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Sunday 20th of April 2014 11:26:58 AM
 

You buy the Truth, we pay the Price
 

Do suffering Africans a favour, don’t help them

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People who are not willing to fight for their freedom and pay the highest price for it do not deserve to be free

The idea that only the international community (read the West) can save Africa has gained hegemonic status. This is expressed in many ways: in efforts to end poverty, in human rights advocacy, economic reforms, feeding the hungry, treating the sick, keeping the peace, “ending impunity,” providing shelter, paying for education; in almost everything under the sun, we are being conditioned to believe that our salvation cannot come from our initiatives but from external benefactors. Across Africa, many elites are convinced that someone good out there should do the job for us.

For example, many African elites that support the International Criminal Court (ICC) say; “Oh, our rulers are venal and beyond our control. If someone out there can help us get rid of them, and bring justice to their victims, he is welcome.” On the face of it, this argument seems to be self-evidently correct. Upon close examination, it proves why even the well-intentioned should stay away from Africa because ultimately this argument is defeatist and compounds the problem. If our leaders are venal, what are we doing about it?

Europeans confronted worse despots than any African country. In just six years of World War Two alone for instance, Europe lost more lives than Africa has lost through all its civil wars combined over the last 50 years. Through their own political struggles during which they suffered a lot, Europeans managed to tame their leaders. If their accountability institutions work, it is because they organically evolved out of their own efforts, were nourished by a nutrient culture and involved lots of hard-nosed bargains and compromises. They reflect the actual balance of power between state and society.

It is not true that Africa lacks such initiatives. When our founding fathers – Kwame Nkrumah, Nelson Mandela, Amilcar Cabral, Sekou Toure, Jomo Kenyatta, Patrice Lumumba, Milton Obote, Robert Mugabe, etc – confronted colonial injustice, they did not sit passively calling upon a kind international community to save the situation. They took the colonial bull by the horns. Careers were abandoned, educations sacrificed, property destroyed, lives lost and many spent years in jail fighting for freedom, equality and human dignity.

Yet, political progress does not follow a linear process. Thus, some of these leaders retreated to the instruments of the colonial state to repress their citizens. Bad rule stimulated fresh political contestations. This led to the second generation of struggle for better governance. One group sought protracted armed struggle. It saw Yoweri Museveni, Meles Zenawi, Paul Kagame, Isaias Afewerki, Charles Taylor, etc leading the initiative. They did not wait for the 5th Calvary of the international community to stand for what they believed.

The second group was the civil disobedience led against the single party state or the military junta by such men Frederick Chiluba, Bakiri Muluzi, Abdullai Wade, Raila Odinga, Kenneth Matiba, Laurent Gbagbo, Etiene Tshishikedi, Robert Soglo, Albert Zafe, etc. They organized youths, traders, workers, peasants and students in the struggle for better governance. None of the leaders and their colleagues in the struggle ran to London or Paris to save the situation. If external help was welcomed, it was seen as secondary, not decisive.

Political reality forced all these leaders to make compromises and accommodations with the forces they opposed. Former adversaries were integrated in new armies (as in Uganda and Rwanda) or co-opted into the political process (Zambia, Ghana etc). The frontiers of democracy were expanded but not to our satisfaction. Some of these leaders repeated the practices they criticized in their predecessors. This is understandable. Even in Europe and North America, the struggle for democracy has been long and odious. Many of us today are unhappy with our governance. However, whatever deficits and frustrations exist, they should inspire us to organize, not to agonize.

Yet many elites in Africa, may be out of cowardice, irresponsibility, ignorance, laziness, opportunism or sheer ideological bankruptcy, don’t organize. They agonize. They don’t want to sacrifice anything for what they want. Rather than exercise agency (and be active participants in the struggles for their own emancipation), they want to be passive spectators watching the “international community” do the fighting for them. Instead of justice, liberty, freedom, democracy etc. being a result of their initiative, they want them as humanitarian gifts.

This is embarrassing and self defeating – they are literally throwing up their arms and saying: we cannot bring these bad leaders to justice ourselves. We are weak and incompetent to shape our destiny. We need ICC to do it for us. In one stroke, they have abdicated their civic duties and responsibilities to someone else. And if I were that kind/generous someone else, I would not accept this nonsense. Those who accept do so because they have ulterior interests as well - to exercise power and control over us.

It is also difficult to understand where these African elites get the confidence to believe in these foreign interventions. In the last decade, America and her Western allies have intervened in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya to remove dictators and establish democracy. In all these cases, what the citizens have gotten is not democracy, justice or freedom but state collapse, civil war, terrorism, death and massive societal dislocation. Countries where the struggle was domestically led like Egypt and Tunisia may have problems but have not degenerated into the chaos we see with foreign invasions.

The lesson from this is simple but powerful. External actors cannot solve anyone’s problems. We may be frustrated with our leaders, yes. But that should not be the point of resignation but of inspiration. We stand at a historic opportunity to make a contribution to the progress of mankind by taking the initiative to change our circumstances. Foreign assistance is welcome and needed, but only as a secondary force under our control and direction. It should only advise but not dictate our struggle.

At all times, the struggle for our emancipation must remain in our hands because it is we who know our reality best. Our struggles will be long and costly, they will involve many compromises and concessions but it should be our struggle, led by us and for us. We cannot outsource it to anyone else because we don’t know their motives and even if they were genuine, they cannot appreciate our political necessity better than us.

