The Parliament of Uganda has justified the high expenditure of money spent on the swearing in of the President of Uganda for a 6th term in office: 


Written by URN


Members of Parliament in Uganda during the current session



Not all the 100 cases that recently tested positive for COVID-19 at parliament are members of parliament, parliament's director of communications and public affairs Chris Obore Ariko has said.  

Social media has been awash with reports that over 100 MPs returned positive coronavirus disease (COVID-19) results from the over 3,000 tests conducted over several weeks, and that parliament was to close down following a surge in COVID-19 cases.

However, Obore says the said results are not only for MPs but other members of staff, security, and protocol officers among others.

Obore says that COVID-19 tests were carried out to test all persons who would be attending state functions at Kololo Independence Grounds. The events included the election of the speaker on 24th May; the State of the Nation Address by President Museveni on 4th June and budget reading on 10th June.

He says three tests were done for each event, and a total of over 3,000 people that included MPs, staff of parliament, police, Internal Security Organization (ISO), Special Forces Command (SFC), service providers, journalists, prisons staff, and other invited guests were tested.

“Out of all those tested for the events, approximately 100 came out positive," Obore said. "Note that parliament has 529 MPs and approximately 30 parliament staff were manning the events. Please disregard the distorted information circulating in the media.” 

He says the 100 positive cases were from the sample of more than 3,000 and note that some of the patients have already made full recovery.  

He says that in compliance with the president’s directives, parliament has scaled down on the number of staff and journalists at parliament to 20 per cent. The numbers of journalists have also been drastically reduced, while visitors are highly discouraged.

Entry to parliament is now strictly restricted, with MPs' personal assistants no longer allowed in.

Indeed it clearly indicates well that this government has failed to verify itself to the concerns of the people of this country.

What one understands from this article is that the management of this parliament have of recent paid lots of money to have 3000 invited guests tested 3 times for COVID before they came near the President of Uganda. How much cost is each COVID19 test, this article does not verify.

And 100 of these guests were COVID19 positive and have already recovered nicely. Again the total expensive cost of treating them at the going rate of 2/3 million shillings per day in the hospitals of Uganda, this article does not verify.
To scale down the whole activities of government work, such an action activates government emergency laws and order for the next 6 months.
The new self elected government must resign so that a committee is put in place to guide the country through this pandemic emergency period.

In the meantime, one wants to advise the State Kingdom Government of Buganda to pronounce all possible measures to assist all the people of Buganda in obtaining food and medicine, and distribute it to all those who have been made helpless in illness, homelessness and dying of hunger during this sudden national confinement.

There are so many dying people and we all ask God to help us all to overcome this pandemic. So help us God!

In Uganda, during the second lockdown, the money making Hospitals are charging Shs5m per day to treat Covid-19 patients:

16 June, 2021


By Tonny Abet


A Covid-19 patient in the High Dependency Unit at Mulago National Referral Hospital on May 25. Photo | Promise Twinamukye

As the second wave of Covid-19 rages, hospitals have revealed that they are charging between Shs2m and Shs5m per day to treat a critically ill patient.

The patient spends 14 to 31 days in hospital  depending on the severity of the disease, according to medical experts.

This means a critically ill patient spends between Shs62m and Shs155m.
These charges are largely unbearable to many Ugandans, given the per capita income of $777 (Shs2.7m).

The family of Dr Alex Mulindwa, a 33-year-old medical specialist, who died of Covid-19 last week in one of the private health facilities in Kampala, couldn’t afford the exorbitant charges in a private hospital , according to Dr Mukuzi Muhereza, a friend to the deceased.

Dr Muhereza, who is also the general secretary for Uganda Medical Association, said after Dr Mulindwa’s death, the facility [name withheld] decided to withhold the body because of the accrued bill.

“We retrieved the body yesterday [Sunday] after clearing the bill of Shs18 million and he was buried in Mubende District. He [the late] had spent six days in the hospital. The deceased was a young man who had just started working,” he said.
This means the facility was charging Shs3 million per day.


“The late [Dr Mulindwa] was airlifted by Uganda People’s Defence Forces chopper the previous week from Mbarara District and rushed to Mulago National Referral Hospital, but he failed to get space in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) because it was full,” he added.

The charges in private facilities contrast the Shs22m which the government said it is spending on a Covid-19 patient at a public hospital for the whole duration of treatment, upwards of two weeks. This is about Shs1m to Shs1.5m per day yet the survival chance for ICU patients in both private and public facilities are almost the same.

The experience of friends and family of the late Mulindwa adds to growing huddles Ugandans are facing in managing the high hospital bills for Covid-19 treatment in private facilities.

