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    HIGHLIGHTS FROM BESIGYE’S NEW YEAR MESSAGE: Ugandans should brace themselves for tougher times…

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    Fellow Ugandans, we have concluded 2017; a year marked by a handful of successes but also monumental failure by the Museveni/NRM regime.

    It has been largely a year of belief and uncertainty; of depressing and frightening moments, but as a people of great optimism, we have prevailed all through moments of sadness and pain, and relished our moments of joy, jubilation and rare achievements. The  participation of Uganda Cranes at the Africa Cup of Nations after 39yrs was a joyous moment. Together, we celebrated their successes during qualification and cheered the boys in Gabon.

    The She Cranes  won the 2017 Africa Netball championship following their 2015 World Cup success in Australia.

    However, 2017, witnenessed low moments and huge embarrassments.

    The low moments came with the Doctors strike and the continued mismanagement of the health system by the Museveni regime. The doctors strike was a result of years of ignoring their pleas for better pay and good working conditions.

    The state of our healthcare system is appalling: underfunding to the sector, critical shortage of health workers, low pay, severe shortage of tools and equipment for effective diagnostic and treatment, shortage of drugs, lack of quality laboratory services and brain drain.

    The biggest casualty of the bad healthcare system is primary and maternal healthcare. This  has contributed to high infant and maternal mortality rates in Uganda.

    We have a duty to protect our expectant mothers and ensure the children they give birth to grow to become responsible citizens. Teachers, Lecturers, Prosecutors , Judges and Magistrates, Local Government leaders went on  strike or threatened to strike over poor pay.

    I also recognize that members of our security forces (Prisons, Police and UPDF)  are among the least paid public servants in Uganda. Our public servants deserve better.

    The road carnage reached its peak in 2017. Several accidents occurred on major roads- especially  Masaka road- claiming many lives.

    While Police blamed the accidents on reckless driving, they ignored mention of the standards of our roads. Although the Ministry of Works has a department for Construction Standards and Quality Assurance, the roads constructed under the Museveni regime do not match with increasing traffic and so cannot guarantee safety of travelers. They pose a great risk to effective road transport, yet,  by far, this is the most common and affordable form of transport in Uganda.

    Many of our children dropped out of school or failed to sit for their promotional end of year exams because their parents could not raise the required fees and many still  lack basic human necessities like food, clean water, clothing and shelter.

    The allegations of corruption against Sam Kuteesa, which was reportedly planned and executed on US soil while he served as President of the United Nations General Assembly brought shame onto our country.  Soliciting for, and accepting a 1.8bn bribe to help a Chinese  firm secure business privileges in Uganda contravenes official code of conduct for any nations top diplomat. Kuteesa and Mr. Museveni, who received gifts from the Chinese business dealers all brought shame to our country.

    2017  was also a year where many citizens were murdered in cold blood leaving behind many orphans, widows and a timid society. But the heartless murder of AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi had the greatest chilling effect: as the 2nd most powerful officer in the Police hierarchy, the target and manner of execution was terrifying.

    Interestingly,  most of the murders happened in Kampala Metropolitan where the greatest percentage of the regime’s security and intelligence apparatus is concentrated.

    The failure to protect citizens, at best exposes the inherent weaknesses of the national security system, and worst shows the system itself is infiltrated by rogues and criminals with capacity to cause havoc.

    Of course, the year 2017 started against   background of horrific, state-inspired violence and gruesome massacre of people of Rwenzururu Kingdom.

    The effects of the two day joint UPDF and Police assault against Rwenzururu Kingdom loyalists will remain another deep sore on our country.

    Besides crippling the Kingdom, exiling and placing Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere under house arrest in Kampala, over 100 men (and an unknown number of children), mostly his loyal subjects were murdered in cold blood.

    We are pursuing an Independent and impartial inquest conducted by persons and organizations with international expertise, so that in the end those responsible for the massacre are held accountable.

    The men who were charged with murder, terrorism and treason seen  with wounds inflicted onto them by the attackers are victims not perpetrators of the massacre.

    Justice for the victims of the Kasese tragedy, like  those of other violent conflicts in our country, will come through establishment of truth-telling, justice and reconciliation process.

