Virtually all my children were not old enough to understand the dynamics of governance and leadership in Uganda by the time Tibuhaburwa Museveni and his National Resistance Army (NRA) rebel outfit, composed of many refugees ( previously constituted as Front for National Liberation, FRONASA, and some Ugandans), captured the instruments of power in 1986. Most refugees had roots in Rwanda, while others had roots in the Mulenge area of Congo (now Democratic Republic of Congo DRC).
One of my children was 15 when NRA arrived in Kampala from the bushes of Luwero. My twins ( a boy and a girl) were 6 years old, another was 3 years old, another was 2 years. Two others were born after 1986 – one in 1987 and the last one in 1990. They have grown up and developed into adults during the more than 36 years of President Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s rule
One may say the use and misuse of public resources to wrong ends is corruption, and that it is proliferating throughout the country, mainly politically, to benefit a small group of people at the expense of the rest of Ugandans.
For example, the sectors of education, agriculture and health, and the Institutions of police, army and prisons, and even business and commerce, have all been captured to benefit the group, using the Competitive Exclusion Principle (CEP) to disadvantage those traditionally and constitutionally recognized as the indigenous cultural groups of Uganda.
But while excluding the Banyarwanda that were inserted in the Uganda Constitution 1995, to make the once migratory refugees (seeking grass and water for cattle across the border between Rwanda and Uganda) access everything – jobs, political offices, judicial offices, land, money, et cetera unabatedly.
In this article I want to focus a little more on the natural public resources of air, water, forests, swamps, wildlife, and humanity, which is the most critical resouce in development, but are all being increasingly used and misused to wrong ends for power, money, glory, domination and control of indigenous communities for the livelihood benefit of a small, exogenous group of people.
The use and misuse of the public resources is now institutionalized, starting with the fused Presidency and State House and ending with the fusion. Parliament and Judiciary are now tuned to facilitate the use and misuse of resources in the country.
I will call the resources collectively “The Commons”, and what is happening to them “Tragedy of the Commons”. Let me define the Commons as: “The cultural and natural resources accessible to all members a society, including natural materials ( such as soil gold, Iron ore, copper and platinum), air, water, forests, swamps, wildlife, waterfalls and a habitable Earth”.
The resources are held in common, even when they are owned privately or publicly. However, as I have intimated above, the tendency is for the private to predate on what is public, diminishing it to small proportions. The private is tending to increasingly transmute into being owned by a small group linked ethnically and in terms of kinship.
Power and money are being used and misused by a few politically and militarily influential people to dispossess the public and convert public resources and the Commons into their individual possessions.
Not by accident, virtually all of the dispossessed belong to the invasive ethnic group of Uganda, and a few of those assimilated by it. Swamps, forests, Lakes, Land and River Nile are under siege.
The air is being polluted unashamedly, with dire Consequences for the stability and sustainability of our climate. Climate Change is now a constant threat, despite Institutionalization and centralization of Environmental Management. In one short sentence: Power, money and ethnicity pose the greatest threat to Uganda’s public resources”.
This is the Tragedy of the Commons of Uganda. According to William Forster Lloyd (1833) the Tragedy of Commons refers to a situation, in which individuals with access to a public resource (also called a common) act in their own interest and, in so doing absolutely deplete the resource.
However, according to Gorret Harden (1968), the Tragedy of the Commons describes a situation where shared resources are overused, overexploited and eventually depleted, causing risks to everyone involved. Whatever definition we use, the ultimate end of abuse of the Commons is destruction and depletion, consciously or unconsciously.
It is conscious destruction when a government allows polluting industries to be established, and their pollutants directed into the air or in the Lakes. It is conscious destruction when a government converts a natural forest into oil palm or sugarcane plantations.
It is conscious destruction when a government converts a swamp into an industrial estate.
It is conscious destruction when a government erases the waterfalls of River Nile, which even God himself mentions as ” rising, and falling (Amos, 8:8) and flooding (Job, 38:36) of the Nile” , thereby acting anti-God.
It is conscious destruction when politically and militarily powerful people, or even foreigners from a neighboring country grab miles and miles of land in wildlife corridors or other natural ecosystems to establish artificial monocultures for individual aggrandizement without consideration of present and future generations.
It is conscious destruction when a government allows foreigners from China to mine sand from the shores of Lake Victoria, deplete natural fish and transfer them to their country, and introduce genetically modified fish in the Lake.
It is conscious destruction to mine gypsum or oil in natural ecosystem, destroy ecological and environmental values of the country in favor of money value.
