pill http://contenthog.com/pr/wp-includes/class-http.php geneva; font-size: small;”>I returned to University after the holiday re-energised. Uganda was still recovering from the vagaries of the Amin Junta.
He warned against tribalism (look at the top Generals in the army today) and said even in Amin’s regime, some Banyankole like Ephraim Rwakanegyere a former Senior Police Officer were Amin’s henchmen.
He also introduced a friend of his from South Africa called Ibrahim Gora, a freedom fighter based in Tanzania.
In Kamuli, Museveni blasted those who wanted to demonstrate against the postponement of elections; and Obote for having returned to Uganda without consulting anyone.
He said UPM was all-weather and that it changed tactics but not direction.
He rejected the idea that Uganda should invite foreign observers during elections.
Addressing a UPM fundraising party in Kampala which was attended by Rhoda Kalema, Princess Nalinya Ndagire, Mrs Freda Lule Blick, Mr Agondua Tee and George Magezi among others, Museveni said UPM would never accept anyone taking power by force. He accused UPC of misusing government organs for party purposes and gerrymandering of constituencies, and accusing it of monopolising the media. (Exactly what is happening today)
At another fundraising function for Mbarara and Bushenyi branches held at Fairway, he said Africa was tired of leaders who cling to power against the wishes of the masses. (Today he is the proverbial gooseberry who has been in power for more than 26 years)
He predicted that UPM would take four out of seven of the Mbarara seats, two out of five in Bushenyi and would take all the seats in Kabarole and Rukungiri
In Mbarara, Museveni said Obote had always suspected him of being a spy based on the fact that he was not related to him.
He accused Boniface Byanyima and Francis Bwengye of resurrecting DP at the expense of the nation.
UPM through one of its lawyers Gideon Mutanga Akankwasa requested court for a temporary injunction to restrain the Electoral Commission from carrying out registration of voters. However the case was thrown out because the Judge Mr Justice Allen made the case “ex parte” since non of the five respondents appeared before court. It was then that Museveni urged all supporters to go and register.
FALLING IN LOVE WITH NRM
Museveni to me was my man and UPM was the way forward .
Unfortunately UPM campaigns were deemed to be full of threats so much so that some people failed to figure out its objectives.
However the population, to a large extent, expressed their admiration of the ideas and opportunity presented by the young organization, but was pessimistic regarding its electoral success.
Pessimism was justified, because the new organisation simply had no time and resources to organize effectively nationally; and UPC was already positioning itself very stridently and superciliously to rig the elections and seemed to have what was essential for them to do so successfully.
Meanwhile UPC organised a 4000-strong student match around Kampala to show its strength. Bulls were slaughtered and beer was in plenty. (What NRM now does at Lugogo) They were later addressed by Obote, Adonia Tiberondwa, Ephraim Kamuntu and Wilson Okwengye.
The elections were fought on the basis of constituencies. The party with the highest number of parliamentary seats would form the government and its leader would be President. UPC “won” the elections with 74 seats which was more than 40% of the Parliament and under the constitution it was mandated to choose a President. DP managed to get 51 seats.
UPM despite fighting against all impossible odds lost. Museveni was defeated in the Mbarara North constituency by the DP candidate Sam Kuteesa. During a campaign rally at Kenshunga, Kuteesa had told the electorate that Museveni was a pathological liar never to be trusted.
Obote had also instructed his voters to ensure that Museveni didn’t make it to Parliament and that they should rather vote for the DP candidate. “I don’t want that war-monger in Parliament, I cannot work with him”, Obote warned.
Museveni was booed and heckled at all his campaign events in his constituency. In Burunga he was spat at, in Buremba he was called a vagabond, at Kashongi his small convoy was stoned, and he received a hostile reception in Kazo where they called him all sorts of names from a tramp to a mufuruki.
There was no way he could win the DP-leaning constituency and I really felt for him. It was humiliating for a leader of a political party to be defeated at parliamentary level.
Also defeated was a Toro’s King (Omukama) Prince Patrick Kaboyo standing on a UPM ticket and he was defeated in Kabarole Central by DP’s Pancras Kaboha who had been my teacher at Nyakasura School.
UPM had 76 candidates but only managed to gain one seat, that of Kasese North where Dr Crispus Kiyonga defeated UPC’s Musa Kiwusu. It was in fact a protest vote after the murder of the 32 year old DP candidate Victor Muhindo by UPC functionaries.
However, due to the hostile situation Kiyonga failed to take and subscribe to the Oath of Allegiance and of MP within the first 30 consecutive sittings of the Assembly after his election and he was forced to flee the country. All other UPM candidates failed including John Sekaziga, Eriya Kategaya, Jack Sabiiti, Nkobe Ngobi, Mujungu Nyanja, Victor Bijurenda, Agondua Tee and Fred Kamugira among others.
In Bundibugyo, there were orders that the only MP from the area should be its UPC candidate Bwana-Mbere. But it was difficult for the retuning officer and District Commisioner (DC) Vincent Tinkamanyire to rig the elections for him since DP’s candidate and the first doctor from the area Dr W.M. Sikyewunda had won by over 95% of the vote.