During a survey by this newspaper yesterday at Victoria Hospital in Bokoto, one of the major Covid-19 treatment centres, a health worker said one needs to deposit Shs10m to secure admission. The daily charges are up to Shs5m, according to the health worker.

The charges in other private facilities in Kampala ranged from Shs2m to Shs5m for critically ill patients.
A moderate case is being treated at around Shs1 million.

Mr Peter Mulindwa, the public relations officer for International Hospital Kampala, said their charges for Covid-19 treatment have remained the same as in the first wave.  We also found out that the charges have largely not changed in other facilities.

“We charge around Shs1m for moderate cases of Covid-19 who are being treated here [at IHK] and for critically ill patients, the charge is around Shs2 million,” he said.

The charges vary depending on the amount of oxygen and type of treatment the patients receive and the money is used to pay medical workers and to purchase medicines, according to Mr Mulindwa.

Dr Richard Lukandwa, a consultant physician and acting medical director at Medipal International Hospital in Kampala, said the cost of medical care is driven by a patient’s need for oxygen and treatment for comorbidities that are aggravated by the viral disease.

The treatment of a Covid-19 patient at the Medipal ICU costs Shs4.3m per day.  This covers attachment to the machine, PPEs, suction, physiotherapy, enteric feed and drugs. It does not, however, cover oxygen, Covid-19 drugs and investigations, according to Dr Lukandwa.

Dr Denis Kimalyo, the executive director of Uganda National Association of Private Hospitals, said the charges by some private facilities are high because of the loan they acquired to establish the ICU and pay specialists.

“Installation of ICUs have been costly and most facilities are rushing to recover the money.  But also in the private sector where factors of supply and demand are at play, such [high] charges are expected,” Dr Kimalyo said.






Abavuganya government ya Uganda balemeddwa okujiyimiriza okufugisa obumbula:

Kyagulanyi's effort to meet other opposition leaders hits a snag:


Written by Baker Batte


NUP president Robert Kyagulanyi


The National Unity Platform (NUP) president, Kyagulanyi Robert Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine’s efforts to meet the leaders of other opposition political parties seem to have met a brick wall. 

Last month, Kyagulanyi wrote letters to the presidents of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Alliance for National Transformation (ANT), Democratic Party (DP), and the Justice Forum (Jeema) seeking to pay them a courtesy call but one month down the road, he has only met leaders of only one party. 

While Kyagulanyi met Jeema leaders late last month, the party president Asuman Basalirwa stayed away attributing his absence to a prolonged court matter he was handling in the Constitutional court.

Sources however told URN then that many party leaders were disenchanted with Kyagulanyi accusing him of having used and then dumped them. The sources said that during this year’s cycle of elections, Kyagulanyi supported exclusively the candidates of NUP despite the long working relationship he had with Jeema. 

This sentiment reverberates across other opposition parties. A source within the FDC told us that Kyagulanyi ran an annihilation campaign during the election and that it would be hard for them to make up now.

“He was working to finish us but we survived and now he says he wants to talk to us; what is there for us to talk about?’ one senior party official said.

This same feeling was expressed publicly by two senior FDC party officials; the secretary general Nathan Nandala Mafabi and Salaam Musumba, the deputy party president for eastern Uganda. 

However, FDC spokesperson Ssemujju Ibrahim Nganda said as a party, they have never resolved that they will not be working with NUP. Concerning the proposed meeting with NUP leadership, Ssemujju said the reason they turned down the first request was because they wanted to have a full picture of what Kyagulanyi wanted to talk about.

"The FDC received a letter from the Hon. Kyagulanyi, he wants to visit, and FDC asked him 'what do you want us to discuss?' He has actually submitted an agenda to the FDC but the FDC is an institution, that letter is to the president. We'll discuss it as a party and then take a decision. What I know is that the president has communicated formally to the FDC management which is the working committee and NEC because the moment you're an institution you're accountable for all the actions that you do on behalf of the others. It is still under processing and we'll communicate," Ssemujju said. 

For ANT, Alice Alaso the acting secretary general said they are ready to meet with any opposition political party because they are fighting for the same goal. She said the party had accepted to meet with Kyagulanyi but there was a clash in the program.

On the day that the ANT had chosen to meet Kyagulanyi, his NUP party had organized a prayer for its members who are still held up in different prisons across the country and those killed in the course of Kyagulanyi’s political journey.

