Hon (Dr) Paul Kawanga Ssemogerere
Hon. Ssemogerere and wife (in green dress) on a function
Below are the answers to a questionnaire given to Hon. (Dr) Paul Kawanga Ssemogerere. These were given by William Kituuka Kiwanuka.
1) What are the names of your parents and where were you born, is it that you made 80 years this year?
Ø I was born on 11th February, 1932, at Bumangi, Buggala Island, in the Ssese archipelago; and I was baptized on 18th February by Rev. Fr. Berjhard who was curate at the Catholic Mission.
Ø Altogether, we were six children: Firipo ((Philip) Ssemakula; Alipio Kamwaanyi Luvule; Aloyzio Mukiibi; Paskale Sserunjogi, Tereza Nabatanzi Mpinga (Mrs); and I. All the four brothers have passed on; and only my sister (now a widow) and I are still alive.
Ø Our father was Yozefu Kamwaanyi Bagenda Kapere of the Lugaveclan (pangolin), a great-great grandson, in direct descent, of Ssebwaana I, son of Mukiibi Ssebuko Ndugwa I, the ancestor of the clan. He died in 1933and was buried at the Catholic cemetery at Bumangi Parish.
Ø The Catholic Missionaries at Bumangi Parish took particular care to treat our father when he fell sick; and when they realized he needed further treatment, they not only referred him to the Catholic Hospital at Kisubi administered by the “Whiter Sisters”, they also took the trouble to provide special transport by canoe for him for the purpose. Our ailing father was accompanied to Kisubi Hospital by our mother and the eldest brother, Firipo, to attend to him; and our sister, Tereza and I, joined them because we were too young to be left behind.
Ø When treatment also failed, our father was returned,when still alive,to Bumangi, where he later died.
Ø With our father’s hospitalization at Kisubi, and his subsequent death and burial at Bumangi, virtually in the caring hands of the Catholic Missionaries, there developed a close bond of relationship between our bereaved family and an expanding circle of these Missionaries – the White Fathers, White Sisters, Freres, and Brothers; andnot only at Bumangi, but now also at Kisubi and beyond. Out of their kind consideration, the White Sisters, under their Mother Superior, Sr. Felix (“Maama Filikisi”), made arrangements for Firipo, Tereza and I to come to Kisubi, whereby:
ü Firipo, who, after completion of his Elementary Vernacular Course (PI-IV) at Bumangi, pursued a training-on-the-job programme at Kisubi Hospital as a hospital attendant, was happily retained in life-long employment; and
ü Tereza and I, when we attained the school entry age,wereenrolled, at the White Sisters’ Primary schools at Kisubi.
Ø Our mother was Maria Lwiza (Louise) Musubika Nnamwendero of the Nvubu clan (Hippopotamus). Upon the death of our father, our mother took good care of our big family: six children and our grandmother (also a widow), as well as many children of relatives and friends who stayed at our home in order to attend school at Bumangi. One of such children was Rev. Sr. Mary Vincent Nakawesa (RIP), the late Mother Superior General of the Congregation of Sisters of the Daughters of Mary (the Bannabiikira) of Bwanda, Masaka Diocese, who passed on, early 2012.
Ø Our mother died in 1978 and was buried at Nkumba, Busiro, at the residence of our brother, Alipio Kamwanyi Luvule, the father of Bishop Paul Ssemogerere of Kasana-Luweero Diocese.
2) Where did you spend your childhood and what are the memories?
Ø I spent the first part of my childhood with our motherat Bumangi; and later I was placed under the care of my uncle, Ibraim Kawanga Lumigiro, at Nkumba, near Kisubi, who was a book-binder at the Government Printing and Publishing Press (GPPP), Entebbe. Lumigiro was a former Seminarian at Bukalasa Seminary. On leaving the Seminary, he was employed at the Catholic Printing Press at Villa Maria before it was transferred to Kisubi; that was acquired the necessary skills in book-binding.
Ø I was well received and well looked after at my uncle’s home; and we used to have many visitors, some of whom, including the “White Sisters” took special interest in me.
3) Where did you go to primary school and which years were they?
Ø In 1940, I started formal education atSt. John’s Boys Boarding Primary School, at Kisubi, which was run by the White Sisters, some of whom, including the Mother Superior (“Mameeya”), Rev. Sr. Felix (“Maama Filikisi “), had known me earlieras a baby when I was with our sick father in their hospital.
Ø After attaining “Elementary Vernacular (E-V) Leaving Certificate” (i.e., P IV), at St. John’s Boarding School, I moved on to complete “Full” Primary School (i.e., P VI), first at St. Henry’s College Kitovu, in the Primary Section, before the Primary component was abolished; and then at Kisubi Boys (later renamed St. Donozio) Primary School, where I attained the Full Primary Leaving Certificate in 1946.
4) What is the type of food you enjoy most?
Ø I am normally comfortable eating mostlocal staples with fish, chicken, beef,pork, anddiverse kinds of sauce, vegetables and fruits.
Ø I am conservative in my selection of diets: I therefore avoid experimenting with unfamiliar diets such as snails, crabs, crocodiles.
5) When did you join St. Mary’s College Kisubi?
Ø I joined St. Mary’s College In 1947 in Junior Secondary One when:
o Bro. Amator was Headmaster;
o Anthony Ssingo was Head Prefect;
o Bro. Anthony Kyemwa was in Junior Secondary Two.
Ø After obtaining the Junior Secondary Leaving Certificate in 1949, I was admitted to Senior Secondary One in 1950; and I obtained the Cambridge Overseas School Certificate in 1952.
Ø During this period, the College was headed by four Headmasters in succession: Bro. Amator; Bro Eugene; Bro. Louis; and Bro. John Leonard.
Ø In 1951, I was directly elected Head Prefect by the students, the first - eversuch direct elections, under an innovation introduced at SMACK by the first American-born and American-educated Headmaster, Bro. Louis.
6) What House did you belong to at St. Mary’s College Kisubi?
I belonged to Lourdel House; and our banner was “Excelsior”.
7) What are your memories of SMACK?
Ø The School’s outstanding reputation;
Ø The tidiness, especially by comparison with other schools, of the Brothers’ and students’ attire, as well as of the school compound;
Ø The valuable learning experience;
Ø The wonderful teachers and fellow students, who made one feel we were a family;
Ø The well-stocked school library and the encouragement we received from our teachers to read beyond the Class text books, and to develop a reading culture;
Ø The rich extra-curricular programmes, in whose activities I joyfully participated and excelled:
ü St. Mary’s College Cadet Corps (KCCC):
o St. Mary’s College was one of only two (and later three) schools in East Africa which conducted a Cadet Corps training programme; the others being Namilyango College (and later, St. Henry’s College, Kitovu).
o I was enrolled into the KCCC and rose to the rank of Sergeant Major and Platoon Commander: there were four Platoons in all under one Company; and our overall Company Commanders were, in succession, the late Paul Nnyungwe and John Lukwago.
o In 1950, I was one of 10 cadets selected to train students at St. Henry’s College, Kitovu, who, subsequently,became the pioneers in the introduction of theCadet Corps programme there; and, on completion of Secondary School, some of them, e.g., the late Gilbert Sseruwagi and Edwin Wasswa, joined Uganda Police as officer-cadets and rose to the highest ranks in the Force.
o In the same year (1950), I was among a group of cadets selected to undergo some elementary military training at the King’s African Rifles (KAR) base, at Jjinja; another member of our group was Leonard Kigonya, who, after St. Mary’s, joined the Prisons Department and eventually headed it. Unfortunately he was killed by Amin’s hit men.
ü The Debating Society:
o The society shaped and sharpened my debating skills, leading the Headmaster, Rev. Bro. John Leonard, to refer to me, in hisofficial Letter of Recommendation about me, as the best debater in the school (1952);
o I led the Debating Society as its President in1951-2.
o The society gave me, and St. Mary’s, an avenue and a rare opportunity to prove ourselves in a hot debate at the time, which washosted by our arch-rivals, King’s College, Budo, and presided over personally by the College Headmaster, Mr. Cobb: proposition, which I led, and by which we scored an impressive victory, was, “Bride price should be abolished”.
ü The Literary, Dramatic and Musical Society (LDMS):
o Participation in LDMS activities greatly improved our command of the English language and provided us with a good insight into the lives of some of the leading personalities in history and some of the important events of their time;
o I was active in Drama where I played leading roles in characters, such as the “Chauffer” in the Italian play, “The Brigands of Bravenza”, and Shakespeare’s “King Henry the Fifth”.
ü Lawn and Table Tennis: these two were my most favourite sports (1947-52); and in which our teams won the Uganda Senior Secondary Schools Championships Finals Cups, defeating the favourites, and the country’s leading Asian School, Old Kampala Secondary School, on their premises, in both the Singles and Doubles events (1951).
ü The “noble art” of Boxing: I was active in the Boxing Club; and I won the Uganda Feather-weight Champion Trophy in 1951.
ü Other activities:
I took part in many other extra-curricular activities, which included: Football; Cricket; Swimming; Volley Ball; Gymnastics; Athletics; Shot-put; Drafts.
ü In 1951, I received St Mary’s College “Best-All-Rounder” Student Award.
8) Can you remember the type of feeding you were having at St. Mary’s College Kisubi?
The typical diet at St. Mary’s,during week days and Saturdays, was sweet potatoes and cassava with groundnut sauce and beans; and bananas with meat on Sundays. We also had breakfast and evening tea.
9) Were new students being teased then?
There was teasing of new students; but the teasing was directed mainly at the relatively “rather old” new-comers, and especially those judged to be lacking in manners. However, by comparison to other Boarding Schools, e.g., Kings College, Budo, and Namilyango College, teasing at St. Mary’s was minimal and short-lived, and never brutal.
10) By the time I entered SMACK (1974) there were about 20 children or more admitted or more on a yearly basis to Form 1 from Savio. What was the situation around your time?
There was no Savio (nor Kabojja) by the time I entered St. Mary’s in 1947.
11) Today, St. Mary’s College Kisubi is much more of a school for the rich. How was it around your time?
St. Mary’s College Kisubi was not a school for the rich, although some of the students came from families of rich parents:
Ø In making admissions and evaluating students, the criteria were academic competence and character.
Ø While some students came from well-to-do families, e.g., families of chiefs etc., they received no special treatment; and they were required to conduct themselves in strict conformity with the same school regulations and norms as the rest of the students.
Ø On the other hand, St. Mary’s College made special efforts to institute a bursary scheme of her own for deserving students from modest and poor families; I was a beneficiary from this scheme, right from the beginning on my admission to the College.
Ø In addition, there was a Buganda Government scholarship scheme for students who performed well enough in the then Junior Secondary Leaving Certificate examination (i.e., Junior Secondary III) and were continuing with their studies in Senior Secondary; I was a beneficiary from this scheme as well.
12) What Sports were you involved in at SMACK?
(See No 7))
13) Any photos that show you as a student at SMACK?
14) Who inspired you at St. Mary’s College Kisubi?
Many Brothers on the Teaching Staff, the Chaplains, fellow students and visiting Old Boys and clergy were a great inspiration to me. Outstanding among all of them was our Biology Teacher and Headmaster, Bro. Louis.
15) Where did you go after leaving St. Mary’s College Kisubi?
I enrolled at Makerere College, then the University College of East Africa, when it was still an affiliate of the University of London, where I underwent an Intermediate Course (the equivalent of Higher School Certificate) and, thereafter joined the Faculty of Education for a Diploma in Education (Dip. Ed. EA; 1959)
16) How did you meet the tuition for your higher studies?
It was the rule, at that time, that on gaining admission to Makerere, the student was automatically granted:
Ø Full scholarship,by the Uganda Protectorate Government, for fees, full board and lodging; and
Ø A bursary by the respective Local Government (in my case the Buganda Government) for such items as stationery, books, clothes, transport and incidentals.
17) Can you tell us about your family members?
Ø I am married (1974 to date) to Dr. Germina Namatovu Ssemogerere (BA Vassar, NY; MSc & PhD Economics, Duke Univ. N.C. USA; Assoc. Prof. Economics, at Makerere University, in the School of Economics, College of Business and Management Sciences (COBAMS));
Ø The eldest child and daughter, Theresa Grace Nabatanzi Sendaula (Mrs.) passed on in May, 2011;
Ø The rest of the children are:
ü Karoli Lwanga Ssemogerere (an Old Boy of Kabojja, Savio & SMACK), now an Attorney at Law with offices in New York and Kampala:he is a Law Graduate of
o Makerere University,and the Law Development Centre Bar Exam; and, at the Masters’ level of
o Harvard Law School and the New York Bar Exam; and also
o of the University of Maryland for a Masters Degree in Public Administration;
ü Anna MariaNamakula (an Old Girl of Namagunga Boarding Primary School &Mt. St. Mary’s College, Namagunga),now a Finance Manager in New York: she is a graduate of Baruch College, New York, and a current Candidate for a MSc degree at St. Peter’s University, New Jersey, USA;
ü Mary Immaculate Nabatanzi (also an Old Girl of Namagunga Girls Boarding Primary School and St. Mary’s College, Namagunga), now a Fashion and Apparel Designer in private business in Kampala: she is a BSc graduate of T. John’s College, Bangalore University, Bangalore, India; and
ü Paul Joseph Joseph Ssemakula (an Old Boy of Kabojja Primary School & Namilyango College), now ICT Manager at Mengo Hospital: he holds
o A BSc Degree in Computor Applications from Osmania University, Hyderabad, India; and
o AMSc Degree in Information Systems from Uganda Martyrs University (UMU), Nkozi.oHH
18) How did you get to join politics?
(a) Family dialogue, social media and political events:
Ø I developed early interest in politics, generally, in political events and the political behavior of our leaders. We usually discussed political issues at home and school; and I was a regular reader of newspapers and magazines in which many of the country’s significant political events were recounted, notably: Munno, Musizi, Gambuuze, and Uganda Eyogera.
Ø I was a regular reader of the Drum Magazine, which carried otherwise unavailable information about the evils of the apartheidsystemin Southern Africaand the bold struggle of the African people there against it.
Ø I read about, and took interest in, the Indian movement for independence; and the role Mahatma Gandhi played.
