In Uganda, the different political parties, in order for them to survive, are compromised with the long time governing NRM system of African governance:

 

A supporter of Uganda’s president waits for his

A supporter of Uganda’s president waits for his arrival during a rally of the ruling National Resistance Movement party at Kololo Airstrip in Kampala. PHOTO | FILE

Fredrick Golooba-Mutebi

 

 

18 September, 2017

 

By FREDRICK GOLOOBA-MUTEBI

 

The 21st century found Ugandans engrossed in a debate about the system of government that would best suit the country.

Underlying the question was the issue of how to ensure political stability, unity, security and prosperity for the long term.

Would it be the “movement” type of government that President Yoweri Museveni and his National Resistance Movement had introduced almost a decade and a half earlier that brought potential political adversaries together to pursue collectively agreed goals?

Would it be multi-party competition that would allow different groups with different aspirations to “fight” for power in order to put their own ideas into practice? And would that be under a unitary, or federal arrangement?

Thanks partly to external support for the partists and pressure on the government to “open up,” the acrimonious debate and related processes ended in victory for the former.

Unitarism also came out on top thanks to simple prejudice against federalism, ignorance about what it was, and a reluctance to even think of it as a viable option. Museveni, opposed to party politics for intellectual and ideological reasons, was not happy.

Indeed, he made no secret of having given up the fight for “movement politics” because of “intolerable pressure” from donors. For these reasons, the partists would soon find out that theirs was a victory only in a very limited sense.

A decade and half down the road, it is now clear that the arguments deployed in favour of multi-party competition were merely theoretical. Hardly anyone paid attention to the kind of context political parties would need to thrive, and how it would be created, and by whom.

And therein lay the opportunity for Museveni. In the end he created a context in which parties would remain stunted and struggle to compete with his own outfit, which he would not allow to grow into a full-fledged political party either.

For all intents and purposes, although it was registered as a party, the NRM simply became a special purpose vehicle through which Museveni pursues his ambitions and objectives as and when necessary, and then puts on sedatives when not needed.

It comes in handy when he must be nominated as a presidential candidate, when votes must be mobilised, and when parliament must be filled up with his supporters. That’s pretty much it. The rest of the time NRM even struggles to pay rent and the salaries of its employees.

That political parties play limited roles in determining what direction Uganda takes at any one moment can be seen right now as two key debates rage on about very important matters, both of which will culminate in the country’s constitution being amended — objectives he sees as important for the country.

One matter concerns how ostensibly the government can ensure that whenever it has important projects to implement, whose implementation requires acquisition of land, it should not be held up by “unreasonable” landowners demanding to be paid amounts of money that are way beyond its actual value.

He wants the government to be able to take over the said land and for it to pay prices determined by its own valuers, even if the owners disagree, in which case they can go to court.

Meanwhile the government can go ahead and implement its projects with speed, a claim some are laughing at, given even where there are no complications with landowners, some projects have been known to move at the speed of a tortoise.

There is little appetite for these proposals across the country, and the government and Museveni himself have aroused much suspicion as to their real motives, with some claiming they are meant to facilitate land grabbing whose real motive could be to enrich some people at the expense of others.

Museveni’s response to criticism and attacks, some orchestrated by opposition politicians, has been not to involve the NRM and its activists in countering them, but to go on the offensive himself.

At the time of writing, he was out in the countryside, fielding questions on radio talk shows, talking to groups and individuals directly, and in at least one instance, handing out free land titles to formerly landless people.

In all this, the party is conspicuous by the obvious absence of its officials and leaders. Save for isolated appearances by their MPs, organised action by political parties is nowhere to be seen.

The other matter concerns whether the constitution should be amended yet again, this time to remove the age limit to make it possible for Museveni to run for president and likely stay on after his current term expires in 2021, by which time he would otherwise be ineligible in the absence of a constitutional amendment.

Frederick Golooba-Mutebi is a Kampala- and Kigali-based researcher and writer on politics and public affairs. E-mail: fgmutebi@yahoo.com

The long serving poplar President of Uganda is begging the mandate for more land for his corrupt government to put up his dodgy projects:

 

President Museveni (left) flanked by State minister for Housing, Dr Chris Baryomunsi (right), among other government officials appear at a radio talk show on Voice of Kigezi in Kabale District on Monday. PPU PHOTO.

By ROBERT MUHEREZA
By the Monitor newspaper

Kabale- President Museveni has embarked on a countrywide tour to push for the setting up of a land tribunal and change of the current land laws and also defuse what he called toxic misinformation by his political opponents.

