On Wednesday 8 February 2023 the Ugandan opposition will demonstrate at NIMD. Their activities have not contributed to democracy but only strengthened the position of the dictator.
The central problem is the country manager of NIMD, Frank Rusa. In it’s actions and expressions NIMD in Uganda does not appear to be neutral, but rather indirectly supporting the dictatorship
Just after the violent and rigged elections of January 14th 2021 NIMD put out the following tweet and statement suggesting the violence came from two sides. Over a 100 Ugandans lost their lives.
According to their certification, the dialogue model of NIMD is only applicable in young democracies. But independent parties such as freedom house do not qualify Uganda as a democracy or young democracy, but as a authoritarian regime.
Frank Rusa, the country representative of NIMD was a (former?) active member of NRM. He later became Head of Legal of the Electoral Commission. The Electoral Commission is one of the most loyal institutions to the Museveni dictatorship. Members and personnel of the EC are appointed by Museveni himself.
Thijs Berman at first denied angrily that Rusa was connected to the Electoral Commission, referring to it as ‘accusations’. When screenshots were shared of Rusa’s LinkedIn profile, showing he was Head of Legal of the EC, Thijs Berman changed the story. Rusa had indeed been working for the commission, but was no member of the EC and those appointments are not political. An expert that we spoke to reacted to the distinction that Berman made with laughter.
After a demonstration had taken place at NIMD head quarters, this is what Thijs Berman had to say about NIMD silence of 2 MPs, Ssegirinya and Ssewanyana, being locked up for years by the dictator on bogus charges.
NIMD task is to promote democracy through dialogue, and parliament is the most important place for this. Removing 2 MPs from this dialogue is a mayor democratic intrusion and can be disregarded as a ‘social justice’ issue.
6. NIMD organised a youth symposium where it invited youth leaders of all political parties. However, Francis Zaake, the well-known leader of the Youh of NUP was not invited. Francis Zaake is known as one of the most outspoken critics of the dictatorship. He critized the dictatorship in parliament, which led to him being removed from parliament functions.
7. During this youth symposium there were presentations by Anne Adeka, Doreen Nyanjura & David Lewis Rubongoya. The twitter account of NIMD gave a false impression of what these speakers had said.
We asked Nyanjura if this was a good summary and she told us “Lol, of course it’s not. Missed so many words [..] that’s why I never retweeted it”
We spoke to David Lewis Rubongoya. His reaction: “I never said that”. The argument of age discrimation has been used to change the constitution illegally to keep Museveni in power. Only a Museveni fan could write something like that without feeling the painful memories of the violence used to remove Age Limit from the constituion.
An MP called Betty Nambooze got disabled after being attacked in Parliament by Security Forces that had promised her they would break her back if she opposed the Age Limit reform. NIMD never said anything about this.
8. After clearly indicating we wanted to submit a complaint with NIMD about their country manager Frank Rusa we were referred the very same man to submit that complaint.
Denmark is highly respected when it comes to Human Rights and Democracy. However, the Danish government is supporting the brutal, violent Ugandan dictatorship.
The Danish embassy, the MFA, and development cooperation know about this and choose to remain silent. However, they continue to morally and financially support a dictator responsible for 100.000s of deaths. The reason for this is geopolitical, Uganda hosts 1.5 million refugees and contributes the AMISOM peace project in Somalia. The Ugandan dictator has repeatedly threatened to end this support.
For example, the Danes support the sham organisation “Ugandan Human Rights Committee”. In it’s report this UHRC states “Uganda’s record of respecting human rights is a household reality”.
This week, the Danish ambassador Signe Winding Albjerg went to the sham UHRC and complimented on their work.
After Ugandans started to confront the ambassador with photos of the many human rights abuses, she closed the comment section on her tweet (see screenshot)
In the past, Denmark has seldomly spoken out to the defense of human rights victims, to mention a few Muhammed Ssegirinya, Alan Ssewanyana, Olivia Lutaaya.
The only exception is Kakwenza Rukirabashaija. He’s a writer who was severely tortured by the son of the dictator, Muhoozi, because of a tweet. Only after the torture had already ended, the EU came out with a press statement that resulted in his release. He fled to Germany and became my friend. The photo of his back shows the grave torture he endured.
The Danish government should know how corrupt the Ugandan government is, and even the Ugandan embassy right under their nose in Copenhagen. In 2020, an audio leaked of a Zoom call in which the staff of the Ugandan embassy discussed sharing the unspent money to their private accounts.
