Systematic Genocide On Baganda Intensifies

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    Nationalist Baganda youth leaders are up in arms about what they call the decision by Prince Shah Karim Al Husseini Aga Khan IV to join the cultural genocide campaign against the Baganda people. They say that the Aga Khan has conspired with or bribed officials in Buganda Kingdom institutions to build a hospital and other business structures on the grounds of the sacred official residence of the Kabaka (king) called Mengo Lubiri.

    For over a week, members of Baganda nationalist youth movement, Ffe Buganda Nze Buganda (We are Buganda I am Buganda) have been posting warnings on Facebook that Buganda and Uganda Government officials were feverishly negotiating a deal to bring the Aga Khan and members of his Nizari Ismailis Moslem sect into one of Buganda’s most sacred cultural sites as business real-estate developers. Suspicions are that members of the NRM ruling class are also using the Aga Khan as a trojan horse to get shares of the Lubiri. Wasswa Willy Ndigeza, Godfrey Luyombya, Victoria Namuli and Nicodemus Malimbolimbo are leading the Baganda youth protest against the alleged plans by the Aga Khan and his followers.

    On Friday last week, one of the Ffe Buganda Nze Buganda leaders, Wasswa Willy Ndigeza, told BugandaWatch by phone in Luganda, “We hear that the Aga Khan is himself a spiritual leader and king like our Kabaka and has big palaces in England and elsewhere. But to us, he is like any other businessman who is working with our other enemies to do cultural genocide against Baganda. We don’t think that his own officials can allow any foreign businessman to go and build a clinic or school in the compound of his palace. So why does he come through weak or greedy officials to buy and destroy our culture with his shops and billboards? I don’t know but it is now starting to look like the people who say that Indians in Uganda hate Baganda may be correct.”

    It is common these days to hear traditional Baganda and youths in Kampala complaining that the Indians in Buganda have become central to the oppression of Baganda since they control nearly all business sectors but also discriminate against Baganda when hiring, because hiring a Munyankore helps a business to get contact in the Uganda tax authority (URA). There is also wide sentiments across traditional Baganda that the NRM government and its collaborators in Buganda institutions and elsewhere are following a long-term program of cultural genocide against Baganda. And that the burning of important cultural sites like Kasubi and other tomb sites, planting non-Baganda saboteurs in Mengo and isolating and misguiding Kabaka Mutebi is part of that genocide plan.

    Research shows that the Asian community has historically been used as agents and collaborators of colonizing powers in Buganda and Uganda, starting in the early 1900’s when British colonialists used them to keep native Baganda from entering commercial business. Over 10–20 years the NRM government has allowed thousands of Indians, Pakistanis and Sri Lankans to partner with non-Baganda Ugandans, especially from Western Uganda, to frustrate Baganda businessmen and women. The NRM government frequently gives away urban and Baganda native lands to so-called Indian investors, many of whom then expel Baganda residents to Kampala streets.

    One of the reasons why many Baganda jubilated when Idi Amin expelled Indians and other Asians from Uganda in 1972 was because the president he overthrew, Milton Obote, had also used many of them to frustrate Baganda ambitions to grow in business. When the NRM government came into power, Baganda dominated business in Buganda and owned over 75% of all land in Buganda (counting the 9,000 square miles of native lands). Now Baganda control a smaller percentage of Buganda land than that in the hands of outsiders, especially from Western Uganda and foreign countries. In 1999 the NRM government outright stole and gave away 9,000 square miles of Baganda native lands to its supporters, collaborators and foreigners through the infamous 1998 Land Act.

    In 2009 there was a major violent disturbance in Buganda, the Kayunga troubles, after the NRM government restricted the Kabaka from visiting Bugerere County of Buganda. Baganda youths clashed with Uganda Police and, at the end, 40 Baganda had been executed by the Uganda security forces. Many properties were destroyed but Asian businesses were not targeted by the crowds because they did not see their owners as a real enemy. It may be too early to tell how a decision by a high-profile Indian like the Aga Khan to finance the destruction of a sacred Baganda site like Mengo Lubiri will affect whether Baganda look at Indians as enemies or not.


    Signs, Uganda Police Persecuting Baganda Youth Because of Their Ethnicity

    Baganda youth leaders believe that they may have become the subjects of a new Uganda Police program designed to persecute them simply for who they are ethnically and for discussing Buganda issues. On Monday January 12, 2015, the Masaka Police OC, an RDC assistant and a local police post commander named Mwaule harassed and briefly detained members of Ffe Buganda Nze Buganda. These Baganda youth had gone to the home of Haj. Buruhani Katale in Buddu County for a retreat that took place from Friday January 9, 2015 to Tuesday the 13th. The police post commander, Mwaule, is from Eastern Uganda and the other two officers are both Banyankore.

    Haj. Buruhani Katale demonstrating a farming technique.
    Haj. Buruhani Katale demonstrating a farming technique.
    Despite the attempts by Uganda Police to stop them, Ffe Buganda Nze Buganda had a successful retreat, where important resolutions were made. These include having similar retreats at least once a year, working with and supporting others who focus on Buganda issues, mobilizing youths, especially those who are in schools, to stay firm on Buganda issues and, most important, to defend Ssabasajja Kabaka, Empologoma ya Buganda.

