The EC in Uganda is promising to declare a military coup in Uganda as the National General Elections get near:

Dr Badru Kiggundu

the EC.

 

By PAUL TAJUBA


Posted  Thursday, December 17   2015 


The Electoral Commission (EC) Chairman, Dr Badru Kiggundu has said he will, on request by the government, authorise the deployment of the military to counter presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye’s defiance campaign.

“If the military is called to come in, I will approve. Yes, the military is part of Uganda; they are your brothers…” Dr Kiggundu said on Thursday.

Shortly after nomination for his fourth presidential bid, Dr Besigye declared “a campaign of defiance and not compliance” that will enable citizens “take back their power” from a dictatorship.

On Monday, FDC Wasswa Birigwa at the party headquarters in Najjanakubi, a Kampala suburb said: “Our campaign is standing on four legs; defiance, liberation, restructuring of state institutions and social-economic transformation... In particular what we mean by defiance is we shall not accept to adhere to any directive that is unlawful or any law that deviates from the universal human rights,”

But Dr Kiggundu said yesterday at the Uganda Human Rights Commission public dialogue held in Kampala aimed at facilitating a peaceful and violence-free electoral process, that such messages are inciting violence and only preparing the masses for violence if Dr Besigye loses.

Dr Kiggundu further attacked Dr Besigye describing “him as bad example to his youthful followers” and urged his supporters to first ask him [Besigye] why they should be on the frontline yet his family is “enjoying burgers” in foreign countries.

“If I were a young person, I would ask [Dr Besigye] where your son is in this campaign. In most times, they are in New York, London and elsewhere enjoying cheese burgers…” Dr Kiggundu said.

Dr Besigye could not be reached for a comment as his known telephone was unavailable but Forum for Democratic Change spokesperson, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, said in reaction to the comments: “Should [Dr] Kiggundu participate in rigging or allow the NRM to rig or announce a loser [as winner] our response is there with or without the military,” Mr Nganda, told the Daily Monitor by telephone yesterday.

Adding, “Did Museveni go with his family to the bush? For him to think that a revolution must happen when Anselm Besigye [Besigye’s son] is here… I do not understand why he [Dr Kiggundu] went to school,”

In an interview at the sidelines of the dialogue, Chief Political Commissar of the Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF) Col Felix Kulaigye, said the military will “support the Uganda Police Force when it is required” during the electoral process.

“Failure to protect and sustain peace in this country will be our [UPDF] failure and if people are announcing defiance, can we seat in our comfort barracks and watch?” Col Kulayigye asked.

Human rights lawyer, Nicolas Opiyo said by the EC boss calling in the intervention of the military, it is an indication that either the elections will not be free and fair or there will be violence thereafter.

“Mr Kiggundu seems to have no confidence in police and expects violence. He should instead make the election free and fair to avoid violence,” Mr Opiyo said, adding that attacks on candidates’ families are despicable.

Deputy attorney general, Mwesigwa Rukutana at the same event warned the media from inciting the public and urged all stakeholders to make the elections free, fair and peaceful.

ptajuba@

ug.nationmedia.

com


Ekibiina kyobufuzi ekya Kabaka Yekka, UPC y’ Obote Ekiwera:

Obote yekyusiza abaamutuusa!

 

 

Mu mwaka 1965, Omubaka we kibiina kya KY Daudi Ocheng, yayisa ekiteeso kunsonga yokukusa zaabu we Congo namasanga g’enjovu, okubitunda munsi zebweru.


Dr Obote, nga Prime Minister, ne Minister Nekyon muganda wa Obote ne Onama Minister wa Defence bebatekebwa ko olunnwe nga bwebenyigira mulukwe luno.

Era Ocheng yaleeta ekiteeso ekirala, Colonel Amin okugira ng’awummuzibwako weeks bbiri nga Gavumenti bw’ebuuliriza.


Gwo omukago gwebyobufuzi wakati we kibiina kyo bufuzi ekya KY ne kibiina kyo bufuzi ekya UPC gwafiira ddala mu September 1964. Era 1965 gugenda okutuuka nga bangi ababaka ba UPC mu National Assembly (Parliament) bateesa kulaba nga bawera ekibiina kya Kabaka Yekka. Baakiyita kya bakyewaggula abatagoberera mateeka era abaagala okutabulatabula eddembe mu Uganda.

Abantu bangi baali bakwatiddwa era nga bali mu nkomyo na ddala e Luzira.

Obote yatekawo akakiiko kabulirize ku bya zaabu n’amasanga era abantu bangi ko baawa obujulirwa mu kakiiko ako, ebyama bingi ku kufuna n’okutunda zaabu n’amasanga ne bibikkulwa.

Naye report y’akakiiko bwe yaggwa Obote teyagifulumya! Parliement ye, Cabinet ye nabawagizi bangi aba UPC nebamuggyamu obwesige.


Yali asigazza kwesiga b’amagye bokka. Okuyimiriza Col. Amin yakigaana nakuza Amin mukifo kya Brigadier Opoloto. Mukuteesa kwa Cabinet okwaddako Obote yagenda kukwatta ba Minister be batano nabasibira e Luzira Criminal Prison.


FRIDAY, 16 JANUARY 2015

Attorney General Peter Nyombi has scoffed at the Uganda Law Society, after the body threatened to boycott today's ceremonies to open the law year.


In a letter on Wednesday, ULS President Ruth Sebatindira urged lawyers to boycott the function in protest at President Museveni's failure to appoint a chief justice and deputy chief justice. But a defiant Nyombi told us on Wednesday that the function would go ahead with or without lawyers.


"Those who want to come will come; those who want to stay away, let them stay away but we shall go ahead with the function," Nyombi said.


Justice Steven Kavuma, who is acting both as chief justice and deputy chief justice, will preside at the ceremony at the High court in Kampala. The new law year is an annual meeting at which the judiciary states what it achieved the previous year and its targets in the new year. In the letter, Sebatindira decried the lack of substantive leadership in the judiciary.


"[It is my belief that we have to adopt a different approach as to how we support the judiciary on this matter."


At meeting in April 2014, Museveni told ULS that the positions would be filled once the constitutional petition challenging the reappointment of Benjamin Odoki as chief justice upon retirement was determined. Four months after that petition was disposed of, the president is yet to act.


Asked about the lack of a substantive chief justice, Nyombi said: "There is already an acting chief justice [Kavuma] who can perform all the functions."


However, Sebatindira says that the judiciary is being run ìunder scandalousî circumstances.


"We can no longer walk with our heads high to assure the citizenry that all is well in the judiciary because, all is not well," she said.


Nicholas Opiyo, a former ULS secretary general, told The Observer that like last year, he would not attend the function to be presided over by Kavuma.


"I respect Justice Kavuma as a judge but I cannot call him the deputy chief justice or the chief justice because it is illegal as the Constitutional court ruled," he said.


Kavuma told The Observer he was too busy to comment on Sebatindira's letter.


dkiyonga@

gmail.com


 The British Judge Allen


P J Allen and his judiciary at the time demonstrate the high quality of the judiciary at the time.
Judge Allen and Judge Manyindo presided over  the trials of most of the Amin era criminals. A majority of these criminals hired the best lawyers available in Uganda at the time, which invariably was Ayigihugu. Some like Abdallah Nasur were convicted but a good number were acquitted because of lack of direct evidence. Others like Edward Mulindwa even managed to lie low for a while before escaping to foreign lands.



 I hope your mate WBK does not judge those of us who participated in prosecuting these Amin era criminals as failures, in the same manner that he has judged the ICC prosecutors. Prosecutors are supposed to present the facts before the courts that can convince a court that an accused is quilty. In this, it has to work very closely with the Investigatory authorities, namely the police and law enforcement. In the case of the Amin criminals, the police did not give us enough information from their investigations that would allow a conviction to be  upheld.
It was particulalrly disappointing in the case of Bob Astles in whose case, the judge found he was always around the major killings we charged him with, especially the murders of Archbishop Luwum and Minister's Erinayo Oryema and Oboth-Ofumbi, but we could not connect him directly to the killings. With advance in DNA science these days and coupled with Edward Mulindwa's recent confessions about complicity in the murders, I think a good prosecutor would today nail Edward Mulindwa without doubt. What WBK does not understand, from your debates which I have followed,  is that the ICC prosecutors can only be good as the investigations put before it. The Satatute of the ICC puts a duty on Satte Authorities to cooperate with the ICC in investigating cases referred to it. if a state refuses, objects or even thwarts the invesigations, the direct result is that the Presecutors will not have serficient evidence to obtain a conviction. So Mensouda and her team have so far failed in their prosecution of Jomo Kenyatta, but this is because of the failure of GoK to cooperate in investigations. It is not because Mensouda and her team are bad lawyers as WBK keeps asserting. In fact the evidnce that they had gathered against Jomo Kenyatta was so compelling that any prosecutor would make a decision to prosecute. But faced with alkmost all key or material witnesses withdrawing or disappeared or intimidated, Mensouda had no choice but to withdraw the case.


The first important hurdle, that is the establishment of the International Criminal Court, has now been successfully overcome. States party to the Rome Treaty now have to decide ways and means by which they can strengthen the ICC's Investigatory capacity and authority, especially in cases where a suspect or accused  holds or is close to power. The UN Security Council has to give the Prosecutor extra-ordinary powers to investigatewith or without the cooperation of the State concerned. Th UN must also strengthen its Witness protection programme. Lastly, the Security Council must reserve to itself power to punish leaders, like Jomo Kenyatta and Omar Bashir who refuse to cooperate with the ICC investigations. This may mean imposing travel bans, arrest warrants and other other economic sanctions against them so that they the continue to swagger around like Jomo Kenyatta whn in fact they should be locked up in prison as dangerous criminals. 
Written by 
George Okello
 
Reviews by experts and politicians of the country’s eight-year experiment with multiparty politics have found cracks. Loud voices advocating a return to the no-party Movement system, are beginning to emerge.

Some political players claim the wrangling within the ruling NRM in the aftermath of the sacking of former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi is not good for the growth of multiparty democracy.

“NRM belongs to people who are faceless; until you step on their toes,  that’s when you will get to know who are the real owners of that party,” opposition Chief Whip Cecilia Ogwal (Dokolo Woman) said in a recent interview.

NRM has been accused of using its Parliamentary caucus to gag its members and subsequently killing free debate and parliamentary independence.

Kyankwazi retreat

During its 2013 retreat at Kyankwanzi, NRM MPs adopted a set of rules of procedure, criticized by political commentators as intended to gag the NRM MPs. The development followed a sharp disagreement between Parliament and Museveni over the mysterious death of former Butaleja MP Cerinah Nebanda in 2012.

