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    OPINION: Museveni Is Tired! He Has Grown Old And Run Out Of Ideas, Bobi Wine is Now Using The Same Strategy M7 Used Against Obote – Mwenda…

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    Bobi Wine’s Rollercoaster Campaign.

    I have just been re-reading President Yoweri Museveni’s 1981 masterpiece on why he chose a protracted armed struggle to fight the government of Milton Obote. It provides an incredible insight into how a weak group can employ its weaknesses as strengths and turn the strengths of a powerful oppressive state into handicaps. It is incredible how, even without strategic planning, Bobi Wine is using the same strategy successfully against Museveni.

    Over the last month, Bobi Wine has created a rollercoaster campaign. He has positioned himself as an underdog fighting an entrenched dictatorship. To many young Ugandans suffering from anxiety over the future: whether employed, underemployed or unemployed, he has a simple but powerful message: “I am fighting for your freedom; all of you have to become freedom fighters to fight for your freedom. Some of us will die but it will be for the greater cause.”

    This message is resonating with many young people in urban and semi urban areas who clearly see him as their hero, and who also think this “freedom” is a solution to their anxiety. Bobi Wine is short on policy and strategy, but he is sincere with his feelings, which resonate with this segment of our population. He is unlikely to win this election (even if it were free and fair) for reasons I will discuss another day. But for now he is the cool new kid on the block.

    Here is Museveni’s real dilemma: Bobi Wine has branded him a dictator and needs proof. Bobi Wine has, without premeditation, lured Museveni into a series of street battles where more than 100 people have been killed. This slaughter has been captured live on social media, the platform where Bobi Wine’s base dominate. So he has provoked a powerful enemy in control of the state to use arbitrary violence to prove his accusations of dictatorship. This is exactly what Museveni did to Obote in Luwero.

    In the aforementioned article, Museveni argues that a guerrilla movement should undermine a government’s credibility and legitimacy in both the domestic and international arena. By provoking state security forces to kill civilians, Bobi Wine is achieving exactly that. Yet Museveni is not acting differently from how he has handled previous opponents, armed or pacific. Indeed, the NRM/A was much more uncouth and violent in its early years than today.

    Bobi Wine’s success at branding Museveni has been due to three factors: the presence of new technologies of social mobilization (social media), the decay of ideological commitment within NRM (death of siasa) and the collapse of the structures of demobilisation and counter mobilisation NRM used to have. The old grizzly bear (NRM) may not be defeated in this battle by the upstart Bobi Wine but its reputation has been grievously wounded.

    For all its great achievements, NRM has failed to master social media. This is not because it does not see its value but because it is ideologically exhausted; lacks committed cadres with passion to tell its story. I meet young people with such passion for NRM and Museveni. But they are ignored or side lined because the core has been captured by self-seeking elites looking for the next big job or deal. Museveni can pour billions at this problem but cash cannot replace ideology as a basis for generating mass enthusiasm. Siasa needs a faith.

    The longer Museveni has ruled, the more authority has shifted to him individually. Today this authority is transmitted from him through a small circle of close family and kin. There are no longer many people around him who are not family but who can exercise the influence people like Eriya Kategaya, James Wapakabhulo, Bidandi Ssali, Amanya Mushega, Kahinda Otafiire, Jim Muhwezi, Kale Kayihura, Amama Mbabazi, Noble Mayombo did. This is why the president’s campaign is movie staring Museveni alone.

    Hence there is internal paralysis and inertia inside the president’s campaign and even the wider government. Everyone waits for “Mzee” to make decisions. But Museveni has grown old. He is now low on energy and zest. He often postpones attending to critical issues because he is over burdened and exhausted. Thus many issues in need of urgent attention remain unaddressed because there is no one to carry the ball down. His own style and approach makes matters worse. Museveni has little interest in young people. He finds them impatient and reckless.

    It is in this context that Bobi Wine has surprised the system. The way he has rolled out his campaign across all the districts he has visited shows that he had been grossly underestimated, including by me. The system lacks the political and security smarts to handle him, hence the arbitrary use of violence. So the biggest coverage of elections is not what the president is great at (public policy) which Bobi Wine is intellectually handicapped at, but the violence and brutality government has unleashed on this singer turned politician.

    The NRM is unable to change its ways because it has governed Uganda for 35 years using particular methods, which have served it well. However, Uganda has radically changed: its economy, the population, the level of education and exposure and its lifestyle and attitudes. Bobi Wine is a representative of this change. The previous candidates against Museveni came from the old political order (Paul Ssemogerere, Sebana Kizito) or from Museveni’s own camp (Kizza Besigye). NRM knew how to handle them. But they are clueless on how to handle Bobi Wine.

    So the people in charge of the system are using old ways to cope with an entirely new phenomenon. And this is at a time when they have suffered deep institutional atrophy, terrible loss of energy, passion and morale, and a grievous decline in faith in their mission. The NRM has degenerated into a cash and carry party. Without faith in its mission, it no longer seeks to persuade but to bribe and/or coarse. This explains the retreat to violence as the one and only tool.

