Categories
POLITICS

Uganda at 59: Can there be a peaceful transition?

By Our Reporters.

Sir Edward Frederick Muteesa
Apollo Milton Obote

Uganda turns 59 on October 9 2021, but is still dogged by the question of a peaceful transfer of power, having exchanged eight Presidents all through violent regime change.

Former colonial power Britain granted independence to Uganda at the Kololo historical airstrip more than five decades ago. The British colonial  union flag was lowered and the Cranes of independent Uganda was raised.

The overnight “ngalabe” dancing by Baganda dancers celebrating the occasion marked the historic event, with power handed over to President Edward Frederick Mutesa and Prime MiinisterApollo Milton Obote.

But the Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) and Kabaka Yekka (KY) alliance of Obote and Mutesa which had won the 1961 general elections through a coalition did not last. A bitter power struggle  erupted in 1966 with a furious Baganda king “inviting” foreign troops and attempting to kick “Obote’s government” out of Kampala.

Obote reacted decisively warning that “Sir Edward” had abused his powers inviting foreign troops “without authority”. Colonel Idi Amin then led a seige by government troops to subdue the King at the Mengo palace where guards put up a six hour fierce resistance. Hundreds were killed and scores injured as the palace was overrun..

It would take almost two decades for another election to be held in Kampala after the Idi Amin’s Janaury 25 1971 bloody military coup against Obote who was in Singapore attending a common-wealth summit.

The Baganda danced themselves lame at Obote’s overthrow showering the heavily built Idi Amin with all manner of gifts including giving him a “third wife” and hard cash equivalent to his weight. Amin allowed the body of Mutesa who had died in London where he had fled to be returned  to Kampala for state funeral.

But they later lived to regret after Amin unleashed one of Africa’s most brutal dictatorships, butchering the respected Chief Justice Benedicto Kiwanuka for “defying” Amin’s 72 hour order to all Asians to leave Uganda at once.

The Asian families many descendants of coolies who built the Uganda railway from Mombasa to Kasese, knew no other home and were badly displaced as Idi Amin grabbed their houses and properties and handed them to his henchemen.

It took a combined force of Tanzanian troops and Uganda rebels to dislodge the dictator from Kampala waging a fierce cross border  nine month battle.

The war that Amin had wrongly assumed to be a walkover, turned into his worst nightmare forcing his soldiers to flee  precision guided Laser missiles pounding Masaka, Kampala, Soroti and Arua. Amin had unwisely tried to annex Kagera salient in the border town of Mutukula where he hoisted a Uganda flag and kidnapped women for wives. His troops had killed, raped and brutalised Tanzanians in Kagera, a crime Tanzania President Julius Kambarage Nyerere promised  Amin to pay heavily.

By April 1979 the curtain fell on Idi Amin ending nearly nine years of nightmarish fascist misrule.  Enter Professor Yusuf Kironde Lule. The soft spoken 68 – year academician was sworn in but only lasted 68 days before being replaced by former Attorney General under Obote 1 Godfrey Lukongwa Binaisa.QC.

In May 1980 exiled Obote who had spent eight and half years in neighbouring Tanzania returned to Uganda landing in Bushenyi May 27 where mammoth crowds of UPC supporters welcome  him.

In the  hotly contested December 1980 General Elections, the Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) carried the day, making history by returning Obote to power becoming the first African civilian President overthrown by the military to regain power through elections.

But Yoweri Museveni who also contested the poll under his Uganda Patriotic Movement(UPM) party dismsissed the 1980 election results claiming results were rigged to favour Obote and dashed to the bush. Museveni’s Uganda Patriotic Movement (UPM) came a distant fourth with one seat won by Dr Crispus Kiyonga, after UPC (75 seats), DP(50 seats), and CP.(no seat).

On July 27,   1985, rebel government soldiers under Gen Tito Okello Lutwa and Bazilio Olara Okello overthrew Obote. The Okellos claimed they were ‘fed up” with the Luwero bush war against Museveni’s NRA guerrillas that was waging a bitter five year war that claimed over 400,000 lives.

