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The problem with Africa

The problem with Africa: If our countries remain poor, it’s because its leaders and elites are too kind to their people to force transformation

THE LAST WORD | ANDREW M. MWENDA | Last week, President Yoweri Museveni tweeted a picture of himself pushing a bicycle in some village “promoting” an irrigation scheme. It was a masterstroke in the politics of dealing with peasants whose support he desires. The problem was the medium of broadcasting his initiative – Twitter.

The Uganda social media crowd dislike Museveni. Being educated and urban, they see agriculture as a reflection of backwardness. I agree. No country where most people depend on agriculture for a livelihood is rich. Trying to help peasants become better at what they do may be good politics and even improve their lot but it cannot transform them. The future prosperity of Africa will depend on ending the peasantry.

Ending peasantry has historically been accompanied by brutality, as I will demonstrate later in this article. African leaders, including Museveni, have been accused of being brutal towards their citizens. This, it has been argued, explains Africa’s inability to transform from poverty to riches. Yet African leaders do not seem willing to employ the level of brutality that countries in Europe used to eradicate the peasantry.

For many years I believed it is the brutality and greed of African leaders that kept our people in poverty.

Today I want to stand this argument on its head and argue that Africa is poor because its leaders (and elites broadly) are too kind to their people. This is because they have not broken free from primordial values of the peasants in villages from which the vast majority of them come. So they lack autonomy in the formulation of their values and decision-making processes.

This change of mind came from years of introspection and reflection. It was inspired by my love of philosophy, which has led me to read history voraciously. I took my lesson from Lord Bolingbroke via Will Durant that “philosophy is history teaching by example.” But most critically, it was inspired by Socrates who taught that “philosophy begins when one learns to doubt, especially to doubt one’s strongly held beliefs, dogmas, and axioms.”

When reading the history the Western world, especially the United Kingdom and United States, I get appalled by the violence and brutality ordinary people had to suffer for capitalist transformation to occur. Even a casual reading of novels by Charles Dickens on the UK and John Steinbeck on the U.S. is enough to horrify anyone about the tragic effects of this transition.

In the UK, masses of people were displaced through wholesale land-grabbing called the “Enclosure Movement.” The aim was to open up these lands for commercial agriculture; to rear sheep – because wool had become very profitable. What followed? Deprived of his right to use common land, the peasant could not maintain himself as a farmer. And since there weren’t factories to employ him, he became an agricultural worker – reunited to the same land through the agency and initiative of capital – or became a beggar, a robber, often a pauper.

The English parliament, terrified by paupers, passed laws tying them in designated workhouses which one clergyman called “Houses of Terror”. Those found wondering (often looking for work) were declared vagabonds and would be whipped, branded, and mutilated. That is how the UK created an industrial working class out of the peasantry. The government and elites of UK were not “kind to their people” as many British citizens and African elites reading re-written British history have come to believe.


  1. On this point, I agree with Mwenda fully that in order to transform the masses’s livelihood one needs to introduce drastic measures. It requires a benevolent dictatorship(like is done in the military), do away with parliamentary sittings in a designated building,marshal a military that works productively and eliminate crime in its totality by abolishing courts and professional judges and lawyers. Communal courts officiated by laymen of integrity are more potent,just,fast and satisfactory to aggrieved parties. It was so proved in Rwanda ‘gachacha’courts that the whole world was awed at how fast a back-log of criminal cases can be dealt with. Lawyers and judges hate communal traditional courts because it eliminates their dubious ways in that it is done in broad daylight. Unemployment is caused by job-seekers being selective and speculative. We have it on the authority of JM Kariuki that “If a person will not choose what work,what salary an what workplace they want, everyone will find work to do”. Taxes are good if they are used for the common good but when they are misappropriated,embezzled or spent on vain things, it hurts the payers that they start evading. It is easy to make tax-evasion counter-productive. If say Ejakait embezzles monies and builds a highrise apartment building but cunningly registers it in the name of his in-law, it is well and good, just tax it heavily and do a good audit on the in-law’s source of the fund. You don’t need ISO to do that. The general public will volunteer the info complete with proof. Txes should be mercilessly imposed on the people so that they work and spend in a disciplined manner. But then an embezzler should also be penalised such that embezzlement will be unattractive. It all requires a benevolent dictatorship. I am reliably informed President Amin had not single business, commercial building or even any rental estate. Such a man who is not greedy despite all opportunities at his disposal. is the right benevolent dictator if he will not do the things they say Amin did.

    • Very sweet words to read. I feel like staging acoup in Uganda to become a benevolent dictator. Why can’t such amiracle be made to happen by force????

  2. RWASUBUTARE, just for once, I said to myself, let me not be the first to comment on this topic. And what does the man from Nyangole do?He almost says all/exactly the things that I wanted to say.

    That ofcourse does not mean all has been said.

    YES, M( is right in some aspects and not so right in others.

    AS you rightly say, what we needed was a benevolent dictator, and that is exactly what KAGAME has done, just like we all do in our homes.THIS government had a lot of GOODWILL when they came, which goodwill they did not use , or completely misused. In the process they have done things they should not have done and not done things they should have done.

    First and foremost M 7 was clueless about how a country should be run and was immersed in idealism, the same accusation M 9 has labelled against the opposition, sometimes rightly.M 7 was obsessed with populism over reality. The reason you Rwasubutare will refuse your child/grandchild to eat sweets knowing the danger.

