Posted on 31 October 2009
For several days this week, a letter has been circulating on Baganda Internet discussion lists, allegedly written by Peter Sematimba, offering the NRM advice on how to weaken CBS FM Radio. The alleged letter, which was supposed to be highly confidential, is addressed to the minister for Security in the NRM occupation government, Amama Mbabazi. It refers to a previous discussion on the subject with David Mafabi of Museveni’s state house.
Our state house sources most familiar with the activities of David Mafabi were not aware of any specific contacts between Sematimba and Mafabi. However, they confirmed that, since the Kayunga civil disturbances, Mafabi has gotten more involved in activities to subdue Baganda. The source said: “Since the Kayunga riots, even Museveni now knows that Kabaka Mutebi could take him down, if he had enough bright and brave people in Mmengo to support him (Mutebi). Because state house staff know that Museveni was shaken, each one is trying to show that they have the best idea about how to isolate the Kabaka, scare the few bright and loyal Mmengo officials, strenghthen JB Walusimbi and disorganize the Baganda youth and Diaspora movements. In this environment, it would not be surprising if two money hungry people like Sematimba and Mafabi cooked up juicy deal along the lines of this letter. But I have no information to confirm it.”
On Sematimba’s part, he declined to reply to our email message, sent to the address he uses for business, firstname.lastname@example.org, inquiring if he could confirm or deny the letter. Calls to his radio station numbers 041- 272777 / 0782-222885 also got a “Boss is not in office” response.
On reading the anti-Buganda letter, a leading Buganda analysts based in New York, claimed that serious Baganda should only be happy when Buganda’s enemies are exposed like this. He explained: “Many so called intelligent Baganda are still subconsciously slaves to the belief that a foreigner like Museveni or Besigye will save them. Others are equally delusional by thinking that some fast talking Muganda president of Uganda, like Abedi Bwanika or Samuel Lubega or Frank Musisi will help. Such Baganda are either ignorant or afraid to face the fact that Museveni and his Banyankore and Rwandese kin have ransacked the Uganda experiment. It is a failed state! So, what does Uganda have to offer to Buganda anymore?”
The analyst continued: “What would stop Bwanika or Musisi from becoming a Sematimba once he gets power? The more intelligent Baganda know that a Muganda president of Uganda will have to go anti-Buganda, in order to maintain support from the other groups, who are uniformly anti-Buganda. This letter by Sematimba, is good for demonstrating that, Mulondo, Nsibambi, Bukenya, Mulwaanyamuli, Katende, Sekandi and Tamale Mirundi were not the last to betray Buganda. More like Bwanika, Musisi and Lubega are coming, only they might even be worse than Muwanga. The only way out is independence for the Buganda Kingdom. Fortunately, the younger Baganda who are the majority seem to instinctively understand it and that is why they are 100% behind Kabaka Mutebi.”
The controversial letter is reproduced in full below:
TO: The Minister for Security
Cc; David Mafabi O/P
RE: INPUT ON THE IMPACT OF THE CLOSURE OF FMs AND THE WAY FORWARD.
Honorable minister, we discussed with Mr David Mafabi (office of the president) regarding the closed Radio stations, and i raised several issues with him which I present to you and may as well share with the powers that be at an appropriate time.
First, I wish to express my reservations for the Broadcasting council for not doing enough to forestall the mess in the electronic media especially the fm stations more so in view of what befell the country .
As much as we have endeavored to set standards at Super fm, we have been let down by our competitors who either out of fear for positive competition or deliberately for failing fulfill the requisites of professional broadcasting.
With regard to the three closed stations, its my belief that the major protagonists are CBS and AKABOOZI while SUUBI FM is a nonentity in this jigsaw. It’s my conviction that you critically focus with CBS and AKABOOZI given their burgeoning presence in the FM industry.
Both FMs are a sister act especially with regard to violating the ethical code of conduct as per the press and journalist act 1995 and electronic media statute 1996 as well as the broadcasting council guidelines put in place for the electronic media to adhere to.
We at Super FM can use this time of relative normalcy before the closed FM stations are re-opened to fix the situation both on behalf of Government and the party as well as check on the activities of the broadcasting council on their part.
I request that through your office you create a special desk where you can identify NRM cadres who can ably articulate party/ Gov’t issues on the air waves.
If this is implemented, am ready to offer a weekly program preferably during the day in fulfillment of this mission. This will help us mobilize.
Honorable, we are aware of the imposing status of these two stations and the expected new sense of belonging upon re-opening I think that there is a need to covertly reduce their influence in the industry.
The stations will re-open with a bang and every listener will naturally want to associate with them after all this time in suspension. Its against this that if no advance counter measures are put in place the bubble will bust and you might not achieve the goal of their closure.
For instance you can do this by demanding that they unconditionally shuffle various presenters in unfamiliar programs, i.e. from presenters to newscasters and vice versa.
By so doing, you can institute an “independent” survey to rate FM stations and am positive that the programs will be rating low after some time or/ and even most of the presenters will be disenchanted by the new set up and may end up thinking twice.
Through this scheme, we can make amends by promoting those stations that are on the same page with the system
(e.g Super FM) and by the time they re-organize it will be after months when we have steadily set off.
Alternatively, like we discussed with Mr. Mafabi, we can sweet talk a couple of presenters and draw them to the realization of not risking their careers and instead switch to the operating radio such as Super FM.
Personally am targeting two from CBS FM and two from AKABOOZI. For the fact I know that the management of both stations cannot agree to sack their prized presenters for the sake of re-opening them because they form the basis of their popularity.
But I can assure you that if we cunningly implement snatching them away, it cannot take long before these presenters are beaten into line with what we want.
We has suggested with Mr. Mafabi and Tamale Mirundi that I make a presentation on the above issues so that I can give you a more practical picture on the way forward on this matter for the continuity.