Ø I paid particular attention to dramatic events in Soviet- occupied Eastern Europe and attempts made to end such occupation.In 1956. In my capacity as Vice President and as the official responsible for international affairs of St. Augustine Catholic Community at Makerere, I organized the collection of funds which we sent to the Archbishop of Vienna, Austria, as relief for the Hungarian refugees fleeing from artillery bombardment by Soviet tanks during the anti-communist uprising in their country.
Ø I followed closely the evolving African independence movements in Africa, notably in Ghana whereI visited, in 1957 – shortly after the country’s independence - to attend an international conference there on the engaging theme at the time, “Africa Tomorrow”, which was sponsored by WUS (World University Service) Committeeof Canada; and whereby I had the opportunity to interact with some prominent African political leaders of the independence movement who were quite inspiring, e.g.,
ü Ghana’s first Finance Minister Bedemah, who, unfortunately later fell out with President Kwame Nkrumah and had to flee into exile in neighbouring Togo;
ü Koffi Busia, the then Leader of the Opposition;
ü Joe Appiah, a prominent member of Busia’s opposition political party;
ü Dr. Kamuzu Banda, later President of Malawi, whom we met, and had discussions with, at his Clinic in Ashanti where he was leaving in apartheid-forced exile.
Subsequent developments in Ghana and Malawi, and the associated fate of my previously-found political idols, gave me strong reasons to ponder over the political direction of independent Africa and, along with it, the political behavior of our leaders. Clearly: authoritarianism and one-party rule, let alone one-man rule, however visionary,were, and remain, the wrong way to go for Africa.
Ø Closer to home, I shared with fellow students from Kenya the plight and frustration of the black population there under Colonial rule, which eventually exploded into the “Mau Mau” uprisings, followed by “the Kampenguria trials”.
Ø At Makerere I was a student leader in organizations where political issues were often discussed, such as:
ü Vice President for Campus Affairs, Makerere University Students Guild, 1958-59;
ü President, Uganda Makerere Students Association (UMSA; 1958-59);
ü Ssentebe Baanaba Buganda (President, Buganda Students Association, a forerunner of today’s Nkobaza Mbogo)
Ø I took active interest in the dramatic political events and the political movements/parties that sprang up in the early 1950s in Uganda, notably:
ü First, there was the “Bataka Bu” Movement (1947-49), whose chief protagonist was a former Brother of Christian Instruction-turned-politician, Francis SsemakulaMulumba, then domiciled in England. “Bataka-Bu” used to hold monthly meetings at the residence of omutaka Miti Kabazzi at Namirembe, Kampala, whichmeetings a senior student at SMACK, Mr. Mbuya, attended on a regular basis: travelling to Namirembe on bicycle and reporting back to us on the communications from Ssemakula Mulumba and the proceedings of the meetings.
ü Second, there was the formation of the Uganda National Congress (UNC), in 1952, and of various minor parties/movements which carried out a sensitization campaign for the politics of national independence.
ü Third, there was the dreadful and dramatic action of the deposition and deportation of the Kabaka of Buganda, Sir Edward Muteesa II, by Governor (later, Sir) Andrew Benjamin Cohen, in November 1953, and thestrong political reaction against it, which, ironically, greatly boosted the growing demand for independence and accelerated its attainment.
(b) The formation of the Democratic Party (1954)
The formation of the Democratic Party (DP)and the direct approach made to me by some of its principal founding members and promoters, especially Old Boys of SMACK, who were known to me personally; attracted me into joining the organization in its initiation stage in 1954.
(c) Exposure to politics abroad
I was fortunate to secure a one-year scholarship to the USA (1957-8), in leadership promotion, at Allegheny College, Meadville, Pa, under the Foreign Student Leadership Project (FSLP), which was sponsored by the United States National Students Association (USNSA), with the support of the Ford Foundation and the cooperating US Universities and Colleges. This one year experience in the US contributed significantly to my political formation; and it inspired me into considering politics as a vocation.
Under the FSLP,successful student leaders from Asia, the Middle East and Africa were enrolled into American Universities and Collegeswhere wehad good opportunities, through course work, reading, interaction with American students and faculty members, as well as political and civic leaders in Washington and at the local level etc. to have a good insight into thedynamics of politics and society in America and at the international level. There were 18 of us; and we came to the US from diverse countries, including, besides Uganda: Japan, Indonesia, and India.
At Allegheny College, I took formal courses in Political Science under the guidance of Professor Wayne R. Merrick and, in addition, in Sociology. I educated myself about American political history and the American political system; and I developed particular interest in the election campaign for President, of Senator John F. Kennedy,one of whose public addresses I attended in Philadelphia Pa.I also followed closely the non-violent struggle, of the National Association of Colored People (NACP) under the leadership of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., against racial segregation and discrimination in the US. This struggle for “equal rights”, and also for “affirmative action”, was eventually crowned by landmark successes in the Courts of Law and Congressional legislation, through the combined efforts: on the one hand,of President Kennedy’s Administration, spearheaded by Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy;and, on the other, of Martin Luther King Jr., with legal Counsel (later Supreme Court Justice) Thurgood Marshal.
(d) Interactions with Benedicto(“Ben”)Kagimu Mugumba Kiwanuka (RIP)
I had personal interactions with Benedicto (“Ben”) Kiwanuka (RIP) during which he earnestly entreated me to join him into full-time politics.
My interactions with Ben Kiwanuka included, especially, the following:
Ø Ifirst met Kiwanukaat a welcoming reception, organized in his honour, at the SMACKOBA’s premises at Lubaga in 1956, by the Democratic Party leadership, withthe then DP President-General Matayo Mugwanya (RIP) as the chief host.
Ø Soon after Ben Kiwanuka’s election as President General of the DP, in 1958, at the Party’s Delegates Conference at Tororo, Eastern Uganda, I invited him to Makerere, in my capacity as President of Uganda Makerere University Student Association (UMUSA), to address the University community.
ü This invitation to Kiwanuka followed those of my counterparts from Tanganyika and Kenya who previously had invited, respectively: Julius K. Nyerere of the Tanganyika African Union (TANU) and Tom J. Mboya of both, Kenya Trade Union Congress (KTUC) and Kenya African Union (KAU) – a demonstration of the political tempo prevalent throughout East Africa at the time;
ü Ben’s debut at Makerere was a tremendous success:
o First,it was a success in attendance, where the Lower Arts Theatre –the biggest such facility on campus at the time – was filled to capacity (window sills included) by a concentration of curious, enquiring and enthusiastic minds of students, lecturers, professors etc., who originated from all over East Africa and beyond; and
o Second, it was a success in delivery,where Ben was at his best and his address – making a sharp critique of the status quo and presenting his vision for the future - was highly acclaimed.
Ø Following this successful event Ben and I got to know and like each other more and more; and we agreed to work together for national independence through astrengthened Democratic Party, while, at the same time, agreeing also on the need to increase the Party’s appeal to the educated and sophisticated elite, as well as to make special efforts to broaden the party’s religious base by attracting well-disposed non-Catholics into its rank and file.
Ø Ben and I had more deliberative discussions when he made a political visit to Fort Portal in 1959 and stayed with me, as my house guest, at the Kagote Government Housing Estate.
ü I was then a member of the Teaching Staff at St. Leo’s College, heading the Biology Section, and also teaching Chemistry and Acts of the Apostles.
ü In addition to teaching I played Tennis at the school, mostly with other members of Staff (Brothers of Christian Instruction and expatriate lay teachers from the UK) but also with some American priests (e.g., Fr., later, Bishop, Macauley and Fr. Albert) of the Holy Ghost Fathers.
ü Outside school work, I was elected and served as President of Kagote Housing Tenants Association – an organization established for the welfare of the tenants; and I also served as an appointed member of Fort Portal Township Board.
ü During my free time, I had spearheaded the formation of the first properly constituted DPDistrict Branch Executive. I had done so:
o In consultation with a former school-mate at St. Mary’s, Augustine Kamulindwa, then working at National Grindlays Bank, Fort Portal; and
o With the full personal encouragement and support of:
§ John Nyakairu, The Kingdom’s Finance Minister (Omukeeto), who was also an Old Boy of St. Mary’s; and
§ Peter Bakuraira, one of the earliest Makerere-trained Teachers in the country, whose family I had known through their daughter, Beatrice Bakuraira, a former student colleague at Makerere, and an active member of the St. Augustine Society during our days there.
Ø Besides addressing the meetings we arranged for him, it became clear to me that Ben was on a mission to persuade me seriously tojoin hands with him on a full-time basis to organize the DP and fight for independence– an appeal he was later to follow up earnestly in writing after his return to Kampala.
Ø Eventually Ben won me over. I resigned from my then blossoming job, forwent a scholarship offer for further studies in the US, and joined him into full-time politics in 1960. I was then inducted into the mainstream of Democratic Party leadership, first by being appointed Acting Publicity Secretary by the Party Central Executive Committee and later, at the Party’s Annual Conference, being elected in a substantive capacity to the same post.Thereafter, Ben and Iremained inseparable to the end in our common cause for democracy
19) You are one of those students who did Boxing at School. How come you have been a peaceful politician all the time, non - violent?
Ø Fortunately, ours was amateur, not professional,boxing. To meboxing was just another sport for pleasure, physical and character development: interestingly, I made friends with some of my boxing “colleagues” including those I had “fought” in the ring! On good advice from my promoters, who included Bro. Louis, I never looked to boxing as my way of life; and I did boxing only for a limited period, turning down an approach at Makerere to continue with the sport at the University.
Ø Yes, I have tried all along to promote forpeaceful and non-violent means in politics,a characteristic which I think may be attributed to the following:
ü My religious, professional and political formation, respectively as a Catholic, a teacher, and a democrat, which wasstrengthened, subsequently, by the wise counsel and support I received, especially at critical times of decision-making, from respected friends and leaders, at home and abroad, which were all oriented towards peace.
ü Peace has all along been atreasured tradition and practice of the political organizations I belonged to, notably:
o The Democratic Party (DP);
o The Christian Democrat International (CDI), in whose ranks I rose to the high post of Vice President, and whereby:
§ We were received in a special audience by Pope John Paul II at the Vatican; and, in another similar audience by a spiritual leader, by Cardinal Sin at his Palace in Manila, the Philippines;
§ I interacted with many distinguished world leaders who included: German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, President (Mrs) Corazin Aquino of the Philippines, GiulioAndreotti of Italy, Mr. Bondevick (later Prime Minister) of Norway, as well as other outstanding political personalitiesfrom such countries as:
· Venezuela (Calvano, a former Foreign Minister);
· Panama (Calderon, who served as CDI President); and
· Chile (Zaldivar: CDI President, who attended the CDI African Colloquiumon Democracy and Development,in Kampala in1984, and who later became Speaker of Parliament in Chile.
§ There were also, in a category of their own, leaders in the CDI fraternity, with whom I developed the closest possible political relationships; these included,most especially:
· Dr. Heinz G. Huesch from Nuess, Germany, who was a Member of the German Bundestag and also a member of the Development Committee of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung;
· AngelloBernassolla, from Italy, who was Secretary General of CDI; and
· Andre Louis, fromBelgium, Bernassola’s successor, as CDI Secretary General.
o I was a founding member of the Union of African Parties for Democracy and Development (UAPDD), of which I later became President; and I was also Vice President of the Democratic Union of Africa (DUA). These, too, were dedicated to peace.
ü My commitment to peace was well appreciated by my political colleagues in the then OAU (Organization of African Unity), now transformed into the AU (African Union), as reflected, for example, by the kind of responsibilities given to me when I was Uganda’s Foreign Minister (1988-1994), notably:
o Chairman, OAU Ministerial Committee, on the Resolution of Conflict between Senegal and Mauritania;
o Chairman, Committee for the establishment of anOAU Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution;
o Member, OAU Ministerial Delegation to the Special Session of the UN Security Council on South Africa (1992), which culminated in a resolution for the peaceful settlement of the Apartheid Question; and
o Member, OAU Ministerial Delegation to the CODESA (Conference on the Democratization of South Africa), where the principal stakeholders, including then President de Clerk and ANC Leader Nelson Mandela, finally resolved to end their armed conflict and prepare for a new political order under a multiparty system.
Ø It is most gratifying that under the present situation, when the focus is on the glorification of war heroes, the current leadership of the Uganda Parliament have, on the occasion of Parliament’s 50-year Jubilee Celebrations, recognized me for a special award, andhave done so with the accompanying citation:
“Dr. Ssemogerere was known to be a peace-loving advocate of the multi-party system of government throughout his entire political career.”
20) What are your memories of the Late Ben Kiwanuka and your relation with him?
On my personal relationship with Ben Kiwanuka:
As already indicated, Ben Kiwanuka and I came to know each other in the course of our public activities. Thereafter, we built uptrust and respect between us, developed the closest of relations and became the best of friends.We talked freely about our lives; and we discussed, on equal terms, issues and challenges facing the DP and/or the country e.g.:
Ø When we embarked on Ben’s first education project, as DP Leader, of executing a private scholarship scheme under the Party’s auspices through a committee he set up for the purpose to which he appointed me Secretary; and where we managed to send 10 students to Colleges and Universities in the US;
Ø When we made plans and strategies for DP’s participationin the 1961 General Elections, e.g.,
ü In recruiting new members into the Party and identifying suitable Parliamentary candidates; and
ü Drafting the Party’s Election Manifesto, which three of us edited (Ben Kiwanuka, Michael Kaggwa (an O.B. of St. Mary’s) and I);
Ø When we were in government (1961-62), e.g.,
ü In consultations about suitable Cabinet appointments;
ü In conducting legislative work, in particular legislative debates;
ü In making preparations for DP’s presentations at the Lancaster Conference (1961), as Secretary to the Party’s ad hoc Constitutional set up for the purpose;
ü In conducting Party work at the Headquarters;
Ø After we lost the 1962 Elections:
ü When I worked on a full-time voluntary basis heading the DP Headquarters, while at the same time liaising closely and intimately with him as Party Leader;
ü When we were imprisoned without trial (1969-71), under the Public Order and Security Act (1967), following the summary ban of the DP along with other Opposition Parties and groups on 18/12/69;
ü When, normally at his direct beckoning, I was a constant visitor at his residence and companion to social and religious functions he attended during the period he was Chief Justice (1971-72);
ü When, on being asked to represent Uganda at Lesotho’s 1971 Annual Celebrations, in Maseru, for the country’s independence, the Chief Justice departed from stereotype-protocol and requested that, besides his wife, I also accompany him to the event, rejecting suggestions that I was ineligible since I was not a civil servant.