    AS MWENDA says, M 7 has been tough and brutal but only in as far as it helps him to stay in power. SO he is prepared to do things that will please his peasants, like abolishing graduated tax and school fees, rather than to crack the whip and tell them to get off their backsides and earn a living pay taxes and take their children to school, the same evil he is blaming the colonialists for.

  3. AS they say, and M 7 has also said it, there is a time for everything. Crying, laughing, working , playing, sowing , reaping. IN our case, we want to or have reaped before we sow.Take the example of universal education. According to M 9, and he is right to a certain extent, we do not have enough money. SO , what was the reason of introducing(free) universal education at the time we did? REASON- POLITICS, because it was an idea that had been mooted by the opposition.THEY should have passed into law , a requirement for all to take school going children to school, but required the parents to pay some or all the fees, according to their means.The measure was taken before its rightful time, at least in financial terms.
    YOU and I would want our kids, if we have any , say to drive cars, have children ( sex), but it has to be at the right time, as was proved, with disastrous effect recently, re the Ndejje students.

    LIKEWISE the abolition of graduated tax was POLITICAL.MOST Africans need to be compelled to do certain things, and one has to be given an incentive( coercive ) to make them work.IN the olden days, people took pride in paying graduated tax. An old man in my village who had reached the exemption age refused to stop paying.His argument was that there was a beggar called OKULA who did not pay tax. Did they want him to be like Okula. His sons had to pay tax util his death. By abolishing tax and fees, the government has made people lazy, and old habits die hard. People are used to or expect the state to do everything for them ( gavumenti/ M 7 tuyambe), its now hard to turn round and tell people to work when you have inculcated a culture of idleness and begging in them.

    • Universal Education(so called) which is provided freely is neither education nor is it free. It is window dressing. Vaccination is “injecting a killed microbe in order to stimulate the immune system against the microbe, thereby preventing the disease the injected microbe would cause”. I will give an eye witness example. My daughter was “sure beyond doubt” that mercury is colourless. I had to buy a 15k thermometer, break it and show her that it was silvery and opaque. She said “then that is not mercury” Now honestly, is it the teacher or the teacher’s employer/payer who should be hanged? Misleading youth is punishable by death(that was the charge against Socrates) because it is vaccination against the REAL knowledge. School fees should have been maintained and bursaries maintained and quota maintained so quality would be guaranteed. Graduated tax was first assessed and a minimum figure arrived at. I know and saw an assessment form which detailed what the taxpayer did for a living and (hear me well here Ejakait and Ateenyi) because there was no adult person who could not earn; (yours truly grew and sold cotton at 10 years); the assessment form declared as a minimum that the bearer cultivated 1 acre of cotton. Cotton and all other crops that sold for ready cash were grown and harvested twice in 12 months. District Administration had surplus funds and posted positive figures;all from the graduated tax. Embezzlement (if there ever was) was unheard of. The word UNEMPLOYMENT was nonexistent in Uganda. Whoever wanted to work worked and got paid. But like I said before (quoting JM Kariuki) you had to accept work,work-place and salary as availed. Even today it can be done. If Universal Education isn’t vaccination, then why do we have graduates who cannot know that half is bigger than quarter because of the denominator 2 being smaller than the denominator 4 or that 0.25 is smaller than 0.5 ? Do you think they will accept to go back to Primary 4 where they teach fractions and decimals? There lies my vaccination theorem.

  4. NOT only is there the right time for doing things, there is ORDER. AS they say, even madness has order in it if we are to believe the lunar (lunatic) theory.

    LIKE M 9 and RWASUBUTARE have said, if right at the beginning while the goodwill was there, the government(M7) had taken a tough stand towards certain things, people would have come to regard it as the norm.YOU can not allow your children to be wild when they are 12 and then want to rein them in when they are 18.

    IF when M 7 came in he had said all those implicated in corruption were to be shot or locked away for life, he would have been cheered to the rafters.BUT the disease has been allowed to grow, just like you allow gangrene to grow, so that instead of amputating a toe, you end up amputating the whole leg.Corruption has become the norm, both to the receiver and the giver, so much so that if it is not demanded someone thinks there is a catch, like they say, it sounds to be too good to be true.

    SO now to try and curb it is next to impossible because it has become a STOCKHOLM SYNDROME where the giver is probably more willing than the taker.It has become a situation where the giver proposes ( propositions) the taker.

    A tough stand is what has made RWANDA under KAGAME almost corruption free. IT was known right from the outset, whether you were a soldier, close to Kagame, or you claimed to have played a part in the war, that corruption was out of the question and that Kagame would deal with you personally without wasting time with courts and judicial nonsense.SO ,it has become embedded in the mentality of the people.

    AND like Rwasubutare has said, despite his shortcomings as a human being, KAGAME is firm and has RWANDA and its people at heart and he wants them to stand tall.

