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    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’….

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    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.

     

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    CRIME

    Serial Killers Don’t Kill One Person – Mirembe’s Family Vow To Fight To The Last Man Until Kirabo Is Arrested…

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    Businessman, Frank Gashumba has vowed to do everything he can to get justice for their deceased daughter Desire Mirembe who is suspected to have been murdered by a one Matthew Kirabo.

    After the court hearing on Tuesday 11, January, 2022, Frank said that it was a win for them when the judge pronounced that the charge and caution statement that was recorded by Matthew Kirabo followed the law.

    “Another victory has been registered today, the judge made a pronouncement that the charge caution statement that was recorded from Matthew Kirabo (the accused) was legal and now we are waiting for the day for the judgement,” Gashumba told theGrapevine.

    He added,” I can assure you we must hunt that beast down and we are going to arrest him because serial killers don’t kill one person.”

    The deceased’s father, Emmanuel Musoke told theGrapevine that they have received the ruling on an application trial within a trial.

    “We have received the ruling on an application trial within a trial after the defence claimed that the charge and caution statement was not properly extracted and that the accused was tortured,” he said.

    He added that the judge also confirmed that there was no evidence of torture.

    This followed the judge’s ruling which was read to court basing on the statement which was written and signed by Mr. Wanyoto Herbert, a detective from Kampala Metropolitan police headquarters who quizzed Kirabo.

    His evidence was however challenged by the defence lawyers who claimed that the charge and the caution statement was not properly extracted and that the accused was tortured.

    The judge however noted that Mr. Wanyoto, testified that he (suspect) was not tortured.

    State prosecutor Happiness Ainebyona asked the judge that the detective should be summoned to court as a witness.

    On Wednesday 12, 2022, Mr. Wanyoto was given a copy of his statement and was asked to take a look at it critically and confirm that he is the one who wrote it.

    “This is the charge and caution statement which I recorded from the accused Matthew Kirabo on July, 30th, 2015 at  10:00 o’clock at Kampala Metropolitan headquarters,” Mr. Wanyoto confirmed.

    When the detective (Wanyoto) confirmed the statement, defence lawyer Charles Dalton Opunya asked him to prove that the accused signed on the statement which he could not.

    Mr. Opunya also asked Mr. Wanyoto to further prove that when he introduced the charges to the accused, he understood them.

    Mr. Wanyoto said the accused did not understand the charges when they were read to him. The defence team asked him again if he included that in his written charge and caution statement. Mr. Wanyoto confessed that he did not.

    Still on the side of defence, lawyer Caleb Alaka told court that it is unfortunate that the 15 witnesses who testified do not have a coherent record.

    He added that when they requested for the records of proceedings, they were not given to them.

    They asked the judge for an adjournment to Monday which the judge agreed to.

    Court was adjourned to Monday 17, January, 2022.

     

    By Hope Kalamira

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    NATIONAL

    Museveni And The Fight For The Soul Of Police…

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    As UPDF is busy smoking out the ADF terrorists in the jungles of Congo, President Yoweri Museveni is initiating a fresh tidying up of the methods of the Police and security organs in the way they handle and interact both with the masses and criminal elements.

    Of great interest in his cleanup strategy is to rid the forces of any traces of application of torture as a means to extract confessions from suspects in custody.

    In official communications to security chiefs he described torture as “traditional” and “unnecessary and wrong and must not be used again if it was being used as I see some groups claiming in the media”.

    By traditional, the president elaborates that the use of torture on suspected criminals (okutatsya) in the fight against crime was not only commonly used in our traditional societies but was accepted and encouraged. Yet like other traditional practices that had their own mistakes, and such ideas not in consonance with logic should be abandoned.

    In an enlightened world where investigators are equipped with top notch skills of evidence gathering and the availability of modern gadgets like the now famous CCVTs, who needs torture? It is extra to necessity and a grim reminder of how far set we are from the old and troubled Uganda of pre-1986.

    The UPDF’s presence in Congo was not informed by vague information extracted from captured terrorists; it was informed by accurate intelligence and leads from years of one clue leading to another until the climax during last year’s Kampala bombings that left no doubt as to who had been terrorising Ugandans all along. That is why the army’s presence in Congo is justified and accurate even in its precision on where to hit and how. It’s why the Congolese Government willingly partnered in the operations. Was the Congolese government tortured to make that move? No! They understand our methods and trust them. Ugandans should, the better, trust Museveni with his methods even when, sometimes, they seem slow.