Refusal of NUP to German Foreign Office Conference
Yesterday we, the Uganda opposition, were refused access to participate in this important conference about Strenghening Democratic Institutions in Africa, organised by the German Foreign Office. We find this strange as 45 million Ugandans are (unfortunately) very experienced with flawed institutions. We have not seen any representatives of other African opposition movements either. This is why our banner says:
Don’t talk ABOUT US without INCLUDING US
With us is also Dr. Nico Schoonderwoerd, EU ambassador for the National Unity Platform, which represent 60% of the Ugandan population. In his book Rigged he provides evidence of the election rigging and excessive violence by dictator Museveni. We have copies with us.
The Ugandan dictator Museveni has been in power for 36 years. He took part in wars in Congo, Rwanda, Sudan which resulted in the deaths of about 7 million Africans. He’s the African Hitler. Thousands of people have disappeared. Hundred thousands of girls have been raped. Writer Kakwenza, who was heavily tortured by the son of dictator Museveni, found exile in Germany, but many Ugandans still suffer and are tortured in safe houses. All of this leads to hardly any critism by the G7 countries. The Ugandan dictator could not stay in power without the financial and military support of them. Is this viewpoint not allowed in this conference?
The reason why we are demonstrating is that we would like to talk to you. So feel free to approach us. If you dont have time now, you can do it later.
NUP EU ambassador
Dr. Nico Schoonderwoerd
We thank you very much for your motion for a resolution RC-B9-0409/2022 of Thursday 15 September 2022 in which you address the forced displacement of hundreds of thousands of Ugandans and Tanzanians without proper compensation, and of the gross human rights violations in the name of the EACOP project.
Also in February 2021 you had a powerful resolution condemning the violence by the Ugandan government, asking for an audit into the (rigged) elections results, and requesting Magnitsky sanctions against human rights violators.
Your motion has reminded the world of the atrocities in our beautiful country. In Uganda everyone, and especially political activists, suffer under the dictatorship of Yoweri Museveni. Whether you are fighting for democracy and honest elections, or whether you fight for the environment of Uganda and against climate change.
The Ugandan government propaganda machine has come out to condemn your motion for a resolution. The deputy speaker of the Ugandan parliament Thomas Tayebwa (who is on video torturing an electricity company employee) pretends to be speaking on behalf of the Ugandan people, but he only speaks on behalf of corrupt NRM MPs, who used violence and bribes financed by IMF & Worldbank loans to secure their seat in parliament.
All these propagandists fail to answer the issues you raise in your motion. Tayebwa speaks about the sovereignty of Uganda, but it is the government of Museveni that squanders the resources of Uganda by only having 15% of the shares in the EACOP project. Even the profits of that 15% will mostly go into the pockets of the dictator or be used to buy more weapons to suppress the Ugandan people.
In your motion you are asking Total and the Ugandan and Tanzanian authorities to come up with an alternative, preferably using sustainable energy. It’s important to understand that dictatorships have no interest in the well-being of their people. They don’t suffer from the dramatic effects of climate change and their homes will not be destroyed for building this pipeline. Just like they don’t suffer from the present famine in Karamoja, they really don’t care about human life. They will therefore ignore your request.
This is why you have to urge the European Commission and European nations to stop supporting the dictatorship financially and militarily.
Greetings from the NUPUSA, Inc., leadership team on behalf of the East African diaspora, especially the Ugandan diaspora in the United States and worldwide.
We are writing to inform you that your recent visit with dictator Museveni of Uganda who is responsible for deaths of millions of Africans in East and Central Africa horrified us. Museveni is an illegitimate ruler, who has perpetuated himself in power for over thirty-six years by rigging elections and suppressing the opposition while his patrons — the United States and Europe — turn a blind eye. In January 2021, Uganda held its latest Presidential elections. Although Museveni’s handpicked partisan electoral commission announced him the winner, independent tallies indicated that Ugandans had overwhelmingly rejected the tyrant in favor of Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, also known as Bobi Wine, but per usual, Museveni rigged the results.
Museveni is one of Africa’s worst neo-colonial dictators, serving the interests of the United States, Europe, China and Russia at the expense of ordinary Africans. For instance, Museveni is exacerbating armed conflict in the Democratic of the Congo through proxies, while simultaneously facilitating the plunder of its vast mineral resources by shadowy Europeans. https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy0664
When Akon and Kanye West consorted with Museveni in 2021, the diaspora furiously shamed them via social media and the press. You are fortunate that we have decided to approach you differently. We chose to engage you with information that avails you a rationale to immediately discontinue your association with Museveni and his officials including your host, Uganda’s Agriculture Minister, Frank Tumwebaze. Your reputation and image are too precious to get caught up in their criminality and shenanigans.
