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    OPINION: If Given Power, Bobi Wine And His Acolytes Will Justify Their Own Corruption And Incompetence On Grounds That Museveni And His NRM Confederates Were Corrupt And Incompetent Too…

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    NUP Principal Bobi Wine and Mwenda (inset)

    Presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine has been hosting large rallies across the country. Tens of thousands of his supporters gather in close contact, vast numbers without masks, in total disregard for the COVID19 SOPs. In one video, which I have watched from the beginning to the end, he tells his supporters: “those with masks should wear them and those without masks it is okay”.

    The world is engulfed in this COVID19 pandemic. As I write this article, it has infected over 75m people and killed 1.7m. Over 20m people are hospitalized with COVID19 worldwide, 107,000 in critical condition. Hospitals even in the richest countries are overwhelmed, without enough beds, medical staff, ventilators and other facilities. In poor countries, which seem to have escaped the worst of this pandemic, the situation is alarming.

    In Uganda, even with our low testing, nearly 30,000 people have been infected, 228 others killed. These numbers are low by global and African standards. But our medical facilities and staff are already overwhelmed as we have very few Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds and medical staff to cope with the scale and scope of the problem. We are in a crisis where we need leaders to set an example.

    We have a government and a president, Yoweri Museveni that have been in power for 35 years. Bobi Wine and his acolytes claim, and in many cases correctly so, that this government (which they derogatorily call a “regime”) is characterized by massive corruption and gross incompetence; that it is dominated by selfish and greedy individuals who are in power to line their own pockets rather than serve the common good. They have been calling for a change in leadership in order to redirect the country onto the paths of selfless public service, underwritten by values of honesty, frugality, integrity and a strong commitment to the common good.

    Museveni and his confederates are campaigning on the “no- change” platform i.e. to maintain the status quo or the situation as it is. It follows that the opposition and most specifically Bobi Wine and his NUP, should demonstrate that they are the pillars of a new Uganda, saviors standing on the highest hill of moral virtue. They need to demonstrate to us that they seek a real change in the conduct of public affairs by placing the vital interests of this country and its people above their individual and collective ambitions.

    Yet during this campaign, Bobi Wine has demonstrated that he has one and only one value that he cherishes above all else – getting into power, whatever the cost. From the perspective of realpolitik, that is fine. But from the perspective of a change agent he claims to be, one who wants to end the greed and selfishness that has characterized the Museveni administration, I vehemently disagree with him. Bobi Wine has exposed himself as just another selfish, power-hungry politician seeking power above all else.

    Many families have lost loved ones in this pandemic, I having lost four in one month of November. Others have their loved ones in ICUs, in HDUs [High Dependency Unit] or have gone through the agony and anxiety of tending to the sick. If the virus spreads, this country has no capacity to manage its effects. It will simply decimate our people. It is therefore incumbent on our leaders to take social distancing, the wearing of masks, avoidance of large gatherings and constantly sanitizing not just as a strategic imperative, but most critically, as an existential necessity.

    President Museveni has tried his best to adhere to the SOPs, to his great political disadvantage – since we know rallies are vital in campaigns. Other presidential candidates should also lead by such an example. But Bobi Wine is leading his supporters and admirers to mass suicide. Not since the mass suicide of “Pastor” Kibwetere’s cult members in 2000 has Uganda witnessed the recklessness and irresponsibility that Bobi Wine has exhibited in this campaign to the applause of his intellectual surrogates and admirers.

    In my many unhappy encounters with some of my intellectual friends who are sympathetic to Bobi Wine’s cause, I have been disappointed. Some of these are persons who have preached to me the virtues of a values-driven leadership. Yet the justification for Bobi Wine’s irresponsibility is that Museveni should not have called an election in the midst of a pandemic, that NRM candidates are violating the SOPs, that the government has blocked their candidate from accessing to most radio stations across the country.