“There have been initiatives by the opposition to keep the government in check but they could not go far because the NRM caucus sees them [initiatives] as adversarial manoeuvres,” said Hippo Twebaze, a political and policy analyst.

“If you take the Nebanda case and the oil debate in the first one and half years of the [current] Parliament, you would see some sort of legislative independence, but it has since gone down,” Twebaze adds.

In its rules of procedure, the NRM caucus adopted a three-line whipping system, which gives a strict instruction to members to attend parliament and vote in a particular way. Any MP who acts in breach of the rules is liable to punitive action, including expulsion from the party.

Four MPs; Theodore Ssekikubo (Lwemiyaga), Wilfred Niwagaba (Ndorwa East), Muhammad Nsereko (Kampala Central) and Barnabas Tinkasiimire (Buyaga West) were the first offenders.

“Some political party leaders want to control the thinking and the speaking of their members; this is worse with the ruling party,” said Niwagaba in an interview.

Although the quartet still hold their parliamentary seats, their expulsion scared many of their outspoken colleagues on the government side into shutting up.

“It is wrong for one to imagine that under a multi-party system, one shouldn’t hold their independent views,” Ssekikubo said.

“I don’t think that multipartyism is synonymous with gagging; under whatever political system in place, as long as I am an MP and not a member of the executive, I should be at liberty to voice the concerns of my people,” Ssekikubo added.

Parliament Speaker Rebecca Kadaga used the 25th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association seminar in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in May 2014, to vent her frustration at the ruling NRM government’s mode of operation. During the meeting, Kadaga claimed that debate in Parliament had been stifled because NRM MPs cannot freely speak without receiving instructions from the caucus.

Kadaga is NRM’s second national vice chairperson, and also a member of the ruling central executive committee, CEC, the second topmost decision- making organ of NRM. The caucus’ vice chairman David Bahati (Ndorwa West) said in an interview that despite the challenge of balancing NRM interests and individual interests of its members, the caucus encourages free speech.

“There is a lot of freedom for MPs to speak as long as what they say is in the interest of the country and in line with the party they represent,” Bahati said.

“They [MPs] can speak their mind constructively during the caucus meetings and rally their colleagues to support their positions which can eventually become the position of the party,” he added.

No-party

In a dissertation, Parliamentary Independence in Uganda and Kenya, 1962 – 2008, written for the State University of New York for his PhD in Political Science, John K. Johnson, notes that the absence of political parties in Uganda facilitated parliamentary independence during the sixth Parliament (1996 – 2001).

The independence was attributed to the absence of a government and opposition side in Parliament, which made it easier for MPs to support a position favourable to Parliament against the executive. According to Twebaze, the high degree of independence exhibited in the sixth Parliament was an eye-opener for President Museveni to start interfering with Parliament’s autonomy.

“The president’s interference shaped the performance of the next parliaments, some MPs were de-campaigned [in the 2001 elections] and in effect, the seventh Parliament did not confront the [executive],” said Twebaze.

“In its first year, the seventh Parliament tried but then conceded to the president on major issues like the removal of term limits from the Constitution,” Twebaze added.

With the restoration of multiparty politics in 2006 that saw the NRM winning more than a two-thirds majority both in the eighth and ninth Parliaments, Museveni’s influence over Parliament grew, resulting in a decline of its independence.

“The current government is president-driven, Parliament cannot act normally because Museveni is using the NRM caucus to entrench his interests, he has a lot of control over every activity of Parliament,” said Cecilia Ogwal.

Movement hangover

Joseph Balikuddembe Mutebi (Busiro South) relishes the days of the Movement system era when all MPs would freely contribute to debate in the House.

“Virtually, Parliament has lost its independence because caucusing has become the norm unlike the core function of Parliament elaborated in Article 79 of the Constitution,” Mutebi argued.

In their book, The Rise and Ebb of Uganda’s Parliament, Twebaze and Nelson Kasfir note that the absence of parties was an important factor in the success of Parliament. But the pace of legislative development “ebbed” once the country formally legalized multiparty politics and the boundaries between government and opposition were more firmly drawn.

An NRM MP who has been a lawmaker from the sixth Parliament, blames the loss of parliamentary independence on the MPs’ choice of patronage over their roles.

“It is forestalling the cardinal principle of Parliament, acting as a check and balance especially on the executive arm of government,” Niwagaba said.

“There is a tendency of those in leadership to fuse the executive with parliament and in a way whittle down the cardinal roles of MPs,” Niwagaba added.

But Stephen Tashobya, the chairperson of the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee, said much as the country embraced multiparty democracy, some MPs are still nursing a Movement hangover.

“Some want to talk on their individual merit, what you think is what you say, things have changed and this was a choice of Ugandans [that we adopt multi-party democracy], you can’t eat your cake and have it,” Tashobya said.

One-party system

Tashobya relates the workings of the NRM to Britain’s Conservative party that he says whips its members in more or less the same way as NRM does.

“You can’t run away from the party, because we are elected on the basis of party positions and platform; so, when we come to Parliament, we are supposed to actualize, to implement what the government promised the people,” Tashobya argued.


To enforce discipline among their members, other political parties also have an option of expulsion. UPC took the lead at the opening of the political space in 2005 when it expelled seven MPs: Ogwal, Omara Atubo (Otuke), Dr Okullo Epak (Oyam South), Dr Alex Okot (Moroto), Charles Angiro Gutomoi (Erute North), Tom Odur Anang (Kwania) and B’Leo Ojok (Kioga) who were opposed to the leadership of new president, Miria Kalule Obote.

FDC in 2010 expelled two of its MPs; Beti Kamya (Lubaga North) and Alex Onzima (Maracha). Kamya was punished for forming a rival political party (Uganda Federal Alliance) while Onzima’s charge was hobnobbing with NRM. Ogwal, now an FDC MP, argues that despite the expulsions, her party MPs are free to speak their mind.

Article 8(d) of the DP constitution also lists expulsion as a punitive measure against its members but like other opposition parties, DP is not keen on doggedly controlling what its members speak. DP Legal Advisor Fred Mukasa Mbidde said DP is keener on shielding its members from the long arm of NRM influence.

“[NRM] has silenced all the other [parties]…,” Mbidde said.

“Multiparty democracy has not been given a chance to operate in Uganda, what exists is a single party; a dictablanda or democradura [dictatorship] but not a democracy,” Mbidde argued.

Beside party controls, Twebaze argued, Parliament’s performance is also undermined by the financial status of the MPs as well as the quality of people elected to Parliament.

“The quality and experience of the MPs needs to be considered. Look at where they jumped from to join Parliament, it makes it hard for them to build coalitions to oppose, modify or give an alternative to government proposals,” Twebaze says.


sadabkk@

observer.ug

This article was produced with support from the African Centre for Media Excellence (ACME)


 
UPC founder Milton Obote

The term movement legacy was first coined by professor emeritus, Goran Hyden in 2011, and by it I mean a pattern of political behavior that characterized anti-colonial nationalist movements in their struggles for independence.

Half a century since most countries gained independence, this form of behavior continues to shape ruling- and opposition party politics in Africa and Uganda, while frustrating the prospects for deepening democracy.


CAUSE-EFFECT

Nationalist movements in Uganda were spearheaded by three main sections: World War II veterans, a small not so well-educated elite class of clerical workers, and leaders of a nascent civil society.  These groups were united by a single but multi-faceted cause, namely to vanquish the colonial masters and take charge of the state apparatus.

Other than this mission, these groups remained committed to their particular identities. The issues were varied and subordinate to the cause. The anti-colonial movements adopted a simple but important strategy of popular mobilization for the cause. It was rare and in most cases illegal to campaign.

Most notably the movement against the British took place at the level of society because there were no representative bodies such as parliaments or legislative councils until much later in the struggle.  Membership to these movements was rather diffuse and fluid, but because there was a single movement, this was not detrimental to its dynamic and operation.

Typically anti-colonial movements reified the person of the leader, and were not built on competition. The latter was not necessary because of the consensus that was built around the anti-colonial struggle and the proclivity to lean toward personalities rather than structure and organization.  Finally, social movements seldom value or subject themselves to formal (legal) limits to resource claims.

Political parties (DP, UPC, etc) that emerged out of these movements and are yet to shed their movement skins or disavow movement political behavior.  First, a cursory look at post-independence Ugandan politics demonstrates how parties are driven by “a cause” rather than a systematic articulation of specific issues.

Among Uganda’s opposition parties today the cause is ‘remove Museveni’ or ‘reform the Electoral Commission’ or ‘de-couple the state from the NRM-O’. Rarely does a discourse on issues take precedence over the cause de jour.

This is partly a consequence of the absence of ideological orientation among the parties; and without ideology, it’s hard to project a coherent, well-reasoned set of issues that would drive a campaign and thus enable ascendancy into government.  But lack of ideology also raises another key issue inherited from the pre-colonial movements, namely the lack of specific party identity.

Affiliation to the parties is diffuse just as was the case with pre-colonial social movements. In Uganda’s early history, this characteristic was the underpinning to the frequent crossing of the floor of parliament by MPs.

Today, the phenomenon of so-called Independents in parliament is the closest to crossing the floor, given that the process of abandoning one’s party in midway through the terms is outside the law. Not unlike the opposition parties, the ruling NRM party seldom articulates issues in a systematic manner except in the run-up to elections, when roads or business parks are commissioned, banks rebranded, job centers set up, etc.

The cause for the movement party in this case has changed over time but lately it has become an entrenchment project; and the intensity of party loyalty and identity with the NRM is also subject to debate.


NO COMPETITION

Second, parties, both incumbent and in the opposition, typically mobilize, rather than campaign. It’s, indeed, hard to campaign effectively if issues are not the main elements undergirding the methods of political operation.

Related to this point is that mobilization, by definition, circumscribes competition, which explains why it is a dying breed in Uganda.  In their mobilization schemes, Africa’s political organizations, most notably incumbent parties aim at co-opting and/or marginalizing political contestants while eschewing competition.

President Museveni often disparages opposition parties and chides voters who don’t elect NRM flag bearers as having made mistakes. For him, the weaker the opposition the better; or better still he wishes they didn’t exist at all. Clearly the president places very little value in opposition parties as building blocks of a healthy, vibrant and deepening democracy.

The result is the emergence of a dominant (even hegemonic) movement party system in Uganda, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Eritrea, Rwanda, etc.

Thirdly, Ugandan parties are extremely personalistic. Their organizations and structures are weak not unlike their social movement forebears. As a result, when Col Kizza Besigye stepped aside, the FDC suffered a heart attack with the left ventricle (or Mafabi wing) disconnecting from the right ventricle (or Mugisha Muntu/Alaso faction).

The Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) has not recovered from the demise of its founders especially Dr Milton Obote. It too is fragmented along several quite visible fault lines.  Can anyone think about/imagine the NRM without Yoweri Museveni? Or ZANU-PF without Mugabe or the Rwandan Patriotic Front without Kagame? What is particularly intriguing in making this observation is that leaders deliberately encourage these personality cult-like tendencies.

Fourthly, in their bid to fulfill the cause, social movements are not restrained by law especially as they lay claim to resources. This piece of the movement legacy is also undoubtedly clear in Uganda. Rule of law is not appreciated in principle but, rather, in instrumentalist terms, i.e. it’s respected only when it is convenient and expedient.

The implication of this is that rules and norms governing parties may be altered without reference to their significance; and constitutional engineering becomes common practice. Some laws may be passed without quorum while constitutions may be altered to, for example, remove presidential term limits. On the opposition side, we have recently seen DP president Mao appealing to the likes of Erias Lukwago and other factions to respect party structures and rules as they vie for leadership positions.

Finally, movements operate at the level of society as pointed out above. This characteristic is even more pronounced in Uganda and in Africa as a whole because culturally we operate at a very informal (rather than formal) level.

Unlike typical parties whose arena of operation is primarily parliament, movement focus and influence is mostly limited to the (civil) societal level. It is this variable that best explains the use of patronage as a mobilization tool.

Agents in society quickly take on the role of clients while those in power and with access to state resources become patrons. The resulting patron-clientelist networks inevitably breed corruption and erode the mechanisms of accountability and transparency.


CONCLUSION

To the extent that the ‘movement legacy’ is a historically determined, genetic flaw in the make-up of African parties, it stands to reason that for now it matters not which party takes power. Clearly there is a need for a mutation of sorts if party behavior is to change.

And change must begin with efforts towards institutionalization of political parties and of politics in general. In its present form, democracy on the continent precariously revolves around the holding of regular elections and clearly this is not enough. Competition must be encouraged, political spaces expanded and rule of law strengthened.

The emergence of issue-based politics, political transparency and accountability represent other milestones on the road toward a deeper democratic dispensation.


The author is a professor of Political Science at Roanoke College, Virginia, USA.


The new Chief Judge of the NRM Judiciary Mr Katureebe has asked for a list of corrupt judges that grace the Resistance Movement judiciary institution:

Chief Justice Bart Katureebe.

Chief Justice Bart Katureebe.

PHOTO BY Michael Kakumirizi

By  ANTHONY WESAKA


Posted  Saturday, May 2  2015
KAMPALA, UGANDA
 
Following prevalent outcry over rampant corruption among judges and magistrates, the Chief Justice Bart Katureebe has launched an anti-corruption crackdown to restore public confidence in Judiciary.

Justice Katureebe has also written to retired Supreme Court judge George Kanyeihamba and senior lawyer Peter Mulira to forward to him names of corrupt judges and other judicial officers they have been referring to during public functions.

The campaign to crack down on corruption in the Judiciary was launched on Thursday, according to a press statement from the Judiciary public relations office. The statement quotes Justice Katureebe warning that no judicial official or support staff will be spared of investigations once they are implicated.

The Chief Justice wrote to Justice Kanyeihamba, Mr Peter Mulira and Presidential Press Secretary Tamale Mirundi, asking them to name the corrupt judicial officers they have been talking about.

“We need to move and tackle issues of alleged corruption in the Judiciary…furnish me with the evidence in your possession so that the necessary course of action is taken in accordance with the law and the constitution,” Justice Katureebe wrote to the three individuals.

“All responsible citizens of our country should not only speak out about the perceived malpractice in the Judiciary, but should come out and help in finding a solution to the problem. Let us work together to improve and strengthen the administration of justice in our country,” Justice Katureebe added.

The press statement signed by senior communications officer Solomon Muyita said the Judiciary has prepared a series of public engagements with civic leaders and the public to partly keep open lines of communication and to explain the functions of the Judiciary and the courts at the different levels.

The statement said a number of reforms will be made to clean up the Judiciary. The reforms include assigning a Supreme Court judge to head the Inspectorate of Courts, a section of Judiciary that inspects courts and deals with corruption issues, which is currently headed by a deputy registrar of the High Court.

The statement further said the Judiciary has started a process of setting up a customer care telephone numbers and feedback hotlines for the public to make general inquiries and also report errant court staff who demand bribes from the litigants.

Justice Katureebe said once a prima facie (credible) case has been established against a judicial officer, his/her name will be forwarded to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) for disciplinary action and the evidence and decisions will be shared with the public.

He, however, cautioned the public not to equate wrong court decisions, which can be appealed, to corruption.

During a public function last week, the Principal Judge Yorokamu Bamwine, urged the Chief Justice to approach Justice Kanyeihamba and Mr Mulira to give him names of the judicial officers they had claiming are corrupt so that they can be dealt with accordingly.

Justice Bamwine explained that by naming the corrupt judicial officers, it will save the judicial staff from the collective sin of the “Adam and Eve” style.

“I hope I speak for a number of my colleagues on this point, Lord Chief Justice when I propose that you get better particulars from lawyers like Mulira and Prof Kanyeihamba and take appropriate action through the JSC and the President so that the sheep are separated from the goats in order to protect the integrity of those doing an excellent job. All judicial staff should not suffer collective sin like the descendants of Adam and Eve,” Justice Bamwine told the Chief Justice.

Addressing lawyers in Entebbe two weeks ago, Justice Kanyeihamba said he knew at least half a dozen of Ugandan judges who receive ‘enkoko’ (a reference for bribes) and castigated the Uganda Law Society for not taking action about them. However, he did not name the corrupt judges.

On Thursday, Prof Kanyeihamba said he was “very ready” to name the corrupt judges he had been referring to if the Chief Justice contacted him.

The Judiciary has been ranked one of the most corrupt government institutions in various corruption surveillance surveys.

awesaka@ug.

nationmedia.

com


EC warns against personal attacks

Electoral Commission chairman Badru Kiggundu (L) speaks at the National Consultative Forum in Arua District.

PHOTO

BY FELIX WAROM OKELLO

 
By
FELIX WAROM OKELLO


Posted  Monday, May 25  2015 

Arua. The chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) has warned all those seeking office in the 2016 general elections to desist from the politics of character assassination.

Mr Badru Kiggundu asked the politicians to pursue issue-based campaigns that promote democracy.

“I have always said we are still young in democracy because there is still character assassination versus issue- based campaigns. Talk about issues. What has character got to do with campaigns? God created people in different ways. Let us chase issues not personalities,” Mr Kiggundu said.

He was speaking at the National Consultative Forum meeting held in Arua Town on Thursday. Mr Kiggundu said the concept of multiparty politics is not yet well understood and appreciated by citizens as well as leaders. He, however, painted a rosy picture for the future.

“There is no country that has had perfect elections but we aim to get there someday. As human beings, we make some mistakes. Even countries such as the United States of America that have practiced democracy for long still make mistakes during elections,” he said.

West Nile sub-region has in the past elections seen candidates contesting for political office at various levels use strategies such as nick-naming, mudslinging and composing songs with messages that cast their opponents in bad taste.

However, Mr Kiggundu appealed to politicians to be tolerant of one another irrespective of tribe, religion and political affiliation during campaigns.

The former presidential candidate, Dr Abed Bwanika, said there was a need for national dialogue involving all political parties as a way of championing the growth of democracy.

Mr Titia Kamure, the UPC national vice chairperson, said there is a need for electoral reforms ahead of the next general election in 2016.

Background

Since independence, Uganda has had few elections. These include; the Legislative Council of 1958, the referendum of 1961, and general elections in 1980, 1996, 2006 and 2011.

editorial@ug.

nationmedia.

com

Nb


This gentleman

(Politician) running Political Movement Democratic Elections in the young country of Uganda is indeed God sent! 

Local election Observers have warned that the high handedness of Uganda Police and other security agencies against opposition politicians and the public could spark off election violence.

Yesterday police arrested more than 10 Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) officials including the presidential candidate Kizza Besigye, party chairman Wasswa Birigwa, party president Gen Mugisha Muntu, Acting chairperson Joyce Ssebugwawo, FDC women league leader Ingrid Turinawe among others together with other party flag bearers in different electoral positions.

Following the arrest of the FDC politicians, demonstrations erupted in different places around the city center including; Kiseka Market, Najanankumbi, Nateete, Wandegeya and Kawempe. Police and Military Police responded to the demonstrations by firing teargas and live ammunition to disperse the protestors. Media footage showed police brutality arrest people, directly spraying some with teargas.

Crispy Kaheru, the Executive Director Citizens' Coalition for Electoral Democracy Uganda (CCEDU) says during this critical time when the electoral emotions are high, police ought to restrain from being brutal and abusing the human rights of Ugandans as it may fuel electoral violence.

"I think they raise a lot more anxiety and potentially this is the time we should be seeing security agencies, police specifically taking more restrained measures in handling such situations not arrests. At this time you want to tamper the anxieties of people not to flare them. And for me the temptation is, such arrests could end up flaring up, could end up inciting the public which could act in irrational ways. We don’t want to see that", Kaheru said.






The African Police showing off its true colours on the African continent.



Police has been criticized locally and internationally for brutality and abuse of human rights in past by reports from Amnesty International, Uganda Human Rights Commission and other critical bodies.

Dr Martin Mwondha, the National Coordinator Citizens Election Observers Network-Uganda (CEON-U) says, the police despite its past record was expected to help achieve a free, fair and peaceful election which they have failed.

"Police intervention in blocking the movements of any citizen or any candidate is perceived as a big infringement on the rights of people. And that is what not we expect in an electoral process that is free and fair", Mwondha said.

However the deputy police spokesperson Polly Namaye says, they have practiced restraint from arresting people despite being pushed to the limits. Police has maintained that they have not arrested any politician during this election period but rather 'inconvenienced' the illegal activities of the politicians. Media reports and footage, however say otherwise.

"Those who are trying to announce themselves winners of the election at Najjanankumbi were inconvenienced and many of them were taken to their home aboard to ensure that they don’t continue with the press briefing that they were planning to do where they would announce themselves. But we also hope that they have learnt that you can not announce yourself an election winner when people are still voting.

And anyway there is only one instituion that is mandated to announce results - that is the Electoral Commission. When we see the assemblance of people burning tyres definitely we [would] arrest them but at  the moment, No, we have not arrested anybody who was involved in burning tyres and also those who are attempting to burn the [police] vehicle but we hope they don’t do it", Namaye said.