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Comments (126)Add Comment
"Is Africa an African Problem?" (Muzzy)
written by Rajab Kakyama, October 27, 2013
Andrew is saying words as if Angels were on his shoulders. Yet again he comes up with an insipid conclusion and not a logical one. In the Independent issue No. 277 (August 09-15, 2013), Yoga Adhola noted that one's traditional identity no longer mattered, however, what matters in the 21st century, depends largely on the changes in the mode of production- economic adaptability. Africa constitutes 15% of the World's population (1 billion), however, it contributes only 2% to the World's trade. Is it the lack of sovereignty that allows Africans to reproduce but bars them from industrialising? I want to imagine that the answers to this are more engraved in our social psyche than we would have fathomed.
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written by Rajab Kakyama, October 27, 2013
Africans did not fight colonialism and slave trade without the help of Europeans. Actually, the pioneers of Pan Africanism were European-educated Africans. S. Africa's fight against Apartheid wasn't single handed, but it involved the efforts of B.J Vorster and P. W. Botha as European partners. If we are to talk about finding "home grown solutions" for Africa, are we facing "home grown problems?" What took place in December 1884- Berlin conference was to change Africa forever. For instance, Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom extended as far as Karagwe and Mwanza, however, such territories are now shared amongst three different Countries.
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written by Rajab Kakyama, October 27, 2013
To find home grown solutions to African problems would require a lot of unwinding and to be realistic to current affairs, such events have been overtaken by time- globalisation. I hope that we embraced such realties than simply become "lamenters of grandeur." I will conclude by stating that man thinks and works in mysterious ways. The building of the Rail-lines in the hinterland of Africa was to ease on slave trade, however, the same lines have been used as conduits to enhance economic development in places and areas where they have so existed. The Science of Medicine was developed to protect the "White explorer", "White Missionary" and the "White colonial master" against tropical diseases.
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written by Rajab Kakyama, October 27, 2013
However, the same medicine reduced the mortality rate of Africans and increased their life expectancy. African development has not only been out of design but rather at times as a ricochet. It would be unwise if we put a blanket condemnation on the ICC. Let's review its work case by case, more so, there is the International Bar Association (IBA) a body that regulates and monitors its performance. Just like many other good things that have happened to Africa, the ICC could be a blessing in disguise and not simplistically a curse.
What Africa needs
written by STEVEN NSUBUGA, October 27, 2013
Some decades back in Ghana, Jerry Rawlings conducted what he called "house cleaning". What Africa needs today is a sweeping house cleaning, only this time to cleanse ourselves of such ideas as pioneered by Andrew Mwenda.
This again
written by Omeros, October 27, 2013
One thing that you have to acknowledge is that Uganda's politics do have an international dimension. Or, to put it more bluntly, international politics are our politics. Uganda has obligations to its creditors and duties to fellow members of the international community which it willingly assumed when it considered that to do so was politically expedient and would demonstrate to those very persons its democratic bona fides and commitment to 'good governance'.
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written by Omeros, October 27, 2013
If international law is a lever that opposition elements seek to pull, then look no further than the opportunism of the man in State House for the reason that they can resort at all to such instruments in search of advantage. That is the terrain to which he led us and that is the terrain on which he can expect to be fought.
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written by Omeros, October 27, 2013
If this is a cause of frustration to some, then those malcontents should be more self-examining. Rather than ruing the supposed 'cowardice, irresponsibility, ignorance, laziness, opportunism or sheer ideological bankruptcy' of those who recognise the significance of the fact that Uganda signed up to a set of international norms by which it undertook to be bound, they should rather reflect on why African leaders want, and indeed acknowledge the need for, donor assistance but apparently have no stomach for the discipline of accountability.
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written by Omeros, October 27, 2013
They should ask themselves why these leaders insist upon and expect to receive unconditional aid from donors and why they bitterly carp when it turns out that the loan was not in fact a gift. They should consider why it is so preferable for subject populations to allow those same leaders the space to practise risk-free, (indeed, were they to get their terms) donor-enabled, despotism. They should consider whether a people under the governance of an authoritarian are in any meaningful way a 'sovereign' people.
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written by Omeros, October 27, 2013
It is all very well to require that opponents of despots demonstrate their readiness to die in service of their aspirations, but, given your current stance toward this regime, I suspect that you impose that lethal standard in the firm expectation that it will not be your life that is lost. Perhaps we should not be surprised. After all, the freedom of regime opponents to line themselves up in front of the state's guns is precisely the kind of sovereignty for which you appear to be speaking up.
Must freedom always be procured by costly human sacrifice?
written by Denis Musinguzi, October 27, 2013
Andrew, I relish the pragmatism and sincerity adorned by your argument. Something is as fundamentally wrong with our political structuring as it is with our inability to shape the struggle to disentangle ourselves from our mess. True, we must stand up and shape our destiny, by ourselves; external support, ideally, should play a secondary role. But the global reality today, and its impact on our struggle to fumigate and sanitize our homestead, is more complex than the simplicity espoused by the central thesis of your argument.
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written by Denis Musinguzi, October 27, 2013
During the Second World War, with all its deleterious effect, Europe had to contend with Europe. What would be the external enemy (America) was not ideologically disconnected with Europe to mount significant friction, save with parts of socialist east Europe and Asia. Africa’s relation with herself as it’s with Europe and America is much more complex today. It is even all the more complex given the historical imbalances and complex legacies of colonialism and the much familiar neo-colonial reality.
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written by Denis Musinguzi, October 27, 2013
The objective drivers of struggle during the Second World War, as they were with its preceding heinous confrontations during the age of revolutions, are totally different and much more nuanced in our contemporary Africa. This is worsened by the globalisation reality. At the time, most European countries had attained similar levels of social, political and economic progress. Although they fought, they still maintained genuine respect for one another. Unfortunately, Africa today does not enjoy such luxury, both within and without.
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written by Denis Musinguzi, October 27, 2013
Against this backdrop, the lessons drawn from the rich history chorused by the article might appear largely irrelevant and inapplicable to our current predicament. Does this mean we should fold our arms and surrender our fate to external humanitarian rewards? Certainly no! My point of departure is that effective and sustainable solution can only be crafted through skilful compromises with internal (within Africa) and external (global) environment.
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written by Denis Musinguzi, October 27, 2013
Let’s draw lessons from Libya and Egypt. While the struggle that deposed Libyan Muammar Gaddafi was internally crafted from Benghazi, it was forcefully hijacked by NATO. Earlier, the struggle that deposed Hosni Mubarak was largely internal before it was hijacked by the West and its contested ICC. In both scenarios, the external interference disoriented the internal drivers, leaving both countries more at disarray than before.
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written by Denis Musinguzi, October 27, 2013
My view is that as we internally struggle for our internal betterment, we cannot close our eyes and block our ears to the scavenging West. The internal solution, though desirable, CANNOT be crafted without skilful engaging with the West. The West will not easily settle for a subsidiary role; it must be skilfully coerced to offer legitimate compromises. Finally, must freedom always be procured by costly human sacrifice? Can’t we negotiate for difficult compromises like pardoning African dictators in return of securing a more democratic, stable and peaceful Africa?
@Omeros
written by Andrew M. Mwenda, October 27, 2013
Brother Omeros, I respect your intellect but today you have behaved in a very opportunistic fashion. It is wrong for u to let your frustrations with a local dictator (who, however cunning, is a transient problem) to lead u to embrace the agenda of others over us (Africans). Unless the struggle for our liberation is organized, articulated and led by us, we can never be free. Free riding on the ICC is a blunder because those who exercise oversight over this court have interests to advance through it. Indeed, you argument reflects the very crisis of the elite in Africa - the inability to understand our historical role in our society
@Omeros
written by Andrew M. Mwenda, October 27, 2013
If the opposition in Uganda joins M7 in this opportunism of using the ICC to fight local battles, what is the difference between the two? Your position therefore is both defeatist and opportunistic and plays right into Museveni's hands. For your must remember that M7 may argue against the ICC but at heart he acts in the interests of London and Washington, not Uganda. And most of the failures you see in Uganda are a product of him selling out to western corporate interests which will not take him to ICC unless and until he threatens them i.e. unless and until he pursues a pro-Ugandan agenda. Is that the position u want Uganda's opposition to also adopt?
@Omeros
written by Andrew M. Mwenda, October 27, 2013
Indeed, your position reflects the crisis of the elite in Africa which explains the failures we so attribute to our leaders. We lack a common agreement on basic national goals. This makes it easy for others who understand their interests very well to manipulate us to their advantage. For example, when Japan invaded China in the 1930s, it found a civil war between the nationalists and the communists. The communists never aided Japan. They would fight the nationalists in the domestic struggle, and fight the Japanese in the national struggle. They understood their national interest. In Africa, elites out of government cannot see that logic - of national independence as long as they can grab power
@Omeros
written by Andrew M. Mwenda, October 27, 2013
The so called international creditor community you so praise has no bona fides on promoting good governance in uganda. under their watch and active support, our country has produced the most corrupt government in our history. under the watch and active support, Uganda has produced the worst violence against its citizens in the north, with many of them made to live in concentration camps for decades where live was short, nasty, brutish and sad. it is the peace in Sudan that made M7 & co realize the need for peace talks if only because they feared American support would wane - and then they saw the Somali opportunity to become relevant to american interests again
@Omeros
written by Andrew M. Mwenda, October 27, 2013
Are you the only human being i know who does not know that M7's ability to hold and retain power - a power that is based on high levels of corruption - has been predicated upon the support of these creditor nations and their so called bona fides in promoting good governance? I just do not understand whence u african elites get this confidence in institutions that have raped our nations, corrupted our systems and marginalized our people. the struggle for our emancipation can only be ours to fight Omeros. the day we surrender that initiative to anyone we shall be cooked. It will not matter whether the man in charge is Besigye of M7, they will not serve our interests.
@Andrew
written by Omeros, October 27, 2013
Brother Andrew, I would only be behaving opportunistically if, like you, I genuinely believed the ICC to be furthering the aims of a nefarious Western plot to subjugate Africans and to undermine their interests. However, I do not hold that belief. I am an internationalist (albeit a qualified one).
Andrew
written by Omeros, October 27, 2013
It is not for mere effect that I say that international politics are our politics. For all the growth of the NRM era, donors still fund the best part of a third of our budget. Whether you will it or otherwise, the unalterable fact is that donors have a stake in our economy. They have an interest in the performance of our institutions and in the political outcomes that those institutions produce. How could it be otherwise? Wishing those interests away is as useless as wishing the Toro Agreement had never been signed.
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written by Omeros, October 27, 2013
My purpose is not to praise creditor nations (how did anything that I wrote lead you to that conclusion?). It was rather to challenge the feasibility of your stance of 'We Alone'.
very sad, Low-rated comment [Show]
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written by Qatahar Raymond, October 28, 2013
I tend to agree with Andrew in this argument. The structures that brokered our independence deals and further the liberation movements that fought thereafter were nestled in elf drive and not foreign bargains, even for those that made foreign bargains most were made from Egypt and Ethiopia's Haille Sellasie. If we should focus on creating an Africa that matters to the future, let it be birthed on a society that thinks African,breathes African and fronts African on the face value and at heart.
..., Low-rated comment [Show]
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Mr.
written by Sabiiti Martin, October 28, 2013
Andrew, You are praising those who engaged in civil disobedience against repressive regimes across Africa but on NTV Newsnight you were bashing Dr. Besigye and Lukwago who are doing exactly the same! What has come over you? In their struggles, they are not asking foreigners to come and lead their protests but elites like you Andrew are attacking them. Are you also part of the docile intellectuals who prefer the comfort of television studios trying so hard to present themselves as the best analysts Africa has ever seen?
Afrika EMANCIPATE
written by Asher Williams, October 28, 2013
I agree with you. At this rate it will take forever, if at all, to truly have credible systems. Even the people we rely on agree that a system has to be used in order for it to be perfected. There are sacrifices that we will have to make along the way, may be suffering, may be hunger, may be internal wrangles, but they will all end in a progressive Economic and Political system. Even the West reliance has its own sacrifices but the end result is more sacrifices. How long will they assist us? Aid has proved not work in that transformative way...all the success stories were as a result of internal desire and effort to change. We need to EMANCIPATE!smilies/angry.gif
@Sabiti Martin
written by Andrew M. Mwenda, October 28, 2013
I hope, Martin, you are not suggesting that everyone who goes on the street and shouts wolf at Museveni's scarecrow without seeking foreign assistance is doing it the right way. I did not criticize KB/Lukwago for protesting but rather for not being able to mobilize constituent groups around their shared interest to be the building blocks of a civil protest movement. Walking and attracting idlers without organization leads to mobs. Mobs don't build things, they destroy things. they can win you headlines but not effective political power to remove an entrenched regime. So my contribution was to help BK/Lukwago get better at their game.
@Mwenda
written by luyombya, October 28, 2013
History has made me believe that USA helped the European economies recover through the marshal plan and injected money to this effect, they did not organically recover by themselves through a european solution alone, as you want us to believe. M7 kept his family in Sweden and goes for treatment in europe you are now bashing, you are only pampering the egos of african dictactors.The systems and institutions that can propel such african progress is what african dictators are continuously destroying and thereby pushing us inadvertently and hopelessly into the hands of the ICC.
Mwogedde
written by Kennedy Maridadi, October 28, 2013
I have surely met intellectual entertainment in all your views and ended more confused than before. But suffice it to say that I came to this conclusion: AM is saying plain truth like a Jewish student who says the saviour of mankind is Jesus in order to get marks (while inwardly 'knowing' it is Moses). RK (Rajab Kakyama) has not learned anything from these pages, he is and will go to his maker a European bootlicker. Musinguzi (Winner)is good and naive ; does not read between AM's lines. Omeros is an angry and possibly hungry man for I am convinced by inference the fellow can't be a woman. I am waiting for Adam an then I will speak my mind...hopefully, whether you like or reject it out of spite is the ONLY correct 'opinion'
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written by Diane Kenneth, October 28, 2013
If our leaders are venal, what are we doing about it?......(Andrew Mwenda asks). The answer to this question is very simple: if our leaders are venal, we follow Andrew Mwenda and join them.

