Category Archives: Features

Uganda a “refugee paradise” – really?

The way the government of the Republic of Uganda is accommodating refugees fleeing political violence from neighboring countries like South Sudan, Central African Republic (CAR) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) had received massive attention from the media and other international humanitarian organizations, but does that give it a credit to be called “a refugee paradise?”

By Lotara Charles

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Earlier this year (2017), the Norwegian Refugee Council Secretary General, Jan Egeland, urged European countries to emulate the immigration and refugee policy of the East African country after it was reported that the country is hosting half a million refugees mainly from South Sudan, though the figure increased with booing 500,000 more refugees entering Uganda.

However, it is not just a question of hosting an influx of refugees but the assistance which these internally displaced persons get from their so-called paradise.

Media reports reveal that some of these refugees, especially the ones fleeing violence from South Sudan do not have proper protection as rebel forces follow them even in their “paradise” and harass them while the national security pays no attention to their atrocities.

In paradise, the poor, women and children have proper and adequate basic needs for sustainability but this is the missing piece in that “paradise” as hundreds of thousands of refugees from those neighboring countries are being forced to go back to their respective violent-stricken countries simply because enough food and shelter are not provided in the “paradise.”

Noteworthy, refugees who choose to go to those camps in Uganda do so not because they want, but because it is their last and only option, and this is exactly the opposite with a real paradise where people willing and joyfully choose to be there.

The Ugandan government might boast for hosting a large influx of refugees from different angles of the continent but that does not qualify that Museveni’s autocratic state a “paradise.”

Before piling an unnecessary praise by the international humanitarian organizations and the media, it is important to trace the history of millions of refugees who were horrendously murdered and buried in mass graves in the so-called paradise and these were mainly South Sudanese citizens.

The world might keep pouring flowery language on the East African country, but the untold and undocumented stories of horrendous carnage and human debris of South Sudanese nationals in Uganda will forever linger in my mind. I am writing this out of experience and from my standpoint, the Republic of Uganda is not close to something called paradise!

Lotara Charles is a student Journalist at Great Zimbabwe University. He writes here at his own capacity. Have questions? Contact charles@thenewdayonline.com

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What is independence for?

“A cock does not roost at another’s home,” says an African proverb. This saying reminds me of the most striking and disturbing moment when a total stranger comes to my home not only to tell me what to do, but also how it is done.

By Lotara Charles – the editor

United Sates President Donald Trump (left) and Zimbabwean President Robert Gabriel Mugabe.

For the past few decades, the United Sates of America and the European Union have been pushing for a new form of colonization by imposing unnecessary double standards on the continent of Africa, demanding their leaders to practice Eurocentrism and Americanization.

They undermined and still undermine the existence of Africa as a continent. I still recall the moment when former united states vice president Joe Bidden addressed Africa as a “country.” This was a clear disrespect if not intellectual and geographical ignorance of the second largest continent in the world.

Recently, allafrica.com reported that, the united states incumbent president Donald Trump had sent special envoy to Zimbabwe to demand political and economic reform in Zimbabwe. I was, and I’m still wondering which African leader went to the US to instruct them what to and how it is done.

The meaning of independence is when a country enjoys her sole sovereignty without unnecessary interference from external forces unless otherwise. In Africa, a continent which is described as “dark” by the UK and American-made English dictionaries, independent states are still being followed by desperate western so-called imperialists who are hungry for resources from the truly resourcefully wealthy continent.

Last year 2016, the Gambian president Yahya Jammeh refused to leave office after conceding a disappointing election defeat to Adama Barrow which ended the 22 years of his tyrannical regime in the Gambia.

HOW WAS JAMMEH FORCED OUT OF OFFICE?

Mediated by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the president of Liberia and the chairperson of the regional body, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), brought the issue on the negotiating table where Jammeh adamantly refused to reach a peaceful concensus, forcing the regional body to resort to military threats which consequently forced the then incumbent president to leave office and seek asylum in exile. This was surely and undeniably an African solution to African problem. If it goes out of hands nationally, political mayhem should be settled by a regional body.

Similar step could have been taken by the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU/UMA) against the late Muammar Gaddafi but filled with regime change agenda, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) toppled and brutally killed Gaddafi. Today, Libya remained in a mess with the US purported democracy.

SRC elections, what is holding it back?

It has been almost a year at Great Zimbabwe University since the administration announced the Student Executive Council (SEC) dissolved, this was followed by the dissolution of the Student Representative Assembly (SRA). The two boards which form the Student Representative Council (SRC) are yet to filled with new and legitimate student leaders but the move to achieve this especially through ballots is seemingly stalling.

By Lotara Charles – The Editor

@lotaracharles

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Last year, the SEC polls were conducted with a string of irregularities and inconsistencies which sparked calls from student advocates (politicians) for the admin to nullify the results of what they deemed unfair and non-transparent elections, a decision which placed students’ leadership on the rocks since then.

Meanwhile after nullifying the results, the Vice Chancellor made a pledge to help oeganize and put in place enough equipment to facilitate the smooth running of the electoral processes which he unconstitionally scheduled on the first two weeks of March – June 2017 semester. Among the equipment were ballot papers, and ink but astonishingly semester break went down the line without elections, probably they are coming up in the first two weeks after semester break.

With the former SRA and the current interim executive committee members hanging on each each other’s throats as a result of constitutional appeals, a self – appointed SRA chairperson in the name of Teddy Joe filed a petition to the court, accusing the school admin for being defiant to attend to their plea that the board was unconstitutionally dissolved.

