Why Does The New Vision Root for Mob Justice Against CBS FM?

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Why Does The New Vision Root for Mob Justice Against CBS FM?

submitted by william kituuka

In its editorial of February 9th, The New Vision joined the chorus of Government officials in condemning CBS FM for allegedly calling upon Baganda to take action against “people with long noses who threaten to take away their land” and the Government which “has a hidden agenda of killing Baganda”.  The paper also alleged that CBS told Baganda to “chase away people who they think betray Buganda” and “on the day of the riots “called upon Baganda to escort the Kabaka prepared to engage the enemy”. It asserted that  CBS FM’s actions are similar to those of Radio Mille Collines that flamed the genocide in Rwanda in 1994.

In a nutshell the paper has declared its verdict, namely – that CBS FM is guilty of directing the public to commit genocide. This is absurd to say the least.

Doesn’t The New Vision recognise that CBS should not be condemned unheard? Is the paper not able to recognise a need for an independent, impartial inquiry into the causes of the riots and the legality of the government’s actions before, during and after the riots before it can pull the rope on CBS and its owners? Shouldn’t it know better than to participate in mob justice when administrative and judicial mechanisms exist but are sidelined? Does it believe that people should shut up and put up when their rights are being trampled upon? Does it support the rule of the jungle or the gun and not the rule of the law? Has it stopped to ponder the full facts and particularly the evidence on the use of excess force by the State security operatives where innocent people died? Does

What are we to think of a Government-owned paper that prints and propagates such sweeping allegations and makes hasty judgements? Doesn’t the paper realise that genocide is a very serious crime against humanity and that individuals accused of genocide or any other crime must be tried by competent courts and not summarily tried and executed by newspaper editors?

The matters in issue in the CBS saga are very serious and should not be taken lightly. Yet in several respects the CBS saga is only the tip of a huge iceberg of injustices suffered by the people of the Kingdom Buganda. The New Vision ought to know that our community has suffered many years at the hands of tyrants and treacherous politicians from the days of the British colonialists. And, perhaps more than others, it has born the main brunt of the wars aimed to liberate this country. Because of this reality, and in spite of the several adversities it faces, it has a right and duty to defend itself from acts that are illegal and undermine its core values and existence. This extends to the duty to defend itself from false accusations of genocide and to demand for justice.

For the record, the Kingdom of Buganda that I represent, has no agenda whatsoever against people from western or any other part of Uganda. Ours is a nation that comprises and embraces many nationalities with all shapes and sizes of noses – indeed it is a microcosm of Uganda in which all the native peoples of Uganda live in harmony, something that cannot be said about all parts of the country. The makeup of our Cabinet and Lukikko is reflective of this reality. It is paradoxical that, the more Buganda embraces and integrates other native communities, the more it is accused of being discriminative and ethnocentric! Genocide has no place in our constitution or thinking at all. But we fear that it may actually be is in the minds of those that constantly talk about it. Sadly, this thinking may be augmented by The New Vision editorial, whose role here may be more accurately analogous to the notorious Radio Mille Collines – the state-owned media outlet, which paved the way for the genocide of the Tutsi by demonising the Tutsi and convincing the Hutu that the Tutsi had a plan of genocide against them and that the Hutu, who wielded state power and armed militias, should move against them pre-emptively.

About the September riots, Buganda’s case needs to be properly understood. We strongly believe that it was illegal to stop the Kabaka from proceeding on lawful visits to Nakasongola and Kayunga. But for the unnecessary roadblocks in the Kabaka way, the riots would never have occurred and people would never have died the way they did. We also consider that it was illegal and wrong for the Government to remove CBS radio masts and cancel its licence unlawfully. Similarly, we find it wrong for the government to arm twist CBS to accept liability for the riots and to coerce it to withdraw its court case. In any case, we consider that it should not be condemned without a right to a full and fair trial. Thus before The New Vision pontificates on these matters it ought to be cautious and objective. We believe that The New Vision knows of the sub judice rule so, instead of writing inflammatory editorials, it needs to give the courts of law, or the statutory Broadcasting Council, a chance to interrogate the full facts and reach a law finding. Otherwise the paper’s rash statements may only serve to obstruct justice and obviate the public’s attention from the real questions to conjured-up charges of genocide and to individuals who seek justice in the matter.

Needless to say, CBS is entitled to a fair trial including: the right to summon witnesses; the right of cross-examination; the right not to incriminate oneself; the right not to be tried on secret evidence; the right to control one’s own defense the right to exclude evidence that is improperly obtained; irrelevant or inherently inadmissible; the right to exclude judges on the grounds of partiality or conflict of interest; and the right of appeal.

