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    INTERVIEW: COSASE Squeezing Airlines Boss Bamuturaki Was A Blessing In Disguise; Capt. Babu Speaks Out On Current Situation In Uganda Airlines; Pleads With Museveni To Take Tumwine’s Advice…



    Capt. Francis Babu

    Captain Francis Babu has hailed the act of squeezing Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Uganda Airlines, Jennifer Bamuturaki by Committee on Commissions Statutory Authorities and State Enterprise (COSASE) as a blessing in disguise for her and the airline.

    In an interview with theGrapevine, Capt. Babu started by expressing his heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the late Gen. Elly Tumwine who succumbed to lung cancer last week and was laid to rest yesterday.

    Babu noted that to put it in a nutshell,  Tumwine was a great, dedicated man, an officer and a gentleman who had a very neat handwriting that he (Babu) admired.

    Speaking about the current situation in the Uganda Airlines, when asked whether the decision to bring back the Airlines company was the right one, Babu, who is an expert in aviation explained that aviation is a strategic industry especially to a country which is landlocked and all they need is good management to run it.

    He further noted that the Ugandan Airlines may not be at its best at the moment but it is also not the worst, adding that airlines all over the world have their own shortcomings.

    “Airlines all over the world have got a problem of competition and if you look at all Airlines including; British Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines they all have problems, they lose money,” he said.

    He added, “Management has to provide services. Very few Airlines make profits even Ethiopian Airlines makes profits and loses.”

    When theGrapevine asked him what he thinks about President Museveni’s appointment of the current CEO Jennifer Bamuturaki, Babu asserted that a president is the Chief Executive of a country and by Constitution he has got the powers and actually by  Constitution he is the Minister of everything.

    “Therefore, he has the right to be able to choose. If he can choose a Chief Justice and a Vice President, do you think he can fail to appoint just a CEO of a sector?”

    Babu propounded that what people have failed to understand is that when you have a chairman of a board, they are supposed to advise the President on who is suitable for a certain position.

    He divulged, “Now the only problem I see is not the president giving the Executive order but the people who advise him seem to have failed.

    “The other thing I see here is if the Chief Executive chooses a board and the board has got its mandate and then chooses the CEO of the Airlines, there is going to be conflict and that conflict is not healthy in the management of the Airline and so somebody should have explained this to His Excellency and not only that, all the other staff because it creates resentment which is totally uncalled for.

    “It should have been very simple; the President should have consulted the board that among the people who have applied who do they think is suitable for the position?

    “But also, the reason given by H.E is that he received counsel from intelligence from some organisations, which is not very satisfying because before you choose a person, there is something called a judicial substance which has got very qualified people to make that assessment but unfortunately here I don’t think there was an expert who advised the president.”

    He however emphasized that nevertheless, Museveni is the president of the country with executive powers and the Constitution and so no one should look down on that.

    Babu furthermore contended that the act of COSASE squeezing Bamuturaki concerning her education qualifications was a blessing in disguise.

    “She siad she has never received her transcript for 28 years and then Makerere immediately provides it, that is a blessing in disguise and in fact she should not be annoyed but happy.”

    Asked if the current bad press will destroy the image of the Airline, Babu revealed that every Airline has got problems but these are management problems which can be solved.

    “They say that whenever there is a problem in the management of an organisation, it improves it. I still have a strong feeling after they have passed through this committee and come out, it is going to enhance the image of the airline with good management,” he maintained.

    “In my sincere opinion, COSASE is going to help the Airline to enhance its management and grave mistakes that had been made will be corrected.”

    Babu however trashed the issue of putting media out of COSASE probe insisting that Parliament should not work in secret.

    “Parliament can only work in secret on security matters because you can spill secrets that may bring problems to the country’s National security but other (businesses) should not be kept away from the public.”

    Asked if he recommends widening a pool from which they choose leaders of the Airline, Babu told this website that he doesn’t recommend it because they need to train people in Uganda more and more.

    “When you look at these other Airlines especially Western Airlines, the training of people is slightly different from ours.”

    “For many years, most of the Airlines people came from the airforce. They were already pilots and managers, so they knew how aircraft works and so they were oriented only in management of civilian airline. They were the pool of people who were already trained but we don’t have that pool and so we ought to just start it,” he explained.


