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    INSIDE STORY: How Bobi Wine’s Shs. 7trn Foreign Financial Support Put Human Rights Lawyer Opiyo In Trouble…

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    On Wednesday, police spokesperson CP Fred Enanga disclosed that a joint team of security intelligence agencies led by police and the Financial Iintelligence Authority (FIA) had launched an investigation into money laundering crimes allegedly committed by celebrated human rights lawyer and Chapter four Uganda Executive Director Nicholas Opiyo.

    Opiyo was arrested together with Anthony Odur, Edomu Obure and National Unity Platform (NUP) human rights officer Hamid Tenywa.

    Detectives from the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) intimated to theGrapevine that they have been monitoring Chapter Four Uganda bank accounts and those of Opiyo as a person for almost a year after a brief from the External Intelligence Organization (ESO) that he was working with foreign organizations and persons who were facilitating regime change in Uganda.

    Detective added that on top of working with foreigners, Opiyo also coordinated Ugandans leaving in countries like United States of America, Denmark, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherland to facilitate regime change in Uganda by funding National Unity Platform presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine.

    The detectives said that because he is highly connected internationally, Opiyo was chosen to assist and strategise on how financial support can reach Uganda from abroad to facilitate Bobi Wine’s activities in Uganda.

    Detectives disclosed that on several occasions, Opiyo met Bobi Wine funders in the neighboring countries especially Kenya and the last meeting was with Robert Amsterdam, Bobi Wine’s international lawyer.

    Detectives added that a number of NUP leaders led by Louise Rubongoya, the party’s Secretary General and youthful Mityana Municipality legislator Francis Butebi Zaake travelled abroad and met Ugandans there and representatives from international organizations interested in democracy in African and they asked for assistance to overthrow president Yoweri Museveni regime.

    Detectives said that some organizations asked NUP bosses to establish a legal department as a decoy to transfer funds under the guise of facilitating party members who were arrested and in detention.

    However, this proposal was rubbished by Rubongoya who wanted all the facilitation to pass through the office of the Secretary General.

    ESO SUBOTAGES BOBI WINE FINANCIAL MOBILIZATION ABROAD

    Security sources revealed that the Ugandan government through ESO decided to sabotage Bobi Wine’s mobilization drive by causing mistrust, fights and divisions among the appointed leaders in the diaspora.

    This move successfully worked because NUP supporters in the diaspora started accusing NUP leaders in Uganda of mismanaging money given to them to run the struggle.

    Since then, the funding was cut off and the party started mobilizing for funds locally.

    However, this was also frustrated by COVID-19 pandemic because Ugandans were no longer working.

    One of the detectives we talked to said that even the few Ugandans in the diaspora who were still stuck on Bobi Wine were financially weakened by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    THE SHS.7 TRILION ALLEGATION

    Detectives disclosed that early this year, international organisations released over Shs.7trn.

    This money was supposed to be paid in instalments.

    They revealed that Opiyo was tasked with strategising on how the money will reach Bobi Wine who was on the campaign trail.

    It was agreed that the money should pass through different Non- government organisations and in different law firms.

    Detectives claim that the NGOs gave an excuse that the funds were meant to help disadvantaged Ugandans and those who were badly hit by the COVID19 pandemic.

    The lawyers on the other hand gave an excuse that the money that passed through their law firms bank accounts was meant to pay legal fees for those arrested and in detention, they claimed that they were only getting commission.

    WHY DETECTIVES WERE VERY CAREFUL WHEN HANDLING OPIYO’S MATTER

    When asked why the FIA did not freeze Opiyo’s bank account and that of Chapter four Uganda, plus other accounts of the said law firms, like they did with accounts belonging to different Non-governmental organisations, a security source explained that they were very careful with Opiyo since he is a lawyer and is well connected.

    Sources in security further disclosed that they picked Opiyo’s laptop and phones from his home so as to gather substantive evidence which can be used against him, however, they failed to open the gadgets stolen from him.

    Lawyer Godber Tumushabe revealed that when Opiyo’s gadgets stolen, he used private investigators to trace where his gargets were taken and they established that it was in areas of Naguru where certain state intelligence agency run their operations.

    M7 KNOWS ABOUT OPIO’S ARREST

    Another security source told theGrapevine that there was a disagreement between state intelligence agencies on how to arrest Opio.

    He revealed that Opiyo is highly connected to many top intelligence commandants and security operatives and many did not agree to his arrest until the order came from above.

    He added that they have been following him for days and until they discovered that it was suitable to be arrested with NUP officials in Kamwokya where NUP headquarters is located.

    LAWYERS FEAR FOR ARREST

    Medard Lubega Sseggona, one of the legal brains behind Bobi Wine revealed that many lawyers fear being arrested.

    Speaking to Buganda’s Central Broadcasting Services (CBS radio), Sseggona said that Opio is the first to be arrested but others will soon follow suit. Sseggona called upon his colleagues to fight tooth and nail to see that they rescue their friends behind the bars.

    OPIO’S CHARGED, REMANDED

    Opio was today charged before Nakawa chief magistrates court with money laundering and neglect to submit returns to the NGO bureau.

