Some people worry that Buganda‘s quest for a federal government is an exit tactic. It is a tradition in Buganda to believe in humanity, but each area has responsibility for its own people, the environment, as well as all newcomers. There simply has to be order. To believe in humanity is to know its weaknesses and strengths. Human beings should aspire to strength, spiritual superiority, in order to have a chance at a special place close to their creator. There is nothing wrong with Buganda wanting to be special, for it does not do it at anyone’s expense.
9. Secession – When the whites made their invasion intentions known, five of the southern area Kings sat in council. They chose the late King Muteesa I to negotiate with the whites on their behalf. Even then, Buganda was cautious, knowing the incompatibility of the group personalities of different peoples. The topic of secession is gaining popularity by the day, stoked by the corruption, the unpopular laws, and the high crime rate, marginalisation or persecution of some ethnic groups, land theft, and the general plight of the common people. Anarchy is what rules when union breaks down. Most unsettling is the land issue; no group wants to leave its children with land tied up in 1000 years of leases. Because land is not portable, the land thief is committing murder. Then there is the threat of more wars. Secession has divided Ugandans in two groups, those who think of it as an economic issue, and those who see it as an essentially life-saving arrangement. The secessionists argue that seceding into the original groups disempowers the forces of tyranny. They regard all endevours of ‘saving Uganda’ as not in the best interest of ethnic groups or individual human beings. They predict that worse things will happen if Uganda is not dismantled. Those against it just speak of the economic problems that might develop. The bottom line is that anyone against any peaceful solution is arguing against freedom and the right of the people to self-determination.” Secession is an option that has to remain open, to make the union attractive and Godly.
10. Unite And Lead – History is to a people what the past is to an individual person. Just as no one knows anyone’s past like the person himself, so it is that history written by anyone other than its owner is just an opinion on what transpired. For instance, what the British write about the History of Buganda is an extension of their own history. When a person from another culture reads that, when he repeats it, it is hearsay times two. Each generation toils to pass on information to the next, because when you do not know where you are coming from, it is hard to know where you are or where you are going. Moreover, you do not feel the bond with what is yours. You become an easy target for those who want to divide and rule. What we need is to be easy targets for those who want to unite and lead. Today none in the leadership position dare speak of the real problems, the distrust, and even outright animosity among the Kingdoms, Territory and Districts that constitute Uganda. Therefore, the problem remains.
To unite is to come together for a common purpose or action. To achieve this we need to cultivate a mutual understanding, a meeting point where we agree on what was, is and has to be done.This is where the truth comes in to help us eradicate misunderstandings, insecurity, envy, hatred, anger, vengeance, arrogance, selfishness, indefference and all manners of negative feelings. We need to get the original 15 leaders back on the negotiation table to knock together ideas for a peaceful way forward. The power belongs to the people, but if the people do not exercise it others will, and against the peoples interests.We must appreciate that diversity is a source of strength, but only when recognized, accepted and respected. Life is for the living. We have to be open and ready for all peaceful solutions. We are neighbours and we will always be. Even if things do not hold today, there will always be other chances in better circumstances.
22 04 2013 GOD BLESS US ALLJune 18, 2013 at 4:09 am #28059Anonymous
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