Just like last year, the court positively reacted to the petition and called off the highly anticipated SRA elections organized earlier this semester, a move which was described by many as a revenge to what the Zimbabwe National Student Union (ZINASU) exercised last semester where a petition was submitted and court odered the elections stopped. Teddy however dimissed the debauched and laughable claim that he is being used by external elements to disrupt students’ affairs adding that, he is only against unconstitutional acts though he was unconstitutionally chosen to occupy the office.

The first session of the court hearing saw Teddy’s lawyer asking for time frame for a constitutional review, this led to the withdrawal of the court application during the second session of the hearing which was attended by quite a number of students.

The imported constitution of GZU controversially stipulates that, forth year students are not allowed to take part in students’ representation but this could have been the only way to restore legitimacy in the leadership circle as a forth year student will automatically leave office after one year legitimate term of office.

It is undeniably true that for the SEC elections to take place, the SRA must be settled in their office to organize all the electoral processes but long it will take until all is fixed, is what probably draws huge skepticism among aspiring student leaders consequently throwing their aspiration in shambles.

 

 

 

The Lord’s Resistance Army, my horrific life experience, part 1

It is undoubtedly true that some of you who are ardent and prolific readers of historical literature came across the history of the Joseph Kony led so-called Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the horrendous carnage and human debris that was left by these thugs on the once beautiful, peaceful and glorious land of the Acholi people. This is not an imagination, neither a myth nor merely desktop publishing but a true life experience.

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The LRA leader Joseph Kony (centred from bottom) and his forces.

Emerged first as a “holly spirit” and later Uganda People’s Democratic Army (UPDA), Alice Lakwena, the then magical leader of the movement died a few years and handed the throne to the clueless and diabolic Joseph Kony, who then transformed it into Lord’s Resistance Army/Movement. The main objective was not to turn back and kill tribesmen but strategic enemies who were pushing for the presidential seat when Dr Apollo Milton Obote died on 10th.October.2005

The departure of iconic Lakwena threw the movement in the circle of factionalism dominated by misogynists, which included Joseph Kony, Otii Vincent and Tito Okello Lotuwa among others.

The failure to agree and nominate a competent successor and contestant for the presidential seat made power wrangles dirtier and consequently, Kony rebelled when Tito Okello successfully took over the highest post of the country in 1985, though he only held the office for one year before he was dislodged by the incumbent president Yoweri Museveni.

The toppling of Lotuwa from power marked the horrible fate of the suffering of the Acholi people. What happens if a house is divided against itself? It falls and collapses, so is the case with this minority tribe. Since then, the enemies have progressed, controversy over the LRA movement flared, the Northern Ugandan politicians were relegated to puppets and spectators in the political arena and failure to secure presidential seat made Kony to turn guns against his tribesmen.

After Obote’s Uganada People’s Congress (UPC) a party under which Uganda attained her independence, Museveni who is the incumbent president of Uganda, formed the National Resistance Movement (NRM) which was another step towards a tyrannical leadership against the Acholi people and other minority group in Uganda. Museveni, who is one of the longest African serving leaders currently, took the advantage of the movement (LRA) devoid of aims and objectives and used it to destroy its own people.

The politricks left Northern Uganda which is mainly occupied by the Acholi people devastated with many people brutally massacred, arbitrarily arrested and some fled violence to neighbouring countries like Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and parts of Sudan.

Now I got a better story to tell after civil erupted in my country, the then Sudan and we sought refuge in the conflict-stricken Pader District in Northern Uganda. Imagine fleeing violence from one war-torn country to another, it’s like jumping from fire to a frying pan right? Just dig deeper and try to draw the mental picture of things coming ahead.

Camping in Northern Uganda, the South Sudanese refugees were given the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) who were just a pale shadow of a true protection forces. It was a green light for the LRA as victimisation of innocent and defenceless civilians continued under their watch for decades. Watch part of LRA atrocities on the Acholi land in the video below.

To be continued… Read the Part 2 of this article on the next page

Black on black xenophobia, who is to blame?

In the past few years, foreigners is South Africa have experienced despicably horrendous attacks including the most recent ones of 2017, this has left academics and intellectuals with series of questions, of which one of them could obviously be, who is behind all the mess?

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By Lotara Charles – The Editor

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A copy of letter of xenophobic threat released earlier January 2017

The black on black xenophobia in South Africa has been something which neither the African Union (AU) and other continental regional bodies have ceased to focus on from the onset. The first xenophobic attacks occurred in 2008 under the leadership of Kgalema Motlanthe , followed by the 2015 and 2017 horrific burning of fellow foreign Africans under the watch of president Jacob Zuma.

South Africa is one of the largest and fastest growing economies on the continent and for that reason, it is a home to a bunch of foreign nationals mostly from Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Somalia and some from other parts of the continent who are seeking for greener economic pasture, and security.

While it is typical that African leaders only need the masses in times of elections, not a single one of them has ever released a statement condemning the attacks, this raises a question on who they stand for.

When the second attacks happened in 2015, Zimbabwean president and the then AU Chairman, Robert Mugabe said, “South Africa still needs to be liberated.” Mugabe who is also the founder and chair of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) also hit out at black South Africans for seeing white men as super humans, a statement which is literally true.

“Let the ruling classes tremble at a communist revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Workingmen of all countries, unite!” There goes a saying by beheaded German philosopher Karl Marx. The ruling class in South Africa is by nature the white minority who are probably influencing the weak black majority to clear their fellow brethren. Abraham Lincoln said “a house divided against itself cannot stand.” Unite and fight real enemies instead of in-house fighting!

This article was published by The New Day Online and cannot be republished without the consent of the author. Have a comment? Leave it in our comment box below, engage with us via our social links or write directly to charles@thenewdayonline.com