BATTLE THE MIGHTY GENERAL
HE IS FINISHED
The Great Majestic Bald Eagle-The National Bird of the United States of America. It is a symbol of Power, strength, and thievery-as it does steal sometimes. Job 39:27-30; is it at your command that the Eagle rises to the heights to make its nest? It lives on the cliffs, making its home on a distant, rocky crag. From there it hunts its prey, keeping watch with piercing eyes. Its young gulp down blood. Where there’s a carcass, there you will find it.
Isaiah 40:31; But those who trust in the lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like Eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.
EAGLE ONE....................................................4 EAGLETWO....................................................5
From Third world to first world...........................7 The King Who Ruled Nothing.............................10 People Power....................................................12 2010-11 Tunisian Revolution............................13 The Main Problems Of Uganda..........................18 One Safe Option For Uganda..............................21 A Possible Coup D’etat......................................30 Contaminants of Nonviolent Campaigns.............34
Key Steps On The Path To A Nonviolent Revolution....42 Methods/Weapons Of Nonviolent Action...................42 The Methods Of Political Noncooperation..................47
INTRODUCING THE NONVIOLENT REVOLUTION.....54 Mission.................................................................55 Key steps on the path to the success of NOREV-Uganda.....................................................56 Immediate demands...............................................57 Cause and Vision...................................................59 Guidelines of the struggle.......................................63 Reasons for the use of nonviolent strategy................65
nce upon a time, there was a large mountainside, where an eagle’s nest rested. The eagle’s nest contained four eggs. One day an earthquake rocked the mountain causing one of the eggs to roll down the mountain, to a chicken farm, located in the valley below. The chickens knew that they must protect and care for the eagle’s egg, so an old hen volunteered to nature and raise the large egg. One day, the egg hatched and a beautiful eagle was born. Sadly, however, the eagle was raised to be a chicken. Soon, the eagle believed he was nothing more than a chicken. The eagle loved his home and family, but his spirit cried out for more. While playing a game, on the farm one day, the eagle looked to the skies above and noticed a group of mighty Eagles soaring in the skies. “Oh”, the eagle cried, “I wish I could soar like those birds.” The chicken roared in laughter, “You cannot soar with those birds! You are a chicken and chickens do not soar.” The Eagle continued staring, at his real family up above, dreaming that he could be with them. Each time, the Eagle would let his dreams be known, he was told it couldn’t be done and that is what the Eagle learned to believe. The eagle, after time, stopped dreaming and continued to live his life like chicken. Finally, after a long life as a chicken, the Eagle passed away.
Man was visiting a farmer one day and was surprised to see a beautiful Eagle in the farmer’s chicken farm. “Why in the world, asked the Man, have you got this Eagle living in with the chicken?” “Well, answered the farmer, I found him when he’s little and raised him there with the chickens. He doesn’t know any better, he thinks he is a chicken.” The man was astonished. The Eagle was pecking the grain and drinking from the watering can. The Eagle kept his eyes on the ground and strutted around in circles, looking every inch a big, over-sized chicken. “Doesn’t he try to spread his wings and fly out there?” asked the man. “No, said the farmer, and I doubt he ever will, he doesn’t know what it means to fly.” “Well,” said the man, “let me take him out and do a few experiments with him.” The farmer agrees, but assured the man that he was wasting his time. The man lifted the bird to the Top of the chicken farm fence and said “Fly!” He pushed the reluctant bird off the fence and fell to the ground in a pile of dusty features. Next, the undaunted man took the ruffled chicken/Eagle to the farmer’s hay loft and spread its wings before tossing it high in the air with the command “FLY!”
The frightened bird shrieked and fell ungraciously to the barnyard where it resumed pecking the ground in search of its dinner. The man again picked the eagle and decided to give it one more chance in a more appropriate environment, away from the bad example of chicken life style. He set the docile bird on the front of his pick-up truck next to him and headed for the highest point in the country. After a lengthy and sweaty climb to the crest of the mountain with the bird tucked under his arm, he spoke gently to the golden bird. “Friend, he said, you were born to soar. It is better that you die here today on the rocks below than live the rest of your life being a chicken.” Having said these final words, he lifted the Eagle up and once more commanded it to “FLY!” He tossed it out in space and this time, much to his relief, it opened its seven-foot wingspan and flew gracefully into the sky. It slowly climbed in ever high spirals, riding unseen thermals of hot air until it disappeared into the glare of the morning sun. The man smiled and thought how happy he was with his days work. Individuals, organizations, and even Nations have a dream to realize. But sometimes they let their dreams die because they have been told that it is impossible to achieve such a dream, or the way they decide to behave makes it impossible for them to achieve their dream, and sometimes they’re let down by their leaders who once in power serve themselves and rule over the people by brutal means. While other Nations like Singapore, groups/organizations, and individuals achieve their dreams and even supersede them.
FROM THIRD WORLD TO FIRST ( LEE KUAN YEW)
ingapore is an Island that was once colonized by the British. After gaining internal self-government, Singapore became part of Malaysia on 16th September 1963. The merger was short-lived and Singapore separated from Malaysia on 07th August 1965. Under the leadership of Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore underwent great transformation to come from ‘Third World to First’ in less than three decades. Lee Kuan Yew led Singapore from 1959 to 1990 when he chose to step down so as to enable a stable leadership renewal. As the co-founder and first Secretary General of the People’s Action Party (PAP), he led the party to eight free and fair democratic election victories from 1959 to 1990. Other than its location, Lee Kuan Yew knew that since Singapore had no mineral resource to dig from the ground, the only resource that could be the basis for its economic development and prosperity was its labor force. So Singapore hoped to compete favorably in the global market by producing cheap labor with technical skills that are unavailable elsewhere in the third world. With a combination of a mixed economy, availability of skilled labor, an incorruptible bureaucracy, and political stability and security Singapore was able to attract foreign industries. The other key to Singapore’s development was the upgrading of infrastructure, streets, roads, and a World class Airport, and a 7
non-partisan well equipped professional armed force. Most importantly, Lee Kuan Yew understood that the greatest asset he had was the trust and confidence of the people of Singapore which he was careful not to squander by corruption and misgovernment. This kept Singapore’s multilingual, multicultural, and multi-religious society united. Although divided into several races, Lee Kuan Yew believed that a fair and even-handed policy would get the people live together and peacefully especially if such hardships as unemployment were shared equally. Severe unemployment and a housing crisis were solved by embarking on a modernization programme that focused on establishing a manufacturing industry, developing large public housing estates and investing heavily on public education. And because of these and many more, Singapore’s economy has grown by an average of 9% each year since its independence in 1965. By the 1990s, the country had become one of the world’s most prosperous nations, with a highly developed free market economy, strong International trading links, and the highest per capita gross domestic product in Asia outside Japan. All what Singapore did to prosper has been copied by African leaders and it is on paper but what has failed is implementation. Implementation has failed largely due to the corrupt nature of most African leaders. Presidents in Africa tell the public that it’s the public servants and accounting secretaries and their ministers who are corrupt but they do nothing to punish them. For foreign aid reception purposes all institutions to check theft of public funds are legally put in place by African governments but in actual sense do nothing apart from prosecuting the small and weak and also persecuting those who have fallen-out with the regime. Selective prosecution is nothing but persecution. Lee Kuan yew explained why he was able to lead Singapore for long and also be able to help it prosper. His answer was that he 8
never deceived the people of Singapore and that he never tolerated theft of public funds. Among other things he vaccinated corruption by strengthening public institutions, and also by putting in place and enforcing the law to limit the amount of money used in political campaigns. He said that once politicians use a lot of money to come into office they have to find ways of getting back that money and the only way to do so is through corrupt means. When asked how a nation can put corruption under control, his answer was that; “corruption can be controlled to zero level only if the executive has the will to do so and also by use of the Nation’s intelligence agencies.” In Africa, the leaders are not willing to fight corruption. They instead use the intelligence system of the Nation to oppress political opponents and suffocate political freedoms so as consolidate themselves in power. But when inequalities become so evident by the widened gap between the poor and rich, the people have no option but regain their power by overthrowing the parasitic dictatorship. That is the way things happened recently in Tunisia and Egypt leaving Ben Ali and Mubarak ruling nothing. Libya’s ‘king of kings’ has fallen and maybe others south of the Sahara are on their out if they don’t save the situation when still early. Dictators are so weak and not strong as they usually make us believe.