    Asked if he would wish to go back to the Central Executive Committee (CEC), Babu noted that he wouldn’t wish to because he was there and he played his part.

    “We all can’t be in CEC forever but they always reach out to us whenever there is a problem. There is nothing like wanting to go back to CEC, I have never missed being in the country, I always contribute I don’t have to be in CEC to contribute,” he emphasized.

    When we asked him if he will ever involve himself in elective politics again, Babu revealed that where he is right now, all he can do is give his opinion about issues.

    “I did my part and I think time comes when one has to sit, and incase he is needed, he can always give his opinion. For example, if you asked me to be an Attorney General the answer is no, but if you asked me to speak about the airline I can.”

    Asked if he believes it is timely for Museveni to take over Tumwine’s advice of transition, Babu adduced that a lot of people have failed to understand why President Museveni has stayed long enough.

    “The reason is very simple, Uganda unlike these other countries in East Africa has had a lot of turbulences. From 1962 when we got independence, there has been alot of problems. And what happened unfortunately are the conditions of Uganda that have brought Museveni to be our leader for all these years.”

    He contended, “Yes, let the president now realise that maybe what he has done is enough and now it is time for him to handover executive powers to someone else. Let him realise that the generation we have is not very comfortable with his group bringing this country to a certain level.

    “He has done a good job I must say but it is time to take Tumwine’s advise.”

    Babu however emphasized that, that is something they should sit and talk about adding that Uganda’s biggest problem is they don’t know how to debate.

    “Instead of debating, people bring personal differences. You find someone having personal differences with Museveni. I want us to separate the differences.”

    When we sought his opinion on how internal fights in NRM can be stopped, Babu suggested that the internal fights in NRM were brought when the President went out and started bringing people from other organisations or parties like UPC, JEEMA among others and yet their method of work is different from that of NRM.

    “But I think the president also enjoys seeing divide and rule but that is something that is very easy to solve. Everyone wants authority so there are a lot of childish differences.”

    He added, “When NRM was starting, people like Tumwine, Salim Saleh, who started it had an ideology of turning this country round, they sacrificed and didn’t even go for money.

    “Now, a lot of these other people come to NRM to get positions and money, however, it is something we can solve slowly.”

    Babu however concluded that President Museveni should sit down with his people and discuss the leadership of the country.


    By Kalamira Hope



    Mpuuga Facing LOP Office Exit Door As Bobi Wine Introduces Nambeshe To International Funders; Bwanika In Muddy Fight For Zaake’s Juicy Job At Parliament…



    Bobi Wine with Nambeshe in UK

    Highly placed sources within the National Unity Platform (NUP) headquarters at Makerere Kavule have revealed to mighty Grapevine that all indicators show that their principal Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu (Bobi Wine) is not going to extend the tenure of Mathias Mpuuga as the Leader of Opposition in Parliament (LOP).

    Mpuuga’s two and half years term is ending this December and sources disclosed that Bobi Wine will soon instruct the party Secretary General David Lewis Rubongoya to communicate to the Speaker of Parliament Annet Anita Among the party’s new leadership in parliament which is going to command their troops.

    Sources divulged that there has been stiff competition between Mpuuga, Butambala county legislator Muhammad Muwanga Kivumbi, Opposition Chief Whip  John Baptist Nambeshe and Nakawa West’s Joel Ssenyonyi.

    However the current indicators show that Nambeshe is highly favoured and may take the day.

    “Even in 2021, Bobi Wine wanted to appoint Nambeshe, he never trusted those people from the Democratic Party (DP) but he was under pressure from those people at Mengo (Buganda Kingdom Leadership). Others said that Nambeshe could not be trusted because he was new and had just crossed from President Museveni’s NRM. They allged that this meant that he was not yet tested. They even warned the Principal that Nambeshe can sell their party leadership in parliament to Museveni. That is why he decided to appoint Mpuuga who some now claim has betrayed him,” a NUP insider said.

    This insider based his argument on the recent statements Bobi Wine made in an interview with BBC in London that a number of his party Members of Parliament are working with  and for President Museveni.

    First were allegations that Mpuuga led negotiations with President Museveni’s government that led to the release of legislators Muhammad Ssegirinya and Allan Ssewanyana from prison after they were detained for two years on murder, terrorism and attempted murder charges.