The paper, and others, should know by now that we shall not relent or waiver in the search for the truth and in the defence of our values and heritage. We demand and are entitled for a full public and impartial inquiry in the events leading to the riots and the punishment of those that are found guilty. Similarly CBS FM deserves a fair trial. Mob justice or a kangaroo like court in a newsroom simply will not do.

Apollo N Makubuya

ATTORNEY GENERAL.

About ekitibwakyabuganda

Ba Ssebo ne ba Nyabo, Twebaza Abaganda bonna abulumulirwa Obuganda . Era twebaza ne mikwano gya Buganda gyonna wonna wegiri munsi yonna. Omukutu guno gwatandikibwawo nga e’kigendererwa kwe kuyigiriza abantu ebintu ebikwatagana no’Buganda era nokuwanyisiganya ebilowozo nebanaffe abatali Baganda. Abaganda ne mikwano gya Buganda mukozese omukisa guno muwereze ebirowozo byamwe no’bubaka bwona obunaagasa Abaganda na’baana Buganda berizala mu maaso eyo. Obumu ku bubaka obuwerezebwa ku mukutu guno bugyibwa mukuwanyisiganya ebirowozo okubera kumukutu gwa Ugandan’s at Heart (UAH) Forum ogwatandikibwawo Mwami Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba. Era twebaza muzukulu wa Kintu ne Nnambi ono olw’omulimu gwakoledde bana Uganda bonna abali e’bunayira mungeri yo kubagatta mu byempuliziganya no’kutumbula okukolaganira awamu.

9 responses »

  1. I think Owek. Apolo Makubuya makes a factual mistake in his argument. RT Mille Collines was not a government propaganda mouthpiece. It was a private radio station, owned by the likes of Felicien Kabanda, to advance Hutu interest.

    Some people have argued that it was the ‘Radio Buganda’ of the Hutus, though I think CBS had not or has not yet gone to that extreme.

    So, without admitting that Makubuya is wrong or that The New Vision is right, the comparison with RT Mille Collines as a Rwanda government mouthpiece at the time is factually wrong.

    Billie Kademeri
    Journalist in France

  2. Billie,

    In comparison to Rwanda,Radio- Collines (RTLM), which began broadcasting in July 1993, was owned and controlled by Hutu hard-liners within the ruling regime who ultimately organized the genocidal violence .So it was sympathetic to the government causes. Before the genocide,RTLM broadcast a steady digest of belligerent, nationalist, anti rebel, and often openly inflammatory statements. During the genocide, RTLM announcers encouraged listeners to fight, and in some cases, the announcers broadcast names of individuals and places, which were subsequently attacked by citizen bands.

    CBS on the other hand is a radio which is privately owned and nobody in the ruling party(NRMO) has got a stake in it. That is why It was easy to contro and later closel.It only encouraged people to go and attend the Kayunga function in big numbers before the September 11th Riots and i see nothing wrong with this. Government have got no concrete evidence pinning CBS to the sep 11th riots.

    Im just appalled that the NEWVISION was responsible for all the statements attributed to it in the statement made from Buganda’s Attorney General. This was pure revenge on CBS after what happened to Newvision over the false Bulange tittle story which led to an apology from NV. The truth is that CBSfm is not in any way comparable to Radio Collins and we throughly discussed this issue in September 2009.

    Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba
    UAH MODERATOR
    UK

  3. Billie Kadameri
    to ugandans-at-he.

    show details 5:26 PM (14 minutes ago)

    Ndugu Abbey,

    Thanks for the correction. On CBS, I am sure if it is allowed back on air, those presenters who are accused of inciting ethnic hatred will now practice self-censorship ang get to the job they had been doing well before September 12. I think re-opening CBS benefits both sides only that there are big egos at play here on both sides.

    I was home for two months and generally among the few Baganda friends I met, some NRM, some not, they want the radio back on air. In fact the little crisis has helped in a way that certain things people use not to take seriously on CBS especially the non-political topics will become subjects of interest because people will think it is being aired with the backing of the King himself.

    Personally I detest people who use whatever political platform to inflame ethnic hatred. About five years ago there was an incident in Lira when some locals tried to beat up some Acholi in Lira town and their action seemed to be backed by local politicians. It was even on international newswires but when I called an Acholi lady friend married to a Lango, she was panicky all over thinking they were all in trouble. I called Hon Omara Atubo (then an opposition MP) who was said to be on the ground when it happened and put him on international radio where he repeated that much, justifying that people were unhappy with Acholis because of what Kony and the Okellos before him had done. It was trully bad but it was one interview Atubo would like to forget in a hurry as it was used in many places to paint him as an ethnic chauvinist by fellow politicians like Reagan Okumu.

    So, the media can actually be used to reign in bad situations and narrow other than widen the real and perceived differences in Ugandan or any society. They should all be allowed to operate but they should observe general ethical standards.

