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    The State Is Mandated By Law To Use Violence- Ofwono Opondo  Speaks Out On Abductions, Human Rights Abuses In Uganda Ahead Of IPOD Summit…

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    Norbert Mao (L) Ofwono Opondo (C) and Nandala Mafabi

    The government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo, who is also the Executive Director of the Uganda Media Council, has said that the state is mandated by law to use violence on its citizens.

    Opondo, who was giving his remarks about today’s Inter-Party Organisation for Dialogue (IPOD)on NBS TV’s Frontline show last night, asserted that under some circumstances government is allowed to use violence.

    “The State is allowed by law to apply violence. There is no group that President Museveni and the government don’t reach out to,” Opondo said.

    Speaking about the continued abductions of Ugandans by state security agencies, Opondo noted that the matter is being dealt with by the police and Ministry of Internal Affairs and that a list of those arrested had been released by government.

    “The list of the missing persons has been read by Jeje Odongo. We are sure it will be resolved,” Opondo said.

    “We are used to the antics of FDC. I don’t think it will take them far. They will realize the train is moving. The fact that people break the 10 commandments doesn’t mean we shouldn’t go to church. It is the same thing with the IPOD summit,” the government mouthpiece noted, in reply to the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party’s refusal to attend the IPOD summit.

    Opondo challenged the FDC Secretary  General MP Nathan Nandala Mafabi, who claimed that their party leader  Patrick Oboi Amuriat could not sit with his tormentor (President Yoweri Museveni) on the same table, to provide proof that indeed Amuriat has ever been tormented or tortured by Museveni.

    “Let Nandala show us a video of President Museveni shooting a teargas canister. There is a record that this government dialogues. When we fail, we try again. That is how we have managed to build Uganda in the last 35 years and are the longest-serving government through dialogue,” he asserted.

    However, Nandala, who was also a panelist on the show, insisted that Amuriat cannot meet a person who brutalized him.

    “You want Amuriat to go and meet a person who beat him properly,” wondered Nandala, who added that; “The day Ofwono Opondo doesn’t have a  job, I am telling you he will cry like a baby. You are talking of dialogue when people are in prison, kidnapped, and dying. I think we must be realistic in this country.  The dialogue is for who? The kind of dialogue we want is not the one structured at IPOD.”

    Nandala further asserted that; “I thought Mao who has attended summits would be the best person to advise the IPOD.  The reason why they are so desperate to go there is to meet the NRM Chairman who is also the President. IPOD was formed for inter-party dialogue. We hoped that the elections would be free and fair. Those who participated in the unfairness should go and attend the summit.”

    But Democratic Party (DP) president Norbert Mao deferred from Nandala’s opinion, noting that IPOD is not all about President Museveni meeting opposition politicians but aims at forging a way forward for Uganda’s future.

    “I want to assure the public that the IPOD is not a bilateral meeting between Museveni and the opposition. The media is responsible for making it appear so,” Mao said.

    He added that; “A tortoise can’t move forward unless it sticks its head out. It is risky, its head might be cut off but it must. I believe people can talk. What IPOD is doing is trying to build a bridge over stormy waters. Even if you die in the process, let the bridge be built.”

    The DP stalwart explained that; “There must be pressure on all fronts, citizens must be involved. IPOD is not the only way but some people can use it. If one strategy has not worked, you must look for another one. The IPOD members should take IPOD seriously including the NRM. When there is darkness, even a cigarette can provide light. I am not going to exaggerate the importance of IPOD.”

    President Yoweri Museveni is set to hold this IPOD summit later today at Kololo Independence Grounds, which he will preside over as Chairperson.

    However, the FDC party has since been joined by the JEEMA party on refusing to attend the summit, although other parties like the Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) of Rtd. Gen. Mugisha Muntu, National Unity Platform (NUP) of Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine, have not yet expressed their interest  or disinterest in the summit.

     

    By Grapevine Reporter

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    Who Is Milly Babalanda? From Humble Village Girl To Minister, New Minister For Presidency Narrates Her Journey….

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    Hon. Milly Babalanda with President Museveni recently

    President Yoweri Museveni on Tuesday evening named a new cabinet in which he appointed Mrs. Babirye Milly Babalanda as Minister for the Presidency.
    The appointment came as a miracle although not a surprise for the “humble village girl” from Kamuli.

    Our reporter caught up with Babalanda to speak about her new appointment

    Q: Congratulations upon landing this appointment!
    Babalanda: Thank you! I thank God, and His Excellency the President for this trust in
    me.