My disagreement with Rajab Kakyama is eternal
written by Kennedy Maridadi, October 28, 2013
Anyone who agrees with Yoga Adhola; even if it is about(Yoga Adhola's) his name is headed for the bottomless pit of ignorance. If (and God forbid) Yoga, the self styled historian (with his crooked information) writes book(s), that will be the beginning of institutionalizing lies as truth and poisoning youth. The man's opinions and facts(or what he takes for them) are all fallacious...like the guy diets on a narcotic. He should be silenced like Kalyegira or incarcerate both to some placewhere they should do everlasting daydreaming.
Am an Internationalist*
written by AD, October 28, 2013
Am an Internationalist! Now go on! rant!
Omeros. kindred spirit, certainly won't stoop by offering any reposte to nay frothing occassioned by a word "Internationalist"!
To whom do I speak?
written by Joseph, October 28, 2013
Dear Andrew, to whom do I speak? Are you the intellect delivering painful truths about dictators and fools alike complete with stats, facts and personal testimony? Or, and I beg your forgiveness if I offend, are you that shaman who spends an inordinate amount of time offering clear support and succour to the machinations of the local dictators (your words)? Indeed you have praised those that have killed, imprisoned and otherwise oppressed the African using all their taxes leaving them little choice but to resort to external assistance. Worst of all you have been paid handsomely for this stellar work. I need to know since, as it stands, any conversation with you is confused as you effortlessly swing from position to position where no one is wrong but everything is not right.
If feel and share your frustration Andrew but we also need more action
written by Michael B. Mugisha, October 28, 2013
Andrew, thank you for this piece partly for finally realizing that after all the traveling and exposure one can gain from well washed institutions of the west and the intellectual sagacity that accompanies such exposure, one is compelled and often troubled in your spirit to see your people perceive the truest source of ingenuity: self-drive and belief in thy self.
If you start from the Lugardian position...
written by Joseph, October 28, 2013
If you start from the Lugardian position which is the African Nations as they exist: designed and "mid-wifed" by the west then you will always be beholden to the west. With the inherent weakness of our polities (the natural base or constituency) the weaker of the adversaries will often seek external help. And proximity means those former colonial master will get that call.