On a matter of most painful memory, I recall the occasion when Chief Justice Kiwanuka called me to his Chambers in the High Court and, thinking aloud, he said, “I am no longer Chief Justice”!
Benmade those remarks while clearing his desk, getting ready to resign or be fired, following atelephone call from President Idi Amin, the day earlier, questioning ajudgement, the Chief Justice had made, granting a habeas corpus application in respect of a certain Mr. Stuart, a British expatriate at the Madhvani Sugar Works, Kakira, who had been picked up by military personnel and detained at their barracks at Makindye.
Ben then gave me a personal file he had been keeping in his Chambers, whichcontained all his land titles, and asked me to keep it in a safe place of my choosing without reference to him. I carried out the confidential and disturbing assignment as requested; and after the Chief Justice had been presumed dead by assassination, I gave the file to his wife, Maxensia Zalwango Kiwanuka.
Ben Kiwanuka, the person, the lawyer and politician:
Kiwanuka had the combination of a well-cultured and well-formed person, a well-educated and successful lawyer who was highly valued by his clients and respected by many people in society, and hean informed, morally upright, and bold politician.In Ben Kiwanuka Buganda and Uganda had secured but lost a national leader with impressive credentials, and someone with a well-informed understanding of the local and international issues of the time.
Kiwanuka was a self-made person:
Ø He attended St.Peter’s Secondary School, Nsambya, and afterwards wentinto active military service, under the Allied Forces, in Palestine in the Middle East.
Ø On his return and discharge from the military, he secured employment in the High Court Library, Kampala, during which time an American lawyer he helped locate sources in the Library for a case in which he was appearing as defence counsel, found him well gifted and hard-working; and he advised him to study Law.HiHH
Ø For his matriculation for enrolment into University, he went for further studies in Basutoland (now Lesotho) in Southern Africa,where he encountered the apartheid system of governance.
Ø Kiwanuka joined Law School at Greys Inn, London, during which time, he gained first-hand knowledge of the British people, their way of life and their high regard for fundamental rights – all of which impressed him.
Ø During his student days in London, Kiwanuka attended to Uganda’s cause under trying circumstances, precipitated by the deposition and deportation of the Kabaka of Buganda - an institution he highly valued:
ü He attended to the exiled Kabaka in respect of both personal and legal matters; and he was at hand for consultations with the Buganda Delegation, whenever required,regardingthe Delegation’s negotiations with the British Government; and
ü He served as Secretary General of the Uganda Students’ Associationin the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.
Upon his return to Uganda, Kiwanuka broke new ground when he immediately started off in private legal practicewhere he did particularly well, without first looking for a secure paid employment in the Public Service.
21) When DP was in Government, what was your position, title and roles?
The Democratic Party was in Government in 1961-62.I was elected Member of the Legislative Council ( LegCo), later the National Assembly, for North Mengo Constituency which included the whole of Buruli County and parts of Bulemeezi. I retained my office as DP Publicity Secretary; and now, with the DP in Government under Ben’s leadership, my responsibilities multiplied and became more complex and, at times, highly sensitive.
The DPhad by now matured andevolved into a respectable and broadly-based national party, as demonstrated by its success in havingidentified and fielded credible candidates throughout Uganda for the 1961 General Elections; andin having won those elections convincingly with an overall majority. I had been part of that process; but now greater challenges were to follow for me - and especially so because Ben wanted it that way.He would, for instance, consult or inform me about practically all matters of public policy before him; and he would keep me busy carrying out various assignments.
We worked together, along with others Kiwanuka trusted, to put in place a cabinet of Ministers of proven integrity; and to formulate and implement, for the short-lived DP Government, a programme of action which included:
· Undertaking strenuous negotiations with the British Government for speeding up the decolonization process and fixing the independence date (9th October, 1962);
· Setting up an ambitious education scheme under which 300 scholarships were offered for professional studies abroad in preparation for needed manpower resources for the public and private sectors after independence;
· Accelerating the promotion of Africans in the Civil Service;
· Abolishing the monopolygiven to non-African businessmen over Arabica coffee export;
· Offering better terms of payment to the cotton and coffee farmers;
· Improving the terms and conditions of service of teachers – a scheme which was the brain-child of J.C. Kiwanuka, who was the Minister of Education;
· Collaborating with fellow African leaders, notably Julius Nyerere and Tom Mboya, to promote regional cooperation and the independence of Africa, and to end the apartheid system and all forms of racial discrimination – an initiative which had earlier crystalized into the formation of the Pan African Freedom Movement for East, Central and Southern Africa (PAFMECSA), whichheld its first meeting in Mbale, Uganda, in September, 1960,and to which meeting I led the DP Delegation.
In addition to the foregoing overall responsibilities I was appointed as:
ü A“Justice of the Peace” (1961-20), whereby I would visit any prison, review cases of convicts – especially of those serving long and life sentences – and make recommendations as I saw fit, which recommendations sometimes resulted in early discharge; and
ü Parliamentary Secretary to the Chief Minister (1961), which post I relinquishedafter the Independence Constitutional Conference in London at Lancaster House, when Ben requested me to serve as DP Deputy Election Commissioner for the scheduled 1962 General Elections, in accordance with the decision taken at the Conference.
22) What are your memories of Uganda after the Democratic Party got out of power and challenges?
There were some good developments especially in the socio-economic sector e.g., in the fields of education, health, animal andmanufacturing industries.
However, there were serious drawbacks as well, characterized, in particular, in denial of democratic principles and the rule of law, as reflected by:
Ø The ill-fated UPC/KY alliance, conceived in mutual dishonesty, and abrogated by violent and unconstitutional means with long-lasting negative impacts on the country;
Ø The suppression of internal and external dissent;
Ø The reckless pursuit and imposition of one-party rule, coupled withthe liquidation of the political opposition by whatever means, including subjecting its leaders to imprisonment on trumped-up charges and without trial;
Ø The growing dominance of the Presidency over the Legislature and the Judiciary, and the abuse of its power and privileges;
Ø The militarization of politics.
The foregoing trends persist to the present day and they pose a big challenge as to what ought to be done towards making Uganda, first and foremost, a functioning representative democracy anchored on organized pluralism, expressed in strong autonomous political parties, and governed by the principles of:
Ø The rule of law;
Ø Fundamental human rights;
Ø Separation/sharing of power by the Legislature, the Judiciary and the Executive – especially to safeguard againstthe dangers attendant to a continuously expanding, all-embracing Executive Presidency bordering on authoritarianism;
Ø Civilian authority over all administrative services, including the security services.
23) How did the misunderstandings between Mengo and the Catholic Church come about in those years?
Viewed from a broad perspective, the “misunderstandings between Mengo and the Catholic Church” (and, by extension, also Catholic political leadership) could be said to have had their historical origin in 16thcentury England in controversies between the British Monarch (King Henry VIII) and the Vatican, under which the Chancellor, Sir Thomas More, a Catholic, was executed for non-compliance with Royal orders and, when, subsequently, Catholics were barred from high office in the realm.This unfortunate state of affairsseems to have introduced a mind-set mired with suspicion and prejudice against Catholicswhich affected administrative/political appointments in countries with a background of British tutelage –Uganda being a case in point.A singular achievement made since our independence has been the commendable level reached in overcoming this prejudice and replacing it with mutual trust and cooperation between the top leadership of both the Buganda Kingdom and the Catholic Church.
The “misunderstandings” in their historical setting:
At the commencement of colonial rule in Uganda in the 19th century, many otherwise well-meaning British colonial agents considered it perfectly proper to look exclusively to the emerging African Protestant elite, for top leadership in the native administration they were shaping in Buganda and, eventually, throughout Uganda. This favouritism towards the Protestant elite became all the more compelling/imperative when “religious wars” broke out: first, between Christians and Muslims; and, afterwards, between Protestants and Catholics. Eventually it became part of the law of the land, written or unwritten, when, for instance: in Buganda, according to the 1900 (B)Uganda Agreement,only Protestants were eligible for the posts of Katikkiro (Prime Minister) and Omuwanika (Minister of Finance), as well as for appointment to the majority of the senior administration posts (e.g. county chiefs) – a model which was duplicated, with very few exceptions,elsewhere in Uganda.
It was this built-in religious prejudice – this structural injustice – which sowed the seeds of the “misunderstandings between Mengo and the Catholic Church” – misunderstandings which, for over six decades remained simmering but were to explode over differing and conflicting, positions takenon issues related to reform measures introduced to foster constitutional and political development, in the wake of the decolonization process, in the period prior to the attainment of national independence in 1962. Of particular significance were:
· first, reforms contained in the 1955 Buganda Agreementwhich superseded the 1900 (B)Uganda Agreement, whereby,for appointment to high office in the Buganda Administration, merit was substituted for one’s religious affiliation – an eligibility condition which had been entrenched under the 1900 (B)Uganda Agreement, to sustain Protestant hegemony; and,
· second, reforms which legitimized and emphasized the role of political parties, as a necessary condition for democracy, in the preparations for the 1961 General Elections and, subsequently, for constitutional progress towards Uganda’s attainment of national independence.
These reforms split the Buganda elite into two: advocates for the reforms, who, besides nationalistic politicians fighting for independence, included prominent leaders of the Catholic community, some of whom had been party to these innovations,who were pitted against some powerful forces in the Buganda Administration that reveled in the old order and now felt threatened by the new drastic changes afoot.
MatayoMugwanya, who, as Omulamuzi (Minister of Justice), was the highest ranking Catholic official in the Buganda Government, hadplayed a lead role inthe process that culminated into the introduction of the 1955 Agreement, following successful negotiations with Britain over the deposition and deportation to Britain of the Kabaka of Buganda in 1953.Mugwanya had been the leader of the Buganda Delegationwhich conductedthese negotiations. The negotiations were complemented by litigation and judicial findings in a High Court case (withMugwanyaas chief petitioner), contesting Britain’s action. The tentative conclusions were, thereafter, subjected to a review conference, held at Namirembe under the Chairmanship of an Australian constitutional expert, Sir Keith Hancock, which formulated the final text as recommendations (the Namirembe Constitutional Conference Recommendations)for a new political and constitutional dispensation.Their eventual adoption produced the 1955 Buganda Agreement and led to the restoration of the Buganda Monarchy, under Sir Edward Muteesa IIas Kabaka.
Many Catholics in Buganda had their spirits greatly boosted by the successful conclusion of this long and tortuous process in which some among them had played an especially significant role. MatayoMugwanya, who was at the helm of this process, was a Catholic political heavy weight and the grandson of the famous StanislausMugwanya who was at the forefront in championing the Catholic cause in his time. In addition, two prominent Catholic clergymen were members of thisMugwanya-led Buganda Delegation, namely: the Bishop of Masaka (later Archbishop of Kampala), Dr. Joseph NnakabaaleKiwanuka, the leading African Prelate in the Catholic Church in Uganda at the time; and Fr. Joseph Masagazi, the editor of the influential Catholic newspaper, Munno.
While the 1955 Buganda Agreement was widely hailed as a new and progressive deal, not only for Buganda but for Uganda as a whole, the abolition, under it, of the provisions sustaining Protestant hegemony which had been entrenched under the 1900 (B)Uganda Agreementwas a matter of serious concern for certain sections of the Buganda leadership at Mengowho projected themselves as the guardians of the Kingdom;these felt deprived and threatened. They are referred to by Welbourn and Lunyiigo, as the “Protestant establishmentwhichhad held power since 1892”; where “the real rulers were the Protestant landed elite who jealously guarded their positions of privilege within the Kabaka’s administration”.
The threat became real, indeed, when MatayoMugwanya, who had now emerged a hero from the long and tortuous process as leader of the Buganda delegation and petitioner in the High Court, stood for election for the post of Katikkiro; but MatayoMugwanya was a Catholic and, as such, an ‘outsider’ and politically ‘illegitimate’ for the highest office in the land, regardless of what the 1955 Agreement said!Mugwanyahad to be fought and defeated by all means, fair and foul - and so it was done.
A blame game started: the Catholic Church was targeted and sucked into the fray; andBuganda was politically wounded and, in effect, disabled to stand together in the critical period that wasto lead to national independence.
At the national level, Britain’s Colonial Secretary, Ian Macleod, in line with Prime Minister Harold Macmillan’s declaration of “a wave of change”, visited Uganda and announced the holding of General Elections in 1961. He also declared Britain’s readiness to grantself-government to Uganda, as a significant step to independence, once a political party emerged in those elections with a majority in the elected Legislature.
A General Election was held in 1961 and a majority party did emerge: it was the Democratic Party (DP), the party previously headed by MatayoMugwanya (1956-58) which was now led by Benedicto (“Ben”) K. M. Kiwanuka, who came to the political scene with excellent credentials and was already attracting into the Democratic Party many outstanding men and women across the religious divide. But Kiwanuka, too, was Catholic; and, therefore, as far as the “Protestant establishment” was concerned, he,too, was ineligible for high office: Kiwanuka and the DP had to be fought. At the same time, the “establishment” had to get into power at the national level by all means.
For this duo purpose the “establishment” forged a two-pronged strategy: first, to wrest power from Catholic leadership; and, second, tomanipulate Baganda into a coerced block vote with which to forge an alliance with DP’s principal rival, the UPC. In order to achieve both objectives, a deadly political weapon was introduced on the political scene, the KabakaYekka (KY) political organization - literally the “King Alone”.
The KY had serious inherent weaknesses: it was a political organization conceived both in denial and contradictions. On the one hand, KY, by definition of purpose, was a lethal instrument against the conventional political parties throughout Buganda (so as to illegitimate the DP); while, on the other hand,its functions were similar to those carried out by political parties all over the world, mainly with the objective of securing and exercising political power - alone or in coalition/alliance with other organizations.
