In 1944, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni was born in the lowlands of Ntungamo district that borders with Rwanda, according to his official biography.
“His father was not born in Uganda,” President Milton Obote said when asked why he continuously claimed Museveni was not a Ugandan citizen in an exclusive interview on February 8, 1985.
At that time, Museveni was leading a rebel group in its fourth year towards toppling Obote. Museveni captured power in 1986 as Obote fled to Zambia.
However, in a declassified Birth Certificate of Gen. Muhoozi Keinerugaba, the son to President Museveni, Muhoozi indicates details of his father as Yoseri Tubuhaburwa Rutabasibwa born in Tare Rwanda. [Tare village, Gisiza cell of Rukomo sector in present day Gicumbi district bordering Uganda].
The Tanzanian Coastal Province stamped certificate also indicates that Rutabasibwa was aged 30 working as a State Operative of Uganda State Research Bureau. These are the details that could have been in possession with the Ugandan government at the time, warranting President Obote to hold onto claims on Museveni’s roots.
Looking at the borders of Uganda in 1675, Ntungamo was part of Ndorwa region of Rwanda. Today the Eastern Province of Rwanda is where Ndorwa stretched to. Bufumbira region including Kabale district of Uganda were all within the borders of Rwanda.
The contentious issue of Museveni’s Rwandan roots has resurfaced again from a group of Ugandans on twitter claiming, “Our team is Ugandan by birth, ancestors are Ugandan. Since 1986 we lost dreams. The foreigner Museveni brought tribalism, sectarianism, robbery and murder.”
Museveni responded in a very long thread saying a follower identified as @MwoyoG declares how he is not against Banyankore but only against Banyarwanda like myself. He is also wondering whether Banyarwanda are an “Official” tribe of Uganda.
“First of all, I am not a Munyarwanda,” Museveni said in a Twitter thread. “I am a Musiita and my mother is Mweene Rukaari and you can go to the beginning of creation, you will not find any Bunyarwandism in me. However, it would not have mattered if I was a Munyarwanda,” Museveni explained further.
In a thread, Museveni may have taken time to assemble a rebuttal, he said, “at a personal level, I have many Banyarwanda relatives by marriage. Yes, the Banyarwanda are one of the indigenous tribes of what became Uganda.”
In his defence, Museveni argues that “one reason is that a part of Rwanda, Kisoro, was put in Uganda by the colonial borders. They are indigenous Ugandans and they are Kinyarwanda speakers (Kifumbira).”
“Secondly, a part of Mpororo, Omutara, was put in Rwanda by the colonial borders. A number of Bahororo clans actually have their origins in Omutara: The Bagina from Kichwamba, the Bakimbiri from Rutuungu, etc,” Museveni presented his defence which some historians may dispute depending on which school of thought one presents.
In further defence President Museveni posted that there are other clans like Bakurungu, Baturagara etc, who are said to originate from Omutara; then, the area near Katuna occupied by Abakiga.
Museveni countered those who waste their time trying to find which Samia is from Kenya, which Mukonzo is from Congo, etc… are not part of our Pan-African vision. Museveni neither denies nor confirms details of his ancestry.
The Ugandan President has thus attracted mixed reactions on his roots posts from his followers on twitter that are seemingly not satisfied by the content.
“You are beating around the bush…… accept you are a Munyarwanda……cause if you are not you wouldn’t bother tweeting all this…cause we are less interested trust me,” King256 twitter handle said. According to another Museveni twitter follower identified as Msemaji wa Siri kali, “So you begin by vehemently denying you are a Munyarwanda then end up talking about Pan-African ism, I find that contradictory.”
“Even if you’re a munyarwanda, I don’t think it’s a crime. If we are to trace they origins of those trying to insist on the issue of tribes, some may fail to find where they belong rather to settle with what they have at the moment,” Gordon Abaho reacted to the ongoing discussion.