If you start your argument with a more courageous statement like " Africans must redefine their political space to then gain ownership of their problems even if it means redefining their borders..." Then I will know you are with the team, or not, considering your duplicitous politics.
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written by Michael B. Mugisha, October 28, 2013
Alas, you find yourself in a hole today almost haunted by the ecclesiastical words of Solomon "the more knowledge, the more grief." what you know and your perception of things is something that will be hard for many of your fellow Africans to grasp.
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written by Michael B. Mugisha, October 28, 2013
Many Africans have been perennially duped by the very people that we have always held so much faith in; save for a few like Nelson Mandela. The 'reverent' examples of our fore bearers that you cite above, too often have entrenched systems that are worse than the ones they mobilized to fight and have long abdicated the purposes of the struggle as to provide vindication for George's Orwell "classic drama of animal farm."
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written by Michael B. Mugisha, October 28, 2013
Would you surely blame the African people for the apathy? And even then, the very people you condemn, are the ones whose Universities and institutions you regale for proficiency and excellence and hip scorn and ridicule even to the smoldering prospects of progress in our institutions. So how can we inspire a society organized and berated to pieces like ours Andrew?
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written by Michael B. Mugisha, October 28, 2013
I hold the same frustration but I think if we need to inspire and rebuild this nation and better yet inflame such a revolutionary fire likened to the one of 1950s and 60s across this entire beautiful continent, then I would suggest that those who hold clear conviction of our predicament, should take the lead in courageous undertaking the arduous steps that necessitate rebuilding and less of suffusing this platform with inexorable arguments and counterarguments.
Is the ICC targeting Africa?
written by Rajab Kakyama, October 28, 2013
For fear that we could be losing focus of the debate, allow me to reproduce (in part) the work of Margaret M. deGuzman Associate Professor Temple University Beasley School of Law. She states "Since the ICC began operations in 2003, it has investigated situations and prosecuted cases in six countries, all on the African continent. Four of these situations were referred to the Court by the states in question—the situations in Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, and Côte D’Ivoire. The situations in Sudan and Libya, non-party states, were referred to the ICC by the UN Security Council acting under its Chapter VII powers to maintain and restore peace and security.
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written by Rajab Kakyama, October 28, 2013
The most frequent charge of procedural injustice is that the ICC is targeting situations in politically weak states while ignoring situations involving more powerful states. Some of these criticisms are based on misunderstandings about the extent of the ICC’s jurisdiction. Contrary to the assumptions implicit in some of the criticisms, the ICC does not have universal jurisdiction. The Court can only investigate situations in non-party states when the Security Council refers the situations. The blame for the ICC’s failure to investigate serious situations in non-party states therefore lies not with the ICC but with the Security Council.
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written by Rajab Kakyama, October 28, 2013
Thus, for instance, it is the Security Council that is currently blocking international investigation of the massive crimes being committed in Syria. The evidence most relevant to charges of discriminatory situation selection is that the ICC has declined to open investigations in two situations outside the African continent: one involving allegations of crimes against humanity in Venezuela and another concerning alleged British war crimes in Iraq. This sample size is far too small to support the claim that the ICC’s decision making is based on invidious distinctions. Indeed, a number of other situations outside of Africa remain under preliminary examination and may ultimately result in investigations.
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written by Rajab Kakyama, October 28, 2013
Moreover, the ICC’s assertion that the African situations were selected based on their gravity and that the situations in Venezuela and Iraq were rejected on the same basis is credible. Although the concept of “gravity” remains under-theorized, many people consider the number of victims an important indicator of gravity. The African situations under investigation all involve large numbers of victims. The second claim—that the ICC is insufficiently respectful of African sovereignty—is predominantly a legal one. Critics allege that the ICC is violating its own Statute by failing properly to apply the principle of complementarity in admitting situations, and that the Court is violating the international law of immunity by seeking to prosecute a sitting head of state.
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written by Rajab Kakyama, October 28, 2013
The Rome Statute strikes a balance between the rights of sovereign states to address crimes within their territories and the desire of the international community to end impunity for international crimes. This balance is most clearly reflected in the Court’s admissibility regime, which makes the Court’s jurisdiction complementary to that of national courts. The ICC is not permitted to investigate situations or prosecute cases when national courts with jurisdiction are doing so in good faith. Moreover, the Court must deem inadmissible cases of insufficient gravity."
More Space Required
written by paolo, October 28, 2013
Andrew I beg that you get your IT people to stop being stingy with the restriction on number of words per comment. Some of the information and ideas being presented here are of extremely high quality and I believe even beneficial to and contributory to some of your arguments. Laboriously chopping my comments to fit my intentions tends to create the less appealing effect of disrupting the denouement that most avid readers seek for in an opinion. Other "lesser" newspapers do it. So I do not believe it has cost implications to you. Move with the times man!
@Muzinguzi
written by Omeros, October 28, 2013
"We are here today to convey to you, who are the representatives of the peoples of the world, the profound gratitude of the people of South Africa for your engagement, over the decades, in the common struggle to end the system of apartheid...We are deeply moved by the fact that almost from its birth, this Organisation has kept on its agenda the vital question of the liquidation of the system of apartheid and white minority rule in our country...In particular, we are most grateful for the measures that the United Nations, the OAU, the Commonwealth, the Non-Aligned Movement, the European Community and other intergovernmental organisations took to isolate apartheid South Africa."
@Muzinguzi
written by Omeros, October 28, 2013
Don't they make you feel sick - the heretical words of that internationalist and treacherous, anti-African, Fifth Columnist, Nelson Mandela? Rather than acknowledging the UN for its work in opposing white minority rule and ensuring the Apartheid state's isolation, as he did in 1993, he should instead have told the UN General Assembly that its good intentions were unwelcome and had only worked to usurp the role of Africans in bringing about their own emancipation.
@Muzinguzi
written by Omeros, October 28, 2013
In fact, Mandela should have thanked Verwoerd and Botha instead. Madiba! Huh, what a sell out! How I have contempt for Africans calling themselves internationalists!
We cannot act in Isolation
written by Jeff Wadulo, October 29, 2013
Africa's problems are very much African as well as international. The global world is so systemically intertwined that forces against dictatorship whether in Africa or elsewhere need the concerted efforts of democracy. Our dictators have become so powerful and by the way through ammassing of resources from both local and international sources and need similar efforts for their removal.
@ Omeros, Michael B Mugisha
written by Musinguzi, October 29, 2013
Omeros, your point is well received and Michael B Mugisha, the challenge is to all of us. of course things are not straight forward as we put them here. Like Jeff wadulo said, our dictators have become so powerful and entrenched and the fact that they serve the interests of the west, their power is secure. Some people like AM rebelled against the system but soon realised that it was going nowhere. Without enough base to restore the kind of self- governance trajectory he wanted to see, he had to tone down or be consumed.
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written by Musinguzi, October 29, 2013
I think this is what AM was to later call his "growing old and wisening up" . What is evident, this platform is not going to change things, we need more practical methods. We have played it safe for far too long, the lieks of AM should enter the murky waters of leadership and mobilise us!
@Musinguzi
written by Diane Kenneth, October 29, 2013
No, Andrew didn't say he was growing old and wisening up. He said he is growing old and dumb! You are again make a wrong observation that this platform will never change things simply because they refuse to toe Andrew's line of thinking. Andrew needs to do an explorative laparatomy to find out why, despite his not so bad writing skills, he has failed to win over individuals in this forum. It could be the same disease he accuses others of that has caught up with him - being palbably opportunistic, being angry and abusive when challenged etc etc. I pitty those venal and brutal Afican leaders who use Andrew to promote & protect their cause!
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written by Immaculate Nambi, October 29, 2013
Andrew, the title of this piece, "Do suffering Africans a favour, don't help them" - is this the advise you are giving M7? I bet if the teachers read this title, they would feel that M7 is taking your advice. That said, I find your blanket argument against international solutions to African problems to be very disingenuous. Like so many commentators here have noted, Uganda cannot survive without western aid. It can't even provide ARVs to 100 people without western aid, In any case, do tell which one of these international solutions is unsolicited for?
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written by Immaculate Nambi, October 29, 2013
The point is not in having African solutions for solutions' sake...it's about solutions that work. The ICC, regardless of the sentiments of African dictators, is a solution that works. At the very least, it has proven to shake African dictators. Nothing on the African soil has been able to do that in the last 5 decades. Also, if Andrew is a representation what "African solutions" to "African problems" would look like, then give me colonialism any day. Andrew is against every solution to Uganda's problem, which is M7.
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written by mpwabe, October 29, 2013
well said Andrew, this is by far the best i have read from you. It is so frustrating to see our intellectuals and the people that have the capacity to lead us give up and wait for the west to come to our aid. One wonders why these people occupy these positions in our societies when they can't do anything about our situation. Me thinks there is alot of cowardice and ideological bankruptcy in many of our elites. The real problem is not the west, the real problem is in our mindset, we are already defeated.
A few observations
written by Marvin ya Kuku, October 29, 2013
Nambi is spot on with her anlysis and so is Omeros. Just look at how captured LRA fighters say Kony shivers at the thought of ICC. M7s reaction to the court is also telling. It is also absurd to think Africans do not, at present solve their own problems at all. The idea is already there what remains is just the timing for its implementation. Interestingly, M7 will always ask UN to fund AMISOM in Somalia because terrorism is a "Global problem". Same with Kony. Then there is the stolen funds that were only returned after threats of "NO AID". Very fast suspects are "caught"
@Muzinguzi
written by Omeros, October 29, 2013
"Omeros, your point is well received" - Good. Perhaps now you can apologise to all self-identifying African internationalists, including Mandela himself, who was never shy of recognising the centrality of the role played by the international community in ridding SA of apartheid.
A few observations
written by Marvin ya Kuku, October 29, 2013
by ourselves it is my opinion that it is impossible at this point in time to solve our own major problems alone. But one thing is for sure, those who think like Mwenda, quaking about outsiders as if it is the end of the world for Africa, will not be major players on this continent in the coming years. Who are you going to be tear gassing in 2030?
Talking it but ain't living it!
written by Akankwasa George, October 29, 2013
Yes, Andrew Mwenda .. people who are not willing to fight for their freedom and pay the highest price for it do not deserve to be free .. really!!! Besides the founding fathers you mention, Uganda today has people with vision and plenty of initiative. One of the most peaceful movement ever to come out of Uganda was the "WALK TO WORKER". Dr. Kiiza Besigye and company had the right ideas and the right approach. Where were you, Mr. Andrew Mwenda, if I may ask, please? Where were all these people now queing up to express their views via this medium? Typical Ugandans today, especially the so called educated elite .. 'talking the talk but never walking the walk' .. sad really!!!
