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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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    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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