"We'd said it was okay, they'd asked for a meeting on a certain Friday and I had indicated that it would be okay but I think the programme changed, we have not heard from them again. I think the only 'thing' we're not ready to meet is the NRM but anybody in opposition, we're ready because we think we're pursuing a common interest. We disagree with the NRM the way they have run the country and then their track record of keeping their promises is really terrible whether you start from 1985 with the Nairobi agreement or whether you start with the fundamental change," said Alaso. 

DP, the biggest victim of NUP as it lost 10 of its MPs in the 10th parliament to the nascent party, Okoler Opio Lo Amanu who speaks for DP said they agreed to meet Kyagulanyi once they clear more pressing issues within their party.

"In as much as the communication was formal on their [NUP] part, we responded informally and we agreed that we're going to meet but we have not yet determined when we can meet. We have a lot of things on our desk but when we find time definitely we shall meet. As long as we have given them our consent definitely that is enough - we made a phone call, if you make a phone call, you respond by text that is courtesy only that we have had a lot of things on our desk as a party and our things take priority than any other meeting. So when we clear off our desk we shall definitely meet the people from NUP," said Opio.  

NUP spokesperson Joel Ssenyonyi said the party is still desirous of meeting the leadership of other parties. Ssenyonyi, the Nakawa West MP said although there are some elements within these parties who abhor their rapprochement, the overwhelming majority wants to have a brotherly relationship with them.

"You see the idea is not just one or two meetings. We want to establish a working relationships because we're all interested in change. We want to see how we can combine our energies and efforts in building a relationship. There is obviously willingness, though there might be a few party members or even leaders in some parties who have expressed certain opinions - I hear there is a time Salaamu Musumba said "we can't work with these NUP guys" and so on and so forth but other leaders have reached out to us and said, look those are her views nit the party and the rest of us. So there is willingness from the bulk of the other leaders and members for us to work together and we're happy to do so." he said.

In the 11th parliament that was sworn in last week, NUP wrestled the leadership of the opposition from the FDC which it had held since 2006 when the country returned to multiparty politics. The party got 57 MPs against 32 of the FDC.


It is unfortunate that the opposition in Uganda continues to play easy ball with the political party of the NRM.

Whether it rigs national elections, or gives them dodgy money, and hits them constantly on the head they seem well prepared to take it all. In terms of a viable policy to lead this country, the opposition seems out of it.

For the country of Buganda, with such a political dilemma on its territory, the Ganda elders must meet and sit down so that they can plan a better way forward for the Ancient State Kingdom of Buganda.






Wano e Buganda, okuzimba amasiro ga Bassekabaka e Kasubi guludde nyo, naye guzimbibwa kakati emyaka 8:

Republished 17th May, 2020


By World Media


Inside the largest grass made hut in the world, Uganda.


  First Published November, 2017

Omulimu gw’okuzaawo amasiro ga Bassekabaka ba Buganda e Kasubi Nabulagala, ogubadde ogutambula bulungi, ate gwazeemu okwesiba. Kino nga kyabaddewo oluvannyuma lw’akulira omulimu guno, Mw. Jonathan Nsubuga, okusindika abakozi abazimba mu luwummula olutali lwa bbanga gere, kubanga Mengo egaanyi okuta ssente z’okubasasula.

Okusinziira ku nsonda BugandaWatch zeyesiga obulungi, abakozi abazimba basuubizibwa okusasulwanga mu budde. Kyokka kati babanja omusaala okumala ennaku 10 nga ssente zibuze. Mw. Nsubuga, kwekusalawo okubayimiriza okumala ebbanga eritali ggere kubanga Mengo emutegeeza nti terina ssente zakubasasula.

Okuzaawo amasiro ga Bassekabaka ba Buganda kubadde kutambula bulungi okumala ebbanga era ng’omulimu omunene ogw’okusiba ebizizi gubadde gusuubirwa okuggwa mu December was 2017 (Ssoma: Omulimu gwa masiro ge Kasubi gudduka, mbu Katikkiro gy’ayagala okuteeka embaga ya Mazaalibwa ga Kabaka).

Okusalawo kwa Mengo okuyimiriza okusasula abakozi abazimba Muzibu Azaala Mpanga kutegeeza nti n’omulimu gw’okusereka, ogubadde gusuubirwa okutandika mu January wa 2018 nagwo guyinza okulemesebwa.

Guno ssi gwe mulundi ogusoose omulimu gw’okuzaawo amasiro okuyimilira olw’ebbula ly’ensimbi, wadde nga Katikkiro JB Walusimbi yaleka alaze nti kumpi ssente zonna ezeetagisa okumaliriza okuzimba weeziri. Ate oluvannyuma ne Katikkiro Mayiga yennyini nakungaanya obuwumbi obusukka 10 mu kukingo ky’Ettofaali, kyeyatandika n’omulamwa gw’okumaliriza amasiro.