The harsh irony ofthis strategy, was the fact that while KYunleashed a relentlessattack against the conventional political parties in Buganda, in particular the DP, as a minor party, limited to Buganda region, it was, nevertheless,destined,to enter into an alliance with another party, if it was ever to be in power. KY’s political architects decidedto ally with the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC); and yet the UPC, not only clearly defined itself as a political party in the conventional sense, but was a party whose track record provided no basis to expect, an honest and sympathetic commitment to any deal advanced by Mengo, other than defeating DP at the polls!
Prompted by the unfolding tragedy he saw, Bishop Joseph Kiwanuka, now Archbishop of Kampala, who, previously, had contributed substantially towards the 1955 settlement, felt obliged tooffer counsel. In an authoritative and widely circulated Pastoral Letter, in 1961, his Grace cautioned against the deception surrounding KY; and he pleaded for authenticpolitical parties. The reaction was instant and violent: it was expressed in the form of summons for Msgr. Joseph Ssebayigga, the ArchdiocesanVicar General, to appear at the Palace at Mengo, in the absence of the Archbishop who was out of the country! Regrettably, but very clearly, by now the “misunderstandings” had escalated to a serious conflict between Mengo and the Catholic Church: ironically, for the only reason that the latter was endeavouring to save Mengo and the country!
The Prelate’s counsel was disregarded; Mengo-backed KY reigned supreme in Buganda and the vicious offensive against the conventional political parties in Buganda, now narrowed to DP, continued unabated,leading to the party’s defeat in the 1962 General Elections and to the installation of the UPC/KYGovernment in alliance. However the honey moon was short-lived:
§ Almost immediately afterwardsthe UPC, the senior partners in the alliance, mounted an aggressive recruiting campaign in Parliament which saw many KY MPs (and DP MPs) defect to the UPC;
§ Two years later in 1964 the alliance was cast asunder and the surviving KY MPs were expelled from the Government side and Cabinet; and
§ In April 1966, four years after the General Elections, Prime Minister and UPC leader, Milton Obote moved:
o He staged a coup against the 1962 Independence Constitution;
o He pronounced himself “Executive”President of the “Republic” of Uganda,and proceeded to be sworn in accordingly, thereby deposing Uganda’s non-Executive President, Sir Edward Muteesa II; and
o He dispatched army units, under the command of then Colonel Idi Amin, after the deposedPresident and Kabaka of Buganda, at his Palace at Mengo, consequently forcing his previously comrade-in-arms to flee and seek temporary refuge atLubaga, at the residence of ArchbishopEmmanuel Nsubuga, the successor of Archbishop Joseph Kiwanuka.
Kabaka Muteesa’s seeking refuge at Lubaga and the sympathetic, almost parental, attention and protection provided to him by Archbishop Nsubuga, at a time of great desperation, must have been a mental turning pointof profound proportions in mutual relations between Mengo and the Catholic Church. More was to follow this drama at the Cathedral: the people got the cue and, consequently, hundreds of thousands of victims of Uganda’s notorious violent conflicts have confidently sought and found shelter and succor in Church premises under the direct supervision and protection of priests, nuns, and Bishops, wherever and whenever the need arose, be it in Kampala, Luweero, Gulu or elsewhere. And with such charitable and heroic response to tragedy, the Church has gone a long way to close the door to political “misunderstandings” between Church and State.
The present Kabaka, Ronald Muwenda Mutebi, has walked an extra mile in accepting, welcoming and accommodating Catholics:
Ø For his Coronation:
ü He appointed a Catholic (Paul K. Ssemogerere), Chairman of the Overall Organizing Committee; and
ü The Catholic Bishop of Masaka (Adrian K. Ddungu) led the official prayers in Thanksgiving; and
Ø For leadership in the Buganda Government:
ü Of the three Katikkiro’s (Prime Ministers) he has so far appointed, two are Catholics (Joseph Godfrey Mulwanyammul iSemwogerere and John Baptist Walusimbi); and
ü He has also appointed Catholics as Senior County Chiefs to posts for which they were traditionally ineligible, which were limited to Protestants e.g., Tofiili Malookweeza as Kaggo (County Chief, Kyaddondo), and Ponsiano Ssengendo as Ssebwaana (County Chief, Busiro).
The situation has further been helped by, on the whole, the non-sectarian approach to politicswhich has emerged over the years in the country: while political parties in Uganda may seek and secure favour and support from religious leaders and, in addition, uphold values propagated by the Church/Mosque, they generally steer clear of sliding into becoming “confessional” parties. The Democratic Party, currently Uganda’s longest surviving political party,traditionally associated with the Catholic Church and distinguishing itself from other parties byits ethical foundation, as well reflected in its guiding principle of “Truth and Justice”, is an outstanding success story in this regard. While in its early days, the DP’s membership wasmarkedly skewed in favour of Catholics,mainly for historical reasons, Protestants and Moslems have, in increasing numbers,since found their way into it, as the party of choice and opportunities.Currently of the three DP Members of Parliament representing Kampala Capital City, two are Moslems and one is Protestant.
24) What can you say about Obote 1 and the Democratic Party challenges?
See response to No. 22.
25) What were the challenges of the Democratic Party during Amin’s time and what role did you play then?
While immediately following his coup, Amin released from prison all political leaders and promised that his Administration was only going to be in power for an “interim” period after which he would hand power to an elected Government, he soon reneged on this undertaking: he declared himself “Life President”, banned all political parties, and hunted down and killed many political leaders and critics.
The principal challenge then became that of survival – physical survival and survival of our political values and mission. The DP leadership went underground and some of its members went into exile while, at the same time, engaging in one form or another, of networking.
In 1973, I was invited to the US by my former school, Allegheny College,as a “Visiting Scholar” in African Politics in the Department of Political Science; and later I obtained sponsorship to study for the MPA degree at the Maxwell School, Syracuse University, N.Y.On completion of the course I was admittedto the PhD programme. At the Maxwell School, I received particular professional attention and encouragement from Professor Dwight Waldo, the Albert Professor of Humanities; and from Professors, James D. Carroll and Irving Swerdlow. In addition to the standard courses for Public Administration, I broadened my programme to include courses in Constitutional Law, Political Science,the Behavioural Sciences, and Psychology.
I had to abandonmy studies in 1979 to lead the DP delegation to the “Moshi Conference,” at Moshi, Tanzania, in the offensive against Amin and, subsequently, in a national political programme for the restoration of constitutional and civilian rule in Uganda, under the Uganda National Consultative Council (UNCC; 1979-80), followed by the 1980 General Elections.
During my exile years in the US, I raised issues over the disturbing Uganda situation with many people I interacted with from different backgrounds(such as Colleges and Universities, the USDepartment of Stateand Congress (e.g., Senator Hubert H. Humphrey), the British Parliament (e.g., Patrick Wall M.P.), Religious Leaders, and Ugandans in the diaspora).In addition, I pleaded forspecific humanitarian initiatives, such as:
Ø Special considerations for job appointments in international organizations e.g., the World Bank, for deserving and qualified Ugandans at risk in the country; and
Ø Scholarship offers for further study in Colleges and Universities abroad.
For the proper operation of the scholarship project, and after due consultation and advice,we formed and registered a non-profit organization, Committee on Uganda (CONU), in the State of New York, at Albany. With the active support of the immediate former US Ambassador to Uganda, Patrick Melady,whom I had known when still inUganda and who was also a long-term friend of assassinated Governor of Uganda’s Central Bank, Joseph Mubiru, along with many other concerned persons, and with the cooperation of the State Department, especially in the granting of visas, the project took off welland a number of carefully and quietly selected young men and women travelled to the US on CONU-sponsored scholarships.
26) What do you have to say about the 1980 Elections?
(a) The great expectations
As a political party, we had great expectations for a resounding victory in those elections. We had made good preparations for them; we had laid out an impressive organizational structure spread out throughout the country. We were in the good company of the best Uganda could offer in terms human resources: academicians from Makerere University, lawyers and other professionals, as well as businessmen etc. came forward and rendered valuable services, information and advice – some of them on a permanent basis, and at no charge. And when we set for the campaign, we realized we enjoyed unprecedented public support everywhere.
We had made significant political gains over time:
Ø In our former “enemy territory”, Buganda, where lessons had been learnt from past mistakes; and long-term unstructured reconciliatory contacts were now paying off as demonstrated by the large number of prominent opinion leaders, formerly formidable critics and opponents of the DP, who now embraced the Party;
Ø In Busoga, Buganda’s neighbour, formerly a bastion of support for our arch-rivals, UNC/UPC, under the leadership of the all-powerful William W. Nadiope, former Kyabazinga (traditional ruler) ofBusoga and former Vice President of Uganda and UPC but who, subsequently, fell out with his Party’s leadership, was stripped of his functions and privileges, and thrown into jail without trial in the closing days of Obote I;
Ø In the West Nile Region, where many had been forced into exile in neighbouring Zaire (now DRC) and now looked forward with hope and expectation for rehabilitation under the DP Government - aspirations they demonstrated by returning to attend my meetings and getting ready for the voters’ registration and casting their ballots;
Ø In many other areas, such as Western Uganda, Acholi and parts of the Eastern Region, where, in addition to well-known veteran DP leaders, new powerful opinion leaders (among them former close allies of President Obote) ermbraced theDP; they included:
ü James Kahigiriza, former Enganzi (Prime Minister) of Ankole;
ü MukombeMpambara, former second-in-command to AkenaAdoko in the intelligence branch of Obote I Administration, the General Service Administration (GSA);
ü Dr. Martin Aliker who was Obote’s “Best Man” at the latter’s wedding, was one of the best educated professionals from Acholi at the time, and someone who belonged to a traditionally powerful family in Anaka;
ü Wilson Lutara from Kitgum, another educated professional from Acholi and former Secretary General of the East African Community;
ü Brigadier ShabanOpolot (rtd) and Cuthbert J. Obwangor, who served underObote I, respectively: as Army Commander and asCabinet Minister, and both ofwhom wereinfluential personalities in Teso and throughoutNorth-Eastern Uganda.
(b) The rigged 1980 elections
Unfortunately, the 1980 electoral process was undermined by political interference, manipulation,and violence,by the Military Commission and some sections of the security forces. The Electoral Commission lacked autonomy, competence, independence and impartiality. Worst of all, the Commission had its authority and powers usurped by the Chairman of the Military Commission who issued a specific order to that effect, “Proclamation No 9”.
In the meantime, elections had, in many areas been grossly mismanaged, e.g., in West Nile the voter registration exercise had been disrupted and abandoned, whilst in some other places, e.g., Kasese, duly nominated DP candidates had been de-registered.
With “Proclamation No 9” now in force, some results were swiftly overturned, forcing a few of the deprived winning candidates, to run out of the country for their lives,e.g., DP candidates from Kiboga and Iganga,. Also among those forced into exile for similar reasons, were DP candidates from Kapchorwa and Kibaale.
A painfully unsettling case was, and remains, that of Robert Kitariko, a former Permanent Secretary in the Civil Service at the time, who stood as DP Parliamentary candidate forKabaale Central constituency against UPC’s Kataama. Kitariko’s victory was overturned in favour of Kataama.Kitariko sought redress in the High Court by filing an election petition which, according to the evidence presented in Court, ought to have been successful. However, the presiding Judge, Justice Emmanuel Oteng, well known for his UPC leanings, declined to deliver judgement; and the case remains “undecided” to this day, over 31 years afterwards, and long after Justice Oteng and KataamaM.P. are dead!
The worst case scenario was that of Rukyerekyere, DP Parliamentary candidate in Bunyoro. Like in the case of Kitariko, his victory was overturned and he filed an election petition which, on the basis of the election returns in his possession, had all the prospects of being successful. The case had to be stopped: Rukyerekyere was picked up, rumoured to have been detained under torture at the Nile Mansions Hotel(now Serena Hotel)oHoH, and never to be seen again!
Such was the political/security environment under which the 1980 General Election took place. As DP we made strong protests all alongwith the responsible Uganda authorities, most specifically with Paulo Muwanga, the all-powerful Chairman of the Military Commission, and with President Nyerere, who, we presumed,was in position to influence the course of events here at the time.
We gained some concessions; but they fell short of what we demanded. Final appeals to President Nyerere, who had given written assurances for free and fair elections, both through his designated officer at the Tanzania High Commission in Kampala, Mr. Nzagi, and in our personal discussions with him, proved fruitless: either Nyererefelt weary and helpless, or, on account of his long-lasting collaboration with Milton Obote and his sympathy for him at his overthrow by Amin in 1971, Nyerere might have,secretly but intensely, cherished the prospects of Obote’s restoration to power and, therefore,would not take any step that mightupset the plot.
We consulted, over what appropriate action to take, with many of our friends who could have the leverage to intervene; they, however, firmly advised against a boycott of the elections and, afterwards, of Parliament: they promised, however, to stand with us even in defeat – a promise they subsequently kept. There were, at the same time, suggestions made in good spirit and with the best of intentions,from representatives of some of Uganda’s leading developing partners, that we consider joining Obote in a unity government, our accusations of fraud etc. notwithstanding. The same suggestion was echoed, this time addressed to both of us, Obote and I, in a meeting with the leaders of the Joint Christian Council, by one of its leading officials; Obote warmed up to it, butwe werenot persuaded.
We deliberated at each critical stage on what action to take. In the absence of a practical and peaceful alternative,we decided to participate in the electoral process and, subsequently, also in Parliament, while at the same time maintaining our strong protests loud and clear. In more practical terms, we sought out and developed ways of communicating with charitable and humanitarian organizations as they rendered their services to the country and to those in need.
However, this official DP position did not go down well with some of our members, including some members of the Central Executive who advocated for a boycott of the elections:
Ø Some of them claimed that there was external backing from significant African leaders for it; while
Ø Othersclaimed that a boycott would be welcome and backed by important sections within the ruling circles – in particular within the high ranks of the Uganda National Liberation Army (UNLA).
We took trouble to verify these claims; and we found them to be unreliable. In the case of the second alternative, we adjourned a meeting of the Central Executive Committee to the next day to give time for its chief proponent to head an investigative mission for the purpose and report back: he was dispatched off, just as he tried to initiate contact with the relevant authorities and was not available when we re-convened.
