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    OPINION: Rev. Bakaluba And The Opposition We Need – Milly B Babalanda…

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    Milly B Babalanda

    The new Local Council 5 chairman of Mukono district, Rev. Peter Bakaluba Mukasa has chosen a member of the NRM, Mr. Asuman Muhumuza, to be his deputy. This is a very commendable move and I thank Rev. Bakaluba for the brotherly spirit seeing beyond political differences. I believe it may have to do with his background as a clergyman, resisting the temptation to discriminate anybody and using his original NRM lenses to see the good in everybody.

    The LC 5 chairman was formerly a member of NRM who served as a Member of Parliament (MP), and is known for having been developmental until he was disorganised by a ruthless opposition. I don’t think NRM minds having a person carrying an opposition party card who is blind to party colour affiliation and works for the people. The sign of unity in Mukono promises to bring good things to the district, and I appeal to all districts to work out an arrangement of unity in leadership in their areas. I don’t know who else has extended Bakaluba’s gesture but when I get to know I will pay tribute to them.

    The kind of opposition represented by Rev. Bakaluba is what we need; opposition not for the sake of opposing but opposition which looks on the brighter side of political differences. Once one wins a seat in government, the feature of being from a different party from that which has the majority mandate fades out. It’s one large institution of government serving together to implement the overall winning party Manifesto. Anybody who doesn’t know or accept this has no choice but to resign his or her seat. In fact, if the Mukono LC 5 boss had not co-opted NRM on his council executive, he would still be challenged with accepting the supremacy of NRM. In a way, he would find hurdles in providing good leadership since the NRM fraternity would sit back and let him shoulder the burden alone. Now, he has inoculated his tenure and Mukono could benefit greatly.

    Some people wonder as to what the true value of opposition is. Is it to stop the ruling party government from doing its work, to fight government and get it out of power, compete with alternative yet complementary policy ideas or support government to fulfill its mandate? Personally, I think that the first two “roles” are a very outdated way of looking at things. The latter two roles are the way to go. The ordinary opposition attempts to stand in the way of a sitting government and even tries ways to disrupt its hold on power. In extreme cases, that can have a criminal element to it because government is Constitutional and protected by law.

    In a democratic political system, a sound and reasonable opposition is an indispensable element. Opposition parties serve as alternatives for discontented voters and their function is more than just providing another symbol on the ballot in the elections. Opposition fills any gaps in information about the government’s policies, and point out their weaknesses. However, faultfinding is an old way of playing opposition politics. It’s redundant when it is the only “service on offer”. Faultfinding is not a preserve of the opposition because even within the NRM (in the case of Uganda), faults are identified inhouse and addressed. The modern opposition also looks at the positives (the progressive ideas, the good policies, the achievements to be built on) and supports them. There is nothing about “compromising with the devil”- as some extremists say- in that. I see great talent on both sides.

    I, personally, do not see any problem with an opposition member joining an NRM-led executive and an NRM member joining an opposition-led executive. The purpose is not to sell one’s principles or democratic rights but to serve, and propose critical ideas when opposing adds value to the main objective of serving the people. Service delivery is not sensitive to one’s political shade of thought; we all need good health, education, security, infrastructure and general wellbeing. Opposition should not act alarmist or mislead the public on government programmes and should, in fact, help government deliver. If that takes exposing corrupt individuals and shoddy works, that is very welcome because government provides services, not “disservices”.

    Then, to be credible, opposition should also show the good side of government and also talk about its own failures as opposition. If there is nothing to oppose, be honest and say so! It’s better than creating false stories to hurt the name of NRM. Let us see the opposition exposing its own members who are corrupt since many of them won positions and are serving in public office. I see a lot of middle ground for elected leaders on both sides of the political divide to work together without any side losing its character.

    President Museveni has always set the pace by incorporating alternative party figures in his cabinet and most of them have not lost their character although I see that their people (voters) have failed to understand the wisdom in such alliances. With time, the message will sink. Confrontational politics is dying out. I urge all NRM leaders co-opted on opposition –led executives to be cooperative and only raise red flags when there are real issues deserving real attention. That way, NRM will set a good example for others to emulate.

    The Author is a Personal Assistant to the NRM National Chairman and a Senior Presidential Advisor , Political Affairs.

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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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    God Answers ‘Togikwatako’ MP Nsubuga’s Prayers, M7 Appoints Him Human Rights Boss…

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    Simeo Nsubuga

    A few days from now, former Mityana South Member of Parliament Simeo Nsubuga Muwanga is going to be given a government car, a driver, bodyguard and a monthly salary which is not less than Shs.20m as a Commissioner of Uganda Human Rights Commissioner (UHRC).

    Faruk Kirunda, the Deputy presidential press secretary has confirmed to theGrapevine that his boss President Yoweri Museveni has appointed Nsubuga together with Col. Steven Basaliza and Apita Omara as UHRC Commissioners.

    Kirunda further revealed that Museveni has directed that the names of the newly appointed Commissioners be forwarded to the Speaker of Parliament Annet Anita Among for vetting before they occupy their new offices.

