UGANDAN ENTREPRENEUR PREDICTS AFRICA IS DESTINED FOR NEXT “ECONOMIC BOOM”

 

jokkene

Mr. Timothy Jokkene inspects his improved breed of cattle at his ranch. He dreams of transforming the economy of war- ravaged acholiland through his bemonstration ranch.

“The West has had their economic boom and it has cooled down. The current boom we see in the Middle East (because of its oil) and in Asia will also cool down. Africa is the next economic boom”

“Africa is endowed with all the best natural resources in the world. Look at its climate for instance. Sub- Saharan Africa has twelve hours of sunshine and twelve hours of darkness. It has good rainfall, virgin land for mass farming, natural pastures, fresh water and minerals”.

GULU-UGANDA: A Ugandan entrepreneur says that the next “economic boom” will be in Africa because the continent is endowed with best natural resources and good climate in the world.

Mr. Timothy Jokkene, who has invested over 1.4 million dollars (over 5 billion shillings) in various enterprises in Uganda, says sub-Saharan Africa has the best climate in the world; with twelve hours of sunshine, virgin land and very good rainfall.

“The West has had their economic boom and it has cooled down. The current boom we see in the Middle East (because of its oil) and in Asia will also cool down. Africa is the next economic boom”, says Mr. Jokkene.

“Africa is endowed with all the best natural resources in the world. Look at its climate for instance. Sub- Saharan Africa has twelve hours of sunshine and twelve hours of darkness. It has very good rainfall, virgin land mass for farming, natural pastures, fresh water, plenty of cheap labor and minerals”, he says.

He made the remarks to a group of Gulu based journalists on May 16, 2017, when they visited him at his ranch located at Lagot-lek village in Gulu district, sixty kilometers north of Gulu town. The ranch is registered as Northern Ranch Limited.

He says the missing link for Africa to take off is the knowledge and technology exchange that the West has and Africa still lacks.

He said Africa is riddled with lots of conflicts because of poverty and the people are redundant; adding that conflicts will only end with massive investment in production of food crops and animals to supply the world market.

Mr. Jokkene appealed to the Africans in the diaspora to return home with their mental resources and help Africa take off economically.

“Time is running out for you Africans in the diaspora. We need your “mental resources” to develop Africa. It is now time you come back home”, he says.

Jokkene’s dream of transforming the economy of Africa

Mr. Jokkene says two of his enterprises, Talanta Microfinance and Northern Ranch, are meant to transform the economy of war ravaged Northern Uganda from small subsistence farming to large scale commercial farming.

He says he has partnered with one of the banks in the Middle East who have invested five billion US dollars to introduce “Islamic banking” in Uganda to help boost production.

He appealed to businessmen and commercial farmers in northern Uganda with good and properly laid down business plans to come for financial support at his Talanta Microfinance instead of running to commercial banks who charge exorbitant interests.

“Islamic banking is already here with us in town. Its primary interest is to help you grow your businesses by enabling you acquire assets like tractors for opening farmlands, warehouses, machineries and factories”.

Talanta Microfinance targets to support 3000 groups of farmers in Acholi sub-regions with ox-ploughs and pairs of oxen to enable farmers graduate from traditional hand-hoes to opening land using oxen so as to boost production.

“If we can make our farmers produce agricultural produce worth $1.4 million dollars in a season and we get market for it, then there is no reason to say that there is still poverty in northern Uganda”

Who is Timothy Jokkene?

Mr. Jokkene was born in October 1958 to the late Batulumayo Ojara, a shop keeper at Ajulu, near Sir Samuel Baker’s Fort Patiko in Gulu district. He was dotted on by his father to the extent that he was the only child permitted to sell in the shop at a tender age.

He developed his skills in business from his father’s shop and by the time he dropped out of formal education after high school in 1983, he had already bought 36 herds of cattle for himself.

Married with four children, Mr. Jokkene was briefly arrested by the Museveni regime and detained at Luzira prison in 1987. After coming out of detention he began serious business in 1989 by acquiring Caltex Petrol Station in Gulu and successfully running it throughout these years.

Currently he runs three petrol stations, a microfinance institution, and a ranch which with 500 herds of cross bred cattle, a secondary school and two health centers.