THE KING WHO RULED NOTHING
he king who ruled nothing is a whimsical parable about a cruel King who ended up a lonely pauper when his subjects stopped obeying his commands. It was published in the October 2005 Issue of Global Bits, a news letter from New Zealand. Once upon a time there lived a cruel King who ruled with an iron fist. He was the most powerful King in the world, with a powerful army and an abundance of gold. One day the General of his army came to him with some rather bad news. “Your lordship,” said the General, “my men are tired of war. They are tired of bad food and mud and blood and they wish to come back home. We have already conquered half the world and the royal treasury is bursting with gold. The men think enough is enough.” “The men think?” screamed the King. “What do I care what the men think? The men do not rule this Kingdom- I do. Hang the men who will not fight.” “I have your Highness. I’ve executed hundreds. But they still will not fight anymore. Now the executioners are refusing to hang any more soldiers.” “Then hang the hangmen,” ordered the King. “Me personally? I’m afraid I couldn’t do that. They are all close personal friends.” “Then I will have you hung. Guard! Seize him!” But try as he might, the King could not find anyone willing to arrest the General. “I’ll kill you myself then,” screamed the furious King. Just then the palace guard came in and announced that hundreds 10
of women and children were gathering outside the palace gates and demanding that their men be allowed to come home from wars. “Tell them to go home,” said the King. “We have,” said the guard. But they won’t leave.” “Have them hung then.” “We don’t have enough ropes.” “Arrest them.” “We don’t have enough dungeon space.” “Then let them stay there until hell freezes over,” shrieked the King. “How will we get supplies into the palace, your Highness?” asked the guard. “We have plenty of supplies for now. All this disobedience has made me hungry. Where is my lunch?” “The cook has joined the people outside,” said the guard. “Well, I still have my gold,” said the King. “Have the palace treasurer give a coin to everyone who will obey me.” “The palace treasurer has joined the people outside as well,” said the guard. And the rest of the staff is packing their bags.” ……………………. The King was forced to take all his gold and move into a small village……. . But still no one would obey him- not the neighborhood children when he told them to get out of his garden, not even his own dog. Day after day, the King would sit and count his gold that no one would accept. Sometimes one of his former subjects would come by and they would enjoy a game of chess, but unlike the old days, they wouldn’t let the King win. Meanwhile, the people in the Kingdom prospered in peace and lived happily ever after.
he above story is a classic explanation of a successful nonviolent revolution. Out of intolerable conditions unarmed Citizens rise-up against the seemingly all-powerful wealthy dictatorship and within a short time and with the least cost to human life and other resources the dictatorship is swept out of power. Examples of this kind of successful struggle are many and some of them include; Milosevic’s hold onto power was terminated by people power in 2000; Suharto had ruled Indonesia for 32 years overseeing one of the most brutal and corrupt regime in the world which was ended in 1998 by people power; the Philippine nonviolent Revolution of 1986 led to the departure of Ferdinand Marcos and the restoration of the country’s democracy after ending his 20-year authoritarian, and severely oppressive regime. It has been suggested that the Philippine revolution subsequently became an inspiration for the revolutions of 1989 that contributed to ending of communist dictatorships in East Europe. Mahatma Gandhi used nonviolent resistance to liberate the Indian people from oppression and he succeeded; Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement used the same strategy against racial discrimination in the United States of America from 1950s to 1960s and succeeded. Jesus Christ used nonviolence to liberate the human race which made Christianity the strongest faith belief in the world even after his physical departure from the earth. Nonviolent strategy is such a powerful strategy. Man has always been looking for effective weapons and strategy of waging war; first it was bow and arrow, then the gun powder and its modern innovations until it has been discovered that the best strategy of warfare in this global village is nonviolent strategy. Of recent, we have witnessed people power throw 12
out of power some of the once powerful longtime dictatorships in the world. After 41 years of oppressive dictatorship, Gaddafi’s regime has melted away due a combination of both violent and nonviolent struggle leaving some of sons dead and others captured and the rest of the family fleeing into exile.
2010-11 TUNISIAN REVOLUTION
t the end of 2010 the world watched International TV channels with amazements at events as they were unfolding in Tunisia where President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was under the pressure of an intensive campaign of Civil Resistance, including a series of street demonstrations. The events began on 17th December 2010 sparked off by the self-immolation of the Twenty-Six year old Mohamed Bouazizi and on 14th January 2011, President Ben Ali resigned and fled to Saudi Arabia, ending his 23 years in power. Mohamed Bouazizi had been the sole income earner in his extended family of eight. He had graduated from University and after failing to get employment that matches his qualification he decided to operate a purportedly unlicensed vegetable cart for seven years in Sidi Bouzid which is 300km south of the capital Tunis. On 17th December 2010 a policewoman confiscated his cart and produce. Bouazizi, who had such an event happen to him before, tried to pay the 10-dinar fine (a day’s wage, equivalent to 7 USD). In response, the policewoman slapped him, spat in his face, and insulted his deceased father, at 11:30 AM and within an hour of the initial confrontation, Bouazizi returned to the Head quarters, doused himself with a flammable liquid and set himself on fire. Public outrage quickly grew over the incident, leading to protests. This immolation and the subsequent heavyhanded response by the police to peaceful marchers caused riots. 13
Bouazizi was subsequently transferred to a hospital near Tunis. In an attempt to calm the situation, President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali visited Bouazizi in hospital on 28th December 2010. Bouazizi died on January 2011. The demonstrations were precipitated by high unemployment, food inflation, and corruption, lack of freedom of speech and other political freedom, and poor living conditions. The protests constituted the most dramatic wave of political and social unrest in Tunisia in three decades and resulted in scores of deaths and injuries, most of which were the result of action by police and security forces against demonstrators. Police tried to obstruct demonstrators by using tear gas on the hundreds of young protestors but failed until it joined them leading to the President’s resignation. Ben Ali along with his wife Leila and their three children fled to Saudi Arabia on 14th January 2011, following what has been called the Tunisian Revolution. The Interim government asked Interpol to issue an arrest warrant, charging him for money laundering and drug trafficking. He and his wife were sentenced in absentia to 35 years in prison on 20th June 2011. President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali had ruled Tunisia since 1987 with an iron fist. His government which had been criticized in the media and NGOs was supported by the United States and France. As a result, the initial reactions to Ben Ali’s abuses by the United States and France were muted, and in most instances of socio-political protests in the country, when they occurred at all, rarely made major headlines. Any form of protests in the country were previously successfully oppressed and kept silent by the former regime and protesters would be jailed for such actions, as were for example, protests by hundreds of unemployed demonstrators in 2008. The success of the Tunisian Revolution inspired and set in motion similar actions throughout the Arab world; the Egyptian revolution began after the events in Tunisia and also led to the ousting of Egypt’s longtime President Hosni Mubarak who had 14
ruled the country from 1981 to February 2011; furthermore, uprisings in Bahrain, Syria and Yemen and major protests have also taken place in Algeria, Jordan, Morocco, and also Libyawhere a full-scale revolution broke out and saw Gaddaffi’s regime melt away as well as elsewhere in the wider North Africa and Middle East. That is how nonviolent strategy sweeps dictatorships out of power so fast and with the least cost to human life, environment, and other resources. Dictatorships are so superior at the use of violent weapons; they have the money, coercive machinery of the state, military hardware, ammunition, and means of transport. Dictators are so weak when it comes to nonviolent strategy because their injustices have alienated them from the people and therefore remain with no genuine support. They use money, intimidation, and brutal means to perpetuate themselves in power but once the people get rid of their fear and withdraw their consent then the world gets surprised at how weak the dictatorship has been. In their struggle to beat off the strength of the people they use violent means which turns the tables against them and instead strengthens the people’s resolve to fight on and also make the dictator’s supporters sympathize with the resisters and consequently support the nonviolent resisters. This is a Japanese martial art of personal combat known as Ju-Jitsu. In traditional Ju-Jitsu, the attacker’s violent thrust is not met with physical blockage or counter thrust. Instead, the attacked person pulls the opponent forward in the same direction the attacker has already started to strike. This causes the opponent to lose balance and fall forward as a result of the acceleration of the force of the attacker’s own forward thrust. The above dictatorships who have been overthrown by people power were at one time the pride of their people. The people had confidence in them and entrusted their future in them but instead these rulers betrayed the confidence and the love that 15
the people had for them. The rulers became dictatorial, bought superior weapons and turned state machinery against their own people, they became extremely corrupt and amassed wealth while the people lived in poverty with their human rights and freedoms, and other political freedoms abused. The people realized that they obeyed wrong rulers and said; “enough is enough with the monkey master.”
The “monkey master” fable:
Yu-li-zi says, “Some men in the world rule their people by tricks and not by righteous principles. They are like the monkey master. But as soon as their people become enlightened, their tricks no longer work.” In the feudal state of Chu an old man survived by keeping monkeys in his service. The people of Chu called him “Ju gong” (Monkey Master). Each morning, the old man would assemble the monkeys in his court yard, and order the eldest one to lead the others to the mountain to gather fruits from bushes and trees. It was the rule that each monkey had to give one-tenth of his collection to the old man. Those who failed to do so would be ruthlessly flogged. All the monkeys suffered bitterly, but dared not complain. One day, a small monkey asked other monkeys: “Did the old man plant all the fruit trees and bushes?” The others said: “No, they grew naturally.” The small monkey further asked: “Can’t we take the fruits without the old man’s permission?” The others replied: “Yes, we all can.” The small monkey continued: “Then, why should we depend on the old man; why must we all serve him?” Before the small monkey was able to finish his statement, all the monkeys suddenly became enlightened and awakened. On the same night, watching that the old man had fallen asleep, the monkeys tore down all the barricades of the stockade in which they were confined, and destroyed the stockade entirely. 16
They also took the fruits the old man had in storage, brought all with them to the woods, and never returned. The old man finally died of starvation. LIBERATION HAD BEEN ACHIEVED simply by the monkeys’ withdraw of their consent from their master.
