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    M7 Is Imposing A Solution Deadlier Than The Problem – Besigye Faults Gov’t Resolution To Keep Schools Closed For Almost A Year Over COVID19…

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    Dr. Kizza Besigye (L) and President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni

     

    Former Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) presidential candidate and key opposition leader, Rtd. Col. Dr. Kizza Besigye, has faulted the government for failing to come up with a substantial solution to the puzzle of Ugandan leaners attaining education amidst  the COVID-19 pandemic for close to a year now.

    It is almost a full year now since schools were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the full reopening of the institutions of learning still  hangs in balance.

    We can only keep guessing when non-candidates will be able to return to school, as the government keeps on pushing dates further.

    On March 18, 2020, President Yoweri Museveni, with guidance from the Ministry of Health, decided to close schools in a bid to prevent the spread of the virus. The closure affected 73,200 schools and more than 15 million learners and 548,000 teachers.

    However, Besigye contends that the government’s failure to devise means of ensuring that learners attain education amidst the Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) aimed at preventing COVID-19 is a dismal occurrence that should not have happened under normal circumstances.

    “Dysfunctional NRM/M7 Junta has not figured out how students in Uganda can resume their education, 10 months after lockdown!” Besigye raged on social media. He cited that the Open and Distance e-Learning (ODeL) can’t work in Uganda due to serious challenges of ICT access, including very expensive internet, which is also restricted by the government.

    “The Junta has greatly and strategically endangered the future of our children,” the professional medical doctor added, noting how research in many countries has proved that learners might be safer while at school than at home and in the communities.

    Dr Besigye insists that the results of prolonged closure have far-reaching implications for education systems when schools reopen which relate to, but also transcend, the current crisis, thus a need to think of both short and long-term interventions.

    Unlike for instance neighbours, Kenya which opted for a dead year approach right away in March last year, and reopened some three weeks back, Uganda declined to officially declare a dead academic year in 2020, which has negatively affected many learners as many have not had any form of continued learning.

    It should be noted that however much media reports indicate that social distancing in many Kenyan schools is almost impossible at the moment, schools are ‘taking precautions’, and life has to move on anyway.

    In Uganda, only leaners in candidate classes and finalists at higher institutions of learning were eventually able to return to school late last year.

    However, an estimated 13.8 million learners are still home and it seems they might not be able to go to school until the country gets some of the coveted COVID-19 vaccines.

    In a statement released by the cabinet, the re-opening of schools will be based on the epidemiological nature of the disease.

    Dr Monica Musenero, an epidemiologist who sits on the Education COVID-19 committee, explained that while schools need to open, the issue of space remains a big hindrance. She explained that whether or not a school can run while maintaining the two-metre rule is the deal-breaker.

    “One of the main things we need to maintain is the two metre distance of learners at all time. But we are not sure schools will be able to meet this since even with just candidates, some schools have been struggling,” she said.

     

    By Baron Kironde

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    CRIME

    Why M7 Appointed Trusted Brother Gen. Saleh To Command Fight Against Gunmen Attacks On Security Forces …

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    President Museveni and his brother Gen. Salim Saleh

    President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the Commander in Chief has assigned his young trusted brother and special senior presidential advisor Gen. Salim Saleh to supervise the fight against gunmen who are attacking security installations and forces.

    Credible security sources have intimated to theGrapevine that Museveni was briefed by his confidant intelligence team that security agencies have failed to defeat the armed men who attack police posts and military barracks.

    Internal Affairs State Minister Gen. David Muhoozi briefed parliament that 22 suspects including UPDF soldiers and two police officers were charged before the court martial on offences related to the recent attacks on police stations and military barracks. The minister said that within a period of 12 months, 13 attacks have been reported, 15 guns were stolen and 6 of these have not yet been recovered.

    “According to available intelligence, the motives for these actions are acquisition of arms for subversive activities, as well as for other criminal ends other than subversion,” the minister said.

    However, the minister explained that some of the attacks were as a result of laxity in the security forces and sources have said that it is this laxity that has forced President Museveni to bring back Gen. Saleh after establishing that his security forces were carrying out uncoordinated operations against the said gunmen.

    Sources added that the big man was very bitter with some security bosses for giving uncoordinated statements, he gave an example of the statement issued by police identifying the gunmen as rebels which the army rubbished and insisted that the attackers are criminal gangs.

    Sources said that Museveni directed all security bosses that before an operation is carried out, Gen. Saleh has to be informed and if it is an emergency, he has to be briefed not beyond five hours after the operation.

