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OPINION: NRM CEC Resolution On Queuing Is Good For Transparency And Empowerment – M7’s Advisor On Political Affairs

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President Museveni's Advisor Political Affairs Milly. B. Babalanda

On February 16, 2019, the Central Executive Committee (CEC) of the National Resistance Movement (NRM), the political party leading Uganda, agreed to recommend to all party structures the adoption of voters lining up behind candidates as a mode of election in all internal party elections. The switch over from the secret ballot was adopted after reports that the NRM register had been infiltrated by non-party supporters. There were also fears that previous chaotic scenes witnessed in the highly competitive primaries are a result of the ease with which the party’s electoral officials got compromised.

Secret ballot had become a cover for clandestine acts of fraud and cheating, thereby compromising the standard of leadership and causing some members to lose trust in the party’s organizational abilities and commitment to democracy, albeit there being no guarantee of better methods in opposition parties.

And because NRM is always ahead of the pack, it is in a comfortable position to review its own processes which have a ripple effect on the general elections. CEC has acted earlier enough in relation to 2021 and within a reasonable timeframe since the last major Constitutional changes that took place five years ago. The previous changes were carried out to streamline administrative and electoral structures during which process the secretariat was overhauled. The primaries of 2015 were problematic but still better than those of 2010.

Fallouts from primaries tend to give rise to discontent, forcing some losers to go independent, which disadvantages NRM in its stronghold areas in favour of the opposition. Infighting becomes the order of the day as egos take over. The problem of clique formation has been thriving on unreliable secret balloting that is, moreover, costly. It is only in NRM where adult universal suffrage works and because of the surging numbers, logistical challenges always threaten to “tip the boat”. Candidates themselves experience difficulty meeting campaign costs like printing posters. Those who lose the elections cannot stomach a double loss will cry foul and stretch their luck as independents or defectors. With a “one person, one vote” model, there will be no such grounds. Underhand practices like voter bribery will not exist when everybody has to bear witness and true allegiance publically.

It is unimaginable that NRM would have failed to recommend and adopt such a revolutionary method after it rendered wonders during the grassroot Local Council elections last year. Despite skepticism and ill-will from sections of opposition, civil society, media and common rumormongers, the nationwide exercise by the Electoral Commission (E.C) was conducted in total dignity and tranquility.  There were no, or negligible, malpractices. Where they arose, they were resolved quickly and amicably. Society is more cohesive than ever before and the elected executives are now adding value to governance, all at a minimum cost.

While NRM won those elections, endorsing the method is less about gaining advantage than delivering a dependable election where Ugandans stand up for themselves as opposed to shielding behind mere pieces of paper. Why should a Ugandan fear to be seen exercising their right? Whose interests would they be serving? The lies from weak groups intended to discourage confidence among voters cannot work in an enlightened generation.

What C.E.C has done is to further empower members of NRM- to be bold, liberated and with a clear conscience about their belonging and political choices. There is a lot of intimidation from opposition groups especially “people power” and FDC, and others who are generally hateful.

NRM members do realize that they are the majority; we won the 2016 and previous elections at all levels; there is no need to be cowed or intimidated into silence by provocative and undisciplined minorities. Lining up will boost morale among members generally. Young people, with all their energy, will campaign for and vote party candidates having witnessed their emergence from a clean internal process. Losers will concede, support the winners; hug each other and both will walk home like friends. There will be colour, there will be singing, there will be dancing, there will be collective victory!   That is how elections should be!

NRM is blessed to have President Yoweri Museveni as its National Chairman because, honestly, which party wouldn’t wish to be led by him. Apart from being hard working, he possesses immense critical thinking and problem-solving skills that span all the significant subjects any one could think of. He is always on point, as they say. Most of the ideas NRM relies on to address internal problems have his thumb print, either at brainstorming level or endorsement. Such ideas continue to balance NRM’s boat as it sails towards becoming one of the most influential and organized parties in the world.

