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Thursday, July 27, 2017

#Refugees finding new homes in Uganda - at the expense of #Ugandans


There is something that donors, lenders and funders must understand.  The ongoing refugee influx into Uganda is at the expense of Ugandans.  You can give all the money you want to the Ugandan despotic regime but it is the land of Ugandans which is being taken away.

Uganda is a predominantly Agricultural country and people need land to grow food and feed their families plus feeding the country, selling the food and using the income for school fees, medication (since World Bank and IMF do not think Ugandans should get free medical care).

It is preposterous for the whole world to sit back and praise one of the most ruthless dictators in the world simply because he takes in millions of refugees from countries he invades himself.  But this is not about President Yoweri Museveni.  This is about Ugandans.

Every refugee camp which has been built in Uganda has been built on land that was forcefully taken away from Ugandans.  Or land that was sold by the people at gun point or because Uganda is so poor people are selling their traditionally held land at nearly nothing.

The current crisis from South Sudan, which Uganda invaded in 2013, is making our good hearted Ugandans even willingly give land to some refugees to grow food.  As a matter of fact, if Museveni were given free reign, he would not have any refugee camps at all.  He would just have a melting pot and we would not mind except that the refugees are accorded better services than Ugandans.  The current #LandGrab bill will settle a few things and do not be so deceived as to think it is for infrastructure. Actually that excuse is already in Uganda media where government officials, Indians, Chinese and recently a Kenyan are displayed as land thieves.  You are a Chinese and you are fighting over a rock in Nakapiripiriti in Eastern Uganda?

Or you are Chinese and are needing security forces in Uganda to chase Ugandans off the 2500 hectares which was forcefully taken from Ugandans and now you say they are encroaching on your land?  You people have no idea. In Brazil some family is under security protection for 479 hectares and in Uganda you get 20,000 hectares or 2500 hectares and all is okay.

Back to the refugee problem.  It is unconscionable that the world ignores the plight of Ugandans.  Ugandans have no food.  Their kids are not going to school for lack of school fees. Ugandans are dying on Massacre road and other badly constructed roads with traffic police turning a blind eye on speeders and poorly maintained cars. Ugandans are dying for lack of medicine in hospitals, poorly paid medics, lack of equipment in hospitals and even for over a year we have not had one single Radiotherapy machine in the country.

YET the world which cares so much about Uganda is obsesses with refugees who flow into Uganda.  We have never had problems with refugees as we are a very loving and generous country but you are pushing the envelop.  Our people are dying of hunger.  In Northern Uganda alone where this famous Bidi Bidi refugee camp (sijui Adjumani), have you even gone out and found out how many native children have no food, medicine and do not go to school?

The refugee summit thing is nothing but self praise on the donors, the aid agencies and UNHCR.  In 2013 when Ugandan LGBTI were being hunted like animals, did UNHCR stand up for them?  Even now, this UNHCR is so busy registering refugees we should get Ugandans to also register as refugees so that they can get at least a meal a day, the $200 start up money, land and free education.

Why is it that the donors and funders are so blinded that they do not see the reality of Uganda's incursions into neighbouring countries as a way for Uganda to import refugees?  For a fact, every refugee registered brings money into Uganda.  No Ugandan brings dollars into Uganda.  So it is in the regime's interest to keep importing refugees and crying for help and if those refugees do not wanna come in, we shall just send our "disciplined" army into their countries!

Then again, it is a lost cause.  A good example is the United States of Africa (USA, oh yes it will be US of Africa by the time Trump is done with it) invades, sales arms, then sends in Americans to rebuild the country but even during the war they send in their NGOs to help the poor wounded and suffering people. Foreign Aid has become as self serving as the people who run the soup kitchen and shelters where their budget is allocated by numbers so they have no incentive to get people out of the shelters and help them return to a meaningful job.  Shelters alone were meant for emergency but far too many people now make a lifetime living out of this business.

Similarly, refugee camps were never meant for long term stay and neither were they meant for families to raise their children in them.  How do you explain someone having lived in a camp for 10+ years unless you can explain the greed that pervades the human psych that we tell Saudi Arabia to help end wars while the Saudis bomb the crap out of Yemen (does that country even exist anymore) or tell Museveni to negotiate peace in South Sudan while he sends in Uganda Air force to drop bombs on camps?

But you do not care about Uganda.  Yesterday Uganda media ran a story that CHINA is going to take over Internet and Social Media monitoring in Uganda. Ouch!  That needs to be written about.  Although currently on the table we have the forced government take over of land from peasants and the life presidency.  It must be true that Jesus lost the file for Uganda or that the planes fly so high God has become too deaf He no longer hears the cries and prayers of Ugandans.  There is no other explanation!

To be fair, all that food that World Food Program (WFP) is bringing in should be evenly distributed. So should the clean water.  In addition, that monthly allowance of dollars you are giving refugees, you should give the same to all the residents around those refugee camps and then we shall all live happily ever after and really see these GREAT benefits you keep saying that we get from development of roads and other such things.  Our children also need medicine you know.  Our youth also need skills training so why discriminate against us the hosts? 


Martha Leah Nangalama

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