Full Letter: NUP youth leader pens to European Union over Uganda’s fragile situation

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Full Letter: NUP youth leader pens to European Union over Uganda’s fragile situation. Whisper Eye News

Mr Obedgiu Samuel the deputy NationalYouth Coordinator of the Regional Liasion officer of the National Unity Platform Northern Uganda has picked a pen to write to the head of the Europen union over the need for president Museveni to call for national dialogue.

Below is the full letter obtained by Whisper Eye News

Mr.  Obedgiu Samuel

                                                                              Deputy National Youths Coordinator and

                                                                             Regional Liaison Officer of the National Unity

                                                 Platform Northern Uganda

                                                                               Email. sammyobedgiu@gmail.com

                                                                               Contacts. +256780448012/751561878

To:

The Head of the European Union

Delegation in Uganda,

Plot 17/23 Hanninton Road Crested Towers

15th Floor Kintu Road (Siad Barre) Avenue,

Kampala 5244 Uganda.

RE.  Advise Gen. Tibahaburwa Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to call for a national dialogue, that’s what will help save the situation, not a Museveni – Kyagulanyi Robert Sentamu (Bobi wine) dialogue.

Your Excellency,                                                                                                                              

Background

I want to begin with a quote about Uganda from an article by Michelle Gavin, published on the blog website of the council for foreign relations, a New York based think tank.  “Uganda is not doomed; it’s an impressive country in many respects and countless Ugandans are interested in working together to build a peaceful, more democratic, and prosperous future. But over the course of Museveni’s 35-year governing tenure, clientelism and intolerance for political challenges that resist co-option have become prominent features of the state. Realistic plans for the future have to grapple with the possibility that instability will grow, and that the end of 75-year-old President Museveni’s tenure, however it comes, will be a catalyst for violent competition as entrenched interests resist change.”

It’s apparently clear that the current political set up in Uganda is not serving the interests of the majority. Gen.Museveni has demonstrated it, ever since the Nairobi peace talks of 1985, that he believes in a winner takes it all mentality. Everyone who approaches him to have a dialogue on national issues, immediately gets sucked into the patronage. He either gives them positions or money. Very recently when Arch Bishop Lwanga of Kampala Archdiocese approached him on national issues, instead of addressing the issues he was speaking to him about, President Museveni put 500 million shillings of the tax payer’s money in his SACCO. But the issues still remain. Most leaders in Uganda are increasingly losing moral authority.

It’s a national dialogue needed amongst stakeholders in this country and not among just politicians and religious leaders, who are increasingly losing moral authority

Every time Uganda emerges out of elections, despite Gen. Museveni wining, a cloud of uncertainty hangs over the country. As we saw with 2011 walk to work protests.

During the just concluded election, various people were killed, others kidnapped and their whereabouts remain unknown to their relatives as others still up to now remain under illegal detention because of false allegations charged against them by some state actors and this has created uncertainty for the business communities and the investors.

As I speak, many businessmen who had ordered shipments from China or India or Japan and elsewhere across the world, have still kept their cargos in Nairobi. They are still in “a wait and see” mode. Others have diverted their cargos to Dar-es-Salaam. This is due to the uncertainty that this election has created.

In addition, the credit finance market has either frozen or shrunk, even for established businessmen. Recently, a renown businessman who was used to getting credit finance from DTB Bank couldn’t get the money he needed because even banks are in “a wait and see” mode due to this uncertainty.  He used to get credit of over 200 million shillings. However, due to this uncertainty, the bank only offered him 30 million.

Under ordinary circumstances, all these are going on, the shilling would have weakened against the dollar. However, this isn’t happening at this point in time because of the $491.5 million the IMF gave Uganda as covid19 intervention.  70% of that money was channeled to BOU for monetary stabilization. The IMF articles of agreement state that the IMF will primarily deal with central banks of member states. No wonder the shilling has been stable. Much as monetary stabilization is important, it is not prudent that 70% of that IMF loan money should have been used by bank of Uganda repurchase agreements as an instrument of monetary policy. People needed more subsidies on electricity and water.

This IMF intervention is just “a pain killer”, a temporary relief that doesn’t solve the problem of the economy.

