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    OPINION: Uganda For Ugandans, Kenya For Kenyans…

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    Is there a problem between Uganda and Kenya as far as political dynamics are concerned? Some politicians in Kenya have been offended because Deputy President, William Ruto, has been coming to Uganda in recent times.

    These are mostly ODM politicians and those who belong to other camps in alignment to the 2022 elections. In their mind, Ruto’s coming to Uganda had to do with the 2022 elections and, therefore, Uganda has something to do with his interests, real or imagined.

    Understandably, the political pulse is beating fast in Nairobi as the power camps set themselves for the big event. That, however, does not mean that nothing else is happening other than electioneering. I have not heard that when Ruto came to Uganda, he came on election related matters. As Deputy President, he must have come here on state matters or private matters which he could as well attend to at any other time or in any other country. Ruto has been a guest in Uganda many times before and it was never an issue. If it is an issue now due to the shift in power dynamics, that is strictly a Kenyan matter.

    Uganda does not interfere in internal matters of other countries, unless expressly prompted formally on matters of regional interest or as part of arrangements involving more parties.

    For President Museveni, he receives guests from all over the world on different missions. Some of his guests are belligerent groups on opposite ends of active conflicts or opposing camps in politics or elections; they reach him on their terms and his place as a statesman, an important Pan-Africanist and a stakeholder in regional affairs. Some are personal friends who check on him like all friends do.

    In all the time Ruto has been coming to Uganda, I have not heard Museveni or any government official or leader in NRM comment about Kenyan politics, or express support or lack of it for any side. For anyone on the Kenyan side to read into the presence of anyone in Uganda and decide that is about 2022 is a bit of a problem as it seeks to cause unnecessary tension between our leaders and our two countries. People should have some courtesy before expressing their views on any issue. Any rushed statements can have irredeemable repercussions, whereas we could be working on matters of mutual benefit as a people of East Africa-and Africa at large.

    Uganda had a general election early this year and, to their credit, the Kenyan establishment did not interfere. It was only Babu Owino, MP of Embakasi East, who got entangled with the candidacy of Bobi Wine and went on to attack President Museveni and NRM. We took that as an individual action which did not represent the collective interest of ODM led by Chief Raila Odinga. We knew that there are forces working through such offshoot groups but we were confident that the final decision lay with the Ugandan people, as indeed they went on to accomplish when they voted NRM against the challenge of other contenders.

    There was also Julius Malema of South Africa; this one also campaigned for Bobi Wine while attacking President Museveni. Malema is an MP and president of Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), having left the ruling African National Congress (ANC).

    Malema’s ideas are controversial. His interest in pushing the opponents of NRM are directly proportional to his hatred for ANC and the ruling establishment in South Africa. The language he was using was quite native and was not in good taste by reasonable standards. His problem, I believe, was because he had seen President Ramaphosa in Uganda-meeting President Museveni or attending to some other business-and decided that he had to extend his opposition and annoyance to anyone who came in contact with him.

    By pushing Bobi Wine, he was inspiring the sort of divisionism and tension that fills South Africa’s politics these days. So, we responded to him and advised him to keep within the limits of building EFF and leave Uganda’s issues to Ugandans. It was also a quick lesson in the tenet of non-interference in the internal political affairs of other countries.

    Museveni is a prominent statesman in Africa today due to his seniority and experience. He is consulted on a wide range of issues even by global powers. Malema is free to meet and consult him; Owino is free to meet and consult him, just as Ruto is free; Raila is free, just like Presidents Kenyatta, Kiir and many others in the region meet with him and discuss different matters. Even Kalonzo Musyoka has met and paid glowing tribute to him. Should all these come under attack each time they associate with someone that their opponents do not like? That kind of politics is unhelpful.

    As East Africans, our common objectives such as the Integration Agenda should bring it together. Elections are vital but an internal matter, nevertheless. Right now nobody knows who will be on which ballot, where and when. Speculative politics is dangerous and should be discouraged. Our sister countries operate democracies that are functional enough to resolve their governance needs in the circumstances. Let us respect each other’s sovereignty, systems and as well look at the big picture!

    Faruk Kirunda is a Presidential Assistant in Charge of Media Management

    Contact: kirundaf2@gmail.com
    0776980486/0702980486

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    CRIME

    Former Minister Mbayo Survives Arrest, Sneaks Into CID, Grilled Over Nepotism And Corruption…

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    Minister Esther Mbayo

    Former Minister for Presidency Esther Mbayo has survived arrest after secretly presenting herself to Kibuli based police’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to answer charges related to corruption and nepotism.

    Last month, police threatened to arrest the Luuka district woman Member of Parliament for refusing to respect the criminal summons issued against her through the office of the Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah.

    Mbayo pleaded with the speaker for assistance claiming that the police detectives are being used by her political opponents to humiliate her and brand her a criminal.

    However, the speaker advised her to go to CID and record a statement since police have followed the necessary requirements to summon her as an MP.

    On Monday last week, Mbayo sneaked into CID together with her lawyers and she was grilled by detectives led by Julius Twinomujuni.

    Sources at the CID disclosed that Mbayo was grilled on allegations of influencing the Uganda Printing and Publishing Corporation(UPPC) board to approve her sister Christine Mayengo as the Finance and Accounting manager yet she lacked the required qualifications.

    It is alleged that Mbayo used her influence as the former minister to put pressure on the chairperson Finance, Investment and marketing committee Dr. Patrick Ibembe and Managing Director Tom Wasswa to omit the capable  candidates for the job as advertised in mainstream media in favor of her sister.

    It is further alleged that Dr. Ibembe disclosed that they did not have to engage any external consultant for the said recruitment.

