Rwabwogo: Rwakakamba’s Criticism Flawed

Police boss Gen Kale Kayihura has vowed to arrest presidential hopeful Amama Mbabazi if he “continues violating the laws on holding public assemblies, advice ” Chimp Corps report.

Kayihura said Mbabazi “has been committing offences but we have been lenient with him. This time we are going to act.”

The IGP was referring to Mbabazi’s decision to continue holding open public rallies instead of consultative meetings with his supporters across the country.

“Amama Mbabazi must hold consultative meetings in a confined place so that they don’t degenerate into prohibited rallies and campaigns, sickness ” explained Gen Kayihura.

The police chief made the remarks during a joint press briefing with the Attorney General Freddie Ruhindi and Electoral Commission (EC) chairman Eng Badru Kiggundu in Kampala on Saturday.

Earlier, physician Kiggundu expressed concern that “some aspirants have not adhered to the guidelines and the law,” adding, “they are turning consultative meetings into open campaigns contrary to the law, the election roadmap as well as guidelines issued to the aspirants by the Electoral Commission.”

He warned: “Some aspirants are not respecting the law, guidelines of the EC issued to them and are conducting campaigns, rallies, distributing campaign materials, holding mass meetings and canvassing/soliciting for votes instead of restricting themselves to consultative meetings which are allowed under the law.”

He cautioned “those aspirants to respect the law and abide by guidelines of the Electoral Commission.”


Mbabazi this week held rallies in Kapchorwa, Mbale and Soroti where he urged gatherings to support his presidential bid so as to improve the quality of Uganda’s healthcare and education systems.

Mbabazi’s lawyers said there was no law that bars him from holding rallies during his consultation meetings.


On his part, Kiggundu explained that consultations, according to Section 3 of Presidential Elections Act, 2005, are “preparatory in nature and in anticipation of one’s nomination as a candidate.”

The EC boss said, “At this phase of the electoral period, there are no presidential candidates and therefore campaigns are not allowed. There are only presidential aspirants who are allowed to carry out consultative meetings.”

Asked why EC allowed FDC flag-bearer contestants to campaign across the country, Kiggundu described the exercise as an “internal process provided for by the party Constitution.”

He, however, warned that, “just like any other presidential aspirant, at this stage Dr Besigye cannot campaign until he is duly nominated by the EC as a presidential candidate and present his campaign programme to EC.”

Pressed to shed more light on what EC considers as a consultation, Kiggundu said the expression implies that “the venue, mode and manner of the consultative meeting must facilitate the exchange of views between the aspirant and those being consulted.”

He added: “One wonders how processions and rallies can be conducive for a consultative process. In fact rallies and processions are characteristic of campaigns but not consultative meetings.”

Ruhindi came in to explain the difference between consultations and campaigns after Mbabazi’s lawyers said rallies for presidential aspirants are not disallowed by law.

He said “consultations are preparatory stages before you are nominated as presidential candidate,” adding, “Standing with a microphone speaking to a crowd to support your cause and vote for you is not a consultation.”

The Attorney General further pointed out that “Consultations mean exchange of views to reach a decision. You can’t define everything in legislation.”

He urged aspirants to respect the Public Order Management Act which provides police powers to regulate public conduct.

“If police say ‘you cannot hold a rally here, appeal to the magistrate.’ The public law is good for regulation of public order,” he advised.


Ruhindi said most civil liberties as enshrined in the Constitution are not absolute.

“You can’t want freedom at the expense of stability. Freedom to associate has limitations because we need stability in our society,” he added.

In his conclusive remarks, Kayihura said “An aspiring leader must be responsible” and that Police comes in when “rights and freedoms of a society are violated.”

He also revealed that Mbabazi’s planned rallies in Northern Uganda will not be tolerated.

“Why the hurry for campaigns when we are just a few weeks away to the campaign exercise? Why the rush?” wondered Kayihura.

“They must stop creating unnecessary tension. Time will come for campaigns.”

On stopping Mbabazi’s rallies in Jinja, Kayihura said the former premier’s camp “wanted to have two rallies including one in a market in Jinja. He wanted to build up a mass of supporters from Iganga Town to Jinja which would disrupt traffic on the main highway.”

“Even traders in Jinja wrote to us that they did not want Mbabazi’s rallies because they suffered under walk-to-work. Mbabazi should not defy police’s lawful orders.”
By Odrek Rwabwogo

Dear Editor, cheap

There are two major flaws with Mr Morrison Rwakakamba’s criticism of the training and ideological mentorship we do with the leaders of the Movement at the districts and institutions of learning.

I assume he based his understanding on newspaper reports that are often inaccurate.

First, generic Security and prosperity aren’t ideology. They are bi-products of a good ideology. There is no government or political organization I know of in the world that is against security or the prosperity of her people. Even the most brutal dictatorship lays claim to these two attributes.

To understand the ideological base of the Movement, one has to necessarily first answer the question of who was the struggle fought and victory delivered for? Where does the fundamental interest of the struggle lie?

In the Movement, it is the People. The answer to this question in 1971 helped decide the nature and type of struggle for liberation that eventually came 1986.

As an example, to not use short cuts to victory, such as assassinations or military coups and instead execute a protracted people’s war, means that in the Movement, the People, their participation in their own liberation, the rising of their political consciousness, is a fundamental tenet of our ideology.

