Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Ugandan protestor use pigs to represent corrupt politicians

04 September 2014, 08:42

Kampala - For a country where protests are rare, it certainly was a creative stunt: smuggling two piglets, covered in yellow paint to represent the colour of Uganda's ruling political party, past security and into parliament.

"The pig, when it is too hungry, it eats its own piglets. So we wanted to use the pigs to bring our message home that the government officials, these leaders, are as greedy as pigs", explained Norman Tumuhimbise, who is due to appear in a Kampala court on Friday, charged over the 17 June protest.

"If it was easy to get a hyena we would have used the hyena, because they almost have the same characteristics."

Also Read: Ugandan gays who fled to Kenya still feel danger

Tumuhimbise, aged 28, has pleaded not guilty to criminal trespass, conspiracy to sneak piglets into parliament and interrupting parliament work, along with Robert Mayanja, aged 34, another disgruntled, unemployed man.

Members of the 'Jobless Brotherhood', formed last year by Tumuhimbise to bring together out-of-work youths, said the heart of their protests are two intertwined issues: corruption and youth unemployment.

"It's corruption that brings about unemployment", argued Tumuhimbise, a law student who has been out of work since 2011.

"We have political vampires in Uganda that are feeding on us. They're sucking our blood in forms of taxation, corruption. So we are trying to curb it, we are exposing them, because when you expose a vampire to the light it dies."

Also Read: Museveni wants to water down anti-gay law

According to a 2012 report by the NGO Action Aid, Uganda, with the world's youngest population and close to 80% of its population under the age of 30 is grappling with youth unemployment levels of at least 60%.

The report also pointed to "glaring gaps in the social and economic well-being of youth", and said job-seekers faced the triple challenge of "corruption, nepotism and exploitation."

A report released last year by Human Rights Watch and Yale Law School also alleged there was systematic theft of donor funds, and that no high-ranking official has ever served a prison sentence despite numerous investigations, yet protestors and activists were being jailed.

Kingpins of corruption

On Sunday, Ethics and Integrity Minister Simon Lokodo was quoted in the Monitor newspaper as saying that corrupt government officials are normally rotated in "juicy" ministries with the help of "godfathers".

"I think some little work is being done, but I think we are catching the small fish", explained Leonard Okello, chief executive officer of The Uhuru Institute, which supports NGOs in advocacy and campaign work.

"I don't think there's enough political will to really deliver. Until the president, the ministers step back from getting mixed up in procurements, in these big projects, you cannot rule them out from being part of the mess."

Ugandan government officials have not commented on the piglet case, but government spokesman Ofwono Opondo insisted corruption was being dealt with seriously, pointing to stronger independent oversight measures, a tougher judiciary and asserting that "the media and civil society organisations are more robust in exposing and demanding accountability".

Also Read:Lack of experience fuels Ebola crisis

Tumuhimbise said that regardless of the outcome of the piglet protest case, disgruntled Ugandans will continue to take to the streets, because "money being lost in government is actually our tax money".

Even after their piglet protest, over 30 Jobless Brotherhood members staged a mock funeral, mourning the money lost and job hopes dashed at Kampala's Independence monument on 4 August.

Nine people, including Tumuhimbise and Mayanja, have reportedly been charged under Uganda's Public Order Management Act with participating in an unlawful assembly.

The Jobless Brotherhood say they now have 20 000 members across Uganda, and are planning a 'Kampala jobless convention' for later this year, and hope to fill a football stadium for a national event slated for 2015.

"We have brains to think and they no longer think because they're too old", Tumuhimbise said of Uganda's ruling elite, including veteran President Yoweri Museveni, now campaigning for re-election in 2016, which will be his 30th year in power.

"One resource we have is plenty is time."


Tags uganda

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...