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    M7 Narrates How Italian Investor Pinetti ‘Trapped’ Him With Arabian Tycoons On Vinci Coffee Agreement: D/Speaker Vows Controversial Deal Will Not Be Terminated…

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    Pinetti and Minister Kasaija after inking the coffee deal. President Museveni and D/Speaker Tayebwa (top L) claim deal will not be terminated

    President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has narrated how Italian investor Enrica Penetti compromised him by presenting Arabian tycoons from Saudi Arabia in a bid to convince him to support Uganda Vinci Coffee Company Limited (UVCCL) deal.

    President Museveni told Mbarara City South legislator Mwine Mpaka’s Committee on Trade, Tourism and Industry, who met him at State House Entebbe, that Pinetti approached him and proposed that she has potential investors from Saudi Arabia who are willing to invest their money in the country’s coffee sector.

    One of the six legislators who attended Museveni’s State House meeting revealed to theGrapevine that the big man from Rwakitura told them that he wanted to clean his name before the report was tabled on the floor of parliament.

    He divulged that Museveni told them that when Pinetti told him about the Arabian investors, who were interested in adding value to Uganda’s coffee so that it can be sold on the international market, he was very excited and told her to bring them to him because he was tired of seeing Ugandan farmers being exploited by fake coffee dealers.

    He revealed that the entire process started in 2015. When he met the investors, he was very happy with their proposal.

    Other sources that attended the meeting revealed that after meeting Pinetti and her Arabian investors, Museveni directed officials in the Ministry of Finance to help them establish their business in the country.

    He added that since then, he was not following the process until he read in the media about the said signed agreement.

    Museveni told committee members that he first reserved his comment to study the agreement.

    He explained that surprisingly, while he was studying the report, the Speaker of Parliament, Annet Anita Among directed the committee to investigate the agreement.

    The President divulged that he didn’t get time to give his view on the said report which led some people to allege that he has interest in the coffee deal.

    Sources said that Museveni told the legislators that he studied the agreement and established that there were small mistakes which were made during its drafting but these mistakes can be corrected.

    Sources added that Mpaka told the president that it was already late for the committee to accommodate his views since all members had already signed on the report and handed it to parliamentary authorities.

    The President agreed with them to table it on the floor of parliament.

    Sources in State House further revealed that the big man is still interested in the coffee deal and he is likely to use the six months period given to the executive to respond to the resolutions made by parliament and make sure all the mistakes made in the agreement are rectified.

    During his address to the nation on Sunday, Museveni said he will give more details on the coffee deal in his State of the Nation address.

    “I will touch on the issue of the so-called coffee deal that was being discussed in Parliament the other day. I could see fundamental disorientation in the position of some of the speakers that were speaking in Parliament,” Museveni promised on Sunday.

    Kira Municipality legislator, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda said that president Museveni is good at buying time whenever he is facing pressure from the public.

    He gave an example of when he faced a lot of political pressure from Dr. Kizza Besigye after the 2016 presidential elections, Museveni negotiated a deal with political brokers like veteran journalist Andrew Mwenda to persuade Besigye to sit with him and seal a peace deal with him.

    Besigye refused the deal and told the brokers that he understands Museveni very well.

    Coffee Deal Is Going Nowhere – Deputy Speaker Thomas

    Meanwhile, the deputy Speaker of Parliament, Thomas Tayembwa has revealed that the coffee agreement between the government of Uganda and Uganda Vinci Coffee Company Limited (UVCCL) will not be terminated.

    Tayebwa, who also doubles as the Ruhinda North Member of Parliament (MP) noted that after several meetings held with Museveni, the deal will be returned with minor changes in some clauses.

    “What I can confirm to you is that nobody is going to take away your coffee. We had a meeting with the President and agreed to change a few things in that controversial coffee agreement. The president shall soon give the nation an update regarding the same matter,” Tayebwa said.

    Parliament supported Mpaka’s committee report that recommended the cancellation of the agreement saying it is illegal.

    In his report, Mpaka noted that, “Officials who committed the government to such illegalities should be penalized as a deterrent mechanism to stop similar occurrences in future. The Government is directed to terminate this agreement and report to Parliament, within six months from the date of adoption of this report.”