 Abaganda bonna BugandaWatch beyayogeddeko nabo ku nsonga za Kasubi baalaze nti eby’amasiro  okuggwa tebakyabirinamu suubi. Omu kubo, eyagambye nti ye Muzamiru Ssebuyira, yavunaanye ba Jjajja abakulu b’ebika. Yagambye nti, “Empeewo za ba Jjajja ba Buganda zifuuwa busungu. Kale Abataka bakkiriza batya ba nnamawanga okusensera ebika byaffe nebatuuka n’okubakkiriza okwefuga omulimu gw’okuzaawo Kasubi? Bekikwataako bwebataave mu kutyoboola nnono empeewo ziyinza okubajjako obuyinza obutono ennyo bwebalina”.

Kinajjukirwa nti nga 17 May 2017, Katikkrio Mayiga yakyatukiiriza eri empapula z’amawulire mu Uganda nti, mu 2013 yalimba Kabaka mu bugenderevu bweyamusubiza nti amasiro gaali gajja kuggwa mu mwaka gumu (Ssoma: Mayiga proudly says in a recording that he intentionally lied to Baganda and Kabaka about Kasubi Tombs).








Wano e Buganda, Bbanka eraalise omugagga wa Senana okutwala ebyapa byettaka lya Buganda byeyasingayo okwewola omusimbi omuyitirivu enyo:

By Musasi wa Bukedde


Added 6th July 2019


OMUGAGGA wa w’omu Kampala, Fridah Nabirongo, nannyini Senana Investments Ltd, asattira oluvannyuma lwa bbanka ya Standard Chartered Bank, okumulaalika okutwala ebyobugagga bwe byonna ssinga aba tabasasudde ssente ze bamubanja, obuwumbi 32, mu nnaku ttaano.


Ekizimbe kya Senana ekiri ku Buganda Road. 


Nabirongo, agamba nti, ssente ezimubanjibwa tamanyi ngeri gye zaaweramu kubanga waliwo obukodyo bungi aba bbanka bwe bazze bakola n’ekigendererwa ky’omutwalako ebintu bye.


Agamba nti yeekubira enduulu mu kkooti y’ebyobusuubuzi kyokka omusango gubadde gukyagenda mu maaso ate aba bbanka ne bamuweereza ebiwandiiko nga bamugamba nti ebintu bye bagenda kubitwala bw’aba tabasasudde mu nnaku ttaano.

Agamba nti mu kusooka yali yeewola ssente obuwumbi 20, n’obukadde 500, okuva mu bbanka y’omugagga Sudhir Ruparelia, eya Crane Bank (eyaggalwa), kyokka olw’obwetaavu bwe yalina, yali yeetaaga ssente endala okutambuza emirimu gy’okumaliriza ekizimbe kye ekiri ku luguudo lwa Buganda Road. Yatuukirira aba bbanka ya Standard Chartered Bank, ne bakkiriza nti, basobola okusasula bbanka ya Crane Bank, ne bamwongera ssente z’ayagala.


“Aba Crane Bank baali bampa emyaka kkumi okusasuliramu looni yaabwe, kyokka oluvannyuma nneewuunya aba Standard Chartered Bank okulaba nga ku biwandiiko byabwe baali bampadde ennaku 150 gy’emyezi etaano okusasuliramu obuwumbi mukaaga n’obukadde 500,” Nabirongo, bwe yategeezezza.


Omukyala Omugagga Nabirongo


Ayongerako nti, mu kwewola mu Crane Bank, yasingayo ekyapa kya poloti y’oku Buganda Road, (FRV 355 Folio 21 plot 21-27) era kye kyapa kye kimu kye yasinga mu Standard Chartered Bank bwe yali egula looni ya Crane Bank.

“Kyokka waliwo ssente endala ze nnali nsabye mu bbanka Crane Bank obuwumbi obulala mukaaga ne sizifuna nga bandwisa. Waliwo bbulooka wa Standard Chartered Bank gwe nayogerako naye n’antegeeza nti, bbo basobola okumpa ssente zino singa mbongera ebimu ku byapa byange ne mbawa ebyapa ku ttaka lyange okuli, Kibuga Block 3 Poloti 57, 701 ne 702 e Makerere ne Kibuga Block 20 poloti 1067 e Busega kyokka ssente tebazimpanga ate ng’ebyapa nabiwaayo”, Nabirongo bwe yategeezezza.

Nabirongo alaajanidde abakulu ba Bbanka ya Uganda Enkulu, Pulezidenti Museveni n’abalala abakwatibwako okuvaayo bamutaase, kubanga bbanka eyagala kutwala eby’obuggagga bwe nga teyise mu mitendera mituufu.

