Connect with us
  • NEWS

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

    Published

    on

     

    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

    Comments

    NATIONAL

    FDC’s Amuriat Narrates How Besigye Forced Him To Meet Bobi Wine At Minister Ssebugwawo’s Home Before 2021 Elections…

    Published

    on

    NUP boss Bobi Wine (L) withDr.Kizza Besigye (R).Inset is Eng. Patrick Amuriat the FDC Najjanankumbi faction boss

    The president of Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) Najjanankumbi function Patrick Amuriat Oboi has narrated how four times presidential candidate Dr. Kizza Besigye threatened him hence forcing him to meet National Unity Platform(NUP) president Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu (Bobi Wine) before the 2021 general elections.

    Amuriat revealed that Besigye summoned him together with Nathan Nandala Mafabi the party Secretary General and Joyce Nabbosa Ssebugwawo the former party vice president in charge of Buganda for an emergency meeting and because of the respect they have for him, they all attended the meeting.

    In the meeting, Amuriat claims that Besigye told them that he had made a political calculation by then and discovered that the only person who can bring political change in Uganda and overthrow Museveni’s government is Bobi Wine.

    He added that Besigye told them that FDC has to work with Bobi Wine and use his political base which is full of youths to force Museveni out of power.

    Amuriat disclosed that he did not allow them to give their side of the story.

    “Let me speak about this for the first time, Dr. Besigye told us that his proposal is not negotiable and we should follow what he was telling us to do. My friend Nandala Mafabi protested but Besigye told him that he does not care about his protest and if he declines to meet Bobi Wine, it is going to be the end of his cooperation with him,” Amuriat said.

    He further revealed that the meeting took place at Nabbosa’s home.

    Amuriat added that he pleaded with a furious Nandala to join themand they meet Bobi Wine as Besigye had asked them but he refused arguing that Besigye wanted to sell their party to Bobi Wine.

    Amuriat said that because of the respect he had for Besigye, he decided to meet Bobi Wine who also came at Nabbosa’s home.

    During the meeting, Besigye repeated his political calculations asking Bobi Wine to feel free and work with FDC which Bobi Wine accepted.

    However, he asked Amuriat why he was silent for the entire one and half hours without submitting anything or telling them whether he and his party were ready to work together.

    He told them that since he is just a president of the party, he needs time to consult his party leadership.

    He said that when he told other party members of what had happened in the meeting, they all advised him to concentrate on planning for his party because they were going to field a presidential candidate in the 2021 presidential race.

    “I was not surprised when Besigye, the person I campaigned for all the four times he stood for presidency and even lost my parliamentary seat refused to campaign for me in 2021,” Amuriat said.

    When I went to campaign in Kira municipality, our former party spokesperson Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda hid from me. Kampala Lord Mayor Ssalongo Erias Lukwago also did the same thing. I was told that they hid because they feared to associate with me to annoy Bobi Wine,” Amuriat added.

    He confirmed that he felt betrayed by his party members who decided to hide from him at the time when he needed them most.

    He further said that they openly welcomed Lukwago with open hands after he assured them that he was coming to their party with over 100,000 supporters from Kampala city and Buganda region and it was on this basis that they appointed him the national vice chairperson in charge of Buganda replacing Nabbosa who had joined NRM government as a minister.

    “Some of our members were scared with Lukwago’s coming to our party. They warned me that he was bringing trouble. But I don’t listen to them because it was a small issue. Little did I know that the man was coming to weaken our party,” Amuriat said.

    However, in defence, Ssemujju said that Amuriat threatened his political victory when he decided to drive him to the nomination place at Kyambogo knowing well that his voters were supporting Bobi Wine and didn’t vote for any candidate associated with other presidential candidates.

    “People all the way were laughing at me asking what thing I was driving but I stood my ground for the good of my people. Even at the polling station, only me and my wife Faridah were the only ones who voted for Amuriat,” Ssemujju said.

    He added that all their troubles with Amuriat and Nandala started from the dirty money he claims they picked from President Museveni to fight Bobi Wine in the 2021 general elections which Amuriat denied.

    Ssemujju and other FDC members at Katonga faction are currently on countrywide tours consulting their party members on the way forward after disagreeing with Amuriat’s Najjanankumbi faction.

    Chances are very high that Katonga function is going to establish a new political party which they plan to use as a vehicle during the coming 2026 general elections.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

    Comments

    Continue Reading

    NEWS

    OPINION: Does the opposition in Uganda ever learn from history? 2026 Coming Too Early For Warring Opposition Parties…

    Published

    on

    Does the opposition in Uganda ever learn from history? Counting from 1996, through 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016, 2021 and now on to 2026. The supposedly long-awaited transition from President Yoweri Museveni has eluded its promoters and will continue to do so into the future going by what’s unraveling right before our eyes.

    It’s a fact that 38 years for President Museveni in power is thanks to his ingenuity, tact, will power, performance, organisational capacity and divine anointing. On the other side of the political coin is the “shortness” of his opponents in the same categories. The opposition has told too many lies about their capacity and President Museveni’s standing with Ugandans. Time is catching up with them!