(Bwana-Mbere was later killed by our forces under the command of Col Apollo Marufu when NRA captured Bundibugyo in 1985 as he was armed and tried to attack us).
On 15th December 1980, Obote was sworn in as President. Museveni as promised went to the Bush on 6th February 1981.
There was harassment of all those who were in UPM, yet the majority of UPM leaders did not know that Museveni had left for the Bush.
In fact Secretary General Bidandi Ssali and Kintu Musoke were very upset upon finding out because they had not been told.
The UPM Secretary for Women Rhoda Kalema was soon arrested and accused of commanding a battalion in Ssingo and that she had been seen cooking for Museveni on Kaaya’s farm.
At University, harassment of UPM supporters took its toll.
The UPC youth wingers had never been so active. All this harassment was under the hands of the Kampala District Commissioner Nsaba Buturo
He orchestrated a campaign called Panda Gari (Jump on to the truck) a notorious and deadly way of so-called guerilla identification.
They didn’t know who to arrest – because they were not sure who was in UPM or not. Some people were made to board trucks and taken to safe houses in Katikamu and Namanve where a number disappeared, while others returned battered and bruised like Napoleon’s army returning from the battle of Waterloo.
It was a tense and difficult time. God help you if Buturo suspected you of being a UPM/NRA supporter or sympathizer. He was in fact responsible for many youth scampering to the bush because of his viciousness. (He later served as Museveni’s Minister of Ethics and Integrity-and now threatens to sue whoever tries to unleash his skeletons from the cupboard)
I remember him in Katikamu together with the Director of Military Intelligence Serwano Kabogorwa and the Security Minister Chris Rwakasisi screaming their heads off that Museveni would never be President of Uganda, come rain or shine because he did not have a “vision”.
Security forces later invaded the University looking for the Guild Leadership as they could not stomach a leadership that was anti-government. In many developing nations, student politics can be quite influential and therefore is seen as threatening to repressive political regimes.
A number of students were captured and taken to safe houses. For the first time I saw students using pistols on fellow students. One UPC minister Massette Kuuya would come to inveigle the UPC student leadership.
I had a cousin David Mirama who was Minister of Entertainment in University Hall and a UPC diehard. He is the one who used to leak all that they were planning to do. We were physically harassed so much that Hannington Karuhanga and I took refuge at my sister Lois Kazoora’s apartment on South Street.
The Guild President Opiyo Oloya had to flee into exile while Mwalimu Musheshe our former headboy at Nyakasura was tortured and missed a year of studies. Rita Musoke who had been a Chairperson of Africa Hall was taken to an unknown place. A lecturer Beatrice Bateyo Kemigisha was captured and never seen again.
Outside campus, murderers were on the rampage. Prominent among those who were killed were Lt Col. William Ndahendekire who was killed at his home in Rwobuyengye in front of his kids on July 15th 1981; Hon Prof Joseph Ruremenkuba Muhangi (MP for Bushenyi North) who was killed on the Kampala Masaka highway on 16th April 1981; Hon George Bamuturaki (MP for Kabarole North West) who was gunned down at Kisementi; Noah Mwesige-Ndyanabo who was the Managing Director of Uganda Data Services; Masembe Kabali; and Dr Ibanda among others. My own area MP DP’s Bernard Buzabo fled the country.
One day after the last lecture before lunch, Joshua Mugenyi had just lectured to us and gone to his flat. As we approached Mitchell Hall we found it surrounded by military men.
We got concerned that Joshua could have been arrested and killed. But when the army men asked for Mugenyi, they were mistakenly directed to the nearby Mugenyi Flats. When they didn’t find him there, they proceeded to Mitchell hall where he saw them from his third floor apartment and ran down the stairs.
One of the soldiers met him on the stairs and asked him where Joshua Mugenyi was and he directed them upstairs and he continued walking towards Centre for Continuing Education (CCE) to Jinja Road. We were all worried and thought he had been killed. After a few weeks, our other lecturer Mahmood Mamdani told us that Mugenyi had arrived well and safe in Nairobi.
Meanwhile his wife Mary feared to stay in the flat and under the cover of darkness she called me and I assisted to carry some of her belongings to her sister Naome (now Mrs Nasasira)’s room in Mary Stuart Hall. Her other belongings were kept by Kyamureku and Sam Nkutsi. Imagine it was a UPC student who wanted his Lecturer to be killed.
When we took over power I remained close to Mugenyi while he was Secretary Bank of Uganda and he would provide me with vital information when I was in Parliament.
His wife Mary later joined me in Parliament as MP for Nyabushozi. (When he died in 2002, I went to bury him in Kitwe, Rukooni, Ruhaama at the Rwanda border. President Museveni arrived late hence delaying the funeral. Mary who had already made her speech had to repeat it. I got back to Kampala at 4am.
At the funeral Museveni attacked Augustine Ruzindana. (the former Inspector General of Government). Turning a funeral into a political melodrama was a sign of no respect to the bereaved family. As for his wife Mary Mugenyi, she was to decampaign me at a function in Mbarara 24 years later – Ekyebba juuba).
Continues on Monday