Ayongerako nti waliwo lwe baasisinkana Gen. Salim Saleh, ng’abasuubuzi mu Kampala, olw’am’abanja agaali gabatuuse mu bulago era n’abasuubiza okubayamba kyokka bakanze kulinda naye nga tebayambibwa.

Omugagga wa Senana ayongerako nti buli mwezi abadde asasula ku bbanja lya bbaanka eno ssente 700,000,000/-, kyokka oluvannyuma yakizuula nga waliwo obukujjukujju abakola mu bbanka eno lwe baakola mu biwandiiko bwe baali bamuwa looni yaabwe ne bongeramu ssente n’obukwakkulizo bw’ataategeera.

Agamba nti waliwo ebyapa ebirala bisatu bye yali yateeka mu bbanka ya Orient, nti kyokka aba bbanka ya Standard Chartered Bank yabakkiriza okugendayo bafune ssente mu linnya lye bbiriyoni emu ne zigenda ku ddibu eryali ku akawunti ye mu Standard Chartered Bank eyo ddiiru n’eggwa.

Ayongera okugamba nti, yali asuubira okumwongera ssente bbiriyoni nga mu ddiiru eno bbanka ya Orient Bank eba yeegatta butereevu, ku musingo gw’ekyapa (awali ekizimbe kya Senana) nga buli ssente z’alina okuzzaayo Orient Bank yali efunako ebitundu 15 ku buli 100 ate ezisigadde nga za Standard Chartered Bank.

“Ebintu byatandika okuntabula nga sikyategeera bigenda mu maaso. Nnawandiikira abakulira Standard Chartered Bank naye tebanziramu ate nga ne bbulooka eyakolanga ku looni zange nga bbanka eno yagivaamu dda”, Nabirongo bw’ayongerako.

Nabirongo agamba nti mu kiseera kino yasazeewo kufumba mmere na migaati, okusobola okubeerawo olw’ensonga nti embeera gy’alimu nzibu ddala.

“Teebereza kati abandeetera ebintu bye ntunda mu dduuka bampola biwole, oluvannyuma ne ntetenkanya okubasasula”, Nabirongo bwe yategeezezza.

Ayongerako nti, alina abakozi b’akozesa abasukka mu 100, kati emirimu gyabwe giri mu lusuubo ate nga y’omu ku basinga okusasula emisolo mu ggwanga.

“Nagendako mu Uganda Development Bank (UDB) Gavumenti gye yassaawo okusobola okuyamba abasuubuzi nga basasula amagoba matono naye nayo nagendayo ne sifuna kuyambibwa kwonna. Nsaba Gavumenti eveeyo ennyambe nneme kufiirwa bintu byange bye nkoledde emyaka emingi nga sirina gwe nzibye, bireme kutwalibwa”, bw’agamba.


Mwe abagagga abakungu bemukabira okubaddukirira bajja kubugenyi nga nekuba empafu tebajilina. Mpozzi era mwe mubawaana obugagga, bayoole ku musolo ffenna gwetusasula bakuddukirire owewereko akasaeera akatono.


Gwe nyabo oli mukazanyo kakutunda byapa bya Buganda wekkusse mu business yo okutuusa di. Tomanyi nti oli wakuvaawo nga bajjajja baffe Abaganda abangi bwebavaawo naye ate ettaka lya Buganda lyo nerisigalawo nga bwetwalisanga? Neboliguza nabo bakugenda ettaka lidizibwe Obuganda. Kasita olina ettaka wano e Buganda webanakuteeka obugazi fuuti 4 nekitundu ate obuwanvu fuuti 8 oba 9.


Nze nkuwa gabwerere. Nga bwogambye nti agent wa Bank eno Enzungu bweyakutwala wewole, teyakuvunulira bulungi ebyaali biwandikiddwa kumpapula zendagaano nga wewola. Olabika olulimi oluzungu tewalusoma okulumalayo ate nga yo bank lwekozesa lwokka. Gendayo obagambe nti sente wazikozesa bulungi  tewadduka nazo nobulawo nga abasubuzi abasinga wano Mu Uganda bwebakola.  Era sente ziri mu kizimbe nga buli muntu yenna bwakiraba era obawe plan bwoyinza ekizimbe ekyo okukikozesa nate nga nabo bakuyambako oba basobode, okulaba nga kileeta amagoba nokusasula sente zebakuwola. Funa ne lawyer omuganda alumirwa obuganda alina emizzi, atalulunkanira sente. Musango gwo bweweyita omugagga nga wewaana mumawulire ga Bukedde. Kuba bulungi ekifananyi kyebyenfuna ekiriwo bukya wewola sente nga bwekiri ekizibu enyo ekikyakulemeseza okusasula obulungi sente za bank eyo. Bebaze okuba abagumikiriza enyo. Abakyala mumanyi okwogera amazima amatono ko era gewetaga okwogera nyabo. 







