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    INSIDE STORY: How Sheikh Ndirangwa Resigned To Avoid Impeachment Over Underground Deals With M7, Why Prince Nakibinge Pushed Him To The Wall….

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    Prince Dr. Kassim Nakibinge (R) Sheikh Kasule Ndirangwa (L)

    Yesterday, Sheikh Kasule Ndirangwa verbally announced his resignation as the Supreme Mufti of Kibuli-based Muslim faction with immediate effect.

    Ndirangwa was appointed Supreme Mufti of the Kibuli-based Muslim faction on December, 16, 2015, replacing Sheikh Zubairi Kayongo who died in April 2014. Mahmoud Kibaate and Sheikh Habib Kabasa have been his deputies.

    Our earlier report indicated that Ndirangwa’s abrupt resignation was prompted by endless fights within the Kibuli establishment.

    theGrapevine has further established that it was a very well calculated move by the embattled Sheikh to resign from his position as the Supreme Mufti to save his dignity and keep his curriculum vitae clean as a Muslim scholar.

    Sheikh Ndirangwa’s resignation news broke at 9:40PM, and his decision was televised live from Masengere building which houses Buganda’s Central Broadcast Service (CBS) radio and Buganda Broadcasting Services (BBS TV).

    In his resignation message which was not written, Sheikh Ndirangwa said that it was infighting that forced him to resign.

    “I would like to tell you that I am no longer going to serve Islam as leader. I have resigned as the Supreme Mufti of Uganda. I have taken the decision for the good of Islam. I have resigned to keep Islam in peace because I am sure that Islam is bigger than me as an individual,” Ndirangwa said.

    In his words, the soft-spoken Muslim scholar from Bukomansimbi district added,” To maintain peace within the religion, I have decided to step down because I won’t keep on fighting with fellow Sheikhs in Islam all the time. I am sure that there are those who can serve better than me. So let me give them the room to serve Islam and perhaps accomplish what I might have not finished during my reign.”

    The former Kampala district Khadhi said, “I thank Almighty Allah for giving me a chance to serve the Muslim community and I am glad that I have done my part. I also take this opportunity to thank those who have been working with me, especially the district Khadi’s from different parts of the country.”

    Ndirangwa was announced as the Supreme Mufti by late Sheikh Anas Kariisa on behalf of the eminent Sheikhs after the death of Sheikh Zubair Kayongo, the first Supreme Mufti in 2015, deputized by Sheikh Muhamood Kibatte and Sheikh Habib Kabasa as the second deputy Supreme Mufti.

    NDIRANGWA HASTILY RESIGNED TO AVOID THE EMBARRASSMENT OF IMPEACHMENT

    Multiple credible sources in the office of the Supreme Mufti have revealed that there was a deadly move orchestrated by top prominent Sheikhs and district Khadis to impeach Ndirangwa over incompetence and abuse of office. One of the sources told theGrapevine that when Ndirangwa was was tipped on the deadly move, he consulted a number of his confidants including his family members who advised him to throw in the towel because even prince Dr. Kassim Nakibinge, the titular head of the Islam faith in Uganda was not on his side.

    Hajji Ntale hastily mobilized a few journalists and told those who were far to jump on  boda bodas to Masengere where the supreme mufti was going to make a landmark announcement.

    “Even his demeanour was telling a lot, he was panicking, he was not reading from anywhere, he wanted to tell the public that he has resigned so as to silence the deadly impeachment plot against him,” the source said.

    NDIRANGWA’S TROUBLES STARTED WITH MBABAZI

    Sheikh Ndirangwa occupied the office of the Supreme Mufti during the 2016 presidential campaign battle between president Yoweri Museveni of the NRM and John Patrick Amama Mbabazi who stood on the Go Forward ticket.

    Both presidential candidates were fighting for Kibuli Muslims’ votes since it was very clear that Old Kampala faction, which is headed by sheikh Ramathan Mubajje was behind Museveni.

