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    FULL RULING: NRM And Opposition MPs Speak Out On Age Limit Ruling

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    Members of Parliament from the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) and opposition have given their views on the age limit judgement that was delivered by the five constitutional court justices.

    Yesterday, the five justices who included the Deputy Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo, Justice Remmy Kasule, Justice Kenneth Kakuru, Justice Elizabeth Musoke and Justice Cheborion Barishaki, on a 4:1 majority verdict ruled that the MPs followed the law in amending Article 102(b) of the Constitution that removed the age limit on the presidency that will allow president Museveni to stand for re-election as many times as he wishes.

    Sections 2, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10 of the Constitution Amendment Act were struck out. All the five justices unanimously nullified the extension of the term of Parliament and Local Councils from 5 to 7 years.

    They said that the extension of the MPs’ term of office was done without the participation of the electorate, a move the judges said was against principles of good governance.

    The MPs led by Igara West legislator who was also the mover of presidential age limit bill Raphael Magyezi said, “I am happy with the court ruling particularly the fact that they have upheld the decision taken by Parliament to remove age limit on the office of the president and district Chairperson.

    I personally would have liked to see a decision permitting of the term of Parliament and LCs extended to seven years for practical reasons mostly because we would spend less money on elections, we make savings as a country, but it also gives us time to focus on our legislative work, other than running up and down on elections. To me, that was a key judgment which may have not been captured fully in the presentation in court.”

    The leader of opposition in Parliament Winfred Kiiza said: Does Parliamentary Commission have a garden where they grow money? They all draw from the consolidated fund. We thank Justice Kakuru for saying yes, it was tax payers’ money and those MPs who are ex-officios were not entitled to it and given the Shs29M wasn’t explained and the best thing that should have been done was to refund the money clearly so that we don’t go about wasting tax payers’ money.

    So we have decided to appeal on those aspects that weren’t brought out when someone says they didn’t prove to us that the beatings by Police and stoppage of their rallies tantamount to non-consultation. Did they want us dead? Ugandans would have felt better if they were consulted in a free and fair atmosphere without harassment, intimidation.

    Nsereko Mohammed (Kampala Central): Those MPs who thought that they would whisk their two years immorally and illegally, you have lost out. Shame on you! My huge disappointment is on the issue of age limit being maintained. To our judges, where will people run if you can’t provide justice to our people? I was waiting for celebrations of those you appeased, there are no people running around on streets or villages celebrating your judgment.

    If you had done justice, thousands of Ugandans would be on the streets celebrating the justice you had given them. You have further soiled this country into another constitutional crisis. You validated something that is immoral and illegal; life presidency, authoritarianism and you have opened the gate to tyranny.

    Ssemujju Nganda (Kira Municipality): We will have a discussion, but as a person, I have made a decision that we must appeal against this case because part of the benefit is to keep this debate alive, the moment we fold hands and go home, because that is what Museveni wanted that this debate is closed. We must make sure that this debate isn’t closed. We will debate these judges, the same way we debate Museveni because they have betrayed this country.

    Theodore Ssekikubo (Lwemiyaga County): What is at stake is that we saw it coming, but in the moment of excitement, they couldn’t listen and that is very disturbing. Matters regarding the constitution don’t necessarily require having the majority. The majority isn’t always the benchmark for a proper and cool constitutional making.

    There are no winners or losers in this matter, but we as Parliament have been made to look bad and there is only one winner who is President Yoweri Museveni. President Museveni wanted his lifting of age limit and he has gotten it, but MPs who thought by accompanying it under the extension of the term have fallen flat. In their faces.

    And that should be a stark reminder given the circumstances, MPs should be true to their conscience.

    Mathias Mpuuga (Masaka Municipality): Colleagues were all inclined to take up this matter for selfish interest and future Parliament, future leaders should not make this mistake but rather respect the population and rule of law and help us engender the culture that entrench the rule of law.

    I don’t know how you pretend from a vote because a vote is out of conscience. I warned the members, when they moved to amend the constitution and term of Parliament that it is unconstitutional.

    Sylvia Akello NRM (Otuke Woman): I am happy with the judges and I pray they remain sober minded and they rule according to the knowledge that they have. For me, from the beginning, I had accepted to be a representative of the people to be the voice of the voiceless because almost 100% of them said we shouldn’t come and touch it.

    The subject of 7years wasn’t there when we were going to consult and at the end of the day, you begin making law for yourself! From the bottom of my heart, I am very happy, whether I come back to the 11th Parliament or not, I have left a legacy, now people aren’t thinking about legacy, they are thinking about their stomach, that is why people were making it a do or die.