We urge you to disassociate yourself from Museveni due to a litany of crimes he has committed including gross human rights abuses, plunder of African resources, anti-black utterances, and perpetuation of modern-day slavery through a “labor externalization” policy.
Museveni has committed many atrocities since shooting himself to power in 1986. The atrocities include mass murder in Northern Uganda and a particularly gruesome massacre in the Kasese region of Uganda. Museveni atrocities in Northern Uganda were narrated by survivors and participating military generals in the documentary titled: “A brilliant Genocide:”
Atrocities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: https://www.theguardian.com/law/2010/oct/01/uganda-un-war-crimes-congo The Democratic Republic of the Congo filed and subsequently won a case against Uganda in the International court of Justice due to Museveni’s atrocities and plunder of the country’s resources:
Imagine a situation in which Americans are shot, abducted or incarcerated indefinitely for supporting either Biden or Trump during elections. That is precisely what Museveni has been doing in Uganda for over twenty-six years – he did not allow for elections at all until 1996, his tenth year in power. The violence against the opposition has escalated each election cycle since. The period before, during and after the January 2021 elections, Museveni orchestrated the worst election related violence in the history of Uganda. The Ugandan army abducted and killed hundreds of Ugandans. Thousands of opposition party members, including elected officials, are still languishing in prison without trial.
Human Rights Watch and several international media, including the New York Times documented the abuses:
In November 2020, Museveni arrested Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu (“Bobi Wine”) his main opponent in the then upcoming January 2021 elections. When Ugandans protested, Museveni unleashed his military, killing over two hundred people over a course of two-days, though the regime only acknowledged fifty-four deaths. Worse, Museveni characteristically hailed the military for its murderous actions.
The September 1994 Atlantic magazine quoted Museveni saying: “I have never blamed the
whites for colonizing Africa; I have never blamed these whites for taking slaves. If you are
stupid, you should be taken a slave.”
Museveni also referred to African chiefs many of whom tried to resist colonialism and slavery as
“idiots” while giving a speech to European diplomats. Evidently, Museveni is a disgraceful neocolonial dictator, whom no right-thinking African, or person of African descent should associate
with. Incidentally, Museveni is a conman per excellence. He mesmerizes Africans when he talks
of Pan-Africanism while practicing neo-colonialism and fragmenting Africans through divisive
and exclusionary ethnic politics and policies.
Modern Day slavery
It is not surprising therefore that Museveni is knowingly superintending over modern-day
slavery. Despite ruling Uganda for over thirty-six years, Museveni has not created employment
for Ugandan youth, whose true unemployment rate is over 80%. Instead, he promotes a “labor
externalization” policy which ‘exports’ Ugandans through labor export companies many of
which are owned by his regime officials and their associates. But the policy amounts to modernday slavery. A 2019 report noted that in some regions of Uganda girls were being sold on open
market for as low as $14, and then exported to the middle east, where they are re-sold.
Even the girls who leave voluntarily suffer the same fate. They are promised goods jobs by the
labor export companies, but when they get to the Middle East their passports are confiscated.
They are then forced into domestic labor, working very long hours with little or no pay. Many
are also sexually abused and tortured by their ‘employers.’
Worse, labor externalization in Uganda is closely interlinked with an organ harvesting syndicate
allegedly involving Museveni’s own family:
For those and other reasons, we request that you publicly disentangle yourself from Museveni
and his officials. Incidentally, your announcement of a new drone technology for Uganda
unwittingly stirred up horror images in Ugandans’ minds because vans which Museveni’s
military uses to abduct innocent Ugandans off the streets and forcibly disappear them are
known as drones.
Like your character “DJay” in your seminal 2005 film, “Hustle & Flow,” Ugandans are essentially
hustling to survive very tough conditions. Many youths are engaged in the creative arts
including music, drama and film. But like your character Glen Holland in your 1995 film “Mr.
Holland’s Opus”, they are short-changed because Museveni — like Principal Wolters in the film –
prioritizes funding Science and Math over the Arts.
The situation in Uganda is very volatile and complicated. It does not neatly fit into a formula like
your concept of “Terryology.” It can severely impact your reputation and career by your mere
association with the principal actor, Museveni, and his associates.
We are looking forward to your response to our appeal. Our next course of action, no later than
one month from now, will be determined by what you choose to do.
Joseph Senyonjo, Board Member, NUPUSA, Inc
On behalf of NUPUSA, Inc’s leadership team