THE MAIN PROBLEMS OF UGANDA
efore we examine the problems of Uganda let us look at the ‘Ten Point Programme’ which was designed to guide the actions of the leadership and people of Uganda so as to overcome her problems. Below is the ten point programme;1Restoration of democracy 2Restoration of security of persons and property 3Consolidation of National Unity and elimination of all forms of sectarianism 4Defending and consolidating National Independence 5Building an independent, integrated and self-sustaining national economy 6Restoration and improvement of social services and rehabilitation of war-ravaged areas 7Elimination of corruption and misuse of power 8Redressing errors that have resulted in the dislocation of some sections of the population 9Co-operation with other African countries 10- Following an economic strategy of a mixed economy The ‘Ten point programme’ became Uganda’s ideology which would help her overcome the main problems facing the African continent.
In 1986, President Museveni had said that; “the problem of Africa in general and in Uganda in particular is not the people but leaders who want to overstay in power.” That said, like most African countries, Uganda’s natural progress was obstructed by slave trade and most importantly by colonialism. However, as President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni wrote in his book, “SOWING THE MUSTARD SEED” the main problem facing African countries including Uganda is two. Man in the developed countries of Europe, North America, and more recently South East Asia, has been able to free himself of these two ageold bottlenecks so as to realize his full human worthy. Due to low levels of scientific progress resulting from poor quality education, the first problem is the domination of man by nature where in Africa man has faced the wrath of drought, floods, diseases and pestilences, slow means of locomotion, impenetrable forests, vector insects among others- all of which has made it impossible for Africans to prosper. The second problem is the oppression of Man by man in the form of feudalism, slavery, colonialism, and dictatorship. The only way to overcome these problems is respecting the ten point programme and most especially respecting democracy. With this, others will follow like; provision of quality health, education, quality housing, development infrastructure, and subsequently solve the problem of lawlessness and unemployment, and the elimination of poverty. This ideology was conceived as a result of looking back to our past where our post-independence political history has been characterized by the following phases below, this is according to Museveni;Ideological confusion; a period from 1962 to 1966, where the guide to which political party one must belong to was the tribe and religion one belonged to and not the programme of that party. 19
Dictatorship; periods, by Obote between 1966 and 1971, by Amin between 1971 and 1979, and again by Obote between 1980 and 1985, and by the Okellos, briefly, from July 1985 to January 1986 Liberation phase; where elements of the intelligentsia and the peasants organized a massive armed liberation movement, first of all quietly under Idi Amin, but more openly and independently since 1981. This eventually resulted in the defeat of the dictatorship. However, some people think that by the erosion of the ‘Ten Point Programme,’ today as a country we are experiencing a combination of; ideological confusion, dictatorship, and a struggle for self-liberation and this time through other means, nonviolent resistance. It is a sad story but there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel. A combination of the three phases can best be explained by the BBC story I read on Internet on, 08th August 2011 titled; “Would Uganda’s Museveni recognize his former self?” In his book; the author says, back in 1986: “The problem of Africa in general and in Uganda in particular is not the people but leaders who want to overstay in power.” And who wrote it? The current President, Yoweri Museveni, who has been in the job for 25 years……………. “The government will not admit it, but all is not well in Uganda right now. Food and fuel prices have gone through the roof and seizing an opportunity to hurt the government, the opposition called walk-to-work protests, a cunning way of getting around the ban on demonstrations, as the president has seen enough evidence of their impact in the Arab world……………… Ugandans watched the evening news and were horrified. The sight of plain clothes policemen smashing the politician’s car windows and spraying him with chemicals before dumping him on the back of a truck was the tipping point. Angered by what people condemned as police brutality, riots erupted. Out came the army and the tear gas and the bullets.” At the beginning of the story there are certain revelations that summarize this regime’s brutality and arrogance. “President Museveni used to be seen as very much 20
in touch with the people and almost everyone agrees he did a fantastic job for the country for the part of his time in office. But now with increased reliance on the military, the signs are not good.” A worried retired Supreme Court judge, George Kanyeihamba is quoted in this BBC story as saying that; “……..the very issues of injustices that led to Yoweri Museveni taking up arms were coming back.” He said; “Some Ugandans have said that if the Yoweri Museveni of 1986 were to meet the Museveni of today they would fight- they would shoot each other.
ONE SAFE OPTION FOR UGANDA
Politicians are like diapers. They both need changing regularly and for the same reasons. For Uganda to avoid any bad political situation or the kind of situation that occurred in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Philippines, and Indonesia; President Museveni must re-instate term limits in the 1995 constitution and then call for early elections without him contesting. It is necessary that he appears to initiate or support the amendment process. Otherwise, as things seem to be moving, he and his family and the country are headed for the worst. People do not forgive easily. See what is happening to the former presidents of Tunisia and Egypt, humiliation! Zine El Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia is in exile and he has been sentenced in absentia to 35 years in prison; Mubarak is in court for charges ranging from corruption to ordering the killing of nonviolent demonstrators; Milosevic died in prison, Suharto died while facing corruption charges after being forced out of the Indonesian Presidency which he had occupied for 32 years; Ferdinand Marcos of Philippines was exiled by people power after two decades of brutal dictatorship. The once mighty Gaddafi is out, his family in exile, and some of his sons killed during the war while the 21
other has been captured. The list is long. In Uganda, almost all former presidents were forced out of power with two of them dying in exile. We have never experienced any peaceful transfer of power from one president to another. Even the hope that we had was blown away when president Museveni scrapped term limits from the 1995 constitution to allow himself rule for life. With the blocked constitutional means of transfer of power, Uganda is likely to experience a coup d’état, a civil war, or a nonviolent revolution, or even a foreign invasion which will be welcome by the people as it is the only chance left for them to get rid of the dictatorship. A coup d’état, and a nonviolent revolution are the two most possible political events that are most likely to happen in Uganda any time from today and no one must be made to believe that these two phenomenon are impossible. There are so much possible because the ground has been prepared and it’s so fertile and the seeds have already been sown. MUSEVEN IS VULNERABLE AND FINISHED Societies held together by fear and repression may offer the illusion of stability for a time, but they are built upon fault lines that will eventually tear asunder. Barack Obama The National Resistance Movement under the leadership of Yoweri Kaguta Museveni was grown out of the power of the gun. First, by Museveni and a few of his colleagues carrying out provocative clandestine guerrilla operations against the Idi Amin regime; then by Front for National Salvation (FRONASA) which was an armed movement aimed at ousting Idi Amin out of power; again in 1981, fighting a guerrilla war against an elected government of the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) which was won and brought Museveni to power in 1986 who until today- 24th August 2011 remains the President of the Republic of Uganda. Museveni and the NRM have held onto power by use of military 22
power. Since coming to power in 1986, Museveni has defeated more than 20 guerrilla forces that have tried to oust him out of power. He is superior at the use of the gun and the gun is the only ideology he understands. However, his search for power and his struggle to consolidate it has led to massive loss of life and property, stagnated economic development, and therefore leading to biting poverty, and uncertain political future for this country. It is strongly believed and Museveni himself admitted it in his book, ‘sowing the mustard seed,’ that his clandestine guerrilla operations against the Amin regime provoked Amin to kill Ugandans. Also Obote soldiers behaved the way they behaved in Buganda because it was a war zone where the major Museveni guerrilla operations took place. The people of Eastern Uganda, Northern Uganda, and South western Uganda have suffered war since 1986 as a result of Museveni’s struggle to consolidate his hold onto power. This country has sacrificed so much blood just to allow Museveni rule. Today the opposition is trying to oust Museveni from power by use of an Egyptian and Tunisian style nonviolent action after a sham election which many view as the “2011 PURCHASED MANDATE” that gave ‘MR.ATM’ a new mandate to rule this country for another five years which if completed he would have ruled this country for 30 years. The NRM regime has responded to the nonviolent protests by brutally beating, spraying tear gas and other chemicals, imprisoning, injuring and killing innocent Ugandans including women and children. The state has deployed on the streets of all major urban centers of the country with the police, military, and military hardware ready for war against its own citizens. The state response to the actions of the nonviolent actionists has alienated it from some of its supporters and increasingly strengthening the resolve and wisdom of the resisters which is an indication that the mighty gun wielding regime is falling apart due to the pressure exerted on it by the nonviolent actionist and soon or later a song will be sang……. HE IS FINISHED……………HE IS FINISHED…………HE IS 23
FINISHED………just like how it was sang in 2000 after the fall of the mighty Milosevic. The NRM regime is so weak especially when it comes to fighting a nonviolent war and below is what makes it more vulnerable.