  5. Dr. Eng. Kant Ateenyi

    It is true, early capitalism that forced the north west of the globe into a social-economic step change relative to the rest of the world was brutal to the peasantry. That we have always known – and more: it just did not stop with the western Europe peasantry. In line with fundamental laws of Nature (read Thermodynamics if you are science oriented), Europe just couldn’t contain the ‘bad mannerism’ within itself – and so, it had to export this ‘bad mannerism’ apparently to grab land elsewhere but mainly to ease (read equilibrate internal stresses). So, you had the massive governments-supported migrations from Europe to wherever they could find least natural and human resistances. The intention was to depopulate the new areas of existing humans and repopulate them with the ‘excess’ of their kind. Isn’t that how Australia (the harshest continent on earth), all the Americas – north to south, came to be ‘whitish – or pinkish if you want to be ‘naughty’?
    Where they failed such as in most of Africa and India, the fall back position was to ‘colonise’ or ‘capture’ (a common South African slogan) the minds of chiefs and opinion leaders so that both labour and natural resources could be grabbed for the service of capital back home.
    What is today’s problem with Africa therefore? It is that the likes of Mwenda in his hyperactive youth, and many (perhaps all?) political leaders’ thinking has been effectively captured. You see friends, even an older and hopefully ‘wiser’ Mwenda wants to think that capitalism as practiced by the Europeans is the way to take us out of universal poverty. I disagree. To the extent that it creates extreme inequalities among humans and to the extent that Man’s needs (whether poor or rich) are uncapped, there will always be internal society stresses that must be relieved one way or the other. As is today, Africa is too fragmented to allow such stress relief. And let it be clear to all, the ‘captors’ are never going to allow such relief to occur without a fight – (if for example you can make sense of USA’s so called warning to some EA states on second hand clothes).

    • Nice to hear from you, you got us worried, thinking the water shortage had taken its toll on you

      • Dr. Eng. Kant Ateenyi

        My brother,
        Your worries and thoughts were right to the point!!
        Been extremely busy on what to do to ‘benefit’ from the crisis – but now so called ‘Day Zero’ has been pushed to mid June. The ‘stupid’ day may never come after all! You see, on the day Zuma was kicked out, we had a storm in Cape Town – and for the first time in my 10 year stay here, I saw hailstone like we sometimes have in Ug. Drizzles (here they call it their rain) have been falling – may be twice a week since!

        Cheers Brother – and thanks for your concerns.

        • It is quite ironic that a country that has everything in plenty can lack the most basic and abundant mineral on earth; Water. When I read about Day Zero, I was reminded how wealthy I am. sadly, some rivers are drying because of cultivation upstream. Care should be inculcated into youth to conserve water before they see what Cape Town is awaiting with fear.

          • Dr. Eng. Kant Ateenyi

            HI BROTHER,
            These people do not have much more than we, in East Africa, do: Fresh Water is a very serious issue down here. They have the oceans almost swallowing them. To get fresh water from sea water is a nightmare in terms of energy needs. But then, they have coal, Uranium and plenty of solar energy. Problem is confusion in converting these energy resources into a form that would be most suitable to desalinate sea water. The technologies are there – and are very mature (Harsher Australia survives that way). In my article in one of the dailies last week, I pointed out some of the problems. A subsequent one on solutions to the crisis (including own efforts that have of late kept me off this forum) will discuss others.
            Your observation on drying rivers in Ug must be taken very seriously by all better informed people. That is a sure path to desertification and to near future gloom for the Nile basin.

    • Bhoryiaak Isaac Mayen

      Dr. Kant Ateenyi,
      To enable citizens achieve desired standards of living is to empower them, it doesn’t mean extreme capitalism.
      it means being Confucianist. if Africa is to change there’s much need for radical policies aimed at benefiting the peasant person whom the “contemporary West” and their followers like you believe are being mistreated by brutal development oriented leaders like Paul Kagame and Late Muhamaar Qaddafi (RIP).
      There’s no any better justification for the backwardness of our countries than laziness being encouraged by politicians and elites like you.

      • Dr. Eng. Kant Ateenyi

        Oh Brother Mayen!
        Me, thinking Kagame is mistreating his countrymen – or me encouraging laziness – or being a ‘West’ follower? No brother, you have got your facts or deductions ‘upside down’. Do a little more research if you have the time and will!

        Cheers and enjoy yourself.

  6. Sometimes I like M 9 in the way he defends his arguments and by extension some of the people, especially our bad leaders.I would not on the one hand hesitate to hire him to defend me on account of the vigor , passion and conviction he has in his arguments. On the other hand, I would be reluctant because of the baseless nature of his arguments, something that might annoy certain judges ending up giving you a harsher sentence.

    IN this case, he is asking the judge to consider a “lesser” offence for his clients ( the bad leaders) – they are just not harsh enough; they are morally tied…………..” and drop the charge of “greedy and brutal”. AND not only is he asking for that, he is asking that the judge add the “opposition and the elite” to the charge sheet as co-defenders ( partners in crime).

    THIS is a case of pleading MANSLAUGHTER where one has been charged with MURDER , but to the victim either one is a HOMICIDE , premeditation in the one count notwithstanding.

    IF and when leaders want to use the brutal and strict approach in this the 21st (even 20th) century, they too must be prepared to come along on the journey. KAGAME and MAGUFULI for instance are walking the talk with the citizenry. When Kagame introduced land reforms in RWANDA, no one was exempt, including himself. Ditto vehicle policy.Here in UGANDA we want to regulate the pay for civil servants, yet MPs and other privileged employees like Kagina, Musisi etc are paid astronomical salaries.Our hospitals and schools are in a sorry state , yet the privileged are flown out for treatment at taxpayers expense. Chairman MAO , just like NYERERE , despite their mistakes, were on the same journey with the WENYEINCHI (as opposed to our WANAINCHI.)