    Q: What is your background?
    Babalanda: I was born on 5th December 1970 to Mr. Sosani Magunda and the late Namuwaya Ruth of Nalinaibi Village, Nawantumbi Parish, Nawanyago Sub-County, Buzaaya County in Kamuli District. I am married to Pastor Samuel Babalanda of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. I have two biological children.

    Q. How did you feel after receiving the news of your appointment?
    Babalanda: As a loyal, dependable, reliable and tested cadre who is a believer in God, this did not come as a surprise.

    Q. What do you mean by being a tested cadre?
    Babalanda: This is based on my background. I started off as a humble village girl from a very poor family in Nalinaibi in Kamuli district. My parents could not afford to pay for my education. Instead, I gambled my way out at all levels.
    This miserable background drew me to knowing and trusting God and to depend on Him for everything.

    I sat for my Primary Seven in 1985. I sat for my Senior Four in 1989 at Busoga High School in Kamuli where I did not perform well due to a difficult life.
    I became a village political mobilizer, gaining popularity amongst the villagemates who included the late Alhaji Kirunda Kivejinja and the Rt. Honorable Rebecca Kadaga. These two hail from my sub-county.
    I used to admire them to the extent of gaining their confidence and friendship. This interaction gave me a lot of hope and it was out of my determination that I secured an opportunity to attend a cadre-ship course at Kyankwanzi. I am cadre 31. Some of the products I was with in this training have served in positions as Ministers and RDCs. I did not get chance of deployment at this time. Instead, I remained in the village to change the mindsets of the communities.
    Overall, the Kyankwanzi cadreship training changed my life. Indeed, the engagement with Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga and the late Rt Hon. Kirunda Kivejinja was very productive for my political career.

    Q. How did you meet with the President? He has always praised you in public.
    Babalanda: I met the President in December 2010 in Jinja when I was a mobilizer in Kamuli. He picked interest in me basing on the submissions I made on matters of poverty alleviation in Busoga sub-region. He made a commitment to fund my initiatives.
    After the 2011 general elections, I received a telephone call from His Excellency appreciating my submission on poverty alleviation and also asking me if I could work with him in addressing the issue of chronic poverty in Busoga. I looked at this as a turning point in my life.
    We agreed to form Busoga Rural Development Agency – BRUDA which he funded. It was my first time to manage a big budget. I remember some individuals advising me to divert the money to other causes other than the issue at hand. They indeed tried to persuade me citing my impoverished background. I fervently prayed about this for three days and the Lord gave me Romans 10:11 which talks about the power of faith and belief in Him. I
    chose to be patient and focused.
    Around 2014, he appointed me as Deputy RDC Busia. Later in 2015, he deployed as the Assistant Head of the NRM National Chairman’s office at Mbuya, headed by Hon. Molly Kamukama Nawe. Later, after the 2016 elections he appointed me as Senior Presidential Advisor on Political Affairs and head of the NRM National Chairman’s office assisted by Mr. Kirunda Faruk. This is the office where I served until my appointment as Minister in Charge of the Presidency.

    Q. Why do you think the President chose you for appointment as Minister in Charge of the Presidency?
    Babalanda: I think the appointment was based on my character, method of work, loyalty and to assist him in implementation of the NRM manifesto.
    As you know, I have been heading his official political office. I have been key in taking record of his pledges, implementing programs, assessing manifesto implementation and coordinating his political activities. This has given me very good experience and as a member of the national task force, I think it was a good choice by the President to appoint a person who understands his political agenda at this critical time when we are talking of securing the future.

    Q. Is this office not too big for you?
    Babalanda: In the Book of John, Chapter 6:29 talks of our cardinal role as believers – to believe in the one He sent – and to leave everything else to Him. It reminds us that leaders are ordained by God.
    Leadership is all about sacrifice, understanding the interests of the appointing authority, understanding your roles and limits and respecting the team members. You don’t need to be a PHD holder to deliver. This is a political posting which takes passion and deep understanding of the mission at hand.
    My Ministry is quite diverse covering areas such as the Vice President’s Office, Security, Economic Monitoring, Patriotism, Anti-Corruption, Manifesto Implementation, Science and Technology, Uganda AIDS Commission, KCCA, RDC Secretariat and Presidential advisors.
    As a senior Presidential Advisor on Political Matters and Head of NRM National Chairman’s Office who has been working under direct supervision of the principal, I have gained enough exposure due to working closely with majority of the heads of government agencies. The only difference now is that I shall be their supervisor, if all goes well in the appointments committee.

