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    Museveni Is A More Democratic Leader Than Besigye And Bobi Wine – Andrew Mwenda

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    Journalist Andrew Mwenda has said that he finds Museveni a more liberal and democratic leader than his critics.

    Through his Facebook page, Mwenda said, “Bobi Wine and Kizza Besigye have consistently refused to stand for liberal constitutional values that make democracy work best. Instead they have consistently stood for grabbing power at any cost and in disregard to liberal values.”

    Below is Mwenda’s submission:

    Last week, police using heavy-handed methods stopped the MP for Kyadondo East, Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine, from holding a concert. Even President Yoweri Museveni agreed that the brutality police employed was uncalled for. To make a bad situation worse, the Uganda Communications Commission then ordered television stations to fire reporters, programmers and producers who were involved in the live coverage of this event.

    There was public uproar from Uganda’s chattering elites on how Museveni has continued to “suppress democracy” and entrench a “dictatorship.” It is cool to denounce Museveni these days, the very reason many Ugandan elites are addicted to it. Naïve-minded diplomats from Western embassies (who have taken over Bobi Wine’s cause) plus media and human rights groups abroad will applaud your “courage”. All these groups look at people like Bobi Wine and project them to be fighting for democracy.”

    He added “This structure of incentives has created an uncritical embrace of intolerant extremist individuals and groups seeking to grab power and establish their own fascist dictatorship. Bobi Wine and Kizza Besigye have consistently refused to stand for liberal constitutional values that make democracy work best. Instead they have consistently stood for grabbing power at any cost and in disregard to liberal values. In spite of these actions by his government, I find Museveni a more liberal-democratic leader than his critics.

    Thus in their pursuit of power, Bobi Wine and Besigye have mobilized groups that are intolerant of dissent, violent and uncouth. They do not recognize honest difference of opinion. Anyone who disagrees with them has been bought by Museveni and therefore has lost his/her conscience and sold his/her soul. In pursuit of ideological purity, they have suppressed every dissenting voice in their ranks.”

    He continued “Armed with a suffocating self-righteousness, they descend on their opponents on social media with fanatical zeal. They indulge in unrestrained cyber bullying: hurl insults and abuses at real and presumed enemies, preach hate, promise revenge and destruction and spread false accusations to inflict psychological terror. They intimidate and physically assault everyone who disagrees with them. If they can act like this out of power, what would they do when they gain command of the repressive instruments of the state – the army with its tanks, the police with its teargas and water canons?

    I appear on television often and criticize the government and the opposition. I give government credit where it is due, and credit opposition leaders like Nobert Mao and Mugisha Muntu whom I feel hold liberal values. In response, the supporters of Bobi Wine and Besigye launch petitions to the owners of these stations to block me from appearing there. It is of course their democratic right to make such petitions. But it also suggests that when in power and in control of the state, they will not allow their opponents any rights.

    One could argue, perhaps innocently and/or ignorantly, that Bobi Wine and Besigye cannot be responsible for the violence and intolerance of their supporters because they have little or no control over them. Such a person can also argue that Museveni, on the other hand, has direct command and control of the behavior of the police. But Bobi Wine and Besigye have one great power they can exercise: they can consistently and loudly condemn these acts in their supporters, insisting that such behavior violets their values. And I know both encourage and organize these tyrannical strategies. 

    There are many Ugandan intellectuals whom I hold in high esteem. However, I have consistently been frustrated and disappointed that while they exhibit extraordinary courage in denouncing Museveni’s dictatorial tactics, they have exhibited saddening cowardice when it comes to the opposition. They dare not speak out against obvious evidence of intolerance among these opposition activists for fear of being “misunderstood” by opposition activists as closet Museveni sympathizers and then be denounced. May be Museveni’s dictatorial ways create so much sympathy for his victims that this blinds such people from condemning the obvious?

