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    Mailo Land Or Not, Museveni Is Not Obote…

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    The meeting of President Yoweri Museveni and Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II held at State House, Nakasero, last Tuesday, was a most welcome development. One of the most immediate benefits is the assurance that Uganda and Buganda are on good terms since the principals are on talking terms. The meeting of the principals was the first since 2019 when they met at Banda palace and caught most people unawares.

    Given their busy schedules, their meetings are always over matters of great importance. Remembering that we are in the second year of battling the COVID-19 pandemic, this particular meeting had to have some urgency around it. One can guess what matters were discussed when the Kabaka had just celebrated 28 years on the throne. At the celebrations held at Nkoni palace in Buddu (Lwendo district), the Kabaka voiced concern over the mailo land issue and ebyaffe (Buganda’s unreturned property). At the
    time he spoke out, debate was rife in the public domain about a move to abolish the mailo land tenure system which Mengo claims to be the basis of its existence.

    The discussion arose from a move by government move to further regulate land management systems in the country with amendments in the kitchen as we talk with the overall aim of stamping out rampant evictions which have are threatening the livelihoods of many Ugandans and causing social disharmony and bloodshed all over. Landlords owning huge chunks of land and crooks working within the lands sector have had a field day terrorising both the poor and the emerging middle class by playing on their minds and overcharging them or evicting them unfairly. Government, therefore, found it befitting to review the land laws to settle this injustice once and for all.

    I also know that the Minister or Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ms. Judith Nabakooba, is working tooth and nail to streamline land matters while the Minister for the Presidency, Ms. Milly Babirye Babalanda, upon assumption of office recently, immediately expressed support to her
    colleague’s efforts. Babalanda rallied RDCs/RCCs to do their part and ensure that no evictions take place in their jurisdictions without following the due course. Evictions carried out at night or those effected without court orders and the consent of all stakeholders had become too rampant that almost nobody was sure of their safety and the status of ownership on the land they occupied. Since land is the basis of all development and human existence, government’s move is most welcome and should be supported.

    However, due to the tendency of people weaving into discussions with suspicion without internalising matters, the mailo land issue had started raising temperature in the public. It was as if a showdown was imminent, but why a showdown?

    Amendments in the law are always a legal and open process which involves consultations and discussions before any decision is reached. I take the meeting between Museveni and Mutebi as part of the consultative process preceding any amendments; and if indeed amendments will be
    tabled in Parliament, there will be broad debate in Parliament-public hearings will be conducted and MPs will go to the constituencies and talk to their people while assessing the extent to which they are affected by the unfair mailo land system practices.
    I also realise that most people do not understand what mailo land is. Sensitisation is much needed as part of the process to resolve the “land terrorism question”.

    From what I read over the weekend, President Museveni put the mailo land system in perspective and explained how it was introduced by the colonialists in the 1900 Buganda Agreement to reward the Kabaka and conspiring chiefs. These landied chiefs were later to oppress squatters who settled on the land and paid back in labour or produce from what they grew.

    Later, Idi Amin abolished the mailo system but without involving stakeholders while making the decision. NRM reinstated the mailo system but it has overtime been abused by landlords who mistreat squatters, thus necessitating a review.
    Mailo land is not the only sticking issue between central government and Mengo but whatever issue may come up, there is nothing that cannot be ironed out.

    Some actors are always plotting to cause an open clash between Mengo (Buganda) and central government or Museveni and the Kabaka, in particular the same way some extremists caused the unforgettable clash
    between Obote’s government and Mengo of Sir Edward Muteesa II. What had started as a comradeship that saw Obote name Muteesa president while he remained as prime minister quickly saw them become the worst of foes with each wanting the other dead. Eventually, they both lost power.

    Problems had been caused by a combination of self-seekers at Mengo and in the Obote government combined with the retreating colonialists who did not want to see independent Uganda consolidate its place; the colonialists wanted to show that Ugandans (and Africans, at large) were unfit to self-
    govern.
    Whoever was responsible for pushing the 1966 clash should know that Museveni is not Obote. Museveni is in a class of his own. He studied the mistakes of the past generation of leaders and Ugandans history in totality and cannot make similar mistakes. He restored traditional cultural institutions despite many questions that were being posed at the time. He can’t fail to handle the mailo land issue which, moreover, benefits the common person. He should be supported.