    Apart from expressly barring the use of torture, the president wants security organs (police) to be most humane in managing public gatherings and using proper methods of arresting suspects or subduing them in case they are resisting arrest by, for example, overpowering them, and handling them, while in custody. The basis for his move is the “fundamental starting point of the NRA principle of being an army of the people, but also serving well the law-abiding foreigners that visit Uganda”.

    The president is considerate to the extent that he bars security personnel from beating or pushing back people using their open palms, barking at them and, much less, applying tools of coercion on them when they are not endangering anybody’s life, or property. He advises politely restraining them and getting them to cooperate with law and order managers who are their “brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, uncles, aunties, cousins, in-laws, friends, etc”.

    The president calls for strict adherence with the law and UN guidelines on the use of force and urges law-abiding Ugandans to take note of and support these measures because they are for their own good. I trust that if his guidance is taken seriously, we are going to see a better, pro-people police force that can independently fight crime and win the confidence of law-abiding Ugandans.

    So far so good as far as the President’s heart and mind goes! Amidst this mindset and operational reform and improvement in policing and civil-security relations, there stands something I could call the elephant in the room. This animal is unacknowledged by those who benefit from its presence while others appear to underestimate its influence on the security status at play. That is the role of spoiler groups that call themselves opposition but are, rather, selfish and sadistic actors without regard to the general tranquility and individual wellbeing of Ugandans, but while pretending to care and fight for their rights.

    These actors are mainly in the political arena, using the cover of free democratic practice to create a semblance of anarchy and total absence of civil rights in Uganda. They do this by failing to live up to standards as law-abiding players in national affairs and competitors with NRM who can win and lose some, and become anarchists looking to plunge the country into total turmoil from which they have the luxury of detaching themselves to go and be with their foreign sponsors. Without naming who, I know most Ugandans know these actors of illwill. They must stop abusing the conscience and reasonability of Ugandans, and playing on the minds of donors who bankroll their evil activities of hoodwinking citizens and setting them up in provocative situations with security and wish each other to cause bloodshed!

    Yes, sometimes mistakes happen in policing operations but those are typically operational and isolated and usually the responsible officers are held accountable. Even then, the violations do not happen out of the blue; they happen when those caught in those situations defy instructions of police in a way that communicates an active motive to both challenge authority and harm the lives and property of Ugandans.

    If anybody is unfairly treated, as happens world over, there is always a way for redress but the cure is for those who need their rights respected and protected to respect the rights of others and know their limits and portion in building a country that is safe and works for all.

    As a side note: Constitutionally, the President is the Commander-In-Chief (C-I-C) of the UPDF. Most people take it that he is the C-I-C of (all) armed forces including police and prisons. For the sake of Bazzukulu’s understanding, given his long established yearning to reform all armed forces and how they relate with citizens, what is at stake if he simply becomes C-I-C of all armed forces? Could police’s problems have to do with the “indirect” nature of command that the president has with the force?

     

    Faruk Kirunda is the Deputy Presidential Press Secretary
    Contact: faruk.kirunda@statehouse.go.ug
    0776980486/0702980486

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    NATIONAL

    OPINION: Deployment Of UPDF In DRC Is Within President’s Powers…

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    Commander of operation shujaa in the Eastern DRC against the ADF terrorists, Maj Gen Muhanga Kayanja (holding stick) with some DRC army commanders

    The surprising but not unexpected deployment of Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) against ADF in Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) North Kivu province is a welcome development that is already giving Ugandans breathing space.

    The action had been long in coming and was not done out of lack of what to do but out of the greatest necessity given how much trouble has been brewing in that part of the region.

    From the onset, it should be understood that the deployment was done transparently, the operations are acknowledged in broad daylight and there is no element of hostile aggression on Uganda’s part.

    Most importantly, though, is the place of President Yoweri Museveni in this development; the president, in his capacity as Commander-In-Chief (C-I-C) of the armed forces, authorized the operations. The authority with which he acted was 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 emphasized security of person and property as the bedrock of democracy and transformation. He has made security his key constituency in the defense of which he has battled numerous threats and neutralized them. ADF has been among the few latent groups attempting a resurgence but without engaging in full scale armed rebellion as it attempted to do in 1996 when it first made incursions into Uganda through the Kasese area.