    Nsubuga has been waiting for an assignment from the big man after fighting whole heartedly during the battle to remove the age limit from the constitution.

    It is alleged that because of this battle, Nsubuga lost his MP seat and since then, he has been languishing in poverty even though he was promised that the big man is planning to surprise him with a huge package.

    “He thought that he will be appointed an RDC but his name kept missing from the list. He was advised to be patient because the big man was planning something bigger than RDC job for him. Now he is a very happy man,” a source close to Nsubuga, a former police spokesperson said.

    Efforts to get a comment from Nsubuga were futile since his known phone numbers were very busy by press time.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    EALA SAGA: Bobi Wine To Crack Whip On Defiant Legislators Who Secretly Voted; FDC Bitter; NUP Is Filled With Comedians Posing As Politician…

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    FDC's Salaam Musumba and NUP principal Bobi Wine (L)

    National Unity Platform (NUP) leadership has revealed that disciplinary action is going to be taken against their party legislators who defied their own resolution and participated in the controversial East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) election.

    On Wednesday, Mathias Mpuuga, the Leader of Opposition in Parliament (LOP) announced that a resolution was taken during the NUP parliamentary caucus stopping their party members from participating in EALA election citing biasness from the majority NRM party.

    However, Kazo County Member of Parliament Dan Kimosho claims that a number of NUP legislators participated in the EALA elections.

    Without mentioning names, Kimosho insisted that secretly, NUP legislators voted for their friends in the race that is the reason why the number of the voters who participated in the EALA elections are not tallying as expected.

    According to Annet Anita Among the Speaker of Parliament, who was the returning officer for EALA elections, 495 legislators out of the 529 eligible voters  participated in the EALA elections, a number which was contested by some of the candidates who participated in the election.

    Earlier, Aringa South member of parliament Alioni Odria stormed the parliamentary lobby with boxes claiming that they contained stuffed ballot papers.

    He asked the speaker to explain who had put those ballot papers in the boxes before the time for voting.

    Deputy speaker Thomas Tayebwa clarified that her boss Among allowed legislators with emergencies to vote and go early.

    A finger is being pointed at Butambala Woman Member of Parliament Hajjat Aisha Kabanda, who also doubles as NUP deputy Secretary General was seen at parliament early in the morning attending plenary.

    However, her Butambala male colleague Muwanga Kivumbi rubbished the allegations that Kabanda participated in the voting.

    He explained that after passing the Human organ transplant bill, Kabanda drove to her constituency to attend a burial.

    Joel Ssenyonyi, the Nakawa West Member of who also doubles as the NUP spokesperson challenged Kimosho to table evidence pining NUP legislators.

    “Parliament has cameras, let those claiming that NUP members of parliament participated in those shoddy elections retrieve the footage and show the public those said NUP legislators,” Ssenyonyi insisted.

    He praised NUP legislators for taking a wise decision not to participate in such elections because they have exposed that rigging is real and it is everywhere including in parliament.

    He added that as of now, the entire parliament is embarrassed because of the rigging.

    Kivumbi assured the public that investigations have kicked off and any of their own MPs who will be found guilty of participating in the said elections will be subjected to the party’s disciplinary organ for disobeying the party’s resolution.

    According to the results announced by Speaker Among; Rose Akol got 422 votes, Dennis Namara got 415 votes, James Kakooza got 405, George Odongo got 403, Paul Musamali got 401 votes and Mary Mugenyi got 367 votes and these are the six candidates fronted by NRM party. Others are Veronic Kadogo who got 383 votes and Jacquiline Amongin who got 338 votes both independents. Democratic party’s Dr. Gerald Siranda, the only opposition candidate, obtained 233 votes.

    FDC BLASTS NUP DECLARES THEM A PARTY OF COMEDIANS

    Salaam Musumba, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) Vice President Eastern Uganda has blasted NUP declaring Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine’s political party, a party for comedians.

    She told theGrapevine that the kind of politics NUP is playing is backward and puts the entire opposition in a bad light, because it makes people think that all opposition members in the country are comedians.

    Musumba claims that NUP party leaders take ill political decisions just for cameras and to be seen that they have made something which adds nothing to the ongoing struggle to oust president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.

    She explains that when NUP took over the opposition leadership in the country, FDC decided to give them space to work for Ugandans but up to now they have nothing to show apart from playing politics of comedy and exciting people.

    “They have promised Ugandans a lot and we gave them space to execute what they have promised but nothing has come out. Those NUP people are nothing because they haven’t even reached 10% of what FDC did when they were leading the opposition in the country,” she boasted.

    She praised Bobi Wine for making a good manifesto which members of FDC admired because it made Ugandans vote for them but they have failed to execute it.

    FDC leadership are very bitter about NUP’s decision to pull out of the EALA elections when their candidate Harold Kaija was counting on them because of their numbers in the house.

    Recently, NUP and other opposition political parties agreed to work together and support each other which Kira Municipality member of parliament and also FDC spokesperson Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda noted that it can only work on big issues of fighting Museveni.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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