    • I cannot help it but post a few quotes by wiser men of old who had all the time to observe and nothing to obstruct them like the present-day pastimes a la Internet,whatsapp,international politics and other small things that crave for unnecessary attention. Because my leaders crave for material possessions at the expense of their peoples’ welfare and basics it is important to remember:
      1.Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction.
      2.Greed is not a financial issue. It’s a heart issue.
      3.Greed is the inventor of injustice as well as the current enforcer.
      4. Excessive wealth is like sea-water; the more we drink, the thirstier we become; and the same is true of fame.

  7. I partially agree with u Andrew on this. Take the case of International NGOs here with their white benefactors promoting access to land for peasants. If you asked them (the whites) if they themselves own land in their countries, or if they have close friends or relatives that do, they will say no. But…they are in fact far wealthier than all of the masses they are advocating land access for here. I have never understood the logic of a man or woman owning 10 acres (even 2 or 5) of land but they are impoverished!! What we need is allocating land to individuals with access to capital, they invest and provide valuable jobs to the rest. Government should invest in the education and health of the masses so that we have an educated, healthy workforce which can be employed by the capitalists. After all, why do the peasants currently need land? To be able to grow food. Once people can earn a decent income, they will buy food and other necessities produced by capitalists. Food should be grown by large commercial farmers, not peasants. This revolution needs courage and cannot be done by politicians greedy for power and who seek cheap popularity to retain power.

    • Bhoryiaak Isaac Mayen

      If only this article was there last week, it would have very much backed my coursework assignment very much correlated to the topic here,
      Picking a quote from this article, “The other restraint could be the unwillingness of the international community to tolerate it”.
      the above quote kills the whole thing because the question was asking whether developing countries should consider development before human rights or human rights before development to achieve development itself? to which i concluded.
      In conclusion, giving priority to development from the onset appeals and achieves more desired results than championing human rights first approach. In his book “kicking the ladder away”, Ha Joon Chang, states that Western countries are detaching themselves from human rights violation committed in the past, by championing and promoting human rights activism, free trade, deregulation of economies among other unfavorable fronts in the present, to disillusion the world of their past grave human rights violations during the colonization of Africa, the slave trade era, during the Two World Wars, and at the time of industrialization. Another author Walter Rodney, in his 1972 book, “How Europe Underdeveloped Africa” shows how Africa was deliberately exploited and underdeveloped by Europe during the colonial time, it is no surprise to say that, during African colonization, there were unimaginable amount of human rights violations. Even at the contemporary time, America for example in 1998 bombed Al Shifa pharmaceutical factory in Khartoum under the pretext that Osama Bin Laden manufactures chemical weapons there, people like Amin Mohamed and Fadil Reheima lost their limbs and hearing respectively because of the bombing, Amin said as quoted from Guardian, “The walls just disappeared, one moment I was lying down, listening to the sound of planes. The next, everything was smoke and fire. I didn’t know there were such weapons.” Khartoum has since then not produced medicine and this was an underdevelopment and violation of human and country’s right to development. In Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, among others human rights and development brought to complete destruction by militias backed by America and Russia among others and none of them is saying anything because they are the ones purporting those fights. To give human rights the number one priority before development is to do a disservice and continuously underdevelope and even recolonize the developing world, because granting human rights according to Lee Kwan Yew, is to allow the other party to impose their perspective on the people. Thus, to me, developing countries which so much crave for development should consider development first and human rights later.
      To achieve development in Africa, people must be coerced to understand that, their life is their responsibility, Singapore was very successful in this. thumps Up Mwnenda.

  8. MAYEN, strange that you use the phrase ” kicking the ladder away”, which expression I used sometime last week in reference to the current regime in the way they are treating the education system among other public services. My contention then was that the current RULERS having gone through our good education and health system, have literally “kicked the ladder away” in that those same schools that they went through only half a decade ago , can not even produce a secondary school going child. The same hospitals they were born in have become places to go and die and they now send their children, relatives etc for treatment abroad.

    I partly allude to your article in as far as putting development needs above human rights, but I said this in my earlier article , that there is an ORDER in which things are done. When this government came to power, they had all the goodwill to impose a “no humans rights rubbish approach”, just like we were given the “no party ” concession , which was readily accepted by all including the international community, which was at the same time pressing KENYA to open up its political space.

    THIS is what KAGAME has done .

    BUT once you put the idea of human rights in peoples heads and they start to consider it as a right, you can not now turn around and take away those human rights.Like they say, once you take a dog from the village(rural) and take it to a town(urban) area, you can not take it back to the village. I used the example of giving your 12 year old liberties and then wanting to take away those liberties when they are 18.

    • I am beginning to fear that we may be seeing a very bad ending of what we had hitherto held as a joke. No food for police. No money to pay suppliers their pending debts (some dating back to 2016) Amin ‘the murderer’ is reported to have said during his farewell address in Jinja:
      “You want me to go but one day you will lament that maybe I was good for the country after all,” he said. “You will then look for me but you will not find me.” “People will cry after me but they will not find me,” to which the crowd answered “Agende Kajambiya”. But then, at its worst,during Amin’s regime, people ate and drunk to their fill. Land was available for farming to whoever needed it. This criminal wave is simply proof of anarchy. This Susan Magara lady, whose family I was acquainted to since 1968 is a shocker. She is now rested from all pain but where are we left?