    Michael Timuzigu (Kajara County): The judges are very right for refusing the 2year extension because our contract was for 5years not 7years.

    Beatrice Anywar (Kitgum Municipality): I have faith in the ruling of the judgment and I have to abide by their decisions. If they have thrown out the decisions made by Parliament because we have to run by rule on law in this country. If the 7year extension had been approved by the court, I would have also benefitted from it, let people not lie to you that they aren’t interested in having their tenure extended, they are just lying to you. All these MPs you see, they are excited about the 7year term and not only MPs but also Local Government leaders.

    Robert Migadde (NRM Buvuma Island): I think court for not granting the 7year term because not all of us supported the extension and the handsard is there to attest to the views of MPs. Personally, I voted against the extension of the life of the current Parliament because I felt it wasn’t being done very objectively and it wasn’t being done in so much good faith and in the interest of the public. The extension was something being done irregularly.

    Lutamaguzi Semakula (Nakaseke county North): Let this be a lesson to the NRM MPs that have been laying their bodies and brains for President Museveni, he is a chameleon that can change anytime. The man has used so many people and dumped them, he turned them into sugarcane, after chewing, and dumps them.

    I want to tell NRM MPs that before you carry the luggage given to carry by President Museveni, first check and find out what is inside it. But these people, before they even check what is inside the luggage, they first start negotiating the price before even crosschecking what is inside.

    HERE IS THE FULL AGE LIMIT JUDGEMENT FROM THE FIVE JUSTICES

    AgeLimitJudgment_Mbale20180726

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    NATIONAL

    FDC’s Amuriat Narrates How Besigye Forced Him To Meet Bobi Wine At Minister Ssebugwawo’s Home Before 2021 Elections…

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    NUP boss Bobi Wine (L) withDr.Kizza Besigye (R).Inset is Eng. Patrick Amuriat the FDC Najjanankumbi faction boss

    The president of Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) Najjanankumbi function Patrick Amuriat Oboi has narrated how four times presidential candidate Dr. Kizza Besigye threatened him hence forcing him to meet National Unity Platform(NUP) president Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu (Bobi Wine) before the 2021 general elections.

    Amuriat revealed that Besigye summoned him together with Nathan Nandala Mafabi the party Secretary General and Joyce Nabbosa Ssebugwawo the former party vice president in charge of Buganda for an emergency meeting and because of the respect they have for him, they all attended the meeting.

    In the meeting, Amuriat claims that Besigye told them that he had made a political calculation by then and discovered that the only person who can bring political change in Uganda and overthrow Museveni’s government is Bobi Wine.

    He added that Besigye told them that FDC has to work with Bobi Wine and use his political base which is full of youths to force Museveni out of power.

    Amuriat disclosed that he did not allow them to give their side of the story.

    “Let me speak about this for the first time, Dr. Besigye told us that his proposal is not negotiable and we should follow what he was telling us to do. My friend Nandala Mafabi protested but Besigye told him that he does not care about his protest and if he declines to meet Bobi Wine, it is going to be the end of his cooperation with him,” Amuriat said.

    He further revealed that the meeting took place at Nabbosa’s home.

    Amuriat added that he pleaded with a furious Nandala to join themand they meet Bobi Wine as Besigye had asked them but he refused arguing that Besigye wanted to sell their party to Bobi Wine.

    Amuriat said that because of the respect he had for Besigye, he decided to meet Bobi Wine who also came at Nabbosa’s home.

    During the meeting, Besigye repeated his political calculations asking Bobi Wine to feel free and work with FDC which Bobi Wine accepted.

    However, he asked Amuriat why he was silent for the entire one and half hours without submitting anything or telling them whether he and his party were ready to work together.

    He told them that since he is just a president of the party, he needs time to consult his party leadership.

    He said that when he told other party members of what had happened in the meeting, they all advised him to concentrate on planning for his party because they were going to field a presidential candidate in the 2021 presidential race.

    “I was not surprised when Besigye, the person I campaigned for all the four times he stood for presidency and even lost my parliamentary seat refused to campaign for me in 2021,” Amuriat said.

    When I went to campaign in Kira municipality, our former party spokesperson Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda hid from me. Kampala Lord Mayor Ssalongo Erias Lukwago also did the same thing. I was told that they hid because they feared to associate with me to annoy Bobi Wine,” Amuriat added.