    I cannot understand how anyone who believes in liberal values that are critical for a functioning democracy can stand silent when those claiming to be fighting for freedom deny it to their opponents. Muntu has repeated this many times: you cannot give what you do not have. Bobi Wine and Besigye cannot give Uganda tolerance of divergent views when they get into power when they do not have it now. The conclusion I draw from this experience is that there is a struggle for power in Uganda, and no struggle of liberal democracy.

    For all his faults, I find Museveni to actually hold deep liberal democratic values at heart, even though his desire to retain the presidency forces him on many occasions to violet them to protect his power. I grew up as a journalist critical of Museveni. I exposed corruption and human rights abuses of his government not to mention his own nepotism. Yet throughout my career, most especially when I was at The Monitor, Museveni would call me to express disagreement on an article I had written – on the facts or the logical consistence of my argument. He even appeared on my radio show.

    Of course on occasion he sent me to jail, clearly demonstrating that life is more complicated in reality. But he would invite me to state house for discussions or call and talk to me on phone. Museveni has always been consistent in ensuring debate. In the 1990s he used to call into radio talk shows to argue his case. He visits radio stations and appears on radio and television talks shows like Capital Gang where he debates his opponents. Few presidents in Africa do this.

    As I have grown older, I have become more reflective of this reality and developed what I think is a more realistic view of the political terrain in Uganda. Democracy (which is largely about the procedures of acquiring and maintaining power) can be dangerous when not underwritten by liberal values. Liberal values guarantee individual rights such as the right to property (which opposition activists promise to confiscate), administering a fair court system, protecting the rights of minorities and equality before the law.

    There are many weaknesses in Uganda’s regime of property rights and the judicial system. However, Museveni largely respects these rights. That is why his opponents’ properties, including Besigye and Bobi Wine, cannot be confiscated. His opponents need to exhibit similar convictions for us who believe in liberal democracy to trust them. For now, the “dictatorship” they claim to fight is more democratic than their own proven behavior.”

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    CRIME

    What Killed Simbamanyo Tycoon Kamya? How Top Lawyer Tried To Use Justice Byabakama’s Electoral Commission Deal To Save His Empire…

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    In one of the meetings where the agenda was to strategise on how to save the business empire of the late Peter Kamya, the proprietor of Simbamanyo Estate limited, one of his friends, who is also a seasoned commercial lawyer proposed a multibillion Electoral Commission deal which he was very sure would save the fallen tycoon’s empire.

    Multiple credible sources have revealed to the mighty Grapevine that this happened in 2018 when Equity bank had started threatening to auction Kamya’s properties which he used as security when securing a loan.

    The buildings were Ssimbamanyo House behind Central Police Station in Kampala city and Afrique Suites situated in Mutungo.

    Kamya, who is a brother-in-law to former deputy Prime Minister Muganwa Kajura allowed one of his senior lawyers to negotiate the deal which involved looking for a new home for the Electoral Commission.

    “The lawyer’s idea was for Kamya to rent the entire building to the Electoral Commission and the money collected as rent be used to service the loan which the bank was very comfortable with but out of the blue, when the deal was almost concluded, the old man changed his mind claiming that his friend was working with the bank to impoverish him and that’s how the deal flopped,” a source said.

    He added that the deal was waiting for the greenlight from president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, who was a good friend to Kamya.

    The source added that even the Ministry of Gender was ready to shift to another building.

    Another source said that the Electoral Commission was giving Kamya a big deal compared to what he was receiving from the Ministry of Gender and within 3 to 4 years, the bank’s loan would be fully paid.

    The source said that Kamya changed his mind after getting another opinion from another shrewd young city lawyer who convinced him that the loan he got from Equity bank was not favourable and it can be challenged in Court.

    Sources said that when the bank learnt about Kamya’s plan to challenge them in court, they hastily auctioned both securities to controversial city businessman Sudhir Ruperelia’s Meera Investments Limited and Ronald Luwangula’s Luwaluwa Investments Limited, a move that frustrated Kamya’s entire plan to save his empire.

    He tried to save his empire through courts of law by filing an application seeking a temporary injuction stopping the selling of the said property but he lost the application with costs.