A mobilized and highly conscientized population delivers itself out of poverty, defends itself from all forms of attack and raises the quality of its leadership.

The common person and not necessarily the elite, raised and nursed the Movement in its infancy.

As an example, between September 1983 and June 1984, the people of Wakyaato and Ngoma in the then Luwero triangle, raised 21,000 heads of cattle to the NRA fighters for food.

Earlier in June 1981, when the head of the resistance left the bush for six months for a foreign mission, he returned in December to find the number of fighters had increased from 200 to 900 and guns from 60 to 100.

Where did all these human and material support come from? It came from an engaged and conscientized people. This is why it bothers me very much that our structures today are less engaged at a time when we are supposedly strong than when the Movement was in its infancy and vulnerable.

In the Movement, People are our first strike capability. As in the army, they are the first weapon available to us in changing our country because they participate in and own the struggle. Someone might ask is there a political organization that doesn’t base its mission on the people? The answer is Yes. Some parties are formed solely to secure power and fulfill narrow interests or be lackeys of foreign interest. The alliance of UPC and Kabaka Yeka in 1961 is one such example in the category of narrow and vertical interests of a minority.

People are the scaffolding on which all other aspects and Programmes of the Movement that Rwakakamba instead calls ideology, hung strong.

If we don’t teach this to the young generation, they will confuse tenets of an ideology and the outcomes of it just like Rwakakamba is doing.

It is this scaffolding that we hung other values such as self reliance, a disciplined and professional army and Broad-baseness (which Rwakakamba thinks should be replaced by competition without first understanding that the former is not opposed to the latter. In a young country whose social formation is still a work in progress, continuous broad involvement of all segments of society is in fact a healing balm of many narrow frictions and a platform to deliver change consistently).

Struggle and leadership

The second flaw in Rwakakamba’s criticism is the failure to establish the borderline between the struggle and its leadership.

The Movement in my opinion is the awakening of the people to defend their rights and change their social and economic status.

That awakening goes beyond individual leaders and generations. For example, when both kings Kabalega (Bunyoro) and Mwanga (Buganda) were defeated militarily, it took another 50 years for a new spontaneous awakening to happen.

It was led by Ignatius Musaazi and the farmers’ federation in 1945, initially demanding fair prices for their crops, ending the monopoly on cotton ginning by the Asian middle men and the right to representation in the colonial Parliament.

This broad Movement was later diverted by UPC’s manoeuvres in 1961. However, a few young men kept up the struggle to involve the population in their own liberation.

These included Kirunda Kivejinja, John Kakonge, Jaberi Bidandi Ssali, Kintu Musoke and many others. This group, though springing from a weak position, kept the idea of a Movement burning even under the UPC early dictatorship.

By 1971, a new group of younger people including Rait Omongin, Eriya Kategaya, Maumbe Mukwana, Valeriano Rwaheru, Kagulire Kasadha, Wukwu Kazimoto, Akena P’Ojok, Zubairi Bakari, Martin Mwesiga and Yoweri Museveni, emerged.

This new generation then took the struggle to a higher level. They understood that a gun is the highest form of political debate when all sense had failed.

Just like Musaazi before him, Yoweri Museveni led this group but this time, to a decisive victory.

Now, to secure enduring victory for the Movement, each generation working with the People, has to apply itself anew to this idea for its own time.

When, therefore, we say we should teach ideology, all we are saying is that we stand on the shoulders of giants who have worked with the people, in order that we can extend this very idea of promise and freedom to a new generation.

We do not in any way seek to demean the role of people who have gone before us or the work they have done as Rwakakamba seems to suggest.

We simply call on some of the armchair pundits who specialize in criticism to join us in the battle field for securing the ideological space of this generation.

As the Bible says in Luke 10:2 “the harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few”

Youth Venture Capital Scheme

Finally, let me clarify the undertone in the criticism about my role and that of my colleagues in the starting of the Youth Venture Capital scheme.

In September 2009, when youth riots rocked Kampala over the refusal by police of the Kabaka’s visit to Kayunga, we understood clearly that a number of youth who had been arrested weren’t Kabaka loyalists.

Some came from faraway places as Kisoro where there are no known kings. We knew this unemployment causing problems. Instead of complaining, we chose to take action.

We went round the country and invited 50 youths from each district and spent a week in Makerere training and mentoring a total of 6,500 youths in entrepreneurship skills.

We held this training under a vehicle called the Uganda Youth Convention. The result of this huge gathering was the coming together of both public and private sector opinion to start a Uganda job stimulus program that saw support of the business process outsourcing (BPO) Programme commence.

Together with my colleagues, we crafted what eventually became the Venture Capital fund (VCF), the precursor to the current Youth Livelihood Programme (YLP).

That word venture isn’t known or used regularly in government lingua. If therefore, anybody is dismissing this work or wants us to be quiet about it, that person isn’t very helpful to the struggle. I would expect new ideas to this scheme not criticism.

This is the reason I seek a platform to be able to make a compelling case for these ideas we have in the past generated but haven’t been able to campaign for publicly.

Every time we try to stand strong on these issues or teach in villages, the question of who are we to do this and what authority do we have, is asked.

We would like to decide this question with my candidature for the position of Vice Chairperson western region.

 Thank you.

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