For Dalton Twijukye’s comment on Museveni’s roots submission is quite intriguing, “Well Mr. President we would care much less about your origin if only fought the evils in the country. Your failure to do so has put your origin in contention and whether you have interests of Uganda at heart.”
Rwanda Police Chief Briefs 240 Officers Ahead Of S. Sudan Deployment
The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dan Munyuza, on Tuesday, March 9, briefed 240 police officers set to be deployed for peacekeeping duties under the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
The pre-deployment briefing of the hybrid Formed Police Unit-One (FPU-1) contingent was held at the Rwanda National Police (RNP) General Headquarters in Kacyiru.
The contingent commanded by Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) Faustin Kalimba, will replaced the same number in Malakal, Upper Nile State where they will be largely charged with protection of civilians in internally displaced camps, UN personnel, security of key installations and humanitarian assistance, among others.
IGP Munyuza urged the officers to use their experience and the high level of training acquired to execute their peacekeeping mandate effectively.
He further reminded them that they will work with other peacekeepers from different countries and they will have to exercise respect of diversity.
“Learning will be continuous throughout your tour-of-duty, use your experience to build on what your predecessors achieved, cooperative with other peacekeepers in the mission area and respect the people under your protection as well as their culture,” IGP Munyuza emphasized.
He urged them to keep up the good conduct and protect the image set by previous contingents adding that ” you are representing your country, be at the best of your performance.”
“Your country and Rwanda National Police in particular, have full trust in you, resilience and sacrifice are key. Remember, your conduct and professionalism will depict the image and values of Rwandans, ensure your performance is exceptionally good and maintain the same spirit to the end of your mission,” said IGP Munyuza.
The Police Chief reminded them that Rwandan peacekeepers are defined by their professionalism, discipline, teamwork, integrity, values and alertness, and urged them to keep the momentum to “maintain and protect the image and reputation.”
He emphasized that respecting each other and their superiors in particular, discipline, hard work, teamwork, dignity and respect for diversity are strong guiding values and principles which will help them towards mission excellence.
IGP Munyuza appealed to the officers to maintain the spirit of supporting others and to engage in human security activities with the local people they are mandated to serve.
‘’Participating in human security activities is our culture as Rwandans, you should not only conduct peacekeeping duties just to maintain peace and security. It goes beyond that as our tradition to work towards the overall wellbeing of the people,” IGP Munyuza said.
As the wolrd is still faced with the pandemic of COVID-19, the Police Chief reminded them to always observe all health guidelines including wearing face masks, avoiding shaking hands, washing hands and practicing social distancing, among others.
This will be the sixth rotation of FPU-1 hybrid since the first one was deployed in South Sudan in 2015.
It is also one of the three Rwandan FPU contingents currently deployed in South Sudan.
Currently, RNP maintains over 1000 police peacekeepers in various UN missions, including six contingents serving in UNMISS and the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).
Chinese Companies Win Tender to Construct Railway From Mwanza to Isaka
The Standard Gauge Railway from Mwanza to Isaka in neighbouring Tanzania will be constructed by two Chinese Companies that have won a lucrative tender for this job.
Prof. Palamagamba Kabudi Tanzania’s foreign minister said on Thursday during a presser on the eve of the Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi’s two-day visit to Tanzania.
The Mwanza-Isaka railway stretch will cover a distance of 341 kilometres and construction is estimated to cost TShs3 trillion will be handled by China Civil Engineering Construction (CCEC) and China Railway Construction Company (CRCC).
The Tanzanian government through the Tanzania Railway Corporation (TRC) is constructing a 2,561Km SGR network that links Dar es Salaam, Mwanza, Kigoma, Katavi and neighboring countries of Rwanda, Burundi Uganda and DRC.
The over Sh7 trillion project is being implemented in phases with the first round covering 202km between Dar es Salaam and Morogoro, was initially scheduled to be ready by November 2020 but heavy rains disrupted construction works.
Construction of the first and the second phase is being undertaken by Turkish construction company, Yapi Markez.