(c) Looking back in retrospect
When I look back in retrospect at the official decision we took as a political party, over thirty years ago, I am convinced it was the right decision under the circumstances, for two important reasons.
Ø First: if we had boycotted the elections, the Military Commission would, almost certainly, have made the choice either to entrench themselves in power or to have held elections anyway and, by default, re-introduced one-party system under Milton Obote and the UPC without anyone raising a finger.
Second: a similar scenario would have presented itself had we boycotted Parliament after our stage-managed defeat.One-party system would have been installed in consequence; and, as a political party, we would have forgone all that we were able to do subsequently, e.g., to save lives, to raise the alarm against government excesses and abuses, tostrive to build political institutionsand the multiparty system, and, constantly, to keep the international community well informed about the real situation in the country.
Furthermore, if we had boycotted Parliament in the absence of an alternative feasible strategy, we would have acted in sheer frustration and despair; and we would have abdicated all our responsibilities which we had built and shouldered over a long period of time.In consequence, we would have abandoned the people of Uganda to their fate, by depriving them of the important institutional custodianshipof the DP, as the legal Opposition, which they had worked and sacrificed so much to revive and strengthen, and in which they placed much trust.
(d) Dividends obtained by participation
DP recognized and received as partner by international organizations
Participation brought its dividends. As it turned out our participation in Parliament, as the official Opposition, contributed materiallytowardsthe re-establishment and survival of the Democratic Party; even more so, DP’s participation helped in building confidence and respect in the Parliamentary Opposition, not only in Uganda but in much of post-independence Africa, and in debunking the myth that multi-party politicswas worthless and incompatible with African political life.
In this regard, the Democratic Party was recognized and received at the highest levels of leadership in important international and regional political organizations, notably, in the Christian Democrat International (CDI) where I served as Vice President; and in the Union of African Parties for Democracy and Development (UAPDD), and the Democratic Union of Africa (DUA), where I was a founder member and, respectively, as President and Vice President.
In my capacity as a leader in these organizations, I participated in many conferences in many countries: Africa (Togo, Mali, Namibia, South Africa, Mozambique and Tanzania); Europe (Germany, Ireland, France, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain); Latin America (Mexico, Chile, Venezuela, Guatemala) and Asia (Philippines).
Again because of my position of leadership as CDI Vice President, I was able, on behalf of the Democratic Party, to invite the International (CDI) to convene, as our guests, in Kampala, Uganda, in 1994, to deliberate on the topic “African Colloquium on Democracy and Development” – a function of significant import which the UPC Government failed to prevent or stop, much as some key leaders in that Government resented it and made attempts to frustrate it.The timing for the Colloquium was significant: the function coincided with DP’s celebrations marking 30 years since its foundation in 1954.
By our presence in the fore-going organizations, and by our active participation in their programmes, we were able to interact freely with many important leaders in the international community e.g.:
ü Leaders in government and parliaments;
ü Leaders of political parties, political foundations and civic groups; as well as
ü Representatives of the international humanitarian fraternity, notably, Amnesty International (AI).
These interactions proved to be a valuable mechanism for reaching out to, and informing and sensitizing, influential decision makers in many countries and organizations, about the situation in Uganda as viewed from our perspective.Conversely, such interactions were also valuable for getting good information about the situation in other countries and about the role our colleagues playedthere in the cause of peace and democracy.
International recognition of, and support for, the Parliamentary Opposition
DP’s participation in both the 1980 General Elections and Parliament was also exonerated by the fact that, at the level of Government and Parliament, the British Government and the German Bundestag Committee for Africa, acting separately, took the unprecedented steps to invite me, as Leader of the Opposition, for official visits to their countries (in 1982 in the U.K.; and in 1981 in Germany).By these invitations,two of the world’s leading democracies and development partners, made a strong and visible statement to demonstrate their strong recognition of,and support for,the constructive but difficult decisions the Democratic Party had made, under my leadership, to help re-establish Parliament and the important institution ofthe Parliamentary Opposition.
Domesticinstitutional recognition of, and cooperation with, the Leadership of the Parliamentary Opposition
Asthe established legal Opposition, we were on many occasions, to gain access to, and secure cooperation from, leaders and/or representatives of various domestic institutions, including institutions responsible for security, viz., the Police, Prisons and the Military. Consequently, the DP leadership, on many occasions, intervened, albeit at some personal risk, in respect of victims of state terror, politically motivated arrest, imprisonment and torture, not uncommonly in military barracks and other ungazetted places of illegal confinement. There were instances when, through our intervention, innocent victims were rescued when in the throes of death - by starvation, torture, or at the point of execution.
27) Can you tell us the countries you have visited on various missions of either the Democratic Party or Uganda Government and briefly about those missions?
Most of the countries I visited in my capacity as DP Leader were arranged under the auspices of the international and regional organization to which the DP was affiliated; they are listed in the response under No. 26.
In my capacity, first, as Minister of Internal Affairs and, second, as Minister of Foreign Affairs, I visited close to 30 countries – a majority of them in Africa. They fall intovarious categories, according to their type and purpose; and they include:
Ø As a member of the Presidential Delegation on State/Official Visits to: USA; UK;Germany; France; Italy; Norway; Brazil;China;North Korea; Egypt; Libya; Iran;Nigeria; Zimbabwe; South Africa; Namibia; Angola.
Ø As Leader of the Uganda Delegation on behalf of the President/Head of Government to:
ü Norway, for the Funeral of the King of Norway;
ü Malaysia, for Commonwealth Conference of Heads of Government;
ü Japan, for the Coronation of the Emperor of Japan.
Ø As Minister of Foreign Affairs on Official Visit to:
ü Argentina – a familiarization visit for better informed bilateral cooperation;
ü Cuba – in my capacity as Vice-President of the Non-aligned Movement, to participate in a conference of the Movement presided over and addressed by President Fidel Castro;
ü Republic of Korea (South Korea) – for better bilateral relations and cooperation; followed immediately by:
o Financial support for rehabilitation work to earthquake-stricken Fort Portal;
o A grant of vehicles to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
o A grant of computers of which Nkumba University was one of the beneficiaries;
ü Austria – for better bilateral relations and cooperation; culminating immediately in signing an Agreement for:
o The establishment, in Kampala, Uganda, of the Austrian Bureau for East Africa;
o A grant by Austria for a scholarship scheme for Uganda students.
Ø As Minister of Foreign Affairs to attend:
ü UN General Assembly Meetings, in New York, USA (1988-94), on which occasions I met and interacted with many important world leaders, especially fellow Ministers of Foreign Affairs and UN SecretaryGeneral, Perez de Queira,
ü UN Conference in Vienna, Austria (1989), for the establishment of the office of the UN Commissioner for Human Rights;
ü OAU Heads of Government and Council of Ministers Meetings (1988-94) in:
o Addis Ababa, Ethiopia;
o Abuja, Nigeria;
o Dakar, Senegal
o Cairo, Egypt;
o Tunis, Tunisia;
ü Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting at Harare, Zimbabwe;
Ø As Minister of Foreign Affairs on specific missions to:
ü Senegal (Dakar), and Mauritania (Nouakchott), to meet with the respective Heads of Government, in my capacity as Chairman of an OAU Ministerial Mediation Committee into a Conflict between the two countries, whereby they had cut off all bilateral communication, including a ban on direct flights, by air, between the two countries;
ü The UN, New York, to make a statement to the Security Council, on behalf of the OAU, urging progress towards the democratization of South Africa, on a multiracial basis, under “one man, one vote”,;
ü South Africa:
o Together with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria, as the OAU Ministerial Observer Delegation at the 1992 Conference on the Democratization of South Africa (CODESA), held in Johannesburg;
o As a member of the UN Election Observer Mission at South Africa’s first ever multi-racial elections, in 1994, when I was the head of the Mission’s team in East Transvaal;
ü Mali (Bamako), as a member of the Uganda delegation headed by President Museveni,at a special meeting in search for a solution to the Liberian civil war;
ü France for special talks, under French auspices, on the Rwandan armed rebellion which were also attended by the US Assistant of State for Africa, Ambassador Abram Cohen;
ü Zaire (Badelite), for talks aimed at resolving the armed conflict in Rwanda which were presided over by President Mobutu, and in which Paul Kagame,then an armed rebel in the “bush”, participated;
ü Rwanda, Tanzania (Mainland) and Zanzibar for talks about the Rwanda rebellion;
o In talks by the three East African Foreign Ministers (Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda) directed at the revival of the East African Community;
o As a member of the IGAD Ministerial ad-hoc Committee on Sudan:in mediation talks, with North and South Sudanese Leaders, directed at ending the armed conflict that was raging in Sudan and working on a two-nation final solution;
o On a one-man conciliatory missionfor discussions with President Moi,in 1988, over accusations by Kenya that Uganda was harbouring and abetting Kenyan rebels based in Uganda.
Ø After retirement:
ü I attended a conference in Abuja, Nigeria, on Parliamentary Democracy, sponsored jointly by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) and the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU), in cooperation with the ECOWAS, where I presented a paper on the “Role of the Opposition.” (2008)
ü I was Chairman of the Commonwealth Observer Team at the2008 General Elections in the Kingdom of Swaziland.
28) Are you happy with the roles the Democratic Party played duringObote II; what challenges did you have and how did you overcome them, like insecurity?
In addition to the responses to No. 26, I am happy with the roles the DP played, and the achievement it attained, at both the domestic and international levels. In my opinion the Democratic Party became more widely known, appreciated and respected, than at any time before, during Obote II.
During this period, the DP made tremendous strides in building, expanding and consolidating its base and social capital, at home and abroad. And the fact that the successive Administrations that took over power after Obote II saw it fit to appoint DP leadersSenior Ministers e.g., of Foreign Affairs, Internal Affairs, Justice and Attorney General, Finance, Public Service, Agriculture, Commerce and Cooperatives etc., well bears out the growth in political stature the Party attained, following its revival in 1980 and, subsequently, during Obote II.
29) Can you tell us the roles you played in the Post Obote II administration of Uganda and the achievements?
When the Military overthrew the Obote II Government andformed a new Administration headed by General Tito LutwaOkello as President and Chairman of an improvised governing Military Council, an invitation was extended to the DP to participate in this new Administration. The DP Central Executive Committee deliberated over the matter, after which we accepted the invitation on conditions we spelt out, which includeda commitment:
Ø To enter into negotiations with the fighting groups and secure peace;
Ø To uphold Constitutional Rule; and
Ø To hold free and fair elections.
I was appointed Minister ofInternal Affairs in which capacity:
Ø I successfully negotiated with the Military Council for the immediate release of over 2,000 prisoners detainedarbitrarily by the previous government. These prisoners included:
ü BalakiKebbaKirya (RIP) who,
o In 1957 organized, at Mbaale - his political base- a protest Delegates Conference of the Uganda National Congress (UNC) at which Milton Obote was elected President of a break-away UNC faction;
o In 1966, during Obote I Administration, in the wake of rumours of a coup plot, had been one of the five Ministers arrested on Obote’s orders at a Cabinet meeting at State House Entebbe, was released by Amin in 1971 but re-arrested and detained under Obote II;
ü Professor YoeriKyesimira (RIP), another former Obote ally during the latter’s first Administration but had since joined the DP, was an elected Member of Parliament from Iganga and a Minister in the Opposition “Shadow Cabinet”;
ü Anthony WagabaSsekweyama (RIP), who had been arrested and detained for hisrole asEditor of a FAD-sponsored newspaper,The Citizen; and
ü James KagimuKibuuka, the son of veteran DP Leader, Sebastian B.Kibuuka, who is currently living in England.
Ø As Minister of Internal Affairs, I was given powers of “detention without trial”, underthe Public Order and Security Act (1967);but
ü I declined to sign a single order, under the Detention Act, for the detention of anyone, thereby effectively stopping such detentions until the adoption of the 1995 Constitution;whichrendered such detentions unconstitutional;
ü On the other hand, while the Detention Act was still in force,I used my powers under it to release victims thereby detained.
Ø I revoked banning orders, previously; imposed against certain newspaper publications (e.g.,The Citizen);
Ø I disbanded the Immigration Control Board, which I viewed as politically biased and lacking in performance, and replaced it with a merit-based one, chaired by Bernard Onyango, who was at the time Academic Registrar, Makerere University;
Ø I negotiated for and gave policy directives directed at restoring the professional integrity of the Police and Prisons Services; and protecting them against political interference and abuse;
Ø In December, 1985, I participated in a Conference of the African Ministers of Interior, convened at the initiative of Professor M. CherifBassiouni, as part of the process which eventually culminated into the establishment of the International Criminal Court at The Hague (ICC).
I was appointed Deputy Leader, and eventually I took over as Leader, of the Uganda Government Delegation to the “Nairobi Peace Talks” with the NRM/NA Leadership. We successfully concluded these talks: the conclusions were jointly agreed upon and the resultant agreement formally signed by Tito Okello and YoweriMuseveni; andthey were witnessed by President Moi.
The news of the Peace Agreement brought great relief and joy to the people of Uganda; and, on our return, people lined up all along the road from Entebbe Airport to Kampala to welcome us in celebration. We felt good that we had brought peace to Uganda. Unfortunately this Agreement was not honoured on the battle ground: the onus is upon the principal antagonists to explain why they reneged.
30) When Museveni captured power in 1986, do you think it was right for the Democratic Party to have joined hands to give the regime credit?
The DP joined hands with President Museveni in the best interests of Uganda. We made the decision after extended negotiations with him and his close advisors; and after agreeing on matters of fundamental importance. The decision was a popular one,at home and abroad; in DP and NRM circles and beyond; and among Uganda’s developing partners. True, by our decision, Museveni and the NRM/A got considerable credit; but so did the DP. All things considered, the principal beneficiary of our involvement in the Museveni Administration was Uganda - and that was our main driving justificationfor getting involved in the politics of our country i.e., to be in position to serve in political leadership for the good of our country.
31) What achievements did the Democratic Party get by involving itself in the Museveni administration?
The most important achievements of the Democratic Party, following its involvement in the Museveni Administration, are three-fold:
(a) DP’s contribution to Uganda as a whole
By its involvement in the Museveni Administration, the DP Leadership was provided an opportunity to make major contribution to Uganda as a whole in various important areas towards:
Ø Peace-building and attracting international sympathy and practical support for much needed institutional rehabilitation, reconstruction and reform, e.g., in Police and Prisons.