The African liberators of the 1980s have become modern millennium despots on the African continent:











NRA soldiers march to Kampala on January 25, 1986 after overthrowing Gen Tito Okello-Lutwa. FILE PHOTO 


9 June, 2019 

By Arthur Bwadene Baraka

Today we celebrate Heroes’ Day to commemorate the commitment, bravery and sacrifices exhibited and/or made by the men and women of NRM/A during the Bush War between 1981 and 1986.
They obviously had very strong motivation for undertaking such an extremely risky venture, wrought with too many uncertainties. Indeed, many never survived the bushes of Luweero.

Justification for the war
Whereas some fertile minds have claimed that Mr Museveni had always had his sights on State House, possibly from his teens, and was determined to get there by hook or crook, the ‘Sabalwanyi’(chief warrior) himself and his former ‘bushmen’ advanced the alleged rigging of the 1980 elections by Dr Milton Obote’s UPC party as the major reason or trigger.

Aside from the rigged elections, however, Mr Museveni has always expressed strong reservations about the leadership credentials – ideological clarity – of past Ugandan leaders and, indeed, most African leaders. He has always accused them of ideological bankruptcy, which he argues is characterised by mis-definition of problems.

The NRM/A super medicine
Thus, NRM, which President Museveni has described as unique, being nationalistic, patriotic, non-sectarian, non-chauvinistic, transformational, pan-Africanist, and very serious on purpose, came in with what it considered its super medicine for Uganda’s problems. 
This was in the form a 10-Point Programme. Key among them included: (1) Restoration of democracy; (2) Ensuring security of persons and property; (3) Elimination of sectarianism and consolidating national unity; and, (4) Elimination of corruption.

Thus, motivated by his decisive victory against the past retrogressive, reactionary forces in January 1986, the young revolutionary leader, who was riding on a crest or popularity and goodwill, having delivered Ugandans from the state of chaos and anarchy that prevailed at the time, declared shortly after being sworn in January 29, 1986 that: “No one should think that what is happening today is a mere change of guard; it is a fundamental change in the politics of our country”.

He went on to assure Ugandans and the rest of the World that was closely watching the developments thus: “It is … our deliberate policy to ensure that we lift the quality of politics in our country. We are quite different from the previous people in power who encouraged evil instead of trying to fight it.”

Well, history is not short of revolutionaries that came promising heaven on earth but as soon as they captured power, fall prey to its corrupting influence.

Chairman Mao Tsetung, the revolutionary leader of China, cautioned viz: “With victory, certain moods may grow within the party – arrogance, the airs of self-styled hero, inertia and unwillingness to make progress, love of pleasure and distaste for continued hard living. With victory, the people will be grateful to us and the bourgeoisie will come forward to flatter us … the flattery of the bourgeoisie may conquer the weak willed in our ranks. There may be some … who were not conquered by enemies with guns and were worthy of the name of heroes … but who cannot withstand sugar-coated bullets; they will be defeated by sugar-coated bullets.”

Now, the question of the day is: Have our NRM heroes been able to resist the flattery of the bourgeoisie and withstand sugar-coated bullets?
My scope or terms of reference will be restricted to how true they have remained to the ideals they have preached from the beginning with specific emphasis on their bravery and commitment in the face of the aforementioned temptations – bourgeoisie flattery and sugar-coated bullets as Chairman Mao put it.

Election rigging ‘resisters’ turned ‘riggers’!
Perhaps, the very first test in this context relates to the reasons advanced by our NRM heroes for resorting to arms to settle political issues – the alleged rigging of the 1980 elections by Obote and his UPC.

Never mind that it was the DP that was supposed to have won those elections and not our ‘Sabalwanyi’ and his UPM, that only managed to win one seat in the 120 plus parliament. And, that feat was pulled off by Dr Crispus Kiyonga in Kasese. The people of Kiruhura, or some place thereabout, rejected ‘Sabalwanyi’ in favour of current Foreign Affairs minister Sam Kutesa.

That aside, what has been the record of our NRM heroes in terms of conducting credible elections and pulling off clean, uncontested wins? Well, we might all know that nearly all the last four elections have been seriously contested, with Mzee’s opponents, the principle ones of whom have been his former Bush War colleagues, going to court at least twice, alleging gross irregularities and massive rigging.