Walk to Work
written by Akankwasa George, October 29, 2013
Correction .. WALK TO WORK movement!
What freedom?
written by Akankwasa George, October 29, 2013
Andrew Mwenda, freedom according to who? Post modernism has seen the meaning of freedom torn to shred. Museveni has his own meaning of freedom, Kagame has his, Mugabe has his and so is everyone else. So, Mr. Mwenda, if we all have to fight for what we believe to be freedom (from our own perspective) won't end up with the total fragmentation of Africa. If I believe that my tribe is being squeezed and start a war to provide freedom for my tribe, where will it all end? Doesn't your call for fighting for freedom right, left and centre explain what is going in Congo, Syria, Lybia and most parts of the world? What then would say about suicide killers ( a la Westgate, Nairobi)?
Freedom!
written by Akankwasa George, October 29, 2013
The Mungiki (Kenya), Al Shabaab (Somalia) and Talibans (Afghanistan), for example, are all willing to fight and pay the highest price for their freedom. I suppose you support their actions .. do you Mr. Mwenda? I have no doubt, Andrew Mwenda, your article is well intentioned but it is my belief that you just wanted to open up a pandora's box knowing very well that 'freedom' is like chinese boxes that open up and reveal further boxes inside.
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written by Winnie, October 29, 2013
I was upcountry recently and it was just 10.00am but the lazy men were busy in a dancing and drinking competition the women in the villages told me that their men had even began selling their saucepans i advised them to only wash their saucepans when they are going to cook. African problems can not be solved by People who write good English like Omeros . I think we are still backward coz we have good weather if we had snow in Africa we could have worked harder. and its true that all third world countries don't experience winter.
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written by Winnie, October 29, 2013
Thanks Andrew for your brilliant debate on NTV there are few people who discuss issues like you i have even bought a new "52 inch LED Panasonic TV " just to watch you.M7 is a very good and focused leader recently he launched the railway at pakwach to link Uganda to S.Sudan. Africa needs more leaders like M7. CAN YOU IMAGINE M7 BEGS UGANDANS TO ALLOW INVESTORS OPEN UP BUSINESS HERE WHICH LEADER HAS SUCH GREAT LOVE,CARE AND CONCERN FOR HIS COUNTRY LIKE M7?
@Omeros
written by Andrew M. Mwenda, October 30, 2013
I think Omeros you have missed my point. There is no where in the article above where I say we do not need external assistance. To copy and paste from it: Foreign assistance is welcome and needed, but only as a secondary force under our control and direction. It should only advise but not dictate our struggle. At all times, the struggle for our emancipation must remain in our hands because it is we who know our reality best. Our struggles will be long and costly, they will involve many compromises and concessions but it should be our struggle, led by us and for us.
@Omeros
written by Andrew M. Mwenda, October 30, 2013
I am happy you bring the case of South Africa. In the article above I say that external actors cannot understand or appreciate the necessity of hard-nosed bargains and compromises that allow a country to achieve internal social integration and political reconciliation. Mandela and company had to turn a blind eye to many of the monstrous crimes of apartheid, place political reconciliation above criminal prosecution, avoid punishment in search of accommodation, and use a truth and reconciliation commission that gave full amnesty to criminals who had killed, tortured and maimed all in search of internal political reconciliation. Imagine if they had surrendered their transition to ICC.
@Omeros
written by Andrew M. Mwenda, October 30, 2013
International assistance in South Africa was important, very important but it never dictated the politics of South Africa. It only helped. It was not primary. It was secondary. The struggle was defined by South Africans, for South Africans. Only them understood and appreciated the necessity of certain painful decisions - like not delivering justice to so many victims of apartheid in order to realize political reconciliation. I am not against the ICC per se. I am against its current constitution as it denies nations that take cases to it an opportunity to change their mind and resort to internal solutions to complex political issues and crimes - exactly as in South Africa.
@Omeros and others
written by Andrew M. Mwenda, October 30, 2013
ICC as currently constituted does not and cannot understand or appreciate the necessity (sometimes, often times) of amnesty to crimes born of political conflict. It treats them as ordinary crimes. Apartheid committed many crimes against humanity. But all were delicately ignored, avoided for a higher political goal - national healing, political reconciliation. In these cases our countries are going through, it is often better to try to shape a future than correct the wrongs of the past. i admit that for individual victims this is very painful. but for national healing, it may and often is a political necessity. You cannot subject such a process to an international court
@Omeros at el
written by Andrew M. Mwenda, October 30, 2013
The Kenyan parliament voted to take the matter to the ICC. When the court investigated and decided on prosecution, its decision was found unfair and biased. It generated political controversy in Kenya. The ICC indictments caused a counter reaction: it led the leaders (Uhuru-Ruto) of the communities that had killed each other (Kalenjin and Kikuyu) to unite and reconcile and form an alliance against ICC and local politicians like Raila who were seen as behind it. Raila has admitted to me that this was one of the major causes of his failed presidential bid. Since then, the both chambers of parliament in Kenya have voted overwhelmingly that the case return to Kenya short of which they voted to withdraw from the Rome Statute
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written by Andrew M. Mwenda, October 30, 2013
In 2007, I appeared at a conference on the ICC and the LRA indictments at the London School of Economics. There were two main speakers - Ocampo and me. I argued then, as I do now, that M7's indictment of Kony and co was an un-calculated risk that was putting a highly complex political problem it the straight jacket of an international criminal justice system armed with abstract theory and detached from political imperatives. People especially in northern Uganda may fee that amnesty for Kony as preferable in order to achieve peace. I also argued that if Uganda has a right to take the case to ICC, it should also have a right to withdraw it as and when national political necessity demands it.
@Omeros et al
written by Andrew M. Mwenda, October 30, 2013
In 2005, Museveni had called me to State House after I had hosted a show and sharply opposed the Kony indictments. I told him that by talking Kony to the ICC, he had boxed himself into a dangerous corner by removing the only chance for a politically negotiated settlement. I told him Kony and LRA were an inarticulate representation of a bigger political crisis in northern Uganda as the region looked at UPDF as a colonial army of occupation rather than a national army for their defense. Politics, not courts, was the best way out. I also argued that if there is to be a judicial process, it should be local, not international and subject to the political exigencies of Uganda, not the abstract standards of an international court
@Omeros
written by Andrew M. Mwenda, October 30, 2013
I used many examples of the enemies M7 had reconciled with and integrated their combatants into the NRA/UPDF and their leaders into cabinet. To my relief, Museveni agreed with everything I said and added that ICC allowed nations to withdraw cases before it if and when national political necessity so dictated. He said his attorney general ayume had advised so. I left state house and wrote a story in monitor about this discussion. But as the Kenyan case shows, it seems a country cannot withdraw a case once it has been referred to icc. in which case Museveni had been misled by ayume.
@Kakyama
written by Andrew M. Mwenda, October 30, 2013
You may need to visit google. Over 3,000 separate accusations have been made to the ICC against covering the activities of the American, French, Russian, British, Indian and Israel governments in Palestine, Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq, Georgia, Kashmir etc. None of these accusations have been progressed by the prosecutor. So, it is not true that only African cases have been referred to the court. The permanent members of the UNSC of course cannot refer cases against their own people to ICC out of self interest. All countries act out of their interest, not morality. it is only us in Africa who think someone will act on our behalf.
ICC and the West a necessary evil, and a reality we cannot avoid
written by Denis Musinguzi, October 30, 2013
Andrew, with all its flaws, ICC and the West are a necessary evil, a reality we cannot merely accord a subsidiary role. I agree that the Western criminal justice system is fundamentally inept to deal with complex African conflicts and politics. I also entirely agree that the Western conception (and defense) of human rights in Africa is both ideologically biased and politically-motivated. But as I argued earlier, we cannot afford to be oblivious of the fact that international norms have defined the global terrain too much that African renaissance cannot be successfully crafted without taking recourse to the much nuanced global reality.
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written by Denis Musinguzi, October 30, 2013
Hence, while this "Africa alone" stance is good for crafting African identity, it might in effect remain unrealistic and laughable. Though not members of ICC, Russia, China and USA constitute its heart and, with other two permanent members of the UN Security Council, influence much of its decisions! Defining Africa’s identity (and shared destiny) and pushing it fruition can therefore be never, in reality, be an all Africa-alone affair, it must craftily engage and contest global contenders! But the struggle must begin at home, to agree with you!
@winnie
written by derek, October 30, 2013
You seem to imply that there is something wrong with africans but....When the romans and greeks were ruling the mediteranean sea,buiding roads and ampitheatres. The germans and their descendants in britain were at that point hunting and gathering. Today german/anglosaxon world leads the world in many arenas of human achievements.... Western europe during the middle ages itself was in perpetual cycles of disease outbreaks ,famines,dictatorial feudal systems as africa during the past 150 years. The people of western european learned to solve their problems themselves reducing absolute monarchs to constitutional monarchs of today...
@winnie
written by derek, October 30, 2013
... learning new agric techniques to stop famines and medicine to control disease outbreaks. And africans are capable of all this as you can see from botswana, rwanda, ethiopia and ghana all current transforming themselves. We shouldnt tolerate the international community treating us like children.
Andrew, I am curious
written by Immaculate Nambi, October 30, 2013
Andrew, someone just sent me a whatsapp with a document whose subject matter is, "Payment for Advertisement" in which you requested the government of Rwanda to pay USD $200,000 for adverts in The Independent. The curious thing is that payment was then made to your personal account number 00297127, Barclays Bank PLC. Now Andrew, do you see the disconnect there?! And you purport to advise on the governance on an entire country?! This shows that you have been found wanting even on a small issue of corporate governance. So The Independent = Andrew Mwenda? Niice
@nambi
written by derek, October 30, 2013
I also have financial statements of mrs museveni someone on nasser rd emailed them to me. Are you for real... Having failed to prove andrew's arguments are wrong now your are resorting to diversionary tactics. How low you can sink. Should people also claim besigye pays you to support him or u just strongly believe in besigye/whichever thing/person/party you support. In Any case independent is a business which sustains itself through sell of adverts to anyone willing to pay for them, govt of rwanda inclusive.
Spot on Immaculate Nambi!
written by Akankwasa George, October 30, 2013
Needless to emphasize, Andrew Mwenda is a pretty good journalist but he is also a wolf in a sheep's skin. He is part and parcel of the current "Nyakuwa" brigade in our country. Personally, I don't mind these elements doing their dirties, conniving, and grabbing as much as they can when it lasts but I strongly abhor their pretext and impudence to lecturing us about wrongs and rights when deep down they are morally and ethically bankrupt. That is Uganda for you today, unfortunately. Still, I admire Mwenda as a journalist but could admired him more if he cut the crap and be more 'real'. Abdicating principles so as to change with times tantmounts to treason, if you ask me. Do you read me, Andrew?
@Derek
written by Immaculate Nambi, October 30, 2013
Calm down, Derek. No point in your foaming at the mouth. Can I suggest that you read my comment again? The document I saw looks legit to me and yes, the Independent has every right to advertise for whomever. My argument is that a man who has no respect for basic corporate governance issues, has no business lecturing us about Africans offering solutions to Africa. I have read a million such articles offering the same view point. Without walking the talk, Andrew's article is simply one of those that a dime a dozen. Lastly Derek, maybe you could use a coffee break, no?