    Let us unpacked these arguments, all of which are legitimate but fail to appreciate the moral pedestal of Bobi Wine’s campaign: do these impediments justify a person seeking the presidency to drive his supporters, and through them the entire country, to mass suicide? Do some of our elites see the risk these rallies are posing? Does Bobi Wine want to inherit a country of millions of sick and dying citizens? Is this the price we must pay for change from corruption and incompetence, the price of mass death to a pandemic?

    I find it strange that Bobi Wine and his acolytes can justify their wanton irresponsibility by referring to the behavior of NRM candidates. If NRM candidates are violating the SOPs without police doing anything, should NUP candidates do similar? Is it not the role of NUP and other opposition politicians to hammer home how selfish NRM is, how its leaders do not care about the public good? How does behaving like NRM make NUP and others any different?

    The claim that Museveni should have not held an election falls flat on its face. At least we have witnessed another country, the USA, go through one. In that election one candidate, President Donald Trump, behaved like Bobi Wine and led his supporters and country to tragedy. Another candidate, Joe Biden, behaved well, avoided rallies, upheld the highest standards of political and moral responsibility – and won. I applaud Biden and condemn Trump in the same way I wish Bobi Wine bad luck in this election.

    When in power, Bobi Wine and his acolytes will justify their own corruption and incompetence on grounds that Museveni and his NRM confederates were corrupt and incompetent too. They will justify clump down on our freedoms and liberties on grounds that Museveni did similar. They will justify nepotism, favoratism, anarchism, chaos, etc. on similar grounds. One can tell a tree that will deliver good fruit from its seedling and we have seen who Bobi Wine is.

    Here is the real crisis of Uganda’s politics: we don’t have real leaders seeking a change from our current dysfunctions. We have a cabal of opportunistic politicians seeking power in order to inherit the privileges of their predecessors. We do not have an intellectual class or civil society that stands above partisan rancor that seeks to hold all sides to account and without fear or favor. In fact, since NRM is a status quo party campaign on a no change platform, we need to scrutinize the opposition politicians who champion change more.

    This country is filled with partisans who have no interest to change the policies and practices of the current government. we only have self-interest individuals – materially or emotionally or both – seeking to remove Museveni and his confederates so that they too can have a chance at the feeding trough. Otherwise no sane intellectual person can defend Bobi Wine’s mass suicide rallies under any explanation.

    The writer, Andrew Mwenda is a veteran investigative journalist,

    Political analyst and founder/owner of The Independent News Magazine.

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    NATIONAL

    OPINION: Ashraf Shooting And Senteza Death Could Have Been Avoided – Brig. Gen. Felix Kulayigye’s Strong Dossier On How Violence Can It Be Stopped…

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    Brig. Gen. Felix Kulayigye

    Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) Political Commissar, Brig. Gen. Felix Kulayigye has revealed that it’s a high time Ugandans tell the architects of violence in the country the truth.

    Below is Brig Gen Kulayigye’s dossier.

    It has taken me close to 48 hours to analyze what was happening, especially the sad events. It takes two to fight, you will not find a fight that has one person fighting against no one but two people are always involved. To stop violence, we must look critically at the cause of violence, we must bring leaders of sober minds to speak the truth without fear to both the NUP and Police.

    The idea of blaming police is just not helping, why, because police work is protected by the law, you cannot win against a law in any courts of law.

    ASHRAF SHOOTING

    This shooting should have been avoided if only we speak the truth to people, Ugandans need to know that police have the mandate to maintain law and order under the laws of Uganda, this is also universal. Police can stop you from proceeding to any area and to challenge their decision you will have to go through the police leadership or courts of law.

    You cannot under any circumstances use force to disobey a police order, no country in the world accepts a civilian to use force while disobeying a police order, unlawful orders can be appealed or challenged in courts but not by use of force. If the NUP understands this fact we shall eliminate the violence.