    Sources revealed that Mbayo was told that her sister emerged second in the interview but she was declared the best candidate.

    Sources state that as a token of appreciation to these officials, Mbayo increased their retainer fees from Shs2,500,000 to Shs3,500,000 and Shs2,000,000 to Shs3000,000 to Board chairperson and other members respectively.

    Mbayo was also grilled on allegations that she benefited from the Shs9bn cash which was paid to UPPC by the Electoral Commission to gazette the elected political leaders and polling stations in the recently concluded 2021 general elections.

    Investigators allege that Mbayo directed UPPC management to share the Shs9bn and she was given her share which was used in her 2021 political campaigns in Luuka district.

    Sources revealed that the former minister denied all the allegations and she was released on a police bond.

    The current minister for presidency Milly Babalanda suspended the UPPC board and the management on allegations of corruption, abuse of office and embezzlement.

    Police discover Shs600m in the course of investigation and it alleges that this was part of the Shs9bn paid by the Electoral Commission.

    The police are still investigating the matter.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    NATIONAL

    M7 Summons KCCA Ministers, ED Kisaka Over Invisible Hands Fueling City Market Wrangles…

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    Minister Hajjat Minsa Kabanda (L) and Suzan Kushaba (R)

    President Yoweri Museveni has summoned Kampala Metropolitan Minister Hajjat Minsa Kabanda and Dr. Dorothy Kisaka, the Executive Director Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) over allegations that invisible hands are fueling city market wrangles.

    In a chat with the Grapevine, Kabanda confirmed the meeting adding that it is going to take place next week at State House Entebbe to resolve the ongoing leadership fights in Kampala markets especially St. Balikuddembe commonly known as Owino market, Nakasero market, Wandegeya market and Bugolobi market.

    “It’s true the president summoned us to guide on his directive given on the leadership of the city market and I am going with members on the technical wing. He wants to know why his directives are not being implemented and also guide us on how to implement them,” Kabanda said.

    Museveni’s decision to summon KCCA bosses comes after getting information that there are ongoing fights between KCCA and the interim market leadership who refused to vacate offices to allow the election of new leadership to run the market.

    Sources revealed that during the Monday cabinet meeting, minister Kabanda reported Suzan Kushaba, the interim Owino market boss to the President for refusing to leave office and insulting her and Kampala City Resident Commissioner (RCC) Hawa Namugenyi Ndege.

    Sources revealed that Kabanda decided to run to Museveni after meeting security bosses in Kampala City who warned her to go slow on Kushaba because she is working for some big government official.

    “Security cannot remove Kushaba from the office, the lady is protected by SFC and police fear her,” a source at the KCCA revealed.

    He further revealed that when RCC Ndege evicted Kushaba from office last week, she contacted her bosses who allegedly intensified her security and directed her to go back to her office.

    A new energized and fully armed Kushaba went back to office with swag and insisted that she will not leave office on orders of the Minister.

    She further claimed that she had information that the minister wants to sell the market and also return the bad leaders who were fired by the president for mistreating market vendors.

    Yesterday, Minister Kabanda held a meeting with security heads in Kampala to see how to handle Kushaba but it didn’t resolve anything.

    Another source disclosed that the minister is bitter with Kushaba for branding her a fraudster who is behind the selling of public land and city markets like park yard which she sold to controversial city tycoon Hamis Kiggundu.

    However, the minister insisted that her directive on city markets still stands and Kushaba should leave office for new leadership.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    NATIONAL

    CRIME IS A CRIME: Stealing From An Employer, Whether Government Or Private, Will Send You To Jail – M7 Directs Arrest Of Top Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, Security Chiefs, RDCs Over Corruption….

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    President Yoweri Museveni

    President Tibuhaburwa Museveni has directed the arrest of top ministers, permanent secretaries, security chiefs and Resident District Commissioners (RDC) over corruption and neglect of duty.

    In a letter dated 22nd August 2021 to the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries Frank Tumwebaze, copied to the Vice President, Prime Minister, Attorney General and other top ministers, the president gave three courses of action against the suspected corrupt government officials.

    The president was responding to Minister Tumwebaze’s letter dated 11th August 2021 where he accused top government officials of frustrating government service delivery in local government through corruption and lack of patriotism.

    Tumwebaze reported that these actions are putting NRM in bad light. However, in his response, the president insisted that the problem starts from the top, in the ministries and they should be cleaned.

    “The problem is not just in the districts. It starts with ministries in Kampala, the ministers, the permanent secretaries, who do not supervise and monitor programs of the government being implemented by the districts” the president stated.

    He told Tumwebaze that he has information on government officials who are selling vaccines and government properties but he is still collecting evidence against them so that they are arrested and prosecuted.

    In his letter, Museveni gave three courses of actions against the suspects and these include; arresting and prosecuting the suspected officials, sacking and arresting Chief Administrative Officers (CAO), dismissing or prosecuting RDCs, DISOs DPCs, GISOs under whose jurisdiction these crimes are being committed.

    Museveni further directed that even political leaders can be arrested and prosecuted if they collude or aid these crimes.

    “It is, therefore, not a structural problem but neglect of duty by the ministers and the permanent secretaries. Decentralization did not decentralize crime and impunity. Crime is a crime. Stealing from an employer, whether Government or private, will send you to jail for ten years,” Museveni stated.

    Museveni’s letter comes on the heels of a warning from Milly Babalanda, the Minister for Presidency who cautioned RDCs and security bosses in Busoga region to stop involving themselves in illegalities because the president has already directed for the prosecution of all public officials implicated in corruption and evicting tenants from their land.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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