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NRTJ Audit 2011 -2012
BRIEF 13 of 18 Mubende District
Main objectives of the NRTJ Audit
  • To document community perspectives on
    post-independence armed conflicts across Uganda
  • To identify and assess the outstanding
    reconciliation and transitional justice needs
    related to each of these conflicts

NRTJ Audit 2011 -2012
BRIEF 13 of 18 Mubende District
Three field teams comprising four researchers and
one videographer visit eighteen selected
districts equally distributed over the Northern,
Southern, Eastern and Central regions in Uganda.
In each district, concerned Civil Society
Organisations are contacted. The teams conduct
Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) with four
different groups namely adult women, adult men,
youth and representatives of civil society and
local government.
There are fifteen participants in each FGD and
the discussions take the whole day. FGDs are
split into two parts, and follow a simple
structure The morning is spent Looking Back,
at conflicts, their causes, their impacts, and
the stakeholders involved, while the afternoon is
for Looking Forward at the possible justice
mechanisms that could be used to address the
legacies of conflicts identified as well as
sending messages to key persons and institutions.

In the course of each FGD, key informants are
identified for further consultation. Findings are
recorded on flip charts, through near-verbatim
note taking, and on audio- and video
recorders. Preliminary Findings are presented
initially in these Briefs. The final output will
be a Compendium of Conflicts in Uganda, supported
by video documentation.
NRTJ Audit 2011 -2012
BRIEF 13 of 18 Mubende District
Focus Group Discussion Guide
A. Is there peace in Uganda? Conflict Timeline
B. What were the Causes behind the conflicts you
have identified?
C. What were the Impacts?
  • D. Who were the Stakeholders?
  • Victims
  • Perpetrators
  • Beneficiaries
  • - Bystanders
  • Spoilers
  • Peacebuilders