“The Achilles’ heel”
A myth from classical Greece illustrates well the vulnerability of the supposedly invulnerable against the warrior Achilles, no blow would injure and no sword would penetrate his skin. When still a baby, Achilles’ mother had supposedly dipped him into the waters of the magical river Styx, resulting in the protection of his body apart from the heel which his mother touched while dipping him. When Achilles was a grown man he appeared to all to be invulnerable to enemies’ weapons. However, in the battle against Troy, instructed by one who knew the weakness, an enemy soldier aimed his arrow at Achilles’ unprotected heel, the one spot where he could be injured. The strike proved fatal. Still today, the phrase “Achilles heel” refers to the vulnerable part of a person, plan, or an institution at which if attacked there is no protection. ‘From dictatorship to democracy’ Gene Sharp. A combination of political and economic challenges, and Museveni’s overstay in power has weakened the NRM regime. These problems will only increase so long as Museveni clings onto power until he will be swept by these problems. The country is facing high rates of unemployment, an ever increasing cost of living characterized by high inflation, poor medical services, poor education, corruption, a lack of democracy, poor economic infrastructure, and a continuously degrading environment among others. Unemployment can only be solved with the provision of a globally competitive high quality education that attracts genuine investors. Even, genuine investors cannot invest in an uncertain environment like Uganda where even the President’s campaign 24
adverts confirm that there is no peace without him. In the face of local and International TV and radio; the world is told that the only pillar of stability in Uganda is the mortal man Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and that without him the country is headed for disaster. The same President openly says that there are many thieves in his government. No sane investor can ever dream of investing in a country where at the departure of one mortal visionary man his fortune is no more. Secondly, a sane investor cannot invest in a country infested with corruption where he can lose his fortune just because a judge is bribed and rules a case in favor of the powerful and rich who pays him more. Investors are not willing to hire expensive skilled employees from other countries and that is why they invest where cheap and skilled labor is available leaving other factors constant like availability of electricity, political stability and security, modern health facilities, modern transport infrastructure and recreation centers among others. So without all these the economy will continue to decay until the people decide to say that enough is enough with a thieving regime. Museveni’s overstay has made his regime lose touch with reality, the common people and their needs, and in the process it has become so arrogant. The regime thinks that by the use of the gun, voting rigging and buying, and by bribing key civil society leaders it can still cling onto power. Gone are those days when such monkey tricks worked. This is a dot.com era where people from one corner of the world easily communicate and know the life and situation of other people in the other far corner of the world. Increased interaction through education, travel, cable TV networks, radio, and other mass and social media like the Internet has made access to information easy such that events happening anywhere in the world can inspire and be replicated elsewhere. The strength of NRM was in its ideology, the ten point programme, which is fast eroding at a faster pace like a runaway train which one cannot jump off or stop. The cancer of corruption and misuse of power is so visible to the extent that almost all would-be clean cadres are the dirtiest. It’s filthier at 25
the top than at lower ends. The egg is broken and therefore open to flies. This has made the regime vulnerable in that the people have lost confidence in it. Individuals in the regime do not care about the people they serve, they only care about themselves. It’s ‘For God and my stomach.’ It’s no longer “For God and my Country.” In this way; everything is rotting from health, infrastructure, education, agriculture, security of person and property to democracy. Political mandates are purchased leading to an ever increasing poverty in the midst of extreme wealth. The security of the country is at stake since the masses especially the youth are many and poor due to high rates of unemployment and no longer trust their leaders. The people don’t trust their leaders especially when it comes to purchasing military soft and hardware which is supposed to protect the people and their property. The people know for sure that if the government claims to have bought such equipment at US$ 740 million, then US $ 300 million must have remained in the pockets of the powerful who initiated the purchase. Even what is claimed to be protected, for example oil, people don’t think they have a stake because they believe that such discovered resources are owned by the rulers. Such a sense breeds unpatriotic tendencies to the extent that even when a country is threatened by an external power people will only be happy that the invader will help overthrow a thieving dictatorship without putting into consideration the consequences of foreign occupation. Corruption has made every single principle in the ten point programme irrelevant and useless. There is no democracy to talk of apart from regular vote rigging and buying from corruption money which in itself increases corruption. Corruption has increased poverty amidst the wealth of the few which makes the current security of person and property illusionary. Poor people kill each with iron bars for survival. Tribalism is coming back in its worst form because other tribes look at others as the ones benefiting from regime, a recipe for genocide. Corruption has led to poor service delivery including education and health service which are the backbone of the Nation. A sick and poorly educated people cannot feed and defend 26
itself in this modern Hi-tech era. -The regime has become so centralized in that those with actual power are few. Major decisions are made by few and with many decisions to make, mistakes of judgment, policy, and action is likely to occur. Because of this centralization, ministers and other agents of the regime fearful of displeasing their superiors are not reporting accurately or complete information needed by the ‘big man’ to make decisions. Evidence of this incorrect reporting is when Besigye’s car was smashed by one infamous police officer, Arinaitwe, where the Internal Affairs Ministers incorrectly told the President and the public that Besigye had a hammer in his car when actually NTV Uganda showed that the hammer was used by state agents and in the process it fell into Besigye’s car injuring his foot. Unfortunately, the President told this lie to the Nation and the International community while appearing on NTV Kenya. That means that there are many other things they report incorrectly just to please the old man so that they can in turn keep their jobs. Should the regime now decide to avoid these dangers and decentralizes controls of real power and decision making, its control over the central levers of power may be further eroded. In either way, the regime is vulnerable. Intellectuals, students, business people, the poor, and professionals have become restless due to poor living and workings conditions amidst the extreme wealth of the corrupt; restrictions imposed, and repression. These people and the general public are increasingly becoming apathetic, skeptical, and even hostile to the regime. With time this will lead to withdraw of the cooperation of people, groups, and institutions needed to operate the system. Actually, this has already started where people are no longer intimidated by the regime. An example is when the business people closed shop for two days, the lawyers closed for some days, the taxi drivers for closed for two days, then some teachers among others. Next time it will be the police and the army to mutiny due to poor pay and poor living conditions. 27
Due to overstay in power and without a clear way of succession, internal institutional conflicts and personal rivalries and hostilities have come to the surface and are more likely to escalate and harm, and even go as far as disrupting the operation of the system. There are also frustrated individuals who understand and have served the system and dropped leaving other few individuals seemingly from the same regions as the President Stiil enjoying the spoils. These people are frustrated but their other colleagues who have just entered the dining room have over time observed the way things turn-out to those who are ‘used.’ These individuals are not in actual sense in the system, they are just there for survival and if well utilized they are likely to assist in turning tables against their employers. They have seen what happened to Bukenya and others how they have been treated as sanitary pads or if you like to say it clearly, “condoms.” This also applies to the urban poor NRM peasants who have benefited nothing from the system yet they see their users swimming in ill-gotten wealth. These poor guys are at the dining table but not dinners. They are remembered during election time. So even when the system collapses they have nothing to lose if only their security is guaranteed. Also there are those who have served the system but not rewarded yet they see others from the other side being bought at a high cost. The NRM primaries have also left a deeply divided party due a number of factors but most especially internal vote rigging. It is said that the bitterest person is not he who has lost his job but the one who feels cheated. So those who were cheated are so bitter at the regime and can do anything to cause its down fall. In short, the NRM regime is most likely to collapse under the weight of its accumulated excesses including the bad laws that it’s proposing. Unfavourable economic conditions, interacting with political factors will very soon lead to a sort of the ‘Arab spring’ or even a coup d’état. Life is becoming expensive and commodity prices are likely to increase. Sources of the dollar are limited; drought 28
is becoming severe making the productivity of the country low. So even when tax on some commodities is waived to allow cheap commodities to enter the country, the demand for the dollar will be higher than its supply making it expensive and therefore expensive imports. The situation will be made worse when the same rich corrupt people in the regime enter business and seek monopoly by any means and then set a profit maximizing price making life more expensive. The government will be weakened due to the fact that there will be limited source of income, for example, tax from petroleum products. There will be social unrest with which the president will respond by increasing police and military deployment. Because the police and the army go to the same market as any other ordinary Ugandan, they will start robbing people just like Obote soldiers did and people will get fedup and rise up against the regime, the army and the police will have no option but to join the people’s struggle, after all they don’t all share in the wealth of their corrupt senior officers. The worst will come, God forbid, when a senior opposition leader is shot dead deliberately or accidently. Deliberate assassination of say, Besigye, will be done by a clique with great fear of him. They will assassinate him for fear that should he capture power he might prosecute them for crimes committed during their stay in power. Others just despise him and have their own lust for power, so the act of assassinating him will be aimed at provoking more unrest and violence which will be enough reason for them to carry-out a coup d’état against the regime they serve. They will appear as ‘saviors’ of the Nation and people will welcome them. This is possible because the army seems to be the only some-how strong independent institution in Uganda. All other institutions are weak to oppose a coup d’état. So nonviolent strategists must educate the people that a coup is not a solution to Uganda’s problems and that should a coup be carried out in the midst of a nonviolent struggle it must be quickly and openly and strongly opposed. 29
A POSSIBLE COUP D’ETAT
ganda has a history of coup d’état where the military has on several occasions overthrown legitimate civilian governments. Coup planners execute a coup after sensing that should they be successful they will be welcomed and supported by the people. Reasons why Uganda is vulnerable to a military coup d’état;There is presence of unfavorable economic conditions interacting with political factors. The roots of democratic political systems are so shallow and have been eroded. The government is seen as illegitimate, and there is wide spread dissatisfaction with its performance. It has been charged with incompetence, corruption characterized by selective prosecution, arrogance and indecisiveness in times of crisis. Confidence in the capacity of democratic procedures to change government is lacking. The civil non-state institutions of society- voluntary institutions, religious bodies, trade unions; and others are so much penetrated by the state, divided and weakened. Therefore, there are no independent groups or institutions capable of opposing seizure of state apparatus. Let’s look at this scenario and how it might play out leading to a coup d’état. Let’s assume that inspired by events in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya a demonstration against Mabira give-away breaks out, or anything else breaks out and is met with police and military brutality as usual and in the process it becomes violent leading to massive loss of life and property and eventually spreading to other parts of the country; the situation gets out of control for 30