    He confirmed that he felt betrayed by his party members who decided to hide from him at the time when he needed them most.

    He further said that they openly welcomed Lukwago with open hands after he assured them that he was coming to their party with over 100,000 supporters from Kampala city and Buganda region and it was on this basis that they appointed him the national vice chairperson in charge of Buganda replacing Nabbosa who had joined NRM government as a minister.

    “Some of our members were scared with Lukwago’s coming to our party. They warned me that he was bringing trouble. But I don’t listen to them because it was a small issue. Little did I know that the man was coming to weaken our party,” Amuriat said.

    However, in defence, Ssemujju said that Amuriat threatened his political victory when he decided to drive him to the nomination place at Kyambogo knowing well that his voters were supporting Bobi Wine and didn’t vote for any candidate associated with other presidential candidates.

    “People all the way were laughing at me asking what thing I was driving but I stood my ground for the good of my people. Even at the polling station, only me and my wife Faridah were the only ones who voted for Amuriat,” Ssemujju said.

    He added that all their troubles with Amuriat and Nandala started from the dirty money he claims they picked from President Museveni to fight Bobi Wine in the 2021 general elections which Amuriat denied.

    Ssemujju and other FDC members at Katonga faction are currently on countrywide tours consulting their party members on the way forward after disagreeing with Amuriat’s Najjanankumbi faction.

    Chances are very high that Katonga function is going to establish a new political party which they plan to use as a vehicle during the coming 2026 general elections.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    OPINION: Does the opposition in Uganda ever learn from history? 2026 Coming Too Early For Warring Opposition Parties…

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    Does the opposition in Uganda ever learn from history? Counting from 1996, through 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016, 2021 and now on to 2026. The supposedly long-awaited transition from President Yoweri Museveni has eluded its promoters and will continue to do so into the future going by what’s unraveling right before our eyes.

    It’s a fact that 38 years for President Museveni in power is thanks to his ingenuity, tact, will power, performance, organisational capacity and divine anointing. On the other side of the political coin is the “shortness” of his opponents in the same categories. The opposition has told too many lies about their capacity and President Museveni’s standing with Ugandans. Time is catching up with them!

    Current happenings inside the main opposition parties, namely; FDC and NUP are giving us an early glimpse into what to expect in the near future. If it’s not splitting into splinter groups, it will be implosion or both, and there is no way that assures the concerned parties of success in any endeavor. Even without looking at elections, operating a healthy, functional and cohesive political organisation is an achievement, which comes with benefits in terms of competitiveness in the field of play.

    Presently, FDC is a shadow of its former self. First, Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu who had been its chief organizer and president at some point, defected to start his own party, ANT. He took with him some of FDC’s big wigs and members.

    As he departed, he prophesied that time would, contrary to accusations leveled against him, expose the real moles in his mother party.

    Then last year, time matured! After a hiatus in which he feigned lack of interest in public activity, including boycotting contesting in the 2021 elections, Besigye emerged at the head of a faction based at Katonga road (in Kampala) crying foul that the party he once headed and on whose ticket he contested for President four times, had been infiltrated and that the incumbent party President and 2021 presidential flagbearer, Patrick Amuriat Oboi and Secretary General, Nandala Mafabi, knew something about the development.

    He exposed the behind-the-scenes of the party’s 2021 elections status which by no chance could have allowed the party to fare any better. The formerly most powerful opposition party was upstaged by the new NUP which currently has majority members in the House.

    Amuriat himself came third while President Museveni won comfortably.

    Besigye didn’t campaign for Amuriat, and when last year he came out on why he didn’t feature on the campaign trail, the excuse was that “dirty money” had come into the party and he didn’t want to associate with it.

    Nevertheless, with or without whichever money, FDC slipped in its rankings and as we talk, it will only be a miracle if it doesn’t split into two-Besigye is consulting on how to form a new party. But the bad blood is literally boiling between his supporters and those of the Najjanankumbi faction. The other day they fought during the burial of activist Sarah Eperu in Ngora.

    Daily, they are exchanging bitter words and accusations, all the while exposing their dirty linen which can only leave party members embarrassed and regretting their choice of belonging. Going into 2026, it means that what was left of FDC supporters in 2021 after the emergence of NUP and ANT will again be shared between Besigye and whoever remains of the official party will front.