    He further petitioned president Museveni to save his empire arguing that it was illegally sold.

    Unfortunately, after making wide consultations, especially from the Attorney General and Bank of Uganda, the big man advised Kamya to challenge the sale of his properties in courts of law.

    He explained to him that he has no alternative to save him since he was advised that his properties were legally sold.

    Without losing hope, Kamya instructed his new lawyers led by Fred Muwema to institute a suit in the High Court Commercial Division against Crane Bank, Meera Investment Limited, Luwaluwa Investment, and lawyers of Katende Ssempebwa Company Advocates were also joined in the suit.

    The matter was allocated to Justice Stephen Mubiru, the head of the Division.

    Kamya hired Kihika Byenkya and Company Advocates to join his legal team which successfully secured an order for discovery against the respondents.

    Justice Mubiru ordered the respondents to allow the petitioner to inspect their email exchange, bank accounts and phone call logs which were made in the period when his properties were sold, an order which raised dust at the commercial court.

    Lawyers from Katende Ssempebwa Advocates petitioned Justice Rubby Opio Aweri, the Chief Inspector of Courts claiming that justice Mubiru was biased and he has to be investigated over the matter.

    He was ordered to refer the entire Ssimbamanyo file to justice Opio which Mubiru refused to do.

    Mubiru insisted that Justice Opio didn’t have powers to ask for the said file from him and guided that the matter has to proceed but lawyers challenged his action at the Court of Appeal.

    In October 2022, Justice Cheborion Barishaki of the Court of Appeal issued an order stopping Justice Mubiru from proceeding with the matter until three justices of the Court of Appeal determine the respondent’s grievances.

    Sources who have been close to Kamya revealed that Justice Cheborion’s ruling shocked Kamya and from that time, his life changed and it worsened last month and was rushed to Nairobi where he died on Friday morning.

    Sources said that other Simbamanyo Directors are set to continue with the legal fight to rescue their empire.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    NATIONAL

    I Want My Child; Mother Cries Out To Majambere To Release His Son Who He Abducted, NRM Diehard Denies Allegation, Vows To Drag NUP To Court…

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    Nambazira Sauda (R), the mother to Godfrey Kirumira and Majambere

    A mother has cried out to National Resistance Movement (NRM) supporter Kamuntu Majembere to fight with fellow old men and bring back her child.

    Nambazira Sauda, the mother to Godfrey Kirumira, 17, wept while asking Sam Majembere alias Empologoma ya NRM to bring back her child who he kidnapped.

    Appearing at National Unity Platform (NUP) headquarters in Kamwokya Kampala, Sauda, with tears rolling down her eyes disclosed that on 5th, November, 2022, her child was kidnapped in a drone and taken away by Majambere.

    “The kids he was playing with that day came running to me and saying ‘mummy mummy’ Majambere came with other men and slapped Godfrey. He fell to the ground and they carried him away to a waiting drone and took him,” Sauda narrated as she cried.

    She added, “Majembere, you killed my child, you killed my 17-year-old child, you should have fought with your agemates and left my child.

    “I don’t even know how exactly he killed my son. Majambere give me my son at least I bury him myself. But why don’t you fight those who fought you not my little boy. Please give me my child, I’m in a lot of pain.”

    Embattled Sauda adduced that Majembere picked her son at 8:30 pm in a lot of pain.

    “At least you would have just slapped him and told him to sit down and asked him whatever you wanted, he would have obeyed but you shouldn’t have taken my son in that kind of bitterness.”

    She cursed, “May God do the worst to you Majembere that you will also die badly just like you killed my son but please give him to me so I can bury him. I no longer eat or even drink because of my child.

    “But you are a big man, how do you not know the people to fight with. What exactly did you want with my son. I will never forgive you.”

    MAJAMBERE VOWS TO DRAG NUP TO COURT

    When theGrapevine spoke to Majambere concerning the allegations, he denied them insisting that at the time they claim that Godfrey was abducted, he was in hospital receiving treatment after succumbing to injuries from angry mob at the burial of late Jakana Nadduli.