    During the year 2017, more than 3 million Ugandans were directly hit by hunger and nearly 10million experienced food shortage. This huge national crisis was a result of decades of poor planning, relentless destruction of the environment and perpetual under-funding to the Agriculture sector.

    As People’s Government, with limited resources, we mobilized some food supplies for the affected people of Isingiro and Katakwi while people of Apaa in Amuru received both food supplies  and some household items because they were  starving and displaced.

    With December harvests in most parts of Uganda, there is likely to be some relief but the problem will persist.  Uganda does not have national storage facilities to act as food reserves. National reserves would  help to stabilize food prices during periods of shortage.

    My prediction is that we shall,  continue to experience food crises unless  we make deliberate plans at the earliest moment to establish the reserves.

    Besides high food prices, 2018 will see higher prices for virtually all commodities and utilities. Fuel prices will likely go up, electricity tariffs will go up, water bills have already been increased and generally the cost of living will be unbearably higher for ordinary citizens, yet  majority  have no jobs while the few with jobs will remain underpaid

    The business community will bear the brunt of the regime’s overtaxation policy to raise enough resources largely to rent and finance it’s expanded patronage network. Living standards and people’s incomes will continue to decline.

    The UBOS report that  indicated an increase in overall poverty levels from 19% to 27% should be a matter of greater concern in 2018.  The economy will continue to struggle as a result of slower growth- dismally slower than 2017.   The economic volatility arises  out of years of mismanagement  and weak  Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows.

    The collapse of Crane Bank in 2017, months before the regulator Bank of Uganda took over it’s management, acclaimed as one of the top four commercial banks in Uganda, should be a remainder that failure to  conduct thorough supervision on the industry can have catastrophic consequences.

    The Central Bank must reform and strengthen its supervisory mechanisms to ensure the banking sector is protected.  However It is not only the wellness of citizens that is a crisis but rather, the very existence and survival of the state.

    Days before Christmas and end of year, the supremacy of our fragile constitutional order and the integrity of the constitution were destroyed.  317 MPs, working against strict instructions of 85% of Ugandans, motivated and inspired by greed on one hand  and  ignorance of implications of their actions, voted against the constitution they swore an oath to protect and defend.

    We have a duty to carefully reflect on the actions of Members of Parliament, interrogate their political motivation, make appropriate plans to remedy their error and restore our constitution.

    Where necessary,  we shall have to put enduring safeguards that will make it impossible to alter it at the slightest call of a dictator.

    As we get into the new year, let us show empathy to those in pain; share the least we have with the needy; extend love and compassion to everyone; forgive those who have wronged us and commit to be selfless in pursuit of our individual and national interests.

    Let us seek a new life of purity and devotion, free from hatred, anger and selfishness.

    Happy New Year!

    Kizza Besigye

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    NEWS

    Mukono Municipality In Crisis After NUP Mayor Nkoyoyo Is Admitted To Mulago Hospital Without Money For Treatment…

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    Bedridden Mukono Municipality mayor Erisa Mukasa Nkoyoyo. Inset is the area MP Betty Nambooze

    Mukono Municipality legislator Betty Nambooze Bakireke has confirmed that the Municipality’s mayor Erisa Mukasa Nkoyoyo has been admitted to Mulago Specialised Hospital.

    Nambooze explained that last week, she went to hospital to check on him and discovered that his health condition was worsening.

    She said that Nkoyoyo needs very expensive medicine which he has to buy from one of the big pharmacies near the hospital because inside the hospital the medicine is not there.

    She added that because of the expensive medicine, Nkoyoyo is buying it in piecemeal which places his life in more danger.

    She disclosed that the Municipality has no money for his treatment.

    Few months back, theGrapevine reported how Mukono Municipality town clerk Majeran Luboyera and other technocrats rushed Nkoyoyo to Butabika mental hospital but he was later discharged.

    Friends and family members cited witchcraft in Nkoyoyo’s sickness claiming that his political competitors who want his office come 2026 are the ones who want him dead.

    Luboyera confirmed that Nkoyoyo’s absence has created a leadership crisis in the Municipality because currently, it is like the Municipality has no mayor.

    Since the day Nkoyoyo decided to attend the local government retreat at Kyankwanzi leadership training, National Unity Platform principal Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu (Bobi Wine) him a betrayer.