NRTJ Audit 2011 -2012
BRIEF 13 of 18 Mubende District
Focus Group Discussion Guide
WELCOME BACK - Reminder of purpose of second
half from looking back to looking forward
A. How does it feel to be talking about the
history of this country?
B. 1. What does JUSTICE mean to you? 2. Has
JUSTICE been done to the stakeholders? How do you
think justice can be done? What would you like to
see in the following processes?
C. What messages do you have for key persons
and/or institutions?
BRIEF 13 of 18 Mubende District
NRTJ Audit 2011 -2012
DISTRICT INFORMATION   Mubende has been a
district since Independence. It is located in
central Uganda and is named after its chief town,
Mubende. In july 2005, as a result of the
Governments policies of decentralisation and
districtisation, Mubende District was reduced in
size when Mityana District was carved out of it.
Mubende District is bordered by Kyankwanzi
District to the north, Kiboga District to the
northeast, Mityana District to the east, Gomba
and Sembabule Districts to the south, Kyegegwa
District to the southwest and Kibale District to
the northwest. The major economic activity in
Mubende District is agriculture with a
traditional emphasis on food crops like
groundnuts, beans, onions, cabbages, tomatoes,
maize, sweet potatoes and cassava. There are also
a significant number of immigrants in the
district, the majority of whom are cattle
keepers. Mubende District has a total population
of approximately 588,300. The main tribe in
Mubende is the Baganda, followed by the Banyoro,
Banyakole, Banyarwanda and Bakiga.
Map of Uganda showing Districts
Accessed at http//
NRTJ Audit 2011 -2012
BRIEF 13 of 18 Mubende District
This field brief is based on focus group
discussions (FGDs) and key informant interviews
(KIIs) conducted in Mubende Town and Kiyuni
Sub-County, Mubende District, between February 14
and 20, 2012.   The preliminary findings below
reflect opinions expressed in all the FGDs and
key informant interviews. The field brief
reflects conflict perspectives and opinions as
narrated by the FGD participants, which are not
necessarily those of the Refugee Law Project
(RLP) or its funders.   The research team was
comprised of Wamimbi Jimmy, Veve Richard, Aliobe
Joan, Okot Benard Kasozi (team leader) and Opiny
Shaffic (video advocacy). This briefing note was
written by Okot Benard Kasozi with valuable input
from Annelieke van de Wiel and Kari Griffiths,
all of the RLP.
BRIEF 13 of 18 Mubende District
NRTJ Audit 2011 -2012
NRTJ Audit 2011 -2012
BRIEF 13 of 18 Mubende District
Is there peace in Uganda?
Participants viewed peace in Uganda broadly from
a social, political, and economic perspective and
the majority stated that, taking into account all
of the above, Uganda is not at peace.   At a
national level, the participants pointed to an
increase in riots, strikes and the mounting
pressure from groups agitating for reforms or
regime change in Government, the Government
buying fire arms and the deployment of militias
throughout townships, the rising cost of living,
and political fights between top Government
officials as indicators that the country is not
at peace.   At a regional level, there are still
rebel groups such as the Allied Democratic Forces
(ADF) in Western and Central Uganda, and the
Lords Resistance Army (LRA) in northern Uganda.
All have been disturbing peace in Uganda.
  Peace at the district level has been affected
by political fights between leaders of different
political groups, as well as by land conflicts,
youth unemployment and the spread of HIV/AIDS by
Uganda Peoples Defence Force (UPDF) soldiers.
At village and household levels, there is also
no peace because of land conflicts, the use of
witchcraft, living with active ADF collaborators
in the village, and conflicts between migrant
cattle keepers and native cultivators.
Please remember that this brief reflects
community perspectives on national issues.
NRTJ Audit 2011 -2012
BRIEF 13 of 18 Mubende District
Is there peace in Uganda? (cont.)
Those who do enjoy peace, however, are some rich
Government officials, since they have all they
need to live peacefully.   Much as there seems
to be no peace in Uganda, the adult participants
revealed that the current situation cannot be
compared to that of past regimes where violence
was perpetrated openly. This argument was,
however, challenged on the basis that rich
ministers and generals feel insecure as they have
acquired their wealth through corrupt means. As a
result, they are concerned that their property
could be destroyed by angry masses. For that
reason, they may fund another rebellion in order
to regain power and protect their wealth, in the
case of regime change. This could lead to another
surge of open violence. A UPDF officer from
Mubende barracks commented that the incumbent
government has embezzled too much money to the
extent that even if it is toppled militarily, my
fear is that it has the financial capacity to
fund another come-back rebellion that can still
destabilise peace in Uganda.
Please remember that this brief reflects
community perspectives on national issues.
NRTJ Audit 2011 -2012
BRIEF 13 of 18 Mubende District
Conflicts Timeline National Level
The Kabaka Crisis (1966) In 1966, Idi Amin
Dada, then army commander, led the national army
to attack (the then President) Kabaka Fredrick
Walugambe Muteesa IIs palace in Mengo,
destroying many lives and property and eventually
forcing the Kabaka to flee into exile. He did
this under orders from Sir Milton Obote (then
Prime Minister). This action brewed a lot of
hatred and opposition to Obotes Government from
the Baganda who accused him of deposing their
King, abolishing the Kingdoms and being
responsible for the Kabakas mysterious death in
Abrogation of the 1962 Constitution of Uganda by
Obote (1967) The 1962 Constitution was said to
have been pro people. However, when Obote amended
it he gave himself a lot of powers that favoured
his Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) party. The
subsequent absence of the rule of law paved the
way for abuses and violations of peoples rights.
Coup by Amin that led to the overthrow of Obote I
(1971) Amin, who had been used by Obote against
the Kabaka, now turned his guns against Obote,
accusing him of tribalism. The coup happened when
Obote was attending the Commonwealth Heads of
Government Meeting in Singapore. Amin deposed
Obote and declared himself the President of
Uganda. Shortly after Amin became the President,
Ugandans began to experience a reign of terror,
despotism and oppression, characterised by a
total breakdown of the rule of law.
Military overthrow of Amin by a coalition of the
Uganda National Liberation Army (UNLA) fighters
and Tanzania Peoples Defence Force (1979) From
1971 to 1979, Amins regime was characterised by
mass human rights violations and anarchy that
provoked both national and international concern.
By 1979 the situation had become unbearable so
the UNLA together with FRONASA and the Tanzania
Peoples Defence Force launched a combined
military expedition that ousted him from power in
Election malpractice (1980) The 1980 general
election was said to have been rigged by the UPC
who were declared the winners. The results were
contested by other parties such as the Uganda
Peoples Movement (UPM). This prompted Museveni,
who had participated in the elections under UPM,
to rebel and fight Obote IIs and later Tito
Okello Lutwas Government.
West Nile Bank Front (WNBF) led by Moses Ali
(1981) The WNBF was comprised of Amins former
soldiers who came together after the overthrow of
Amin by the coalition of UNLA and Tanzanian
forces. The participants had limited knowledge
about this group but noted that it later joined
NRA Bush War.
National Resistance Army (NRA) Bush War by
Museveni (1981-86) Following the bitterly
disputed 1980 elections, Museveni declared an
armed rebellion against Obote II and his UNLA
(now the national army). The rebellion caused
national insecurity and mass displacement,
especially in the Luwero Triangle area.
Military coup against Obote IIs Government by
