Connect with us

    IS THE KATIKKIRO BIDDING US ‘TAAMU EGENDA’? Mayiga Has Not Only Lost The Confidence Of His Supporters And Admirers, But Equally That Of His ‘Appointing Authority’….



    Ugandans who have gone to school here will most likely recognize and identify with the ‘Taamu Egenda’ notion, which in summary, for all intents and purposes, refers to the ‘reign of terror’ where—’jungle law’ is fully at force at the end of a given school term—with the ‘mighty’ meting violence, as a means of bidding farewell against their ‘vulnerable’ schoolmates for ‘crimes’ allegedly committed by the latter during the course of term. Here, even the school authorities more less have no say on this kind of affair lest they become victims, too, of the very violence they purportedly seek to end.

    One key feature about this kind of ‘civility’ is that many of its perpetrators care less about the prospects of resuming studies in the same school the following term.

    This, seems to one, to be the precise situation in which Buganda finds herself in regard to Mr. Mayiga’s rather public (mis)behaviour over the recent couple of weeks or even months as we have had the misfortune to witness it on various local and international media outlets.

    It’s anyone’s guess why, in a language that rather passes the bounds of decency, Mr. Mayiga, the Katikkiro or Ssaabasajja Kabaka’s delegated head of the ancient Kingdom’s administration, has chosen to get petty with those he perceives to be not just his opponents but his ‘enemies’, too!

    If, previously, Mr. Mayiga has perceived himself to enjoy a great stream of public support and admiration beyond Buganda, one should be honest enough to alert him that his recent (mis)behaviour is a demonstration of one simple verity, which, undoubtedly, is clear enough for all those who care to see namely; that he has not only lost the confidence of his supporters and admirers, but equally that of his ‘appointing authority’.

    As Katikkiro, he ought to recall, and indeed, should have called to mind that he superintends over an institution which espouses the cultural values of the Buganda citizenry who, once, were considered to be the litmus test of a rare kind of civilization in the so called ‘Dark Continent’; and that besides being exemplary in his conduct and speech, he has a higher duty to both protect and preserve those values.

    For this reason alone, he, one holds, should have chosen the responses (they aren’t worth repeating here) to his critics and ‘enemies’ carefully, but as ‘we’ were ‘all’ ‘shocked’ to learn; the contrary was/is true. However ‘sincerely’ and rightfully vexed he might have been and probably still is, we expected and still expect better from a man of his ilk. Yet, if this was a wily way of bidding us farewell, then it is a major revelation of how many things have gone rather awry during his administration, so far known to the keen ones.

    The telling issue that Mr. Mayiga’s appointment and, who knows, pending resignation from the ‘Katikkiroship’ rationally raises, in my view, is the need for an earnest examination of the ‘modus operandi’ of his administration. The structures, policies, procedures, and protocols presently governing its operation require forensic examination, specifically in terms of their capacity to effectively translate into reality the so called ‘Ensonga Ssemasonga Ettaano’.

    Concomitant with this urgent need is the equally important discernment as to whether the present operating structure of clogged ministries/departments is a reasonably substantial solution to the Kingdom’s myriad of challenges of a multifaceted nature or a serious hindrance for the people of Buganda, whose livelihood it purports to advance.

    What I am suggesting here is not meant, in any way, to question the legitimacy of the institution as envisaged in ‘our’ 1995 Constitution. It is rather meant to question, because reason demands it under the circumstances, whether the present institutional organisation and processes at Mmengo (the Kingdom’s chief administrative seat) are truly serving the people of Buganda as well as they should be, or as some individuals who purport to represent their interests claim them to be.

    But, to borrow legal terminology, ‘no reasonable man’ should entertain the thought that one’s decision and indeed right of choice to be critical of the Mmengo affairs is borne out of ill motivation. One, on the other hand, submits that it’s rather because of an appreciation of the plethora of both the risks and dangers associated with neglecting to do so—as just but one way of protecting our stake both in Buganda and Uganda—especially given that in Uganda today, the trappings of power and money are effectively very non-discriminative.