    Current happenings inside the main opposition parties, namely; FDC and NUP are giving us an early glimpse into what to expect in the near future. If it’s not splitting into splinter groups, it will be implosion or both, and there is no way that assures the concerned parties of success in any endeavor. Even without looking at elections, operating a healthy, functional and cohesive political organisation is an achievement, which comes with benefits in terms of competitiveness in the field of play.

    Presently, FDC is a shadow of its former self. First, Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu who had been its chief organizer and president at some point, defected to start his own party, ANT. He took with him some of FDC’s big wigs and members.

    As he departed, he prophesied that time would, contrary to accusations leveled against him, expose the real moles in his mother party.

    Then last year, time matured! After a hiatus in which he feigned lack of interest in public activity, including boycotting contesting in the 2021 elections, Besigye emerged at the head of a faction based at Katonga road (in Kampala) crying foul that the party he once headed and on whose ticket he contested for President four times, had been infiltrated and that the incumbent party President and 2021 presidential flagbearer, Patrick Amuriat Oboi and Secretary General, Nandala Mafabi, knew something about the development.

    He exposed the behind-the-scenes of the party’s 2021 elections status which by no chance could have allowed the party to fare any better. The formerly most powerful opposition party was upstaged by the new NUP which currently has majority members in the House.

    Amuriat himself came third while President Museveni won comfortably.

    Besigye didn’t campaign for Amuriat, and when last year he came out on why he didn’t feature on the campaign trail, the excuse was that “dirty money” had come into the party and he didn’t want to associate with it.

    Nevertheless, with or without whichever money, FDC slipped in its rankings and as we talk, it will only be a miracle if it doesn’t split into two-Besigye is consulting on how to form a new party. But the bad blood is literally boiling between his supporters and those of the Najjanankumbi faction. The other day they fought during the burial of activist Sarah Eperu in Ngora.

    Daily, they are exchanging bitter words and accusations, all the while exposing their dirty linen which can only leave party members embarrassed and regretting their choice of belonging. Going into 2026, it means that what was left of FDC supporters in 2021 after the emergence of NUP and ANT will again be shared between Besigye and whoever remains of the official party will front.

    On the other hand, NUP which displaced FDC is equally in turmoil, with the membership split between party president, Kyagulanyi Sentamu (Bobi Wine) and former LOP, Matthias Mpuuga. The latter is “accused” of benefiting from a service award and he has stood his ground and defended himself. A defector from DP, Mpuuga was already targeted by the radical wingers in NUP apparently for being moderate in his approach.

    Without elders at hand to mediate some of these differences, NUP will struggle to survive an internal split. At a time when building structures and setting a clear policy agenda would help set its roots, the quarrels and fights will certainly do the opposite.

    Why is money such a disorganising factor in these parties? It has to do with absence of a strong programme and ideology to unite members and to sell to Ugandans. Absence of ideas creates room for shallowness, gossip, intrigue, suspicion and faultfinding which recipe is disastrous for any organised group. If the trend continues, we know who will not make much of 2026.

    President Museveni prophesied and warned us about the functionality of political parties in societies still on the mend. It’s a dangerous game which creates fertile ground for dividing our people. If members of the same parties are hard on each other as we see in NUP and FDC, how hard are they on those belonging to other parties? Why can’t we learn from the post-independence era and the errors of political groups which worked for narrow interests as opposed to national causes?

    At various intervals, there have been attempts to build coalitions and unifying pressure groups. On each occasion, I have predicted that such coalitions cannot hold since there is nothing in common between the allying partners except fighting to remove President Museveni from power.

    Every single time they try and fail the public loses trust in them and retreats to the President’s side. As we talk, the fights in opposition parties are benefitting NRM. I have personally received lines of defectors approaching me to take them to the President, some with sensitive and intriguing secrets indicating why they are running away from sinking ships.

    2026 is coming too early for warring opposition parties. Time will reveal it!

     

    Faruk Kirunda is the Deputy Press Secretary to the President of Uganda

    Contact: kirundaf2@gmail.com

    0776980486/0783990861

    Comments

    Continue Reading

    NATIONAL

    Lands Minister Nabakooba Dragged In Mayiga, Buganda Kingdom Clan Heads Fresh Fight Over M7’s Shs10bn Land Gift …

    Published

    on

    Minister Judith Nabakooba (R) and Buganda Kingdom Premier Charles Peter Mayiga (L)

    The mighty Grapevine can exclusively report that Owekitiibwa Joyce Nabbosa Ssebugwawo the junior Minister in Charge of Technology in the Ministry of Information Communication, Information and National guidance has started the process of helping Buganda Kingdom clans leaders to meet President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni over the contestation surrounding the multibillion land he bought for them in 2023.

    The development comes after officials in the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development declined to start on the process of transferring the Clan leaders land title from the names of Dr. John Kakembo who sold it to their association company of Abataka trust.

    One of the clan heads claims that every time they tried to transfer their land title, officials in the Ministry of Lands referred them to their senior minister Judith Nabakooba.

    He says that when they met Nabakooba, she openly told them that Charles Peter Mayiga the Buganda Kingdom premier is the only person who can give the ministry the green light to kick off the process of transferring their land into the names of the company of their choice.