Tito Okello (1985) Tito, a commander in Obote
IIs Government, organised a military coup that
ousted Obote. Following Obotes defeat, Tito
Okellos military government reigned from July
1985 to January 1986 when it was overthrown by
Musevenis NRA (now the national army).
NRA military takeover (26 January 1986)
Musevenis armed struggle to overthrow the
Government that started in 1981 succeeded in 1986
when the NRA defeated the UNLA, Tito Okellos
national army. Okellos government was overthrown
and Museveni was declared President in 1986. Many
former UNLA fighters fled to different hideouts
especially in northern Uganda and southern Sudan
where they regrouped and formed different rebel
groups to fight the NRA. This brought insecurity
especially in northern and eastern Uganda.
The Holy Spirit Movement (1986-7) The Holy
Spirit Movement led by Alice Auma Lakwena was
most prevalent in Kitgum District and later in
eastern Uganda where the fighters were later
defeated by the NRA.
Corruption (1986 to date) Unending corruption
in the public and civil service has resulted in
deficits in the delivery of services throughout
the country. This is breeding resistance to the
current regime which is detrimental to peace and
security in Uganda.
Lords Resistance Army (LRA)(1987 to date) The
LRA, led by Joseph Kony, started in northern
Uganda. The conflict continues up to now.
Kabaka riots (2009) Chaos and riots manifested
in Buganda when the incumbent Government stopped
the Kabaka from going to Kayunga and Bugerere on
a routine visit to his subjects. This was said to
have been politically influenced and the
participants accused the Government of forcing a
marginalised group in Kayunga, the Banyala, to
break away from Buganda as a move to destroy the
Kingdom and disunite the people.
Burning of the Kasubi tombs (2010) In 2010 the
Kasubi Tombs (where the Baganda royal family
lays) were burnt. The participants suspected that
the Government had a hand in it. This has further
strained the relationship between the Baganda and
the incumbent government.
Worsening Economic Situation (2010 to date) The
increasing rate of inflation has had an adverse
impact on peoples livelihoods. The feelings of
discontent culminated in the Walk to Work
demonstrations and numerous strikes, for example
those of teachers and lecturers.
Please remember that this brief reflects
community perspectives on national issues.
NRTJ Audit 2011 -2012
BRIEF 13 of 18 Mubende District
Conflicts Timeline Regional Level
Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) led by Jamil
Mukulu (1998-9) The participants said that in
1998 the ADF was formed in the Rwenzori region.
It later spread to other districts such as
Mubende District.
Please remember that this brief reflects
community perspectives on national issues.
NRTJ Audit 2011 -2012
BRIEF 13 of 18 Mubende District
Conflicts Timeline District Level
Conflict between the natives (Baganda) and the
immigrants (Congolese, Bafumbira, Bakiga,
Banyankole, Banyarwanda, and Batoro) (1990 to
date) Immigrants from Congo, Rwanda and western
Uganda have different cultural practices, norms
and economic activities. The natives are
cultivators while the majority of immigrants are
cattle keepers. The pastoralists let their
cattle stray and graze in the cultivators gardens
yet they do not compensate the cultivators for
the damage caused by the cattle, sparking off
conflicts between these two groups.
Political conflicts between leaders of different
political parties (2006 to date) The conflicts
between the leaders and supporters of different
political parties have caused hatred and division
in the district along political party lines.
Land conflicts in Madudu Sub-County (2006) Land
conflicts have been present in all sub-counties
but they are particularly bad in Madudu
Sub-County, where there were mass evictions and
physical fights between landlords and squatters.
There is also a conflict between Mengo (the
Buganda Government) and the locals over ground
tax locally called Busulu (in particular over the
amount charged and the way/process of tax
collection). The locals claim that those who
cannot pay the Busulu are either evicted or their
land is sold to rich people. This has caused a
big rift between the Buganda Kingdom and the
Baganda locals. A conflict between investors and
locals in Mainzi Sub-County has culminated in
mass evictions.
The incursion of ADF into Mubende District
(2007) The ADF under the leadership of Jamil
Mukulu penetrated Mubende District, concentrating
their operations in Kiyuni Sub-County. They
committed a number of atrocities including the
killing of civilians, displacement and the
abduction and conscription of children as child
soldiers. They were, however, driven away from
the area in 2008. The community said that some
remnants and active collaborators are still in
the area, posing a great security threat today.
Please remember that this brief reflects
community perspectives on national issues.
NRTJ Audit 2011 -2012
BRIEF 13 of 18 Mubende District
Conflicts Timeline Village Level
Witchcraft (1986) Witchcraft was noted to be a
very serious conflict at the community and
household levels. Most prosperous people in the
villages are said to have attained their riches
through witchcraft. Witchcraft, including child
sacrifice, arose as a result of rampant poverty
and unemployment.
Domestic violence (1986) An increase in poverty
and alcohol abuse led to an increase in domestic
violence which has now become common, affecting
peace at the family level.
Defilement and early marriage (1995) As a
result of poverty, young girls are lured by the
rich into sex, resulting in defilement and early
Please remember that this brief reflects
community perspectives on national issues.
BRIEF 13 of 18 Mubende District
NRTJ Audit 2011 -2012
Causes Impacts
Discrimination and favoritism along tribal and
political lines
Land evictions
Election malpractice
Overstaying in power
Failure by Museveni to implement his bush war
Alcohol and drug abuse
Land evictions
Mob justice
Erosion of culture
Displacement of people
Spread of HIV/AIDS
Migration of youth to towns
Please remember that this brief reflects
community perspectives on national issues.
NRTJ Audit 2011 -2012
BRIEF 13 of 18 Mubende District
Causes of conflicts
(CLICK once!)
  • The premature hand over of Uganda by the British
    in 1962 Participants argued that the British
    left only small amounts of money and did not
    build the capacity of Ugandan leaders to lead
    their own country and handle their own
    challenges. Shortly after 1962, the leaders
    started fighting amongst themselves and involved
    other citizens in their personal fights, creating
    national instability.
  • The abrogation of the 1962 Constitution in 1967
    by Obote This left the country without genuine
    rule of law, paving the way for excessive use of
    power by leaders, as well as for violent military
  • Overstaying in power Several leaders, including
    Amin who declared himself President for life,
    have overstayed in power. President Museveni has
    also been talking about staying in power pakalast
    (forever). To date, there is mounting pressure
    to remove President Museveni from power because
    of his philosophy of pakalast.
  • Inadequate provision of social services The
    participants cited mass anger as a result of
    inadequate social services. This may lead to a
    revolution or conflict by dissatisfied Ugandans
    against the incumbent Government if there is no
    immediate improvement in the economy and social
    service delivery.
  • Land evictions Land evictions by the rich and by
    Government officials. The rich have bought all
    the land and in future we are likely to have
    conflicts over land.
  • Demonstrations by opposition political parties
    As a result of a failure by Government to come to
    a consensus with opposition parties over
    leadership and other grievances there has been an
    increase in violence and instability in Kampala
    and other towns