@Omeros, Nambi
written by Musinguzi, October 30, 2013
@Nambi: a tea break with your husband Kintu (no insults intended) would also suffice bse your point is more appropriate in the murky waters of dirty politics than the current debate. Evenif AM was the worst example in this case, it does not take away the point he is making.
@Omeros: I said I got your point but did not say I agree with it. I have no problem apologising but not this time. To go by your example of the rainbow nation, it goes to show how one shouldn't be so comfortable with a neighbor offering to give one's wife everytime she wants to travel. One day she will not return.
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written by Musinguzi, October 30, 2013
if u are familiar with SA, you will agree that after Mandela, it has not made much progress in as far as the black race's emancipation is concerbned bse his successors abdicated their responsibility to complete the cycle of liberation due to corruption and sychophancy. I am not among those who celebrate SA as a good example. Sorry!
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written by AD, October 30, 2013
Don't be coy; honest men (you are a man, I suppose) do see their way out of a mire and apologises! This Internationalist eagerly awaits your mea culpa!
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written by derek, October 30, 2013
Since I imagine u no have qualification in forensic sciences to subsantiate you allegations of mr mwenda engaging in financial impropriety at his own company you shouldnt slander his name but stick to the issues. I won't refer to your foaming on the mouth or any other such references. Though they maybe appropriate.
@Nambi
written by derek, October 30, 2013
See comment above.
Mr
written by GeraldM, October 30, 2013
Every Wednesday and Thursday I listen to Ssemuju Nganda, Nambooze, Mwiru and co as they take the fight to M7 without fear and once in a while I log onto the independent and read Mr Mwenda's efforts to undo the work of trio. My wish would be for a televised debate between Nganda and Mwenda. That is something i'm willing to contribute towards.
@derek
written by Akankwasa George, October 30, 2013
It is my belief that Andrew Mwenda, as a highly qualified journalist embraces the journalistic ethic that 'fact is sacred and comment is free'. It is under the latter that Immaculate Nambi's perception resides. I would have thought that it is now up to Mr. Mwenda to prove Immaculate wrong. That Immaculate Nambi provided a bank account and the sum deposited surely leaves it up to Mr. Mwenda to challenge Immaculate. I therefore fail to understand why you, derek, seem to be getting on your high horse for no apparent reason. Immaculate Nambi has raised the stakes, let Mr. Mwenda respond and I am pretty sure that he is very capable of fending for himself. Immaculate has not slandered anyone. Don't be too emotional, derek, please.
@akankwasa george
written by derek, October 30, 2013
Point taken though am not emotional as you allege.
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written by OJA, October 30, 2013
I WANT YOU MR MWENDA TO TELL THE WORLD THE PERFORMANCE AND DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GHANA UNDER JJ RAWLINGS' LEADERSHIP, ETHIOPIA UNDER MELES ZENAWI'S, RWANDA UNDER PAUL KAGAME & KENYA UNDER MWAI KIBAKI (JUST IN 10 YEARS) VIS-A-VIS UGANDA'S PERFORMANCE UNDER OBOTE I AND THEN YOUR HERO-YOWERI MUSEVENI. IF U TELL ME AND THE WORLD, THEN WE WILL BEGIN TO REACT TO AND DISSECT YOUR ISSUE YOU'VE RAISED.
@ akankwasa george
written by derek, October 30, 2013
Your wonder why some one should defend mwenda so passionately as if AM cannot defend himself is the same wonder some people feel when ICC and the like intrude into the affairs of african countries it gets irritating and you ask yourself why? This minding of other people's businesses.
@Akankwasa George
written by Michael Niinye, October 30, 2013
I totally agree with you, Akankwasa. I don't think that Immaculate Nambi has slandered Andrew Mwenda at all. As you have clearly pointed out, it is up to Andrew Mwenda to prove Immaculate wrong. It is also very important to remember that The Independent is the only newspaper in Uganda that is brave enough to publish comments uncensored and Andrew Mwenda should be given distinction for this. It is equally important for us correspondents to exercise rationality and juxtapose our intellect by agreeing to disagree when matters without throwing insults. Let us, please, make use this excellent medium provided by The Independent to try and discuss national issues that need discussing desperately.
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written by Diane Kenneth, October 30, 2013
Perhaps Andrew might (if he hasn't already) get a chunk of land from Uhuru Kenyatta as well. He calls Omeros opportunistic, but he is the most opportunistic person I have ever known. Appearing to defend Uhuru-Ruto is exploitatively opportunistic, or isn't it?
Is Mwenda an Intoxicated Sycophant?
written by Ocheto, October 30, 2013
Mwenda is getting more and confused mostly likely intoxicated from drinking a lot of Museveni’s and Kagame’s cool aid. First of all it is not true that external help has never been decisive. Mwenda keeps repeating this fallacy like an ignoramus. The US has been saving Europe from its penchant for self-immolation. For instance the US help was decisive in defeating Hitler and ending both the first and the second world wars which they did not start or were involved in. It was decisive in defeating stopping the so-called ethnic cleansing in the Balkans. As for the tyrants and their sycophants bashing ICC: they are hypocrites who apparently unwittingly started the court thinking they would manipulate it the way they do their so-called independent judiciaries.
Is Mwenda an Intoxicated Sycophant?
written by Ocheto, October 30, 2013
Obviously the court has shown its independence; has hit a nerve; has shown that it has real teeth; and has bit the culprits. Also, the same people who set up an international court or now oppose it could never possibly blame others for relying on international largess, which, ironically, underwrites their illegitimate stay in power. Have they no self reflection? Are they that dumb?Then there is a little statistical fact. The reason the only people so referred to ICC are from Africa is because the worst brutal, oppressive regimes are home to the African continent. It is called statistics. That is like the banks proclaiming, why are all robberies happening to us? It is because that is where the money is. The same thing applies to Africa’s notoriety with ICC; Africa is where the despots are.
ICC driven by LOCAL AGENCY
written by Maceni, October 30, 2013
What is so hard to conceive that the ICC court is being used by local African agents as just one of the instruments to effect change domestically. The use of a foreign instrument does not at all diminish local agency nor does it put the struggle for emancipation in foreign hands.To characterize this as foreign intervention is like saying that the use of an AK 47 instead of spear is intervention from Russia !! On the contrary it provides a more lethal weapon to those who want to accelerate our progress to a society devoid of despotic rule.
Goes with the TERRITORY!
written by Akankwasa George, October 31, 2013
Ocheto, post modernism has taught me that journalism and sycophancy are two sides of the same coin just as much as fact and fantasy mingle freely with most African journalists. It goes with the territory. It is what Uganda's new kid on the literature block, Allyce Jossy Tumwesigye Kyobutungi, calls 'Dance of The Intellect' ( if I may borrow your words, sister). Mr. Mwenda is not at all an Intoxicated Sycophant .. he is just 'smart'. Love him or loathe him, he is pretty smart. On 'The Dance of The Intellect' scene, Andrew Mwenda raps and he is pretty good .. honest!!
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written by winnie, October 31, 2013
Nambi better leave Andrew's hot cash alone i dont think Andrew is inspired by money he is just blessed and gifted when Andrew presents a paper or when he participates in a discussion he is paid per word said people are falling all over each other to give Andrew MONEY. Andrew is the kind of man everyone wants to be associated with the likes of Nambi and Ocheto just find Andrew so irresistible he is the only man who has earned clean money coz of his intelligence that one i bet my head. Nambi are you married i just feel sorry for the one who climbs you.
Precisely!
written by Khadijja Nampiima, October 31, 2013
Yes, Akankwasa George, I couldn't agree with you more. Allyce Tumwesigye Kyobutungi's brilliant phrase, 'Dance of The Intellect' comes in handy here. If I may add that Uganda's literally scene has been rather boring of late. Nice to see Kyobutungi Tumwesigye abandoning the usual African functionalist approach to writing and embracing structuralism .. well done, sister!!!
Let the confused be confused!
written by Suzanne Nanteza, October 31, 2013
winnie, do not please confuse The Independent with the Red Pepper. The independent doesn't cater for the likes of you and please do not make a fool of yourself by trying to correspondent in a newspaper where correspondents' IQ is three times higher than yours. You totally have no grasp of what is being discussed and have no idea of what Nambi was talking about. Your style of writing and the way you express yourself clearly juxtaposes a modicum of shallow mindedness and down right ignorance. The Independent is not your kind of medium and topics being discussed in this newspaper are well beyond your comprehension. Winnie, please, stop dragging the only good newspaper we have in Uganda to your gutters of the abattoir.
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written by Staff Gen. Adam Kifalisso, November 01, 2013