    Ffe Buganda Nze Buganda is a group of former and current Baganda Nkoba za Mbogo leaders and other Baganda youths which was launched in 2014 to deal with helplessness and depression which is common among poor and unemployed Baganda youths. It does not get involved in Ugandan politics and focuses on protecting Kabaka and Namulondo (the throne) and guiding Baganda youths. On Facebook, Ffe Buganda Nze Buganda describe themselves as “Eggye lya Kabaka Ezzibizi” (Kabaka’s Defense Force).

    The group organized the retreat in Buddu to have its first planning meeting. The meeting was designed for the members to get to know each other, learn about Baganda culture and to get first-hand advice from a trusted Muganda elder Haj. Buruhani Katale, former Pokino (Buddu County chief), on how to engage in commercial farming. The top leadership of Ffe Buganda Nze Buganda includes Victoria Namuli, Nicodemus Malimbolimbo, Godfrey Luyombya and Wasswa Willy Ndigeza.

    Ffe Buganda Nze Buganda Leaders in 2015 Buddu Retreat
    Ffe Buganda Nze Buganda Leaders in 2015 Buddu Retreat
    On Monday January 12, 2015, the Uganda Police briefly detained the youth leaders and threatened to arrest Ffe Buganda Nze Buganda members if they did not leave Buddu and return to their homes immediately. These authorities alleged that the Baganda youths were rebellious towards “an important person in Buganda Government.” When the youth leaders demanded proof that the accusations were not made up to support the campaign to harass them for their ethnicity, the commanders replied with an ultimatum. They threatened that they would detain everyone who did not leave on Monday. The youths refused to leave even in the face of threatened police detention. In the end police did not make any arrests. It was on Tuesday, a full 36 hours after police first issued the detention threat, that members of Ffe Buganda Nze Buganda returned safely to their various home areas as originally planned.

    According to Article 7: Crimes Against Humanity of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, “systematic persecution against an identifiable group or collectivity, [such as Baganda,] on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural qualifies as a crime against humanity.”

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    On November 13, 2014, President Museveni’s half-brother, Salim Saleh, told members of the Uganda Parliament from Buganda that the Kabaka had agreed to turn over the Ssaza and Ggombolola lands that were supposedly returned to Buganda earlier this year back to the NRM government NAADS programs. The MPs were led by Godfrey Kiwanda, now a frequent visitor to Katikkiro Mayiga’s office in Bulange.

    A BugandaWatch correspondent in Kampala saw and heard Mr. Saleh, on TV, saying that he had talked to Kabaka Mutebi II and, “We are going to use the Ssaza and Ggombolola lands. He requested for a plan which we are working on immediately and after we sign, the kingdom will benefit the country and the people.” Saleh also alleged, without any details, that the Catholic Church was part of the secret plot between him and Mengo.

    Saleh went on to mock the MP’s, saying that while they are “crawling” the Kabaka is thinking ahead.” The problem is that Mr. Salim Saleh, has no record of ever managing a project successfully. After camping in Gulu and spending millions of dollars as commander of the operation to eliminate Acholi terrorist Joseph Kony, Saleh quit when soldier complaints about embezzled salaries and invisible food rations became too loud. Kony was stronger than before Saleh went to Gulu. When Saleh investigated corruption in the procurement of Uganda Government helicopters, to his own admission, he stole the evidence – hundreds of thousands of US dollars. He was given millions of US dollars to run the Bonna Bagaggawale program (“Let all get rich”) and everyone got poorer.

    If what Salim Saleh claims is true then, under Baganda traditional constitution (Ennono), Mr. Mayiga has a duty to explain the agreement to the Baganda, including the conditions that led the Kabaka to get into business with a man who has no record of project success and a string of indictable acts.

    By the time we went to press, the Katikkiro had not provided any public clarifications on the secret deals that led to the agreements that Salim Saleh claims to have with the Kabaka. The Catholic Church had also not responded publicly, and there was no indication whether Attorney General of Buganda, Mr. David Mpanga, was party to the Katikkiro’s dealings with Saleh.

    Failure by the Katikkiro and the Catholic Church to affirmatively and transparently respond to Salim Saleh’s statements is likely to strengthen accusations by various Baganda groups that Mr. Mayiga is a “foreign agent” who infiltrated Mengo, over the last 20 years, and is now working with others to isolate Kabaka Mutebi from Baganda by painting him as a coward and greedy person. According to this theory, once serious Baganda do not care about Mutebi anymore, the kingdom will naturally fold and Mayiga will get his rewards.

    Katikkiro Mayiga and former Buganda Attorney General, Mr. John Katende, were architects of the Regional Tier which aimed at introducing Uganda government run elections to the position of Katikkiro and enabling non-Baganda to get elected in the position. Kabaka Mutebi rejected the Regional Tier arrangement, complaining that the negotiators lied to him. In 2013, Mr. Mayiga was again the chief Buganda negotiator on the controversial Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that was the basis for the August 1, 2013 Agreement between the Kabaka and Mr. Museveni.

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