    Cheers

    Billie

  4. This is how low Uganda and some of its still crawling state organs such as NEW VISION have sunk
    When one reads today’s most regrettable NV editorial, in addition to a rich variety of other preceding missives particularly those written by Mr. Nagenda, one would really be in full agreement with folks who have already described as and afirmed Uganda to be a failed state. To even say that Uganda is simply a failed state is just a gross understatement!! Nay, we are simply back to the Stone Age socio-political environment where the law of the jungle and strong beasts reigned high!

    Being a government mouthpiece with fairly intelligent people who work for this daily that passes for a “national” newspaper , one would naturally expect that this NV which is heavily subsidized by the tax payers’ monies avoids reckless absurdities like the one it has published today in their so-called editorial. The gentleman who wrote this particular so-called editorial has taken it upon himself to play the multiple but mutually exclusive or rather incoherent roles of the accuser, the lawyer, the witness/alibi and the judge in the alleged crimes committed by CBS. He apparently – but undoubtedly arrogantly – cites several “criminal evidences” against CBS for which the latter must be condemned but he astonishingly does not have the prudent guts to either advise his client (read the government of Uganda or whoever is accusing CBS of “criminal” tresspasses) to take CBS to court or to do it himself with the array of “the overwhelming evidence” now in his possession. Regrettably, though not surprisingly, this individual is implicitly “advising” CBS through the Oweek. Makubuya – whom he has elected to refer to with uncalled sneers and disdain- to seek “atonement” of its numerous “criminal offences” outside the constitution and prior to the public outcomes of an independent commission of inquiry and/or the verdict of the courts of laws have pronounced themselves on CBS/Mengo’s “responsibility” for the September-Buganda massacres. What a miscarriage of justice and a big theatre of the absurd!!!

    I hope that NV reflects on the folly of such careless writings and be mindful of the need for it to always promote the cause of justice and the rule of law by all and for all the peoples of Uganda! Apparently, their unfortunate missives increasingly point to the popular feelings amongst Ugandans and non-Ugandans alike that Uganda has long ceased to be governed under the constitution/rule of law but rather under the firm grips of the whims and whishes of its reigning president called Mr. Museveni. What a sad commentary on the governance of this country called UGANDA!!!!!!!
    BENJAMIM ZAAKE BUGANGA

  5. Owek. Apollo Mukubuya and others like you,

    With the duest respect on earth to you, I wish to respond to your queries about the New Vision’s comments that you are quoting and queralling about.

    Firstly does the New Vision just like the CBS you are defending have the right to self expression? Why are you trying to gag the New Vision when you encouraged – nay – incited CBS to incite Baganda to kill other Ugandans?

    Must we who heard ‘live’ the hate massages that the CBS was spewing on behalf of Buganda be condenmed to only court cases/decsions about about what happened? Must we, the non Baganda, who bore the brunt of the incited Baganda youth just keep quite and wait for endless court cases? Can’t we or don’t we have the right to speak out our expereinces about those riots before, during and after the so called court cases?

    Why must the victims of the riots be the ones to wait for the outcome of court cases when Mengo chose to first act (riot) and then call for court action last? Will court action restore the lives of those who were killed by the rampaging rioters? or will it resotore the property the rioter bunrt? Those non Baganda who could not sing the Buganda Anthem or give their baganda clan lineages – should they wait for court judgments to know whether some incited Baganda attempted genocide against them?

    Regarding the history of Uganda, why are you quick to claim that the Baganda are the only victims of Uganda’s turbulent history? YOU say ” The New Vision ought to know that our community has suffered many years at the hands of tyrants and treacherous politicians from the days of the British colonialists. And, perhaps more than others, it has born the main brunt of the wars aimed to liberate this country”.

    How could you so easily forget that the Baganda themself inflicted near genocide against the Banyoro with the help of the colonialists? If the history of Uganda has always been unfair only to Baganda, can you explain why and how the people of Kibale, Buruli and Bunyara etc lost all their lands to absentee Baganda landlords?

    Why is it that when the turbulent and tragic history of Uganda favours or favoured Buganda you are mute about it and when you think it disfavours or disfavoured Buganda are cry foulest? You mean when other Ugandan’s pay the price of Uganda’s troubled history that is okay! but when the Buganda pay their share of that price of that history then it is against only them – the Baganda.