A Kenya brokered peace treaty was signed in December 1985 overseen by President Daniel Moi who expected Okellos and Museveni to lay down their arms in unconditional ceasefire. A cunning” NRA duped and surprised government troops who had ceased fire and NRA captured Kampala. January 25 1986.  Museveni who did not want the Jauanry 25, to coincide with Idi Amin’s January 25, 1071 coup against Milton Obote, opted for January 26, 1986 as his takeover date, was sworn in as the country’s eight President. He has been in power since then for a record 36 years and is not showing any signs of handing over power.

Museveni, 78, is one of Africa’s longest serving strongmen and has made no plans for either retiring the way Nyerere did in Tanzania or Moi in Kenya. He has not groomed any successor  and has denied grooming his son to take over power. But  His son heads the army land forces while his wife and First Lady Hon Janet Kataha Museveni, is Education and Sports  Minister.

Is there any hope that the landlocked country once described by British second world war hero Winston Churchill as the “Pearl of Africa”, can produce its ninth President through peaceful means? Only time will tell ■

18 replies on “Uganda at 59: Can there be a peaceful transition?”

Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with some pics to drive the message home a little bit, but other than that, this is fantastic blog. A great read. I will certainly be back.

What i do not realize is if truth be told how you are now not really much more smartly-favored than you may be right now. You are very intelligent. You already know therefore considerably when it comes to this matter, produced me in my opinion imagine it from a lot of various angles. Its like women and men don’t seem to be involved unless it is something to accomplish with Woman gaga! Your personal stuffs great. At all times care for it up!

It’s my belief that mesothelioma is most lethal cancer. It’s got unusual properties. The more I look at it the more I am sure it does not act like a real solid tissue cancer. If perhaps mesothelioma is actually a rogue viral infection, in that case there is the chance for developing a vaccine plus offering vaccination to asbestos open people who are really at high risk regarding developing foreseeable future asbestos relevant malignancies. Thanks for sharing your ideas about this important health issue.

I realized more a new challenge on this losing weight issue. A single issue is that good nutrition is vital while dieting. A big reduction in junk food, sugary ingredients, fried foods, sweet foods, red meat, and whitened flour products may be necessary. Keeping wastes harmful bacteria, and harmful toxins may prevent goals for fat-loss. While a number of drugs briefly solve the condition, the unpleasant side effects aren’t worth it, and in addition they never provide more than a short lived solution. It is a known idea that 95 of diet plans fail. Many thanks sharing your ideas on this blog.

We’re a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community. Your site provided us with valuable info to work on. You have done an impressive job and our whole community will be grateful to you.

My coder is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the costs. But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using Movable-type on a variety of websites for about a year and am worried about switching to another platform. I have heard good things about blogengine.net. Is there a way I can import all my wordpress content into it? Any kind of help would be really appreciated!

I do believe that a foreclosures can have a important effect on the client’s life. Home foreclosures can have a Six to decade negative relation to a client’s credit report. Any borrower who have applied for a home loan or any kind of loans even, knows that the particular worse credit rating will be, the more tricky it is to secure a decent mortgage loan. In addition, it might affect a new borrower’s chance to find a decent place to lease or hire, if that results in being the alternative housing solution. Thanks for your blog post.

I am grateful for your post. I’d really like to comment that the expense of car insurance will vary from one insurance policy to another, simply because there are so many different issues which contribute to the overall cost. Such as, the brand name of the car will have a tremendous bearing on the cost. A reliable older family auto will have a more affordable premium when compared to a flashy fancy car.

One thing I have actually noticed is there are plenty of myths regarding the banking companies intentions while talking about foreclosed. One misconception in particular is the bank prefers to have your house. Your banker wants your hard earned dollars, not your home. They want the money they gave you together with interest. Avoiding the bank will still only draw a foreclosed summary. Thanks for your article.

One more thing is that when evaluating a good on the net electronics retail outlet, look for online stores that are constantly updated, always keeping up-to-date with the hottest products, the top deals, plus helpful information on services and products. This will ensure that you are handling a shop that really stays on top of the competition and provide you what you ought to make intelligent, well-informed electronics purchases. Thanks for the essential tips I have learned from your blog.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.