    The trial magistrate Douglas Singiza denied him bail arguing that he lacks jurisdiction and forwarded his file to the anti corruption court.

    Opio was remanded up to 28 December. State alleges that on October 8th at ABSA bank garden city branch, Opio received USD 340,000 through account number 6004078045 in names of Chapter four Uganda knowing that the money was going to be used to commit a crime.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    NATIONAL

    We Shut Down Facebook, If They Can’t Cooperate, They Will Not Operate In Uganda – Museveni Warns…

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    Yoweri Kaguta Museveni Tibuhaburwa, the president of Uganda has banned Facebook in Uganda.

    Museveni argued that it is not appropriate for Facebook to partially interfere with the usage of its services to target some groups.

    “The other day Facebook decided to block the NRM message senders. Why would anybody do that? When I heard about that I told our people to warn them. That social media channel (Facebook), if it’s going to operate in Uganda, it should be used equitably by everybody,” Museveni said.

    “I am sorry for the inconvenience to those who have been using this channel (Facebook), but we cannot tolerate this arrogance of anybody coming to decide for us who is good and who is bad,” the president warned.

    “There is no way anybody can come and play around with our country to decide who is good and bad,” he added.

    President Museveni also warned some groups that he said have made it a habit to cheat in elections. “I want to tell you, that cheating is treason. When you use violence to intimidate to be voted for, you are committing treason,” he warned.

    “If you plan to cheat or alter results so that you win even when the majority didn’t vote for you, it means you won’t go back to solve the issues of the people because you will cheat in the next election. This renders democracy null and void. I am warning everyone, don’t try to cheat,” he added.

    President Museveni also appealed to EC to not allow any voting where a thumbprint is not used. “Anybody trying to cheat, we shall go for them. Don’t waste our time by trying to cheat. One of the reasons we are appealing to you to vote peacefully is because your country is doing very well,” the president said.

    President Museveni revealed that sometimes he gets problems with some of Uganda’s foreign partners because they don’t understand the history of Uganda. He said they don’t know that Uganda is strong because of the massive organization, strong strong army, and strong economy.

    “We realized the importance of the private sector, and because of that, we have a very strong economy which will be stronger if we eliminate corruption. Ugandans, be confident, we have everything. Our economy is strong and so is the army, and it is well experienced,” the president said, urging all citizens to go and vote. “If anybody tries to intimidate you, we shall deal with him or her,” the president warned.

     

    By Baron Kironde

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    Museveni Leads Kyagulanyi In New Poll, Most Losers Will Not Accept Results – Afro-Barometer…

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    As the country nears the D-day for presidential elections this Thursday, a new research from Afro-barometer shows that National Resistance Movement (NRM) presidential candidate Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, who is also the incumbent is in the lead.

    In a 54-page document, Afro-barometer says that the research was conducted between 22 December 2020 and 7 January 2021 in 300 enumeration areas across 110 districts.

    “President Museveni holds a clear lead, but many respondents would not say how they intended to vote, so the final outcome may be much closer. The nation could also be headed toward electing a more closely divided Parliament,” Afro-barometer says.

    They add that although a majority of Ugandans are prepared to vote and see the Electoral Commission as well prepared, fewer trust that the 2021 elections will be free, fair, and credible.

    “Large majorities of respondents say they have National ID Cards (85%), are registered to vote (84%), have confirmed the name and location of their polling station (77%), and have verified their voter registration status (74%),” the research says.

    “Among the 84% of survey respondents who said they were registered to vote, more than half (53%) indicated they would vote for President Yoweri Museveni, while 18% said they would cast their ballots for challenger Robert KyagulanyiSentamu (better known as BobiWine).”

    Concerning whether drama that has been witnessed during the campaigns, the research notes, “Fewer than half of respondents feel that the election campaign environment has been free and fair for all candidates.

    The proportion of Ugandans who say the opposition and its supporters are “often” or “always” silenced by government has almost doubled compared to 2015, to 61%. Fear of political intimidation or violence during elections has increased compared to 2011.”

    “Large majorities expect that the losing side will not accept the election results (80%) but believe that security agencies will be able to prevent large-scale violence (73%),” the research says.

    Below are some of the highlights from the research:

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    Bobi Wine Wants To Go Into Hiding In One Of The Embassies After Casting His Vote – Enanga Reveals Why Security Has Been Tightened Countrywide…

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    Uganda police Public Relation Officer (PRO) CP Fred Enanga has revealed that they have credible information that National Unity Platform (NUP) presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine plans to go into hiding in one of the Embassies, immediately after casting his vote.

    In a statement released today, “We also have credible intelligence that the NUP Presidential Candidate, Hon. Kyagulanyi Ssentamu Robert wants to go into hiding possibly in one of the Embassies, immediately after casting his vote. And thereafter, allege through his NUP networks and bloggers, that he has been kidnapped by state operatives.”

    He adds, “The intention is to incite the public and cause another wave of protests.  We want to inform the public that this is a tactic that we strongly condemn and issue a strong warning to the perpetrators.”