Ø UpholdingConstitutionalism,the Rule of Law, and Promotion and protection of Human Rights.
Ø Uganda’s welcome re-admission, as a respectable member, into the international community and the various organizations and agencies associated with it;
Ø Improvement of bilateral relations with other countries;
Ø Revival of process for regional cooperation
(b) DP’s preservation as a legitimate political institution
President Museveni and some of his fellow leaders in NRM/A have demonstrated their strong reservation about, if not hostility towards, multiparty politics: left to themselves without a friendly challenger over the issue they would, in all probability, already have embarked on a direct and ferocious offensive against political parties, DP inclusive. The DP can claim credit for having mitigated such an offensive through direct encounters with Museveni and other NRM leaders, or, indirectly, through participation in rule-making organs and institutions e.g., Cabinet, Parliament, the Constituent Assembly etc.Such opportunities would have been unavailable or greatly limited, if the DP had stood apart as a spectator, if not as a declared political enemy of the NRM Administration in its formative stages.
(c) Demonstrating DP’s competence and quality in leadership
The DP achieved much for the country (and for itself in terms of credibility and practical gains) by its participation in Museveni’s Administration because, by so doing, DP leaders were given an opportunity to demonstrate that they can perform with competence and quality.Such achievements may be demonstrated by some of the initiatives I took when I was Minister, respectively of Internal Affairs, Foreign Affairs, and Public Service, for example:
Ø As Minister of Internal Affairs:
I established a Tripartite Consultative MinisterialCommittee,in order to ensure that actions taken by the Security Agencies (Military, Police, Prisons etc.) were in compliance with the Constitution and the Law; and not in violation of people’s rights as thereby protected. The Consultative Forum was comprised of: the Minister Internal Affairs (Chairman); the Minister of State for Internal Affairs; the Minister of State for Defence, and the Minister of Justice/Attorney General. In addition, the Forum also included the Army Commander, the Inspector General of Police, and the Commissioner of Prisons.
I discontinued the practice of detaining people under the Public Order and Security Act (1967)by declining to accept all urgings to sign such Orders; while, on the other hand, I invoked the same powers to set free those so detained.
With assistance solicited from the governments of UK, Germany, and the US, we initiated measures directed towards rehabilitation, reconstruction and education for Police and Prisons, and for the “Government Chemist” Laboratory.
Ø As Minister of Foreign Affairs, I was always part of the Uganda Delegation:
ü to the Organization for African Unity (OAU), where I served for a year as Chairman of the Council of Ministers; and to
ü the UN General Assembly Meetings, where I served as Chairman of the conclusive meeting of the UN Committee of Experts which made recommendations for the establishment of the International Criminal Court at the \aHague (ICC).
I successfully negotiated with the UN Crime Prevention Centre, in Vienna, Austria, and the Economic Commission for Africa, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for the establishment in Kampala, Uganda, of the UN African Institute for the Prevention and Rehabilitation of Offenders (UNAFRI).
Ø As Minister of Public Service, I successfully recommended to Government for a fair review of Uganda’s position:on compensation for the former employees of the East African Community; and on pensions for Uganda’s retired civil servants and teachers.
32) What made you leave the Museveni cabinet?
I resigned from President Museveni’s Government due to ideological incompatibility over the issue of Uganda’s political system. After protracted consultations we failed to agree on whether we should have a representative democracy based on organized political parties, which was DP”s and my position; or a monolithic political system (movement), which was the President’s position.
Soon after our deciding to work together with President Museveni, we set up a joint consultative committee (NRM/DP), headed, respectively, by EriaKategaya and Joseph Mulenga, to consider a wide range of issues, including the proper institutional mechanism for our cooperation and Uganda’s future political system. On occasions the President and I met and discussed sticking issues over which differences persisted in the proceedings in the committee, the most outstanding one being the issue of the political system.
In addition, this same issue of the political system to be adopted was hotly debated in the Constituent Assembly (1994-5), where again the President and I held opposite positions over the issue.I consulted, over this mater, with some colleagues who were close to the President, one of whom was Col. SserwangaLwanga (RIP)., who was his Principal Private Secretary, a Member of the CA representing the Army and, who, previously, had been a member of the Odoki Constitutional Commission.Itbecame clear, through such consultations, that it was their personal experience and judgement that President Museveni was inflexible in his objection to multiparty democracy.
On realizing that our positions on such a critical matter were irreconcilable, an issue which neither the NRM/DP dialogue nor the CA could resolve, and with the full and undivided encouragement and support of the DP leadership and of the National Caucus for Democracy (NCD), the umbrella pro-multiparty group in the CA, I made the decision to resign and present our case, in dissent, to the country in the 1996 Presidential election. The fact that the UPC stood and moved stoutly and undivided behind me, in spite of our previous unhappy encounters, was an achievement of historic significance for the Democratic Party; and it was an achievement which brought me much personal satisfaction.
Victory at last
After losing the election to Museveni, I now resorted to the Judiciaryin pursuit of the same objective – multiparty democracy. I embarked on protracted litigation in the Courts, whereby, finally together with my co-petitioners, wesecured several landmark judgements upholding the free operation of political parties and, dismissing, as fiction, the claim that the NRM was not a political party but an alternative political organization.
However, for mainly diversionary reasons to water down the great victory we had gained in the Courts and as a face-saving device for the NRM Leadership, these landmark judgements were followed by a referendum under which the multiparty system was also popularly endorsed. A warning ought to be made that, when if and when divorced from the Court judgements, the referendum results are, by themselves, no permanent guarantee for the multiparty system: they can be reversed in another referendum. This manouvre to play down the full impact of the Court judgements is a clearreflection ofthe hidden but persisting negative stance, in sections of the country’s political leadership, against the multiparty system.
An additional has to be made arising from the fact that, after the removal of the legal barriers to the formation and operation of political parties other than the Movement, a multiplicity of parties mushroomed, with apparent tacit official approval, if not active sponsorship: the likely negative impact of this multiplicity of parties on the integrity and effectiveness of the emerging multiparty system, cannot be underestimated and is already evident.
The struggle to continue
Despite, therefore,the resounding historic victory achieved in the Courts for the multiparty system, the struggle has to continue on the legislative and politicalfronts:
Ø First, on the legislative front, there is need to follow up on the judicial pronouncement categorizing the “Movement”, as a political party in disguise; and not an alternative political organization, as claimed under the Movement Act (1997) and in Articles 69, 71,72 and 73 of the Constitution (1995 as amended). Appropriate legislation should be enacted to abolish the Movement Act (1997) altogetherand, consequently, to rid Articles 69, 71, 72 and 73 of it. Action on this has yet to be taken.
Ø Second, on the political front, there is need to develop national consensus or majority support behind the multiparty agenda by:
ü Engagingdirectly with NRM Leadership to bring about a political conversion, and/or
ü Developing and enhancing a well-focused national political education and mobilization programmeto broaden and strengthen the support base for the multiparty system, directedespecially towards:
o Gaining increased popular support; and
o Developing a strong and viable institutional foundation, in terms of autonomous, democratic and viable political parties.
33) What do you have to say about the Late Justice John Mulenga?
I have the greatest respect for Justice Joseph N. Mulenga, as already expressed in my eulogy to him. Fortunately, he knew it from concrete actions I took in his behalf under challenge. For example, when he could not make it to the Constituent Assembly (CA) through direct elections, I worked hard to convince the DP leadership to have him nominated as one of our two delegates for, I argued, he was the best qualified among all eligible aspirants. And what a commendable job he did in the CA? Earlier, I had also strongly and successfully recommended him for appointment as Minister of Justice/Attorney General, in which post he executed his responsibilities most judiciously, albeitin the face of ideological and political controversies at the highest levels of government.
34) What do you think went wrong in 1996 such that the Democratic Party was not able to get power?
It has to be noted that the 1996 General Elections were not conducted on a multi-party basis because the 1995 Constitution provided for them to be carried out only under the “Movement system”, even though the coalition, whose flag bearer I was and of which the DP was prominent, consisted mainly of political parties in opposition to the NRM.
Many things went wrong in the 1996 General Elections, arising then, as now and as before, in the built-in bias in administration, management and security cover which amounted to a conspiracy against a free and fair ballot.
There was no control over grossly irresponsible campaign literature and statements, emanating from officials in government, designed to instill fear among the voters and scare them against voting for the Opposition challenger. Elements in the security and intelligence agencies followed in trail: they moved military equipment around, especially in rural communities, warning people against daring to vote against the NRM candidate; in some instances, they actually fired live bullets at the Opposition, as happened at a us at rallies I was addressing in such places as Makerere University, Mbaale, Kabaale.
The Electoral Commission was dominated by Commissioners who did not hesitate to show their bias against my candidature, and who were politically rewarded after the election. The registration of voters, especially the second one carried out for “updating” in 1996, opened the way for unimpeded “ballot stuffing”, “multiple voting” and “ghost polling stations”,on the one hand; and “missing voters’ names” on the other.
35) Do you think the Democratic Party was right to leave KiizaBesigye contest as Presidential candidate in 2001?
Ø Under the law,Besigye, like anyone else eligible to stand, was free to do so; there was, therefore, no way we should nor could have prevented him from contesting the election, so long as it was his wish and decision to do so.
Ø Besigye consulted us, expressing his wish to stand for the Presidency and promising to uphold our position on the multiparty issue, whereupon we made thejudgement that it was a good strategyto support him because, under the circumstances:
ü His candidature, in opposition against the NRM’s President Museveni, emanating as it did from the highest echelons of the Movement power structure, promised, better than any other alternative, to expose the weaknesses and limitations of the Movement system in contrast to the Multiparty dispensation in a country such as Uganda;
ü I had formed the opinion, since our days together when Besigye was Minister of State for Internal Affairs under me (1986-88), that he was an honest and conscientious person who worked hard for the country –qualities which made it possible for us to work together in harmony despite our differences on political ideology;
ü There was lack of enthusiasm and consensus in the Party on a prospective DP candidate: this opinion was evident when a cross-section of the Party Leadershipconvened at my house, in an-all-night meeting, urging me to stand again.
36) Do you think the Opposition Parties should continue working together to field one Presidential Candidate?
Cooperation between and among political parties in Uganda, as in other countries, should be encouraged; but it ought to be based on an informed background and mutually shared objectives, whether on matters of ideology or on specific policy issues. In many countries it is normal for political parties, and not necessarily only opposition parties, to work together; and they may do so at different levels and under different modalities, depending on what they want to achieve, mainly in terms of ideological or policy objectives. And, while they may be agreed over a number of common objectives, such objectives need not include agreement on a common candidate: whether for Parliament, Premiership (Chancellor), or Presidency. The point must, therefore, be made, in respect to the Uganda situation, that it is one thing to work together, and another to field one candidate, Presidential or otherwise.
In addition, a distinction mustbe made betweenpolitical parties working together in a monolithic setting, and in operating multiparty democracies.
Under the monolithic setting, cooperation is coerced; and it is carried out under the dictates of the dominant party/organization which is commonly structurally and functionally linked with the State organs. This model is prevalent in such countries as the People’s Republic of China and Iran; and it is my considered opinion that many in the NRM Leadership find it appealing. On the other hand, cooperation between and among political parties in a standard multiparty democracy is technically, “inter-party”: it presupposes individual and separate autonomy of the partners, each having its own life and not organically linked to organs of the State.
The Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD) which has a presence in Uganda is a model of cooperation of all political parties in a country at the national level with the objective of promoting multiparty democracy at home and abroad. The traditional cooperation,both in government and in opposition, between the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Christian Social Union (CSU) in Germany, is based essentially on the fact that they both share a similar ethical foundation. It is always the case that these two parties have a joint election campaign for Parliament (the Bundestag), where their respective candidates do not clash; and a common candidatefor Chancellor. While this structured and functional cooperation was originally limited to the two parties (CDU & CSU), it was subsequently opened up to include, most commonly, the Free Democratic Party (FDP) - a close ideological ally on matters of economic policy.
The Uganda experience and future prospects
Uganda has so far had seven General Elections (1961; 1962; 1980; 1996; 2001; 2006; 2011): five under a multiparty system, and two under a no party system. They may be characterized as follows:
Ø 1961: multiparty elections with no parties in alliance;
Ø 1962: multiparty elections with UPC and KY in alliance against the DP, which was then in government;
Ø 1980: multiparty elections with no parties in alliance;
Ø 1996:elections under a no party system; but with a DP/UPC/CP implicit alliance under“Inter-party cooperation” (IPC) modality;
Ø 2001: elections under a no-party system; but with an RA/DP/UPC/CPimplicit alliance;
Ø 2006: elections under a multiparty system; and non-structured alliance of political parties;
Ø 2011: elections under a multiparty system; and no structured alliance of political parties.
A careful examination of the three cases of alliances (1961, 1996, and 2001) brings out the following conclusions:
Ø The 1962 UPC/KY alliance was ill-conceived, ephemeral and ill-fated because its formation was instigated mainly by ambition for power and the defeat of a common opponent, but not on genuinely mutually agreed long-term ideological and policy objectives;
Ø The 1996 DP/UPC/CP alliance was, and in many ways still persists, because it was primarily based on a newly-found common ideological position in support for multiparty politics, coupled with a mutual commitment to political reconciliation ;
Ø The 2001 RA/DP/UPC/CP implicit alliance was ephemeral mainly because of the lack of a sound institutional base behind the central key player, the Presidential candidate (Besigye).
Necessary conditions for alliance and common candidate
On the basis of the foregoing analysis, it is too much to assume that all “Opposition Parties”, lumped together, or even the few that have formed an alliance in the past, are suited and well-prepared to form a genuine alliance, let alone to be agreed upon a common Presidential candidate.
In order to form a genuine alliance of political parties in Uganda, under the prevailing circumstances, I consider the following to be necessary conditions, that:
Ø First, the alliance be between/among bona fide parties, each with a well-defined policy objectives;
Ø Second, the intending partners for the proposed alliance be agreed on a common ideological orientation, especially with regard to the requisites of a functioning democracy under a multi-party dispensation, as well as on broad social and economic policy objectives; and
Ø Third, the prospective alliance partners formulate and agree on a process for selecting the common candidate.