Please remember that this brief reflects
community perspectives on national issues.
NRTJ Audit 2011 -2012
BRIEF 13 of 18 Mubende District
Causes of conflicts (cont.)
(CLICK once!)
  • Election malpractice, such as vote rigging in the
    1980 contested election, propelled President
    Museveni to start his NRA bush war in 1981
  • Failure by Museveni to implement his bush war
    agenda such as fighting corruption and allocation
    of jobs
  • Discrimination and favoritism along tribal and
    political lines A youth in Kiyuni Sub-County
    said that in Uganda there are two categories of
    people Some people are natives of the country
    while others are owners of the country.
  • Alcohol and drug abuse Alcohol and drug abuse in
    Kiyuni Sub-County has triggered conflicts between
    married couples, destabilising peace at family
  • Leadership struggles, growing unemployment and
    greed for power have all contributed to conflict.
  • Multi-party politics promoted discrimination
    along political party lines, thus contributing to

Please remember that this brief reflects
community perspectives on national issues.
NRTJ Audit 2011 -2012
BRIEF 13 of 18 Mubende District
Impacts of conflicts
(CLICK once!)
  • Loss of lives Conflicts led to the loss of many
    peoples lives
  • Loss of Kichwamba Technical School The ADF burnt
    Kichwamba Technical School in Kabarole District
  • Rape Women and girls were raped by rebels,
    causing a lot of trauma and diseases such as
  • Migration of youth to towns The youth migrated
    to the towns, for fear of being abducted by the
    ADF rebels. Most of them remained in the towns,
    working for example as boda boda drivers. They
    now refuse to return to school.
  • Erosion of culture Conflicts have played a big
    role in eroding cultures. For example, the
    abolition of kingdoms during Obotes regime
    contributed to the erosion of cultures of the
    different kingdoms.
  • Expulsion of Asians Amins expulsion of Asians
    led to economic war, hording of essential
    commodities and the collapse of industries in
    Uganda during the 1970s
  • Displacement of people Conflicts led to the
    displacement of people and the creation of IDP
  • Evictions Land conflicts have led to the
    eviction of the poor by the rich who have bought
    big chunks of land. As a result, the people who
    have been evicted have resorted to damaging and
    burning the rich peoples farms, plantations and
  • Mob justice People have resorted to using mob
    justice to settle land conflicts, leading to the
    killing of landlords by squatters. This has been
    evident in Madudu where a pastor was killed by
    the squatters for trying to evict them from the
  • Poverty Poverty increased and so did robbery by
    youths as a result of unemployment
  • Spread of HIV/AIDS There has been an increase in
    the spread of HIV/AIDS caused by the ADF rebels
    and UPDF soldiers in Mubende, especially in
    Kiyuni Sub-County
  • Female rebels The killing of men and children by
    rebels drove some women from Kiyuni Sub-County to
    desperation and forced them to join the rebels
  • Orphans There has been an increase in the number
    of orphans and other vulnerable people
  • Food Insecurity There is food insecurity,
    leading some community members to collaborate
    with the ADF in order to get support

Please remember that this brief reflects
community perspectives on national issues.
BRIEF 13 of 18 Mubende District
NRTJ Audit 2011 -2012
Peace Builders
Please remember that this brief reflects
community perspectives on national issues.
NRTJ Audit 2011 -2012
BRIEF 13 of 18 Mubende District
The participants felt concerned that the legacy
and impacts of conflicts in Uganda has left many
people victimised. The following groups were
considered victims of the different conflicts in
(CLICK once!)
  • Women were gravely affected during the
    insurgencies as the men would run away while the
    women remained behind to make sure that all the
    children were there before they fled. In the
    process the women were sometimes raped by the
  • Children were raped which made them prone to
    diseases while others were denied access to
    education due to conflicts. Some children became
  • Youths were forcefully conscripted into the army
    as child soldiers and girls were abducted to
    serve as wives to rebel commanders
  • The elderly could not do anything for themselves
    and were often left behind during wars
  • People with disabilities suffered during
    conflicts as they could not easily run to safety
  • The general community lost their property, lives,
    children, wives and husbands
  • All political leaders in opposition and in
    Government see their lives, families and property
    in danger during and after conflicts
  • Farmers plantations are eaten by the rebels
  • Men are always at the forefront of fighting and
    sometimes end up losing their lives
  • The business community suffered because their
    goods were looted by rebels and thieves
  • Soldiers are always at the war front protecting
    the country. During insurgencies, many lost their
    lives and others became permanently impaired
  • Police also suffer, especially during
    demonstrations when the angry mobs turn against

Please remember that this brief reflects
community perspectives on national issues.
NRTJ Audit 2011 -2012
BRIEF 13 of 18 Mubende District
Participants identified the following as
people/groups responsible for causing different
(CLICK once!)
  • Members of the media who write inciting articles
    and care about sales but not about accuracy
  • Political leaders, especially those who overstay
    in power, are responsible for the unending
    conflicts and demonstrations
  • Politicians who do not fulfill their promises
    have also fuelled conflicts as people will always
    rise up to claim what was promised to them
  • Rebel leaders such as Mustafa Jamil, Kony and
  • Dictators who override the Constitution and rule
    by decree like Amin did
  • Donors who gave weapons to all sides
  • The previous colonial Government which still has
    an interest in things such as natural resources
    in their former colony
  • Drug addicts and drunkards who rape women, fight
    amongst themselves and generally are a social
  • Investors who take up land occupied by tenants
    and end up evicting them with little or no
  • Co-wives who are at the heart of many domestic
  • The courts which fail to administer justice to
    all, as they administer it selectively to only
    those who have money