    Prince Nakibinge invited Mbabazi and Museveni, who was always represented by the government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa and announced publicly that Kibuli would not publicly side with any of them.

    Museveni’s team quckly started strategizing on how to defeat Mbabazi from Kibuli.

    Credible sources intimated to theGrapevine that after investigating, Ndirangwa, secretly went with controversial Sheikh Kamulegeya to meet Museveni at State House-Entebbe without informing his boss Prince Nakibinge.

    Our source further revealed that Prince Nakibinge only learnt about the development in the news when State House leaked photos of Sheikh Ndirangwa and Kamulegeya meeting Museveni.

    Another source intimated to theGrapevine that Ndirangwa apologised arguing that his meeting with the president was purely faith based not political.

    He maintained that his discussion with the president was solely about how to develop the Muslim community in the country.

    Another source however explained that both Ndirangwa and Kamulegeya pocketed fat envelopes which later led to a misunderstanding between the two top Sheikhs.

    Eventually Sheikh Kamulegeya left Kibuli and even stopped pledging allegiance to Prince Nakibinge. theGrapevine has learnt that Prince Nakibinge was very bitter with the two because he felt betrayed, but the matter was temporarily settled when two top Sheikhs together with the late Kariisa, late Musa Katongole and the late Muzaata Batte intervened.

    M7’S MULTI BILLION DEAL THAT BROUGHT NDIRANGWA TROUBLE

    Towards the 2016 general elections, Museveni awarded Sheikh Ndirangwa’s Saudi Arabia-bound pilgrimage company a multi-billion deal.

    Safa and Marwa Company was given billions of shillings to facilitate a trip of over 1000 pilgrims which also created a sharp division amongst Ndirangwa and other top Sheikhs, they felt it was unfair that such a big deal was only given to Ndirangwa and other travel companies were sidelined.

    BOBI WINE SPOILS THE BROTH

    During his political consultations, National Unity Platform (NUP) principal and former presidential candidate, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine publicly met Kibuli leadership led by prince Nakibinge to mobilise for support.

    He even started attending several Kibuli functions something that sent Museveni camp in panic.

    Sources revealed to theGrapevine that Museveni was then prompted to secretly meet Ndirangwa again without the knowledge of Prince Nakibinge and other officials in the supreme Mufti’s office.

    According to a source privy to the details of the meeting, Ndirangwa requested for cars to help ease transportation of districts Khadis.

    The source said that Museveni directed that Kibuli be given 11 cars, a promise which was implemented before the general campaigns for presidency.

    M7’S CARS TROUBLED NDIRANGWA

    When the cars touched base at Kibuli, a bitter Prince Nakibinge questioned the intention behind the donation and the beneficiaries.

    The source narrated that Prince Nakibinge directed that the said cars be taken to Hotel Africana and be parked there until all his question regarding the cars were answered.

    The source added that Prince Nakibinge told Ndirangwa that the donation was going to put the Kibuli Muslim faction in bad light because the public would easily take the donation for a bribe by Museveni to vote against their “own son” Bobi Wine.

    Inside sources intimated that since then, cliques were formed among the top leaders between those supporting Ndirangwa (most of who were beneficiaries of the cars) and those supporting Prince Nakibinge.

    Ndirangwa was then branded a Museveni mole.

    M7 PRESSURISED NDIRANGWA OVER CARS

    A source said that Museveni through Lt. Gen. Proscovia Nalweyiso, the senior presidential advisor on security pressurised Sheikh Ndirangwa to reveal when he would deliver the cars to the owners.

    theGrapevine has learnt that Museveni clearly wanted the cars to be given to the beneficiaries before the presidential elections which was not done. Under immense pressure, Ndirangwa made an effort to explain that they were waiting for Nakibinge to give them the green light.

    A source intimated to theGrapevine that two weeks back, Lt. Gen. Nalweyiso phoned Ndirangwa and asked him why the cars were not given to the rightful owners.

    She made it clear to him that the president wanted to calm a storm by donating these cars that is why he  wanted the cars to be given to the owners before the end of March.