      • VERY sad about this young lady. BUT just as the police is crying about money, they suddenly find 100m for information about her killers. This is what drives people to have bad thoughts, because how come there was no prize for EKALUNGAR, is it a post code sort of thing, that is where one comes from.

        • Francis Ekalungar’s case was a bit different from Susan’s. Francis was betrayed by an insider. His killers were quite easy to identify and apprehend. They neither requested for ransom. They just wanted the money and then eliminate the witness. So Francis was not possible to save. With Susan, the people are crying for the killers to be availed by the police. The police have no option except to get them, refund some or more of the ransom money, then pay the reward. My fear is only one and it is a big one. If you recall the murder of Mr Wilberforce Noah Wamala in Feb 2012 in Mutungo. Dr Elizabeth Kigozi Wamala, his widow spent much money,brains,personnel and time to get to the bottom of the matter despite obstruction by police. Now it was mentioned(in her findings) that AIGP Kaweesi (RIP) released convicts from custody to go kill Wamala then return to custody. How do you arrest such murderers when they have such water-tight alibi? My fear is founded on that precedent because it has been established(and correctly by none other than M7 himself) that there are criminals in police. So maybe it would be wise to also extend the reward to prison and to policemen too.

  9. MOST of our leaders, in addition to being brutal, thieves and uncaring, are also populist in nature and in the case of M 7 , it is electioneering 24/7, like BETTY TWIROMU KAMYA said before she saw the colour of FEZA, this regime is about “the next ELECTION,” rather than “the next GENERATION”. The reason M 7 promises the hapless LANGO women sanitary pads instead of providing them with the means to buy their own.

    IF the accusation is that the RULERS and the opposition as well as the elite have been too soft, or not hard enough with the population, no one is more guilty than M 7.

    Everything that M 7 does is to enable him stay in power. Among the things he has done to lull the people into laziness and dependency , is as I mentioned, and fully supported by RWABUSUTARE , is the abolition of graduated tax, and the introduction of FREE universal education.Other crimes are the balkanisation of the country through the creation of countless districts. The creation of “interest group” electoral positions, so called women MPS and others.

    Effectively this is “booby trapping ” the nation , because it will be impossible for any incoming leader to try and reverse the situation.

    ALL the moves made by M 7 and his government are meant to entrench POVERTY and SERVITUDE.

    There is no need, in the present 21st century of forcefully grabbing peoples land in order to put it under commercial agricultural use, just like you would not have to take peoples labour at gun point. IF there is work and people are paid fair wages to do the work, they will do it willingly.

    LIKEWISE, if the people are educated about the value of land, they will and should be encouraged to go into partnerships with those who are able to use the land commercially. That was how the BIBANJA system worked. People who had land and could not use it, leased it out to others who were able to use it commercially. That is how you have all tribes like the Iteso, Japadhola, Bagisu etc in BUGERERE. They went as bibanja holders to grow cash crops, mainly like cotton and coffee as well as matooke on land leased from land owners.Both parties benefited , the kibanja holder thrived, just like the land owner.

    • Learning ends at death I now agree. It is in this post that I have understood how bibanja owners and their tenants relate. It is symbiotic and could remain peaceful forever if maintained. Similarly, land that is owned by a clan can be leased to an investor or any any other user …. but with a provision to be ejected at the clan’s wish. Government (central) came recently and clan has been around since creation. So the senior should prevail fullstop.

  10. OUR rulers today, can be likened to the WICKED CLEVER ( not words I would have wanted to use in the same breath) stepmother.

    The story goes that there was this woman( family) who had two daughters of her own and a step daughter. A king had promised that he would marry a girl from the their village.The stepmother, whose daughters were a little less pleasant on the eye ( to use modest words) went about ” grooming” all the three girls in preparation for the impending selection. SO she would set out and give chores to the three girls, with the harshest of the tasks reserved for her two daughters(yes, you heard me right). Her step daughter was given the less taxing, and afterwards told to have a bath and beautify herself, a quality which of course the king was bound to look for.

    EVENTUALLY the day arrived and the kings party came to look at the girls . AND the qualities they were looking for were exactly the qualities, courtesy of the hard tasks their mother had given them, the woman’s daughters had. The girl who had spent most of the time manicuring her nails, did not warrant a second look since she failed even the first task that was set for her.

    THIS, is a situation I have experienced in real life, where a friend grew up with her stepmother after her mother died at an early age. The situation was made worse when even her own father passed away. Her stepmother, who had two boys, went about making this girl do all the chores in the house, much as the two boys did their fair share of work. She once told me that if she had the opportunity then, she would have probably killed her step mum. But she says , her step mum once sat her down and told her ( just like AMIN said, “mwanawange olinsiima ngenze” meaning “my child, you will appreciate me when I am gone)

    TODAY, there is nobody she loves more than her step mum, who thankfully, she has not had to wait til she is gone to appreciate her. She flies from PRETORIA every mothers day to go and be with the woman she says molded her into the successful person, wife and mother, that she is today.

    • Training is what it all means. Train harshly and you will operate comfortably….. especially if you compete against the less (or sparingly) strained. The body and mind are so made that : “if you don’t use them to maximum stress, you lose them”. God made (hu)man to walk and work. The step-mother molded this lady to perfection.