 

The author, Milly. B. Babalanda, is a Presidential Advisor Political Affairs and Personal Assistant to NRM National Chairman

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Attorney General Defends Appointment of BOU D/Governor, DPP, URA And Prisons Boss During Lockdown In East African Court….

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L-R: URA's Rujoki, BOU D/Governor Dr. Antingi, prisons boss Byabashaija and the new DPP justice Abodo

The Government of Uganda through the Attorney General (AG) has defended the actions of President Yoweri Museveni to appoint the new deputy Governor Bank of Uganda, Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Commissioner General Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), Commissioner General of prisons and his deputy during COVID19 lockdown in the East African courts of justice.

In his response to the suit filed by city lawyer Hassan Male Mabirizi, the Attorney General denied all the accusations and asked that the suit be dismissed with costs.

In his suit, Mabirizi claims that it was illegal for the president to appoint Jane Frances Abodo as the DPP when she is a judge at the High Court.

He protested that the appointment of Abodo will create unfairness against the accused because she knows all the judges and can easily access them something the accused cannot do.

Mabirizi further protested that by the time Abodo appointed the DPP, she was under the Judicial Service Commission yet the law is very clear that for a person to be appointed as DPP, they must be recommended by public service commission. He wants the regional court to declare that Abodo was illegally appointed.

The controversial lawyer also protested that the appointment of John Musinguzi as the new URA Commissioner General was illegal since his name was not recommended by the board to the president as required by law.

He also objected the appointment of the Commissioner General of prison Dr. Johnson Byabashaija and his deputy James Mwanje, the appointment of Dr. Michael Antingi Ego and the deputy Governor Bank of Uganda by the president during the COVID19 lockdown arguing that Ugandans were denied their right and opportunity to raise their complaints against the newly appointed public officials before being approved by parliament.

He asserted that because Ugandans were not allowed to move during the lockdown, when he attempted to go to parliament to raise his complaint against one of the appointees, he was seriously clobbered by security operatives in uniform at Wandegeya a Kampala suburb.

He added that he tried again to challenge the legal declaration of the lockdown without a legal statuary instrument signed by the Minister of Health but his case was removed from the court records on orders of Dr. Andrew Byabashaija the head of High Court Civil Division which was also illegal.

In their defense, the Attorney General insisted that the president has powers to appoint a person to hold or act in any office in the public service of Uganda at the rank of head of department or above including their removal.

He insisted that  Abodo was appointed by the president on the recommendations of the public service commission and with the approval of the parliament. He told court that the person is not qualified to be appointed DPP unless he or she is qualified to be appointed a judge of the High Court.

While defending security forces for stopping Mabirizi, the AG argued that the function of the security forces is to cooperate with the civilian authorities in emergency situations and by stopping Mabirizi, they were implementing the presidential directives against COVID19.

He told court that the President issued the directives to control the spread of COVID19 under the statutory instrument issued by the health minister under the public health Act.

 

By Sengooba Alirabaki

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Museveni Commissions Wargame Centre At Kimaka…

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President Museveni has commissioned a wargame centre at the Uganda Senior Command and Staff College in Kimaka, Jinja District.
Speaking at the occasion, the President thanked the army, the training teams and the Indian Association of Uganda who mobilised to build the center, saying it will definitely contribute to the quality of training.
‘This centre is also a great gesture of the wider cooperation and support we enjoy with the government and the people of India’’
The President hailed the relationship between the UPDF and the Indian army which he said has a lot of knowledge, experience and heroism.
“Our relationship with India has existed for centuries. We were colonised together by a small group of people who came from Europe, but when we all woke up, and the small groups ran away.
During that time, we fought together first against the Japanese in Burma. The heroic Indians are the ones who stopped the westward expansion of Japan at the famous battle of Kohima.