    Bobi Wine was also shocked to learn that the opposition leadership in parliament were aware of the alleged Shs40m given to each Member of Parliament (including NUP legislator) thanking them which many alleged was a bribe from the sitting government.

    Sources said that to protect his diaspora supporters who fund many of their political activities in NUP, Bobi Wine decided to drop Mpuuga because most of the party leadership in the Diaspora are not happy with him and are alleging that he is in bed with NRM leadership in parliament.

    Sources added that the reason why Bobi Wine traveled with Nambeshe to United Kingdom where he has spent over ten years without stepping foot because of his anti-gay activism is an indicator that the man from Bugishu may fall into things very soon.

    Earlier, Bobi Wine assigned Nambeshe to start receiving application from opposition legislators who want to apply for different positions in parliament.

    In United Kingdom, Bobi Wine, Nambeshe, Barbra Itungo Kyagulanyi held private meetings with a number of politicians in Britain and other leaders from NUP Diaspora. He later traveled to German.

    However, theGrapevine has established that Bobi Wine is under pressure from a section of Muslim leaders who are complaining over his decision not to appoint Kivumbi as the next Leader of Opposition in Parliament.

    Sources said that recently, Bobi Wine explained to a few of them on phone that his goal is to first silence those people accusing his party of being the new Kabaka Yekka party.

    He promised to compensate them by appointing Kivumbi as the Opposition Chief Whip in parliament replacing Nambeshe.

    “This is our time, Bobi Wine seems to have betrayed us. Does he think that a Muslim is not fit for that office? He is also slowly becoming like other politicians who sideline Muslims when it comes to giving them big assignment,” a top sheikh at Kibuli Muslim faction told theGrapevine during the course of investigating this story.

    theGrapevine has also seen a letter written by Kimanya-Kabonera legislator Dr Abed Bwanika asking for the position of Opposition representative on the Parliamentary Commission as a replacement for embattled Mityana Municipality legislator Francis Butebi Zaake.

    Sources said that Bwanika has a big task of convincing Bobi Wine to assign him this influential position because he is on the list of legislators he rarely trusts.

    Other sources disclosed that Bwanika is very calculative. He

    “He is very sure that once Bobi Wine drops Mpuuga, he has to compensate the people of Greater Masaka by giving one of their sons another position.”

    Sources said that chances are high that Bobi Wine is going to renew Zaake’s contract as Parliamentary Commissioner but if he is pressurised to make changes, he will replace him with either Ssenyonyi or Kasanda district woman legislator Flavia Nabagabe Kalule, who is a very good friend to Bobi Wine’s wife.

    Zaake was impeached from the office of the commissioner of parliament on indiscipline grounds after attacking the speaker Among.

    However, his actions were supported by Bobi Wine.

    NUP insiders disclosed that Bobi Wine is expected back into the country before the end of this week to make the long awaited announcement.


    By Grapevine Reporters


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    M7 Hires Kenyatta, Odinga Lawyers To Defend UNOC In Multibillion Oil Case In Kenya…



    Kenyan lawyer Nyamodi (C), Ligomarc's Ruth Sebatindira (L) and UNOC's Peter Mulisa (R)

    President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s government has hired V.A Nyamodi and Company Advocates, a Kenya based law firm to defend Uganda National Oil Corporation (UNOC) in a multibillion oil case.

    Highly placed sources in UNOC revealed that V.A Nyamodi lawyers are going to work with Ruth Sebatindira’s Ligomarc Advocates from Uganda and lawyers from the Attorney General’s chambers led by Kiryowa Kiwanuka the Attorney General together with UNOC legal team led by Peter Mulisa.

    V.A Nyamodi Advocates led by Poul Nyamodi helped former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to win the presidential petition against Raila Odinga in the 2017 presidential elections petition and also represented Odinga in the recent presidential election petition against President William Ruto.

    UNOC lawyers are going to battle with Royani Energy Limited and concerned Kenyan citizens Charles Kombo and John Kinuthia who protested the move to allow UNOC to obtain Oil importation Certificate to import petroleum products through Kenya.