Please remember that this brief reflects
community perspectives on national issues.
NRTJ Audit 2011 -2012
BRIEF 13 of 18 Mubende District
Participants revealed a number of people/groups
who have benefited in different ways from the
numerous conflicts this country has been through
since Independence
(CLICK once!)
  • Members of opposition gained popularity during
    the Walk to Work campaign
  • Army commanders benefited from operational funds
  • The rebels who eventually captured power
  • Arms dealers gained from transactions that
    involved selling their arms to the rebels and
    Government forces
  • Government officials take advantage of conflicts
    and misappropriate funds meant for other
    conflict-related projects
  • Business people take advantage of the situation
    and overcharge people
  • Army officers and soldiers get a lot of money in
    the form of allowances
  • Investors are given land by the Government and
    end up evicting people
  • Local leaders with money meant for community
    development always run away with the money when
    there is conflict

Please remember that this brief reflects
community perspectives on national issues.
NRTJ Audit 2011 -2012
BRIEF 13 of 18 Mubende District
Participants noted the following categories of
people as bystanders who could have acted to
prevent conflict but did nothing
(CLICK once!)
  • Cultural leaders have not come up to show support
    and solidarity with the community, yet it is
    their role to protect their subjects
  • Political leaders do not want to come to the
    ground when there are conflicts
  • Soldiers are sometimes provided information about
    rebels by local people, but take their time to
  • Local people in communities sometimes hide or
    keep relevant information that would perhaps help
    end conflicts
  • Leaders, especially those in opposition, keep
    accusing the Government instead of providing a
  • The United Nations (UN) does not get actively
    involved in ending conflicts but instead
    facilitates it to continue, even though they have
    the capacity to help end the conflict
  • Religious leaders do not come in directly to talk
    to the parties in conflicts yet they are held in
    high esteem. Their word would be respected and
    would perhaps help to end conflict
  • Neighbours have always refused to intervene to
    help solve or reduce domestic conflicts in their
  • The police have always turned a deaf ear each
    time people reported about incidents/conflicts,
    such as people encroaching on land and unknown
    visitors in the community evicting people
  • The Government has not fulfilled its obligation
    to safeguard its citizens and their property from
    any aggression, both internal and external, yet
    it is mandated to do so
  • Elders know the truth especially when it comes to
    land matters. They are the ones who know who owns
    a particular piece of land but they always keep
    silent and watch people innocently lose their
    land to land grabbers.

Please remember that this brief reflects
community perspectives on national issues.
NRTJ Audit 2011 -2012
BRIEF 13 of 18 Mubende District
The participants revealed that, with regards to
various conflicts, there were some
people/organisations who worked to spoil peace
deals/initiatives. These were
(CLICK once!)
  • Those who overstay in power like the President
    and other leaders at different levels. They have
    done a lot to spoil the peace they claim to have
  • Soldiers who gain a lot from the loot they take.
    They also get huge allowances during operations.
    For this reason they always do what they can to
    spoil any peace process.
  • Idle people, locally known as Bayaye, are
    mobilised to strike or disrupt any peace process
  • Youths, especially the energetic unemployed
    youth. They always used conflicts such as
    demonstrations to loot and express their
  • Politicians especially those who have double
  • Thieves or thugs have caused fear and panic among
  • Army Commanders benefit from operational funds
    and therefore have an interest in the sustenance
    of conflict
  • Government officials are involved in
    misappropriating public funds that should be used
    to provide services to people and therefore also
    have an interest in the sustenance of conflict
  • Political leaders have always criticised any
    effort by the Government to end conflicts and
    bring peace, yet they do not provide any
    alternative solutions

Please remember that this brief reflects
community perspectives on national issues.
NRTJ Audit 2011 -2012
BRIEF 13 of 18 Mubende District
Peace Builders
Finally, the participants commended some
individuals and groups of people/agencies who
struggled for peace in Uganda during the
different conflicts. The peace builders
identified include
(CLICK once!)
  • Courts of law fight for justice by for example
    helping widows whose in-laws want to grab their
  • Religious leaders, agitating for unity, fear of
    God and peace.
  • NGOs for example Refugee Law Project (RLP),
    UCOBAC, Action Aid, Women Wont Wait, UNICEF and
    Red Cross
  • The UN that provides humanitarian support
  • The Uganda Human Rights Commission and human
    rights activists have done a lot to fight for the
    rights of people in IDP camps
  • Community Development Officers (CDOs) have fought
    for unity and stability especially at household
  • Police try to maintain and enforce law and order
  • Soldiers sacrificed their lives in conflicts in
    fulfilment of their duty to protect the country
  • Cultural leaders preach togetherness and unity
    among their subjects
  • Neighbours have at times intervened in cases of
    domestic issues