    It should, finally, be remembered before Mr. Mayiga bows out, that the people of Buganda have not without eternal significance proven their love, loyalty and service to the ‘Kabakaship’ by, for instance, paying allegiance to a given reigning monarch—almost unquestionably. They have done so since time immemorial.

    Is it, therefore, out of range to say that they equally have authentic expectations of that monarch and his government, especially as regards their unchanging aspirations for self-determination under his long or short reign, as a guarantee for their sovereignty and political independence—which, I think, can no longer be postponed?


    By Jonathan Mwesigwa S.

    The writer is a lawyer.




    OPINION: Is There A Big Motive To Fail EAC Integration? Why DRC Is Becoming A Theatre Of Foreign Interference…



    CDFs of EAC countries pose for a group photo early this week. Inset is Faruk Kirunda

    Who is responsible for the flare up of violence at the Congo border(s) with Uganda and Rwanda? How come that the Congolese are angry with Uganda and Rwanda at a time the two countries are engaged in battling armed groups operating in the vast country that recently joined the East African Community (EAC)?

    As Africans, we are to blame for much of the instability going on our continent due to artificial divisions and unprincipled nature of our people and weakness of some leaders. However, if one looks closely, he or she can see the hand of foreign elements in action.

    How come that the flare up of violence arises just as the EAC solidifies, thereby opening up the region for mutual trade and socialisation while strengthening strategic security? The answer is that there is no coincidence in this; the same forces that have always fought African unity and progress are at play to fail the regional integration dream.

    Last year, Uganda deployed its army, Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) in the DRC provinces of North Kivu and Ituri to flash out the ADF rebels who had been making daring incursions in Uganda, shooting big personalities in their cars and planting bombs that killed scores in Kampala. ADF has been more of a menace in DRC where they would carry out systematic butcherings of the population in the East part of the country. They had a plan to spread their reign of terror regionally, and then team up with other groups to make the region uninhabitable and ungovernable. UPDF’s intervention was a total necessity that has saved our people from bloodshed.

    Codenamed “Operation Shujaa”, the operation is still on and has so far made the killer groups sneeze; they have scattered and lost appetite for their crimes, as President Yoweri Museveni, the man behind the move to totally pacify the Great Lakes region and make Africa a powerhouse that can defend itself at all times, would say.

    Teaming up with the Congolese army (FARDC) ensured better coordination and pooling of logistics to give the rebels a bloody nose. It also gave the operation legitimacy since the Congo Government had given it a green light. The Congolese people were relieved and welcomed the operation, treating the Uganda soldiers as heroes and according them due support.

    The deployment had been long in coming and was done out of the greatest necessity given how much trouble had been brewing in that part of the region. The deployment was done transparently.

    President Museveni, in his capacity as Commander-In-Chief (C-I-C) of the UPDF authorised the operations within his Constitutional powers, obligations and responsibilities as per the Oath he took while assuming office in swearing to protect Ugandans and their property.

    Since assuming power in 1986, President Museveni has emphasised security of person and property as the bedrock of democracy and transformation. He has made security his key constituency in the defence of which he has battled numerous threats and neutralised them, locally and internationally.

    ADF has been among the few latent groups attempting a resurge and he was not about to stand by and look. The Congolese were crying, Ugandans were hurting and there was no one to help. It was time to send it where all other groups that attempted to destabilise Uganda ended up and make them pay for their crimes. And paying they have been!

    Then, suddenly, we hear that the Congolese population is up in arms against Uganda and Rwanda, blaming them for the resurgence of activities by a different rebel group, M23, which is fighting the Congolese Government. I am not well-versed with the formations and motives of some of these groups but what I know is that ADF was started to fight President Museveni’s Government. When defeated, they fled and set up their bases in DRC and began to work as guns for hire and promoters of fundamentalist ideology in the region. They also went into plundering natural resources and the farms of the Congolese, on top of killing them.

    The war against ADF must not be fought in halves; it should be fought until ADF is totally no more, then, if need be, the firepower is directed to other enemies operating in the same theatre of action. I have reason to believe that there is such a plan in the pipeline and that is what is causing hostile elements backing and benefitting from the activities of the terror groups to panic and seek to redeem their schemes by stirring mass discontent among the Congolese so that Pan-Africanist forces like UPDF are turned away from completing the task at hand.

