Uganda: Why didn't Ugandan bloggers write about the nation's biggest story?

The Ugandan blogosphere was silent on the country's biggest story over the last few weeks. On March 5th, the Ugandan judges and lawyers went on strike after presidential security agents raided the High Court to re-arrest six treason suspects who had been granted bail. The suspects were accused of representing the People's Redemption Army (PRA), a shadowy rebel group that opposition candidate Dr. Kizza Besigye has been associated with.

On March 14th, several of the suspects were released after allegedly being beaten, and with the striking judiciary, marched around the High Court to cleanse it of the incident. President Museveni sent a letter to the judiciary and apologized for the incident. Why didn't the blogosphere comment on this major story? Reasons could range from fear of reprisal from the government to this simply being business as usual for the Museveni regime.

In other news, The Diocese of northern Uganda shares the lesson he learned from noticing an early morning cock fight:

The time is 7:20am, as I was cleaning the compound, I saw two cocks fighting seriously, and it drew my attention as well as the attention of my family members. As I continue watching this drama, I recalled what the leader of the LRA Joseph Kony said on the war in Northern Uganda. Kony said “Lweny wa ni obedo calo pa twong gweno, ma acel ryemo lawote, itamo ni dong kibwoyo ento koni inongo ni en ma ocako ngwec ni dok cako ryemo lawote” Meaning this war is like that of two cocks, one may be overpower and you may think it has defeated the other one, but surprisingly the one who is being chased may regain strength and come back to continue the fight.

Earlier this week, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) re-committed to the peace talks with the Government in southern Sudan after several weeks of protesting the talks. Uganda-CAN sees this as a second chance:

The decision by the government of Uganda and Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) to resume peace talks within the next two weeks brings fresh hope that a peaceful resolution to the 21-year conflict can be found. For those who shirked support for the process before – the U.S. Government, African Union, IGAD to name a few – this provides a second chance. As we've continually advocated, confidence-building and accountability provided by external actors will be crucial if negotiations are to succeed.

Also this month, Ugandan troops arrived in Mogadishu to increased insurgent fire from Islamists. Jackfruity, in an ongoing debate in the blogosphere, argues that sending Ugandan peacekeeps to Somalia was a bad move:

Josh argues that Ugandan troops will be met with more support than Ethiopians, but so far they've been met with bombs and mortars that have already killed or injured almost 30 civilians and two soldiers. The peacekeeping mission is miserably underfunded and understaffed, and several human rights organizations have expressed serious concerns that the operation will be a repeat of Uganda's intervention in the Congo, during which the UPDF was found to have tortured and killed civilians. An editorial in Friday's Daily Monitor compared the American anti-terrorism fervor to the Cold War and accused Museveni of “playing this card against terrorism as a tool to help him in his quest for a life presidency.

In lighter news, for those who wondered what to do if they had 36 Hours in Kampala, In An African Minute has some suggestions. Here is one:

Friday-2PM Bribe a fisherman at Munyonyo Fish Market Lake Victoria is a defining feature of the region and an absolutely stunning site. What better way to experience the lake than on a fairly unreliable, hollowed out log that smells like Nile Perch? For $4 per day you can bribe a fisherman for his boat. Within 500 meters of shore there is an uninhabited island.

Finally, Just Sayin reflects on wearing the red anti-AIDS ribbon around Kampala:

Most people believe only people who are living positively with the virus should wear it. Someone went on to argue the only positive people should be anti-AIDS activists. How wrong. This is the stigma we should fight. Let’s start now here in blogville. We may even impact more then one person a day. We can do it. Not by waiting for 1st Dec to act. SIDA doesn’t have the patience to wait to infect you. No. This is an everyday fight, just like the one we wage against the devil every second.


  • jmp

    Joshua, maybe you haven’t checked this blog out:

  • In the above article, I stated that no one in the Ugandan blogosphere had been writing about the recent controversy regarding the arrest of several opposition candidates and the subsequent protest by the judiciary and lawyers. This was incorrect. Two bloggers covered the issue. Apologies for the overlook.

    Museveni Kaguta writes:

    ‘Ugandans went to the streets to protest the siege of the high court. Thousands were arrested and detained briefly because of the Judge’s strike protesting the interference. But many were held and at least four beaten to death in captivity (from a witness I trust). Ugandans know there are real risks in writing.’

    I’m a Fan of Postcards commented:

    ‘As I was thinking the other day about how Uganda could easily turn into East Africa’s Zimbabwe, I discovered this article written by Vahid Oloro in the Sunday’s Kenya Times entitled “Is Uganda becoming East Africa’s Zimbabwe?”: If Museveni doesn’t stop now, what will be next? Museveni must allow the independent judiciary and then allow Ugandans to have other democratic freedoms such as speech and assembly. If Museveni isn’t careful, he’ll soon be compared to some of his Ugandan head-of-state predecessors.’

  • Henry

    It is the irony of life that Ugandan leaders continue talking about an East African political federation while their people are essentially relegated to Petitions to cause change.>

  • […] After government agents raided Uganda’s High Court to re-arrest six treason suspects who had been granted bail, In An African Minute wonders how seriously Ugandans should take the President’s recent abuses of power: My last Global Voices piece seems to have brought to light an interesting conversation of how seriously to take Museveni’s recent excesses in suppressing opposition activity. On one hand are those who see storm clouds fast approaching on the horizon. James can see Uganda becoming the next Zimbabwe. […]

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