Celebrating the Love of Friends in a Loving World

Celebrating the Love of Friends in a Loving World
Red Roses for You, My Sweet Friends ... Total Love.

My Sweet Friends

My sweet friends,

We grow closer to each other;

When we interact together and share ideas;

The common faith that we share,

Binds our hearts in one accord.

For sweet friendships last a life time,

When built on mutual respect, humility and understanding;

Throughout each different season,

We find we are one in life.

Sweet friends are there through times of grief;

And times when hope is gone;

Always there with encouragement;

So we can carry on.

I thank the Lord for you,

My true and faithful friends;

To fondly speak with you, whether we agree or not,

On this, our beloved blog;

For sweet friends will stay, no matter what;

Giving support.

Together, our hearts and minds truly unite;

With the amazing love of sweet friends.

In the spirit of true friendship,

Best wishes, my sweet friends;

May the Lord bless you abundantly.

I remain, yours truly,

B.B. Bakampa.

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Promote Ugandan Authorship

By Bakampa Brian Baryaguma
bsaint3@gmail.com; www.bbbakampa.blogspot.com

My friend Mr. Nzaramba Vicent, is in the process of publishing a book entitled People Power. The book is one of the few but growing number of publications, critically exploring the nature of Ugandan politics and social fabric under the ruling National Resistance Movement party and its chairman Mr. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, who also doubles as the country’s President. For 25 years now, Uganda has been under their leadership and 2016 will mark 30 years since in February this year, the party and Chairman won re-election for another 5 years in office.

I met Mr. Nzaramba at Makerere University in about September 2008. At that time, he was in his final year of study while I was enrolling for my first year at law school. He was also serving as Chairman of my hall of residence, Mitchell. I must confess that from our first interaction, he struck me as a very brilliant young man. We continuously deliberated on issues concerning not only Mitchell Hall and Makerere University but also national and international events. But this is not the reason why we are here though.

Interestingly, the book has caused panic and controversy in government circles even before publication! Consequently, Mr. Nzaramba was last week arrested and detained by the police’s Rapid Response Unit (RRU) and released on Wednesday, September 21, 2011. Upon release, he said that he was beaten and tortured, showing scars on his body as evidence. The RRU is a branch of the Uganda Police Force responsible for combating violent crimes like armed robbery. This explains government panic.

This arrest was undoubtedly a complete shock and it should be condemned in the highest terms possible. It was archaic, backward, barbaric, cowardly, treacherous and un-developmental, to say the least. It is derogatory of Uganda citizens’ rights and highly shameful of a regime that purports to base its legitimacy and authority on human freedom and empowerment. The police and government ought to be remorseful and apologize to Mr. Nzaramba and the nation for causing such an unnecessary and embarrassing scandal.

On several occasions President Museveni, his aides and officials have stated that, “Uganda is the most democratic country in the world.” But how can this be when their government stifles even the minimum standards of decent democracy like free speech and expression? Democracy and freedom must not only be said to exist but should also be seen as such. They should be visible to even the pettiest and simplest of us.

This government has taken it upon itself to clamp down on publications (especially books) that are critical of its policies and the paranoia grows by the day. It is now clear that only publications in praise of government actions should be published. Therefore, only books written by people like President Museveni, his wife Janet, their son Muhoozi and other relatives, friends and faithfuls like Pecos Kutesa, may be released but those of other people like Nzaramba and opposition leader Kiiza Besigye’s sister may not!

To promote Ugandan authorship, we should castigate any attempts to limit and restrict knowledge creation and dissemination. In fact, these are the epitome of civilization and human freedom. Uganda ought to promote a reading culture by facilitating the creation of indigenous knowledge and information. Our ancestors did us a disservice by not documenting our history; now is the time to overcome this anomaly.