    In some well-documented cases police has allowed NUP to disorder forcefully, we have seen videos where NUP supporters jump off their cars to make way for Their leader, we have seen videos where police officers are assaulted and insulted, we have seen videos where the leader himself has assaulted police officers at the rank of ASP and SPs these are regional police commanders. These are bad videos for your struggle, to settle this Bobi Wine should come clean about such videos.

    The International community will back the police on this, they will tell you that it’s on record that disobeying police authority is not accepted anywhere. So had Bobi Wine and police engaged themselves into peaceful talks there wouldn’t be such cases of firing rubber bullets, NUP must have disciplined sober people to talk to police, find a way forward and not let everyone shout at police, using force should not be the option because it takes away your right to appeal the matter or even seek justice.

    Ugandans should know that rubber bullets and teargas are widely used worldwide by police to disperse crowds, rubber bullets can be dangerous but accepted. These are the things the international community looks at.

    ON FRANK’S DEATH

    It is Unfortunate, this death would have been avoided, I sympathize with his family, I feel the pain of a loved one dying especially in such a manner. After the Ashraf incident, Bobi Wine rushed Ashraf to a Kako Hospital, they were offered an Ambulance to move to Kampala to a referral hospital, at this point Bobi Wine entered the Ambulance together with Ashraf and they headed to Kampala with a convoy of over 30 cars escorting them, this was not necessary it’s posed a risk to other road users.

    Reaching Kyengera the huge convoy got into a traffic jam, at this point we assume the ambulance was ahead of other cars, NUP says that Frank  got off his transport and decided to clear the way “fungula ekubo” as they call it. This was the second mistake, you can only stop traffic under the law if you are authorized, had he stayed in his transport car we would have avoided this.

    Why did he get off his transport this was uncalled for because the Patient Ashraf was in an ambulance which had the right of way and was ahead. Under Ugandan traffic and road safety laws, only three people have the legal right of way, the President, the Ambulance, and the Police. NUP should be told the truth that unless the police move ahead of you and provide a right of way for you, you can not create it yourself, you do so illegally and the courts can’t protect you, the principle of you can’t seek justice from courts with dirty hands applies here.

    Circumstances under which Frank died are sketchy, the NUP claims he was intentionally knocked by the Army, so to them it’s murder while UPDF says he missed a step and fell down, the moment UDPF denies foul play then the burden of proof shifts to the accuser (NUP) to prove that indeed the Army Intentionally knocked Frank dead.

    I was listening to an eyewitness at NUP headquarters, one speaker said “the army car hit him then reversed back and added him to ensure he was dead” how come we have no recording of this, is it possible that he tried to block army vehicles from moving ahead of their convoy and he was knocked by accident we still don’t know. I want to put my focus on avoiding violence (prevention) if all these would have been avoided since a lot is missing and besides that we can’t turn back the clock but am sure there will be another confrontation if we don’t show people what is acceptable and not.

    We are tired of saying Rest in Peace, let’s take appropriate blame on what happens, let the disobedience stop it’s taking our Youths nowhere, the only people that benefit from this short-lived sympathy are those that get money out of it. The worst will be these youths over powering one police officer and taking possession of his gun then shooting at police or military killing one or two, this will be the end of NUP, police or the Army will shoot back. I have seen incidents that are close to these youths attacking the military like the one at the hospital. These youths should be told that there are clear limits you go beyond, that you are giving police the right to shoot back just because of your actions.

    Religious leaders should talk openly to Bobi Wine, his Friends should do the same, there is no excuse for attacking a police officer, no excuse to attack the army or any other person.

    God Bless Uganda. Stop the Violence

    Brig Gen Felix Kulayigye

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    OPINION

    OPINION: It Will End In Tears! Bobi Wine’s High Expectations Will Greatly Disappoint Him – Andrew Mwenda. 

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    If you cannot count what matters, you make what you count matter! This has been the tragedy of the opposition in Uganda. They have a set of prejudices, biases and beliefs they are married to, and ignore facts and statistics as they exist in reality. This has consistently led them to tears.