These conditions would be best met througha structural frame-work, whether formal and tight; or informal and flexible. However, currently, no such framework exists, previous initiatives in this direction having aborted. Any new such initiative would require, first and foremost, the institution of an appropriate framework for the necessary self-identification, consultations and decision-making.
37) Now that you have retired as a Leader of the Democratic Party, what do you have to show in form of appreciation by various institutions for your political career (Awards and by who)?
I received many gifts, especially on the campaign trail, mostly in the form of religious literature (Catholic and Protestant Bibles, and the Koran), traditional and no-traditional items (spears and shields, animal skin-wear, portraits, drums, mats etc.) from across the country.
While it is in fashion, in Uganda, to make awards in academia and sports, in the professions and to “war heroes” etc. it is rare for political leaders, particularly from the Opposition, to be recognized for award: such awards are, as yet, not part of our nation’s political culture. I was, therefore, most pleasantly surprised to have been recognized by the Parliament of Uganda as having made a significant contribution in the promotion of peace and multiparty democracy.
At the international level, I feel greatly honoured by my former College in the USA, Allegheny College, for:
Ø The Award of the Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters,HonorisCausa(in 1989);and for
Ø The intended inclusion of a Chapter on my experiences in the College’s course: Political Science 25 - Seminar in International Relationswhich would have been offered by my former Professor, Dr. Wayne R. Merrick (RIP).
38) Do you think Democracy should be added to the Primary and Secondary School Curriculum as a measure to see people better appreciate it?
Yes, but care ought to be taken to ensure that it not vulnerable to outside manipulation and be turned, for instance, into a scheme for political indoctrination.
39) When you handed over power, the party seemed to show that it was not united, what helped you to keep differences minimal?
It is a common feature in all political parties in a democracy, like in all social organizations, to have differences: the challenge is for the leadership to be in position to analyze the underlying issues objectively and find a way to solve, contain or live with them. This is part of the leader’s cross; and, like my illustrious predecessors in office, I had to bear my cross in this respect. I was fortunate that I was, all along, able to count on the constant support, advice and encouragement of manyamong my colleagues and on a far bigger support from the general Party membership.
40) What can you say is the future of the Democratic Party in Uganda?
The Democratic Party has all it requires to rise to prominence and national leadership.As a party it is in a class of its own:
Ø The DP is a party with a firm ethical ideological foundation which guarantees it a stable national base of principled membership upholding:
ü Liberal democracy, under the banner of “Truth and Justice” ;
ü An unadulterated conception of fundamental human rights; and
ü Constitutionalism and the Rule of Law, applicable to all without fear or favour.
Ø The DP is a party with a proven history:
ü A history of enlightened leadership and selfless service to the people and country;
ü A history that is renowned for its murdered luminaries – outstanding men and women of character e.g., BenedictoKiwanuka, GaspariOda, Alex AlijaLatim, Martin Okello, Jino H. Obonyo, IsiahKerawobi, ModestaKabaranga (Ms), AfricanusB. Ssembatya, Sebastian Ssebuggwawo, George Bamuturaki,LudovikoMangeni.
Ø The DP is all-embracing, with a political base cutting across all diversities – ethnic, religious and generational.
Ø Under the present circumstances, with so much uncertainty and disillusionment abroad, and with calls for “change” everywhere, the DP has, in my view,a formidable following-in-waiting, not much unlike as the case was after Obote I and Idi Amin.
The present situation presents great prospects for a resurgent Democratic Party: the challenge is for credible people to come forward and join hands to inspire hope and trust, and to provide leadership.
41) What advice do you have for the people of Uganda who would like to see democracy prevail?
Democracy can prevail in Uganda, but we have all to work for it. Fortunately the law and the institutional framework for a democratic society are in place. The Constitution provides for a democratic order and for political parties; in addition, a number of verdicts, favourable to democracy and strengthening this constitutional foundation, have been returned in respect of petitions to the Constitutional and Supreme Courts on the subject, five of which are in my name.
However: genuine, operating, democracy cannot be achieved and maintained on a silver plate: it has to be earned through hard work and vigilance; it calls for integrity anddiscipline; and, above all, it calls for well-qualified self-less leaders to come forward and make themselves available for service, even when, at times, this might also call for personal sacrifice and risk.
42) Any other remarks you wish to share with Old Boys of SMACK and other readers of this publication?
All the signs on the political horizon clearly show that we are at cross-roads: it is imperative that, in the spirit and deeds of so many Old Boys of SMACK who did so much for our country, the present generation of Old Boys and allies rise to the occasion and make their contribution towards the decisions that will determine the future of this country.
43) Has the Old Boy’s Association at St. Mary’s College Kisubi ever appreciated your work; if so, when did they?
Ø Throughout my political career I have counted upon and received the support of many members of the Old Boys’ Association in their individual capacities, whether in public institutions or in the private sector – support which reflects appreciation of what I have been doing in my political career;
Ø Upon my release as a political prisoner in 1971, the Old Boys’ Association elected me as their Secretary General, a gesture I took to be an implicit approval of the political role I had played by then;
Ø Of particular significance was the appreciation expressed on 7th April, 2002, when SMACKOBA awarded me the “Order of Merit 2002” for:
”… Outstanding Contribution to the School and the Nation”
44) What has been your role in the Catholic Church given that you are a politician?
Ø I have all along upheld my Faith as a Catholic; and
Ø I have always taken particular care:
ü First, to ensure that whatever policy positions or programmes I subscribed to werenot in conflict with Catholicteachimg;
ü Second, to be available to participate in Church-sponsored activities and programmes when so invited;
ü Third, to the extent possible, to promote official and practical support for Catholic-sponsored projectse.g.:
o for the continued proprietorship by the respective Religious Denominations of educational institutions they founded and are affiliated to them; and in a specific case
o for the official recognition of Uganda Martyrs University (UMU
45) How would you like to be remembered as?
Ø That I have tried to live in accordance with my Faith as a Catholic;
Ø That I am thankful to God for the life I have lived, especially as:
ü A family man, where I feel to have been specially blessed for having had such a morally formed and firm wife and, in her, someone who has done all in her means to give me and our children loving care and attention, with a full understanding of our challenges as well as our natural weaknesses;
ü A teacher, a career, though a brief one,whch gave me full satisfaction mainly on the basis of the success of many of my former students, the most prominent of whom is Justice Francis Ssekandi; and as
ü A political leader, where I feel I have played my part on many fronts, domestic as well as regional and international, especially towards the development and protection of:
o Authentic, morally defendable, human and political rights;
o Multiparty democracy;
o Constitutionalism and the Rule of Law; and
Ø That I have tried to serve my country and the people I had responsibility over as best as I could; but that, at the same time, I am repentant to the many people I have wronged.
Thank you very much.
About Dr. Paul Ssemogerere
In recognition of his contributions in public life, Ssemogerere was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters (Honoriscausa), by Allegheny College (Meadville, Pa, USA).
Ssemogerere was born in Kalangala District of Uganda. He attended St. John’s Junior Boys School, Kisubi for the Elementary Vernacular (Primary) Certificate (EV: I - IV), for the first four Classes of Primary School (as was the case then). He then joined St. Henry's College,Kitovu for the fifth Class; and, thereafter, attended Kisubi Boys Primary School for the sixth Class and attained the Full Primary Leaving Certificatein 1946.
He attended St. Mary’s College, Kisubi (1947-52) for both the Junior Secondary Leaving Certificate (1949); and the Cambridge Overseas School Certificate (1952). He was active in sports ( boxing, lawn and table tennis, gymnastics, football, cricket, volley ball); he was a Sergeant Major and Platoon Commander in the School Cadet Corps; he was well established in the school debates and performing arts (e.g., he acted as Shakespeare’s “King Henry the Fifth”); and he was the school’s first elected Head Prefect (1951-2).
Thereafter he joined Makerere College, then the University College of East Africa, affiliated to the University of London, where he took the College’s Intermediate Course, the equivalent of the “A Level” Course, before enrolling in the Faculty of Education and attaining a Diploma in Education (Dip. Ed. (East Africa))(1959). He was active:
· in sports e.g., President, Makerere University Games Union;Captain,Makerere University Tennis Club; and
· in public affairs e.g.,Vice President, St. Augustine Society; Guild Vice President for Campus Affairs; President, Uganda Makerere Student Association (UMSA); and SsentebeBaanaba Buganda.
While at Makerere, he secured an award under a US student exchange programme, the Foreign Student Leadership Project (FSLP), for a year’s study at Allegheny College, in Meadville, Pa (1957- 1958), where he took courses in Political Science and Sociology, besides being actively engaged in programmes on and off campus, sponsored under the aegis of theUS National Student Association of America (USNSA).
The teaching career and further education
First, as a student-teacher and, afterwards, as a Diploma-holder, Ssemogerere taughtphysical Sciences at: Makerere College School (1957); Namilyango College (1957); Uganda Government Farm Institute, Bukalasa (1957); St. Mary’s College, Yala, Kenya (1959), the school where Tom Mboya studied; and St. Leo’s College, Fort Portal, where he was Head of the Biology Studies (1959-60).He went into full-time politics in 1960, at the invitation of DP Leader, BenedictoKiwanuka. He resumed teaching as Headmaster, and Science and English Teacher, at St. Maria Goretti Senior Secondary School, Katende, (1971-73).
Ssemogerere returned to Allegheny College in 1973, this time on humanitarian grounds, when State-orchestrated violence, whereby several close political colleagues of Ssemogerere, including BenedictoKiwanuka, JinoObonyo and Martin Okello, were physically eliminated. Ssemogerere received and accepted an invitation byAllegheny, to be a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Political Science, where he offered a course in African Politics, under the guidance of his former Professor, Dr. Wayne R. Merrick; and was hosted by another colleague in the same Department, Dr. Giles Wayland-Smith.
Ssemogerere, later, received sponsorship to Syracuse University in the Maxwell School where hepursued studies for a Master’s Degree Programme in Public Administration (MPA; 1974), followed by a PhD programme in the same field.
Ssemogerere was, however, persuaded to discontinue his PhD programme in order to join hands with other Ugandans in the diaspora in an effort to end Idi Amin’s brutal rule, whereupon he led a two-man DP delegation to the Moshi Conference in Tanzania (1979). Subsequently,he returned to Uganda to participate in the post-Amin Administration as a member of the National Consultative Council (NCC); and to embark on reviving and re-building the Democratic Party.
In 1960-1961, Ssemogerere was full-time DP Publicity Secretary, and a close aide to DP President BenedictoKiwanuka. When the DP won the 1961 General Elections and formed Uganda’s interim Administation (1961-1962), Ssemogerere was Elected Member of the Uganda Legislative Council, later the National Assembly of Uganda, as MP for North Mengo Constituency; and, in addition, and besides his Party role as Publicity Secretary, he was also appointed a Justice of Peace and Parliamentary Secretary to the Chief Minister.
When the DP lost the 1962 General Elections to the UPC/KY alliance and Ssemogerere was no longer a Member of the Legislature, he was requested and accepted to retain his responsibilities at the Party Headquarters as the de-facto full-time Executive. In December 1969, when all opposition parties and groups were summarily banned and a number of their principal leaders were arrested and detained under the 1967 Public Order and Security Act, Ssemogerere and BenedictoKiwanuka, DP President-General, were among them. Upon their release from detention in January, 1971, following the overthrow of the Obote I Administration, Ssemogerere resumed his responsibilities at the DP Headquarters. But peace and personal security were short lived; and Ssemogerere was fortunate to be invited by his former school, Allegheny College, back to the US, where he stayed until when called again to political duty in 1979 to participate in the Moshi Conference in Tanzania.
In 1980, when political party life returned to Uganda, Ssemogererewas elected to succeed BenedictoKiwanuka as the leader of the Democratic Party. He was the Presidential Candidate in the disputed 1980 General elections which were won by Milton Obote'sUganda People's Congress. Althoughhe lost out on the Presidential election which was determined by the majority seats in Parliament, Ssemogererewas elected to Parliament as Member for Mpigi South-EastConstituency;and then became the leader of the Parliamentary Opposition and Shadow Minister for Defence, from 1981-1985.
Following the overthrow of the Obote II Government in July 1985, Ssemogerere was appointed Minister of Internal Affairs in the Tito Okello Administration (1985-6), during which time he was Deputy Leader and, later, Leader of the Uganda Government Delegation to the Nairobi Peace Talks with the NRM/A, which were held under the Chairmanship of President ArapMoi.
WhenYoweriMuseveni became President, after his National Resistance Army had taken power following a civil war (1981-86), Ssemogerere was, consecutively, Minister of Internal Affairs, Foreign Affairs and Public Service (1986-95); and, at the same time, he also held the post of Deputy Prime Minister between 1988 and 1995.
Ssemogerere resigned from Museveni’s government in 1995 due essentially toideological differences over Uganda’s political system – differences which protracted consultations had failed to resolve; in which event he accepted the invitation by the mainstream oppositionto be theirPresidential Candidate in the 1996 Presidential elections, which he lost.
After his retirement from active politics in November 2005, he was succeeded as Party President by John SsebaanaKizito, at the time, the Mayor of Kampala.
He is married to GerminaNamatovuSsemogerere, an Associate Professor in the School of Economics, College of Business and Management Sciences (COBAMS) at Makerere University. They have four children, respectively:
§ KaroliSsemogerere a lawyer by profession based in USA and an Old Boy of St. Mary's College Kisubi;
§ Anna Maria Namakula, a finance manager, currently working and studyingin the US;
§ Mary Immaculate Nabatanzi, a Fashion and Apparel Designer, currently in self-employment in Kampala; and
§ Paul Joseph Ssemakula, an ICT manager, currently the Head of the service at Mengo Hospital, Kampala.
Ssemogerere’s eldest child, Mrs. Theresa Grace NabatanziSendaula (RIP), passed on, in May, 2011.
