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OPINION: President Museveni Has Done Everything Reasonably Doable For Uganda And Ugandans, He Knows When He Will Leave Power – His Adviser warns

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Field Marshal Omar Al-Bashir is the latest world leader to leave power unceremoniously in quick succession after Abdelaziz Bouteflika of Algeria. While their departure has a semblance to the Arab spring that tore down Tunisia, Libya and Egypt almost a decade ago, reasons for the fall of regimes vary from country to country just as it is for how they gain an upper hand despite the odds.

The common denominator is the influence of enemies of Africa who feel threatened by the continents steady rise from underdog status thanks to the effort of tested leaders. Still, Bouteflika was a sick man and had no control of his country; Bashir has been living under the shadow of the ICC, which state could not allow him to adequately serve his people on the ashes of the ruble that his economy had become following years under US imposed trade and economic sanctions. The now former leader was brought down, not by his people, but by indirect foreign influence, if direct influence is the case as it was in Libya when NATO forces actively immobilized the country’s security infrastructure.

Consequently, Libya is still turmoil since its army was decimated; Egypt is surviving on the resolve of President Al Sisi; for Tunisia, it is as if the country doesn’t exist. Far off in Syria, President Assad has literally beaten his upper lip to save his country from going to total ruin. Any government that cannot protect its authority loses legitimacy. That is what has seen successive leaders lose grip including the decorated Bashir.

Uganda’s government, led by President Yoweri Museveni, is still strong and can defend its authority using both civilian and military means. From the civilian angle, there is nothing about democracy and elections, human rights and transparency, freedom of expression and association, etc, that Ugandans hear in the news. It is a reality they live with daily. Enemies of progress may choose to deny that but that is not surprising. By their very openness about what they claim is going wrong justifies that there is sufficient room for “the other view” and dissent in predictable levels.

In terms of military competency, the Ugandan People’s Defence Force (UPDF) is a distinguished professional army that is celebrated as the most efficient institution in government-and whose contribution is appreciated across the African continent. That is because President Museveni understood early enough that civilian authority is nothing without the backing of a conscientious army. Without a good army, the civilian masses are exposed and unhinged, lying at the mercy of rapacious forces, local and foreign. That is why at the time of the Sudan incidents, Museveni was already interacting with his command by visiting military installations all over the country to update them on the direction the country is taking and their own role in it.

To maintain power, a leader must get the balance correct between the use of coercive muscle conferred by the Constitution and doing the correct thing to keep the population happy and tame.

If a spike on bread prices sparked off events that saw Bashir out of power, then the world should marvel at President Museveni foresightedness. He never stops to reiterate the importance of economic transformation, production and the need for stable household incomes. His gospel of Prosperity for All is precisely about that. Those who have listened to him are doing well; they can feed their families, educate their children and retain some produce for the market. There is seldom shortage of any consumable and if there is any shortage, it is never perpetual. Therefore, Ugandans have more to live for than food, sugar, salt or medicine in hospitals because all these are basics and available. Further to that, they have hope! They cannot be misled anyhow.

President Museveni has done everything reasonably doable. There is nothing he is not willing to do, unless it is of no benefit to Ugandans. His vision and plan for Uganda is clear; his vision for Africa is clear. Unlike most leaders, he cannot be judged basing on only one or a few parameters.

Being in power “for long” is not the problem; the problem is what one does while there. In the US, President Trump is only three years old in power but the things people say about him one would think he has been in power “forever”. President Magufuli, too, is under pressure yet he is only in his first term in power; Mr. Zuma and his predecessor, Mr. Mbeki, were forced to resign. None of them had been in power for a decade or so. There are many more examples to book which prove that longevity in power is not the problem.

There is a set of rules to follow for one to make an extended stay in power work. That rule book is written by President Museveni. He has “outruled” his predecessors-because he took their mistakes to mind; he is learning from the fate of contemporaries and, consequently, he knows precisely when time will be right and he will call it quits.

The author is a Personal Assistant to the National Chairman, NRM, and Senior Presidential AdvisorC

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Do You Want Us To Kneel Before You And Ask For Permission? People Power Fires Back At Enanga After Police Tasks Them To Write Formally Instead Of Dumping Their Consultation Letters At Police…

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Police spokesperson Fred Enanga has advised presidential hopeful who also doubles as the People Power boss Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine to formally inform police and all the law enforcement forces instead of dumping his letters at their station.

On Sunday 16th February, Bobi Wine announced that he is resuming his consultations on Monday 24th February and his first meeting is scheduled to take place at Pope Paul memorial hotel in Ndeeba, Rubaga division, Kampala.

While addressing the press on Monday at police headquarters at Naguru, Enanga said that Bobi Wine just dumped his letter at police without giving a clear description of his meetings.

“Yes we received the letter informing us about Hon Robert kyagulanyi’s consultation meetings; the letter indicates that his (Bobi Wine) first meetings will be held at Pope Paul’s Memorial Hotel, but the way he informed the police was informal, you do not have to just dump the letter,” he said.