    In their petition filed in a Kenyan Court, they insist that UNOC does not have Shs36bn turnover covering three years as required by the Kenyan authorities.

    They also allege that UNOC has not sold 6.6 million litres of petroleum products and does not have the five retail stations and depots within Kenya to fulfil one of the conditions set by the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority of Kenya for a license to be given to them.

    They added that it was wrong for the Kenyan authorities to waive the said conditions so as to grant UNOC the license.

    UNOC through the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development applied for a license in Kenya to import Uganda’s petroleum products through Kenya and both countries agreed that UNOC opens offices in Kenya which was done.

    This comes days after president Museveni signed the Petroleum Supply Act which gives exclusive monopoly to UNOC as the sole importer of petroleum products in Uganda.

    The Attorney General Kiwanuka also signed a deal on behalf of Uganda with Vitol Bahrain to trade directly with UNOC without engaging middlemen especially those in Kenya.

    President Museveni explained that Oil price in Uganda has been high because of the said middlemen.

    However, Oil dealers in Uganda are secretly planning to challenge the Act in the Constitutional Court.


    By Sengooba Alirabaki


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    Mufti Mubajje In More Trouble: Attorney General Kiwanuka Advises M7 On Meeting Him Over Muslim Properties That  Are Set To Be Auctioned…



    Mufti Mubajje (R) with President Museveni (L). Inset is Minister Kabanda (L) and AG Kiwanuka (R)

    Embattled Mufti of Uganda Sheikh Ramathan Shaban Mubajje is in more trouble after learning that Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka has advised President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on meeting him over Muslim properties that are going to be auctioned.

    Kampala affairs Minister Hajjat Minsa Nabengo Kabanda revealed that last week, Muslim ministers in president Museveni’s cabinet approached him and pleaded with him to save the Muslim properties including Gaddafi Mosque which is the National Mosque from being auctioned over a Shs19bn debt.

    Last month, Commercial Division of the High Court ordered public auctioning of Muslim properties registered in the names of Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) and the listed ones are; Land in Leasehold Register Volume KCCA 149 Folio 16 land at Kampala City William Street which houses Tabliq mosque.

    Others are; Lease Register Volume 2771 Folio 2, Old Kampala Plot 23-25 which houses the national Muslim mosque and the Muslim headquarters; Kyadondo Block 195 plot 5463 Land at Kyanja Kampala City; one square miles of land at Bukwe Hoima district, one acre of land located at Lumbas, Jinja city; plot of land at Mbale city; shares in Uganda Rancheers Ltd & Commercial Holdings Ltd; Subsidiaries to Uganda Moslem Supreme Council that own 2 square miles land at Migyera-Buluri; plot of land at Entebbe Municipality opposite Victoria Mall.

    Mubajje through his lawyers led by Musa Kabega and Abbey Bukenya are fighting a losing battle to overturn the Commercial Division of the High Court decision after losing two appeals.

    Minister Kabanda said that when the matter was presented to the President, he invited the Attorney General to advise him since it was a legal matter.

    The nonsense Kiwanuka advised the president not to intervene but wait until the court process is done.

    Highly placed sources in State House told theGrapevine that since the order for auctioning Muslim properties, Mubajje has been lobbying State House staff to arrange for him a meeting with the president.

    When all efforts failed, he turned to the Chief Justice Owiny Dollo and his Deputy Richard Butera to save him. We have learnt that they have not yet fixed a meeting with him.

    Minister Kabanda said that Muslim ministers in cabinet and Members of Parliament are set to meet Mubajje and businessman Justus Kyabahwa and his lawyers led by Ahmed Kalule Mukasa for a fact finding meeting before returning to the president to brief him on the matter.

    “I give assurance to Muslims that the President will help us save the Muslim properties,” Kabanda said.

    The development comes days after former UMSC Secretary General Hajji Ramathan Mugalu threatened to take legal action against Mubajje claiming that he defamed him when he told the public that he forged his signature when he signed on the agreement that okayed the sale of Muslim land in Sembabule district which is the genesis of all these troubles.

    He insisted that Mubajje signed the Shs3.5bn land sale agreement willingly and they both have audio and video evidence as proof.

    However, Mubajje boasted that UMSC has the capacity to mobilise funds to pay the businessman.


    By Sengooba Alirabaki


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