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Speaker Kadaga, MPs Accuse Telecoms Operators Of Being Driven By Greed In Phasing Out Airtime Scratch Cards

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MPs have unanimously reiterated their stand today against the complete scrapping of airtime scratch cards. This was during a meeting organised by Parliament for an interaction between the speaker Rebecca Kadaga, the legislators and the Telecom operators.

Ruhinda North MP Thomas Tayebwa was joined by several MPs in pointing out that the telecoms have not provided a viable alternative to scratch cards especially in the rural areas, Tayebwa argued that some sub counties have not got a single agent operating there.

“In each trading center at least there is a dealer of airtime but in my sub county in kiyanga, It’s now two days that leaders have converged at my home saying it is us government pushing for removal of scratch cards. They don’t know that this was pushed by telecoms. Can we then make this digital loading attractive by say if you load through mobile money you get a bonus which is part of the money that telecoms could have used for printing scratch cards,” Tayebwa noted.

Rakai woman MP Juliet Kinyamatama wondered why UCC was keen on siding with the telecom companies. She also observed that before rolling out the easy load system, telecoms had to first improve the mobile network coverage in rural areas.

“Network connectivity in our areas is so bad that even when you are seated in your home you need to go out and climb on a mountain just to load airtime,” Kinyamatama said.

The MPs were responding to a presentation by Doris Vano a business analyst with Airtel who made a case for the ban on scratch cards. She argued that with electronic easyload, customers can load airtime of any value be it 50/- or 100/- which wasn’t the case for scratch cards.

She also emphasized that recharging the retailer in case they run out of airtime is instant and there is no time lag as was the case with stocking scratch cards.

Kadaga dismissed the presentation as one that was not in touch with the common man, she observed that no survey had been carried out at the grassroots before the ban was approved.

“There are radios and televisions, why didn’t you go to Kamuli and say you addressed a Town council. You are handling your side of making money, you are not handling the right of access to information.  You said the public is happy, tell us your assessment. When did you consult the public?” Kadaga charged while firing at telecom operators.

 

By Stella  Mugoya

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Disgruntled Official Spills JEEMA Dirty Secrets: Party Is Rotten Beyond Redemption

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JEEMA President H.E Asumani Basalirwa

In a 1040 words dossier, Abdunoor Kyamundu Sentongo the spokesperson for the party has exposed the extent to which intrigue and rot has gotten to the core of Asuman Basalirwa’s Justice Forum Party (JEEMA). The strongly-worded dossier, similar to the stinger Besigye authored before leaving NRM in 1999, is reproduced in its original form.

VERBATIM;

WE WON’T ALLOW ANY BODY TO TAKE JEEMA BACK 

Bugiri election didn’t only bring *power power* excitement in the country, it also brought with it unnecessary expectation in JEEMA due to the material gains that come with a party’s presence in Parliament. This has exposed their greed and dictatorship to a level no one ever thought of them.

The Secretary General now wants to run the party as if it’s his family business and he is the only director with all the veto powers on everything. The JEEMA secretary general has heightened the campaign to fight people who do not share his line of thinking and who cannot bow. He is stuck in the self-glorification moods of how he is a founder of JEEMA and anybody who is outside that circle must simply salute him. He assumed veto powers over every decision that

various organs of the party take even over the party president himself.

Although the JYL chairperson is an elected position, the party president took a decision to appoint Youth league leadership as we lobby for funds to organize a youths delegate’s conference that will bring in elected leaders. The SG disregarded the president’s appointments and appointed his parallel team claiming that the president did not consult him.

We looked in JEEMA constitution cover to cover to find a close that requires the president to consult the Secretary General before making any appointments. In fact the secretary general is a position appointed by the party president

Recently when JEEMA got readmitted to IPOD, Mr Kateregga without consulting the party president or any organ of the party selected IPOD representatives. This angered many including the party president who called for an urgent meeting to air out his dissatisfaction and assert his position. His team was dissolved in a compromised position.

When we were organizing the swearing in ceremony of the party president as elected Member of Parliament for Bugiri municipality, the Arua incidents happened and Bobiwine’s driver was shot dead. We had planned to bring his electorate to Kampala to grace the function and then have a luncheon at One love beach Busabala. The SG called me to call off the event. I explained to him why we cannot call it off and in his usual way of belittling everyone barked at me, that "as a secretary general, I have cancelled the event, it will not take place. When I consulted the party president, he gave me a go ahead to organize the function. Mr. Kateregga then actively demobilized people against coming to the function including the party chairman who was personally dissuaded by this folk. Just recently, his veto powers were exerted again during the IPOD summit selections. A meeting sat and set quotas for various organs of the party and it remained with the leaderships of the various organs of the party to file their lists to be compiled into a final list. In Mr. Kateregga’s dictatorial management style, the party organs that submitted the lists were not wiser to his extent that he decided to re-do the lists with the help of his best friend, the JEEMA finance secretary who admitted reorganizing the lists disregarding what was done by various organs of the party.

What brings the above impunity is a belief of self-entitlement, self-glorification, and arrogance limited knowledge on the running of political parties as opposed to limited companies that he seems to know most. I think Mr Kateregga in his mind asks where was Basalirwa when we were starting JEEMA?

Secondly, I also think it is his limited conceptualization of political parties and political organizations act that he is bragging to his presumed cronies that he is going to expel me, the youth leader and all those opposed to his inefficiency. Mr. Kateregga sees JEEMA as a private business that should be run on the whims of the Directors. Political parties are national assets and should be run by majority members; decisions.

There is also a narrative recently propagated by the Secretary General being the official spokesperson of the party. Whereas under the JEEMA constitution, the SG is stated as the official spokesperson of the party but the current SG is so incompetent and with very limited capacity and knowledge to do such a complex role that is why I assumed the role to help the party advance. He can’t bring out a single press statement he has issued for the last three years he

has held that office.

When I had just assumed the office of JEEMA publicity Secretary, the SG told me of how the media hates JEEMA that government warned them against reporting about us. I told him it is because there is nothing to write about us that we think the media is against us. I thank God that our publicity team has broken that thinking.

Today, when JEEMA has an activity, we are covered by a minimum of 25 media houses. We now have weekly radio and TV appearances where we don’t even pay a coin. We are only limited by the human resource to appear on talk shows.

Because of media coverage and our continuous appearance in mainstream media, very many people now want to join JEEMA and it’s is the reason the SG has remembered that he's the party official spokesperson which he never realized three years ago. But even this issue should be put to context. The S.G. is the supervisor of all departments of the party, why is he insisting on being spokesperson and accounts?

Fundamentally, we are hurt by such individuals who think they can render our efforts useless because of their senseless wars to get at certain individuals. Many resourceful people have either exited the party or are silent about party activities because of Mr. Kateregga Muhammad’s funny tendencies. I conclude by telling members that we are not about to succumb to such circusm. We invest in the party our limited resources and time because we subscribe to the ideology of its founders and that is where our loyalty lies. Individuals should drop egos of self-entitlement.

Abdunoor Kyamundu Sentongo is the publicity secretary of the Justice Forum/JEEMA (Contact. 0701756756)

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CELEBRITY GOSSIP

Police Seal Off Hotel After Blocking Bobiwine’s Performance

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Police standing outside City hotel last evening

Police in Jinja District is reported to have raided City Hotel last evening in search for Musician turned politician Hon. Ssentamu Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobiwine.

Bobiwine who slated to perform on Saturday evening, said through his Facebook page that police had ordered his team out of town and escorted them to Lugazi on gun point.”They have beaten some of them, dragged them onto police pick-up cars and driven them to unknown destinations for no offence whatsoever. Meanwhile, I am still in Jinja town. The police are looking for me everywhere. They have even blocked some roads in search for me! I will try not to avail myself to them. Arua is still fresh in our minds, and we know what they can do. But this injustice must end and we must put it to an end by ourselves. No one else will do it for us,” Mr Kyagulanyi said.

Facebook picture retrieved from Bobiwine’s page

(more…)

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Corruption Still A Big Problem But We Are Committed To Ending It – Museveni

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President Museveni (Centre) with the first Hon. lady Janet Museveni on his left and Vice president Rt Hon. Edward Ssekandi on the right

President of Uganda H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has expressed big concerns over the growing levels of corruption sighting it as one of the big problems the country is facing.

Mr. Museveni was addressing a gathering that attended the Annual thanksgiving ceremony held last evening at state house Entebbe. “The major problem now is corruption and we are committed to ending it. I can guarantee you we shall defeat corruption. I recently made some announcements but will dwell more on this subject in my New Year message

With First Lady Janet, we hosted guests at State House, Entebbe for the Annual Thanksgiving ceremony, whose theme was picked from Psalms 133:1 “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in Unity”.

Uganda is beginning to go over the hill after we started from a low base in 1986. We have been trying to get up the hill but with a firm foundation now, the movement uphill is faster and easier.

We now have enough electricity, better roads and general infrastructure. Bishop Joseph Abura from Karamoja testified about how easily he now gets to Kampala.

Ugandans are also working harder. For example we have had a bumper harvest and prices of foodstuffs are coming down. It will help reduce inflation too. Take maize, production has gone up to five million bags from two million bags.

I thank Dr Barry Lenhardt, the preacher, for his good message, especially praying for our country’s prosperous future. I also commend the organisers for giving this function a national character by inviting Ugandans from all parts of the country,” Mr. Museveni said.

In attendance was also the religious leaders from the different sects

 

By Remmy Atugonza

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