some days, the police and military gets overwhelmed, demoralized, worn-out, starts to drag their feet and considering to join the masses. To save their positions and wealth combined with their lust for power and domination, the only chance the Generals have is to carry-out a coup d’état to appear as ‘saviors’ who have come to restore order. The President may try to execute a self coup as well so as to allow him rule by decree in the name of restoring order. Some generals who lust for power and scarred of change and prosecution for crimes committed during their rule may engineer a coup by deliberately creating social and political unrest by assassinating a prominent opposition politician, say, Besigye, God forbid. As a result of the unrest and when they see that the president has totally lost legitimacy in the eyes of society and the International community including the military and police, they may come in to ‘save’ the situation. The coup executers are likely to appoint a Muganda persecuted politician like former Vice President Gilbert Bukenya to be President since he will be welcomed by the Baganda. He is a catholic, a religion with majority following, and a muganda which is a strong vocal tribe in central Uganda that has come to hate Museveni. People will welcome this move even when Bukenya once served Museveni. Everyone believes he was just used and later persecuted because of his interest in Mbabazi and in particular Museveni’s job. In this case, the urban Baganda decide and I guess that is why President Museveni addresses them on the Luganda speaking entertaining TV station every time there is a political problem that may lead to his exit. The peasants cannot stop coup even when they appear to support the regime, they just support whatever new thing comes. The reality is that rural peasants cannot and have never initiated political change in this country since colonial time. Change is always imposed on them. One might argue that the Luweero war was a peasants’ making. It is true that the rural peasants helped the war succeed by providing food, hiding guerrillas and 31
allowing their sons and daughters to join the rebellion. But the clear truth is that the war was imposed on to them by politicians and soldiers fighting for power and they had no option but to join the rebellion mostly because of the uncivilized reaction to the rebellion by the then government soldiers who made peasants their enemies in their pursuit to destroy the guerrillas. Even now, peasants have no say in the running of this country apart from perpetuating a corrupt regime by selling it votes. They initiated no change during the brutal dictatorship of Amin, Obote, and Okellos but rejoiced each time one of them was overthrown. Even now, they are waiting to rejoice. However, Uganda must never welcome a coup d’état at any one time. It must be quickly opposed by a nonviolent strategy. When welcomed, a coup will only bring in a clique that is more oppressive than the fallen regime. It will be the same individuals in the past regime that will continue to commit atrocities against citizens in the name of peace. Therefore, if Uganda wants to permanently rid itself of dictatorships and/or any other form of oppression, it must get empowered and carry itself to freedom through a nonviolent struggle. At present people of Uganda living under severe oppression due to dictatorship have few adequate choices as to how they can liberate themselves. The only option is the use of nonviolent strategy because;A popular election to bring about the major change required for more democratic and free political society is not available. The election is rigged, or its results is falsified or ignored. Violent rebellion, including guerrilla warfare and terrorism, will produces crushing repression, massive casualties and defeat. By placing confidence in violent means, one has chosen the very type of struggle with which the oppressor nearly always has superiority. Dictators are equipped to apply violence overwhelmingly. The dictator almost has superiority in military hardware, ammunition, coercive machinery of the state, money, transportation, and the size of military forces. Despite bravery, 32
the oppressed resisters are a no match. Should guerrillas succeed, the resulting new regime is likely to be more dictatorial than its predecessor due to the centralizing impact of the expanded military forces and the weakening or destruction of the society’s independent groups and institutions during the struggle- bodies that are vital in establishing and maintaining a democratic society. Coup d’état may fail, or simply install new individuals or clique in the old positions. Gradual evolution may take decades, and may be halted or reversed, perhaps more than once. Due to the desire for greater freedom, some Ugandans have lost confidence that they can liberate themselves. They seem to place their hopes in strong foreign military intervention. That option has grave disadvantages as well; In most cases foreign states tolerate, or have even positively assisted the dictatorship in order to advance their own economic or political interests. A foreign government may use the problem of a dictatorship in another country as an excuse for military intervention that is actually intended to achieve different, les noble objectives. Even if a foreign government initially has altruistic motives to intervene in such cases, as the conflict develops the intervening government is likely to discover that other more self serving objectives are becoming open to them. These may include; control of economic resources or establishment of military bases. Foreign states may become actively involved for positive purposes only if and when the internal resistance movement has already began shaking the dictatorship, having thereby focused International attention on the brutal nature of the regime. A foreign government with enough military capacity to remove a strong system of oppression in another country is usu33
ally powerful enough later to impose its own objectives. This can happen even when the objectives are unwanted by the “liberated” population. This does not mean that a nonviolent movement does not have to seek external assistance. International pressure exerted onto the dictatorship can be useful. However, such external support comes only to a powerful internal resistance movement. International economic boycotts, embargo, the breaking of diplomatic relations, expulsion from International organization, condemnation by United Nations bodies, and the like can assist greatly. Therefore, the Uganda nonviolent revolutionary movement must take the above issues seriously. In conclusion, if Ugandans fail to get term limits back into the 1995 constitution the only option they have is to wage a nonviolent war against the dictatorial regime. The reasons for a nonviolent revolution have already been given and the only question is that; “Is it possible to overthrow this regime by a nonviolent strategy?” This is possible only and only if the opposition resisters are organized and well equipped with nonviolent weapons and also endeavor to train the people nonviolent strategies so as to have a better understanding of their application. They must be ready to sacrifice and undertake the risks involved. They must also be aware of and avoid the main contaminants of a nonviolent resistance movement.
CONTAMINANTS OF NONVIOLENT CAMPAIGNS
The opposition must understand and avoid anything that might contaminate the nonviolent struggle. These are things that might make the struggle impure, unclean or corrupt by contact. In his book, On Strategic Nonviolent Conflict, Robert L. Helvey lists them as below; He starts by saying that; “Just as water contaminates the fuel 34
used in our cars-small amounts can cause the engine to misfire and sputter, and greater amounts can stop the engine from running at all- nonviolent movements can also have contaminants that make them inefficient or even destroy them.” Violence as a contaminant. Opposition violence toward the government or its supporters authorized or not, can be a serious contaminant to the success of a nonviolent struggle. A single act of violence may provide government with a convenient rationale for brutal retaliation against whatever target or targets within the opposition movement it purports to hold directly or indirectly responsible. Opposition violence may also have unintended effect of undermining public confidence and participation in a movement whose very existence is premised upon achieving its objectives through nonviolent strategy and tactics. Appearance of disunity as a contaminant. The strength of a “People’s Movement” requires the active participation of “the people.” And oppressed people are attracted to movements for change when they perceive these movements reflecting the aspirations of the people and when they view the leadership as being capable of guiding the movement to victory. Rational people will not risk their lives and livelihoods by joining a political movement to oppose a tyrant if that movement lacks a clear purpose and strategy for achieving victory. Disunity between and among coalition members within a democratic movement can result in a loss of trust and confidence in the movement’s ability to achieve political reforms. Organizational infighting sometimes is the work of government agents who infiltrate the organization. One of the most effective ways to promote and maintain unity within a movement is to keep the objectives of the struggle to the bare minimum. It must also be apparent to all that achieving these objectives will benefit all members of society, including many that now support the opponent. Disunity is bad because it leads to stagnation and backsliding of the liberation process. Disunity has been a characteristic of the Ugandan opposition. The character of the opposition before and during election cam35
paigns and maybe even after can only be summarized in this short story of;
“The Greedy man and the Envious man”
A greedy and an envious man met a king. The King said to them, “One of you may ask something of me and I will give it to him, provided I give twice much to the other.” The envious man did not want to ask first for he was envious of his companion who would receive twice as much, and the greedy man did not want to ask first since he wanted everything that was to be had. Finally the greedy one pressed the envious one to be the first to make the request. So the envious person asked the King to pluck out one of his eyes. In this, he anticipated that the king will pluck out the two eyes of the greedy man. Jewish parable, The seven deadly sins, Solomon Schimmel, 1992 Perception of exclusiveness as a contaminant. Policies and/ or statements that may be perceived or limiting participation in a political struggle can lead to hostility or apathy by the excluded groups. Tribal sentiments must be avoided. The real issues such as corruption, incompetence and the gradual movement toward dictatorship will be submerged beneath the divisive rhetoric of race and class. Almost all demonstrations that have occurred in Kampala have been characterized by tribal sentiments; these scare and alienate an important section of people. There has also been a show of hatred for the armed forces instead of trying to win them over just like the Tunisians and Egyptians did. During the 1789 French revolution General Lafayette helped the revolution succeed when he and his forces joined the people. Active participation of military forces in a political struggle as a contaminant. Once the military takes sides in a domestic political struggle, even for the most democratic cause, the likelihood of its being committed to the armed struggle against a major segment of the population increases, and with it, increases 36
the possibility of civil war or a coup d’état. Neither of these possibilities benefits the people nor do they strengthen a nonviolent movement. Should the military seize control of the government on the pretense of providing a transition, unless it is attacked immediately, that transition could last for years or even decades. If some of the senior officers personally feel strongly about taking sides, they should resign and pursue their political ideology as individuals within the political faction that suits them. Other contaminants include; presence of foreign national within a democratic movement, organizational structure ill-suited for nonviolent conflict. A nonviolent struggle is not an easy one; it takes a lot of thinking, planning, and implementation tasks. It is like any other political struggle, not simple. Nonviolent strategists must be prepared to create awareness and stick to the use of nonviolent weapons against the dictatorship. Most importantly, nonviolent strategists must understand that this strategy is not risk free, casualties, and even martyrs must be expected. But efforts must be made to minimize casualties. This type of struggle sweeps dictators faster than any other means of struggle and with fewer casualties than can be the case with armed/ violent struggles. If it is well understood and applied by the people it can minimize the cost of National defense. A country can move to less costly means of National defense, that is, civilian based defense against coup d’état, or any other form of internal oppression, and foreign aggression. Otherwise, nonviolent resisters in Uganda seem to be on track and the Museveni regime seems to be at its weakest point especially when it comes to nonviolent combat. It is not as strong as it wants us to believe. It is on its deathbed and the only uncertain thing about it is how costly its funeral will be. It’s vulnerable! The nonviolent resisters must not fear but make use of oppressive or brutal acts by the regime as a recruiting tool for the non37
violent movement. Preparations must be made to put in place a more democratic system after the fall of the dictatorship. In fighting a dictatorship, a nonviolent movement must first of all determine whether they wish simply to condemn the oppression and protest against the system. Or, do they wish actually to end the oppression, and replace it with a system of greater freedom, democracy, and justice?