    Ten days to the election, let us look at the numbers. Bobi Wine’s biggest source of support are youths, but predominately male youths in urban and semi urban areas. Also, youth (people aged 18-30 years) are the largest segment of our population.

    However, the most critical questions for Bobi Wine and his confederates are two: first, are these youths registered to vote; and second, for those who are registered, how many show up to vote. The answers to these two questions are of decisive importance in determining the fortunes of the opposition’s main candidate.

    The most urbanized part of Uganda is Kampala City and it’s surrounding Wakiso district. If the opposition have any chance of winning, they need to have 80 to 90% voter turnout in this, their stronghold. And if Bobi Wine is to have a chance, he needs youthful voters turning out in massive numbers in Kampala and Wakiso to vote for him. But what is the reality on the ground!?

    According to the Electoral Commission (EC) there are nearly 1.3m registered voters in Kampala. Of these, the youths (18-30) are 41% or 520,000. This is under registration because these age group is 51 of the adult (voting) population of Uganda. So even before votes are case in Kampala, 10% (130,000) of people most likely to vote Bobi Wine are not registered voters in the city.

    The situation is the same in Wakiso district with 2.8m registered voters, only 41% are youths, meaning another 280,000 people most likely to vote for Bobi Wine are not registered voters. Those are 310,000 votes not on the register in the geographical area and the voter demographic where Bobi Wine has the highest support.

    Secondly, polling data shows that President Yoweri Museveni remains competitive among female youths. By competitive I mean that Bobi Wine does not have overwhelming support among female youths compared to male youths, and female youth are 51% of the registered voters.

    Finally is voter turnout. Normally, only 45% of Kampala and Wakiso show up to vote. Although I don’t have the exact numbers I suspect youths, especially male youths, vote less than other demographic groups in the city. This makes potential voting numbers for Bobi Wine even less.

    Besides there are many people above 40 who voted for Besigye and would ideally vote for an opposition presidential consistent but who would not vote for Bobi Wine believing he lacks the pedigree and competence to be president. Discounting this sentiment is to bury one’s head in the proverbial sand.

    Here is the real challenge that has always bedeviled the opposition in Uganda: low voter turnout of their strongest bases of support both geographically and most critically for Bobi Wine, demographically. That is the trick of the Museveni victories that the opposition fail to capture.

    In the 2016 election, voter turnout in Kampala and Wakiso was 45% and Besigye was winning by 64%. Meanwhile in Kiruhura and Karamoja, Museveni’s strong bases, voter turnout was above 80% and the president was getting above 85%.

    Opposition activists can insult those who point out these facts and statistics, they can bury their heads in the sand and refuse to ponder over the significance of these numbers believing that rallies and social media noise is what it takes to win an election. But ignoring these faces will bring them to tears come next week.

     

    The writer, Andrew Mwenda is a veteran investigative journalist,

    Political analyst and founder/owner of The Independent News Magazine.

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    NATIONAL

    YOU NEED TO READ THIS IF YOU OWN LAND? Top Makerere University Don Wanted Land Issues To Lead Candidate’s Election Manifesto…

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    Counsel Dr. Sam Mayanja

    Top Makerere University don and also a senior pattern at Kampala Associated Advocates (KAA) Dr. Sam Mayanja has said that he wanted land issues to led in all manifestos of candidates in the coming 2021 general elections.

    Dr. Sam Mayanja notes that since 1880’s, land has been the country’s political activities up to now. Below is senior counsel Dr. Sam Mayanja’s opinion:

    LAND AN IMPERATIVE ELECTION MANIFESTO AGENDA ITEM

    Land issues being the mother of all political activism in Uganda since 1900 when the victorious combined forces of Ganda fighters of the religious wars of the 1880’s, and the colonial forces sat down to share the spoils of war.

    That sharing as set out in the 1900 Agreement parceled out land in square miles, to Kabaka, his family, Ministers, County and 1,006 minor Chiefs, creating a landed gentry. In the words of Sir Harry Johnston, the Agreement established a ruling oligarchy which came to be known as the Mengo establishment, which became thoroughly identified with the colonialist.