I can only sit and watch this debate , Andrew is debating from a advantageous position advocating for home solutions knowing that home solutions can be tampered with by the oppressing regime , Andrew knows that dictators first job is to crash internal opposition , m7 is slowly moving away from political murders to bribing opposition and disorganising it . For the oppressed to seek help from an external power means internal means to bring about justice have been crippled by the state ,its like a man overcome by earthly problems and seeks help from the heavens . I think Nanteza has put Winnie in her right place
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written by Omeros, November 01, 2013
"I think Omeros you have missed my point. There is no where in the article above where I say we do not need external assistance." Your position is that you recognise the need for help but you (the petitioner, let it be remembered) insist that your helpers fall dumbly in line behind your directives. That is not so much an acknowledgement of the need for help but a desire for devotees. You do not want assistants; you want acolytes. My way or the high way. Well, that's nice if you can get it. But don't wait too long for passing strangers to write you a blank cheque. And don't ask people die while waiting.
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written by Omeros, November 01, 2013
In any case, I doubt the purity of your position. When NATO resolved to dislodge Gadaffi, you cheered on intervention http://www.independent.co.ug/t...or-libya-. Internationalism and intervention for thee but not for me, it would seem, is your position.
@Muzinguzi
written by Omeros, November 01, 2013
"@Omeros: I said I got your point but did not say I agree with it. I have no problem apologising but not this time. To go by your example of the rainbow nation, it goes to show how one shouldn't be so comfortable with a neighbor offering to give one's wife everytime she wants to travel. One day she will not return." Lapidary. I wilt before your logic.
@Omeros
written by Musinguzi, November 01, 2013
Why wilt? Assume you were a poor young man trying to start a family and you a had a financially stable and generous neighbor. Everytime your grass thatched house leaks, would it be propoer for your neighbour (however well intended) to hire a casual labourer specifically meant to ammend your loof to protect you and your wife from the rain instead of giving you a job to do the house-building for your self? Do you see the manhood your neighbor denies you in your family and potential risks to your family. He will call the tunes eventually? If you were this poor man, would you accept such help and would your mother be happy with your manhood or would simply take you as useless? Dont wilt, the logic is simple!
@Omeros
written by Andrew M. Mwenda, November 01, 2013
Brother Omeros, for avoidance of doubt, let me copy and paste what that article said:
The worst thing to happen to Libya now would be a military intervention by the West to remove Gaddafi. That will alter the balance of forces inside the country against Gaddafi but produce an artificial victory by his opponents. Right now, they are not a unified group and do not have shared political objectives. Given his control of the ramp of security services and their loyalty to him, the defeat of Gaddafi may lead the successor government to dismantle this prop to his regime. In the short term this would create a power vacuum leading to growing chaos and disorder. -
@Omeros
written by Andrew M. Mwenda, November 01, 2013
In these circumstances, the best outcome for Libya will be one where Gaddafi and his regime are defeated – but by the power of domestic forces rather than foreign intervention. The best solution for Libya now it to let the two sides tussle it out where they have decided to do it, in a military confrontation. The international community can intervene by enforcing a no-fly zone. This will limit Gaddafi’s capacity to secure a quick and decisive military victory over his adversaries while at the same time strengthen the capacity of his opponents to withstand his military onslaught.
@Omeros
written by Andrew M. Mwenda, November 01, 2013
"Foreign intervention should not seek to win the war for Libyans. It should give them the tools to do so themselves. This may prolong the struggle and intensify the suffering in the short term. But it will produce a durable and more stable outcome in the long term."
Kindly explain to me how the above argument i made then is different from the one I made on the ICC - that all external help must be secondary, not primary; must advise but not decide for any country. It is not a weakness, Omeros, for you to admit that in a lot of my writings for almost 8 years, i have opposed all forms of foreign aid - including to stop genocide in Rwanda
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written by Staff Gen. Adam Kifalisso, November 01, 2013
I thought Andrew knew something about military power , what western powers did in Libya was to destroy Gaddafi's superior weapons and make him equal to his rebellious countrymen , the outcome is what we see now Mr Andrew . where Militias had a common enemy they performed well now its up to them to sit down and see who takes what . Gadaffi just like m7 destroyed all institutions and its hard for a country to come back from this mess, just watch and see when m7 goes how Uganda will fair ,it wont be long , m7 is going soon he has decided to end his political career like the Arab dictators
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written by Winnie, November 01, 2013
The NRM government is overwhelmed with the number of tourists coming to view the eclipses the chief viewer will be M7. i dont know why people fear my contribution on this forum??Suzan every one on this page makes their views voluntarily for me no one will lecture me on what to say provided people insult Andrew I WILL FIGHT BACK besides that suzan you are not in my age bracket have you ever got me with your husband in bed to declare me confused?are you the one who takes me to the loos?better leave me in peace.you think i cant differentiate between the Redpepper and the mighty independent?never jump on issues you dont CLICK..
Critical Mass
written by Dr. David Summers, November 01, 2013
As one who enjoys the freedom of the western press, I must admit that The Independent (Uganda) is doing an excellent job and its proprietor deserves credit for standing up for freedom of the press. It is my view that Andrew Mwenda's article is meant to provoke political thought / rationale and it has achieved its intended purpose. I have always admired Ugandans brilliance and their quest for higher education despite their troubles. However, like in any society, Uganda too has some people who seem to be living on 'planet vulgarity' and this so called Winnie is definitely living on this planet. Why one would stoop that low and expose herself in an arena which is far beyond her intellect (if she has any) is baffling.
Critical Mass
written by Dr. David Summers, November 01, 2013
As one who enjoys the freedom of the western press, I must admit that The Independent (Uganda) is doing an excellent job and its proprietor deserves credit for standing up for freedom of the press. It is my view that Andrew Mwenda's article is meant to provoke political thought / rationale and it has achieved its intended purpose. I have always admired Ugandans brilliance and their quest for higher education despite their troubles. However, like in any society, Uganda too has some people who seem to be living on 'planet vulgarity' and this so called Winnie is definitely living on this planet. Why one would stoop that low and expose herself in an arena which is far beyond her intellect (if she has any) is baffling.
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written by Omeros, November 02, 2013
The enforcement of a no fly zone - for which you campaigned - is an act of intervention, no? One that could only ever have constrained Gadaffi, no? If you were true to giving war a chance, which seems to be your thing, I would not expect you to have suffered intervention of any kind. I would have expected you to have argued for allowing Gadaffi to put down the rebellion and to raze Benghazi, as he threatened to do and as his warplanes would have allowed him to do. Because 'sovereignty'!
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written by Omeros, November 02, 2013
But, curiously, you argued otherwise. You called for intervention or, in your terms, the 'secondary help' of outsiders in hobbling Gadaffi for no higher a purpose, it seems, than creating the conditions in which men can indulge their lust for killing other men without impediment or check. That was the help you sought for Libya. Forgive me if I fail to see any value in such offers of help or if I consider those who see virtue in the prosecution of bloody wars of attrition as psychopaths. I did misread you earlier, for which I apologise. I mistook you for having a moral centre.
@Muzinguzi
written by Omeros, November 02, 2013
"Dont wilt, the logic is simple!" It is not only 'the logic' that is simple.
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written by winnie, November 02, 2013
Dr summers am so so emotional and young dont expect me to reason like fellows in their 80's and 70,s why do you read my comments any way and react to them if you feel my IQ is low?
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written by Staff Gen. Adam Kifalisso, November 03, 2013
We are not interested in Winnie's age but her brains , we want to make sure that the future leaders have enough nyonyo in their coconuts .So Winnie your age might be good advantage here but it matters less its almost like having a headless baby, it means the baby is dead useless and needs to be buried .what we contribute here is wisdom and intellect though sometimes misrepresented by Andrew I could excuse Winnie for the confusion and blame Andrew .Anyways we cant do away with humour Winnie provides we appreciate her but not her intellect m life without humour is boring but life without manors is disgusting
Former U.S Diplomat stance on the ICC.
written by Richard Gatete Mugarura Ruzindana, November 06, 2013
Very radical yet insightful piece, Andrew! The onus to better our nations fundamentally and solely lies with us!