Please remember that this brief reflects
community perspectives on national issues.
NRTJ Audit 2011 -2012
BRIEF 13 of 18 Mubende District
NRTJ Audit 2011 -2012
BRIEF 13 of 18 Mubende District
The majority of participants felt sad and
sorrowful about the history of conflicts in
Uganda and were very scared and worried about the
future of peace. A youth emotionally said that
when I see what is happening today and follow
the history of Uganda since Independence, there
are indicators that we are going back into
conflict. Its a cycle of recurrent conflicts
threatening. We see it coming again, the
situation is going to worsen.   An adult man
also commented that when I reflect on the
history of Uganda I get worried of how the future
generations and youths are going to survive with
the trend this country has taken. On the other
hand I am also surprised with how the poor have
managed to survive in this country to date. This
reveals the extent to which the people are
uncertain about peace in Uganda. It was said that
it seems that the leaders have failed to learn
from the past and have also failed to devise
appropriate initiatives to address the conflicts
and their impacts so as to prevent future
conflicts. Much as it is sad and sorrowful to
talk about the past conflicts, some participants
also strongly felt that it teaches citizens to
learn from the past to prevent repetition of
similar mistakes. It does, however, seem that
Ugandans are not learning from those mistakes as
those mistakes have been repeated, contributing
to the anarchy and wars that have plagued the
Please remember that this brief reflects
community perspectives on national issues.
NRTJ Audit 2011 -2012
BRIEF 13 of 18 Mubende District
Perspectives of Justice
  • The majority of participants viewed justice in
    relation to personal or communal experiences and
    issues that affect them. Justice was defined,
    however, as being fairness to all sections of
    society in terms of the distribution of
    resources, participation in democracy, education
    of girl and boy children, sharing political
    positions between parties, equal treatment of
    civil servants and equal treatment of the rich
    and the poor in the formal justice processes. The
    majority of participants found that compensation
    as opposed to prosecution of the perpetrators was
    a genuine form of justice for the war affected
    people throughout the country.
  • When participants were asked whether justice has
    been done to the different stakeholders of the
    conflicts the majority of participants said that
    justice has not been done with regards to the
  • NRA bush war The war veterans of the NRA bush
    war have not been compensated yet their
    contribution to the NRAs success was enormous.
    Many lost family members, relatives and friends
    at the hands of the UNLA while others sustained
    physical and mental disabilities that have made
    them unable to work. Failure by the Government to
    compensate the NRA war veterans and other victims
    was regarded as a huge injustice to the people
    who struggled to liberate their country.
  • Wealthy people No justice has been done to the
    rich people who are pro-Government in Uganda. The
    corrupt Ministers are protected by the President
    from facing justice in the courts of law. The
    rich are buying large chunks of land and have
    been evicting the poor without compensation,
    dignity, adequate notice or exit alternatives.
  • Cattle keepers The cattle keepers have been
    grazing their animals on the cultivators gardens
    without minding about the livelihoods of the
    cultivators. They do not talk to the locals
    (cultivators), leaving no space for peace
    building or a harmonious co-existence between
    these two groups of people. The cattle keepers do
    not listen to the grievances of the poor farmers
    simply because the Government seems to support
    them. They also do not compensate cultivators for
    the crops that are eaten by the cattle.
  • Displaced persons There has been no justice for
    the people who were displaced by wars in Mubende
    District. A female participant said that we used
    to live in Lwamata and later ran away to this
    place Kiyuni Sub-County because of war. When we
    returned to Lwamata we found our neighbours had
    taken over our land. Today I am in Kiyuni because
    my fathers land in Lwamata was taken away.

Please remember that this brief reflects
community perspectives on national issues.
NRTJ Audit 2011 -2012
BRIEF 13 of 18 Mubende District
Transitional Justice Processes
Institutional Reforms
  • The majority of participants was of the view that
    blanket amnesty is relevant for addressing armed
    rebellion in Uganda as it encourages the rebels
    to denounce rebellion. However, some stated that
    the gravity of the offence should be considered
    before amnesty is granted. They believe that
    blanket amnesty could be looked at as condoning
    impunity as it may attract others to commit
    similar acts.
  • In any case, amnesty should be given to those who
    were forced to join a rebellion
  • Victims of the conflicts need to be compensated
    and supported so that they can accept and live
    peacefully with former rebels (beneficiaries of
    the amnesty).
  • Former rebels must be given adequate
    reintegration support, including rehabilitation
    so that they learn to live normally with
    villagers in their respective communities
  • Forgiveness is a very important aspect for
    harmonious co-existence. The amnesty provides a
    platform for both individual and collective
  • Reforms to both formal and traditional
    institutions in Uganda are paramount for
    successful peace building.
  • The majority of participants expressed a huge
    need for positive changes in the judiciary and
    traditional institutions in order to foster peace
  • Further, they cited the need for independence of
    the different arms of the Government, especially
    the Judiciary and Legislature, the reinstatement
    of term limits, and a national civic education
    programme on rights and powers as enshrined in
    the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda
  • Alongside reforms within the mainstream formal
    justice process, the participants also recognised
    that the traditional justice mechanisms are no
    longer as effective as they were in the past.
    There is a need, therefore, to strengthen them
    through Government support so that the formal and
    traditional justice mechanisms can complement
    each other.

Please remember that this brief reflects
community perspectives on national issues.
NRTJ Audit 2011 -2012
BRIEF 13 of 18 Mubende District
Transitional Justice Processes
  • Participants were bitter about some efforts made
    by Government to remember the people who suffered
    and died in wars in Uganda
  • They revealed the need to facilitate positive
    remembrance through special recognition of the
    victims and their relatives who died in
    mysterious situations during wars. Examples of
    how this might occur included the construction of
    monuments to the dead, designing special projects
    for the remembrance of people who died, for
    example during the Bush War, and setting special
    days for commemorating fallen Ugandans in
    different past conflicts.
  • Further, the Government has not given decent
    burials to the people who died/were killed during
    the Luwero Triangle war as their bones have been
    lying around outside and have been used for
    political purposes. This caused a lot of anger.
  • On-going wars in Uganda were noted in all the
    FGDs as a major factor that affects positive
    remembrance. For example, the people of Kiyuni
    Sub-County emphasized that the ADF are still
    present in the land and they feel that the ADF
    may attack again very soon. This has caused fear,
    triggering traumatic memories that affect their
  • The majority had reservations about truth-telling
    given the lack of protection mechanisms for
  • Truth-telling may not bring peace and justice
    because it can trigger negative emotions and some
    truths are not worth telling. It can make people
    hate one another and it is not good in military
    situations and in a militarised community/society
    like Uganda where civilians are not protected by
    either the law or the Government.
  • A male participant in Kiyuni Sub-County said that
    it is difficult to tell the truth because in
    most cases if you tell the truth, your life will
    be in danger so people are influenced to make
    statements which are not true, but just to
    safeguard their lives. And above all, our leaders
    are ever telling lies.
  • Some participants, however, recognised that
    truth-telling is vital for addressing conflicts
    in Uganda.
  • A participant in Mubende commented that the
    reason why we have so many conflicts in Uganda is
    because of absence of truth-telling. People do
    not speak the truth.