 

Abavubuka be kibiina kya Democratic Party babadde bagyaganya olwa Trump okuwangula obwa President bwa Republic ya USA, Military police ya Uganda nebakwata omusango:

By Hannington Nkalubo

 

Added 11th November 2016

 

ABAVUBUKA ba DP ababadde bategeka okukola akabaga bagyaganye olwa pulezidenti wa America Donald Trump eyawagulidde waggulu basibidde mu kkomera poliisi bwebayodde bonna n’ebaggalira.

 

Abamu ku bavubuika abakwatiddwa. Wano babadde bava mu lukungaana lw'abannamawulire.

 

BYA HANNINGTON NKALUBO

ABAVUBUKA ba DP ababadde bategeka okukola akabaga bagyaganye olwa pulezidenti wa America Donald Trump eyawagulidde waggulu basibidde mu kkomera poliisi bwebayodde bonna n’ebaggalira.

Abakwatiddwa kuliko Moses Bigirwa , Harunah Nsibuka, Isack Maddo, Hakim Kizza, n’abalala bana abatanamanyika.

Baakwatiddwa nga bagezaako okutegeka okugyaganya kwa Trump kuwangula.

Abamu ku bavubuka bano baludde nga bawagira Trump era baakola n’ekibiina kyebaayita Revolutionary Command Council  ne batwaala ekiwandiiko ku kitebe kya America mu Uganda nga kirimu ebintu bye basaba Trump abayambe singa ajja mubuyinza.

Muno mu continent ya Africa mulimu abakulembeze abaddugavu bangi  abalemedde mu buyinza. Demokulase ow’ekimemmette abalemye okukiririzaamu ate nebakomyawo obuddu mu nsi ya Africa omuli ebbula lye mirimu okukamala.

Nb

Aba DP Abaganda ku democraciya yenna wabeera ssanyu lyabwe. Ewabwe jatali bagala Beni Kiwanuka akomewo abalwanire okuleeta democraciya owekimemente. Okuteegera nti Omugenyi nebwajja naleeta democraciya akyaluka. Aba DP kyabalema.

 

The aftermath of the 2016 Elections in the country of Uganda

Posted: 11 May 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uganda troops are on standby to show the world that the Election is a military victory.

 

 

In Uganda the Military Police has directed a stop on political rallies and campaigns as the General Election of 2016 gets near:

 

Publish Date: Sep 14, 2015

EC chairman Eng. Dr. Badru Kiggundu
flanked by the Inspector General of Police,
Military General Kale Kayihura.
Photo by Ronnie Kijjambu
By Moses Mulondo 

The Electoral Commission (EC) and the Police will not allow presidential aspirants to engage in any activities such as public rallies which constitute early campaigning

Election chief Dr. Badru Kiggundu and the Inspector General of Police Gen. Kale Kayihura on Monday issued a warning while addressing presidential aspirants at the EC headquarters in Kampala.

Flanked by the Attorney General Fred Ruhindi, EC commissioners, Kiggundu said: “Some aspirants are turning consultative meetings into open campaigns and rallies contrary to the law, the election roadmap as well as the guidelines issued to the aspirants by the Electoral Commission.”

In a letter dated September 12, 2015, Kayihura said they would not allow former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi to hold any more public rally.

“Accordingly, while you can go ahead and hold town hall meetings, we cannot clear you to hold your planned public meetings in the mayor’s gardens in Lira, in Pece Stadium, Gulu, and at the Boma grounds in Arua because that would be in violation of the Presidential Elections Act,” Kayihura said.

Kaihura was responding to Mbabazi’s letter dated September 11, 2015 in which he was notifying police about his second phase for his consultative meetings.

Mbabazi’ lawyers Fred Muwema and Severeno Twinobusingye put up a spirited fight arguing that the EC and the IGP were violating the constitution by attempting to stop their client’s rallies.

“We are appalled by the level of partisanship you have exhibited. You are talking about early campaigning and President Museveni’s posters are all-over the country and have not be pulled them down.  Dr. Kiggundu we put you on notice about our intention to sue you, Sam Rwakoojo, Paul Bukenya and Jotham Taremwa.”

 

Court okays deregistration of 10 ‘inactive’ political parties

Published: Date: Apr 16, 2014

 

Johnson Mutibwa of MDC in Uganda at Civil Division High Court shortly after deregistration was okayed.

 

 

THE High Court in Kampala has endorsed the Electoral Commission’s (EC) bid to de-register 10 inactive political parties for non-compliance with the law.

In a ruling delivered yesterday by the head of the court’s civil division Justice Stephen Musota, he stated that the non-compliance was a breach of public trust.

The record on the EC website shows that there are 38 political parties. However, the ruling implies that there are only 28 certified political parties in the country that have fulfilled all requirements.

The judge faulted the parties for flouting Section 9 of the Political Parties and Organisations Act, 2005(as amended).

He said the purpose of written declarations is to provide information that is useful to all stakeholders in the country’s democratisation process.

“These legal requirements must be taken seriously. They are not a mere formality. It is common knowledge that political parties influence the political process,” Musota said.

Adding: “Therefore, they must be law abiding. Competing for political power requires a party to respect the rule of law.”

The 10 blacklisted parties are Progressive Alliance Party (PAP); registered April 13, 2005), Bridge Party (BP); registered October 13, 2005), National Redemption Party (NRP); registered December 14, 2005, and Action Party (AP); registered December 15, 2004.

Others are Uganda Mandate Party (UMP); registered March 22, 2005, and New Order Democracy (NOM; registered October 15, 2005), and People's Independent Party (PIP); registered April 7, 2004.

Also included are, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC); registered July 28, 2004, Movement Volunteers Mobilisers Organisation (MVMO); registered March 22, 2005, and Reform Party (RP); registered March 22, 2005.

The case arose last year on July 16, when the EC petitioned court, seeking permission to de-register the parties over alleged inactivity. The electoral body asserted that the parties had not updated their profiles in the commission's records.

The EC contended that the 10 political parties had not submitted to the commission a written declaration stating their source of funding and other assets, as required by law.

Of all the blacklisted parties, it was only the MVMO, RP, and MDC that responded to the court summons.

The rest stayed away from all court proceedings, and the judge stated that their silence was an indication that they did not oppose EC’s move to have them de-registered.

For the three that responded, the judge stated that the affidavits of their leaders did not contain annexures to back their claims of compliance.

Party presidents Apollo Nyabongo (MVMO), and Johnson Mutiibwa (MDC) were present in court. The EC was represented by its head of legal Eric Sabiiti, while Fred Masaba appeared for the Attorney General.

Court documents show that in a letter dated May 2, 2013, the EC secretary Sam Rwakoojo, informed the secretary generals of the listed parties of imminent de-registration.

He also castigated them for failing to hold delegates conferences to elect executive members.

Rwakoojo noted that Section nine of the Political Parties and Organisations Act, 2005, requires that every political party within 60 days after expiry of the first year, and after issuance of certificate of registration, to submit to EC its updated records.

Speaking to New Vision outside court shortly after the ruling, both Nyabongo and Mutiibwa expressed dissatisfaction with the ruling and vowed to petition the Appellate Court.

However, Sabiiti said the ruling was unprecedented and a wakeup call for political; parties that take the public for granted.

“This is an indictment, and an indicator to the remaining political parties that in the event that they do not comply, the threat of de-registration is very real,” Sabiiti said.

Deputy spokesperson of the NRM Ofwono Opondo told New Vision that it is incumbent upon political parties to work within the confines of the law.

“Parliament passed a law under which political parties must operate. If there are parties that have not complied, then the law should apply,” Opondo said.

 

 

Kadaga, the real problem is your party, not parties

 

Thursday, 05 June 2014 21:53

 

Written by MOSES KHISA

 

 

On Monday, The Observer quoted Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga wishing for a return to the “good old days” of the Movement system. For the benefit of readers who may not know what is at stake here, a brief historical note is in order.

From 1986 to 2005, a record 20 years, political parties in Uganda were banned by fiat under Legal Notice No 1 of 1986. The ban was later strengthened under the 1995 Constitution. In the place of a multiparty system, we had something called the Movement system. It was ostensibly a ‘no-party’ arrangement but which in practice was a single-party system.

The Movement system had two guiding principles. First, ‘individual merit’, meaning that contesting for political office was not based on any particular political platform. and second, ‘multi-ideological’, a rather dubious claim that the Movement was welcoming of all political persuasions. In practice though, whoever joined the Movement had to jettison his/her original political affiliation and demonstrate true cadre-ship to NRM or they risked being sacked.

The principle of ‘individual merit’ appeared brilliant on paper. In practice, however, political leaders who held dissenting views or who didn’t follow the ‘correct line’, as Dr Olivia Kobusingye has cogently argued, were labelled ‘multipartysts”.

So, throughout the Movement years, even though in law all Ugandans were Movementists, in practice, some were NRM while others were multipartysts. Those speaking the language of NRM had unfettered access to state resources. They freely engaged in politics while those identified as multipartysts were gagged and repressed.

By the time of the first general elections in 1996, we had a fully established party-state, the NRM, operating under a system called the Movement. This monolithic system is what the respected speaker of today’s Parliament wants us to revert to.

Apparently, that system allowed for free debate in the House, as MPs were not constrained by the rules and wishes of any political party. But Ms Kadaga is being disingenuous, for, as minister for Parliamentary Affairs between 1999 and 2001, she knows too well that Parliament and its members operated under the dictates of the Executive.

Worse, during the supposedly good days, we had an NRM caucus. It was a partisan body under a supposedly ‘no-party’ system. It met and adopted positions before MPs debated them on the floor of Parliament.

So, the claim that MPs debated more freely under the Movement individual merit system than they do under the current multiparty system is utterly misleading. Gagging vocal MPs did not start with the formal return to multiparty politics in 2006; it may have as well started with the expanded NRC in 1989.

The Movement system that Ms Kadaga wants the country to revert to preached one thing and practiced another; it provided for non-partisan politics in law but allowed the NRM to operate as the only party. Other parties were banned because, apparently, multipartyism was bad for Uganda!

Now, coming from someone touted to lead the nation in the near future, someone currently heading, by far, the most important branch of a modern democratic state, the legislature, Kadaga’s comments are disconcerting. Is there any principle of multiparty politics that requires political parties to gag their members of parliament? Kadaga is concerned that NRM MPs can’t express their views freely; that they can’t meaningfully contribute to debates on the floor of Parliament. But she is not telling us if this applies to opposition parties too, or if it obtains in other multiparty systems across the border in Kenya or Benin or Senegal.

The problem we have in Uganda is not that there is multiparty politics. In fact, the real problem is that there is no functional party system because the ruling party is not, strictly speaking, a functioning political party. Rather, the NRM is like a warped government department, most plausibly operating under the ministry for the presidency.