 

 

UGANDA: IS MUSEVENI’S GOVERNMENT FRUSTRATING PLANS FOR POST-WAR RECOVERY OF ACHOLI?

Below: Pece War Memorial Stadium under rehabilitation using local effort. where is goernment input?

Pece Stadium“What began as a war of resistance, spearheaded by Mr. Museveni against the dominations of armed forces by the Acholi ethnic group from the time when Ugandans were fighting to remove Idi Amin from power in the early 1970’s, has now graduated into alienating the region from equitable sharing of the national cake”.

“Museveni’s main agenda throughout his 31 year dictatorship seems to be that he does not want to see Acholi sub-region, which spearheaded resistance against his rule through numerous rebellious attempts by force like Uganda People’s Democratic Army (UPDA), Holy Spirit Movement (HSM) and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), rise up and shine again”.

 

GULU-UGANDA: Animosities between leaders in Acholi, northern Uganda and the government of dictator President Yoweri Museveni is not about to end.

What began as a war of resistance, spearheaded by Mr. Museveni against the dominations of armed forces by the Acholi ethnic group from the time when Ugandans were fighting to remove Idi Amin from power in the early 1970’s, has now graduated into alienating the region from equitable sharing of the national cake.

The latest animosity is on the re-construction of Pece War Memorial Stadium in Gulu, which would make it also host International Sports events just like the Central region, but government ministers block that effort.

In 2011, the Chairman of Gulu district Local government, Mr. Ojara Martin Mapenduzi, visited the Mayor of Stoke City in the UK, with whom he signed a Memorandum of Understanding to build a multi-million dollar International Sports Stadium at the current site of Pece War Memorial Stadium in Gulu.

When the plan was finally taken to the Minister of Education, Ms. Jessica Alupo for endorsement, she declined to endorse it saying government had earmarked Pece Stadium for re-development and advised the Mayor of Stoke City not to sink his money into it. Her successor, Ms. Janet Museveni also repeated the same statement on September 10, 2016 to the frustration of many in Gulu.

Mr. Mapenduzi has now turned to the local community to raise funds to re-habilitate the stadium on self-help basis to enable it be ready in two months time which should enable the region host East African Secondary Schools sports gala. Some are contributing as little as one burnt brick.

Gulu is set to host about ten thousand visitors who will come for the event; something resented by some people in Museveni’s government.

The result of such actions by government officials are always reflected during elections, where opposition candidates usually beat candidates of the ruling clique; the National Resistance Movement-Organization (NRM-O) party.

From colonial period to the first independent government of Prime Minister Mr. Milton Obote, the Acholi dominated the army, police and prison services, and paid a very heavy price for that historical mistake when Idi Amin took over power in January 1971.

The Baganda from Central Uganda, had significant contributions to these killings because they accuse the government of Milton Obote – to whom colonial masters gave the instruments of independent – of abrogating the Independent Constitution in 1966, thereby sending their King and Ceremonial President of Uganda, Sir Edward Mutesa II, to exile from where he died.

There were mass prosecutions and killings of almost all Acholi soldiers, prison staffs, policemen and the elites in Kampala and other towns. A good number, who survived the purge, went into exile; from where they spearheaded the move to remove Idi Amin from power.

When Idi Amin was finally overthrown on April 11, 1979, the Acholis were the dominant ethnic group among the liberators. A good number among the youths, who had remained in Uganda, also joined the liberators as militias who helped pacify the country.

In West Nile sub-region however, where Idi Amin hails from and had his support base, the militias were accused of conducting revenge killings against the locals, for what Amin’s soldiers did to the people of Acholi during his eight-year rule.

Therefore, when Obote bounced back to lead Uganda again following a disputed election in 1980, Museveni, who comes from Western Uganda,  joined forces with leaders from Buganda and West Nile regions by taking advantage of their anti Obote stance to launch a brutal five-year gorilla war from Luwero in Buganda region which saw many Acholi soldiers in the Obote II army, killed.

Museveni’s main agenda throughout his 31 year dictatorship, seems to be that he does not want to see Acholi sub-region, which spearheaded resistance against his rule through numerous rebellious attempts by forces like the Uganda People’s Democratic Army (UPDA), Holy Spirit Movement (HSM) and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), rise up and shine again.