It is conscious destruction to erode the quality of life of human beings and other beings just to satisfy one’s insatiable greed and selfishness.
All this and more are what my children and other children of Uganda have grown up witnessing: the use and misuse of God’s creations, which we need to enjoy wholesome living. But they have seen more.
They have seen their country, which was once divided into 15 Nation States (i.e., Acholi, Ankole, Buganda, Bugisu, Bukedi, Bunyoro, Busoga, Karamoja, Kigezi, Lango, Moyo, Sebei, Teso, Toro and West Nile), but now also include the Rwenzururu Nation State, being dismembered through bantustanisation, by creating numerous, meaningless, unviable districts, just to enhance the power of the President over Uganda, people and its public resources.
This process has not only disconnected, peoples, cultures and resources, but has intensified the the use and misuse of public resources and, hence, destruction of natural public resources. The destroyers are tending to be a small ethnic group, who are also increasingly the Resident District Commissioners (RDCs) reminiscent of the British Colonial District Commissioners that I grew up seeing.
My children, my grandchildren and all children and grandchildren of Uganda have seen what abuse of office and power means in real terms. The Colonial British District Commissioner were dispatched to the British Colonial Governor resident in Entebbe State to extend his sovereign power over the natives.
Similarly, the post-colonial Resident District Commissioners are dispatched by the President of Uganda to extend and proliferate his power and authority over Ugandans, which is increasingly absolute and dictatorial.
It is making the claimed liberation of Uganda a myth. It is no longer security of Ugandans and their properties, security of Uganda or security of future of or future generations. It is security of the President, the small ethnic group dominating power, its unchallenged access to the natural public resources, and the diminishing State of Uganda, now reduced to a Deep State of people that are closely related ethnically and in terms of kinship, and sub served by people of other ethnicities eager to make ends meet in an increasingly unjust status quo.
If there is going to be another and genuine liberation it will be from this status quo. The liberation promises to be more bloody than any socio-polical conflict so far witnessed in Uganda, unfortunately. If other socio-political conflicts have involved foreign elements, the next liberation will involve foreigners who will manifest as Mercenaries. Mercenaries are soldiers paid to reign terror in the heart s of civilians and nations.
However, the mercenaries are likely to be Blacks. not Whites. This will this be unlike the sociopolitical conflicts of the 1960s and late 1990s in Congo, which involved White Mercenaries. The White Mercenaries of Congo were small bands of armed soldiers of Fortune.
But the coming sociopolitical conflict in Uganda, will involve Black mercenaries in their thousands. Some may come from Rwanda and others may come from Eastern Congo. According to the Revelation God has given me they will reign terror all over Uganda to retain it and it’s resources for themselves.
The recent announcement that Uganda has Gold reserves worth $12 trillion, half the Gold reserves of Congo; and the fact that the country has proven oil reserves and numerous elements of power (such as Cobalt, Platinum and Aluminum), which are used in high-tech industries, suggests that at the centre of the coming social political conflicts in Uganda will be natural public resources, some of which are already monopolized by power and are being used and misused to wrong ends.
It goes without saying that foreign powers such as China, Russia and USA, will position themselves to benefit greatest from the sociopolitical conflict. The socio-political conflict will reduce the population of Uganda, which is already almost the youngest in the world. The old will succumb to the combined vicissitudes of Nature and the terror that will be reigned.
Uganda will remain as one huge mine with small pockets of people. Ugandans who are abroad will remain there permanently, completely unconnected from their country. My children and grandchildren, and all the children and grandchildren of Uganda, should awaken to the coming reality.
Ugandans might be the Maoris, Aborigines and Red Indians of Uganda, reduced non-entries in their own country, and to nothing more than a cheap source of labour, with everything taken away from them.
One thing is true. It is not your security or the security of Uganda that is driving the over-militarization of Uganda, but the protection of the interests of a small purist group of people with all eyes focused on the natural resources of Uganda.
Ensuring the quality of life of Ugandans through strategies such as minimum wage, fair prices, equal opportunities, and equality in salaries for similar qualification, experience and professionalism is not a priority.
Besides, Money bonanzas to a few individuals, partially-oriented to the ruling class, are not about to end. So other schemes like Bonna Baggagawale, Emyooga, Operation Wealth Creation and Parish Development Model, promising illusionary richness, will be unleashed.
Divide and Rule will continue to be developed and applied as a formidable tool for disempowerment, domination and control unless Ugandans themselves reject and resist divisions, especially along political lines.
For God and My Country
The Writer Is a Ugandan Scientist And Environmentalist
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