· 1961 Parliamentary Secretary to Chief Minister BenedictoKiwanuka
· 1960-1969 Publicity Secretary Democratic Party
· 1979-1981 Member National Consultative Council
· 1981-1985 Leader of the Official Opposition
· 1982-1994 Vice President Christian Democratic International
· 1985-1988 Minister of Internal Affairs
· (?) Chair OAU Council of Ministers
· 1988-1994 Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and Regional Affairs
· 1994-1995 Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Service
1999 Brought the first of 5 landmark cases in which judicial judgement were delivered wherebythe claim that the Movement System was an alternative political system was dismissed, thereby setting the stage for the return ofPolitical Parties in Uganda
· 2005 Retired from active politics.
 Fr. Berjhard was buried at Kisubi; and his grave is preserved at the Catholic Hospital there.
 Other key actors in this play included: Stephen Munywantwaali and Daniel Lule (RIP).
 A good case in point was when the Kabaka of Buganda, Sir Edward Muteesa II, personally brought his younger brother, David Ssimbwa, to St. Mary’s, and applied for his admission there with the plea that he would be treated in common with the rest of the students; and, fortunately, subsequently, as a student, prince Ssimbwa conducted himself in every respect as one of us, expecting and claiming no favours and keeping the school regulations.
 Less frequently, I also read Matalisi, Uganda Herald, Uganda Post and Uganda Express.
 The Drum magazine was introduced in Uganda by an Old Boy of St. Mary’s who also studied in South Africa, Herman Kibuuka; and who subsequently became its distributing agent, based at Katwe – Kampala.
 The Leader of the Canadian Delegation was Professor Pierre Trudeau, who later entered politics and became a highly celebrated Prime Minister of his country and carried wide international appeal.
 The “Kapenguria trials” were ongoing while I was in Kenya in early 1959: I was posted at St. Mary’s College, Yala (where the renowned Tom Mboya attended Secondary School), for my Practical Teaching Examination, as part of my professional training; and I was provided for full board and lodging at the home of a teacher at the College, Peter Itebete.
 John Fitzgerald Kennedy, at the time Senator from Massachusetts, was the first and, until now, remains the only Catholic to have been elected to the high office of President of the US.
 I remember having had a friendly encounter with Nyerere on this occasion over his insistence on a single political movement/party.
 As properly fully constituted, DP Fort Portal Branch, covering all the former component parts of Toro Kingdom, as it then was, was headed by Cyprian Rusoke, Headmaster of Virika Catholic Primary School.
 The Chairman of the Committee was J.C. Kiwanuka; and the other members were, William SentezaKajubi, then a Lecturer in the Faculty of Education at Makerere, and the Education Secretaries General of the three recognized principal religious denominations at the time, viz., Rev. John Ravensdale, for Protestant Schools; Rev. Fr. Michael Mugerwa, for Catholic Schools; and Haji Gava for Muslim Schools.
 The successful candidates included:
§ Victoria Kasajja (RIP) who, on her return, was appointed an executive officer in Administration at Makerere University;
§ Dr. FestoHigiro, currently, Deputy Speaker of Buganda Lukiiko, who, at the time was President of Abadahemuka, an organization of Tutsi refugees who fled from Rwanda, following the overthrow of the Monarchy under King Kigeri in 1959;
§ Regina Kato (now Mrs. Musanga) who, after her marriage to Professor Musanga, eventually moved to her husband’s home country, Kenya, became a Kenya citizen and was appointed to a senior post in Provincial Administration there; and
§ Mary WilbroadKiwanuka (now married to Robert Ssebunya, a Presidential Advisor) was, on her return, one of Uganda’s first women graduate statisticians.
 We served as co-editors; but a lot of work was also done by other colleagues who submitted draft papers on specific topics, and who worked together in a group they styled “XYZ”. The group included: Lawrence Ssebalu, Emmanuel S. Mbaziira and Aloysius Mukasa (all three were Advocates), and Simon Kigonya (a senior Executive in the Uganda Electricity Board (UEB)).
 I was informed by Sebastian B. Kibuuka that Paulo Muwanga, Chairman of UNLF Military Commission (1979-80), was also at the same time, at the same school, and in the same Class with Kiwanuka.
 He was Defence Counsel for the Bataka-Bu leaders who were charged for having organized the 1949 strike.
 The Association was headed by a second generation Old Boy of St. Mary’s, Emmanuel Ndawula with whom Kiwanuka developed close personal relations; and whose father, IbraimNdawula, was among the first generation SMACK Old Boys.
 A notable exception was that of Paul Ngorogoza who was appointed Secretary General of KIgezi District despite his being a prominent Catholic.
 This built-in structural religious bias is attested to as reflected in the “The Protestant Establishment at Mengo”by Rev. F. B. Welbourn, a long serving Chaplain of the Anglican Community (St. Francis Chapel) at Makerere, and by History Professor, Sam Lunyiigo, respectively, in their:
§ Welbourn, F.B. (1965), Religion and Politics in Uganda 1952 – 1962 (East African Publishing House), p. 27; and
§ Muskat Richard (editor; 1954), A Short History of the Democratic Party 1954 -1984 (Foundation for African Development (FAD)), p.25. (N.B. The anonymous author of this publication is Sam Lunyiigo who was, at the time, Professor in the Department of History, Makerere University.)
 This delegation was elected by the Buganda Lukiiko or Assembly, (referred to as the “Great Lukiiko” under the 1900 (B)Uganda Agreement), in immediate reaction to the “ withdrawal of recognition”, on November 30, 1953, from Sir Edward Muteesa, as Kabaka of Buganda, under the 1900 Agreement and his subsequent deportation to Britain by Governor (later Sir), Andrew Benjamin Cohen.
Welbourn, op.cit. p. 27
Muskat opcit p. 25.
 Mr. Coutts, Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, at the State Department, was of particular assistance for the success of this project.
 Chatfield College in Indiana and Walsh College, of the Brothers of Christian Instruction, in Ohio responded most generously; and the beneficiaries included: Anthony W.Ssekweyama (RIP), an Old Boy of St. Henry’s College, Kitovu; John Mubiru, the eldest son of J.C. Kiwanuka; Margaret Latim, the daughter of DP Secretary General and former Leader of the Opposition, Alexander AlijaLatim; James Kagimu, the son of a DP founding member and a first generation Old Boy of St. Mary’s, Sebastian BukenyaKibuuka.
 A former Katikkiro of Buganda, Paulo N. Kavuma, was elected DP Regional Leader for Buganda in the Interim DP Executive during the Party’s revival period (April - June, 1980); and many prominent former officials in the Buganda Administration and the Great Lukiiko were in the forefront of the DP campaign for the 1980 General Elections. These included: Prince BadruKakungulu, a great uncle of Kabaka Sir Edward MuteesaII , also referred to as the Leader of the Muslim Community in Buganda; Princess NnalinnyaNdagire; Aloysius Darlington Lubowa, a former Omulamuzi (Minister of Justice); James KagandaLutaaya, formerly county chief Mukwenda (of Ssingo county); George WiliamKalanzi, formerly Omukuluw’Ekibuga (Administrator, Kampala); and Christopher Ntabaazi, former Member of the Great Lukiiko.
 I had first known Dr. Aliker in 1950 when he taught us during his Teaching Practice at St. Mary’s. We renewed our acquaintance in 1957-8, during my first student days in the US, at Allegheny College, when he was in the School of Dentistry in Chicago. We attended together the Annual Meeting of the African Students in the Americas which was held in Chicago; and, due to our friendly relations, he invited me to accompany him to his “Introduction Ceremony” to the family of his future and present wife, Camille. We had a substantive political discourse on Uganda when we participated at the Moshi Conference in 1979 and later at his Clinic in Nairobi, precedent to his joining the DP, attending the DP Delegates Conference in June 1980 and, later that year, standing for Parliament as DP candidate.
Lutara and I had known each other since our student days at Makerere through a mutual friend .John C. M. Ddungu (later Professor in Agriculture), who, earlier, had been one of the students we trained as pioneers for the Cadet Corps programme at St. Henry’s College, Kitovu.
Previously, I had known Brigadier Opolot and I had always been on good terms with Obwangor. Our relations greatly improved after Prime Minister Obote, with the assistance of Opolot ‘s junior, Col Amin, overthrew the 1962 Constitution ; and they reached even higher levels following our imprisonment by the Obote Administration and subsequent release by President Amin immediately after his coup on January 25,1971. By the time of the 1980 General Elections, Brigadier Opolot had already joined the DP and was a member of the Party Central Executive Committee.
 Dr. Paul Ssebuliba and Paulo Wangoola, who,respectively, fled to exile in Saudi Arabia and Kenya.
 Archbishop SylvanusWani of the Church of Uganda.
 These included especially: the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), OXFAM and Amnesty International (AI)
 These official visits contributed to improved working relations between the DP and the Diplomatic Missions of the two countries in Uganda; and they helped in opening and paving the way for DP’s partnership and collaboration with political parties in the two countries.
 Some of such lucky ones, rescued from possible execution in such places as the military barracks at Mbuya (Argentina house), Makindye (the “go-down”), Kireka and Mbarara, as well as the Nile Mansions Hotel (now Serena), have lived to tell their stories.
 Visit made at invitation of the Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alois Mock, with whom we had excellent personal relations..
 The ban affected us too. We could not fly direct from Dakar to Nouakchott, nor in reverse: Senegal offered us a plane which flew us to Gambia and waited for us there; and, on our return, Mauritania provided us with a plane which brought us back to Gambia to find the Senegalese plane waiting for us there.
 During this visit we had substantial discussions with: President de Klerk; ANC Leader, Nelson Mandela; and Chief Mangosuthu G. Buthelezi.
 Charles Taylor attended and addressed this meeting.
 These deliberations were facilitated by Andrew Benjamin Adimola who was entrusted with the task by General Tito Okello and Lt. General BazilioOkello.
 The “protest” Delegates Conference was organized following strong objections against the proceedings and decisions of the official UNC Conference held earlier, the same year (1957) at Mengo Social Centre, Kampala, where Joseph (“Jolly Joe”) Kiwanuka emerged as the de facto UNC Leader, rendering founder-President Ignatius KangavveMusaazi, a mere titular figure; and failing Obote in his contemplated bid for the Party’s top leadership.
 The other four Ministers arrested were: Grace Ibingira; George Magezi; Joshua LuyimbaaziZzaake;and Dr. Lumu. Also arrested at the same time on similar suspicion, was the Army Commander, Brigadier ShabanOpolot.
 M. CherifBassiouni, Professor of Law, De Paul University, College of Law; Secretary-General, International Association of Penal Law; Dean , International Institute of Higher Studies in Criminal Sciences.
 The original Leader of the Government Delegation was Col. Wilson Toko, who was Deputy Chairman of the Military Council and Minister of Defence. Other members included: Col (later Brigadier) Oketcho, Sam Kuteesa, Dent Ocaya- Lakidi, and Robert Kitariko, on the Government side; and: Dr. Samson BasekaKisekka, EriyaKategaya, Dr. Jack Luyombya, and Winnie Byanyima, on the NRM/NA side.
 I was one of the three revolving Chairmen of the Ministerial Committee for the revival of East African Cooperation; and I hosted and chaired the conclusive meeting of the Committee at the Queen Elizabeth National Park resort at Kaseese in Western Uganda.
 Others on the NRM/A side included: Capt. Guma, Sam Njuba, and Gertrude Njuba. And, on the DP side, they included: Robert Kitariko, John B. Kawanga, YoeriKyesimira and Adrian Sibo..
 Col SserwangaLwanga, who was an NRM “bush war hero”, was, incidentally, a close relative: he was my maternal uncle (although my junior in age).
 Earlier, through a political education programme by Foundation for African Development (FAD), we had carried out an effective constructive public dialogue in seminars, workshops etc. on democracy and human rights and related subjects, in which prominent members of the UPC, our former principal adversaries, participated with a keen interest. The FAD dialogue, together with the NCD constitutional discussions and the1996 Presidential Election that followed, brought about unprecedented reconciliation, mutual understanding and cooperation in Uganda, and a concerted struggle for multi-party democracy, between Uganda’s traditional rivals, DP and UPC – and with it, historic acknowledgement and appreciation of DP’s high standing among the Ugandan political elite and, generally, in Uganda society.
 The definitive Judicial pronouncement on the political character and classification of the NRM as a political party in disguise and not an alternative political organization is given in, The Constitutional Court of Uganda, Constitutional Petition No. 5 (2002), Political Parties and Organizations Act(2002): Ssemogerere and others vs Attorney General.
 The Weimer Republic which preceded Hitler’s rise to power suffered, to a large extent, from political instability, arising from too many political parties which were vulnerable to external manipulation.
 In this respect, Uganda should learn from the German experience when, after the Second World War, the architects of the Federal Republic Germany (FRG) took particular care to lay a strong democratic, constitutional and legal foundation for countries’ political party system, and to discourage its abuse. (See: Ssemogerere, Paul K., Political Party Financing in Uganda: A Critical Analysis in Reference to Other Countries (Kololo-Kampala, Uganda: Konrad Adenauer Stiftung; www.kas.de), especially Section 4.
 There was, for instance, a repeated advertisement suggesting that Obote was already being escorted back to office, by members of my campaign team.
 One of them, SydaBumba, was immediately appointed a Cabinet Minister
 A former “child soldier” who later deserted, confided to me in writing that he was among students at the “Kadogo School” in Mbarara who were paid to vote for the NRM candidate several times (10 times in his case) at various designated polling stations.
 The meeting started in early evening and went on until 3.00 a.m. in the early morning; and one of the leaders who attended and urged me to stand, was Nasser NtegeSsebaggala who had tried to contest but failed.
 All three parties (CDU, CSU & FDP) are on the more liberal side of Germany’s consensual policy of a “social-market” economy
 “Reform Agenda” (RA), an improvised political group propelled into prominence by Besigye’s candidature.
 At this time when authentic religion and culture are under attack, or marginalized, and amoral secularism is on the rise, especially among the educated and affluent class, certain forms of morally illegitimate and unacceptable behavior, such as sexual intercourse between men and men or women and women, are being defended in the name of newly redefined categories of human rights. The Democratic Party, consistent with its ethical mooring, under which it is taken for granted that we live in a Divinely ordained moral order, applicable to all people everywhere and at all times, rejects such revisionism,