Mahatma Ghandi struggled with our elders against colonialism, Jawaharlal Nehru too struggled with our elders against colonialism and now we are working with Prime Minister Narendera Modi. I salute the Indian political class for choosing to always work with us.
The epitome of India’s importance to Uganda is engraved in the fact that Mahatma Ghandi’s ashes were immersed in Jinja.
President Museveni commended the the Indian Community in Uganda, for its contribution to building Uganda through business and investment.
The Uganda Senior Command and staff college is a training facility for senior commanders in the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF), including the army, air force and Special Forces

WHAT ARE WAR GAMES?
War games also known as military simulations are simulations in which theories of warfare can be tested and refined without the need for actual hostilities. Military simulations are seen as a useful way to develop tactical, strategical and doctrinal solutions.
Simulations exist in many different forms, with varying degrees of realism. In recent times, the scope of simulations has widened to include not only military but also political and social factors, which are seen as inextricably entwined in a realistic warfare model.

 

From: PPU

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Mr. President Parents Have No Money To Pay School Fees For Candidates, Let Us Declare This A Dead Year – Pastors Bujjingo Advises With Museveni….

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Pastor Aloysious Bujjingo

House of Prayers Ministries International Pastor Aloysious Bujjingo has advised president Museveni to declare this year a dead year because parents do not have money to pay school fees.

In an interview with the Grapevine, the Salt Media Chief Executive Officer (CEO)  says that if Candidate classes are allowed to resume schooling, many students are going to be sent back to school because their parents cannot afford to pay school fees since they have not been working.

“First of all I want to thank President Museveni for the way he has handled the Covid-19 Pandemic. It’s because of his exceptional guidance that this country has passed with flying colours as far as fighting the pandemic is concerned. Uganda has not lost anyone to the pandemic and those who get the virus are healing and being sent back home,” Bujjingo says.

He adds, “Our people are protected because of the wisdom God gave to President Museveni. However, he mentioned something about allowing students in candidate classes to go back to school. I would like our dear Minister of Education Mama Janet Museveni to think about this; since the day our children returned home on 20th March, many parents have to not been working. All sectors came to a standstill. It is vital to think about candidates but it is also crucial to look at how sustainable this decision is.”

“We need to look at the livelihoods of the parents, Teachers, school leaders and owners. How are they going to sustain operations in these schools? How are they going to pay the teachers? The president advised well that once they allow candidates only, the school will be big enough to maintain social distancing, but the parents have no money to pay school fees,” he says.

He says, “As pastors, we talk to very many people, and I can tell you that 99% of the parents had not completed school fees for first term by the time the schools were closed. Now taking them back to school means paying school fees, it means schools have to feed these students, many of them had not yet even paid registration fees for their children in candidate classes, this means a parent has to look for registration fees also. This is a huge burden on a parent who has not been working.”

He advises, “My question is, can government help parents with school fees and registration fees? And can government also help schools with food to feed these candidates? If government can’t do this, let us accept that this year is dead. If we all agree that it is ok for a senior three student not to go to senior four this year, I think it is also ok for a senior four candidate not to go to Senior five and for a senior six student not to go to University this year.”

“We are all in the same boat. Why should we allow students to go back to school and then they are chased after a few weeks because of school fees? And I can assure you, many are going to be returned home because of school fees. Very few parents can now ably pay school fees,” he says.

Bujjingo also called upon President Museveni to open churches.

“I would also like government to look into opening churches because in times like these, we can only run to God. I thank God for our President who believes in God. The Bible says that ‘Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance (Psalms 33:12). If markets can be open and exercise social distancing, let us allow people to fellowship and worship the LORD but with social distancing in churches,” he says.

He adds, “The good thing people will have masks, churches will provide water and soap so that believers wash hands at the entrance but we need to kneel down before the LORD united as believers. We can put measures like; a church that houses 4000 people can have around 1000 people, we can do it like it’s going to be done with public transport because we need to go back to God, it is only God who will sail us through this. Churches are gazetted places of worship, which is why it’s good to keep them open.”

Today, the State Minister for Higher Education, John Chrysostom Muyingo told parliament that the ministry is working on the guidelines that will be used as schools open for candidate classes.

He added that they are looking into concerns raised by some parents that they cannot raise school fees for their children in candidate classes.

By Sandra Mukisa

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