And on the ICC issue, here's what Prof. Jendayi Frazer, Former U.S Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs had to say while addressing a NewYork think tank in September (2013): “...The ICC is chasing the wind; the two Kenyan cases have no tail or head; Fatou Bensouda had better drop them before she is humiliated before the whole world; The Kenyan cases at the ICC are a mockery of justice; The ICC is a European court set up to embarrass and humiliate African leaders...!”
African doesn't mean valueless!
written by Akankwasa George, November 06, 2013
The former U.S Diplomat, just like the likes of you, Ruzindana, give the impression that African life is valueless. The ICC was not set up to embarrass and humiliate African leaders .. that is utter arrant nonsense. This court's intention is to send a very clear message to leaders that you just cannot slaughter the defenseless and get away with it. This court's attempts are to try and 'domesticate the African savage mind' .. if I may borrow Nkongih lll's phrase.
the west is the problem
written by fetsum, November 17, 2013
i hope the west follows your crooked view and leave africans alone. but unfortunately the west needs the resource and the puppet despots that provide the resources.
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written by Bonny Walker, March 11, 2014
Just wanna let the whole world know that if not for this lady i met online who used her spell to bring back the only girl i have ever loved, I almost lost her to someone else because she was now keeping distance. She said am some bully head that am wasting her time. I then met a woman whom people where talking about that she is good on reconciling relationships. She brought her back apologizing for ever letting me go. she is all that matters to me. All my thanks to this spell woman priestessifaa@ yahoo. com, She's really powerful with her spell.
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written by Sekou Kasimu, March 22, 2014
Have any of you read "The West and the Rest of Us'"and, "Decolonizing the African Mind", by Chinweizu? smilies/angry.gif Have any of you seen "Winnie Mandela: The Untold Story", and "Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom"? smilies/sad.gif Y'all should!!!

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