    The party leadership stopped Nkoyoyo from attending the said retreat but he defied them and attended.

    Nkoyoyo later explained that his decision was based on his hunger to develop the Municipality and they could not achieve the development they wanted without working together with the ruling party.

     

    By Grapevine Reporter

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    NEWS

    RDC Mbabazi, Sseninde In Secret Tug Of War Over NRM Ticket For Wakiso District Woman Legislator…

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    Rosemary Nansubuga Sseninde (R) and Justine Mbabazi (L)

    The mighty Grapevine can exclusively reveal that Rosemary Nansubuga Sseninde and Justine Mbabazi are in a secret fight over the National Resistance Movement (NRM) ticket for Wakiso District Woman Member of Parliament.

    In the 2021 parliamentary election, Sseninde was defeated little known Betty Naluyima who held the National Unity Platform (NUP) ticket.

    After the defeat, President Museveni dropped her as the junior Minister for Education.

    However, because of the good relationship Sseninde has with the first lady maama Janet Kataha Museveni, she was appointed as a Director at NRM Secretariat in charge of mobilization.

    When theGrapevine asked her whether she is coming back in elective politics, she only responded with “don’t wake them up”.

    We have established that she is making clandestine mobilization to contest for the same seat come 2026.

    But political observers in Wakiso told theGrapevine that Sseninde is going to find a hard task to secure the NRM ticket because Mbabazi is also interested in the same ticket and she is also doing clandestine mobilization.

    “Mbabazi is on the ground, she always stands with people when it comes to the situation of challenges, especially on the land issues. Minister Sam Mayanja has also helped her to popularize herself because whenever he goes for a land matter, he has to go with her and praise her before the public as a very hard working lady and an NRM cadre,” one of the political observers said.

    However, Sseninde is also not sleeping. She is using her position NRM director Mobilisation to hit two birds with one stone.

    She is popularizing President Museveni’s achievements across the whole country and at the same time doing ground mobilization among the locals in Wakiso district.

    Others interested in the seat are Rose Kirabira, Sylivia Namutyaba, Naluyimba is also coming back among others.

     

    By Hadijjah Namagembe

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    NATIONAL

    INSIDE STORY: Did Speaker Among’s Power Threaten Deep State Plans On M7 Succession! Her Health Scares Family Members…

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    In the last sitting of the parliament, Speaker Annet Anita Among adjourned the House sine die and the mighty Grapevine has established that the move was intentional.

    A highly placed family source has told this website that family members, friends and her personal doctors realized that Among needs time to rest because the pressure which has been mounted on her is becoming a threat to her life.

    The decision was taken after she received a copy of the letter written by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni directing the Inspector General of Government (IGG) Beti Namisango Kamya to give him a list of the properties she declared as required by the Leaders’ Code to establish whether she did not violate the law.

    Museveni gave the directive after a short meeting with United Kingdom High Commissioner in Uganda Kate Airey at Nakasero State Lodge where she briefed him over the intended sanctions her country was set to slap on Among.

    In the said letter, Museveni stated that Kate confirmed to him that Among owns properties in United Kingdom which she obtained from corruption and they were going to be freeze all her properties together with the billions of money she keeps on UK bank accounts.

    “She needed time to rest, because as things stand, we might lose her. She has issues with her blood pressure and if it is not handled early and properly, she may develop other illnesses because she has been betrayed by people she has worked with for a long time,” a family source said.

    He explained that Among was very sure that president Museveni was going to stand with her, but she was very surprised to see the letter directing IGG to investigate her. Sources also indicated that suprisingly, Museveni did not brief Among about his meeting with Kate.

    “On Tuesday at 1000 hours, I met the British High Commissioner at her request for an urgent meeting. The meeting was at Nakasero but I was on my way to Entebbe for another meeting. I, therefore, did not have time to discuss with anybody the issue,” Museveni’s letter reads in parts.

    Among’s family members fear that Museveni’s directive to further investigate her can resulted into prosecution which will humiliate and dent her political career.

    An International Relations expert told theGrapevine that when a person is sanctioned, big international airlines can stop him or her from travelling on their planes.

    Apart from that, Among is going to face difficulties with international financial institutions especially banks because her bank accounts will be placed under a red line and most of her family members will be affected.