It is argued that whenever these rebels kill civilians for not supporting them, Museveni would always be happy with that. These rebels were actually doing what his NRA soldiers were also doing. That is why he was reluctant to end the suffering in the region.

For over two decades, from 1986 to 2006, Acholi suffered from the effects of these rebellions. People were herded into concentration camps, lost economic productivities, killed by government and rebel forces, pillage of their livelihood resources like cattle and the introduction of killer diseases like HIV, EBOLA, etc.

From the time when government and the LRA signed the cessation of hostility agreement in 2006, the relocation of LRA from northern Uganda to the aborted Juba Peace Talks, the people of Acholi has been grappling with the problems of re-constructing their lives on their own with very little support, the one hand, and fighting deliberate government projects/ programs which tend to sabotage these efforts.

There is no value for money for all the programs government initiated to reconstruct the region since Northern Uganda Rehabilitation Program (NURP) in the early nineties to now Peace Recovery and Development Program (PRDP) because of endemic corruptions in high places in government.

Even efforts by local leaders in Acholi to mobilize own resources or solicit funds from well-wishers to rebuild the region and uplift it from poverty; you find that government officials frustrate such efforts. There is endemic poverty despite numerous interventions.

Museveni’s possibly last term as president expires in 2021, unless he amends the Constitution to allow him rule for life. Does it mean that government programs meant to benefit the people of Acholi should always be frustrated by state mafias like these two ministers did with Pece Stadium re-construction?

DENNIS OJWEE: AN EXPERIENCE OF A VETERAN UGANDAN JOURNALIST WHO COVERED THE LRA WAR

Below: Mr. Dennis Ojwee (L) and the late Mr. James Oketch-Bitek (R) pause near the helicopter gunship in which they survived a crash in northern Uganda.

Denis Ojwee_ chopper crahs (1)“Luckily for us, it didn’t catch fire but crash-landed in a thick forest, breaking its rare propellers”,

“This was the last and worst experience as a journalist in northern Uganda.  As a war reporter, I wouldn’t say I was a courageous man, but I would just go, whether there was monetary gain or not. Pay was very little, but I was fighting for our people”

GULU-UGANDA: Dennis Ojwee is a veteran journalist who survived three government helicopter crashes as a journalist, covering the Uganda People’s Democratic Army (UPDA), Holy Spirit Movement (HSM) of priestess Alice Auma Lakwena and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) of warlord Joseph Kony wars in northern Uganda.

 

The first time was in June 1997 from Ituri forest in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) when he accompanied former Army Commander, the late Major General James Kazini, in his hunt for the Allied Democratic Army (ADF) rebels who were hiding in the jungle.

 

Mr. Ojwee recalls that luckily for them, the helicopter that had crash landed in the forest didn’t catch fire, after it had been prepared by the Uganda army soldiers to land safely resulting into breaking rare propellers.

 

“Luckily for us, it didn’t catch fire and nobody died in the nasty incident, but it crash-landed in a thick forest, breaking its rare propellers”, recalls Ojwee.

The second time Ojwee survived helicopter crash was in Imatong hills of South Sudan in 2002 during a bombing encounter against the LRA rebel position. As was the case of the first incident, but still,  no one died.

 

The worst was yet to come for Ojwee on June 6, 2004 from Opate village, Atanga sub-county in Pader district in Northern Uganda during a hunt for the elusive LRA leader, Joseph Kony where a government soldier, Francis Komakech was killed when a helicopter gunship came down in a forested area. His torso was cut off and separated from the hips.

 

He was in the company of two other journalists; the late James Oketch-Bitek of the Daily Monitor and a Dutch national who had visited war torn Northern Uganda to get a feel of the on-going war. The aim of this particular mission was to take journalists to the scene where Kony’s signaler had been killed the previous day.

Ojwee recalls that he had to remove the gum-boots from  the dead soldier, adding that he wore them because his shoes had been destroyed during the nasty incident during their journey.

“This was the last and worst experience as a journalist in northern Uganda.  As a war reporter, I wouldn’t say I was a courageous man, but I would just go, whether there is monetary gain or not. Pay was very little, but I was fighting for our people”, says Ojwee.