Mr Museveni, who kicked off his nationwide radio campaigns with a talkshow on Voice of Kigezi in Kabale Town on Monday, said amending Article 26 of the 1995 Constitution is not intended to steal people’s land but to hasten government projects that have been stalling as a result of court cases arising from compensation disputes. 

“What has brought me here is to remove toxins from the masses because some people have been misusing radios to tell lies. I want to begin with the lies on land acquisition for the construction of power and roads,” President Museveni said.

His argument

Speaking in Runyakore-Rukiga, Mr Museveni added: “Whereas government requires land on which public works such as railways, roads and electricity can be constructed, the land owners, including myself, refuse to give way, which is wrong. In the making of the 1995 Constitution, NRM changed the past laws where land belonged to government and gave it to the people. A clause was put in place stating that in case government wants land for public works, it should get it after compensating the land owner. And that is what it is. The current situation is paralysing [government projects] as some stubborn people contest the assessment for compensation done and then go to court and the case takes about five years; then the planned road projects stall.”

The proposal to amend Article 26 to allow government take over private land before compensation has met opposition from some members of the civil society, church leaders, MPs, ordinary people and opposition politicians. The critics argue that if land is acquired before compensation, the owner may not get proportionate payment from the government.

But Mr Museveni said there are many cases where government projects have stalled because of such disputes.

He cited the case of installing hydro-power exportation lines to Rwanda through Ntungamo District that delayed because of compensation issues. Mr Museveni singled out one Mr Kahirwa of Ntungamo District, who rejected payment of Shs18 million per acre that the government was offering him, but instead demanded Shs200 million.

He said an electricity power project in Lira District also stalled for about three years because some people were asking for too much money as compensation. 

“People have been going on radios and televisions telling lies that Museveni wants to steal your land. Now look at this beautiful road from Mbarara to Ntungamo; do I have any shares? Or have you heard that I am making money out of the Kabale-Kisoro Road?” Mr Museveni asked.

Mr Museveni also criticised media houses for giving a platform to people who “spread negative propaganda about government programmes and projects”. He asked government agencies to deal with such people.

Other issues

The President also underscored the need for industrialisation, including construction of an iron ore factory in Muko Sub-county in Rubanda District, and irrigation for better agricultural harvests and tarmacking of roads. 

“Because we want to solve the problem of paralysing planned government projects, we brought a proposal for the Land Amendment Bill where a tribunal shall be put in place to resolve any grievances locally without going to courts of law,” Mr Museveni said.

“Those saying that the existing law on land is enough are wrong because we have encountered several problems whereby some people demand too much money as compensation that ends up stalling planned government projects. The Land Amendment Bill should be accepted because the draft has been improved by having a tribunal in place to locally handle disputed cases on the land price instead of going to court for arbitration that has disadvantaged the poor African people that do not have money but have got lots of ancestral lands,” he added.

 

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

 

Nb

In this former British colonial country of Uganda, this President has inherited a legend of a landless government. When most of the indigenous citizens that own ancestral  lands understand that central government is full of corruption, they are reluctant to give out their lands for the so called government projects. And many more want to give out land in exchange for more land. As a very rich African landlord himself, he does not seem to get his human compassion right!

OMUGENYI BWAKYALA OMUGENYI AKYALUKA

 

 President M7 has no farm in Kisozi. Kisozi is a government or state owned property bought from Mr. Kiwanuka using state funds to start up a project for the ministry of defense.

This extensive ranch will be claimed back as soon as power

changes hands.

Records have it that the late Major Mwebaze as a veteran

doctor was in charge of this project from it's conception. To the day M7 started nursing ideas to own it.

 

History of a Uganda President:

"If dead men could be back to confirm their stories! Here is one by a man who was once a representative of Uganda to the Middle East, Member and Acting Chairman of the Central Scholarship Committee in the Ministry of Education, Member of the once powerful National Association for the Advancement of Muslims (NAAM) in the 1960s; Deputy Chief Kadhi of Uganda to Sheikh Obeid Kamulegeya in the early 1980s; and Member of the Presidential Policy Commission of UPC in the early Millennium. This man is called the late Annas Kinyiri.
One day he received a note from President Apollo Milton Obote when he was acting as Chairman of the Central Scholarship Committee. The one with the note was a student eager to join Makerere University. Those days one had to submit 10 copies of one's Graduated tax tickets to be considered for admission to Makerere. In the note the President was asking the Committee to create an avenue for Yoweri Museveni to join Makerere without producing Graduated tax tickets because he could not produce them adding, "I want him to join Makerere because he is one of my UPC youth wingers who qualifies but he cannot meet the requirement of 10 graduated tax tickets". Graduated tax tickets were used to prove one's citizenship and belonging or locality.
As expected Annas Kinyiri surmoned members of his committee to consider the President's request. When the committee met it overwhelmingly rejected the request saying regulations must be strictly observed.
And that was what Annas Kinyiri put in the sealed letter, which Yoweri Museveni took to the President. When the Preident read it he wrote another one making another plea to Kinyiri, which Yoweri Museveni again dcelivered to him. After reading the note Annas Kinyiri again convened the committee to resolve the matter. The committee softened and decided that the student produces 5 Graduated tax tickets. That was what Kinyiri communicated to the President in a sealed letter. The Pesident realised he could not get what he wanted because of the strict regulation of producing Gradated Tax tickets. He had to think of plan B quickly. And there it was.
According to Annas Kinyiri the President wrote a letter to his counterpart in Tanzania, Julius Kambarage Nyerere, who was Chancellor of the University of Dar-es-Salaam, asking him to influence the university authorities to admit 5 of his young men for various degree courses. One of the young men was Museveni. Another was Muntuyera. The five were admitted, thanks to Nyerere's intervention.
In 1987, Annas Kinyiri was summoned, together with other Basoga elders that included a former Katikiiro of Busoga, WW Mwangu, to a meeting at Belleview Hotel. It was arranged by Kirunda Kivejinja. It was to introduce the new President, Yoweri Museveni, to influential Basoga elders. According to Annas Kinyiri, the President arrived with a gun on his shoulders. Kinyiri openly expressed his disgust that a son of a Mukopi was President and added, "When a country is ruled by bakopi then that country has no future". According to Kinyiri, even Mwangu expressed the same sentiments. When President Museveni told Kinyiri that he was appointing him to be Uganda's representative again in the Middle East, he declined. When the meeting was dissolved, the President, who is also the Commander-in-Chief of our armed forces, ordered the immediate arrest of Kinyiri and Mwangu. They were whisked off to Gaddafi Army Barracks. Later they were moved to Luzira, where Kagata Namiti and Paulo Muwanga were also incarcerated.
According to Kinyiri he was in Luzira until 1989 without trial. When he was released, he learn't that it was because of the intervention of the International Committee of the Red Cross. It had been contacted by the Uganda Christian Prisoners Aid Foundation led by a one Macharios Ayub. the Red Cross sent a delegation to Uganda. Government allowed it to access Kinyiri. It later asked Government to release Kinyiri. He was, but then he was immediately arrested and whisked off to Kirinya Prison in Jinja on accusation of being a member of Force Obote Back (FOBA). He was to be in Kirinya Prison until 1999 when the President sanctioned his release.
When he came out of Prison he was bitter because he never knew of the existence of FOBA and believed it was the creation of Government to incarcerate him.
Curiously, in his own words, Kinyiri was more bitter with Obote than with Museveni because he believed it was because he declined to respond to the note Obote sent to him to endorse Museveni's admission to Makerere without his father's Graduated tax tickets that he had been incarcerated.
When Obote heard that Kinyiri was out of Prison, he sent the former Chairman of UPC, who later converted to NRM, the late Badru Wegulo, to Jinja to bring the Sheikh to Kampala so that they could talk to one another on phone. Obote was in exile in Lusaka, Zambia.
When he was sure he was talking to Obote, Kinyiri told him that he was the cause of his suffering because he had sent Museveni to him when he knew he (Kinyiri) could never bend the regulations. Obote apologised and in 2000 appointed Kinyiri to membership of the Presidential Policy Commission of the UPC.
Kinyiri passed on about 5 or 6 years ago with his principles, ethics and morality and with forgiveness, but not before telling me this story.
The elderly are depositories of knowledge and information. I learn't that early in my life. I would never let old people hoad knowldge that would enhance my own in case they passed it on to me. So Kinyiri was one of the valuable resources that I would never let go without benefiting from. in terms of knowledge. He knew a lot about the Middle East. He had been involved in seeing that our children get educated. He was a politician. He had been a religious leader. He had been a teacher too. And he was a successful family man. Besides, he was an honest man who loved the truth. May his Soul Rest in Peace.
I have also become of age. I am sure those who have associated with me, and have been curious and inquisitive enough, have gained a lot of knowledge from me.
I appeal to all the elderly of Uganda to pass on knowledge that can help us know ourselves and country better. Knowledge is power. Where there is no knowledge people will suffer from ignorance, and ignorance is the worst disease of humanity. It knows no bounds.
For God and My Country."

 

MWE ABAGENYI ABAGAANA NYINI MU OKWETABA MUBYOBUFUZI EKIGENDERERWA KYAMMWE KIKI?