    Ndirangwa apparently ran into panic mode after Nalweyiso’s phone call to him.

    Hastily, without informing his team and Prince Nakibinge, Ndirangwa organised a ceremony and the cars were given to the beneficiaries.

    He assured those who missed out that the president was going to give them more cars soon.

    Our source revealed that those Sheikhs who missed out started backbiting Ndirangwa, accusing him of “eating their money” which they speculated was given to them by the president, they even reported him to the Prince.

    The Prince was very bitter with Ndirangwa and immediately asked Sheikh Muhammad Lunanoba, the head of eminent Sheikhs to take action against Ndirangwa.

    Upon realising that things had gone bad Ndirangwa rushed to resign before he could be shown the exit.

    WHAT NEXT FOR NDIRANGWA?

    When theGrapevine talked to Sheikh Twaha Mubiru, the deputy general secretary of the office of the Supreme Mufti today, he revealed that the council of eminent sheikhs is going to sit and pave a way forward following Ndirangwa’s abrupt resignation.

    “The resignation was abrupt and we shall communicate our decision in a few hours,” Mubiru said.

    However, other sources revealed that Ndirangwa’s resignation was a result of incompetence, citing that he didn’t follow the rightful procedure, which includes informing the council of eminent Sheikhs.

    “He was not appointed by the media, we have not yet received his resignation letter, we don’t know what he wanted to achieve by not following the rightful procedure,” an insider said.

    He added that as per now, the office of the Supreme Mufti is being run by Sheikh Muhammod Kibatte the Deputy Supreme Mufti.

    NDIRANGWA TIPPED FOR MINISTERIAL JOB

    However, a source in Ndirangwa’s camp intimated to theGrapevine that their man is likely to eat big in president Museveni’s next cabinet. The same source revealed that Ndirangwa is tipped to be appointed a Minister, an ambassador or a senior advisor to the president.

    If Ndirangwa is appointed minister, he would not be the first religious leader to be a minister, Fr. Simon Lokodo is currently a Minister in Museveni’s government.

     

    By Alirabaki Sengooba

     

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    CRIME

    Inside Deputy Speaker Among, Ministers Otafiire, Muhwezi Meeting Over MPs Ssegirinya, Ssewanyana Bail Conditions…

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    Lawyer to embattled Kawempe North and Makindye West legislators have spoken out on the meeting between the Deputy Speaker of parliament Anita Among, Security Minister Maj. Gen. Jim Muhwezi and senior Internal Affairs Minister Kahinda Otafiire concerning their continued stay in prison despite being granted bail by court.

    Credible sources in parliament intimated to theGrapevine that last week, there was a secret meeting summoned by Among to negotiate a deal to have the two embattled legislators released on bail.

    Sources that attended the meeting added that the opposition leadership ran to Among for help after parliament Speaker Jacob Oulanyah dismissed their prayer for parliament to intervene and save the legislators.

    Last week, Oulanyah told Members of Parliament that parliament was not ready to intervene into Ssegirinya and Ssewanyana troubles.

    The speaker only promised to go and visit these MPs in Kigo prison.

    The speaker also asked parliament to leave the security agencies to investigate the alleged offences slapped on these legislators for the interest of justice and fairness.

    However, sources in parliament held that opposition leaders in parliament were not happy with Oulanyah’s decision and decided to run his deputy who is a very good friend to both legislators, especially Ssegirinya.

    The source said that before meeting both ministers, Among first talked to president Museveni about the issue. The president referred him to Muhwezi and Otafiire since they were the ones closely handling the issue of greater Masaka murders.

    The source further told theGrapevine that Among tried to convince the ministers on the positives in releasing the legislators on bail including creating a good relationship with the opposition especially the radical National Unity Platform (NUP).

    She further told the ministers that releasing legislators on bail does not mean that they will dodge prosecution since they will be coming from their homes.

    However, the source disclosed that both Otafiire and Muhwezi disagreed with Among’s explanation.