    Below is Enanga’s full statement on elections:

    We would like to start by congratulating all Ugandans, and in particular candidates, their campaign agents, fans, well-wishers and other stakeholders, for approaching the last day of the political campaigns for Presidential and Parliamentary positions.  Despite the challenges faced along the campaign trail, we must acknowledge the efforts of every sector including the media, security, all political actors, medical experts, electoral officials and other stakeholders.

    Our focus as the Joint Security Agencies is now on the Election Day, where all Ugandans especially voters, will make their choices.  It is therefore, a very crucial stage of democracy, and we shall ensure all eligible voters, safely perform this sacred civic duty.

    As we head into the polls, we would also like to remind Ugandans, that we are a peaceful community, although there have been attempts by some sections of the pubic to promote hate speech through several audios and videos to cause ethnic divisions in the country.  Surprisingly, most of these recordings are by Ugandans abroad including mobilized bloggers in Asia, Europe, the US and South Africa.  We urge all Ugandans not to infringe on the rights of fellow Ugandans, during this Election and the days to come.  We have a history of togetherness amidst all threats against our country, and we are confident that even this time, we shall remain Ugandans at peace.

    Despite the rights and freedoms to vote, there are a few basic rules that voters need to follow when voting, so that they do not end up breaking the Law.  They should do the following;

    o   Make sure you carry along your National ID or NIN

    o   When you arrive, ONLY Electoral Commission staff will take you through the voting process.

    o    You will receive a ballot paper listing your candidate, party, symbol in your constituency.

    o   Read it carefully and then vote for your chosen candidate by ticking or us of a thumb print.

    o   When you are ready fold the ballot paper for privacy and insert it in the ballot box.

    o   Avoid writing comments on the ballot paper for your candidate, do not sign your ballot paper or imprint names.  It will not count.

    o   You are not allowed to photograph the ballot paper you receive at a polling station.  A selfie risks giving away how someone voted which is against the law.

    o   Stay sober, drunken people can be disruptive and can spoil their ballot paper.

    o   Persons with disabilities, and elderly should seek help from the polling officials.

    o   Voting is secretive.  Avoid discussing candidates inside the polling station.  It can easily unsettle others.  Always alert the polling staff if someone is discussing a candidate inside the polling area.

    o   Do not distribute any election related materials.  It clearly shows your political allegiance and if in large groups its an act of intimidation.

    o   Employers are warned against refusing their employees time off for voting or even penalizing them after voting.

    o   Do not bribe others to vote in a certain way or not to vote at all.

    o   Do not threaten or ask someone else to threaten or impose violence on other voters at the polling station.

    o   Do not campaign at the polls because all political activities on polling day are prohibited like displaying campaign symbols, verbally advocating for a specific candidate, and having campaign literature.  In addition, wearing political attire to the polls, such as T-shirt, caps is considered campaigning.  Therefore, let us leave all the political swag at home.

    o    Regarding health, all voters must know that voting safely during the pandemic requires wearing a mask, hand washing or use of hand sanitizer and on observing social distance.  Precautions are really important because of the high COVID location.

    Once again, we would like to reiterate that there are no specific threats targeting the Elections.  However, we are prepared for any eventualities including demonstrations and riots.

    As the Joint Task Force, we have an operational plan to ensure the protection and safety of all Ugandans and visitors in the country.  We have heightened our levels of visibility and alertness as we go into the polls.  Additional manpower has been deployed tactically in the field, from the Polling station, the Parish level, Sub-county, County level.  All villages, trading centres, Town/Urban Councils, Municipalities, and Cities are effectively covered in our deployment plans.

    Our task teams stationed at specific points will be responsible for responding to any election related calls.  We already have patrols at all levels (foot, motorcycle and motorized) along selected hotspotting poling  centres especially in 39 districts out of the 146 districts in addition to the special checkpoints and traffic enforcements operations among others.

    Additional efforts are focused on identifying, investigating and disrupting individuals that intend to incite violence and engage in criminal activity, especially Youth Brigades like Agenda Kifuba Ddembe in Nansana, Mityana Municipality; “Ten Ten” in Mukono, Makindye, Nansana, Kiira and Nakawa; Team Banyiivu in Makindye and Lubaga; Hard Body along the Northern bypass, Kawempe Division, Team Jalia in Nakawa; Jua Kali in Najja Sub-County and Kiyindi Town Council in Buikwe District; and other Youth Brigade in Teso Sub-region, Rukungiri, Mbarara, Arua, Gulu and Jinja Cities.

    We also have credible intelligence that the NUP Presidential Candidate, Hon. Kyagulanyi Ssentamu Robert wants to go into hiding possibly in one of the Embassies, immediately after casting his vote.  And thereafter, allege through his NUP networks and bloggers, that he has been kidnapped by state operatives.  The intention is to incite the public and cause another wave of protests.  We want to inform the public that this is a tactic that we strongly condemn and issue a strong warning to the perpetrators.

    All Ugandans should rest assured and fell safe as we head into the elections.  The elections will be largely peaceful, since we are more than prepared to address any acts of impunity, lawlessness and political violence that may occur on polling date and thereafter.

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