    By Faruk Kirunda
    The author is a Presidential Assistant in Charge of Media Management.
    Contact: kirundaf2@gmail.com
    0776980486/0702980486

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    NATIONAL

    Panic In UPDF As Furious M7 Gives Gen Okidi’s Team Two Weeks To Give Him Detailed Report On Why Army Helicopters Are Crashing…

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    One of the army helicopters that crashed recently

    A furious President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, who is the Commander-In-Chief has ordered Maj. Gen. Charles Okidi’s team to present to him a detailed report on why Uganda People’s Defense Forces(UPDF) helicopter crashed in the Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC) and killed the country’s soldiers including a Ukrainian national who was the pilot.

    Brig. Gen. Felix Kulayigye, the UPDF spokesperson confirmed the incident explaining that as usual when such incidents happen, the president orders for investigations.

    According to Reuters, more than 22 UPDF soldiers have died in two separate helicopter crash incidents inside DRC where the country’s commandos are fighting the deadly Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) terrorists who have been frequently killing Ugandan and Congolese nationals.

    However, Gen. Kulayigye rubbished Reuters reporting on the number of UPDF soldiers who have died in the incident but confirmed that Yury Vyshykvy, the Ukrainian national who was the pilot of the Russian made Mi-17 died on spot and together with two Congolese nationals.

    Sources in UPDF have revealed that president Museveni has directed that the concerned persons should inform the deceased’s next of kin over the death of their people.

    Mi-17 crashed few minutes after delivering food and medicine consignment to the UPDF commandos who are fighting ADF terrorists in Eastern DRC and a number of causalities were rushed to Bombo Military hospital for further medical attention.

    Sources in UPDF disclosed that the president wants to establish why the forces’ newly acquired military helicopters are crashing.

    The DRC accident happened a day after another Mi-24 also crashed in Fort Portal.

    Fortunately, no person died in that particular accident.

    Sources noted that like other military helicopter accidents, Gen Okidi’s report will not be made public but will be given to the assigning officer.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    CRIME

    We Don’t Want A Country Where People Are Being Picked Up By Drones And No One Is Held Accountable – Muntu Warns On Rampant Broad Day Light Kidnaps…

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    Mugisha Muntu

    Former presidential candidate, Gen. Mugisha Muntu has warned on the rampant abductions that have taken lead in the country.

    Muntu statement was premised on the rising cases of gunmen picking civilians off the streets or their homes in drones.

    Muntu emphasized that they don’t want a country where people are being picked up by drones and no one is held accountable, and the government doesn’t speak out even when issues are raised.

    “What we see currently on the surface of things seems to be calmness, but beneath is a situation that we all need to focus on.”

    He explained, “We have two forms of fear. One is the fear that is deeply engraved in the minds of those people in power. They fear relinquishing power, and therefore, it drives them to do the things they do.

    “Unfortunately, in this country, we have never had a peaceful transition, which is abnormal, and therefore, we need to focus on where we are heading. It is not too late.”

    Muntu insisted that they need to use the platforms where they can speak and break the culture of impunity that keeps growing.

    “The principle of separation of powers in institutions is not working. Parliament is just a shadow of what Parliament is supposed to be. On the surface you might think that there is peace but below, the situation is worrisome,” he intimated.

    He added that sectarianism is a symptom of a larger problem.

    “If we want to have fairness, we have to ensure that whatever we practise, is rooted in these values of fairness, justice and equity, among others.”

    Muntu made the remarks at Golf Course hotel today during a Public Dialogue under the theme ‘Ending Secretarianism and Tribalism.’

    Today, a man in civilian attire accompanied by the three men wearing military fatigue and armed with assault rifles kidnapped Mr. Rafik Khan, a car dealer at Kireka C in Kira Municipality, Wakiso District at 5pm.

    Residents and Mr. Khan’s colleagues looked on helplessly as the armed men dragged the businessman into a waiting Toyota Probox car.

