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NRM Top Organ Fails To Agree On How To Conduct Party Primaries Since Lining Up Increases Risk Of Spreading Covid19….

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NRM CEC members (Courtesy photo)

Yesterday, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) Central Executive Committee (CEC) failed to agree on how the party is going to conduct this year’s party primaries.

In the CEC meeting held at State House Entebbe chaired by the party chairman President Yoweri Museveni, the members failed to agree on suitable means to conduct their party primaries since lining up is now impossible because of the Covid19 pandemic.

Credible sources that attended the meeting revealed to this website that some members wanted the party to amend the decision made by the same organ early this year that to avoid election malpractices, they should vote by lining up during the party primaries.

The movers of this amendment argued that as a party in power which is also pushing for ‘scientific’ elections, they cannot allow their members to contest in an election where they cannot be in contact with their voters.

They added that if the party decided to go with lining up, people are going to come from different places yet they don’t know their COVID19 status.

However, some members strongly objected claiming that the party can organize a lining up mode where voters observe social distancing and follow other Covid19 guidelines.

Sources further revealed that in conclusion, members agreed to adjourn their meeting to Saturday this week.

They however instructed the party legal team led by Counsel Oscar Kihika to sit down with the Ministry of Health and find a suitable mode that can be used to conduct the party primaries.

Rogers Mulindwa, the NRM Secretariat spokesperson told Grapevine that CEC members indeed failed to agree on the mode of conducting the party primaries and decided to meet again on Saturday.

The independent Electoral Commission of Uganda declared that the country will hold ‘scientific’ elections and campaigns because of the Covid19 pandemic.

 

By Sengooba Alirabaki

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EDUCATION

Government Did Not Create COVID-19, Parents May Lack Money But They Have Life – Education Minister Janet Answers Parents Who Say They Don’t Have Fees And Why They Had To Open Schools…

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The First Lady who also doubles and the education Minister Janet Museveni has answered parents and Ugandans concerning some of the most critical questions on re-opening of Schools for candidates.

Below is the conversation from the minister:

Good morning fellow Ugandans, I received a number of comments on the decision by the Government to re-open schools and I have replied some of them below:

Question: Denis Natukunda: With opening up of Candidate Classes ie P7, S4 and S6, what consideration has Ministry of Education put in place to address the gaps in syllabus coverage caused by COVID_19 since Late March to date. There will be no much benefits to Candidate’s due to the lost Education Calender in the Pandemic. Parents should think twice.

Reply: This is 2nd term to cover work for that period. The third term will be January to April and the syllabus will be covered

Question: Doreen Nakayiza: Ministry of education think about our children you are putting into your mess. Going for exams when In fact they are half baked. Syllabuses not finished, what’s the pressure for?? Can’t it be cancelled to a dead year country wide??

Reply: We considered declaring a dead year but realized, even next year COVID-19 may still be here, therefore, we decided to at least let the candidate classes go back late but prepare to finish. I request that you partner with us

Question: Emmanuel S Mukasa Omuzzukulu: Diffinitely many won’t be able to re-open,gov’t will grant them loans,some will fail to pay back,and proprietors will lose their assests. Govt will confiscate the schools

Reply: I am Sorry, the Government did not create COVID-19 so let us all try to do what we can. The government is only trying to save the situation.

Question: Andrew Akatuhurira: I’m personally disappointed with the first lady and ministry of education officials, why the rush,, already alot of time is wasted!! What will happen to other classes if candidates resume? Actually most teachers have resorted to other things than teaching.

Reply: I am sorry you are disappointed with me, just remember, like you, I have no power to control COVID-19 and this is what we can do at this moment

Question: Kinene Edwin Douglas: Now what were they hiding why were they downing the year plan , and now parents have to look for lots of money on short notice to take their children back to school because of poor planning and poor leadership of this country.

Reply: We were hiding nothing, we were hoping the COVID-19 Pandemic would clear and schools would open, instead it is getting worse, that is why we thought of trying with a small group first.

Question: Ocaya Innocent: Stress continues but it will be a dead year bcoz we are doing exams for this year next year but they should leave studies aside and first finish politics then studies next year bcoz we are tired of stress an no school has started making arrangements bcoz they are confused as everyday they are getting new confusing stories so I can now say they are more confused than students.

Reply: The year has been stressful admittedly, but this is the time both for politics and school. Let us agree to do it the best way we know how.

Question: Akugizibwe Irriplacible Mathius-Rutaaba Tha-Boss: Me am confused now. Then what happens to a senior one and five groups who had not covered even a what is History.
Are they going to senior two and senior six respectively??? Or they are going to wait for the now primary seven and four candidates to sit their papers and join them so they can now start together. The ministry must therefore come out with a substantial dossia

Reply: We are continuing with learning at home for S.1 to S.5 when S.6 moves on then S.5 will move to S.6 and when S.4 moves away S.1 and others all move on automatically.

Question: Lawrence Tamale: Well to avert the confusion we would have had S.4, S.5 and 6 till mid-November. Schools would ensure all the study material they need is given to them within that time for personal revision when they break off for holidays. In mid-November we would have S.1, 2 and 3 till mid-December and take them through the same. Immediately after candidates finish national examinations, these would also sit for promotional in February. Uneb marking can expedited so that by April, S.1 and 5 can start. I think this could solve the problem.