    Now Bobi Wine is doing something politically dangerous: he is demonstrating actual power. He travels in a convoy of over 30 vehicles, hundreds of boda bodas, and an army of hundreds of people, who provide a human shield around him. His convoy is larger and seemingly more powerful than that of Museveni. It closes the entire highway turning it into a one-way road as police watch helplessly, often just escorting him. This projects him as a president in waiting. No one should loose sight of the symbolic significance of this especially among our peasant population.

    To stop this momentum, government arrested him for violating electoral campaign SOPs, sparking widespread riots and deaths. He was released on bail on a clear condition that he should respect the SOPs. Since then he has been defying them with impunity, and government seems afraid of enforcing the bail conditions. Essentially Bobi Wine has placed himself above the law, and police seem unable to handle him, well because the matter is political. Bobi Wine may not be an existential threat to the NRM and Museveni’s power. But for now he is, without doubt, a strategic threat.

    The writer, Andrew Mwenda is a veteran investigative journalist, Political analyst and founder/owner of The Independent News Magazine.

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    CELEBRITY GOSSIP

    Mirundi Narrates How He Survived Bullets After Allegedly Urinating On Pastor Ssenyonga’s Building…

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    Tamale Mirundi

    President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s Senior Presidential Advisor on Media has narrated how he survived bullets while urinating on the building belonging to Pastor Jackson Ssenyonga of Christian Life Church in Bwaise a Kampala suburb.

    Joseph Tamale Mirundi revealed that one day, during the days when he was still being hosted at Pastor Ssenyonga’s top radio every Monday, he was approached by a Local Defense Unity (LDU) Soldier who accused him of dirtening their place of work. The LDU officer told Mirundi that his action were likely to cause deadly diseases to those who attend the church.

    Mirundi said that when he denied committing any crime, the LDU officer started pointing at the zip of his trousers claiming that it was open. He carefully observed him coaching his gun.

    He boasted that his senses informed him that the LDU man wanted to shoot him. He jumped in the air like an SFC Command and kicked the LDU soldier in the chest sending him tumbling down.

    He added that he stepped on his neck and the LDU officer was saved by Mirundi’s SFC Commandos who were given to him by Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba who pleaded with him not to kill a government soldier.

    “For me I fear those LDU people and I don’t want to come close to them because they are naive and they always want to show the public that they know how to use a gun. They don’t normally get the opportunity to fire bullets like other soldiers who go to war. So I don’t want them to make me their shooting target,” Mirundi said.

    He further revealed that he made investigations through his Mirundi Internal Security Organisation (MISO) and established that there was a senior pastor who was behind the LDU soldier who wanted him dead because of his loyalty and support to House of Prayer Ministries International senior pastor Alosious Bujjingo.

    He claimed that the said pastor had a misunderstanding with Bujjingo and was the one behind Teddy Bujjingo Naluswa who is fighting Bijjingo’s divorce case at the Family Division of the High Court.

     

    By Hadijjah Namagembe

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    NATIONAL

    Top RCC Warned By Former ISO Spy On Executing Mayiga’s Request To Ask M7 For Buganda Kingdom Properties…

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    Charles Rwomushana (L) and Ahmed Kateregga Musaazi (R)

    Former Internal Security Organisation (ISO) Operative and also Constitutional Assembly Delegates member Charles Rwomushana has challenged Ahmed Kateregga Musaazi the Masaka City Deputy Resident City Commissioner (D/RCC) that if he is man enough, let him execute Buganda Kingdom Premier Charles Peter Mayiga’s request to deliver to his request to his boss President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.

    Kateregga admitted during this weekend’s popular ‘Gasimbaganne ne bannamawulire’ talk show on Radio Simba that he interacted with Mayiga when he was in Masaka city to officiate the reopening of the  Buddukiro building on Saza Hill in Masaka city which is also going to house the Buddu county chief’s office.

    “As a journalist, I have known Katikkiro Mayiga for a longtime. He also knows my capacity very well that’s why he asked me to help Buganda ask for “Ebyaffe” (properties Buganda Kingdom is demanding from Central government). I will help in my capacity,” a soft spoken Kateregga said.

    Mayiga allegedly told Kateregga to use his writing skills through his newspaper and magazine articles, radio talk shows to educate the public about “Ebyaffe”  and plead with the Central Government to release the remaining Buganda properties.

    However, Rwomushana warned Kateregga not to be excited over Mayiga’s proposal and cautioned him on writing articles demanding for “Ebyaffe”.

    Rwomushana warned his elderly colleague that he will lose his job and return to the streets grassing like he was before he was appointed Deputy Resident City Commissioner.

    “You Kateregga to convince Museveni to return “Ebyaffe”? You try and deliver the message as Katikkiro asked you” Rwomushana dared him.

    Senior journalist Peter Kibazo who was the moderator of the talk show also guided Kateregga by narrating to him how a strong minister lost his ministerial job because of being a secretary in one of Kabaka Ronald Mutebi’s agencies.

    Kibazo said that a furious Museveni placed the minister who was a lady on the spot to explain to him how she demoted herself and undermined his ministerial job by working as a secretary at Mengo, the Buganda kingdom administration center.