Mr. Ojwee describes working being a war reporter in northern Uganda at the time as a “very volatile’’ for journalists who were always at crossroads  since they were often labeled as either rebel collaborators by government forces or as government spy by rebels.

“We were at cross-roads since you would be labeled a spy on either side of the divide. It was really very volatile for journalists. There was nothing like press freedom. I didn’t know how we survived”, says Ojwee.

Ojwee’s role in the peace processes (talks).

Mr. Ojwee’s role in the peace processes began with the Betty Bigombe’s initiative of 1994 in Kitgum. He has also been to Garamba forest two times from 2006 to 2009 together with Acholi local leaders when he accompanied them to meet Kony at his new base.

Prior to that, Ojwee has also been to the Senate in the US two times in 2004 and in 2006 together with Archbishop John Baptist Odama of Gulu Archdiocese and other leaders from Acholi, during which visits he had the opportunities to interface with US Senators including former US president Barack Obama.

“I was also privileged to accompany local leaders, including Archbishop Odama to the US to meet US senators on the LRA war which was going on. I had the opportunity to meet Senator Barak Obama, who was later to become president of the US”, says Ojwee.

Post-war challenges journalists face.

Mr. Ojwee says he is not about to retire from active journalism since the war has ended. He insists that there are new challenges of post war recovery and the rampant land conflicts, which came about of the prolonged period people spent in concentration camps, which journalists like him, must cover and highlight.

“If people had not gone to the concentration camps, Acholi would not have experienced land conflicts today. Opportunists took advantage of the return process and occupied other people lands, mostly land which used to be communally owned. I now had to transform from war reporting to post war reporting covering the land conflicts and post war re-construction”, says Ojwee.

Who is Dennis Ojwee?

Mr. Ojwee is now 48 years old. He had a humble start into the journalism profession, beginning as a free-lance reporter, with only an Ordinary Level Certificate paper in 1984 to now his highest academic qualification of Bachelors Degree of Information & Communication Technology. He is married with three children.

His day begins at 5.00 am in the morning with jogging for about two to kilometers before heading to office at 8.30 am. He rarely takes breakfast from home, but prefers office tea between 9.00 am to 10.00 am. He keeps his ears to the ground for news tips once when in office, and makes sure that he follows them on a daily basis before retiring for other duties at the Vision Group offices in Gulu.

“I am a sportsman, a retired FIFA referee, who likes keeping fit. I am also a choir trainer at Church and I am in church every evening from 5.00 pm, after which I head back to office until ten at night. I have very little time for my family”, says Ojwee.

 

 

 

UGANDA: CRITIC OF MUSEVENI LANGUISHES IN JAIL BECAUSE “FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION DOES NOT EXIST”.

Below: Media dialogue in progress in Gulu.

Media“There is this new social media where everybody is crazy about scoop. Don’t you think that what happened to Dr. Stella Nyanzi can affect any other person in Uganda?”

“You have no absolute freedom. Don’t include political sentiments and opinions which are not balanced. You will lose one hundred percent trust because you will create conflict. You have no immunity to the laws of Uganda.”

GULU-UGANDA: As the world prepares to celebrate World Press Freedom Day on May 3, 2017; media watchdog – Reporters Without Borders, reports that eight journalists, two “Netizens” and one media assistant has so far been killed worldwide in 2017 alone.

Netizens is a portmanteau of the words “Internet and Citizens” as in “Citizens of the Net”.

The report further says 193 journalists, 166 netizens and 10 media assistants were imprisoned since the year began.

No wonder, therefore, that, the Global Theme for celebrating this year’s  World Press Freedom Day has been chosen to be: “Critical  Minds for Critical Times: media’s role in advancing peaceful, just and inclusive societies”.

The issue of safety of journalists and the issue of impunity by perpetrators who violate press freedom is critical here.

In Uganda, the day will be marked under the theme: “Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Information to foster more inclusive societies”.

Ugandans also remember April 14, 2017 as a dark day for netizens because this is the day on which a popular critic of President Museveni had been incaserated because she allegedly insulted the person of the President when she called him “a pair of buttocks” in a Facebook post.