    They told her that the Masaka murders put government in bad light given that they caused a lot of insecurity yet Ugandans want peace.

    Gen. Muhwezi told Among that security agencies especially UPDF is very serious in fighting the ongoing criminality in the country especially after these criminals targeted Gen. Edward Katumba Wamala, their very own and killed his daughter Brendah Nantongo Katumba and driver Sgt. Haruna Kayondo.

    He further told her that if these legislators are released, it will weaken the morale of the security operatives investigating these murders.

    The source added that Gen. Otafiire even wondered why the speaker did not plead to have all the suspects in this matter granted bail and instead concentrated on only the two legislators.

    The matter was not resolved and a decision was taken to refer it to the president for a final decision.

    On Wednesday, president Museveni blasted judges for granting bail to murder suspects and promised to meet with NRM Members of Parliament to resolve the matter even if it will need a referendum.

    When contacted, Abubaker Ssekanjako, one of the lawyers representing Ssewanyana and Ssegirinya neither confirmed nor denied knowledge of any meeting between opposition leadership in parliament seeking assistance from the deputy speaker of parliament.

    “I don’t know whether any of our members went to the speaker for assistance. What I know, a number of plans were made to save our brothers but we decided to concentrate on legal matters and that’s why we applied for bail which was successfully granted,” Ssekanjako said.

    He added that they have fulfilled all the requirements put in place by Masaka High Court Judge Victoria Nakintu Nkwanga to make sure that their people are granted bail, including paying a cash bail of Shs. 20m and depositing the passports of the accused at the High Court Crimes Division Kampala.

    On Monday both legislators were granted bail but up to Friday evening they were not released from prison as directed by the Judge.

    They are battling with murder, attempted murder, terrorism and abetting terrorism charges.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    CRIME

    Who Are You Trying To Please? M7 Blasts Judges For Granting Bail To Murders, Ssegirinya, Ssewanyana Still Detained Even After Being Granted Bail….

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    Ssegirinya Muhammad and Allan Sewanyana in Masaka court recently over Masaka region murders

    President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has tasked the judiciary to explain to the nation the person they are trying to please by granting bail to murder suspects.

    The president said this while presiding over the swearing-in ceremony of the six new judges and Justices of the Court of Appeal, Justice Christopher Gashirabaki and Judges of the High Court include Justice Tom Chemutai, Justice Lawrence Tweyanze, Justice Vincent Wagona, Justice Alice Komuhangi and Justice Florence Nakachwa wife to Chief Justice Owiny Dollo.

    At the same ceremony, the newly appointed Inspector General of Government (IGG) Betty Kamya and her Deputies Dr. Patricia Okiria Achan and Ann Twinomugisha Muhairwe also took their oath.

    Museveni protested the continued granting of bail to murderers in the presence of the deputy chief justice Richard Butera.

    ” For somebody to kill a person and you give them bail is provocation. It is abominable. This bail, what is the hurry? Who are you trying to please? Who said bail is a right? It is not in the Constitution. We are going to work on this,” a furious Museveni said.

    He added that in the few weeks to come, he is going to summon his NRM party Members of Parliament to a meeting to discuss the bail matter.

    Museveni insisted that even if it needs a referendum, he is ready for it because he is tired of the judiciary granting bails to murderers.

    Museveni made the statements after two National Unity Platform (NUP) Members of Parliament Ssegirinya Muhammad and Allan Sewanyana were still detained at Kigo prison even though they were granted bail by Masaka High Court Judge Victoria Nakintu Nkwanga on Monday.

    Both legislators were charged with offences of murder, attempted murder, terrorism and abetting to terrorism.

    State alleges that the legislators together with others still at large have a hand in the recent deadly murders in Masaka.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    NATIONAL

    OPINION: NUP Should Boycott IPOD Money, Too…

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    NUP boss Robert Kyagulanyi (L) and Faruk Kirunda (R)

    The nascent National Unity Platform (NUP) has declined to join the Interparty Organization for Dialogue (IPOD), a forum which brings together parties with representation in Parliament to dialogue on issues affecting the country.