The courts concurred that there were serious irregularities and clear indications of rigging only that there wasn’t enough evidence to suggest that those irregularities and/or rigging was not substantive enough to alter the overall result. As for the 1980 elections we never had the opportunity to get to know such nitty-gritty.

Relevant to this discourse, however, is what motivates our former freedom fighters cum Bush War heroes, who went to the ‘bush’ because of rigging elections, to engage in the same practice in such a blatant and flagrant manner. Doubtless, it all has to do with the allure, comfort and trappings that go with political offices, more so, State House. Former Ugandan president, Godfrey Binaisa, QC, is quoted to have said, “Entebbe ewoma!” (The chair or throne is really sweet). Talk of sugar-coated bullets!


From freedom fighters to despots
The very first area of concern in the 10-Point Programme was restoration of democracy. At that 1986 swearing in ceremony, the NRM leader declared that: “The people of Africa – the people of Uganda – are entitled to democratic government. It is not a favour from any government.”

Well, democracy is generally recognised to mean government by the people’s genuine representatives as validated by their genuine and free consent. Genuine democracy has well known and generally recognised ingredients or means and ends.

In brief, these include: (1) government controlled by the people, that remains always accountable to the people; (2) protection of individual rights and freedoms which include freedoms and rights to/from life, liberty, conscience, free choice of work, assembly and association, expression and inhuman treatment; (3) good electoral laws; (4) genuine periodic elections; (5) an honest, competent and non-partisan electoral body; (6) regular terms of office fixed by law, among others; and, (7) separation of powers between the different arms of government.

Clearly, using such internationally recognised standards, the democratic credentials of our NRM heroes, who came assuring us that democratic government is not a favour from any regime, are very questionable. The tendency for the NRM in power has always been to create a semblance of democracy without practicing actual, meaningful democracy.

For one, the NRM leader-cum-‘chief hero’ conducts himself, and is treated by some of those around him, as if he is the alpha and omega of everything. He is above the law and above all institutions. He only accords them due regard when it suits him. Taking advantage of the NRM majority, Parliament effectively operates at the behest and pleasure of the President.

Whenever contentious issues are to be debated in Parliament, the President-cum-NRM chairperson summons the NRM MPs and via inducements or threats aligns them to his preferred positions. The views of their electorates do not matter.

In reality, NRM MPs are not accountable to their electorates but to the NRM chairperson / President. Consequently, whatever happens in Parliament is a mere formality; it is much more of a rehearsed circus. When Opposition MPs remain stubborn, Special Forces commandoes are brought in to batter sense into their reactionary heads!

Thus, even the cardinal principle of separation of powers in democratic governance is rendered idle. Sometimes, the President has gone to the extent of attempting to issue instructions to the Judiciary. We saw this not so long ago over the matter of bail. Memories of the invasion of the High Court by the then so-called Black Mambas to re-arrest suspects released by the court may still be fresh in many peoples’ minds! But, somehow, the rigid and technical nature of the Judiciary has insulated it from interference by the Executive.

Instead of being fought and eliminated or reduced, undemocratic tendencies have instead been progressively building up. The political playing field has been seriously tilted in favour of the incumbent. Deliberate mechanisms have been put in place and actions taken to sabotage Opposition elements from freely, fairly and effectively putting up a credible challenge. This has ranged from laws such as the Public Order and Management Act (POMA), that seriously curtail their ability to organise and assemble, to direct harassment by State security.

As we have witnessed, in the NRM party itself it has gone to the extent of our former freedom fighters resorting to the extremely undemocratic and, even, illegal schemes of ring-fencing top party leadership positions in order to block any potential serious challenger(s).

This, notwithstanding the fact that such actions not only go against the Constitution but the party’s own rules! Could this have been imaginable in 1986? Bourgeoisie flattery and sugar-coated bullets at work!
Calls by the Opposition, civil society actors and development partners to reform our electoral laws and to have an electoral body that is seen to be free, fair and independent have been resisted by the NRM.

Overstay in power: Evil or advantage?
Way back in 1986, President Museveni is reported to have diagnosed overstaying in power as a major problem of Uganda and Africa as a whole.

He is quoted as saying: “The problem of Africa in general and Uganda in particular is not the people, but leaders who want to overstay in power.” Then sometime around 2012, he was quoted as saying: “Some people think that being in government for a long time is a bad thing. But the more you stay, the more you learn. I am now an expert in governance.”