    International medical facilities which have connections to United Kingdom, United States of America, United Arab Emirates and other countries which are members of the European Union will also be very careful when dealing with her for fear of being isolated which can affect their businesses.

    Based on the above, Among was advised to be very careful with her health especially how she eats and stop being stressed because she will be putting her life in danger.

    However, those who understand Among very well told theGrapevine that they are not sure whether she will take a rest and look on as her enemies humiliate her and kill her political career because she is also a fighter who has gone through a lot to climb the top of Uganda’s political ladder.

    Chris Obore, Parliament’s Director for Communication and Cooperate affairs revealed that inside NRM government, there are people who feel that Among is nothing and cannot be a Speaker of parliament to lead the second arm of government.

    Obore claims that their reasoning is that Among didn’t participated in the 1980 liberation struggle that brought President Museveni’s government into power.

    They allege that she is just a new defector from Dr. Kizza Besigye’s Forum for Democratic Change (FDC).

    During the course of investigating this story, theGrapevine established that Among has been threatening the Deep State which is controlling the country’s political, social and economic affairs in their plan on who will succeed President Museveni.

    “Do you mean Theodora Ssekikubo (the Lwemiyaga county legislator) and Anderson Burora (the interdicted Lubaga Division Deputy Resident City Commissioner) were fighting and making those statement against Among on their own? Among is not in calculations of the Deep State concerning Museveni’s successor and beyond, she was very naïve to think that she can use her power as a Speaker of Parliament and a catholic to disorganize their plans. What they did was they gave her a rope and she hang herself by misusing public money to enrich herself and her husband Moses Magogo. They are now publicly discrediting her,” a source said.

    Kira Municipality legislator Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda recently revealed that there is a plan to force Among out of the Speaker’s office insisting that Ssekikubo is President Museveni’s henchman who he uses to fight his political wars.

    He supposed that during the 2005 presidential term limit period, Ssekikubo was driving a car with State House number plate.

    On several occasions, Ssekikubo has pressurized Among to allow Members of Parliament to discuss the corruption allegation placed on parliament leadership.

    A source said that when Among realized that she was under attack by members of the Deep State for threatening their succession plans, she decided to use a primitive method of politically fighting by summoning and parading all MPs including those in opposition to her home area in Bukedea district.

    What she wanted according to sources was to show the country that she controls the entire parliament including members of parliament which was a threat to Deep State’s calculations because it showed that she can command parliament to impeach the President thus causing political turmoil in the country.

    Another source added that being a woman, Among can put up a strong challenge if she publicly declares her presidential ambitions.

    Senior presidential adviser on media Joseph Tamale Mirundi stated that women are always used to fight long serving presidents because of the public sympathy they receive if attacked by presidents in power.

    Among is also well connected to the catholic church and has held several private meetings with Pope Francis; such signals scare the Deep State.

    He explained that Among was naïve to parade her multimillion wealth before the public because that’s when her enemies started strategising on how to discredit her before right thinking members of the public as a corrupt person who cannot be trusted with State power.

    Mirundi accused religious leaders especially the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Dr. Stephen Kazimba Mugalu and Mufti Sheikh Shaban Mubajje of misleading Among on the Homosexuality bill.

    He said that what Among did was like threatening Museveni’s local popularity because by not signing the bill into a law, his enemies especially National Unity Platform’s Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu (Bobi Wine) would have used it as a campaign tool to tell the public that Museveni refused to sign the homosexuality bill so he supports the vice.

    Bugweri county legislator Abdul Katuntu confirmed that Museveni summoned them at Entebbe State House and explained to them the danger of the bill they wanted him to sign into a law but sources allege that because Among did not listen, Museveni decided to sign the bill knowing very well that it backfire on her and other legislators who supported the bill.

    Mirundi explaind that Super powers are going to fight and make sure that Among losses the parliamentary speakership to scare other African Speakers.

    Mirundi added that Homosexuality supporters are very powerful individuals and they control the world.

    And because Museveni understands this very well, that’s why he was very careful when Among and other people started jumping and chest thumping after passing the bill as a way of scoring political goals.

    Sources said that Museveni cannot fight for Among against the sanctions because he also wants to use her saga as a tool to mend his diplomacy troubles especially involving his longtime ally the United Kingdom.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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