    NUP was invited together with the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) to join the organization after the expiry of the 3-year MOU which member parties had signed before NUP was formed. Surprisingly, the NUP Secretary-General David Lewis Rubongoya, wrote to the IPOD secretariat communicating that they were declining to join, alleging that the platform has been “used to legitimize a brutal regime that has no regard or respect for democracy.” He described the forum’s meetings as “tea and photo” opportunities.

    Previously, it was FDC boycotting IPOD activities, their reasons including that they didn’t want to shake hands with President Museveni who usually attends in his capacity as National Chairman of the National Resistance Movement (NRM).

    Last year, FDC’s chair at the summit remained empty, symbolically representing its absence from the table of men. As we talk, FDC is paying for its mistakes, with its base steadily getting eroded because all potential allies see them as arrogant and uncooperative.

    At the time, I predicted that in a few years (if not before this year), FDC would be a limping shadow of its former promising self, and take on the mantle of a “sick man of Uganda’s politics’ ‘; isolated, defied, desperate and obsolete.

    I believe I was not far off the mark as the party has shrunk considerably, losing place to NRM and NUP in its former strongholds. I also based on FDC’s stance on IPOD to predict that opposition agitators for a single front by the opposition at the general election should forget it because a seed of discord has been sowed.

    When FDC boycotted the summit at Munyonyo, DP’s Nobert Mao, JEEMA’s Asuman Basalirwa and UPC’s Jimmy Akena attended. FDC made fun of them and claimed they were in bed with NRM. Such remarks were an affront on the dignity and rights of the other parties, and also an attack on the collective agenda to develop and grow multiparty politics in Uganda. IPOD is not a private enterprise of any one individual or group but a forum for discussing matters of mutual interest. It’s also a forum for raising some of the concerns that abstaining groups raise on the streets and in the corridors.

    NUP is making the same mistakes as FDC and will live to regret it. An attitude of self-importance and self-isolation is selfish and self-seeking.

    NUP is showing too early that they are not for unity and that they despise the efforts of other players. They are playing a defeatist game; they claim to have a lot of grievances but cannot come forward to table them formally for solutions to be found. Who did they consult before deciding to boycott IPOD? Why not recall its MPs since it is by virtue of their presence in Parliament that it qualifies to belong in the body? Why not completely relocate from Uganda since the Museveni/NRM they loathe so much is present all over the country? It is not enough to avoid him in IPOD circles.

    Among the key benefits of belonging in IPOD is receiving a share of funding under its arrangement to support their activities. Is NUP turning down this support or they will only go for the buttered side of things? I will follow up to see how they will reconcile themselves on this-even FDC.

    NUP’s level of intolerance is very worrying. As a young party, they would set a good example by promoting the politics of dialogue and reconciliation. It is possible that other having representation in Parliament, they have not put together a proper political programme to sell in the political common market, and this worries them that they may be overwhelmed by the superior programs of NRM, which has majority MPs, and DP, or even FDC, or UPC, which are more established and experienced.

    NUP should style up and act with maturity if they are to set an example of how they want others to treat them.

    NRM has its own grievances and is committed to democracy and dialogue as part of its contribution to a better Uganda. Whoever has grievances should table them for consideration among peers instead of gossiping about them in the media- and to foreigners.

    Museveni, whom the opposition loves to hate, remains a most valuable partner at every turn in support of democracy and has also been very warm and supportive of IPOD which can be a springboard for dialogue between all political groups-not just parties represented in Parliament-so that the polarization we have witnessed of recent does not escalate, but NUP cannot see because their politics is amateurish and lacks ideological depth. If any group needs the auspices of IPOD, it’s NUP!

    The problem is that some of the opposition players are so uncooperative and arrogant yet they accuse Museveni/NRM of the same whereas facts disprove their claims.

    Faruk Kirunda  is a Private Secretary to

    H.E the President in Charge of Media Management

    Contact: kirundaf2@gmail.com

    0776980486/0702980486

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