    “I am even at my home right now but I want you to know that I’m not a police officer neither am I an army officer. We have already seen the intentions of NUP. Recently they got accident victims and took them to Kenya and claimed they were tortured by government,” he told theGrapevine.

    Majambere however vowed to drag the deceased’s mother and the whole NUP leadership to court for accusing him of what he has no clue about adding that his lawyers are already working on it.

    He added that NUP just wants to kill him that is why they are now falsely accusing him.

    Majambere also denied allegations that he had a gun at the burial of late Jakana Nadduli noting that there is no way he would have had a gun and not shot at those who beat him up that day.

    “They have managed to fail me here in Uganda and so am going to go (to another country) and leave them that’s if they don’t kill me before I leave. Uganda has become a bush let me first run away and find protection.”

    Asked if he has managed to talk to his boss, President Museveni concerning the threats on his life before he runs out of the country, Majambere contended that President Museveni has never been his boss because he (Majambere) doesn’t work in security.

    “I just support NRM and I will never betray it even when NUP comes and attacks me and kills me, let them do so but as for me, I can never denounce NRM. And I’m not ready to do what they (NUP)  want me to do for them.”

    Majambere revealed to theGrapevine that there is something Bobi Wine asked him to do and he refused.

    He however refused to elaborate more on their chemistry and what separated them.

    This comes at a time when a number of opposition members have been abducted and taken by unknown men in drones, the recent being Sheikh Yahaya Mwanje and former presidential candidate, Joseph Kabuleta.

     

    By Kalamira Hope and Sengooba Alirabaki

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    NATIONAL

    NRM HOUSE ON FIRE! Speaker Among Directs Minister Otafiire To Beef Up MP Begumisa Security Over Minister Kawooya Death Threats…

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    L-R: Minister Hanifa Kawooya, Begumisa and Speaker Among

    Annet Anita Among, the Speaker of Parliament has directed Internal Affairs Minister Maj. Gen. Kahinda Otafiire to beef up the security of Mary Begumisa, the Ssembabule district woman Member of Parliament (MP) and her family over several death threats from health junior minister Anifa Kawooya Bangirana.

    Among told parliament that on several occasions, Begumisa has been in her office kneeling and pleading with her to give her an opportunity to raise her matter on the floor of parliament against Minister Kawooya until Thursday morning when she blamed her for being compromised to deny her the opportunity to raise her matter.

    “She cried and also said that I was also compromised not to allow her to speak, I said no this house is yours, you come and speak whatever you want to speak.

    Last week I thought that this issue will be resolved when I told the government chief whip and the Leader of the Opposition to resolve the issue of Hon. Namugga because it is the same issue but nothing has been resolved,” Among said.

    Among was responding to Begumisa’s submission during which she accused minister Kawooya of harassing her, her family members and her supporters because they are against her move to subdivide Ssembabule district to create another district.

    Begumisa told parliament that Kawooya told her supporters that President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni directed cabinet to divide Ssembabule into two districts in the interest of implementing the ongoing Parish Development model as a tool to fight poverty in the region.

    She explained that those who protested her move are being imprisoned while others are on the run including Begumisa’s husband who is always hiding in her car.

    However, Among told parliament that minister Kawooya doesn’t have powers to create new districts because even the local government minister does not have such powers.

    She added that it was resolved to halt the creation of new administrative units like the one Minister Kawooya is fighting for.

    She directed with immediate effect the minister of lands to go to Ssembabule district to stop the demarcation of the boundaries which is allegedly going on because it is illegal.

    Justine Kasule Lumumba, the Minister for General Duties in the Prime Minister’s office, on behalf of the government promised that Begumisa’s security will be beefed it up. She advised women leaders to stop fighting in public because it is shameful.

    She promised to talk to Minister Kawooya.

    Lumumba asked the speaker to also give Kawooya the opportunity to defend herself concerning the allegations brought against her.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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