Friday, July 23, 2010

Should Uganda withdraw from Somalia

After the recent July 11 2010 bombings in Kampala, many have called for the withdrawal of Ugandan troops from Somalia. However, the President of Uganda has declared war on the Al Shabab rebels who claim responsibility for the attacks.

However, lessons from Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia itself show that we probably will not win unless we follow in the footsteps of Sri Lanka's Mahinda Rajapaksa which is next to impossible." Rather, i call for the AU to join Uganda and Burundi in continuing to maintain peace in Somalia

Uganda and Burundi did not go to Somalia out of their own volition. Their mandate, as i understand it, is part of the AU resolution under AMISOM created by the African Union's Peace and Security Council on 19 January 2007. Uganda was the first country to contribute troops to AMISOM in March 2007 and Burundi followed in 2008, but the force is still far short of the 8,000 soldiers initially announced by the AU. Unfortunately to-date, no other country has fulfilled their mandate and thus Uganda and Burundi are being targeted by the Al Shabab.

In my view, if the AU countries that pledged soldiers do so, they will not only be able to maintain the situation better, but also make it more challenging for the Al Shabab to attack each and every country that supports AMISOM with troops in order for the fledgling current Somali government to survive.

For Uganda to enter into a full scale war is in my view unwise. Rather, let Africa support AMISOM with troops as promised. Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda have not contributed soldiers to maintain peace and yet this is a regional threat for all intents and purposes.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


We wait to graduate from school,
we wait to build our houses,
we wait for our hair to grow longer,
we wait for the maize to mature -
we need to wait
and i know that in waiting we learn,
we mature, we observe -
we prepare for another day and season-
another battle-

We always wait - always with a purpose -
when we get married, we need to wait some more -
for the kids who are not being born,
for the jobs that are not coming through,
for the mortgage, the car, the inlaws to understand our priorities,
the friends to forgive us
for not attending their children's christening etc...

We always wait..
and learn
and mature...

We wait..

Saturday, July 17, 2010


July 15 2010

Dear Editor

Allow me to use your Newspaper to express my grief over the loss of close to one hundred Ugandans and injury to dozens last Sunday as the whole world gathered together, united in supporting Africa’s inaugural world cup final.

Surely the scriptures are right when they state that the “thief comes to steal kill and destroy”. For Ugandans today hardly remember or even talk about the pains caused by Uruguay to the impressive Ghana and Africa generally. Our joy and excitement were stolen when our friends were killed and our loved ones destroyed. Ugandans did not get an opportunity to talk about the beautiful closing ceremony and what a success the first World Cup on African soil was. Simply because the terrorists decided to steal our joy

The pictures of these dastardly deeds are telling about the shocking acts of inhumanity that were meted out in the heart of our country. The unambiguous statements by the Al Shabab spokesman are almost unbelievable to hear and clearly baffling. It is clearly against the traditions and spirit of being African for such an act to be committed. It is against the passion of Ubuntu for such a behavior. In Africa, no one gloats over the misfortune of another worse still when people are “punished” by unknown enemies whose mission and purpose is unknown. However that is for another day

This letter is intended for my fellow Ugandans. I know that everyone has a right to express their grief in whichever form and manner they choose to. I know that conspiracy theories and blame games have already filled the airwaves, emails and blog pages.

However, for the sake of our loved ones who have lost the precious gift of life. For the sake of the friends and families of our injured and bereaved, lets mourn first – and heal

Let us don our sack cloth and bark cloth – let us grieve- let us remember our loved ones

It could have been anyone of us

We shall play the blame games “tomorrow”


We didn’t know
That would be our last chat
The final handshake
Our Last hug
The last bargain in Nakawa market
The last vision of pot holes
The reckless boda boda
Rushing –
to ensure you catch the match
That evening
The last time you switched off the ignition
Farewell to your newly acquired Corona

You probably had planned this evening
Or was it a last minute decision?
Watching Africa’s first world cup final
With friends – close friends- good friends
When would the cup come back to Africa anyway?

Did you think?
That would be the last joke
Last laugh
The last pat on the back
Did it occur to you
I wonder
That you would not see me again?
Go shopping again?
Make love again?

Did it occur to you?
Were you warned?
What happened to your intuition?
How can you be an enemy to a stranger?
Who would hate you so much?
For inhabiting the Pearl ?
The Pearl of Africa?

Who were they?
Did they squeeze past you?
Share a joke with you?
Support a team?
Did they blow a vuvuzela too?
Which team did they support?
As they prepared this dastard deed
I wonder-

What can I tell you my friend?
I stare at your eyes in the papers
The internet is awash with your name
What did you do last I wonder?
Sip the alvaro?
Wince at Robben’s missed goal?
What was the last sound you heard?
Was it the sound of G-O-A-L?
The blast of the whistle?
Or the yell of your fellow fans?
What did you see last?
Was it the Spanish jersey?
Did you take a last minute back glance?
Didn’t you look under the seat?
Hear the ticking?

What crossed your mind?
Will you answer me?
I groan and moan in despair
Did you feel any pain?
Did you think of me?

I know
You probably never heard of Al Shabab
You distanced yourself from politics
Avoided the confrontations of demonstrations
And tear gas

Yet here you are
I look at you
Asleep like a baby now
What will I do without you?
As my heart writhes with pain
My throat chokes with burning emotion
My eyes
Acidic tears burn

Yet you are up yonder
Do you see them now?
Burning in hell ?
Or do they still walk among us?

What should we do?
Our hearts grieve with sadness
My lips tremble as I speak
O that I would see you again
And say a proper bye
Am weeping this night
Tell me
Will joy come in the morning?


Dedicated to the fellow Ugandans and other citizens of the world who died when twin bombs blew up as they watched the world cup finals in Kampala Uganda on the 11th of July 2010.