Dr. Stella Nyanzi got in trouble with the first family after the President’s wife and Minister of Education, Ms. Janet Museveni, told the nation that government does not have the money to provide free sanitary pads to school pupils. This was a presidential pledge President Museveni made in the 2016 campaign.

Shortly after the announcement of Ms. Museveni, Dr. Nyanzi started using social media to raise money to buy sanitary pads and distribute to primary school girls, a move which did not go down well with government.

In December 1993, the United Nations General Assembly gazzetted May 3, as World Press Freedom Day to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom.

It is for this very reason that Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC), African Centre for Media Excellence (ACME) and Northern Uganda Media Club (NUMEC) organized a regional pre-World Press Freedom Day dialogue for multiple stakeholders to discuss the state of the media today, on April 26, 2017 in Gulu.

The US Mission in Kampala sponsored the dialogue. Similar dialogues were also taking place in Western and Eastern Uganda.

In Gulu, the dialogue was held under the theme: “Freedom of expression and freedom of information to foster more inclusive societies”. Former Commissioner of information, now Gulu University don, Dr. Okullu-Mura, asks if what has happened to Dr. Nyanzi may not affect any other Ugandan.

“Although rights to access of information and freedom of expression are guaranteed in the 1995 Uganda Constitution, we are guided that this right is not absolute. Your right stops where my right starts”, says Dr. Okullu-Mura, in his keynote exposé.

“There is this new social media where everybody is crazy about scoop. Don’t you think that what happened to Dr. Stella Nyanzi can affect any other person in Uganda?”

He says since 1952 when the electronic media (mostly radio) was introduced in Uganda by our colonial masters, owners of media outlets dictate how we disseminate our issues by censoring the content of what we disseminate.

The District Police Commander, Mr. Martin Okoyo, observed that although the police in Gulu are committed to respecting journalists because they are important agents of society, they should report with responsibility.

“You have no absolute freedom. Don’t include political sentiments and opinions which are not balanced. You will lose one hundred percent trust because you will create conflict. You have no immunity to the laws of Uganda”, says Mr.Okoyo.

Another discussant, Mr. Martin Alliker, from the civil society organization, challenged journalists to be a voice of the voiceless by not allowing their writings to be determined by few individuals because the right to freedom of expression is enshrined in the 1948 declaration of human rights.

“As long as we subject ourselves to a few individuals to make decisions, then we are heading for trouble. The truth will set us free. You are the conscience of the common man”, says Alliker.

 

MYTHS AND REALITIES: OBOTE’S 1968 LETTER TO A LONDON FRIEND- PART FIFTEEN

Below: Sir Edward mutesa who was deposed by Milton Obote as President of Uganda.

NPG x73135; Sir Edward Frederick William David Walugembe Mutebi Luwangula Mutesa II, Kabaka of Buganda by Bassano“It is Buganda that has refused to accept the new Constitution, because of Obote and his Northerners. This kind of reasoning suggests that only the Northerners believe in Republicanism”

“For a reputable newspaper to reduce the actions of a Government in such a propagandistic form is to indicate a bias which undermines that reputation”

“Your correspondent was writing politics and politics of those people who advanced in December, 1964, a million dollars to cause trouble in Uganda”

GULU-UGANDA: I have no intention of being a philosopher. I respect both Senghor and Nyerere. They have solved lots of problems. I have also tried to do the same, but with your newspaper, however, the matters are personal. It is Obote who is insecure. It is he who does not want criticisms from intellectuals, whatever that might mean. It is Buganda that has refused to accept the new Constitution, because of Obote and his Northerners. This kind of reasoning suggests that only the Northerners believe in Republicanism.

What about your correspondent’s article in its wider implication to African States? Remove Uganda, Obote and Makerere and make a positive attempt to re-write that article in the context of any African country. But the workings of military governments in the West Coast of Africa will somehow fit into the article. Was this a condemnation of Obote alone, or was it of an African government? And if Obote alone; why! Was it because London would want their man in Entebbe, and that the present man is not theirs? Your newspaper has given us a clue to a number of things which we saw in a hazy manner throughout the Revolution and the State of Emergency in Buganda region.