    It also has to do with the rekindling of relations between Uganda and Rwanda of recent. With the historical bonds restored between the two countries, prospects of regional stability and Integration are brighter and Africa’s enemies hate to see this. They are now behind-the-scenes engineering schemes to turn the DRC against Uganda and Rwanda so that they remain in charge of the vast resource-rich Eastern DRC territory.

    But the bigger motive is to fail EAC Integration. Africans, let us avoid being manipulated to fight each other so that we miss the bigger picture of where we could be if we agreed to integrate!

    Faruk Kirunda is the Deputy Presidential Press Secretary
    Contact 0776980483/0783990861


    Continue Reading


    OPINION: Lessons We Should Learn So That Our Oil Does Not Turn Into A Curse – Unwanted Catastrophes In Uganda’s Oil Sector…



    The writer Eng. Godfrey Mbagira

    Uganda’s oil may be a curse in future and this analogy is developed based on evidences from other producing countries across the globe.

    I dedicate this article to my Mentor and a good friend Mr. Byaruhanga Robert for his genuine support and rare found generosity and maximum respect to him because of his factual deep analysis and wide knowledge on the oil industry.

    First of all, as you are reading this article, keep memorizing this phase, “if it has happened elsewhere then it can happen here in Uganda”.

    Let us start with Venezuela as one of the classic examples that we need to look at.

    In the world of oil, Venezuela rose from rags to riches.

    Oil revenues for forty years enabled Venezuela to evolve from one of the most impoverished nations in the world to one of the wealthiest in Latin America.

    All of the country’s vital sectors improved; health care, education, employment, longevity, and Infant survival rates.

    Businesses prospered and the international banks flooded the country with loans that paid for vast infrastructure and industrial projects and for the highest skyscrapers.

    Then, oil prices crashed, and Venezuela could not repay its debts, the IMF imposed harsh austerity measures and pressured Caracas to support the corporatocracy in many other ways.

    President Museveni is very firm about having a refinery in Uganda but some saboteurs have shamelessly indicated that it is not commercially viable to invest in the refinery.

    Yet in 2009, the government of Uganda contracted Foster Wheeler Energy Limited from united Kingdom  to carry out a feasibility study on the development of a refinery in Uganda and the study confirmed the economic viability of refining petroleum in the country, and the recommendations were adopted in 2011 and a 60000 barrel per day refinery was to be located at Kabale in Buseruka subcounty, in Hoima District.

    The East African Crude Oil Pipeline construction budget for 1445 kilometers is 3.5 billion US dollars and the pipeline is planned to have a capacity of 216,000 barrels of crude oil per day.

    Tanzania will earn $12.7 of each barrel of oil transported through it and more than 2000 expatriates are expected in the country to work in oil and gas sector.

    It is a big shame that some of the planners of this country are fighting this venture.

    Uganda discovered oil way back in 1925 through a government Geologist Wayland who proved that it was commercially viable in 2006.

    The state should have invested heavily in these golden opportunities for its citizens, but it’s ridiculous that we changed the narrative from a refinery to the construction of a pipeline.

    I’m also wondering why the agreements are confidential and are kept secret.

    I heard some cases of irregularities in the compensation process where the original land owners were under-evaluated and others were forcefully evicted from their land.

    There is fear that these will result into serious resentments and conflicts in future from the natives.

    Allow me to cite another good example from Nigeria; Nigeria is a West African country and discovered her oil in 1956, exportation of oil began in 1958. Nigeria happens to be the tenth recognized oil exporting country in the world.

    The oil and gas industry contributes 95% of export earnings and 40% of Nigeria’s total revenue.  The oil economy in Nigeria is very important to the country, but the people of Nigeria still suffer from a corrupt government.

    People in Niger Delta are living in absolute poverty, the environment is devastated and extremely destroyed, illegal oil refineries are run on a large scale, government projects are sabotaged, oil pipe lines are destroyed every day, many militant groups are emerging, there are oil spills in water bodies regularly.

    This really makes me worried for my dear country Uganda because these incidents are highly expected to happen here.

    I was shocked that some big ministers were involved in corruption scandals during the signing of agreements. Unfortunately, these multibillion oil companies care only about making profits.

    On this issue also, allow me to cite another incident in Nigeria; Shell failed to clean up and court ordered it to compensate the affected people but up to now, no compensation has been done.

    Conflicts arose in 1990 between foreign oil companies and a number of Niger delta ethnic groups who felt they were being exploited particularly the Ogoni and the Ijaw, and these groups started sabotaging the developments including destroying pipelines.

    Eventually, shell was forced to vacate the land.

    These misunderstandings between oil companies and the natives started from land troubles. The oil companies then decided to employ foreign experts, leaving more local Nigerians unemployed.

    There has not been significant impact of crude oil production in improving environmental conditions for Nigerians.  This implies that while oil companies have profited immensely from Nigeria’s oil wealth, in the over 45 years of exploitation, local communities in the oil rich areas still live in poverty and with daily pollution caused by non-stop gas flaring.

    If Shell had invested and empowered the locals, it would not have experienced such a big sabotage, this should be an eye opener to Uganda.

    I have been listening to President Museveni on the issue of oil and he has consistently encouraged citizens to focus majorly on agriculture and other sectors because he understands the severe effects of Dutch disease that may result from not paying maximum attention to oil sector.

    Look at this other scenario, Texaco discovered petroleum in Ecuador’s Amazon region and a trans-Andean pipeline was built, then shortly, over a half million barrels of oil leaked into the fragile rain forest.

    During this same period, the indigenous cultures began fighting back. For instance, on May 7, 2003, a group of American lawyers representing more than thirty thousand indigenous Ecuadorian people filed a $1 billion lawsuit against ChevronTexaco Corp.

    The suit asserts that between 1971 and 1992, the oil giant dumped into open holes and rivers over four million gallons per day of toxic Waste water contaminated with oil, heavy metals, and carcinogens, and that the company left behind nearly 350 uncovered waste pits that continue to kill both people and animals.

    Ecuador is in far worse shape today than she was before they introduced her to the miracles of modern economics, banking, and engineering.

    Since 1970, during that period known euphemistically as the Oil Boom, the official poverty level grew from 50% to 70%, unemployment increased from 15 to 70%, and public debt increased from $240 million to $16 billion.

    Meanwhile, the share of national resources allocated to the poorest segments of the population declined from 20% to 6%

    Surprisingly Ecuador is in too much foreign debt and must devote an inordinate share of its national budget to paying this off, instead of using its capital to help the millions of its citizens and those officially classified as dangerously impoverished.

    The only way Ecuador can buy down its foreign obligations is by selling its rain forests to the oil companies.

    NOW, my biggest worry is on Uganda’s debt. I vehemently believe that we are already trapped, and as an analyst, allow me to make predictions on Uganda’s oil revenue allocations; approximately 75% will be taken by oil companies and the remaining 25%, three-quarters must go to paying off the Foreign debt.

    Most of the remainder will covers military and other government expenses which will leave about 2.5% for health, education and less than 3% will  go to the people who need the money most.

    My mentor, Mr. Robert told me that opportunity goes to those who are prepared.

    We must position ourselves for these opportunities. Oil and gas sector is big with numerous opportunities, let us tap into them.


    Composed by Eng. Godfrey Mbagira a social activist and a political analyst, founder of GOAM Youth voice Uganda.

    For God and My Country


    Continue Reading


    OPINION: Debate On The Speaker’s And Deputy Speaker’s Cars Has Lost Direction….



    Faruk Kirunda is the Deputy Presidential Press Secretary

    Public discourse on new cars for the Speaker of Parliament and the Deputy Speaker is welcome. However, it is losing direction. The discussion is simply enraging sections of the public without making them the wiser and that is unhelpful for the Uganda we are building and the immediate needs of the people.

    One could even say that this is a small matter but Ugandans have freedom of speech and a right to know. It’s also understandable because of the reality of the economy under stress which is rendering basic commodities unaffordable to many Ugandans.