    “You know these gangs have started using tactics which President Museveni’s NRA rebels used especially when they started attacking security installation with the aim of stealing guns, didn’t you hear that the attackers at Gaddafi barracks in Jinja first strangled the UPDF soldier before firing bullets on his dead body?” a source said.

    He added that Museveni wants Gen. Saleh to use the same tactics they have previously used to fight gunmen.

    Another source said that there is a sharp division within security agencies and the president wants Gen. Saleh to fix it and save the situation.

    Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba, the special presidential senior advisor on operation, has been the supervisor of all the operations in the country.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    NATIONAL

    Has Bobi Wine Finally Made Up His Mind To Replace Mpuuga With Zaake? Battle For LOP Position Rages On, NUP Speaks out…

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    L-R: Mityana municipality MP Zaake, LOP Mpuuga and NUP boss Bobi Wine

    David Lewis Rubongoya, the National Unity Platform (NUP) Secretary General has rubbished allegations that his party president Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine has written to Annet Anita Among, the Speaker of Parliament, appointing Mityana Municipality Member of Parliament (MP) Francis Zaake as the Leader of Opposition in Parliament replacing Mathias Mpuuga Nsamba.

    Rubongoya said that the aim of people who are circulating allegations that Bobi Wine has fired Mpuuga is to disorganise opposition legislators and NUP members at large which they cannot accept as NUP leadership.

    The allegation come at a time when Bobi Wine has just blasted some of his party MPs and opposition at large for not supporting Zaake when he was protesting on the floor of parliament over the kidnapping of opposition supporters especially in Buganda.

    Thomas Tayebwa, the deputy speaker of parliament early this week sent Zaake to the parliament’s disciplinary committee for violating his orders when he insisted on commenting on the ongoing kidnaps in the country even after advising him on the right procedure to follow.

    However, Bobi Wine claims that it was wrong for Tayebwa to frustrate Zaake and praised Makindye West legislator Derrick Nyeko, Kasanda South’s Frank Kabuye, Nakaseke Central’s Allan Mayanja and Kilak South’s Gilbert Olanyah who stood with Zaake when he was protesting.

    Sources inside NUP revealed that Bobi Wine is very determined to drop all the opposition leadership in parliament because they are not respecting his orders and are in bed with the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party which he says is betrayal.

    Sources added that apart from Zaake, other people who are being vetted to replace Mpuuga include Busiro East’s Medard Lubega Ssegona and Kasanda North’s Patrick Oshabe Nsamba.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    CRIME

    Buganda Premier Mayiga In Panic Over City Businessman Who Wants To Finish Him…

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    Buganda premier Charles Peter Mayiga

    Kampala Metropolitan police spokesperson Patrick Onyango has revealed that detectives from Old Kampala police station have kicked off investigation against a controversial city businessman for inciting Kisekka market youths against Buganda Premier Charles Peter Mayiga.

    In an exclusive interview with theGrapevine, Onyango said that on Monday morning, Old Kampala police received information about angry Buganda youths who were threatening to cause insecurity at Bulange building which houses Buganda Kingdom headquarters.

    Onyango said that his police quickly saved the situation and arrested some of the youths who led the attack.

    He explained that preliminary investigation show that there might be a big man behind the goons who were hired from Kisekka market to bring tension and panic at Bulange building and against the person of Mayiga.

    “They are going to be charged with the offences of criminal trespass and inciting violence. However, investigations are ongoing and we might charge them with other offences because we are still looking for that person who is behind them,” Onyango said.

    Detectives at Old Kampala police told theGrapevine that they suspect that there is a top city tycoon who facilitated these youths to attack Buganda Kingdom.

    He added that they might be the ones who forged the signature of the Buganda Kingdom King Ronald Muwenda Mutebi that was put on the letter suspending all works at all Kingdom institutions including clans headquarters, his palaces and at the Kingdom headquarters.

    In the forged letter, there were instructions directing UPDF and Uganda Police with immediate effect to stop providing security at the said Kingdom headquarters.

    Detectives added that the youths identified themselves as Kabaka Munyango and are the ones who normally escort Kabaka Mutebi when he is travelling internally.

    It is alleged the suspects wanted to stage a deadly protest against Kabaka as a way of provoking his security to fire bullets at them which would have resulted in bloodshed.

    The suspects were found with machetes and placards with writings pleading to Kabaka Mutebi to fire Mayiga over incompetence and corruption.

    Buganda Kingdom disowned the said letter insisting that it was not signed by Kabaka.

    However, sources within Mengo revealed that the letter was authored within Bulange by Mayiga’s enemies.

    Efforts to get a comment from Buganda Kingdom were futile as Noor Kiyimba, the Kingdom’s information and cabinet minister was not picking our calls by press time.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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