Its key meetings are conducted and decisions are passed at State House Entebbe, not at its headquarters in Nakasero. It is funded and its MPs facilitated, most probably, by the national treasury because the NRM has no known source of revenue to run its activities.

Ms Kadaga, needless to say, is also the NRM national vice chairperson for Eastern Uganda. So, rather than wishing for a return to a glorious past, that never existed in the first place, Kadaga should be working at making NRM a political party and help the country attain genuine multiparty politics.

Having political parties and a multiparty system is no guarantee for a functioning democracy; you can have multiparty politics under an authoritarian system, which is precisely what we have in Uganda today. But democracy without political parties is a farce.

The NRM idea of ‘no-party democracy’ was not just an oxymoron but a travesty of the universal value of democratic governance. A national leader, in the 21st century, who does not appreciate this basic principle, is probably not up to the task.

 

moses.khisa@gmail.com

 

The author is a PhD candidate in Political Science at Northwestern University, Evanston/Chicago-USA

 

 

 

 

On Wednesday December 3, Oskar Semweya-Musoke rang to ask me whether I would be available at the weekend for the weekly Capital Gang talk show on Capital Radio. Oskar usually informs me of the topic and checks on my availability on Thursday evening or Friday. Why was he doing it on Wednesday?

He told me President Museveni had accepted a Capital Radio request to feature on the popular Saturday talk show but on condition that we record it a day earlier (Friday, December 5) and at State House.

“State House!? I asked Oskar, and he replied: “Yes, State House.” I immediately expressed reservations going to State House. Oskar pleaded with me, informing me that Capital Radio listeners had already declared it a no-show if Bugweri MP Abdu Katuntu and I did not feature.

Within seconds, I had to look for the excuse and the FDC delegates’ conference to which I am a member came in my mind. “But this is a two-hour recording.” Oskar shot back. To search for a reasonable excuse not to go to State House, I told Oskar it was okay so he could hang up.

Serious soul-searching followed this telephone conversation. The journalist in me pleaded that I should go but the politician refused. Later in the evening, my wife advised that I consult close political colleagues. Later in the night I gathered the courage and convinced myself to make this treacherous journey to State House Entebbe.

That is how deep the image of State House has sunk under President Museveni: sunk because the head of state has turned this public facility into a bribery centre. It is here that sacks of money are handed out. Everybody that visits State House goes there for material benefit.

This hill with a very good view of Lake Victoria is no longer a place for constructive discussion on moving the country forward but a cool place for striking personal deals. It is the reason Lord Mayor Ssalongo Erias Lukwago turned down Museveni’s invitation.

The moment you step there, the whole world begins thinking you have actually been compromised. So bad is the situation that the country has now almost been surrendered to Museveni. Entebbe State House land title is not in Museveni’s name but the man has personalised it.

In fact, a minister from Busoga rang me on Friday evening to thank me for “dining with Mzee.” The NRM people on the publicity committee that found us waiting for Museveni spread the news quickly that, “Mzee has netted another opposition big fish.”  That is the feeling even among Museveni supporters! And as we were there, tents were being arranged for a meeting between NRM youth leaders and Museveni.

And that is the point I made to him when the recording of the show finally started – personalisation of the state and abuse of public resources. For declaring him life president in Kyankwanzi, each NRM MP has been given Shs 150 million totalling to about Shs 45 billion.

The country doesn’t have Shs 40 billion to buy ambulances for regional and general referral hospitals but Museveni has Shs 45 billion to bribe MPs! The ministry of Agriculture wants about Shs 300 billion for seedlings to kick-start agriculture. It has been given only Shs 8 billion yet Museveni has Shs 20 billion to spend on the 10,000 NRM delegates coming for the December 14 conference (an average of Shs 2m per delegate).

The whole state has been set in motion to bribe and harass citizens so they can allow the emperor rule for life. It is the reason Museveni has hounded out from the state and his party contemporaries who can look into his eyes and tell him, “no sir”. He has assembled a team of energetic cheerleaders who I think see him as a god.

The discipline of Capital Gang is such that you listen to each other but I found it difficult listening to the head of state tell one lie after another. I ended up interrupting him to the annoyance of his minister for Presidency, Frank Tumwebaze. This Tumwebaze man had not been in the room when the show started but he came panting, whispering to other aides of how Mzee was needed elsewhere. He sat next to me and kept murmuring each time I interrupted Museveni.

Finally, as we were concluding, Tumwebaze grabbed my microphone and pushed it away. Yes, Museveni is a bad leader but still courteous, at least before cameras. He ordered Tumwebaze to immediately return my microphone.

And what had I said that incensed this rabid admirer of Museveni? That it is him (Museveni) who appointed his wife a minister and not the people of Ruhaama he was now attempting to accuse. The matter of nepotism is a serious offence that I wanted Museveni to answer.

Certainly the late Eriya Kategaya, Nuwe Amanya Mushega, Mugisha Muntu, James Wapakhabulo and Kizza Besigye would never have done it. Tumwebaze occupies a senior cabinet position and that is how he behaves. Do you really think there is no debate on him remaining in cabinet? God bless our country.

 

semugs@yahoo.com

The author is Kyadondo East MP.

 

 

JEEMA(A Ugandan political party) youth league takes over party leadership 

 
By Stephen Kafeero

 

Posted  Monday, January 19  2015 
 
 

The Justice Forum (JEEMA) party youth league have forcefully taken over control of this political party, accusing their leaders of flouting basic internal democracy.

On Monday morning, the youth under their umbrella body ‘The Jeema Revolutionary Command council’ led by Mr Shaban Kalema as their chairperson closed the Mengo based JEEMA offices and blocked their leaders from accessing them.

The youth also claim the current leaders who include; party president Asuman Basalirwa, party chairman Kibirige Mayanja, spokesperson Swaib Kaggwa Nsereko and others have failed to accord the party ample time.

The youth further claim that the party has since 2011 not had a delegate’s conference and that their leaders have been backing leaders of other parties in presidential elections.

According to new leadership, Mr Ssentongo Kyamundu has replaced Mr Asuman Basalirwa as the new party president while Mr Shaban Kalema has replaced Mr Kibirige as the party chairman.

However, the party spokesperson Mr Swaib Kagwa told Daily Monitor that the youth are being used by NRM to destabilise JEEMA’s internal democracy.

JEEMA which stands for Justice, Education, Economic Revitalization, Morality and African Unity emerged in 1996 with Mr Muhammad Kibirige Mayanja as its leader until 2010 when he handed over to Mr Asuman Basalirwa.

 

How firm is Museveni’s grip on UPC party?

UPC’s Olara Otunnu and President Museveni meet at the commemoration of the late Anglican

Archbishop Janani Luwum in Mucwini Sub-county, Kitgum District, last month. Left

 Dokolo District Woman MP and former UPC iron lady Cecilia Ogwal

By Eriasa Mukiibi Sserunjogi & Shabibah Nakirigya 

Posted  Sunday, March 8  2015 

IN SUMMARY

Defections. In November 2010, at the launch of Mr Museveni’s manifesto for the 2011 elections, three UPC stalwarts - Hajji Badru Wegulo, Osindek Wangwor and Henry Peter Mayega – announced their defection to NRM. Mr Museveni has also targeted the party’s young Turks, recently appointing two of them deputy resident district commissioners.

 

As Olara Otunnu takes his bow as the third president of the Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC), he has no problem talking about “an elephant in the room” at Uganda House that he says touches on the core foundations of the party.

According to the Cambridge online dictionary, to say that there is an elephant in the room means “there is an obvious or difficult problem that people do not want to talk about.”

So what is this elephant in the room in UPC? 
Mr Otunnu explains: “It has now been patently clear for sometime that there are leaders in our midst who continue to give lip service to UPC while in truth they are now deeply embedded with Yoweri Museveni, serving his purpose and agenda. They have chosen to become conscious tools in Museveni’s arsenal for fighting and undermining UPC from within.”

Mr Otunnu said this on Wednesday as he announced his surprise decision not to seek a second term at the helm of the party that led Uganda at independence. Amid cheers from a motley crowd of party faithful who attended the press briefing, Mr Otunnu chose his targets deliberately.

Lira Municipality MP James Akena, who lost to Mr Otunnu in March 2010, and Mr David Pulkol, who was in Mr Otunnu’s first cabinet before they bitterly fell out, seemed to be the two individuals who preoccupied Mr Otunnu most. He repeatedly referred to the “Akena-Pulkol group”.
Sounded out after Mr Otunnu’s announcement, the duo individually declared that they would seek to replace Mr Otunnu, in addition to vehemently denying the charge of working with or for President Museveni to undermine UPC.

At the briefing, Mr Otunnu had also resurrected the issue that led to his fallout with Mr Pulkol, a grant from a donor agency.

He said: “You will recall that in December 2011, monies from the Deepening Democracy Programme (over Shs100m) meant for grassroots renewal within the party, were diverted and misused by certain individuals.”

“David Pulkol, of the Akena-Pulkol group, was the architect and superintendent of this scheme. These funds have never been accounted for. This is the genesis of the subsequent cabinet reshuffle and the current belligerence towards the party leadership,” Mr Otunnu added. Mr Pulkol denies any wrong doing, saying the grant was duly advanced to UPC and used according to plan.

Mr Otunnu would naturally like to keep the two out of Uganda House and insiders we sounded out said that he would likely favour Joseph Bossa, his deputy, to replace him. Mr Bossa, asked whether he will stand, only said, “I am thinking about it.”

Trouble with MPs

 

James Akena
James Akena receives a medal from President
Museveni in 2010 on behalf of his late father,
former president Milton Obote.

There is work to do for the Otunnu group, however, whoever they choose to rally behind. And much of the challenge seems poised to come from the party’s MPs, most of whom have never really cooperated with Mr Otunnu.

 

“It has been a source of great dismay and embarrassment that at critical moments in the life of this Parliament, several UPC members have taken positions contrary to party policies and against the manifest interest of the people of Uganda,” Mr Otunnu said.

Looking to drive his point of “the elephant in the room” home, he added: “The question therefore arises: whose interests then are being represented and served in Parliament by these members elected on UPC ticket?”

It became immediately clear as the current Parliament was sworn in that Mr Otunnu would have a torrid time dealing with his party’s MPs. Most of the MPs had allied with Mr Akena, who in 2010 had lost the party presidency race to Mr Otunnu and declined a position in Mr Otunnu’s cabinet. 

It appeared, at least to Mr Otunnu, that Mr Akena, hoping to be second time lucky, would challenge for the seat again and that he would probably use the time before the next election to prepare ground for the same.