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

    and Kobusiinge Monica

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    NATIONAL

    How I Saved Gen Saleh From Being Punched By Dr. Kiggundu Over Greenland Bank Closure And Why M7 Banned Mambo Bado – Veteran Radio Talk show Host Nsereko Narrates …

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    Radio talk show host Meddie Nsereko. Inset is Gen. Saleh (top L) and President Museveni (bottom L)

    Veteran radio talk show host Meddie Nsereko Ssebuliba has narrated how he saved now Operation Wealth Creation boss Gen. Salim Saleh from being punched by the late Dr. Suleiman Kiggundu over the Greenland bank closure.

    The CBS FM Radio presenter disclosed that, “For the last 26 years which I have spent here moderating political talk shows, I have seen a lot of things that have surprised me, but I will never forget the two talk shows which put me in tension. One was when I hosted late Dr. Kiggundu and Gen. Salim Saleh over the closure of Greenland bank, and another is when I hosted President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on Mambo Bado.”

    He revealed that in the early 2000s, the closure of Greenland bank was a very big topic of discussion since many business people both big and small were customers to the bank.

    Nsereko re-counted that as words filled with bitterness and anger were being exchanged between Dr. Kiggundu and Gen. Saleh’s camps, he was forced with approval from the producers of ‘Kkiriza oba ggana’ talk show to invite both Saleh and Kiggundu to a debate live on radio to explain their issues.

    Nsereko related that Gen. Saleh was the first to arrive at Bulange Mengo, the headquarters of CBS radio. A few minutes to 7pm, Dr. Kiggundu also arrived. But when he looked at Gen. Saleh he quickly lost his temper and started throwing strong abusive words at him.

    “Kigundu told me, Nsereko, I cannot sit in the same room with that man who has double standards, let me go. The man was very bitter and I understood his bitterness but to calm him down, I greeted him in Islam. I said, Dr. Salaam-Alaikum, let us enter the studio, he accepted and we entered the studio. We found Gen. Saleh already seated inside,” he said.

    He narrated that when Dr. Kiggundu looked at Saleh he lost his temper again and tried to punch him.

    “He grabbed him but I pleaded with him not to fight. When the talk show started, Dr. Kiggundu accused Gen. Saleh of betraying his loyalty because he supported them in the bush and even when they had just captured power, he kept on financially supporting them but it’s a pity that they paid him by taking his bank,” Nsereko divulged.

    Nsereko said that Dr. Kiggundu also accused Gen. Saleh of being bad hearted especially towards Baganda and that’s why he spearheaded the move to impoverish him and fraudulently took his bank.

    Nsereko said that in his defense, Gen. Saleh denied all the allegations insisting that it was Bank of Uganda that sold Greenland bank not him.

    Nsereko asserted that the second show that put him on tension was during the 2006 election.

    He narrated that because Besigye was breathing down President Museveni’s neck, towards the 2006 presidential elections, Museveni decided to appear on CBS’s Mambo Bado political talk show.

    By then, Mambo Bado was the hottest and most listened to political talk show in the country.

    Museveni complained that the show was full of opposition supporters who use the platform to abuse him. However, CBS radio management told him that they are not against him but his people don’t want to appear on talk shows to counteract opposition’s allegations.

    “President Museveni told me, ‘You have been telling me that my people fear these opposition people, now I have come to talk for myself’,” Nsereko quoted Museveni’s opening remarks.

    He said that after Museveni’s long submissions, he invited other people to counter his submissions and among them was a one Nakunda Muwanga who told the president that he is a dictator who is competing for president after tying the hands and legs of those competing against him.

    Nsereko narrated that Museveni was very bitter with Muwanga’s submission and a few days later, Mambo Bado talk show was banned by the Uganda Communication Commission.

    He added that Dr. Kizza Besigye, Lt. Gen. Henry Tumukunde, Gen. David Sejusa are the other prominent people who put him in a difficult position behind the microphone.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    NATIONAL

    EC’s Justice Byabakama Accused Of Meeting Bobi Wine’s NUP Leaders At Night…

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    NUP leader Bobi Wine (R) and EC boss Byabakama (L)

    Justice Simon Mugenyi Byabakama, the chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) has been accused of meeting Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu alias Bobi Wine’s top National Unity Platform (NUP) Leadership at night.