    Kibazo disclosed that the lady thought that Museveni was joking, she told the President that even before appointing her a minister, she was working with Kabaka, Museveni rested his case.

    Few weeks later, Museveni reshuffled his cabinet and fired the woman from his cabinet.

    It is alleged Mayiga trusts Kateregga since he is one of the few remaining journalists who understands the relationship between Uganda and Buganda throughout the annals of history and he can help to guide the young generation.

     

    By Grapevine Reporter

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    CRIME

    Panic Again In Judiciary After Justice Gaswaga’s Driver Is Transferred Over Allegations Of Becoming A Threat To His Life, City Magistrates’ Security Beefed Up…

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    Judge Duncan Gaswaga

    It was not easy for the Judiciary top leadership to convince Lira Resident Judge Duncan Gaswaga that his driver is a threat to his life.

    Highly placed sources in Judiciary have exclusively told theGrapevine that since Justice Geoffrey Namundi’s driver Stanley Kisambira protested on social media threatening to intentionally cause the death of his principal and the bodyguard on grounds of poor working condition, the judiciary has been following the behaviour and actions of the entire institution’s drivers.

    In a 5 minutes and 24 seconds recording, Kisambira revealed that all judiciary staff including judges’ pay was increased based on the grounds that judges are not allowed to do business and go to bars to enjoy life.

    He added that surprisingly, their drivers were the only one of all judiciary staff whose salaries were not increased. He complained that they are not going to live on Shs.200,000 which is given to them per month because it is too little compared to the current cost of living.

    “Sincerely speaking I am very annoyed. I joined the judiciary in 2008 but up to now, I’m still getting Shs.200,000. What am I working for when I have children in schools and renting? How do I survive? What do you people want us to do? Quote me well, I’m mentally stable but in pain. Judiciary please. I’m working for you, all those listening to me should know that I’m not mad but because of the tough situation we go through, people make prophecies before they die,” he said.

    He added, “You are talking about that security guard who killed a minister but I’m telling you I can kill both the judge and his security guard including myself by intentionally running into a trailer. How can people get Shs3m, Shs4m, yet for me (as a driver) I’m getting Shs200,000?”

    However, Judiciary Permanent Secretary and Secretary to Judiciary Pius Bigirimans rubbished Kisambira’s allegations noting that disciplinary action were going to be taken against him.

    He was formally charged and is currently battling with criminal charges at Buganda Road Court.

    Sources disclosed that since that incident, all judiciary drivers and bodyguards were put under strict monitoring.

    It is through this monitoring that it was recently established that Justice Gaswaga’s driver was in frequent communication with Kisambira and was very vocal on the drivers’ WhatsApp group.

    He is always posting messages encouraging his colleagues to fight for Kisambira claiming that he is their hero who publicly without fear cames out and spoke the truth to their bosses.

    The said driver is also accused of mobilizing fellow drivers to support their own Kisambira financially because he was interdicted immediately when he was charged at Buganda Road Court.

    Judiciary insiders told theGrapevine that when this intelligence information reached one of the top judiciary bosses, he contacted Justice Gaswaga and pleaded with him to be very careful because it seems his driver is a threat to his life.

    By that time (last year), Justice Gaswaga’s bodyguard was on leave and his driver was also working as his bodyguard, especially in the morning when he moved out of his home to do physical exercises.

    “The judge told everything to his driver and asked him whether he has a gun. The man denied everything and told him that may be the gun they are talking about is the one which the judge has. The judge communicated back to the person who cautioned him and told him that the man is very innocent,” the insider said.

    He added that the driver was very open to the judge and told him that he always speaks to Kisambira because he is a longtime friend and he sacrificed to speak to the authorities about their plight.

    Insiders divulged that a week later, the driver was served with a transfer letter in which he was given two days to report to Eastern Uganda to drive one of the magistrates, a move he protested.

    “He told Justice Gaswaga that at his level, he cannot drive a magistrate. He told him that holds a degree in accountancy and is pursuing a masters at Makerere University. He refused to go to Eastern Uganda and has informed his bosses,” the insider disclosed.

    When contacted, His Worship James Ereemye the Judiciary spokesperson said that he is not aware of the development and promised to return back to us after consulting the concerned bosses.

    We waited and at the time of publishing this story, he has not yet given us feedback.

    The development comes after a directive was issued to beef up security to city magistrates who feel that their life is under threat.

    Buganda Road Chief Magistrate Ronald Kayizzi’s security was recently beefed up. Kayizzi is a brother to a top National Resistance Movement (NRM) boss.

    The security of Gladys Kamasanyu also a Magistrate at Buganda Road Court security was beefed up after former Makerere University senior lecturer Stella Nyanzi attacked her and threw an empty water bottle at her.

    Also, the security of Entebbe Chief Magistrate Stella Maris Amabilis who is also a relative to Constitutional and Justice Minister Norbert Mao was beefed up.

    At Buganda Road Court, Court users were stopped from entering Court premises with food and eats.

    The move was supported by Justice Benjamin Kabiito the head of the Judicial Service Commission who noted that they have powers to make decisions to protect the lives of judicial officers and other court users.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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