  11. 1.Ladies have stopped following Andrew on twitter because of the current profile picture and Fifi is a dictator.
    2.Is Africa ready for radical reforms and do we need reforms i dont think so why do i say so its because as the rest of the world was moving at an even pace Africa was still in the dark. tell me which reform will stop Africa from importing Drugs,medical equipment,technology etc?
    3.Africa has a balance of payment deficit because of importing more products and exporting less.
    4. ideally; reforms should benefit the poor but instead in Africa; the poor have alot of senseless economic power especially with regard to land utilization.
    5.Freedom,Democracy and rights should be tailor made and contextualized for Africa for example Stanbic Bank has no branches in London,Russia,USA its coz they understand the African market.
    6.Its sheer luck that Ug has M7, Nigeria is Africa’s biggest economy but her president is always on sick leave then those whose presidents are fine 24-7 are still stuck.
    7. I know Rajab does not understand how traffic lights work he understands xmas lights;
    now that the speed hump at lugogo has been removed it makes sense to have traffic lights there.

  12. WINNIE,you know some of us are not British born lawyers,tell me,are humps an alternative to traffic lights and vice versa and do they serve the same purpose so that if a junction has traffic lights ,you can remove them and put humps, and if there are humps on a straight road where there are no junctions, you can remove the humps and put traffic lights?

    And what have you to say about the unfortunate death of Susan and the state of insecurity and the Fountain of Honors rumblings on sim cards, cctv cameras, mbu bumalaya and drunkardness . REALLY, people are crying and grieving for their beloved one and you talk such rubbish.

    • That lady (Susan) has got on my mind and has refused to go away. Her death is so painful that I don’t know whether it will ever go away soon. How could a whole president fail to negotiate for release of a captive woman? maybe we don’t have all the facts but I think the captors wanted her blood. I refuse to believe that M7 was in the picture when Susan was still alive and left her to be killed. I am listening to the audio every now and then and it is heart-breaking. No human can manage to punish these people who killed Susan. I now believe unreservedly that this kidnapper knew and was known to Susan. The emotional voice in the audio points to that.

  13. ejakait engoraton

    GOVERNMENT BIGGEST KIDNAPPER/ABDUCTOR. AT the moment, the government of Uganda, and by extension its so called security agencies (police, army, CMI, ISO) and its personnel are the biggest culprits.

    When a so called “arrest”takes place and it displays any of the following characteristics , then it is an abduction/kidnap.

    1. An arrest that is not backed by an arrest warrant.
    2. An arrest where the arresting person/s do not identify themselves.
    3.An arrest where the arresting authority is not known.
    4. Where the person being arrested is not read there rights- right to silence and right to legal representation.
    5.Where it is not known where the arrested person is taken for detention.
    6. The person is not allowed to contact relatives/friends/ a lawyer(WINNIE).
    7. The person is taken to an non gazetted place.
    8. Not produced and charged within the legally constituted time.

    All these and other things have been happening and will probably continue to happen under this regime.IT has mainly been happening to the opposition and those who are considered to be enemies of the state, but the situation was bound to go out of control.

    The government has sown the seeds for this activity to turn in to an industry and all of us have cause to worried.

    I listened to the recording and I could hear a very COLD, CHILLING and calculating person, a person whom it can be determined that he must have known SUSAN (RIP), and as far as I am concerned, she was a dead person the moment she was abducted because she must have known her kidnappers.

    THE person is a well spoken person, and I am made to wonder if it was just about the ransom. They seem to know the family and seem to intimate, when the mother asks for a reduction, that the family is capable of coming up with the money.We are told that they knew every move the family was making, when they contacted the police, when they contacted and got in touch with M7, when they drew the money and how much they drew. Even when he asks whether MAGARA is back, it seems like he just wanted to establish if the lady was telling the truth, because they knew.

    AND he mentions “the people I deal with” and then mentions the security organisations and then mentions INTERPOL?????????

    THIS is a person who knows when Interpol comes into the picture where crime is concerned, so is/was there a FOREIGN element to this crime?

    OUR prayer is that the perpetrators of this crime are arrested and brought to book, and that our RULERS put in place measures to stop something like this happening to another family.


  14. Dr. Eng. Kant Ateenyi

    Mwenda’s article looks at government being ‘soft’ to peasantry. But actually, it is also soft to elite criminals as well. Going by the corruption/murders/kidnaps/rapes/road usage indiscipline in the country, the level and intensity of crime calls for drastic action to deter even a thought in that direction. This politicking to handle ‘criminals’ in so called civilised ways ought to stop. Surely we cannot continue that way – where criminals even negotiate for 3 weeks to receive booties for delivering dead bodies. Museveni has speculated on DNA and electronic identification of everyone in the country – but he seems to be mourning that the systems won’t allow him to follow through with his speculation. Well, he has done many things normally out of ‘normal civilised procedures’. Especially now that he is virtually assured of uninterrupted rule till I don’t know when, he must muster all his energies to impose his will on these criminals. Let him go back to his pre 1995 days and effectively rule by decree. If he means well in his speculation, we do not need the current law and judicial systems. Even if it means being ‘guilty until you prove yourself innocent’, the French way, so be it. We will come back to the British system after almost everyone has become scared of committing such heinous crimes.