As regards the position of your newspaper that the extension of the Emergency in Buganda Region meant that it was for the sole purpose “to push people around” which matter must lead one to “assume that things have not yet settled down in two years since the Revolution in which he dismissed the Kabaka of Buganda from the Presidency of Uganda as a whole,” the whole thing is laughable. Let your newspaper bet. I will not bet because it is not one of my pastimes. The real point is why do you explain actions of a Government in such a simple form?

For a reputable newspaper to reduce the actions of a Government in such a propagandistic form is to indicate a bias which undermines that reputation. We can easily do away with the State of Emergency, but when we do so it will not be either because your correspondent, your newspaper or citizens of Uganda who are stooges of foreigners, have said the Emergency must come to an end.

Whatever concern, your correspondent and your paper as a whole must have had on the administration of the Emergency Regulations, this concern must be balanced by concern that we, who are responsible for the administration of Uganda, have in the welfare of the people and their stability. To say that because of the freedom of the press or the printed word, the welfare of the press should be paramount to the welfare of the State is to raise a highly debatable point.

What your newspaper was saying in this context was that because the Government of Uganda decided on the detention of two persons, the decision was vindictive and indicative of how shaky the Government is, and that stability in Uganda can only come about if the former President becomes involved in the administration of Uganda.

Your correspondent was recently here in Kampala. He moved freely and all visitors who come to our country have not noticed that we have a State of Emergency. Kampala and other towns are extending, with new buildings coming up, and there is no single soldier that you will see in the streets of Kampala or any other town, nor a policeman with a gun. Are all these signs of failure? No!

Your correspondent was writing politics, and politics of those people who advanced in December, 1964, a million dollars to cause trouble in Uganda. It is possible that I am wrong in this assessment, but I cannot see any other form of explaining this kind of journalism.

Thank you for being with us in the last fifteen weeks.

 

 

 

 

 

UGANDA: STOP DISCRIMINATING US-LRA CHILDREN AS RELIGIOUS LEADERS CALL FOR END TO WORLD WARS.

ARLPI

the army joins religious leaders in welcoming back home, children born in the bush.

“We have never killed, but why do you discriminate against us?”

“Accept me as your own child”

“No child should be on the street”

“We lack identity”

GULU-UGANDA:  Children who were born to the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebel commanders by young girls abducted from northern Uganda have appealed to Ugandans to take them as their own children without discriminating against them.

Estimates say about 40% of all the children abducted by the LRA rebels from northern Uganda were young girls, some as young as ten year-old, were forced to work as sex-slaves and domestic workers to rebel commanders.

There is no official statistics of such children in northern Uganda but estimates put it at more than one hundred children, most of who, returned with their mothers after they escaped from captivity.

One of the children appealed to the community to treat them as their own without discrimination arguing that they never intended to end up in the bush and did not participate in the killings orchestrated by LRA

“We have never killed, but why do you discriminate against us?” asks Lanyero Evelyn, one of such children of one of the abducted girls, during a prayer ceremony to welcome them home at Gulu town recently.

Mothers to such children find it extremely difficult to re-integrate in the community as their children are rejected by their uncles or new suitors. They resort to raising their children as single mothers.

One of the mothers to such children, Ms. Vicky Oyella recounted the most difficult times of their lives, how they (girls) were distributed to rebel commanders as their wives, some of who are old enough to be their fathers.

“The girl-child who was abducted would undergo through most difficult times during captivity because they were always distributed to older rebel commanders to be their wives. If you refuse, they would kill you”, says Vicky.

According to Winnie Byenkya, one such child born out of LRA captivity in the bush, she wants to study hard to become a nurse and fight to make sure that all children are born from hospitals, not the bush like them.

“Make us good citizens because we lack identity. There is a lot of stigmatization, but do we look bushy? We are bright children although not born from hospitals. My vision is to become a nurse so as to fight for the rights of children to be born from hospitals only, not bush like us”, says Ms. Byenkya.

Another child, Simon Kwoyelo, says he is growing up in the town because he does not know the home of his biological father since he died when he was not yet born. He is studying to become a mechanic.

