News / Africa

Uganda’s 'Piglet Protesters' say Their Work has Just Begun

Norman Tumuhimbise says he and Robert Mayanja brought piglets into parliament to protest political corruption and greed, Kampala. July 9, 2014. (Hilary Heuler/VOA)
Norman Tumuhimbise says he and Robert Mayanja brought piglets into parliament to protest political corruption and greed, Kampala. July 9, 2014. (Hilary Heuler/VOA)

On June 17, two young men calling themselves the Jobless Brotherhood grabbed headlines when they snuck two piglets, painted in the ruling party’s signature yellow, into the Ugandan parliament.  Wearing signs saying “M-Pigs,” the piglets managed to get as far as the parliamentary chambers before being stopped by police.

Norman Tumuhimbise and Robert Mayanja were arrested for the stunt, and released several weeks later on bail.  The pair has since been re-arrested for illegal assembly under Uganda’s Public Order Management Act.

Tumuhimbise and Mayanja say they represent millions of desperate and unemployed Ugandan youth.  Their rallying cry, “Don’t lead us into temptation," carries the veiled threat of violence.

The pigs, says Tumuhimbise, are symbols of political corruption and greed.  

“Besides a hyena, some other most greedy animal is a pig.  When it gets hungry and greedy, it just eats its piglets," he said.  "These MPs are eating us alive.  We have those of us who read Animal Farm.  In this country we have so many Napoleons and Snowballs now, either in opposition or in government.  These are national M-Pigs who are sitting in that house.”

Animal Farm was a George Orwell novel about a government exploiting its people.

The piglets were confiscated as evidence.  Police later claimed they were testing the animals for terrorism-related material.

But Tumuhimbise says he and Mayanja want their pigs back.

"These are our pigs.  This is our envelope where we always package our message.  These are our delivery boys, and by the way they did us proud, because they delivered the message very well.  I think they deserve another turn,” said Tumuhimbise.

Corruption scandals in Uganda have proliferated under the country’s longtime president, Yoweri Museveni.  No official unemployment statistics exist, but a report last year by Action Aid International found  62 percent of Ugandan youth surveyed were jobless.

Tumuhimbise and Mayanja say that despite the charges against them, their activism is far from over.  Their next step, they say, will be to hold a youth convention in Kampala.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid