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    OPINION: What Is Good For FDC-NUP Is Good For NRM-DP…

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    “My life has been consecrated to the Ugandan people who I seek to serve guided by God’s will. Despite the slings and arrows of detractors and many personal setbacks my devotion to the tasks I set myself remain unwavering! I strive regardless. The more I fail, the more I strive!”

    This was a tweet I came across posted by the newly appointed Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Hon. Nobert Mao-an appeal for divine grace in a bid to serve his nation.

    Almost immediately, I saw another tweet from Hon. Betty Nambooze, the Mukono Municipality MP:

    “The Pumpkin was harvested, cooked and eaten and it will now face all what cooked and eaten Pumpkins face… Mao is now fully an Absolute-Zero Politician”.

    “Pumpkin” is a nickname that Nambooze gave to Mao a while back during one of the heated moments in their “inhouse” rivalry for supremacy.

    Nambooze’s tweet is a representation of all voices that have heaped scorn on Mao, the reigning President General of the Democratic Party (DP) for reaching a working cooperation agreement with the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party, an agreement which he signed with the NRM supremo, President Yoweri Museveni, at State House, Entebbe.

    If there is anything Uganda does not need at this time it is politics of hate and violence. Our country is ripe for politics based on finding common ground to work together to resolve challenges we face in the transformation of our country.

    For those complaining and attacking Mao for inking the agreement, what principles are they working with? On a number of occasions, and most recently in the Soroti City East Constituency elections, we saw FDC and NUP coalescing around one candidate, Moses Attan, instead of each fielding its own contestant. They believed that this would give them an advantage over the NRM candidate. It didn’t turn out well for Attan but the principle of working together for common interest was not lost.

    Obviously, if both parties had fielded candidates, they would have split votes and performed even worse. So, the idea of coming together is never a bad idea and the opposition has benefitted from it on a number of occasions much to the disadvantage of NRM whenever losers in its primaries have opted to go independent against the official party candidate.

    And such unity has always been lauded as mature and progressive. But why is it that when NRM and DP agree to work together the same people have no kind words? Is it too much fear of NRM, too much hatred of Mao or just hypocrisy?

    In next door Kenya, there is a culture of coalitions that is quite difficult to predict. At their most recent elections, they have always had formations pitting friends in a previous election stiffly against each other and foes from the same election standing together. For example, in the tensest elections of 2007, now Deputy President, William Ruto, was on the side of Raila Odinga while Uhuru Kenyatta, his current boss, was on the side of late Mwai Kibaki. However, by 2013, Ruto and Uhuru were on the same side against Odinga who teamed up with Moses Wetangula, Kalonzo Musyoka and Musalia Mudavadi. The formation remained the same in 2017, even when a re-election was ordered by Court after annulment of that year’s Uhuruto win.

    In a turn of events, in this year’s elections set for August 9, Uhuru is backing Odinga in the Azimio La Umoja coalition while Ruto is with Mudavadi in Kenya Kwanza Alliance. Kenya makes true the saying that there are no permanent enemies or friends in politics.

    The very same Ugandans who always praise the Kenyan model as maturity politics at play are the same ones attacking Museveni and Mao-they accuse the President of “buying off” the opposition while accusing Mao of selling his soul as if he had a contract with them on how to build his leadership career.

    Mao is a born leader who has always aspired at many levels and among the qualities that identify him uniquely is politics of ideas and nonviolence unlike the radical brigade of pushers who believe that they must cause regime change forcefully. While they have been at loggerheads with Mao already, cooperating with NRM is particularly annoying because deep down they know that Ugandans will more likely shift base to politics that gives them hope and which is based on unity and looking beyond elections or regime change.

    Even if the regime changed but leaders on both sides of the divide cannot come together to work on things that benefit their people regardless of their different political convictions, then those leaders become misleaders.

    There is a lot to cooperate on; all Ugandans, regardless of what politicians tell them, want development and involvement in Government empowerment programmes such as Parish Development Model (PDM); all Ugandans want security, they want better healthcare, food and a working formula for effective service delivery.

    It should be remembered that President Museveni has always operated some kind of “coalition Government” because of his philosophy of inclusivity. Right from 1986, he had “opponents” like Dr. Paul Kawanga Ssemogerere, Ssebaana Kizito, Abu Mayanja, Mayanja Nkangi, Maria Mutagamba. Even now, he has UPC’s Betty Amongi as Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development and Joyce Nabbosa Ssebugwawo of FDC as Minister of State for ICT.

    Moreover, Parliament, an arm of Government, and some local councils have membership and leadership from the opposition. What is different when Mao joins them to serve? They should let him be!

     

    Faruk Kirunda is the Deputy Presidential Press Secretary

    Contact: faruk.kirunda@statehouse.go.ug

    0776980486/0702980486

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    NATIONAL

    I Will Bewitch You! Mirundi Warns UCC Boss After Regulatory Body Gave Green Light To M7’s Son-In Law To Sue Media Houses He Has Been Using To Defame Rwabwogo….

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    Tamale Mirundi (R) has threatened UCC boss Irene Ssewankambo (C) for ruling on favour of Rwabwogo (L)

    The ongoing verbal war between senior presidential advisor on media Joseph Tamale Mirundi and President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s son-in-law, who also doubles as the special presidential advisor, Odrek Rwabwogo has taken a new twist.

    In a Ruling signed by Irene Kaggwa Ssewankambo, the Acting Executive Director Uganda Communication Commission (UCC), media houses; STV, ABS TV, Radio 4, Pearl FM, Kasuku Live, HG TV were convicted of breach of the minimum media broadcasters’ standards especially Section 31 of the Uganda Communications Act 2013.

    The media regulatory body states that without reasonable cause, the convicted allowed Mirundi to make false and bias statements against Rwabwogo accusing him of engaging in human trafficking, illegal human organ business and embezzlement of tax payers money using his position as a son-in-law to a sitting president.

    The Commission insisted that it was wrong for the convicts to deny Rwobwogo a chance to defend himself on these allegation noting that disclaimers have no meaning in as far as protecting the people who are using the media houses to breach the laws is concerned.

    The media houses were directed to pay a fine of $520 and $260 for each of the offences they have been convicted of.

    The commission further directed that Kasuku Live, a YouTube channel which has been allegedly giving Mirundi platform to defame, be closed with immediate effect.

    On the ground of giving the complainant Shs.5bn in damages, the commission stated that it lacks the powers to award such an amount and advised the complainant to petition the Courts of law and seek for such remedies.

    In March 2022, Rwabogo and activists under the disciples of Rwabogo petitioned UCC accusing the defendants of helping in spreading false information against them.

    The convicts were given opportunity to defend themselves but they lost.

    However, last week, while on Pearl FM, Mirundi boasted and threatened to deal with Ssewankambo together with her Godfathers in top government offices who provide security and other benefits to her through witchcraft.

    Mirundi insisted that Ssewakambo should know that she is not the first person they have used to fight him. He bragged that he has a clean record of defeating his enemies.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    NATIONAL

    Museveni Re-appoints Col. Akiiki As UPDF D/Spokesperson, Transfers And Appointments 34 Other Officers…

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    Col. Deo Akiiki (L0 and President Museveni (R)

    President Museveni who also doubles As The Commander in Chief has today transferred and appointed General Officers and Senior Officers of Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF).

    According to Defence Spokesperson, Brig. Felix Kulayigye, among the senior officers who have eaten big is Col. Deogratias Asiimwe Akiiki who has been re-appointed Deputy Defence Spokesperson. Others include:

    1. Maj. Gen. Hudson Mukasa appointed Deputy General Officer Commanding – Reserve Forces
    2. Maj. Gen. George lgumba appointed Commandant Senior Command and Staff College – Kimaka
    3. Maj. Gen. Lucky J Kidega appointed Camp Commandant
    4. Brig. Gen. Geoffrey Kaweesa Kigozi appointed Deputy Chief of Personnel and Administration
    5. Brig. Gen Hassan Kimbowa appointed Adjutant – General Headquarters
    6. Brig. Gen Ssenkumba Eugene Ssebugwawo appointed Chief of Personnel and Administration
    7. Brig. Gen Godwin Karugaba appointed Deputy Chief of Logistics and Engineering
    8. Brig. Gen Mwanje Ssekiranda appointed Chief of Staff – Reserve Forces
    9. Brig. Gen Ronald Solomon Bigirwa appointed Defence Advisor – Tanzania
    10. Brig. Gen. Stephen Tumwesigye Kashure appointed Chief of Staff – Uganda Rapid Deployment Capability Centre
    11. Brig Gen Simon Nicholas Ocon appointed Defence Advisor – Burundi
    12. Brig Gen Metland K Bitumbika appointed General Manager – Defence Forces Shop Uganda Ltd
    13. Brig Gen Augustine Kamyuka Kyazze appointed Commandant – Defence General Deport
    14. Brig Gen Francis C.hemengich Chemo appointed Defence Advisor – Somalia
    15. Brig Gen Julius Bagonza appointed Director Personnel and Administration – Air Forces
    16. Col. Justus Besisira appointed Director – Recruitment
    17. Col. Fred Zakye appointed Defence Advisor – Ethiopia
    18. Col. Daniel Erasmus Omoding appointed Defence Advisor – Belgium-Brussels
    19. Col. James Kato Kalyebara appointed Commander Royal Guards
    20: Col. Herbert Kyabihende Makanga appointed Deputy Chief Inspector General of Military Equipment
    21. Col David Tweheyo appointed College Secretary – National Defence College Uganda
    22. Col Peter Buyungo appointed Defence Advisor – USA
    23. Col Silver Chango Muhwezi appointed Deputy Commandant Senior Command and Staff College – Kimaka
    24. Col. Emmanuel David Muhanguzi appointed Acting Chief of Policy and Plans
    25. Col. Simon Peter Oyoo appointed Defence Advisor – India
    26. Col. Allan Matsiko appointed a Director in SFC
    27. Col. Nicholas Nyesiga appointed Director of Personnel
    28. Col. Deogratias Asiimwe Akiiki appointed Deputy Defence Spokesperson
    29. Col. AG. Chris Sseruyange Ddamulira appointed Defence Advisor- SAUDI ARABIA
    30. Lt. Col. Samson Henry Nabeeta appointed Director Estates
    31. Lt. Col. Ronald Kagyenyi appointed Director Inspectorate
    32. Lt. Col. Moses Wilson Ssentongo appointed Director of Music
    33. Lt. Col. Duncan R Kafeero appointed a Deputy Director in SFC
    34. Lt. Col. Ronald Kungu Kakurungu appointed Deputy Director of Strategic Communications
    35. Lt. Col. Betty Musuya Wanyera appointed Director Women Affairs

    It should be noted that a few weeks back, Museveni also promoted police officers to the ranks of Assistant Inspector General, Senior Commissioner of police among others.

    By Kalamira Hope

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    NATIONAL

    INTERVIEW: NRM Will Continue To Fish In The Fishing Ponds Of FDC, NUP, DP And Other Opposition Parties –  Capt. Mike Mukula…

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    Capt. Mike Mukula, NRM's National Vice Chairman Eastern

    After fishing Democratic Party president Norbert Mao, who signed a cooperation agreement with President Museveni and the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM), Capt. Mike Mukula, the party’s National Vice Chairman Eastern region has bragged that they will continue fishing from the opposition.

    Mukula, a professional pilot, and businessman, revealed how he uses what he calls ‘fishing method’ to lure people from other political parties to NRM.

    In an interview with theGrapevine, Mukula noted that democracy is about managing perceptions and expectations to influence people’s political, social, economic and technological future.

    He asserted, “It has to be and you have got to spend money in order to propel your political idea.

    “Political parties are almost likened to super league teams, when Man U, Arsenal or Liverpool want to remain relevant, they must look for the best players and fish them to come and play in their football team. If you have a weak team, you will always lose.

    “The NRM will continue to fish in the fishing ponds of the opposition because democracy is a game of numbers. We will get the best from Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), National Unity Platform (NUP) and others in order to strengthen our party.”

    He however revealed that FDC, NUP and other political parties are also free to fish from the NRM’s fishing pond.

    “But I think we have a better advantage, better ideas and better strategies in attracting their members to our side. That is why you find that the Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Anita Among was initially in FDC and her Deputy Rt. Hon. Thomas Tayebwa was in the youth wing of FDC, Betty Kamya, Ssebugwawo among others all joined NRM from the opposition.”

    “Our business is to mind their peace and to ensure that we remain stronger and relevant,” he added.

    When we asked him to compare Kenya’s election to Uganda’s, Mukula revealed that Kenya has a different set of history from Uganda.

    “Kenya has never had political instability, yet we have had a military background under Obote I, Idi Amin, Yusuf Lule, Paul Mwanga, Obote II and a history of political insurgency,” he said.

    Mukula added that the revolution that ushered in the NRA now NRM government brought in a fundamental change.

    “It is a process of realigning the political direction of this country. All these countries have got lessons to learn from each other.”

    He contended that there is tribalism in both Kenya and Uganda, which is an African perspective, but whereas Kenya has only got the issue of tribalism, Uganda has got both tribalism and religious differences.

    He added, “Kenya has also got the element of people who have money. Here we don’t have a class society, people who have money, our people haven’t reached that level yet. When you underpin the democratic process of Kenya, it is an evolution of process from 1963 when they got independence.”

    Mukula maintained that if one is to look at the aspirations, expectations and perceptions, the interests of Kenya’s politics are different from the ones of Uganda, adding that both countries have a lot to learn from each other.

    When asked how far his petition to Museveni had reached concerning his disagreement with the Vice President, Jessica Alupo, Mukula noted that matters of a party are handled internally and they are going to handle it internally as a party.

    Asked why NRM has injected a lot of energy into the ongoing by-elections compared to the past, Mukula revealed that they no longer underestimate anybody nor do they underestimate any elections.

    “We take all elections seriously and we think that we have learnt lessons in the past. For example, in Arua when we interrupted the flow of FDC and NUP and teargas was fired, we lost that by-election. This time we have seen no single teargas canister being fired and that is a lesson learnt and we continue to improve and finetune our campaign strategies and methods of campaigns.”

    He propounded that democracy is maturing and they are learning lessons and taking every campaign seriously.

    Asked if he still dreams of ever becoming the president of Uganda, the NRM die-hard stressed that, it was an allegation that was buried and finished.

    “I have got no single interest. I am now in the private sector, I believe in President Museveni as my leader and I will continue to support and vote for him as long as he is on offer and the party supports him. I am committed to the party and it is not about me, it is about the party and the country. I am committed fully behind President Museveni,” he stressed.

    He added,  “I am into manufacturing some of the largest manufacturing plans that are being developed in the country, I am in the aviation industry, I am in security, I am in insurance, I have gone into salt manufacturing, I am into fruit processing, I am going deeply into sugar and cement.”

    He added, “I am very comfortable in the private sector and also expanding to the regions like Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya.”

    Asked about his ship that is set to transport fuel to Uganda and other countries, Mukula revealed that they are just waiting for the political situation in Kenya to calm down but they were ready to sail fuel as early as yesterday.

    Mukula encouraged Ugandans to remain resilient and cohesive pursuing the line of expanding the economy.

     

    By Kalamira Hope

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