    Using isolated but coordinated surprise attacks on individuals and, lately, selected locations for bombing, ADF was working to frighten Ugandans and sow uncertain which they hoped, I believe, would tie in with political sentiments to precipitate regime change.

    In his recent addresses to the nation, the president has recounted how ADF was given a bloody nose in 2007 in the Semliki valley from where they retreated to the vast Congo jungles. From there, they started launching targeted assassinations of Muslim clerics and security personnel, investigators of the attacker and eminent pro-NRM politicians like former Arua Municipality MP, Ibrahim Abiriga. A spate of urban warfare was on, significantly compromising the peace of mind of Ugandans who kept wondering “if big people are being killed, how about us?” Museveni kept on assuring the nation all would be well.

    However, for some time, there was uncertainty as to who was responsible for those attacks. ADF always came up but there was a lot of speculation, with some pundits supposing the advent of a new group or some kind of insider work.

    But through painstaking and focused action of the security agencies and connecting one end to another, the real culprits were identified. And with the most recent attacks in Kampala in perspective, essential clues were gathered which confirmed that ADF was behind the bloodletting and was indeed bent on causing more damage. It was time to take decisive action!

    Before that had been established accurately, security had been treating the symptoms while the root cause of the problem remained. The deployment into DRC is meant to uproot the problem from the base and reestablish Uganda’s reputed reign of peace and tranquility. It has taken patience and sacrifice to reach this point but the action being undertaken will leave no doubts as to President Museveni’s commitment to fulfilling his obligations to Ugandans as Constitutionally enjoined.

    The president took time studying the phenomenon of the attacks that have been happening and made appropriate consultations with key allies internationally and regionally, before signing off the operations. He made it publically clear what he sought to do through his national addresses. Anybody who can claim not to have seen #OperationShujaa- as the onslaught is codenamed-coming is not serious.

    If ADF thought that the president was bluffing or that there would not be consensus among affected states then they have been rudely knocked out of their fantasies. It is time to pay, and pay heavily. This is a war that UPDF cannot lose, and the enemy knows this very well. The enemy cannot put up with the full force that Ugandans have collectively responded with.

    The overall game plan of the groups that have been working to destabilize Uganda, including the machete killer groups, was to divert the fulfillment of the NRM programmes for the country by disrupting the core constituency of security. It is safe to say that such criminal actors have no future in Uganda and had better abandon rebellion and sabotage and use Constitutional channels to advance their agenda.

    UPDF was invited to fight in Congo with the consent of the DRC government. The Congolese have suffered the deadly reality of ADF perhaps more than Ugandans. People have been butchered systematically in purges that some pundits have termed as genocide.

    Congo was tired, Uganda was tired. Why wait anymore when there is a common enemy and the means to finish him off? It was a mistake not to make this decision earlier even though there had to be full information and evidence to work with. Now there is no turning back. In any case, ADF itself invited the UPDF by attacking and killing Ugandans! It was the most viable response.

    Ugandans should fully support these operations and encourage their sons and daughters on the ground to make their country proud. Insecurity has been costing us a lot of money; once the operation succeeds, the money will be reallocated to development programmes for the benefit of Ugandans.

    At an appropriate time, the president will brief the nation on progress of the operations and other matters incidental to. Arguments about the deployment not going through Parliamentary approval are diversionary and somehow lack imagination.

    The president has addressed the nation on security matters variously in recent times. In Parliament, he sought opportunity and secured it to addressed legislators on a raft of security measures to curb the attacks marked by assassinations of prominent Ugandans over years.

    That was in 2018. Surprisingly, some of the legislators demanding for parliamentary pre-approval of the operations shunned the president’s addresses at the time for reasons best known to them but not detached from always looking at things through politically partisan lenses. Parliament is not composed of robots or aliens whose security needs are the same as those of the rest of the populace.

    Do these “bigwigs” want to suggest that because they are well-off and able to afford extra personal security the security of Ugandans does not matter? What kind of leadership is that?

    I have previously placed the blame for insecurity in the Great Lakes region-and Africa at large, at the feet of leaders-the inability to work together, inability to think straight, inability to care about the people’s plight, inability to diagnose and prescribe solutions, inability to provide leadership during time of crises and inability to read into the future of this part of the world. Museveni is not about to be part of such a disappointing lot! Any insecurity you direct at his people comes back to you!

     

    Faruk Kirundais the Deputy Presidential Press Secretary

    Contact: faruk.kirunda@statehouse.go.ug

    0776980486/0702980486

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