The first phase will have six main stations at Dar es Salaam, Pugu, Soga, Ruvu, Ngerengere and Morogoro, with the Dar es Salaam and Morogoro stations being the largest.
The second phase which is under implementation involves 422km between Morogoro and Makutupora in Singida with the project set to be completed within 36 months at a cost of $1,924 billion.
The railway is East Africa’s fastest and will use electricity to move trains will travel at 160km per hour and transport 10,000 tonnes of freight which is equivalent to 500 cargo trucks.
Upon completion, the SGR project is expected to payback the investment value after 15 years.
In October 2020, Tanzania government signed $60 million (about Sh138 billion) contract with a South Korean firm to supply trains for the standard gauge railway (SGR).
Trump Attacks Election Integrity As Biden Nears 270 Electoral College Votes
President Donald Trump is testing how far he can go in using the trappings of presidential power to undermine confidence in this week’s election against Joe Biden, as the Democrat contender gained ground in tight contests in some key battleground states.
With his pathway to re-election appearing to shrink, Trump has advanced unsupported accusations of voter fraud to falsely argue that his rival was trying to seize power. Thursday’s moves amounted to an extraordinary effort by a sitting American president to sow doubt about the democratic process.
“This is a case when they are trying to steal an election, they are trying to rig an election,” Trump said from the podium of the White House briefing room.
The president’s remarks deepened a sense of anxiety in the U.S. as Americans enter their third full day after the election without knowing who would serve as president for the next four years.
His statements also prompted a rebuke from some Republicans, particularly those looking to steer the party in a different direction in a post-Trump era.
Electoral college magic number
Neither candidate has reached the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the White House. But Biden eclipsed Trump in Wisconsin and Michigan, two crucial Midwestern battleground states, and has been inching closer to overtaking the president in Pennsylvania and Georgia, where votes are still being counted. It remains unclear when a national winner will be declared after a long, bitter campaign dominated by the coronavirus and its effects on Americans and the national economy.
On Wednesday, The U.S.set another record for daily confirmed cases as several states posted all-time highs. The pandemic has killed more than 233,000 people in the United States.
Biden spent Thursday trying to ease tensions and project a more traditional image of presidential leadership. After participating in a coronavirus briefing, he declared that “each ballot must be counted.”
“I ask everyone to stay calm. The process is working,” Biden said. “It is the will of the voters. No one, not anyone else who chooses the president of the United States of America.”
Biden’s victories in the upper Midwest put him in a strong position, but Trump showed no sign of giving up. It could take several more days for the vote count to conclude and a clear winner to emerge. With millions of ballots yet to be tabulated, Biden already had received more than 73 million votes, the most in history.
Trump’s erroneous claims about the integrity of the election challenged Republicans now faced with the choice of whether to break with a president who, though his grip on his office grew tenuous, commanded sky-high approval ratings from rank-and-file members of the GOP.
Lawsuits and late mail-in ballots
Trump’s campaign engaged in a flurry of legal activity to try to improve the Republican president’s chances, requesting a recount in Wisconsin and filing lawsuits in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia. Judges in Georgia and Michigan quickly dismissed Trump campaign lawsuits there on Thursday.
Trump has held a small edge in Georgia, though Biden has been gaining on him as votes continue to be counted. The same is true in Pennsylvania, where Trump’s lead had slipped to about 22,000 votes — and the race is destined to get tighter.
One reason is because elections officials were not allowed to process mail-in ballots until Election Day under state law. It’s a form of voting that has skewed heavily in Biden’s favour after Trump spent months claiming without proof that voting by mail would lead to widespread voter fraud.
Mail ballots from across the state were overwhelmingly breaking in Biden’s direction. A final vote total may not be clear for days because the use of mail-in ballots, which take more time to process, has surged as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Trump campaign said it was confident the president would ultimately pull out a victory in Arizona, where votes were also still being counted, including in Maricopa County, the state’s most populous area.
The AP has declared Biden the winner in Arizona and said Thursday that it was monitoring the vote count as it proceeded.
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