There are four mechanisms through which a nonviolent struggle delivers change and there are as below; 1. CONVERSION. 2. ACCOMMODATION 3. NONVIOLENT COERCION 4. DISINTERGRATION
THE FOUR MECHANISM OF CHANGE
Conversion; the dictatorship may come to accept the resisters’
aims. Though cases of conversion in nonviolent action do sometimes happen, they are rare, and in most conflicts this does not occur at all or at least not on a significant scale. This sometimes occurs when the dictatorship is emotionally moved by the suffering repression imposed on courageous nonviolent resisters or when the dictatorship is rationally persuaded that the resisters’ cause is just.
Accommodation; is a mechanism of change in which the dic-
tatorship resolve, while it still has a choice, to agree to a compromise and grant certain demands of the nonviolent resisters. Accommodations occurs when the dictatorship has neither changed its views nor been nonviolently coerced, but has concluded that a compromise settlement is desirable. Many strikes are settled in this manner, for example, with both sides attaining some of their objectives but neither achieving all it wanted. A government may perceive such a settlement to have some positive benefits such as 38
defusing tension, creating an impression of “fairness,” or polishing the International image of the regime. It is important, therefore, that great care be exercised in selecting the issues on which a settlement by accommodation is acceptable. A struggle to bring down a dictatorship is not one of these.
Nonviolent coercion; mass noncooperation and defiance can
also change social and political situations, especially power relationships, that the dictator’s ability to control the economic, social, and political processes of government and the society is in fact taken away. The dictator’s military force may become so unreliable that they no longer simply obey orders or drag their feet to repress resisters. Although the dictator’s leaders remain in their positions, and adhere to their original goals, their ability to act effectively has been taken away. Disintegration; the regime simply falls to pieces. In some extreme situations, the conditions producing nonviolent coercion are carried still further and the dictator’s leadership in fact loses all the ability to act and their own structure of power collapses. The resisters’ self-direction, noncooperation, and defiance become so complete that the dictatorship now lacks even a semblance of control over them. The dictatorship’s bureaucracy refuses to obey its own leadership. The dictator’s troops and police mutiny, and his usual supporters or population repudiate their former leadership, denying that they have any right to rule at all. Hence their former assistance and obedience fall away. The system collapses completely that the dictatorship does not even have sufficient power to surrender. The regime falls into pieces.
agles are the most long-lived bird in the world. By the time they reach 40 years old, their claws will start to age, losing their effectiveness and making it hard for them to catch their prey. The life-span of an eagle is up to 70 years old. But in order to live this long, it must make the toughest decisions at 40. At 40, its beak is too long and curvy that reaches its chest. Its wings, full of long, thickened feathers, are too heavy for easy flying. The Eagle is left with two choices:1) Do nothing and awaits its death; or 2) Go through a painful period of transformation and renewal- the rebirth of an Eagle. For 150 days, it first trains itself to fly beyond the high mountains, build and live in its nest and cease all flying activities. It then begins to knock its beak against granite rocks till the beak is completely removed. When a new beak is grown, the eagle will use it to remove all its claws and wait quietly for new ones to be fully grown. When the new claws are fully grown the Eagle will use them to remove all its feathers, one by one. Five months later, when its new feathers are fully grown, it will soar in the sky again with renewed strength and is able to live for the next 30 years.
Eagle Nations must undergo this painful process of self renewal and transformation if they are to have a successful future. REVOLUTION!!!!!!!!!!!! KEY STEPS ON THE PATH TO A NONVIOLENT REVOLUTION Develop a strategy for winning freedom and a vision of the society you want. Overcome fear by small acts of resistance. Use colours and symbols to demonstrate unity of resistance. Learn from historical examples of the successes of nonviolent movements. Use nonviolent weapons. Identify the dictatorship’s pillars of support and develop a strategy for undermining each. Use oppressive or brutal acts by the regime as a recruiting tool for your movement. Isolate or remove from the movement people who use or advocate violence. METHODS/WEAPONS OF NONVIOLENT ACTION In his book, “From dictatorship to democracy,” Gene Sharp outlines these 198 weapons of nonviolent action. THE METHOD OF NONVIOLENT PROTEST AND PERSUASION FORMAL STATEMENTS 1. Public speeches 2. Letters of opposition or support 3. Declarations by organizations and institutions 4. Signed public statements 5. Declarations of indictment and intentions 6. Group or mass petitions 42
COMMUNICATION WITH A WIDER AUDIENCE 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. Slogans, caricatures, and symbols Banners, posters, and displayed communications Leaflets, pamphlets, and books Newspapers and journals Records, radio, and Television Skywriting and Earth writing
GROUP REPRESENTATIONS 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. Deputations Mock awards and mock birthday parties for prominent people in government, military, police among others Group lobbying Picketing Mock elections
SYMBOLIC PUBLIC ACTS 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. Display of flags and symbolic colors Wearing of symbols Prayer and worship Delivering symbolic objects Protest disrobing, and public declarations of abstaining Destruction of own property Symbolic lights Display of portraits Paint as protest New signs and names Symbolic sounds Symbolic reclamation Rude gestures
PRESSURES ON INDIVIDUALS 31. 32. 33. 34. “Haunting” officials Taunting officials Fraternization Vigils
DRAMA AND MUSIC 35. 36. 37. Humorous skits and pranks Performance of plays and music Singing
PROCESSIONS 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. Marches Parades Religious processions Pilgrimages Motorcades
HONORING THE DEAD 43. 44. 45. 46. Political mourning Mock funerals Demonstrative funerals Homage at burial places
PUBLIC ASSEMBLIES 47. 48. 49. 50. Assemblies of protest and support Protest meetings Camouflaged meetings of protests Teach-ins
WITHDRAW AND RENUNCIATION 51. 52. 53. 54. Walk-outs Silence Renouncing honors Turning one’s back
THE METHOD OF NONCOOPERATION
OSTRACISM OF PERSONS
55. 56. 57. 58. 59.
Social boycotts Lysistratic non-action Excommunication Selective social boycott Interdict
NONCOOPERATION WITH SOCIAL EVENTS, CUSTOMS, AND INSTITUTIONS
60. 61. 62. 63. 64.
Suspension of social and sports activities Boycott of social affairs Student strikes Social disobedience Withdraw from social institutions
WITHDRAW FROM THE SOCIAL SYSTEM
65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70.
Stay-at-home Total personal noncooperation Flight of workers Sanctuary Collective disappearance Protest emigration (hijrat)
THE METHODS OF ECONOMIC NONCOOPERATION
(1) ECONOMIC BOYCOTTS
ACTION BY CONSUMER 71. Consumers’ boycott 72. Non-consumption of boycotted goods 73. Policy of austerity 74. Rent withholding 75. Refusal to rent 76. National consumers’ boycott 77. International consumers’ boycott ACTION BY WORKERS AND PRODUCERS 78. 79. Worker men’s boycott Producers’ boycott
ACTION BY MIDDLEMEN 80. Suppliers’ and handlers’ boycott
ACTION BY OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT 81. 82. 83. 84. 85. Traders’ boycott Refusal to let or sell property Lockout Merchants’ “general strike” Refusal of industrial assistance
ACTIONS BY HOLDERS OF FINANCIAL RESOURCES 86. 87. 88. 89. Withdraw of bank deposits Refusal to pay fees, dues, and assessments Refusal to pay debt and interest Severance of funds and credit
Refusal of government’s money
ACTION BY GOVERNMENTS
92. 93. 94. 95. 96.