    Land was not a factor of production but an instrument of political control.

    This land bonanza led to an unprecedented huge movement of large populations of people leading to the restlessness of entire population constituting a revolution of sorts.

    Reflecting on these events, the Provincial Commissioner’s Conference of 1922 concluded that the introduction of landlordism (mailo) caused the social and political troubles in Buganda. That it was a disastrous mistake which should not be perpetuated in other districts.

    The politico-social and economic reality was that the tillers of the soil commonly known as Bakopi were now landless. Also left landless were the Bataka (clan heads) who were branded “pagans” by the new men of power who had carried out the religious revolution of the 1880’s.

    The deprived bakopi joined the Bataka and established an association to demand rights to land, the “Bataka Party”. This party vociferously articulated these grievances. By 1925 it had so destabilized the colonial administration which was forced, to pass the “Busulu and Nvujjo” law giving security of tenure with right of inheritance.

    The passing of the “Busulu and Nvujjo” law deprived the Bataka Party of its main point of rallying the population, and went into hibernation until the 1940’s when it joined other discontented Ugandans to assert their rights this time extending to matters beyond land, to better wages, better prices for their crops and later demanding the rights to process and marked those crops.

    They rioted in 1945 spreading all over the Country forming the first major resistance to British colonial rule. Thus Bataka Party which had only pushed land rights came to be encountered in all sorts of political or social movements connected with the struggle for the rights and freedoms of the common man in Uganda. By 1949 these forces spread all over Uganda demanding to open the rule of democracy giving people the right to choose their chiefs’ and in Buganda additionally Lukiiko members.

    It was therefore off target when one of Uganda’s cultural leaders when calling for a commission of inquiry into the recent election “fujjo” compared it to the riots of 1945. The election “fujjo” were a rebellion to the enforcement of the Covid-19 SOPs which enforcement has enabled Uganda to record some of the lowest death and infection rates globally.

    The 1945 riots forced the colonial Government to start the process of African representatives into the legislative Council (Legco) and eventually leading to the formation of the first national political party by Ignatius Musaazi which drew its

    countrywide membership from the Bataka Party and Uganda Farmers Union which had been banned in 1949.

    It was the Uganda National Congress which gave birth to the Uganda People’s Congress which under Milton Obote formed Uganda’s first independence Government.

    Thus the struggle for Uganda’s independences which begun in the 1920’s under the Bataka party formed to fight for land rights, becoming in 1945 the nucleus of the struggle to independence cannot in any way be a comparison yard stick in attempting an analysis of the October 2020 election “fujjo”.

    The 1945 riots having eventually led to the formation of the Uganda National Congress who’s off suite, the Uganda People’s Congress, led Uganda’s independence inevitably had to correct the land injustice which its mentor the Bataka party had fought for.

    Thus, the independence Constitution protected the bakopi on private mailo by retaining the 1927 Busulu and Nvujjo law and those on official mailo (public land), by putting it’s administration under statutory federal state land boards. When the federal states disappeared in 1966, the official mailo (public land) was preserved in the 1967 Constitution and put under the Administration of the Public Land Commission, with strict public accountability provisions.

    Distortion came in 1993 when traditional rulers claimed that public land under the federal state land boards of the 1966 Constitution, was their land confiscated under the 1967 Constitution and had to be restituted. The distortion has led to a scenario where title deeds of public land (official mailo) is currently held outside the Public Land Commission or District Land Boards as constitutionally mandated and outside the constitutionally imposed accountability provisions.

    The Guidelines on the Administration of land under the Land Act prohibits automatic re-entry of a lessee’s land and further provides for automatic renewal or extension of leases. This is the security of tenure-“ebyaffe”, for all Ugandans to own land in perpetuity.

     

    Dr. Sam Mayanja

    Senior Partner

    Kampala Associated Advocates

    smayanja@kaa.co.ug

    www.kaa.co.ug

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