#HURIPECTalks: A PODCAST BY HURIPEC
#HURIPECTalks is a podcast hosted by HURIPEC. It explores various issues shaping Uganda today and offers a platform where academics at the School of Law and beyond can share their research and reflections on a multitude of topics. The main objective of the podcast is to broaden avenues for dialogue, knowledge production and knowledge exchange with a view towards solving some of the most pertinent challenges facing Uganda, Africa and the world. The podcast is anchored in analyses on human rights, sustainable development, conflict resolution, gender equality, constitutional law, social justice, among others.
This first HURIPECTalks podcast series on law, militarisation, peace and development defines militarism and militarisation and explores how these phenomena have manifested throughout Uganda’s history and present. It examines how militarism and militarisation are impacting rule of law, policy and politics as well as the economy and society, and how they are shaping gender relations, youth expressions and aspirations. The series also unpacks theories of Pan Africanism and decolonisation in relation to militarisation and militarism, and how they influence peace in Uganda and in the broader African context. The different episodes in this series suggest ways in which Uganda can balance the role of the military in operations other than war, such as development and security roles, while preserving democratic agendas and aspirations towards inclusivity, balanced civil military relations and sustainable peace in Uganda
In these brief introductory remarks, the Director describes HURIPECTalks as a journey of discovery where guests, hosts and listeners are welcome to challenge assumptions, explore new perspectives, and seek to deepen a joint understanding of the world in which we live.
Dr. Busingye Kabumba : Director, Human Rights and Peace Centre. Senior Lecturer of Constitutional Law, International Law, Administrative Law and Jurisprudence at the School of Law, Makerere University. Co-author of: Militarism and the Dilemma of Post-Colonial Statehood: The Case of Museveni’s Uganda (2017), with Dan Ngabirano and Timothy Kyepa.
EPISODE ONE: DNA testing: In the case of militarisation of Uganda, who is the father?
The return of coups d’états in West Africa, has once again pushed militarism to the forefront of Africa’s politics, and here in Uganda, the discourse around the role of armies in the country’s social, political and economic landscape is gaining momentum. But as you will discover in this episode, militarism is not new to our collective memory as a country. To start off this series, we ask ourselves where these phenomena of militarism and militarisation came from and how they have come to define who we are as Ugandans. This episode explores the following key areas: the History of militarisation in Uganda; the conceptual scope of militarism and militarisation; contemporary manifestations of militarisation in Uganda; and a contextual understanding of militarisation in Uganda. It asks a critical question whether Uganda is a country with a military or a military with a country. It leaves this question unanswered to set an open dialogue for the rest of the series and for broader reflection by listeners. On the question of DNA and paternity testing, the episode makes some possibly shocking suggestions which might force many Ugandans to re-examine assumptions about our history as a people and our apparent entanglement with militarism. This episode is considerably longer than the other episodes, and this is intentional as it lays the background within which discussions in the subsequent episodes can be contextualised.
Mr. James Nkuubi: PhD Student and researcher on militarisation and law. A practitioner of constitutional and human rights law and democratization in Africa, with a focus on security sector reform, citizen resilience and liberation politics in Africa. Director of programmes at Kituo Cha Katiba (East African Centre for Constitutional Development), a regional Think Tank monitoring, researching and engaging in discourse on Constitutional law developments in Eastern Africa.
EPISODE TWO: Battle of the law and the gun in Uganda: questioning the way forward
Tensions between law and militarisation are palpable in Uganda’s current social, political, cultural and economic context. This episode examines some of these tensions by analysing among other issues, the impact of military deployment in Uganda’s development sector without functional institutional and civilian oversight roles. It also examines the phenomenon of “orders from above” and the impact this has had on governance. Most importantly, the episode engages with the apparent contest between the supremacy of the military and the supremacy of the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda.
Prof. Christopher Mbazira: Professor of Law, School of Law, Makerere University. Former Principal School of Law, Makerere University. Coordinator of the Public Interest Law Clinic (PILAC) at the School of Law, Makerere University. Founding member of the Network of Public Interest Lawyers (NETPIL). Former Chair of the Rule of Law Committee of the Uganda Law Society. Author of: Litigating socio-economic rights in South Africa: A choice between corrective and distributive justice (2009).
EPISODE THREE: Re-imagining Uganda’s future in the era of militarisation.
Militarisation and Militarism impact citizens’ agency and accountability of state institutions in Uganda in various ways. In this episode, the conversation unpacks how these phenomena affect various formations of citizens’ civic expression in Uganda, including youth, ethnic nationalities, media, civil service, and many others. It also considers the question whether beyond militarisation the army has a role to play in civic spaces.
Dr. Godber Tumushabe: Lecturer of human rights, international law and environmental law at the School of Law, Makerere University. Founding Executive Director of Advocates Coalition for Development (ACODE) and currently an Associate Director at the Great Lakes Institute for Strategic Studies (GLISS).
EPISODE FOUR: Gender and militarisation in Uganda: Do women have agency in militarised Uganda?
Patriarchy and gender discourses rarely feature in discussions around militarisation in Uganda. This episode centres them. It explores the roles women played in Uganda’s military and political history and interrogates whether these roles have translated into benefits for Ugandan women in today’s socio-economic and political context. The episode also explores how militarism and militarisation affect masculinities in Uganda.
Dr. Zahara Nampewo: Deputy Principal of the School of Law, Makerere University and a former Director of the Human Rights and Peace Centre. Also, Lecturer of Gender and the Law at the School of Law, Makerere University.
EPISODE FIVE: Military development Model? From combatants to Industrialists.
Uganda’s industrial sector is experiencing significant growth and the country’s military is emerging as a key actor. This episode examines the role of the military in the industrialization process currently underway in Uganda. It takes a specific focus on the National Enterprise Corporation (NEC) which is the commercial arm of the Ministry of Defence and the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF). It also explores the role of the UPDF in natural resource protection with respect to forestry, fisheries, minerals and wild life resources.
Mr. Ndebesa Mwabutsya: Former Senior Lecturer of History and Development Studies, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Makerere University. Media Political Analyst.
EPISODE SIX: Snake oil and smoke screens? revisiting Pan Africanism, decolonisation and militarisation
Pan Africanism, decolonisation and militarisation are not strange bedfellows. However, critical engagements on these subjects within Uganda’s context remain obscure. This episode undertakes a critical engagement on the subjects, with a focus on the political economy of regional militarisation. The episode discusses the role of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) in Africa with regard to peacekeeping and stabilisation missions. It also explores the role of global actors such as the United Nations, the European Union and the African Union and regional blocs such as the East African Community.
Prof. Joshua B. Rubongoya: Professor of Political Science at the Department of Public Affairs, Roanoke College, Virginia, USA. Author of: Regime hegemony in Museveni’s Uganda: Pax Musevenica. (2007).
EPISODE SEVEN: Is Uganda in a cycle of militarisation?
This concluding episode reflects on the entire series on law, militarisation, peace and development, and analyses the political, social and economic landscape in the country to ask the critical question whether Uganda is repeating its history of militarism which led it down a path of political, social and economic turmoil. It explores aspects of citizen’s resistance, compromise and/or co-optation to militarisation. It probes what type of citizen has emerged in Uganda over the course of a history marked by militarisation. It concludes with reflections on how Uganda might ensure peace even in the context of militarisation.
Dr. Jimmy Spire Ssentongo: Lecturer of Philosophy at Makerere University and Uganda Martyrs University, Nkozi. An award winning cartoonist and columnist. Author of What I saw when I died. (2021).