The chairman of Uganda Episcopal Conference, also Archbishop of Gulu Archdiocese, Dr. John Baptist Odama, appealed to world leaders to stop all wars which destroys humanity.

He wonders why Super Powers still continue to manufacture weapons of mass destruction to destroy humanity yet such weapons should be for the protection of humanity instead.

Archbishop Odama was recently awarded a Doctorate degree by Gulu University for his peace work, especially for his role in ending the LRA insurgency.

“When will you stop being strangers and enemies of one another? Humanity, you should stop wars. Use all the resources of war to promote good health and education. Can you stop war so that nobody can be born in captivity?” says Odama.

Archbishop Odama thanked the mothers of all the children born out of LRA captivity for not aborting their pregnancies or abandoning the children in they bush when they were escaping.

“You were not born by accident. When God says you be a human being, it if fulfilled. God loved you before you were born. I want to thank your mothers for not aborting you or abandoning you in the bush”, says Odama.

Retired Anglican Bishop of Kitgum Diocese, Macleod Baker Ochola II, decried the new culture of defilement sweeping across developing countries like Uganda.

Bishop Ochola says, in Acholi culture, there was no defilement as all girls of marriageable age are always married before the can begin to raring own children.

 

MYTHS AND REALITIES: OBOTE’S 1968 LETTER TO A LONDON FRIEND- Part Fourteen

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Dr. Obote on one-party democracy

“Up to now I have not seen one view in your newspaper condemning the one-party State of mainland Tanzania”.

“In the case of Uganda, if we move the Tanzania way of a one-party State and adopt a policy of socialism and self-reliance, we will certainly be condemned in London; we will be condemned by the whole British press and in the whole of the Western world”.

UGANDA: As regards the view that I was showing “signs of wanting to be a philosopher President, like Leopold Senghor of Senegal or Julius Nyerere of Tanzania”, I have to say that I am a practical and professional politician. My knowledge—and I regret to say this—of President Leopold Senghor is limited, but I know President Julius Nyerere well. I can say that I have learnt from the latter, and hope to continue to learn from him. After all, he is older than me and his country achieved independence before mine.

In the second place he built a strong party, which is the only party in mainland Tanzania and much as writers on Africa should by now know that we in Africa are learning from one another, there appears to be considerable objection even by your newspaper, to Uganda being a one-party State. Up to now I have not seen one view in your newspaper condemning the one-party State of mainland Tanzania. These differences of newspaper views on African countries we understand perhaps much more than you people who write them. Maybe we put the wrong interpretation, but I think in the final analysis our views are correct. If it is the concern of the British press or the Western press that it is wrong for a country in Africa to be a one-party State and if that is a matter of principle, how come that that principle does not apply in the case of Tanzania, but must apply in the case of Uganda or Ghana?

In the case of Uganda, if we move the Tanzania way of a one-party State and adopt a policy of socialism and self-reliance, we will certainly be condemned in London; we will be condemned by the whole British press and in the whole of the Western world. On the other hand, even if we write word for word Kenya’s sensational paper on African Socialism, striking off Kenya and putting Uganda instead, we will again be condemned in London and throughout the Western world. That is the essence of your correspondent’s article in your newspaper of October 27, 1968. It was the article which said, in effect, that I, as President of Uganda, and my Ministers, are self-seekers who want to use our Party, the UPC, to assist us in our personal interests, and that should we move the Tanzania way our self-seeking characteristics will be the motive power, and should we remain where we are or move towards the Kenyan set-up, again our personal interests would be the guiding factor.

The question of stable society in every State in Africa, to be frank with you, is looked at by correspondents or British newspapers in Africa from a very narrow angle and the question, though fundamental, is varied from country to country, depending on the country they are discussing. There is no overall policy by any of the British newspapers in the context of African problems. This includes your newspaper.

I would rather prefer papers like “The Telegraph” which are wholly opposed to Africans except when they are traitors to Africa. Your newspaper pretends not to have a policy of the type of “The Telegraph, but time and again falls into line with “the Telegraph”. It is fair in a battle to know the enemy and throughout the centuries victors have always respected the conquered, but no-one has ever given any degree of respect to a traitor and a hypocrite.

Next week, we shall publish the last part of the fifteen-part series.