Personally, I am not sure as to what motivated this radical transformation. Whether it is the wisdom that comes with experience and age, or the ‘entebbe ewoma’ syndrome! Or, could our visionary also have been suffering from some kind of ‘ideological obscurantism’ when he mentioned the original statement in 1986? Or, is it as a result of becoming blind, insensitive and removed from reality as one stays long and longer in power?

But then, from his own statements, ‘Sabalwanyi’ also seems to have looked around him and found no one of substance and worthy fitting in his shoes. He has told us a couple of times that he sees no one with a ‘vision’ to whom he can pass the baton.

Apparently, he is not alone in this line of thinking. Not too long ago Kampala minister Beti Kamya is quoted to have said that she finds President Museveni to be more intelligent than his entire Cabinet combined! Meanwhile, while reacting to a call on President Museveni by NRM youth leaders in 2011 for him to desist from handling petty issues and leave them to line ministries and government agencies, then Presidential Press Secretary Tamale Mirundi reasoned that, “our ministers are cowards and lack confidence to handle petty issues”. So, if they lack confidence to handle petty issues, then logically they cannot handle the bigger issues! Isn’t this what Chairman Mao would have categorised as ‘bourgeoisie flattery’?

The cancer of corruption: 
Toughest sugar-coated bullet
Perhaps, the second most trying test for our former freedom fighters, after the temptation of hanging on to power, is the question of corruption.

Whereas, President Museveni and his allies have vigorously campaigned against it right from their UPM days, on the ground there is little to show for the tough stance and all efforts dedicated to fighting it. Concerns have even been expressed by eminent persons and/or authorities that corruption is distorting the economy.

Apart from the various corruption scandals that have hit headlines over the last three decades and the censuring of some ministers, including Bush War heroes, statements made by some top NRM government leaders are quite telling as to how our heroes have been really unable to resist sugar-coated bullets.

In the course of 2005, then vice president Gilbert Bukenya, who happened to be the target of a seemingly improperly handled investigation by the Inspectorate of Government (IGG), ran to the media, crying foul, arguing that he was the target of a witch-hunt by colleagues from within the government.

He effectively blew the whistle that they were people within the government who had amassed questionable wealth and invested it in Kampala’s upscale suburbs of Nakasero, Bugolobi and Kololo. He threatened to expose them if he continued being unfairly targeted.

Intriguingly, while reacting to the VPs grievances, the IGG is reported to have said that the then Security minister Betty Akech, refused to cooperate with her staff, who had followed up on her wealth, quarrelling thus: “I am not a thief. There are many thieves in government, go and look at those one.” That is just how ugly it is!

Sectarianism and NRM double standards

Sectarianism is one of the ssm is one of the subjects that President Museveni has never tired criticising past regimes and political groups on. 
He has often reasoned, and obviously correctly so, that basing political identity on religion or tribe is very wrong. He has vigorously campaigned against sectarianism and sectarian tendencies. His lieutenants have also always sung the same song.

But then, whereas the anti-sectarian talk has been persistent and consistent, evidence on the grounds do not show that they have walked the talk. Generally, over the last three plus decades of NRM, the composition of Cabinet, top echelons of the armed services and security agencies, heads of key parastatals, Foreign Service appointments, and, indeed, most other ‘lucrative’ jobs, have never exhibited a national character.

They have always been tilted in favour of the western region. It is like our former freedom fighters-cum-Bush War heroes are always struggling to pull things homewards. Concerns have also ever come up about elements from western Ugandan and Banyarwanda who might be based elsewhere, especially Buganda, going out of the way to deliberately sabotage individuals from other areas.

Quite ironically, whoever comes out to complain about this unfair practice is the one labelled sectarian. Those practicing the same simply get away with it.


Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely
Whoever said that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely couldn’t have been more spot on. There is someone whom I don’t remember who said something like ‘If our Bush War heroes of 1986 met the ones of today, they would hardly recognise each other; they would, possibly, engage in a serious confrontation’.

Evidently, it all boils down to the corrupting influence of power. Matters are, of course, not helped by ‘bourgeoisie flattery’ and ‘sugar-coated bullets’, the temptations of which increase the higher up the political ladder one goes.
And it seems to get worse as individuals overstay. Unfortunately, even the laws that are or were put in place during early days to check against these temptations and tendencies are fiddled with to suit the interests and whims of those in power. Lord have mercy on us!

Alpha & omega
Whenever contentious issues are to be debated in Parliament, the President-cum-NRM chairperson summons the NRM MPs and via inducements or threats aligns them to his preferred positions. The views of their electorates do not matter. 
In reality, NRM MPs are not accountable to their electorates but to the NRM chairperson / President. Consequently, whatever happens in Parliament is a mere formality; it is much more of a rehearsed circus.