  15. 1.Why were Ugandans reluctant to register for IDs and have their sim cards registered?It because a section of Ugandans benefit from disorder in society.I personally was surprised to see government plead with its citizens to have their bio data captured in the national data bank.
    2.The following clues can help to trace the cause of Suzan’s death(i)Suzan could have been killed because she identified some of the kidnappers(ii) Suzan ‘s dad should open up and tell police whether he had business conflicts with anyone (iii)The kidnappers wanted to also kill suzan’s father especially when they requested that he physically hands over the money.(iv)The family made a mistake when they handed over the money without the knowledge of police otherwise police for easy tracking, could have put a chip on the person who delivered the money.(iv)The phones of all personnel who were assigned the task to trace the kidnappers should be scrutinized otherwise there is evidence that there was a double agent in this case probably even the IT people for example; if someone changes the phone he is using during a crime within 30 minutes he wouldn’t have moved so far so what happened to the satellite system?

  16. ejakait engoraton

    YOU can not agree/disagree with someone all the time. So , such is the case with most of us on this forum, with regard to M 9 , and also with regard to ourselves, the contributors, which is a healthy thing, I would think.
    IT is in this vein therefore that I partly agreed with M 9 that African countries do not have to resource envelope, in monetary/financial terms, as as well as manpower.

    I did have my provisos though. SO how come that a country that has no money to buy a few or repair life saving cancer(x-ray) machines, has to borrow to pay salaries, the police has no money to carry out basic operational tasks, has the money to buy( even if in the future with oil money in mind) CCTV equipment and set up a palm/fingerprint, DNA database.

    THE answer is that it has the ingredients of the factors that I mentioned earlier for the criteria that enables a project to take place in Uganda. IT is for regime protection and is an opportunity to steal money.

    Cancer machines do nothing to help M 7 stay in power, but the CCTV , tear gas, water cannons etc will. Likewise , if the project is worth say 500m , more than half of that money will be stolen, and chances are that , like the road repair equipment, and the fact that this will be considered very urgent, the president or presidents office/ state house will carry out the procurement.

  17. ejakait engoraton

    WINNIE, the reason for peoples reluctance is lack of confidence in the system.This is not only in UGANDA, as you will be aware that even in the UK, your own country, there is a very strong lobby of people who are against the installation of CCTV cameras, the eavesdropping on phones, e mails and other forms of communication even when the authorities have to go to court to get an order , say to search your house or listen to your communication, in a system that is regarded as relatively fair.

    OUR systems are subject to manipulation and lack the safeguards that are needed to make them safe. I know for instance that they can hijack your sim card and use it without you knowledge, just like I can access you phone records.

    Even by his own admission, the president admitted that the police, and believe most of the other institutions as evidenced by the recent refugee crisis, is riddles with corruption.

    SO, do not blame the people, blame the system.IF you have no confidence in a financial organisation, would you put your funds in their coffers.

  18. ejakait engoraton

    KIDNAPPING is a slightly more complicate form of crime, than say even a robbery. A lot of planning goes in to a kidnapping and because of the complications involved, even more organised criminal organisations with a wide range of facilities and personnel , like the MAFIA, do not usually involve themselves, unless it is absolutely necessary. The MAFIA for instance would rather kill ( Italian solution) than involve themselves in kidnapping.The risks are usually very high.

    The kidnappers, who have to have a network of some sort, have to carry out a lot of groundwork and have to decide a lot of things. When and where do they kidnap the person from. Where do they take the person. Is the route safe.The mode of transport. Will they have to dispose the car in case of witnesses to the kidnapping.They will have to know how to contact the persons family. How do they receive the ransom. How do they look after the victim without arousing suspicion from the neighbours, passers by.

    IF the deal is successful and ransom is paid, how do they release the victim, if at all. Did the victim recognise any of the captors, see the vehicle used, or have an idea of where they were being held.

    ALL these and other factors are what the police is going to have to put into consideration. AS WINNIE said, Mr MAGARA may have to come clean. The manner in which the kidnapper was appealing to the mother was as if to tell them that they both had something to lose , and nothing to gain by contacting the police.

    BUT my gut feeling is that this is someone who is connected to the security agencies, someone who probably made the fatal mistake of not imagining that a recording would be made and who was sure that for all that was involved, the stakes stacked against Mr MAGARA, that it would be a quick transaction.WHEN he learnt that the police and M 7 had been contacted, he was angered and the reason for cutting off the fingers, as a warning.

    IF , therefore it turns out to be an internal job, the real culprits might be arrested, and then a different set of people will be paraded to the media and the public. Already we have heard them being branded “terrorists” , so no surprise if we get some ADF people paraded.

    I AM sure the police can narrow down the search to a MUNYORO/ LUNYORO speaking , educated, well spoken person(man) , and I would imagine there are not many of those around.

    BUT criminals learn very fast, next time do not be surprised if the voice is SCRAMBLED.