And Mr Akena seemed to have been presented with an early chance to poke holes into Mr Otunnu’s hold onto the party when his partner, Oyam Woman MP Betty Amongi, was favoured by most of the UPC MPs for the position of party whip in Parliament.

 

Mr Otunnu, who has powers to appoint and fire party leaders in Parliament, had reservations about making Ms Amongi party whip, especially that she had not supported his bid for the national presidency.

So, Mr Otunnu says, he invited Ms Amongi for a clear-the-air chat and then appointed her party whip. Disagreements between Ms Amongi and Mr Otunnu became too many, however, that he eventually dropped her from the position.

In one instance, UPC MPs disregarded Mr Otunnu’s declared wishes and cooperated with the ruling party and had Mr Chris Opoka, a UPC member who had earlier worked closely with Mr Otunnu, elected to represent Uganda to the East African Legislative Assembly.

Mr Otunnu had barred UPC members from participating in the elections, having disagreed with the procedure of sharing of slots between the ruling party and the Opposition. In a further deterioration of relations, Mr Otunnu fired Ms Amongi from the position of party whip in Parliament.

Internal pressure 
As he made his announcement, Mr Otunnu offered much by way of explanation as to why he will serve only one term at the helm of UPC.

In direct response to the question, he said: “I am not Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. I have held so many positions in my life, it will take time for us to exhaust them here; but I have always let go at the right time.”

He vowed to continue his fight against Mr Museveni but in another capacity; under the umbrella of what he called a social movement. 
But there is a lot to suggest that the pressure Mr Otunnu faced from within the party could have played a role in his decision not to contest again.

Maj Edward Rurangaranga, who Mr Otunnu appointed party chairman in 2010 but later fired, went to court accusing Mr Otunnu of not following the party’s constitution. Mr Otunnu, however, avoids talking about Maj Rurangaranga or blaming him for anything, almost always picking on Mr Akena and Mr Pulkol, to whom he apportions responsibility for the court case.

The High Court, on December 23, 2014, issued an injunction blocking all party activities until the pending issues are settled. As Mr Otunnu’s term expires on Thursday, March 12, the injunction still stands, meaning that the party’s national council and delegates’ conference cannot sit to replace him.

And if Mr Otunnu’s rivals want him out quickly, it seems they have no option but to succumb to his conditions. He demands that the court case be withdrawn to pave the way for talks and then elections.

Mr Otunnu adds that party issues should be resolved within parties but not in court, stopping short of accusing those who went to court of working against the party.

But Maj Rurangaranga, in response to Mr Otunnu’s claim that the party has internal saboteurs who work for Mr Museveni, says that his party president is looking for “excuses”.

“He has failed to run the party because when he was elected in 2010 he dismissed all the senior party members and many of them ended up crossing to NRM,” Maj Rurangaranga says, adding: “I too would have freely joined NRM but because I was among the founders of UPC, I haven’t gone.”
He challenges Mr Otunnu to explain why a number of party members left for NRM yet he was the leader.

Defections 
Talking of defections to the ruling party, it would appear like UPC was the most affected in recent times.

In November 2010, at the launch of Mr Museveni’s manifesto for the 2011 elections at Kampala Serena Hotel, for instance, three UPC stalwarts - Hajji Badru Wegulo, Osindek Wangwor and Henry Peter Mayega – announced their defection to NRM. 
Mr Wegulo had been UPC chairman while Mr Mayega had lost to Mr Otunnu in the 2010 election. 
Chris Rwakasisi, the former UPC strongman who had been on death row for decades, was also released on presidential pardon in the run-up to the 2011 elections, appointed presidential adviser and right away hit the campaign trail in Mr Museveni’s favour.

Mr Museveni has also targeted the party’s young Turks, recently appointing two of them – Eric Sakwa and Moses Nuwagaba – deputy Resident District Commissioners. Mr Nuwagaba had served under Mr Otunnu as a deputy party spokesperson.

In another effort, Mr Museveni has targeted former president Milton Obote’s family, paying a courtesy visit to his widow, Miria Obote, and offering generous support to the family, including renovating their houses. 
All these things, Mr Otunnu worries, give Mr Museveni a firm grip on UPC.

Nb

Well NRM as a political party has done UPC's bidding for a declared Republic of Uganda. Interesting indeed how UPC some time back tried to apologise to the mornachists about all this.

 

Opposition Legislators in the Parliament of Uganda have rejected the new NRM government 2016 electoral reforms:

Civil society activists and Opposition political party representatives arrive for the Free

and Fair Elections press conference at Hotel Africana in Kampala yesterday.

PHOTO BY FAISWAL KASIRYE

 
By SOLOMON ARINAITWE

Posted  Wednesday, May 13  2015
 

UGANDA PARLIAMENT. The government’s proposed Constitutional Amendments Bill (2015) yesterday faced stiff resistance at Parliament with MPs punching holes in the bulk of the Bill, forcing the Executive to promise a defence next week.
During its maiden presentation to the House Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, MPs rejected amendments touching on the appointment and firing of the Electoral Commission staff, whether MPs who lose party status should lose their seats and the procedure of nominating Independent MPs.
The Committee argued that the government proposal to amend Clause 1(Article 60) and change the name of the Electoral Commission to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) does not guarantee the much-needed neutrality of the electoral body.
The same proposal seeks to retain the President’s powers in removal of a member of the Commission. The Opposition wants the appointment of commissioners to follow a process of open application, public hearings and scrutiny conducted by the Judicial Service Commission.
Clause 4(Article 83) proposed to have MPs ejected from Parliament, if they lose membership of political parties on which they were elected. MPs disallowed it with a warning that it offends the ongoing court case where four NRM MPs are challenging their ejection from Parliament after being expelled from the ruling party, NRM.
The proposed Article 72 requiring candidates intending to contest as independent MPs to mobilise 1,000 signatures was also shot down as “discriminatory” and “impractical” as some constituencies have less than 1,000 voters.
With deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah today expected to give directions on how the Opposition will formally table alternative electoral reform proposals, MPs told the government legal team- led by Justice minister Kahinda Otafiire, Attorney General Freddie Ruhindi and deputy Attorney General Mwesigwa Rukutuna, that the proposed reforms fall far short of the threshold required to ensure a free and fair election next year.
Leading the charge against the government proposals, Shadow Attorney General Abdu Katuntu and Shadow Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister Medard Ssegona warned that the Presidency still has legroom to influence the workings of the electoral body.
“Just giving it [EC] a name does not make it independent. What people of Uganda are yearning for is an EC which is independent, where we all have faith and submit ourselves without doubt that they will conduct free and fair elections. But to have one of the players, one of the candidates competing to be given the sole responsibility of appointing the EC does not render this commission independent,” Mr Katuntu said.
“If you want to strengthen the commission in a multi-party dispensation, why would you have a president who is member of a political party and whose party is supervised by the Commission, have powers to dismiss. You are talking about the name without the tenets of independence,” Mr Ssegona stated.
MPs Wilfred Niwagaba (Ndorwa East MP) and Barnabas Tinkasiimire (Buyaga West),both currently battling to retain their seats in Parliament following their 2013 expulsion from the NRM, said the proposal to have MPs lose their seats once they are thrown out of their parties is open to abuse.

Others rejected

Article 144 of the Constitution to increase the retirement age from 70 years to 75 years in the case of Justices of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal and from 65 years to 75 years in the case of judges.

Nb

These politicians accepted the NRM constitution making and participation for the last 30 years. They do not seem to have any alternative.

 

In the country of Uganda, the Opposition licensed political party leadership have been arrested and blocked from submitting the national election reforms as national election approaches. The current President's long standing popular political position is under threat:

Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago is stopped from leaving his home in Wakaliga,

Rubaga Division in Kampala by Mr Musa Walugembe, a police officer,

PHOTO BY FAISWAL KASIRYE

By Stephen Kafeero

Posted  Wednesday, May 20   2015 

KAMPALA.UGANDA:

Police yesterday besieged the homes of key Opposition leaders, blocking them from submitting their proposals on the Constitutional Amendment Bill, 2015, to the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament.
The committee is currently scrutinising the Bill and is receiving views from various stakeholders. The Opposition has denounced the proposed constitutional changes, saying they are aimed at hoodwinking Ugandans and keeping Mr Museveni in power.
According to the neighbours, police were by 5am camped outside the homes of Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago and former Forum for Democratic Change president Kizza Besigye.
At Dr Besigye’s home in Kasangati, Wakiso District, police barricaded roads leading to his house and blocked any vehicle from entering or leaving the premises.
“They have besieged my home yet again but I have not been informed of the reason for the siege. Today, we were supposed to present, as FDC, our views to the Parliamentary Legal committee on the Constitutional Amendment Bill,” Dr Besigye said.
He added: “I think this is intended to stop me from proceeding to Parliament like they did last week when they stopped our intended meeting at Nsambya.” 
Dr Besigye attempted to leave but was compelled to go back by police officers led by Mr Fred Ahimbisibwe, the Division field force operations commander, Kasangati.
“We have reliable information that you are going to cause mayhem in the city. We advise that you go back to your house,” Mr Ahimbisibwe said
Mr Ahimbisibwe said police had received intelligence information that Dr Besigye, Mr Lukwago and Kawempe Mayor Mubarak Munyagwa, among others, planned to incite people in markets and cause “mayhem” in the city.
Like in the past instances, Dr Besigye said police had no credible reason to barricade his home. “I have been taken to court countless times. I have never been able to defend myself because all charges brought against me have been dismissed.”
Mr Lukwago was also not allowed to set foot outside his home in Rubaga Division despite several pleas to police led by Old Kampala DPC Emmanuel Ocamuringa to let him out.
“I have requested them to lead the way and escort me to Parliament but they have refused,” he said
Mr Lukwago said he had two reasons why he was going to the city, including bailing people arrested last week when police blocked their meeting at Nsambya Sharing Hall and to be part of a team taking poll reform proposals to the Legal committee of Parliament.

Elsewhere
In Parliament, the Opposition meeting with the Legal committee flopped and FDC leader Mugisha Muntu requested for more time since they could not proceed without Dr Besigye. 
Government has suggested a raft of constitutional changes but the Opposition and civil society activists observe that all their suggested reforms were ignored.
The Bill, among other things, empowers the President to appoint and dismiss EC commissioners but the Opposition want an independent body to ensure free and fair polls. Meanwhile, police arrested the FDC Women League leader Ingrid Turinawe in her attempt to join other Opposition members, including FDC president Mugisha Muntu, who had made it to Parliament. Ms Turinawe was arrested together with Hamidah Nalongo Nassimbwa, an activist, who was stripped half-naked by police officers in attempts to restrain her.

sdkafeero@ug.nationmedia.com

 

Ten years later on 12/07/2015: Revisiting term limits drama of 2005 when Members of Parliament of Uganda were paid money to change the Constitution of Uganda.