Please remember that this brief reflects
community perspectives on national issues.
NRTJ Audit 2011 -2012
BRIEF 13 of 18 Mubende District
Transitional Justice Processes
  • The participants recognised the extent to which
    the numerous conflicts experienced in Uganda
    affected the victimised population physically,
    socially and psychologically.
  • There is a military rehabilitation centre in
    Mubende that has supported the UPDF, but there
    are many citizens in the community who never
    benefited from psychotherapy, medical or
    prosthetic support, even though they are in dire
    need of them. They feel they could still
    contribute to the country if only they were given
    this kind of support.
  • Given the cycles and sequence of conflicts in
    different parts of the country, the participants
    revealed that there was a huge need for
    Government to build regional rehabilitation
    centres that cater not only for military
    casualties but the general war affected
    persons/communities as well.
  • To help address the psychological consequences of
    wars in Uganda, Government should design and
    implement programs that have components of
    counselling, referrals, follow up visits, and
    income generating activities
  • Government should give decent burials to people
    who were killed during the Luwero Triangle war
    whose bones are lying out in the open, since it
    is negatively affecting the psychosocial
    wellbeing of the survivors and the healing of the
    victimised community.
  • Participants revealed that the traditional
    justice institutions within the Buganda Kingdom
    have been losing credibility and significance
    because of their role in perpetrating land
    conflicts and failure to address the conflicts in
  • The institution was very powerful before the
    abolition of Kingdoms in 1967 by Obote
  • Currently, the Buganda Kingdom, which is meant to
    unite the Baganda and address conflicts within
    its jurisdiction, is causing more problems in the
    district especially in collecting land dues
    (Busulu) and by giving and selling the Kingdoms
    land to different people, especially to army
    officers and other top Government officials
  • The Kingdom is, however, credited for the
    promotion and uplifting of the standard of
    education in the district since the Kingdom has
    been giving bursaries to the children. It also
    initiated the Mutesa I Royal University in
    remembrance of Kabaka Mutesa I.
  • In the past, the institution was very vital in
    settling disputes through the Kabaka and elders
    who would sit down with the conflicting parties
    and settle the dispute amicably. In cases where
    there was a need for compensation, they would
    make recommendations, mediate in the processes
    and reconcile the conflicting parties.

Psychosocial Support
Traditional Justice
Please remember that this brief reflects
community perspectives on national issues.
NRTJ Audit 2011 -2012
BRIEF 13 of 18 Mubende District
Transitional Justice Processes
  • The majority of participants said that there are
    huge challenges to prosecution in Uganda, and for
    that reason many people do not view it as a
    credible means of achieving justice.
  • The participants mentioned that Uganda has
    experienced numerous human rights abuses and
    violations as well as economic crimes but because
    of the nature of the prosecution process, justice
    has never prevailed over the perpetrators of such
  • Corrupt Government officials, who are being
    shielded by the President on a political basis,
    make prosecution look like a mechanism for the
    poor and chicken thieves. The feeling is that all
    citizens should be treated equally before the law
    and both the poor and the rich should face the
    same consequences if they break the law.
  • Unless the current prosecution processes -
    characterised by political interference,
    corruption and bribery, lack of transparency, and
    lack of independence of the courts/judiciary - is
    reformed, the citizens might never appreciate it
    as a credible mechanism that can be used to
    address human rights violations or contribute to
    building peace in the country.
  • Although some participants recommended that
    killers and rebels should be prosecuted, they too
    felt that magistrates/lawyers/judges should not
    rush into prosecuting those people because some
    might opt for or benefit from other mechanisms
    such as amnesty and reconciliation.
  • The participants stated that there is a huge need
    for reparations in Uganda. They acknowledged that
    promises of compensation, and some limited actual
    compensation, were made to war affected persons
    in Uganda by the President. However, such
    initiatives seem to be based more on sympathy
    rather than on a national programme or
    acknowledgement of a governmental obligation to
    acknowledge and address wrongs committed against
    citizens as a result of inadequate protection by
    the State.
  • Participants expressed the desire for both
    compensation and symbolic reparations such as
    decent burials, construction of memorial sites,
    establishment of memorial rehabilitation
    facilities and the designation and
    implementation of specific programmes for victims
  • For reparations to be adequate, the participants
    felt that the Government should consult victims
    prior to the implementation of any reparations
    programme. There also needs to be a proper
    evaluation of damages before any compensation is
  • Selective compensation hampers reconciliation and
    healing processes, because it tends to invoke
    victims anger towards the Government and the
    perpetrators as well as causing communities to
    envy the few individuals/families who were

Please remember that this brief reflects
community perspectives on national issues.
NRTJ Audit 2011 -2012
BRIEF 13 of 18 Mubende District
Transitional Justice Processes
  • Participants considered reconciliation as a
    necessary tool for achieving justice and peace
  • They overwhelmingly acknowledged forgiveness and
    reconciliation as a meaningful way of giving
    opportunities to the conflicting individuals,
    groups or communities to communicate again and
    participate in understanding and addressing their
    differences amicably
  • Perpetrators of violence in Uganda could be
    brought to the victimised community by
    Government, to apologise and right the wrongs
    committed. This can happen through the support of
    third parties, paving the way for a platform for
    reconciliation and peace building.