    This is on the heels of over 15 NUP supporters who have recently been arrested from various parts of the country by men moving in drones.

    Democratic Party president, Nobert Mao, who also doubles as the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs hailed Muntu for taking a strong stand against extra-judicial killings by those who wanted to take the law into their own hands.

    He argued that as they discuss the framework for the truth and reconciliation process, they must agree on what truth and reconciliation are not.

    “I have to give credit to Gen. Mugisha Muntu because of his militant and strong stand against extra-judicial killings by those who wanted to take the law into their own hands,” he adduced.

    He maintained, “Let me state what the truth and reconciliation process is not. It is not good to be confused about the aims of the truth and reconciliation process.

    “The truth and reconciliation process should not conduct a formal legal process and should not duplicate the work of criminal investigations, initiate court actions, among others, on matters already covered by other organs.”

    Mao noted that however, there are some trends that will lead them to conclude that colonialism played an important role in the false start that Uganda made as they headed towards independence and the years after, adding that he doesn’t believe that all the blame goes to the colonialists.

    “The North is seen as the “underprivileged backyard”. As Uganda went to independence, historical accidents disarmed the north of their fears that they had a position in an independent Uganda.”

    He propounded, ” Therefore, even a Munyankole that has made money is seen to have been corrupt. An Acholi who hasn’t killed anybody when they go to Luwero will be a suspect.

    “There was perceived dominance of the North, Baganda, and western Uganda. This was looked at as a problem that should be seen through sectarian lenses.”

    Mao therefore emphasized that a national truth and reconciliation process is the only thing that can salvage this country.

     

    By Kalamira Hope

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    NATIONAL

    Fights In Bobi Wine’s NUP: KCCA Councillor Cited In Kyagulanyi, MP Kagabo Disturbing Leaked Audio Recording…

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    Hakim Kizza, the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Secretary for engineering and technical services, who is also the Lubya Parish representative in Lord Mayor Ssalongo Erias Lukwago’s city council has cleared the air on the allegations that he has a hand in the leaked disturbing audio recording where embattled Bukoto South Member of Parliament Twaha Kagabo is revealing secrets about NUP party and his principal Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu (Bobi Wine).

    In the leaked audio, Kagabo is heard confessing to a friend via phone that he is not in NUP because he loves the party so much but he is there because of the political wave.

    He added that many NUP legislators are not happy with Bobi Wine’s leadership style but they have nothing to do because he is popular.

    The recording was leaked a few days ago when Bobi Wine had just praised Kagabo for being a patriotic legislator and very loyal to the party after he accepted his mistake and returned the controversial Shs.40m bribe.

    It should be remembered that Bobi Wine ordered his party legislators to return the Shs.40m bribe which he alleged was given to MPs at the speaker of parliament Annet Anita Among’s home in Nakasero, a Kampala suburb.

    Dr. Kagabo returned the money and accused speaker Among of giving it to him. Suprisingly, he later refuted his early statements against Among and apologised to her.

    Days after apologising and being forgiven by the Speaker, an audio leaked of him blasting Bobi Wine and NUP.

    Kagabo supporters now accuse councillor Kizza of playing on Kagabo’s intelligence and releasing the shocking audio of him blasting his party boss.

    Sources in Bukoto South told theGrapevine that Kizza had intentions to contest for the area parliamentary seat but he was frustrated by NUP leadership in Kamwokya who gave the party ticket to Kagabo.

    Sources added that when Kiiza decided to contest on an independent ticket, he was advised to try another time because it was going to be hard for him to defeat Kagabo who was already armed with a NUP ticket and money.

    He later accepted defeat and stood for KCCA councillor representing the people of Lubya Parish.

    Sources further narrated that Kagabo used a lot of money to get the NUP ticket after first battling for it with Dr. Abed Bwanika who was later forced to shift to Kimanya-Kabonera.

    Sources said that from then, Kiiza has been on ground, which he admitted when contacted.

    “I’m not new in that constituency, he found me there but he used money, but I remained with my people,” Kiiza said.

    He however denied allegations that he was behind the leaked audio recording.

    Kagabo and Kizza’s political fight is one of the many political fights in Bobi Wine’s NUP party.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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