President Museveni has been in power for 29 years.

By Eriasa Mukiibi Sserunjogi

Posted  Saturday, July 11  2015 
An Open Presidential rule for the Democratic Republic of Uganda.
For July 12/07/2015, it will be 10 years since Parliament, presided over by Edward Ssekandi, now Vice President of Uganda, voted to delete term limits.

Kampala.

If the two five-year term limit clause had not been deleted from another of the many Republican Constitutions in 2005, President Museveni would be into his 10th year of retirement on his ranches, having handed over power peacefully to a successor in May 2006.

His successor, assuming he/she had been re-elected in 2011, would also be arranging to hand over power next May  2016 at the expiry of his/her second term.

Tomorrow, July 12/07/2015, will be 10 years since Parliament, presided over by Edward Ssekandi, now vice president, voted to delete term limits. Two legislators – Army representative Col Fred Bogere and Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah, who was the chairperson of the parliamentary committee on legal affairs, which had considered the Bill - abstained from the vote while 53 members voted to retain term limits.

Two hundred twenty members voted to lift term limits, denying President Museveni’s childhood friend, Eriya Kategaya, an opportunity to see a peaceful transfer of power in Uganda before his death in 2013. Kategaya, who was President Museveni’s fellow fighter, and was for a long time perceived as the de facto No.2 to Museveni, fell out with the President over the removal of Article 105 (2) of the Constitution, which limited the terms a president would serve to two.

As calls to delete the clause from the Constitution gathered steam in 2003, Kategaya urged his childhood friend to “seize the moment” and be the first Ugandan president to hand over power peacefully.

“We can’t have a country where presidents keep running away,” Kategaya said. He put down some of these views in a hurriedly written autobiography, “Impassioned for Freedom”. 
Kategaya was drawing from Uganda’s turbulent history, which had heavily influenced the makers of the Constitution in 1994/1995 to limit presidential terms in order to prevent overstay of leaders, which could occasion violent change of power. Power had been so frequently transferred violently in Uganda. In 1966, 1971, 1979, 1985 and 1986 when President Museveni grabbed it from Tito Okello.

Elsewhere, many African countries had experienced long-running dictatorships so it was in vogue for each country, which adopted a new constitution around the 1990s, to limit the terms for the president to two.

So popular was the idea of limiting the length of time spent in the presidency that President Museveni, on taking over in 1986, identified clinging to power as one of Africa’s biggest problems.

The third term article
Moments to voting on deleting term limits, veteran legislator Omara Atubo, who had participated in the making of the Constitution, posed two “fundamental” questions to his colleagues: “For us who were in the Constituent Assembly, “why is it that Article 105 (2) was the least contentious and the least controversial? ... Why is it that after 10 years, this Article 105 (2) has now become the most contentious and most controversial clause in the constitutional amendment?” He, like Kategaya, was arguing for Uganda’s history to be taken into account.

Another prominent member of the establishment, who shared Kategaya’s view, was then Local Government minister Jaberi Bidandi Ssali. President Museveni reacted by ridding his Cabinet of dissenters, although Kategaya would later bounce back to serve at a senior level after the term limits had been deleted and President Museveni returned to power. He was first deputy prime minister and minister for East African Affairs at the time of his death.

Others who fell out with President Museveni over the lifting of term limits include Ms Sarah Kiyingi, former state minister for internal affairs, former Ethics minister Miria Matembe and Major Amanya Mushega, who had held a number of cabinet positions and was secretary general of the East African Community.

A number of Movement-leaning legislators, including Augustine Ruzindana, Salaamu Musumba and Major John Kazoora, also broke ranks with the establishment and founded a “rebel” outfit called the Parliamentary Advocacy Forum (Pafo) to oppose the lifting of term limits. Pafo eventually became a key constituent part of the Forum for Democratic Change.

Third term or sad term?

 

Mr Edward Ssekandi’s led Parliament removed term limits.
Speaker Rebecca Kadaga’s Parliament has not succeeded in restoring them.

The phrasing of the deletion of term limits as “third term”, of course, was a misnomer. The operation should have been aptly dubbed “open terms” since no limitation was imposed on the number of terms one would serve as long as he got re-elected and had not yet clocked 75 at the time of the next election.

President Museveni, if he runs next year, will be seeking a fifth elected term. Before the election cycles in the current constitutional order kicked off in 1996, he had already served for 10 years. The debate on restoring term limits is now back and although many of the arguments being advanced are old, there has been an eye-catching switching of sides and changes of heart.

Presidential aspirant Amama Mbabazi almost paraphrased Kategaya’s words regarding term limits in a letter to President Museveni just days before he declared he would stand for president next year.

“We simply must join those nations where a change of guard happens regularly and through the ballot ... It is time for a peaceful transition,” Mbabazi wrote.

Mbabazi was a key pillar in the drive to delete term limits in 2005. In a debate on the proposal to lift term limits hosted by the Royal African Society in London on May 26, 2005, Mbabazi said he and “some other colleagues” had unsuccessfully tried to persuade the Movement Caucus during the Constitution making process not to insert term limits in the Constitution.

“As the chairman of the Movement Caucus, having lost the debate in the caucus meeting, I accepted defeat gracefully and decided to bide my time,” Mbabazi, then minister of Defence and chairman of what was called the NRM Promoters Constitutional Committee, said while on a trip in London. 
He dismissed the argument by pro-term limits agitators that incumbents can manipulate the electoral processes to stay on indefinitely, saying: “If manipulation is the issue, it does not have to wait for the third term.”

“The whole argument behind term limits is a disguise for personal ambitions,” Mr Mbabazi said, adding: “The unstated objective is not the defence of democracy but a desire to get into government and share in the so-called spoils of office. Since the people have absolute power to elect or not to elect their presidents in a free and fair elections at regular intervals. Term limitation serves no useful purpose.”

Mbabazi, however, has since changed his stance and, on the Capital Gang show on July 4, he said he now supports the re-instatement of term limits. He said although he was “a vigorous defender” of the amendment of the Constitution to remove term limits, experience has forced him to “think more deeply” about the “very many good reasons” which he gave in favour of deleting term limits and which he says he still subscribes to.

“My main reason against term limitation was that it limits, it undermines, the very concept of democracy. Democracy means people having free choice,” he said on Capital radio.

“What I had in mind was people who make conscious choice; people that have the freedom to make that choice ... If you are in a situation where (there is) intimidation using state machinery; you are in a situation where corruption, bribery is used as a method of influencing people who live in abject poverty, then obviously these people will not have a free choice,” Mr Mbabazi said.

He added: “So for these reasons, I think it makes sense for us to revisit this question of term limits.”

Many, including NRM secretary general Justine Lumumba, have sought to hold Mbabazi to his role in the deletion of term limits, especially the arguments he made in favour of longevity in leadership. In the see-saw that is politics, Kasule Lumumba voted to retain term limits but she is now President Museveni’s key enforcer while Mbabazi is looking to replace Museveni, whose leadership he says, has become “weak and inefficient”.

Carrot and stick
Mbabazi’s new stance on term limits, observers say, could have been influenced by the stance of The Democratic Alliance (TDA), which has made a key demand that term limits are restored and entrenched in the Constitution.

Mbabazi is believed to have one eye on being the joint Opposition candidate under the TDA arrangement, where he could tussle it out with, among others, Prof Gilbert Bukenya, a former vice president, who also played a key role in the deletion of term limits from the Constitution.

Some have argued that Prof Bukenya was elevated to vice presidency in 2003 because of his enthusiasm with regard to the lifting of term limits. He would later claim that he started the talk on third term.

Kabula County MP James Kakooza, who also claims he started the talk on third term, eventually made it into cabinet too, perhaps in sync with rewarding third term campaigners.

Those MPs who did not get appointments at least picked up Uganda Shs 5m each (£1000.00) from Mosa Court Apartments, which belongs to NRM vice chairman Moses Kigongo. It was the first time during President Museveni’s rule that MPs were being given money openly to vote for a certain position.

On the other hand, the whip was cracked on those who resisted the amendment. We already noted the ministers who were dropped due to their opposition against the scheme. Col Fred Bogere, an army representative, abstained from voting on whether to lift term limits, arguing that being a serving officer, it would be partial of him to pronounce himself on a divisive matter.

This angered the establishment. Gen Aronda Nyakairima, then Chief of Defence Forces, had already openly voted in favour of lifting term limits by the time Col Bogere was called on to vote. Speaking at Nakasongola after the incident, Gen Nyakairima said that Col Bogere had gone against the army’s collective position and that he would face the Army Council for that reason. It took Mbabazi, then Defence minister, to clarify that Col Bogere would actually not appear before the Army Council over the matter. Col Bogere was subsequently removed from Parliament, and he has never got any meaningful deployment in the army since.

Before the Col Bogere incident, Brig Henry Tumukunde, another army representative, had caused a stir when he went public against the proposal to abolish secret voting in Parliament with regard to the lifting of term limits.

Brig Tumukunde argued that the MPs, for fear of being victimised, would not freely express themselves through open voting. He appeared on talk shows, most notably on CBS FM, to argue his case. As a result, he would later say, he was “forced” to resign his seat as an army representative in Parliament. The “resignation letter” was written on a leaf from a writing pad, and, Brig Tumukunde would later claim, under duress.

Vice President Edward Sekandi, then Speaker of Parliament, afterwards ignored Brig Tumukunde’s plea to retain his seat, saying the resignation had already taken effect.

Brig Tumukunde would suffer house arrest for extended periods and undergo a protracted trial for “spreading harmful propaganda”, among other charges. He was subsequently convicted in 2013 and sentenced to “serious warning”.

The fallouts, turnarounds, and agitations around the term limits debate are already too many. Yet if the current developments are anything to go by, the term limits debate seems to just be unfolding.

Term limits fever in the rest of Africa

As Mr Museveni secured the licence to rule on 2005, not everyone on the continent was having it his way. Gen Olusegun Obasanjo, former president of Nigeria, wanted to stay on too after his two terms had expired but his schemes were defeated.

At the height of his attempts to do the same, Gen Obasanjo called on Mr Museveni in a visit that was widely viewed as an attempt to seek advice on how to execute the mission. Mr Museveni had only freshly pulled it off. But it was too little too late for Gen Obasanjo and the Nigeria Senate rebuffed his efforts. He finally retired in 2007 at the expiry of his second four-year term.