Please remember that this brief reflects
community perspectives on national issues.
NRTJ Audit 2011 -2012
BRIEF 13 of 18 Mubende District
Messages to Leaders/Institutions
  • To the Kabaka
  • Come here and give guidelines in relation to
    ground rents
  • The Buganda Land Board should come to the ground
    and sensitise people on how to use Buganda land.
  • To President Museveni
  • We were attacked by the rebels but you never came
    over to check on us. Some people are disappointed
    since you never thanked them for their
    contribution in wiping away the ADF and bringing
    you to power.
  • Go back to the rule of law and respect the
  • You are losing track. All the good things you did
    are now being over-powered by the bad deeds. If
    you are tired you should leave for another person
  • Listen to the opposition and respect them because
    they may have something good
  • Find ways of reducing prices of commodities,
    people are poor
  • You are our father and therefore should help us
    on the issues of land instead of giving our land
    to the investors
  • Cater for the unemployed Ugandans
  • Ensure that there are drugs in the Health Centers
  • Refrain from protecting corrupt officials
  • To Police
  • Stop asking for bribes and stop looking at money
    as a priority but rather look at rendering
    services to the community

To religious leaders Learn to speak the truth
  • Members of Parliament
  • Why are you selfishly thinking about yourselves
    and not us who voted you into Parliament? How can
    you ask for 103 million to buy a car?
  • Do not allow the homosexuality bill to turn into
    law because it is bound to affect the whole
  • To Area MP
  • Why dont you come back for consultative meetings
    with the local leaders?
  • To the District Land Board
  • Come to peoples rescue and teach people about
    land laws

Please remember that this brief reflects
community perspectives on national issues.
NRTJ Audit 2011 -2012
BRIEF 13 of 18 Mubende District
Messages to Leaders/Institutions
  • To Government
  • Revise the land laws
  • Compensate the people who lost their property and
    relatives during the NRA war
  • Send technical people on the ground to sensitise
    people about land laws
  • Come down and follow up the traditional
    healers/witchdoctors that were licensed
  • Open up more rehabilitation centers in the
    country to rehabilitate war victims.
  • To rebel leaders (Kony, Jamil Mustafa etc. )
  • We love them. They should abandon rebellions and
    come home.
  • To donors
  • Do not give us those conditions which are against
    our culture and you should not incite the
    opposition to destabilise peace.

Please remember that this brief reflects
community perspectives on national issues.
NRTJ Audit 2011 -2012
BRIEF 13 of 18 Mubende District
(CLICK once!).
  • Government should develop a national compensation
    scheme for war veterans, victims and other war
    affected persons who lost their property during
    the different wars experienced in the country
  • Government should embark on dialogue and peace
    talks with opposition groups and rebels in the
    country rather than using the military and police
    to address conflicts that exist between the
    Government and those agitating for reforms
  • Government should initiate a massive civic
    education campaign in Uganda on laws and other
    national policies and programmes that many
    citizens seem to be ignorant about
  • The Buganda Kingdom should embark on addressing
    land conflicts within its Kingdom and sensitise
    the people within its jurisdiction about the
    Kingdoms land
  • Government should not interfere with the affairs
    of the Buganda Kingdom since it has re-instituted
    kingdoms in the country after their abolition in
    1967 by Obote
  • Government should embark on fighting corruption
    beginning with top officials and culprits should
    be prosecuted and made to pay back the money
  • The Government and citizens should respect the
    Constitution of the Republic of Uganda and all
    people should be treated equally and fairly
    before the law
  • The Government should have special programmes
    (e.g. sponsorship schemes and rehabilitation
    etc.) for the war affected communities in Uganda

Please remember that this brief reflects
community perspectives on national issues.
NRTJ Audit 2011 -2012
BRIEF 13 of 18 Mubende District
RLP is very grateful for the contributions made
by different individuals and organisations
towards the success of National Reconciliation
Transitional Justice Audit research in Mubende
District. We particularly acknowledge the
participation of Women in Developmental Concern
Coalition for Mubende (WIDCCOM), Mubende District
People Living with HIV Network (MUDNET-PLUS),
Children and Wives of Disabled Soldiers
Association (CAWODISHA), Youth in Action for
Development (YAD), Integrated Community Based
Initiatives (ICOBI) and Kugumikiriza Youth
Association. We look forward to future
collaboration with them in transitional justice
processes in Uganda. Further, we are very
grateful for the contribution of Mubende District
authorities and community development services
for their authorisation of, mobilisation for, and
participation in the FGDs. In addition, we
appreciate the contribution of Nkalubo Judas and
Nansubuga Juliet for their interpretation during
FGDs in Kiyuni Sub-County.   Finally, our
greatest appreciation goes to all our FGD
participants for sparing a whole day to actively
participate in the discussions and to the Swedish
International Development Agency and the
Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for
providing financial support for this
research. Presentation prepared by Opiny
Shaffic, with inputs and edits from Dr. Chris
Dolan, Annelieke van de Wiel and Moses Alfred
NRTJ Audit 2011 -2012
BRIEF 13 of 18 Mubende District
Acknowledgements for pictures maps
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NRTJ Audit 2011 -2012
BRIEF 13 of 18 Mubende District
NRTJ Audit 2011 -2012
BRIEF 13 of 18 Mubende District
Watch this space for Brief 14 Mbarara District