Reply: Thank you for your constructive ideas but since we are already set, let us have some confidence in this plan. With all of us giving it all our support it will work.

Question: Muwanguzi Edgar: Opening schools has no problem.
But financially both parents and some schools are highly strained.
1: what if the parent of that candidate is a bar attendant or operates a bar. Where will that parent take care of the child.
2: No explanation on the grant. All in all let us be on the move
I pray that everything comes to normal.

Reply: Thank you for a positive attitude, knowing that there is no one to blame for the mess that came because of COVID-19. Let us just agree to unite around this problem with God’s help we will overcome.

Question: Ampumuza Innocent: But why should schools open?
Some parents own bars, gyms and other businesses that are still unopen, so with this poverty where do the government expect the parents to get the school fees?

Reply: Schools are opening because there are many who want schools to open, please do understand that Government did not close these businesses in bad faith, it was to save the lives of many. And yes many lack money but they have life.

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NATIONAL

How Does It Benefit Anyone To See Dead Bodies At A Polling Station Arising Out Of An Election? EC Boss Byabakama Warns On Violence And How New Digital System Is Going To Improve Voting…

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EC boss Simon Byabakama

The Independent Uganda Electoral Commission (EC) is in the process of acquiring a system that will be used on polling day which will efficiently identify a voter, rule out multiple voting and also have some level of connectivity, according to the commission.

The system will also enable the EC to ensure that any voter who is not clearly identified on the national voter’s register does not vote.

“We are plugging the possible loopholes that would have given rise to credible grounds to challenge an outcome of any election. We want to carry that forward to the 2021 general elections,” the EC chairman, Justice Simon Byabakama, said, giving assurance that his commission is doing excellent work.

Byabakama cited the dire need for massive voter education nationwide. “Before a person becomes a meaningful credible voter, he/she must understand his/her rights, under the law and in the constitution,” he said.

“We need to redesign our curriculum and instill more of ‘Ugandaness’. Many Ugandans do not have a sense of ownership of their country. So the first task we have is to promote and inculcate ‘Ugandaness’ within our minds,” he added.

He however also noted that voter education that comes in the season of an election may not be so effective because the ground is already contaminated with so many actors, and everybody is pulling the voters in different directions.

“Just like in our case as the electoral commission who are supposed to carry out voter education, the question of resources is very critical. In a given financial year, the budget allocation for voter education is UGX 300million,” Byabakama added.

Byabakama decried the evident acts of violence in conducting the electoral process, saying it undermines a country’s democracy. He advocated for unity, as the only means to jointly have a violent free and credible election.

“All of us should say NO to violence and we should encourage our people to do to the same. The perpetrators of the violence that was in the NRM primaries were the people, the same people who are going to participate in the 2021 elections,” Byabakama stated, noting that the issue of whether or not the 2021 elections will be characterised by violence is entirely in the hands of Ugandan.

“How does it benefit anyone to see dead bodies at a polling station arising out of an election?” Byabakama asked, maintaining that nobody is supposed to threaten anyone not to vote for a particular individual because this is a right enshrined in our constitution. Anyone who intimidates or threatens a voter commits a criminal offence punishable by the law.

On whether or not there’s a likelihood that a local firm could print the ballot papers, Byabakama admitted that he doesn’t want to commit himself on that but what they (EC) will look at is the capacity of the firm and whether they are able to handle the volume of work.

 

By Baron Kironde

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CRIME

Kabaka Mutebi’s Mother Drags City Lawyer To Nakalema’s State House Anti-corruption Unit For Grabbing Her Inheritance…

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Mary Ssimbwa (R) with Buganda Kingdom Katikkiro Mayiga (L)

Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi’s mother has dragged city lawyer Philip Mukhembo to President Museveni and Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema’s State House Anti-Corruption Unity.

Mary Ssimbwa (80) widow to Prince David Alexander Ssimbwa, a young brother to late Sir Edward Mutesa, father to Kabaka Mutebi claims that city Mukhembo grabbed 350 acres of the family estate land at Nantabulirwa in Mukono district.

According to the petition filed at the State house Anti-Corruption Unit, the widow claims that Mukhembo fraudulently grabbed their land in 2014 when she hired him through his law firm of Wameli and Company Advocates to secure for them letters of administration and later land titles in the names of the estate administrators.

She says that according to the agreement they signed, Mukhembo was supposed to get 10% of the land as his legal fees but he decided to take the entire piece of land and even sold off part of it.

In 2018, High Court family division judge Percy Night Tuhaise issued an order directing Commissioner Land Registration, Principal land Registrar Mukono district to process land titles in the names of the administrators of the estate of the deceased.

Ssimbwa’s widow claims that before the issuing of the land titles in the names of the administrators, Mukhembo through his lawyers of Wameli and Company Advocates filed a suit against the administrators of the estate and the land registrar of titles for issuing a land title without considering his legal fees he put in the case.

Efforts to speak to lawyer Mukhembo were futile but one of his learned colleagues at Wameli and Company Advocates told this website that the allegations from Ssimbwa’s family are baseless since they offered legal services to them and they didn’t pay.

When we contacted, Anthony Wameli, Mukhembo’s lawyer told us that he was in the meeting and promised to comment on the matter later.

 

By Sengooba Alirabaki

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