    • “……they claim they were released on police bond by Mr Kaweesi himself. After completing the mission of killing the late Wilberforce Wamala, they were re-arrested by the Violent Crime and Intelligence Operation Unit (VCIOU) which was then commanded by IP Nixon Agasibwe.
      On interrogating them, they confessed they operated under the umbrella group called Black Jesus. The group was made up of Bashir Mukungu, Muhammad Juma Ntabwe, Shafiq Mukasa, Ronnie Musitwa and Fred Mugabi aka Julius Mujulizi under whose command they operated.
      Andrew Felix Kaweesi had assisted them to get out on police bond to murder Mr Wamala. I have also been provided with the address in Kitintale were they camped up overnight on the nights before and after the murder.
      The four suspects are currently in Luzira prison on charges of murder and aggravated robbery vide Kawempe police station CRB 11/8/13 but one Fred Mugabe aka Fred Mujulizi is still at large and is believed to be hiding in Tanzania……” THIS IS A STORY FROM INSIDE LUZIRA as narrated by the Let the reward include a PARDON for any past crimes,convictions and investigations signed by the powers-that-be and let the a religious leader be the APPOINTED RECEIVER of the information; or else you will hear a full-scale invasion by ADF….. known in security as diversion.

  19. ejakait engoraton

    Hope no wrong impression given by saying not many of those around, all I meant was that the field is greatly narrowed

  20. eeh! this article by mwenda is very misleading, i hope no body with power reads and believes it. its good to read history and learn from it, but you are bound to make the same mistakes as history tells us if you try to use old century methods/solutions to solve modern day problems. even if mwenda quotes facts of history yet its not enough to say that thats the right approach to the pressing issues of todays society. as a christian and more so a bible teacher, i can not use historical books in the bible to teach doctrine, the times and circumstances are s different it will be a gross error. why? because, i live in the era or dispensation where Gods grace is the supreme actor in our rship with God. There are things not permitted of me now when i have Gods grace which in the historical books where permitted. there are seven dispensations in the bible, thefirst wasthedispensation of innocence which ended in genesis 3 after the fall, then there was covenant, then promise, then government, then grace, then therewill be after this millennial reign of christ. now during the dispensation of promise in which Abraham isaac and jacob lived upto the time God gave laws to moses (government), men could marry many wives, and it was not a sin, but when the law dispensation came in it became a sin and when Jesus came he said i have not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it . meaning he was coming to give us power/ ability (grace) which we didnt have to obey the law. now if as a preacher who teaches the word of God in this dispensation say well to avoid fornication lets do as abraham did, will i be right? owing to the dispensation/time i live in vis a vis abraham. So its based on this that i say mwendas article is misleading. i can also use a family setting to illustrate my point, when does corsion in a home work best? when children are young, youths, middle age or adults? now compare that to what andrew is saying and you will see my point. if when raising your children you teased them and forced them to do things, when they become teenagers and youths, will you revert to your old ways to get them to do things because they worked for you earlier, will you succeed? andrew is suggesting that which i repeat is misleading. what i think needs to be done is study the current problems of the country and find viable solutions.

  21. Mwenda, just like us all are entitled to his opinion, but this piece coming from someone who rubs shoulders with the rich and most powerful is disingenuous at best!
    In the words of Harvard ethicist Louis M. Guenin, intellectual dishonesty is Intentionally committed fallacies in debates and reasoning. Nothing could be custom-made for M9 than those few words!
    Whatever is left of M9’s virtues is surely devoured by the pens or is it sausages he uses to peddle these litanies of Economic deceptions.
    Uganda’s economy is by no mean driven by Capitalist ideals! at it’s kernel is what David Harvey would call “Accumulations by dispossession”. It’s an absolutely unjust system!
    Mwenda writes as if poverty is a preserve of the people of Luuka and Kaabong districts. Brother, right now the government of Uganda must borrow to meet the wage bills of it’s workers, even when most have already lost counts of the number of months gone without pay.
    Mwenda knows all too well how some few Ugandans “fought” their ways out of poverty, leaving a greater percentage subjected to abject poverty, which he hope are whipped out of poverty.
    M9’s lethargic diagnosis and prescription for Poverty in Uganda is such a vicious triumph for the ruling cabals!
    I will agree with Mwenda, if only if he sell off his fortunate, donate it to charities, pick a few cash and a one way ticket to Moyo or Buyende and begins the fight out of poverty.
    If not then i prefer lectures by the likes of Justin Bagyenda (Over UGX. 20b fat account), Hon. Margaret Muhanga (Sells a few eight-legged goats at UGX. 11b), Sam Kutesa (Taking $500,000 just for connecting that wire), Basajja Balaba (UGX. 142b directly from the treasury), the list is endless.
    Mwenda’s article expose him as a “Bad Samaritan” (Dr. Ha Joon Chang words).
    Fighting Poverty begins with people of Uganda gaining back Sovereignty! Just a few articles in Mwenda’s Magazine illustrates the viewpoint:
    “Amuru woman power is new civic weapon”, written by RICHARD MUGISHA on 6TH/May/2015,
    “Museveni defends ‘fake’ gold dealer” Written by HAGGAI MATSIKO on January 8, 2018.
    “Locals fights Chinese over fishing”
    M7 found a government structured for Poverty fight and dismantled that with a stroke of a pen.
    Vibrant Co-operatives went with the Okellos. Next was the divestiture of Public Enterprises. The final fatal blow, which turned out to be a huge blessing in disguise, was Land in the 1995 constitution!
    These and the “Ten Point Programs” were replaced with new terms and phrases like, corruption, Nepotism, Patronage, Bribery, Cabals, “Order from Above”, “Supplementary Budgets”, “I’m NOT anybody’s servant”, “I own the treasury”, etc!
    I can say with zero contradiction that No body desires Poverty and the ultimate war will be fought in bushes with sweat, blood and agonies!
    It’ll be an imposed war for Justice!

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