    On the other hand, NUP which displaced FDC is equally in turmoil, with the membership split between party president, Kyagulanyi Sentamu (Bobi Wine) and former LOP, Matthias Mpuuga. The latter is “accused” of benefiting from a service award and he has stood his ground and defended himself. A defector from DP, Mpuuga was already targeted by the radical wingers in NUP apparently for being moderate in his approach.

    Without elders at hand to mediate some of these differences, NUP will struggle to survive an internal split. At a time when building structures and setting a clear policy agenda would help set its roots, the quarrels and fights will certainly do the opposite.

    Why is money such a disorganising factor in these parties? It has to do with absence of a strong programme and ideology to unite members and to sell to Ugandans. Absence of ideas creates room for shallowness, gossip, intrigue, suspicion and faultfinding which recipe is disastrous for any organised group. If the trend continues, we know who will not make much of 2026.

    President Museveni prophesied and warned us about the functionality of political parties in societies still on the mend. It’s a dangerous game which creates fertile ground for dividing our people. If members of the same parties are hard on each other as we see in NUP and FDC, how hard are they on those belonging to other parties? Why can’t we learn from the post-independence era and the errors of political groups which worked for narrow interests as opposed to national causes?

    At various intervals, there have been attempts to build coalitions and unifying pressure groups. On each occasion, I have predicted that such coalitions cannot hold since there is nothing in common between the allying partners except fighting to remove President Museveni from power.

    Every single time they try and fail the public loses trust in them and retreats to the President’s side. As we talk, the fights in opposition parties are benefitting NRM. I have personally received lines of defectors approaching me to take them to the President, some with sensitive and intriguing secrets indicating why they are running away from sinking ships.

    2026 is coming too early for warring opposition parties. Time will reveal it!

     

    Faruk Kirunda is the Deputy Press Secretary to the President of Uganda

    Contact: kirundaf2@gmail.com

    0776980486/0783990861

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    War For Kampala Lord Mayor Seat Deepens As NUP’s Mulyanyama Takes Advantage Of Lukwago’s Sickness And Asks Voters To Senf Him Into Retirement…

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    Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago (R) with his nemesis Ali Kasirye Mulyanyama (inset)

    During Eid prayers at Kibuli, Kampala city Lord Mayor Ssalongo Erias Lukwago pleaded with the Muslim titular leader Dr. Prince Kassim Nakibinge Kakungulu to intervene and stop fellow politicians who are using his sickness as a political weapon to de-campaign him.

    Lukwago said that his political enemies have been moving around asking Kampala voters not to vote for him come 2026 claiming that he is a sick man who need to take a rest from politics and who no longer has the energy to fight President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.

    Lukwago’s close friends told theGrapevine that the man from Kabungo in Kalungu district pleaded to Prince Nakibinge to talk to National Unity Platform’s Makindye Division mayor Ali Kasirye Mulyanyama who is moving around at public functions telling voters not vote Lukwago come 2026 because Kampala struggles need energetic people like himself.

    Mulyanyama not only stopped voters but also assured KCCA football club leadership that very soon, he is coming back into the leadership ranks of club leadership as the club’s patron because when one becomes the Lord Mayor, he automatically becomes the club patron.

    When contacted, Mulyanyama boasted that he is bad news to Lukwago and he is giving him sleepless nights. He advised him to retire or else he will not manage the political pressure he is exerting on him.

    “You know, nowadays since I declared my interest to stand for Lord Mayor seat, he no longer responds to my greetings. But I will not be scared of his intimidation and his cries for sympathy to the public. I’m telling you come 2026, I will ask him to retire,” Mulyanyama boasted.

    He challenged Lukwago to tell the public the right disease he is suffering from claiming that when he was in Nairobi hospital in early this month, he said that he was suffering from a back bone but when he returned, he showed the public that the pain was in his neck that is why he always covers it.

    He told Lukwago that Kampala voters will no longer fall prey to his political tricks of hoodwinking them to vote for him as a way of sympathizing with him without examining his previous performance.

    Lukwago is under pressure because Bobi Wine’s elder brother Fred Nyanzi Ssentamu, David Lewis Rubongoya the Secretary General of the National Unity Platform (NUP) and others have declared interest to contest against him.

    Since 2011, Lukwago has been Kampala city Lord Mayor and he still wants to be voted back in office come 2026.

    Lukwago rubbished Mulyanyama’s allegation that sickness has weakened him and he no longer has energy to fight for the people of Kampala.

    He also boasted that the people of Kampala know the qualities they want in a Lord Mayor and because he has them all, he is going to use them to defeat all his opponents come 2026.

     

    By Hadijjah Namagembe

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