Domestic embargo Blacklisting of traders International sellers’ embargo International buyers’ embargo International trade embargo
THE METHODS OF ECONOMIC NONCOOPERATION
Protest strike Quickie walkout (Lightning strike)
99. Peasant strike 100. Farm workers’ strike
STRIKES BY SPECIAL GROUPS
101. 102. 103. 104.
Refusal of impressed labor Prisoners’ strike Craft strike Professional strike
ORDINARY INDUSTRIAL STRIKES
105. Establishment strike 106. Industry strike 107. Sympathetic strike
108. Detailed strike 109. Bumper strike 110. Slowdown strike 47
111. 112. 113. 114. 115.
Working-to-rule strike Reporting “sick” (sick-in) Strike by resignation Limited strike Selective strike
116. Generalized strike 117. General strike
COMBINATION OF STRIKES AND ECONOMIC CLOSURES 118. Hartal 119. Economic shut down THE METHODS OF POLITICAL NONCOOPERATION REJECTION OF AUTHORITY 120. Withholding or withdraw of allegiance 121. Refusal of public support 122. Literature and speeches advocating resistance CITIZENS’ NONCOOPERATION WITH GOVERNMENT 123. 124. 125. 126. 127. 128. 129. 130. 131. Boycott of legislative bodies Boycott of elections Boycott of government employment and positions Boycott of government departments, agencies and other bodies Withdrawal from government educational institutions Boycott of government-supported organizations Refusal of assistance to enforcement agents Removal of own signs and place marks Refusal to accept appointed officials 48
132. Refusal to dissolve existing institutions CITIZENS’ ALTERNATIVES TO OBEDIENCE 133. Reluctant and slow compliance 134. Non-obedience in absence of direct supervision 135. Popular non-obedience 136. Disguised disobedience 137. Refusal of an assemblage or meeting to disperse 138. Sit down 139. Noncooperation with conscription and deportation 140. Hiding, escape and false identities 141. Civil disobedience of “illegitimate” laws ACTION BY GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL 142. Selective refusal of assistance by government aides 143. Blocking of lines of command and information 144. Stalling and obstruction 145. General administrative noncooperation 146. Judicial noncooperation 147. Deliberate inefficiency and selective noncooperation by enforcement agents 148. Mutiny DOMESTIC GOVERNMENT ACTION 149. Quasi-legal evasions and delays 150. Noncooperation by constituent governmental units INTERNATIONAL GOVERNMENT ACTION 151. Changes in diplomatic and other representation 152. Delay and cancellation of diplomatic events 153. Withholding of diplomatic recognition 154. Severance of diplomatic relations 155. Withdraw from International organizations 156. Refusal of membership in International bodies 157. Expulsion from International organizations 49
THE METHODS OF NONVIOLENT INTERVENTIONS PSYCHOLOGICAL INTERVENTION 158. Self-exposure to the elements 159. The fast; a) Fast of moral pressure b) Hunger strike c) Satyagrahic fast 160. Reverse trial 161. Nonviolent harassment PHYSICAL INTERVENTION 162. Sit-in 163. Stand-in 164. Ride-in 165. Wade-in 166. Mill-in 167. Pray-in 168. Nonviolent raids 169. Nonviolent air raids 170. Nonviolent invasion 171. Nonviolent interjection 172. Nonviolent obstruction 173. Nonviolent occupation SOCIAL INTERVENTION 174. Establishing new social patterns 175. Overloading of facilities 176. Stall-in 177. Speak-in 178. Guerrilla theater 179. Alternative social institution 180. Alternative communication system
ECONOMIC INTERVENTION 181. Reverse strike 182. Stay-in strike 183. Nonviolent land seizure 184. Defiance blockades 185. Politically motivated counterfeiting 186. Preclusive purchasing 187. Seizure of assets 188. Dumping 189. Selective patronage 190. Alternative markets 191. Alternative transportation systems 192. Alternative economic institutions POLITICAL INTERVENTION 193. Overloading of administrative systems 194. Disclosing of identities of secret agents 195. Seeking imprisonment 196. Civil disobedience of “neutral” laws 197. Work-on without collaboration 198. Dual sovereignty and parallel government
For a better understanding of nonviolent struggle contact the Albert Einstein Institution on;The Albert Einstein Institution 427 Newbury Street Boston, MA 02115-1802, USA. TEL: USA + 617-247-4882 FAX USA +617 247-4035 Email: Einstein@igc.org Website: www.aeinstein.org
NOTE: Nzaramba Sebakwiye Vicent, the author of this document, is not a member of the Albert Einstein Institution but his mission is Albert Einstein Institution’s Mission.
THE ALBERT EINSTEIN INSTITUTION MISSION STATEMENT The mission of the Albert Einstein Institution is to advocate/ advance the world wide study and strategic use of nonviolent action in conflict. The institution is committed to; defending democratic freedoms and institutions, opposing oppression, dictatorship, and genocide; and Reducing the reliance on violence as an instrument of policy.
(Nonviolent Revolution Uganda)
Because I Love Uganda 54
NOREV-Uganda is a nonviolent Revolutionary movement
with a mission to;To mobilize all Ugandans regardless of their religion, tribe, and political affiliation to fight and destroy dictatorship, and other forms of oppression, and restore genuine democracy Defend democratic freedoms and institutions, And reducing reliance on violence as an instrument of liberation in Uganda.
The mission shall be pursued in the following ways;Mobilize Ugandans to fight the dictatorship through publications, lectures on nonviolent action, and the media By use of nonviolent strategy and its weapons By carrying out research on the methods of nonviolent action and their past use in diverse conflicts and sharing the results with the general public Consulting with groups in conflict about strategic potential of nonviolent action against the Uganda dictatorship. 55
KEY STEPS ON THE PATH TO THE SUCCESS OF NOREVUganda We shall develop a strategy for winning freedom and a vision of the society we want. To avoid penetration and confusion the strategic team shall not exceed 10 people and in some cases for particular issue they shall not exceed 5 people. We shall overcome fear and recruit the general public by engaging ourselves in small acts of resistance. For example, by calling onto the public to wear clothing or bands with our symbol, by wearing specific colors of cloth bands as a way of communicating to the regime that we demand the resignation and immediate prosecution of particular individuals, and restoration of term limits, by calling on humorous but serious actions like sex bans on weekends among others. We shall choose from the 198 Gene Sharp weapons of nonviolent action. We shall use non-divisive colors, liberation songs, slogans and symbols to demonstrate unity of resistance. We shall continue to study and learn from historical examples of the successes of nonviolent movements. For example, Tunisia, Egypt, Serbia, Philippines, Indonesia, Madagascar We shall only use nonviolent weapons. And in this case, we shall oppose, fight and defeat any coup attempt by the same method we use to fight the dictatorship. We shall identify the dictatorship’s pillars of support and develop a strategy for undermining each. For example, the civil society organizations like religious institutions, intellectuals, the army and police, NRM Members of Parliament, students, poor urban NRM supporters and the youth in Universities and secondary schools, among others 56
We must use oppressive or brutal acts by the regime as a recruiting tool for our movement. We must isolate or remove from the movement people who use or advocate violence.
Below are the demands of this nonviolent revolutionary movement. 1) We demand the immediate resignation and prosecution of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Uganda Mr. John Patrick Amaama Mbabazi for his role in the Temangalo, dirty oil dealings, and CHOGM corruption scandals. He must be cleared by a competent court of law and not by the Inspector General of Government (IGG) who is his former assistant and personal friend. Hajji Hassan Basajjabalaba and others involved in institutional corruption must be prosecuted and immediately refund public money. We are totally against selective prosecution which is another form of political persecution. 2) We demand the immediate restoration of Presidential term limits and the resignation of the President and his government. He must not contest in any other election. However, we call for immunity to prosecution clause to be put in the 1995 constitution for the person of the President for crimes committed during his/her Presidency. 3) A transitional government must be put in place to run the Country which must then appoint a competent judicial commission of inquiry to investigate and recommend the prosecution of all those suspected to have committed crimes such as abuse of human rights including murder and torture, and corruption among others within a period 57
of six months. The transitional government will amend electoral laws including a law that puts a limit to campaign expenditure so as to eliminate political corruption; put in place an independent electoral commission that will conduct all National general elections.
Note: The transitional government must lead the country for a nonrenewable term not exceeding 12 months (Twelve Months). The head and cabinet members of the transitional government must not contest for any political position after the expiration of their term of office not until after five years. All persons convicted of political crimes including corruption must never hold any public office including contesting for any political positions.
4) We demand the immediate dropping of all fabricated charges made against political activists and the release of all demonstrators and all political prisoners. 5) We demand that government must cease to deny Ugandans their right to peaceful demonstration. And in this, attempts to enacting a law to deny bail to demonstrators must stop immediately. 6) Attempts by the President to give away Mabira forest and other forests must stop immediately.
CAUSE AND VISION
The cause and vision of this nonviolent revolutionary movement is summarized in this statement. Exodus 3:7-8; Then the Lord told him, “I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own fertile and spacious land. It is a land flowing with Milk and honey…..” Matthew 5:17; “Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the Law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose.”