We should have a national dialogue on this national debt. Imagine already the country has now reached the level of debt refinancing, that is, borrowing to pay debts that we are acquiring on the public market through treasury bills and bonds. The citizens who are going to bear the burden aren’t consulted, yet most of this money is spent on classified expenditures and the army to solve political problems. Increasingly, the enemies of Gen. Museveni have become his own people, as a result, President Museveni responds with massive patronage to buy them off or increase spending on classified expenditures to terrorize his opponents like in this regards we witnessed what police and UPDFs did to Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu alias Bobi Wine and his campaign taskforce.

The national dialogue should have all stakeholders and Bobi Wine should just be part of it as one of the major political actors in this country. Its time this country looked beyond just Gen.Museveni. We need a political transitions bill, after 35 years of his entrenched system to avert disaster.

This political transition bill should address the emerging parallel “deep state” that has people like Akandwanaho Caleb alias Salim saleh, who is Gen. Museveni’s brother.  Mr. Museveni has manipulated the Rule of Law to the extent that he is almost everything, the head of State, Fountain of Honor and the Commander in Chief of the Arms forces.  So doing away with Gen. Museveni only to leave his “deep state” intact doesn’t solve the problem of this country. This “deep state” owns much of the economy and tax payer’s money. There is need to have an honest conversation about it as a country.

The political transitions bill should also help in building a state army for the first time in the history of this country, Ugandans should witness an army which will last for more than a regime. Look at the UPDF Act of 2005, Section 15; Schedule 5. It has the names of Gen. Akandwanaho Caleb alias Salim Saleh, Lt Gen. Elly Tumwinne, Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, Brig. Gen Matayo kyaligonza, Lt Gen. David Tinyefunza, Honorary Brig Eriya Kategaya, as life time members of the historical high command.  The danger of this is that the above mentioned individuals already have strong allegiance to Gen. Museveni. So if the regime changes today and Museveni still wants power, he can use those very individuals to overthrow someone out of power who could have been democratically elected by the people just like what is currently happening in Myanmar and this makes it very hard for the country to have a Trans- regime army. For God’s sake, there is no army in the world where the names of individuals are put in the law as if they are immortal, not even Russian Federal State nor China with its communist systems respectively.

The national dialogue should also be an avenue to address concerns around democracy, this will help the country not to go into chaos because majority of its population or certain tribes feel left out of the economy. It will put a meaningful bargain in the distribution of national resources “national cake”, only if we had a democracy where citizens were really and honestly represented unlike the current kind of hybrid system which we do have. So Ugandans need to have a dialogue on the kind of democracy we can have, where leaders can borrow on behalf of the citizens and honestly, for instance this current parliament doesn’t borrow and approve the loans of Gen. Museveni because it thinks the loans are very good for Ugandans, no its because NRM has the majority members of parliament which Gen. Museveni has always manipulated through his patronage scheme.

This national dialogue should involve the cultural leaders, religious leaders, political elites, the youth and everyone to talk about the general direction of Uganda. An attempt should be made to stop Gen Museveni from bribing them to divert them from the national issues. A dialogue between Gen. Museveni and Bobi wine, will only offer temporary relief to the benefit of Museveni’s short term goals, but will not solve this country’s historical problems. Inevitably it will not diffuse the Time bomb.   

 The book of David Kilcullen titled “Out of the mountains; the coming age of the urban guerrilla” illustrates that political instabilities in countries that lie within sub Saharan Africa, is not going to arise from one country attacking the other, but rather most of the problems are going to arise from a very big youthful population that is not given adequate opportunity to meaningfully and sustainably participate in the economies. So instead of Gen. Museveni spending on classified expenditure like this financial year he has spent over 5 trillion shillings because he feels insecure and he thinks the only way he can contain political threats is by investing the tax payers’ money in making his Generals happy and this is a time bomb because it’s not sustainable.

Kind Regards!

Obedgiu Samuel

……………………………………………………

Cc.  Chairperson of the Inter Party Origination for Dialogue Gen. Tibahaburwa Yoweri Kaguta Museveni

Cc.  Chairperson of the Inter Religious Council of Uganda

Cc.  The speaker of the Parliament of Uganda

Cc.  The Katikiro of Buganda (Please help share within the circles of the cultural leaders)

Cc.  The Uganda Law Society

Cc.  The American Mission to Uganda

Cc.  The Elders Forum of Uganda.

Cc.  The NGO Forum Uganda.