    Similar “benz” commentary has been, severally, extended to the President’s official vehicle(s) and motorcade, and other expenditure related to his office. But the public, for those who care, is not told the truth. They are only told half-truths if not straight lies by those who want them to hate the President and the Government. Sometimes, there are no such acquisitions going on but you find the public with a different account of what is going on.

    First of all, all statutory expenditure is well-laid out and governed by the appropriate procurement laws. All expenditure is appropriated openly by Parliament, with details of items and the cost implication noted. Periodically, accountability for allocated funds is made, and as far as I know, accountability queries are not what is igniting the raging debate on the high- end cars.

    The debate has been politicised and personalised. Why? For a start, these are not personal assets but assets of the Government of Uganda. They are transferable to whoever next fills the office.

    Also, the Government institutional procurement process is not like individual shopping experiences where one can make decisions at the till. The process is structured and, almost, always, rigid. It’s also time-consuming and bound.

    If the cars are coming in now, the process of procuring them must have started a while back, before the economy got problems. It cannot be that in the midst of the hardships, the Government sat down and said “there is extra money here. Let us spend it.”

    It’s, therefore, incorrect to relate the procurement to what is happening now because nobody knew that there would be war in Europe to affect supply chains, and nobody knew that Covid-19 would still make life difficult.

    Nevertheless, the “complaints” are healthy, that is, taking into consideration the fact that tax payers have a say in how their tax money is utilised and, also, that Government has been applying cost-cutting measures in order to save money for the most critical sectors including health, education, infrastructure, security and so on. President Museveni has been on top of the class in advocating frugal practices where even he only travels where it is absolutely necessary. Many of the meetings he conducts on zoom or delegate officials who are already in particular areas or countries to avoid duplication of roles.

    Expenditure of activities such as workshops, printing, large public functions and such like has been significantly cut. The Ministry of Finance should educate the public more on such measures and where the money has been channeled.

    As Government, the main idea should be about continuously finding and promoting ways to improve the wellbeing and livelihoods of citizens regardless of the factors at play, and I believe that the hardships of the recent past and today are bringing the urgency of such action to the fore. People need services and they need them now! The problem is not one benz or two but the need to feel accommodated in the economy and that is what the President is constantly promoting and championing measures to achieve.

    The best way to unite Ugandans is to get more and more of them into the money economy, wherein they will be active participants, and more enlightened to know how the Government works.

    Making Ugandans producers will automatically uplift them and insulate them economically. As already explained by the President, the high commodity prices of today are partly due to external factors.

    Every Ugandan should aspire to produce something for self-reliance and for their own pockets. The culture of working for ‘ekida kyonka’” (the stomach alone) or not producing anything at all means that no matter how much Government designs policies for empowerment and puts money into the hands of people, only a few will reach their full potential of driving benzes, whether personal or by virtue of their status.

    Government communicators should also take a very proactive stance. Some of these things, if they are explained-not defending but giving an informed account-can be understood by the public. Absence of information in the public domain creates a vacuum for speculation and rumours, driven by individuals with personal aims and inadequacies. Whichever motivations, government communicators should stand to be counted and defuse the distortions ahead of time.

    The latter function goes with a need for continuous sensitisation of the public on Government operations and, in particular, terms and entitlements that go with different offices and why. What is contained in public standing orders and what are the responsibilities accompanying different roles that necessitate acquisition of certain kinds of transportation? What is the functional value of these machines and cost-benefit projection? What are the features on board and out of board?

    Alternatively, let the necessary provisions be amended so that procurements regarded as “extravagant and extra to necessity” are weeded out. It does not require a change of Government to do that. In short, let us have organised and actionable discussion rather than sensationalism and malice!


    Faruk Kirunda is the Deputy Presidential Press Secretary




    Continue Reading

    like us


    theGrapevine is a subsidiary of Newco Publications Limited, a Ugandan multimedia group.
    We keep you posted on the latest from Uganda and the World. COPYRIGHT © 2022
    P.O Box 5511, Kampala - Uganda Tel: +256-752 227640 Email:
    theGrapevine is licenced by Uganda Communications Commission (UCC)