He added that in the last meeting that Bobi Wine held with the Electoral Commission (EC) officials at the EC offices, Bobi Wine and other stake holders were guided to formally communicate to EC and police and after call a   meeting to harmonise the positions of all parties involved.

Enanga said that instead of following the agreed procedures, Bobi Wine decided to kick off his meeting without agreeing with other parties which contradicts with the agreement he made at EC.

“His delegation made 10 points on how his consultations will be streamlined and we all agreed that anyone who is planning to consult should approach the police and layout his or her arrangement but not to dump and go,” Enanga insisted.

Last month, all Bobi Wine’s consultation meetings were blocked due to allegations that they lacked clear description and clearance from the law enforcement bodies.

However, when the Grapevine contacted People power spokesperson Joel Ssenyonyi to comment on the above allegations from Police, Ssenyonyi denied working against the law and revealed that police is looking for ways of blocking their meeting.

“What I can say is that police is only forging all possible tricks to block us from conducting our meeting, they told us to forward our plans earlier and we did it. When they say that the means of communication we used was not formal, do they want us to go kneeling to prove to them how serious we are? Ssenyonyi asked.

He further added that they agreed on organizing their meetings in a closed place something that they did.

“In the meeting, we agreed that police should not block us with stupid reasons and that is what they have started now, our letter was accompanied with clearance receipts of the venues, we are going to meet in a closed place, what do they want us to do?” Ssenyonyi asked.

“I urge Enanga to let us do our consultations because we are doing everything within the law,” Senyonyi added.

By Josephine Kauma

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Mao Enemies Are Using Money From M7 To Oust Him – Mao PS Mwesigwa…

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Democratic Party President Norbert Mao’s Press Secretary Fred Mwesigwa has fired back at the party organizing secretary Sulaiman Kindandala over the claims that he is the boss of the party.

Mwesigwa says that Kidandala should not come out and claim himself the boss after failing to comply with the DP party constitution and failing to maintain the party principles.

“With Kindandala’s indiscipline, he cannot be the boss of our DP party. If he cannot protect the party constitution and principles, how can he be the boss?” He asked.

On Friday, while at the new party headquarters in Nakulabye, Kidandala was given an indefinite suspension from the party for antagonizing the party president and failing to follow the party constitution by organizing his own elections.

In defense, Kidandala said that the manner in which Mao and his followers ousted him was improper and unlawful. He insisted that he is still in charge of the party elections because the meeting that ousted him occurred past 10:00pm and the members who attended it were intimidated through the huge deployment of the military that Mao brought in.

Kidandala said that his tormentors are fighting him because he supports People Power.

“Honorable Babirye Kabanda moved a motion in NEC which declared Hon Kyagulanyi the person DP must work with and that’s why I’m in People Power serving the interests of my party DP,” Kidandala asserted.

In response, Fred Mwesigwa says that Kidandala wanted to create his own party within the existing DP party. He further accused Kidandala and Lubega Mukaaku of being bribed by Museveni to spoil the party.

“Recently, the NEC issued registration forms in White color that were signed by both the party Secretary General Gerald Siranda and him (Sulaiman Kidanda) as indicated in the party constitution, but what Kidandala did later was to introduce his own registration forms in green color signed by only him,”Mwesigwa told the Grapevine.

“Kidandala was given money together with Mukaaku to destroy the party. That is why Mukaaku now wants to stand against Mao. But their plans will not go through because DP is strong with Mao,” he added.

He further urged all DP members to consider only the white registration forms that are approved by the party NEC.

By Josephine Kauma

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I’m Ready To Be The Next President – Miria Matembe Joins List Of M7’s Successors…

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Former Minister for Ethics and Integrity Miria Koburunga Matembe has openly expressed her interest in becoming the next president of Uganda.

Speaking to a group of women in a symposium organized to empower women under the theme, “Re-imaging leadership in the 21st century” in Kampala, Matembe said that she has gone through all the lower levels of leadership and now dreams of sitting in the biggest office in the country while serving as the president.

Miria Matembe has been one of the strong proponents for women’s rights in Uganda. In 1995, she was a member of the Constitutional Commission that created the Ugandan Constitution. She was the former chairperson of Action for Development, Uganda’s leading women’s advocacy organization, an organization she co-founded. For over two decades beginning in 1989 she was a member of Uganda’s parliament. She worked as Minister for Ethics and Integrity from 1998 to 2003, after which time she became a member of the Pan-African Parliament representing Uganda.

Matembe is now the chairperson of a Non-Government Organization Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) that advocates for free and fair elections and democracy in the country.

“I came to the political scene in 1986, I served as a village secretary, went to district level, I rose to parliamentary level and used to challenge fellow male Mps who used to intimidate me whenever I could raise my points at the floor of parliament. This gave me courage and empowered me,” Matembe said.

She added that what made her to stand strong was the help from God and her respecting characters.

“I am a God fearing person, that made me serve a lot in the political system. God provided support and he is still there for me and with his revelation I will stand as a president,” she added.

The CCEDU boss urged Ugandan women in the symposium to stand and contest at all political levels.

“All ladies are capable and can lead others, if given a chance, stand and contest. Politics is for all Ugandans despite of our gender status,” she said.

By Josephine Kauma

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