Sam Nujoma, former president of Namibia, had pulled off the feat even before Mr Museveni when he succeeded in getting the constitution amended in 1998 to allow him a third term. 
It was stressed, however, that he would only do one extra term and that the future presidents would serve strictly two terms. He eventually retired in 2005.

In Senegal, former president Abdoulaye Wade managed to negotiate his way on to the ballot paper and vied for a third term in 2012, but the opposition to the scheme was so strong that he was defeated at the polls.

Currently, a row over term limits rages in Burundi and has resulted into paralysing protests with thousands fleeing the exile. An attempted coup was foiled, but president Pierre Nkrunziza’s insistence on running for a third term continues and he seems poised to be on the ballot paper in the looming elections.

Mr Nkrunziza recognises that the Burundi constitution allows one a maximum of two five-year terms in the presidency, which he has already served, but he argues that his first term was before the current constitutional order came into force and that it should not count. A ruling by the country’s highest court in his favour did not satisfy his opponents.

In Rwanda, Gen Paul Kagame is widely expected to make a u-turn and seek a third seven-year term as Rwandans continue to “urge” him to do so. The General has dominated Rwanda’s politics since the genocide in 1994, first as vice president but in effect de facto leader.

He had argued upon re-election in 2010, in response to suggestions that he should continue beyond 2017 because there was no one fit to replace him, that if that were to be the case, it would be the reason for him to quit because failing to nurture a successor is evidence of blatant failure of leadership.

He now says that the debate on whether he should continue beyond 2017 should continue. “Africa’s problem is not term limits, it is poverty and hunger,” he recently told visiting journalists from Uganda. He said that he will “soon” speak out on the issue. On the other hand, Kenya and Tanzania are the foremost countries in East Africa to have made run-away progress on the issue of term limits. In Kenya, Mr Daniel Arap Moi stepped down in 2002 and his successor, Mr Mwai Kibaki, bowed out in 2012 in favour of current president Uhuru Kenyatta.

This September, Tanzanian president Jakaya Kikwete will call it quits and he has already started traversing the world to bid his colleagues goodbye. Mr Kikwete’s predecessor, Mr Benjamin Mkapa, called on President Museveni to say his farewells in 2005 when the third term debate was raging in Uganda.

At a press conference at State House, Mr Mkapa was asked whether it was proper that he, having served “only” two terms, was stepping down.

Mr Mkapa said that 10 years was such a long time in the presidency that it had made him completely disconnected from his community. President Museveni, who had already served almost 20 years in power, looked on.

emukiibi@ug.nationmedia.com

 

As a Muganda of today:

15/08/2015

I can't apologise for the Baganda declaring war on Obote, in 1980, after what was clearly an election tainted with fraud, from start to finish. We know that the return of Obote to Uganda, was an act of formalising his return to power. For the Obote supporters, this will be challenged with all sorts of reasoning, but, as mentioned some time back, it is hardly rocket science to come to that conclusion, given the stately treatment that Obote was accorded by the government at the time. Infact Museveni is doing what Obote did in 1980, - using state funds, state media, the army and relevant government organs to run his campaigns and steal the election.

 

So when the Buganda chose to fight Obote, in 1980, they were saying that they had not forgotten the ursuping of power by Obote in 1966, and forcing the Kabaka into exile, and the subsequent state of emergency, that affected the Buganda as a specific group of people.

 

For me, the greastest blunder was joining and supporting NRM, to fight against Obote. That mistake cost us human lives, and everything that we ever hoped to gain. We are worst as a kingdom, and worst off as a nation.

 

Museveni did not only deceive the Baganda, but all his other followers too. That is evident in the number of top people with whom he waged the war, that have finally discovered his lies, he cleverly hid from them, for 35 years, getting them to murder populations of Uganda, with the sole purpose of establishing himself a life president.,Only those content with "eating from the golden trough", like Otafiire, Saleh, and a few others gluttons have stayed on to "munch".

 

We parents expected that with the return of normalcy, after defeating Obote, democracy would be established and federalism put in place. That did not happen then, but we have not given up on this dream, even if it means returning to a show of force. We can't agree more the adage, - "If you want peace, prepare for war".

 

We don't want the Kabaka to be president of Uganda, we just want a federalism that will bring peace, or we continue on the path to perpetual ruin, by African leaders that are opportunists.

 

If we could go back to 1980, and the start of the war against Obote, I guarantee that 100% of Baganda would not follow Museveni, but still fight nevertheless, to dislodge the then burgeoning dictator.

 

Besigye (C) hands in his nomination forms at TDA

On September 9 when Dr Kizza Besigye returned his nomination papers, the mood at The Democratic Alliance offices in Naguru was ecstatic.

Buoyed by jubilant chants of his name by supporters alongside a group of journalists eager to get a sound bite, Besigye said he was confident he would emerge as the TDA presidential flag bearer.

Yet more importantly, the FDC flag bearer added: “In the event that I am not selected as the TDA candidate, I will support whoever goes through.”

Besigye’s vow, however, has come under severe test, two days before the alliance announces its presidential candidate on Friday, September 18. On Monday, a section of FDC members accused some elements within TDA of favouring former prime minister John Patrick Amama Mbabazi, who was nominated last week belatedly.

The supporters urged their party to withdraw from the alliance in case Mbabazi is chosen because to them that would be betrayal of the opposition cause.

“Amama boldly says he is representing NRM in TDA! I have never supported NRM and I am not about to do that. Should he be selected to carry the flag of TDA, I won’t participate in the presidential election,” said Doreen Nyanjura, the FDC secretary for trade, industry and investment.

Another party member, Asaph Ntanda, said FDC should stop hobnobbing with non-starters.

“Ssuubi [in 2011] confused us and we lost, now the so- called TDA. In Mitooma district we have rejected TDA,” he said.

FDC, BESIGYE IN CATCH 22

For now, the FDC and Besigye have to cleverly dig themselves out of a pit they helped create. Yesterday, the party’s management committee and later national executive committee sat at Najjanankumbi to find a way around the newfound TDA problem. By press time, the outcome from both meetings could not be readily established.

But sources told us that in the NEC meeting that kicked off at 2:30pm, opinion was split on whether the party should leave the alliance. Besigye, who is not a member of NEC, did not attend the meeting.

The party leadership led by Gen Mugisha Muntu urged the members to remain calm and give unity a chance. He reminded members that FDC, being the biggest opposition party, must set an example for other parties.

“Let us give TDA an opportunity to do its work,” Muntu said, his voice drowned out by chants of “no” according to a person who attended the meeting.

Sources told us that pro-Besigye elements in NEC insisted that should their candidate lose unfairly on Friday, they will urge him not to back Mbabazi. This would, however, put the party and Besigye in a difficult position.

First, FDC is one of the leading proponents of unity of the opposition and has invested heavily to ensure that that TDA works. Therefore, the party would come off as hypocritical if it ditched the arrangement. As for Besigye, if he left the alliance after defeat, it would portray him as a bad loser.

He would also lose the moral authority to criticize other people for not being principled. Last week at a press conference, Besigye accused the TDA of bending the rules to accommodate Mbabazi.

Some people interpreted the statement as an early warning of a rejection of Mbabazi’s selection, if it happened. Efforts to talk to him yesterday were futile. An FDC legislator told us that Besigye has been shaken by the emergence of Mbabazi.

“Besigye is worried that Mbabazi could dominate the opposition space he has occupied for the last 15 years,” the MP said.

Kalinge Omar Nnyago, the former deputy secretary general of Justice Forum, who recently declared he will stand as an independent in the 2016 elections, wrote on his Facebook page yesterday that the idea of TDA while good needs to be rethought.

He wrote: “After weeks of living in denial, it is apparent that TDA, which is a wonderful idea we all contributed to creating, must be re-thought if it is to survive death.

“Whoever loves change that TDA promises should be now pushing for an honest rethink.

“Quitting TDA is not the answer. We have collectively invested in the project: time, money, energy, other resources... we just have to reclaim it. Guys, if you want to finish what you started, just get back to the drawing board.”

ekiggundu@observer.ug

By Ssekajja.

NB

Edo 2015-09-16 09:16
the trouble with beseigye is he has over done it that he now derives meaningfulness in his life from seeing himself on the ballot paper.

why is MAO, BUKENYA not feeling aggrieved? does beseigye think that he has to be right all the time and everyone else wrong? common guys.
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-1#2 fkyyyyyy 2015-09-16 11:38
Time to test FDC and Besigye's democratic credentials.

I am beginning to think this TDA thing was a ploy by FDC to rally the opposition behind the serial looser.
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+4#3 kabayekka 2015-09-16 11:41
Indeed this whole African nation is embroided in catch 22 if the writer would mind explaining the interesting meaning of the English word: CATCH 22.
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+2#4 Suleman 2015-09-16 17:03
1- The issue is not about Besigye >
The issue is > todate Mbabazi insists he is still NRM.

> todate Mbabazi insists NRM has had a lot of successes, which run a risk of getting lost.

> todate Mbabazi has been one of the rabid and vicious Opponets of every progressive
idea that the Opposition tried to come up since beginning of opposition activism.

> unlike Tunyefunza todate Mbabazi has acknowledged nor made apology for any
action/ non action which might have hurt/ the Opposition in the past.

In short can an a pure NRM really represent the Opposition in order to defeat an NRM god -father.
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0#5 Suleman 2015-09-16 17:13
In casu, as Ugandans we need to stop being parochial.
Mbabazi should be allowed in the TDA,

Mbabazi should show his patroitism by campaigning hard with the Opposition and ounce museveni is defeated with his experience he can be rwarded with any highest post , even Prime Minister BUT surely given his track-record Mbabazi cannot stand and represent the Opposition.

What of if it is just a ploy ?
Doesnt the Opposition need time to prove his commitment?
For how long has he been in Opposition ?

What of if museveni calls him 2morrow and they patch up their difference.
Didnt Kategaya ad many others cross back ?

But we have to credit Mbabazi for the courage of even attempting to head an Opposition which he wanted dead many years ago.
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0#6 Gwok 2015-09-16 18:45
Quoting kabayekka:
Indeed this whole African nation is embroided in catch 22 if the writer would mind explaining the interesting meaning of the English word: CATCH 22.


I can do that too. Here we go: A Catch-22 situation often results from rules, regulations, or procedures that an individual (or group) is subject to but has no control over.

Which means that the fact that one wants to fight those rules is in itself to acknowledge and accept the the same rules.

It is akin to a situation in which someone is in need of something that can only be had by not being in need of it.

In this political context, the connotation is that the TDA has created arbitrary rules in order to justify and conceal their own INTENDED abuse of power. DID THAT HELP?
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