Our struggle is against;1) Dictatorship 2) Corruption 3) Poverty 4) Unemployment 5) Poor living conditions 6) High cost of living 7) Sectarianism 8) Economic, social, and political oppression 59
Ugandans had placed their future in President Museveni and his NRM political organization but today many people think that if President Museveni of 1986 were to meet the Museveni of today they would fight- they would actually kill each other. He has lost touch with the common people and reality. He has learnt and forgot nothing. Two issues here urgently need to be emphasized during our struggle;-
1) Restoration of term limits in the 1995 Uganda constitution. In 1986, President Museveni clearly stated that; “the problem of Africa in general and in Uganda in particular is not the people but leaders who want to overstay in power.” As we write, he has since ruled this country for 25 years and has just purchased another 5 year mandate which if completed he would have ruled Uganda for 30 years. Worse still, there is no indication of his retirement ever since he raped the constitution to allow him rule for life. His decision to cling onto power has led his regime to deliver diminishing returns, undoing all the good and leading to the suffering of Ugandans. His rule is characterized by the same issues which took him to the bush to fight a guerrilla war. Therefore, it is our duty to fight for the restoration of term limits in the 1995.
2) Corruption. There seems to be a deliberate policy to make Ugandans poor because Machiavellian politics dictates that for one to rule people for as longer as he wants he must make them poor but appear to support them but not to strengthen them. He must not allow any semblance of equality. However, “he must enrich a few and make them a privileged class with respect to both property and subjects; so that around him will be those with whose support he may maintain himself in power, and whose ambitions, thanks to him, may be realized. As to the rest they will be compelled to bear a yoke which nothing but force 60
will ever be able to make them endure. Between force and those to whom it is applied a balance will thus be set up, and the standing of every man, each in his own order, will be consolidated.” Secondly, for a person to rule a multicultural society like Uganda he has to constantly bribe individual prominent personalities, promote divisions, and weaken the strength of institutions. This is because force/ brutal means alone cannot consolidate his power.
A desire to cling onto power and corruption have lead to the following evils in our society;Political corruption and a sham democracy characterized by vote buying and rigging, political persecution in form of intimidation, torture, imprisonment, murder, and selective prosecution Poverty Unemployment and high cost of living. Sectarianism Poor service delivery especially in the health, education, Judicial sectors among other Poor development infrastructure Weakened public and civil institutions Insecurity and political instability Poor living conditions High cost of living
Uncertainty created by corruption and overstay in power has prevented genuine investors to consider Uganda as an investment destination. No investor will invest in a country whose 61
stability depends on one visionary mortal man. Things are made worse when during election campaigns, in the face of the International news media; the President and the ruling NRM campaign advertisements emphasize the fact that should President Museveni lose there will neither be peace nor political stability in the country. Recently on a visit to neighboring Rwanda, the President confessed that his government is full of thieves and he went ahead to credit President Kagame for his zero tolerance to corruption. In effect he was directing investors to Rwanda; and secondly, he passed a vote of no confidence in himself. During the 2011 Presidential campaigns the President traversed the country confessing the corruptness of his government but he went ahead to appointed Prime Minister, a man whom so many people believe to be corrupt. He appointed him because of his loyalty to him forgetting that by the fact that he is corrupt he is an enemy of the NRM ideology. Maybe he is a loyal partner in crime.
Without tangible investments, a country will experience high rate of unemployment and poverty. A poor people will never live at peace with each other. They in most cases take a sectarian path especially when they see their few rulers perceived to come from the same region, tribe, rather from the same family extremely rich. The frustrated poor tend to shift their frustration toward the poor and powerless that come from the same region or speaks the same language as their powerful oppressors. This sectarian path is a threat to National security and political stability. To sum it all, corruption and overstay in power is first class treason to one’s country and such a person must be forced out of power and face justice for the great suffering he brought to his own people.
Just like Jesus Christ said, this nonviolent revolutionary movement has not come to abolish the laws or the good policies of this government but we have come to help restore, improve, and accomplish their purpose. We all know that before the amendment of Article 106 on Presidential term limits Uganda was moving in a relatively right direction guided by the 1995 constitution of the Republic of Uganda, and the NRM Ten point programme. Other challenges would be solved with peaceful and democratic change of government.
GUIDELINES OF THE STRUGGLE
1) Only nonviolent weapons shall be used during the struggle. We shall disassociate, isolate, expose, and guard against any; individual, groups, state agents and civil and political organizations that resort to or advance the use of violence in the name of advancing the cause of this nonviolent revolutionary movement. 2) Even in the face of extreme police and military brutality we must restrain ourselves from abusing and insulting them. We must instead show them love and discipline and call upon them to restrain themselves from carrying out the brutal orders of the regime. These policemen and women in uniform are our brothers and sisters who do not come from mars or any other foreign country but from our villages and facing the same economic, social and political hardships as ourselves or even worse. It is fear that makes them to carry out brutal orders. Therefore, it is our duty to show them the light and also help them get rid of fear. 63
3) There shall be no use of songs, symbols, slogans, obscene language, and colors that are divisive because this is an all inclusive self-liberation movement. It is by mobilizing the society as a whole that victory shall be made possible“PEOPLE POWER.” In short, we are a non-denominational and non-sectarian revolutionary movement. 4) We shall work with all individuals, groups, civil and political parties/ organizations including some progressive members of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) so longer as they support and work to advance our demands, cause and vision, and also ready to work within these guidelines. 5) No member of this revolutionary movement shall support or work towards the success of a coup d’état. Instead any coup attempt must be swiftly fought and defeated by the same methods being used to fight the dictatorship. 6) Once in motion, the struggle must not stop unless when all our demands are met. Even when the coordinating committee members are compromised and decide to jump off the revolution they must be left to crash and revolution continues. This revolution must be like a run-away-train or a sloping truck that has lost its brakes in that one cannot stop it or jump off, or else he/she crashes. 7) The coordinating committee will be responsible for coordinating and communicating strategies, methods, and tactics to be used by regional leaders of the nonviolent activities. However, the use of methods and tactics shall vary with time and space; and in this case field and local revolutionary leaders will decide on which move to take without consulting or waiting for communication from the coordinating committee provided they stick to the use of nonviolent weapons.
REASONS FOR THE USE OF NONVIOLENT STRATEGY
We have adopted the method of Nonviolent Action because of the following reasons below;Nonviolent Action mobilizes and empowers the population as a whole to fight and defeat the dictatorship including future dictatorships, and other forms of oppressions Though not risk free, it is a means of struggle that minimizes causalities, and other costs of war. Post-dictatorship society remains relatively united. We cannot wait for an election to get rid of the dictatorship because a popular election to bring about the major change required for more democratic and free political society is not available. The election is bought and rigged, or its results is falsified or ignored. Violent rebellion, including guerrilla warfare and terrorism, will produces crushing repression, suffering to the population, massive casualties and defeat. By placing confidence in violent means, one would have chosen the very type of struggle with which the oppressor nearly always has superiority. The dictatorship is well equipped to apply violence overwhelmingly. The dictator almost has superiority in military hardware, ammunition, coercive machinery of the state, money, transportation, and the size of military forces. Despite our bravery, we are a no match. We do not even support guerrillas, because should they succeed, the resulting new regime is likely to be more dictatorial than its predecessor due to the centralizing impact of the expanded military forces and the weakening or destruction of the society’s independent groups and institutions during the struggle- bodies that are vital in establishing and maintaining a democratic society. 65
We do not support a coup d’état because it may fail, or simply install new individuals or clique in the old positions. Gradual evolution may take decades, and may be halted or reversed, perhaps more than once.
Due to the desire for greater freedom, some Ugandans have lost confidence that they can liberate themselves. They seem to place their hopes in strong foreign military intervention. We would like to warn them that that option has grave disadvantages as well; In most cases foreign states tolerate, or have even positively assisted the dictatorship in order to advance their own economic or political interests. A foreign government may use the problem of a dictatorship in another country as an excuse for military intervention that is actually intended to achieve different, less noble objectives. Even if a foreign government initially has altruistic motives to intervene in such cases, as the conflict develops the intervening government is likely to discover that other more self serving objectives are becoming open to them. These may include; control of economic resources or establishment of military bases. Foreign states may become actively involved for positive purposes only if and when the internal resistance movement has already began shaking the dictatorship, having thereby focused International attention on the brutal nature of the regime. A foreign government with enough military capacity to remove a strong system of oppression in another country is usually powerful enough later to impose its own objectives. This can happen even when the objectives are unwanted by the “liberated” population. 66
However, this does not mean that we as a nonviolent revolutionary movement do not have to seek external assistance in a wise way and in specific areas. International pressure exerted onto the dictatorship will be useful. But we are also aware that such external support comes only to a powerful internal resistance movement. International economic boycotts, embargo, the breaking of diplomatic relations, expulsion from International organization, condemnation by United Nations bodies, and the like will assist greatly
“FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY”
(Nonviolent Revolution Uganda)
Because I Love Uganda
NZARAMBA SEBAKWIYE VICENT SSALONGO was born and raised in the slums of Mulago, Kampala, Uganda to Pastor Nanyonjo Josephine and Mr. Ezekiel Nzaramba. His mission is to actively advance and participate in the world wide study and strategic
...Then the Lord told him, " I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, i am aware of their suffering. So i have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their fertile and spacious land. It is a land flowing with milk and honey." Exodus 3:7; www.nonviolentrevolutionug.com 68