    Government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo disclosed that EC should be investigated over allegation that on Tuesday this week, Byabakama met a team from Kamwokya led by David Lewis Rubongoya, the Secretary General.

    Ofwono added that EC’s behaviour in the ongoing fight between Bobi Wine’s Kamwokya based NUP and Moses Nkonge Kibalama’s Lubaga base over the ownership of the party is questionable and should be probed.

    He wondered why EC bosses were very fast to respond to Kibalama’s letter written to them over the new changes in the leadership of their party when it takes them years to respond to other political parties’ letters.

    Opondo was emphasising allegations made by Gideon Tugume, the Kibalama faction secretary for information on NBS tv’s frontline talkshow.

    Tugume claimed that they have enough evidence that before EC responded to their letter, they first met Rubongoya’s team at night.

    “The Electoral Commission acted on forgeries; we know the things that happened before that letter was released.

    “The good thing cameras are installed at EC, we challenge them to retrieve the footage captured on Tuesday night to dispel rumours that Rubongoya was not at their offices. What did they discuss at night?” Tugume challenged Justice Byabakama.

    He further challenged Justice Byabakama to make NUP’s constitution public like they do to other parties’ constitutions instead of hiding it.

    In defence of Bobi Wine’s NUP faction, Busiro East Member of Parliament, Medard Lubega Ssegona rubbished Tugume’s allegations and branded him a state mercenary.

    He explained that the only route Kibalama can use to take over NUP leadership is through a petition in Court which he vowed to challenge as a lawyer with the help of other party legal brains.

    On Wednesday, EC disowned Kibalama’s NUP faction insisting that Bobi Wine’s faction is the one that is legally recognised.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    EDUCATION

    Prime Minister Nabbanja Orders ISO To Deal With Striking Arts Teachers As UNATU Instructs Lawyers On Education Ministry Statement…

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    PM Robinah Nabbanja and UNATU boss Filbert Baguma

    The Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja has issued moving orders to all Internal Security Organisation (ISO) operatives to deal with striking arts teachers who refused to obey President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s directives.

    Exclusively speaking to theGrapevine, Nabbanja disclosed that all ISO operatives all over the country have been instructed through their bosses from Kampala  headquarters to make sure that no unpatriotic teacher is playing with the President’s directives to end strikes.

    Yesterday, President Museveni’s government, through Catherine Birakwate, the Ministry of Education and Sports Permanent Secretary issued a statement directing teachers either to go back to class and teach or resign from public service.

    The statement followed an emergency meeting summoned by President Museveni in State House Entebbe which was attended by the Vice President Jesicca Alupo, Minister of Education and Sports  Janet Kataha Museveni, Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka, Minister of Finance Matia Kasaija, Minister of Public Service Muruli Mukasa and other officials from their respective ministries.

    The meeting resolved that Arts teachers should wait for the coming financial year when government will increase the salaries of all government workers.

    Nabanja told theGrapevine that government is going to make sure that the President’s directive is implemented and that no one is defy it.

    “This time is not for joking, this is a government in power and all ISO operatives are directed that from 24th June, 2022, they should be moving around their jurisdiction inspecting all government schools and recording those teachers who think they are bigger than government,” Nabbanja said.

    She added that government is not going to look on as innocent young Ugandans are suffering without studying because of selfish people among teachers under their umbrella body, the Uganda National Teachers Union (UNATU).

    “When you see them opening their eyes wide you may think that they are fighting for a common teacher, but no, they should know that they are not the only people who studied education.

    There are many young people who are unemployed and want to be employed by this government, if they cannot wait for government to fulfill their promise in the coming year, let them go,” a furious Nabbanja said.

    She pined UNATU bosses of misleading teachers especially Filbert Baguma, the Union’s Secretary General.

    Nabbanja said that people like Baguma are seeking to benefit personally from teachers strikes.

    Nabbanja insisted that government is going to increase the salaries of its employees in the next fiscal year, “this financial year we have started with scientists.”

    However, Baguma insists that the strike is still ongoing. He warned government, especially people like Nabbanja, to stop using threatening language.

    He rubbished Birakwate’s statement that the teacher’s industrial action is illegal.

    He pleaded with teachers not be intimidated. Baguma revealed that they have instructed their lawyers to study Birakwate’s impugn statement.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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