    “We tried to explain to the minister that we are an independent organ in the kingdom and can handle our matter without getting permission from Mayiga or any other person. She asked for a file where she kept a letter and she told us that Mayiga in writing warned her to be very careful when dealing with our issue. She advised us to go back to Mayiga and sort out our issues before going back to her office,” he said.

    When contacted for a comment, Owekitiibwa Israel Kitooke Kazibwe the Kingdom information and mobilization minister confirmed the development and advised the aggrieved clan heads to work with Owekitiibwa Christopher Bwanika the Kingdom Attorney General to sort out their issues legally.

    “What I can tell you, here in Buganda Kingdom, we don’t have independent organs now. All of us are working under King Ronald Muwenda Mutebi who is a corporation sole. By the way, the premier is just helping those people (clan heads) to save their land from fraudsters who can use the land laws to grab it from them,” Kitooke said.

    He revealed that Mayiga never dragged himself into their issues. He explained that it was the clan heads themselves who went into his office seeking advice on how to deal with the registration of their land and he assigned Bwanika to help them.

    He added that the Mengo administration cannot allow any person or organisation to register any entity which is familiar or related to Buganda Kingdom without the knowledge and authorization of the Kingdom leadership.

    “They wanted to register Abataka Trust Company which is carrying a name relating to Buganda. So this meant that they had to first get authorization from the Kingdom administration, and what I can assure them is that no one is interested in grabbing their land and whatever is being done is in good faith and for their benefit,” Kitooke said.

    However, the clan heads admitted that without their authority as Buganda Kingdom clan heads council, their executive committee led by Omuttaka Ssalongo Augustine Kizito Mutumba their speaker took all the documents prepared by their lawyers to re-register their Abataka trust company to Mayiga but since then, they have not yet reported back to them. When they ask for the progress of the process, lawyers they become elusive.

    theGrapevine has established that the Kingdom clan heads council is sharply divided with a section of clan heads led by Ffumbe clan head Yusuf Mbirozankya bitter over Mayiga’s involvement in their land issues.

    The clan heads have also disagreed on the proposal by Mutumba’s team to sell the said land and instead use the funds to buy another piece of land in another place explaining that it is the only thing that can resolve their misunderstanding between their council and the Mayiga led administration.

    “They told us that they cannot step on land which Museveni purchased for us, because we didn’t get permission from Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi or Mayiga. We know they have issues with President Museveni but for us he is our savior and we will not betray him by following their ill intentions,” a clan head said.

    theGrapevine also established that Mbirozankya’s team and their lawyers have also failed to re-register their Abattaka trust company on grounds that Buganda Kingdom Attorney General  Bwanika wrote to Uganda Registration Service Bureau (URSB) asking them not to re-register the company without the authorisation of Buganda Kingdom or their original directors who include: Allan Waligo Nakirembeka, Suleiman Mayige Kinnalwa, Emmanuel Kafumu Ddamulira Sebitabo, Deus Maweesano Kyeyune Kukeera and David Mayanja Wooya, who are all clan heads.

    The company was deregistered in 2023 for failing to implement the requirement by URSB showing that it is still in operation.

    In 2023, Mayiga declared before Buganda Kingdom parliament that he will not allow any person to divide Buganda and a resolution was passed by the parliament condemning the clan heads meeting wih Museveni without the authorization of Kabaka Mutebi or Mayiga.

    However, the negotiations led by city lawyer and also Kingdom lands Minister David Mpanga Kisitu have been going on to solve the misunderstanding between Mayiga and a section of clan heads.

    The issue of Mayiga’s administration taking control of registration of their land has divided clan heads with some claiming that Mayiga wants their land to be put under Buganda Land Board, the kingdom agency which is responsible for managing all Kingdom land.

    They insist that they cannot allow Buganda Land Board to manage their land, given that it is the very agency that illegally sold their clan headquarters and other important Kingdom culture sites.

    “The reason why we asked President Museveni not to give us money but to directly pay the owner of the land was because we feared that the funds may be mismanaged.

    Kabaka gave us the land at Mengo near the official home of the Kingdom premier but Buganda Land Board frustrated us we failed to get it until President Museveni saved us and bought for us another piece of land. I assure Mutumba that we are going to physically fight to save our land,” one clan head vowed.

    Museveni paid over Shs10bn and promised to help the clan heads to develop their land.

    Another clan head told theGrapevine that they had started on the process of looking for investors to help them to develop their land but they all ask them to first show them the certificate of the land title registered into their names.

    He confirmed to us that the land title is safe and in custody of one of the minister’s in President Museveni’s government who has tight security.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

    Comments

    Continue Reading

    like us

    TRENDING

    theGrapevine is a subsidiary of Newco Publications Limited, a Ugandan multimedia group.
    We keep you posted on the latest from Uganda and the World. COPYRIGHT © 2022
    P.O Box 5511, Kampala - Uganda Tel: +256-752 227640 Email: info@thegrapevine.co.ug
    theGrapevine is licenced by Uganda Communications Commission (UCC)