    Parting shots

    Owek. Apollo Mukubuya – I appeal to you and those like you and incidentally this is not limited to Baganda only but rather it is a problem of all tribally inclined bigots- to descend from the high pedestal of tribal historical correctness and give Uganda’s history a fresh and unbiased look. If this is carefullly done you will realised that all Ugandan tribes – read nationalities – including Baganda were at one time or the other and are or could still be:

    a) Collectively victims of colonialists/colonialism
    b) Victims of each other to varrying degrees

    That then being the case, I wish to put forward my Manifesto for the 2021 presidential polls:

    a) All Ugandans should take cognisance of their past history and look to the future not the past only
    b) Let all Uganda stop being slaves of that past history/cast away the chains or yoke of that history/liberate themselfs from that history and move on as a country/ as a people and build a non tribalised future just like the Americans did after their most destructive civil war. America is now the only super power in the world!
    c) All Ugandans for the good and future of the country should STOP seeing themselves as either victims or victors of out past history!
    d) All Ugandans were/are victims of our past history
    e) All Ugandans having learnt the lessssssons of our past history can be winners of that history and the future. Again refer to the Americans plus even the Chinese, the Germans, Japanese etc, etc, etc. etc for more lessons of history!!

    It is most unfortunate if not tragic for Ugandans including the most educated: professors lawyers etc to fight to go back to the glorious tribal past instead struggling for a glorious and properous future for all Ugandans like those groups I have cited above did and are still doing. This is the winning formula for the future and I ask for your votes and support in advance.

    Yours most respectfully,

    Peter Okello Maber,
    Kampala

  6. Mr. Peter Okello,

    because civilized countries are governed by law and constitutionalism. We do not live of the goodwill of the men of evil. If CBS did anything wrong, I michael Senyonjo will also come to this forum and apologise. Peter, simply hate mail will not solve Uganda’s problems. Baganda will not capitulate to hate and a smear campaign by people like you who are making up stories for cheap political popularity. Remember many non-Baganda can sing the Buganda antheme anyway so they don’t have to be forced to sing it.

    You must also remember that whatever happened in September will happen again unless Baganda haters running government in Kampala change course. Buganda will fight for her rights regardless. We shall end the occupation of our land that has gone on since 1966. It must end or there will be war in Uganda – another war.

    Michael Senyonjo
    political Activisit in London

  7. Billie,

    When there is peace, there is no reason for anybody to incite others into violence. When there was no peace in the 80s in the country, Ugandans were invited to mobilise and remove the bad leaders of the day. They succeeded. Today, although not yet there, president Museveni is progressively encouraging exactly that. When there is need for people to free them selves, you can not stop them by merely shutting down a radio station. That is a temporary solution that provides temporary relief to the oppressor. Please be mindful that, technologically, the world has metamorphosed to a level that profoundly conflicts with that mindset. It is better to dialogue, for people will find alternative ways of fighting you if pressed on the wall.

    Even in Rwanda where there was a genocide, the Hutus can not be blamed entirely. There is a history pinning the Tutsi to mistreatment against the Hutu prior to that revange. But look, death came back to haunt them more than 40yrs later.

    John Nsubuga
    UK

  8. This is besides the question of CBS’ culpability, which in my humble opinion should be resolved in a court of law. But as I said, that is besides the point. I only have a querry: if CBS incited people to riot and kill non-Baganda, how does one explain the death by shooting of 30 or so civilians by the security forces? Wouldn’t be in order to have an inquiry about what in the opinion of many people was the excessive use of force by the security forces, including on people who were just going home and not participating in any rioting? Is the continued closure of CBS somehow meant to overshadow questions about this violence? Not bad to ask, is it?

  9. With due respect to Mr. Makubuya it is absurd for him and his likes in Mengo set up to turn it into a song that Buganda is accomodative, that Buganda has no agenda against people from other parts, that they have lived with people from other parts in harmony; so what?
    Makubuya is forgetting that it is the Capital City that unfortunately lays in Buganda that attracts people from other parts of the coutry to Buganda because they also contributed to its existance through tax paying otherwise no body would love to settle in a place where he/she is reminded every now and then that they are strangers.
    Secondly; Makubuya and his likes should understand that people from other parts of the country are accomodative as well but just because they have not yet got what would be of interest hence attractive in their parts; Kasese was once source of passion fruits which was on market in Kampala Baganda followed there and some settled to date; Mbarara and parts of Ankole have biggest numbers of Baganda settlers who sttled there because of just meat; go to Bunyoro, Arua, Gulu.
    So claiming that you are more accomodative than the rest is really unbecoming of an exposed person like you.
    In parts of the country where we come from we had never thought of finding out who is who and where they come from, but such statements “we are accomodative, we have no agenda against people from other parts of the country” prompt us to go back and find out whether we also are accomodative or not, and if we find that we are like we actually are, should we also start remind those people we accomodated that they actually are with us but not out of us like it is done here? No. let’s live as Ugandans and stop to always make our arguments on tribal lines.
    Vunman Rock. Kampala

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