    Q. What challenges do you anticipate in your new role?

    Babalanda: Being a cadre, I anticipate many expectations from our mobilizers.
    Secondly, ensuring that our Manifesto is implemented as planned and within the expected time frame is likely to be a challenge especially during the COVID-19 crisis. The fight against graft is an ongoing but quite challenging endeavor. Also, addressing the intelligence gaps in our security systems and the challenge of some sleepy RDCs.
    If all goes well, I will share my detailed work plan in tackling the above challenges.

    Q. When was your best moment in life?
    Babalanda: I can say that this was the time when His Excellency the President offered me parental advice to return to school to complete my education on 8th May 2016 at Rwakitura. Returning to class as an adult was not easy given my other pressing responsibilities. The day I presented my A’ level certificate with 13 points for admission to Bugema University completely washed away my sorrows and depression.

    Q. What comments do you have on the new cabinet where you are a member pending Parliamentary approval?
    Babalanda: I call upon my colleagues to understand the NRM priorities in our mission to secure the future. Our impact will be felt by our sacrifices and contributions. This is not a reward but a call for duty as servants of the people. The culture of in-fighting and cliques should end forthwith to promote teamwork. This is not a tournament but a service.
    It will be very sad if we fail our principal and the party leadership who sacrificed day and night to come up with a good Manifesto which gave us victory in the general elections.

    Q. Who is your role model?
    Babalanda: This is a challenging question to me. However, I admired the work methods of my supervisors at State House when I was a Senior Presidential Advisor. Madame Lucy Nakyobe and Gen. Nalweyiso Proscovia have had a great impression on me. Both ladies are scandal-
    free, practical, uncompromising and result- oriented. They are frank in their dealings with people. I enjoyed working with them and I hope to pick a leaf from their methods of work to guide my next step of service.

    Q. What is last message to the public?
    Babalanda: This commitment will be made after going through the appointments committee of parliament. Nonetheless, I promise to maintain my method of work, which is accommodative and principled.

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    Lawyer Mabirizi Parades 10 Witnesses To Pin Justice Sekaana Over Incompetence: Why Lord Mayor Lukwago, Journalists Top List…

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    Controversial City lawyer Hassan Male Mabirizi Kiwanuka has paraded ten witnesses to pin the head of the High Court Civil Division Justice Musa Sekaana over incompetence, misconduct and misbehaviour.

    Mabirizi dragged Justice Sekaana to the Judicial Service Commission accusing him of unfair treatment when he threw him out of court and even warned to cause his arrest blaming him for submitting rubbish that he is a biased Judge.

    This was after Mabirizi asked Sekaana to recuse himself from his case where he wanted Court to declare that Justice Simon Mugenyi Byabakama is illegally holding the office of the chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC).

    Mabirizi further claims that Byabakama declined to resign from the judiciary as a Judge of the Court of Appeal.

    Mabirizi insists that Justice Sekaana was incompetent when he declined to excuse himself from the case after admitting that he was still an Advocate, and has represented the Electoral Commission in several cases.

    Mabirizi said that this alone shows that Sekaana is biased and cannot deliver justice in a case against a former client.

    Sources at the Judicial Service Commission told theGrapevine that among the witnesses paraded by Mabirizi include Kampala Capital City Authority Lord Mayor Ssalongo Erias Lukwago and a number of journalists who once covered proceedings where Sekaana represented EC.

    “He mentioned a number of people to support his case but much emphasis was put on the Lord Mayor because he was present in Court and he was on his side,” a source added.
    Mabirizi also protested and withdrew his suit where he was seeking a court order restraining the process of recruiting new judicial officers by Justice Benjamin Kabiito’s Judicial Service Commission until his main case challenging the process was determined.

    On February 1, 2021, the Judicial Service Commission issued an external advert in which it sought to fill positions at the Supreme court, justices of Appeal, High court judges, deputy registrars, assistant registrars, chief magistrates and Grade One magistrates, a process Mabirizi wanted to be declared illegal.

    Last week, High Court Judge Emmanuel Baguma declined to hear Mabirizi’s case and refered the matter to the deputy registrar to be allocated to another judge. Justice Baguma stated that he observed that a similar case was recently filed twice by Mabirizi on different occasions and also withdrawn twice in May 2021 after being allocated to Sekaana, who heads the civil division.

    He added he did not see any reason for withdrawing those cases and there were no minutes to show why the matters were withdrawn. He advised that the said file be given back to Justice Sekaana to avoid duplication which Mabirizi protested and withdrew his matter.

    Mabirizi told this website that he will never appear before Sekaana again.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    How Does Rebecca Kadaga Be Answerable To Nabbanja? Mixed Reactions Over PM Nabbanja Appointment…

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    Hon. Robinah Nabbanja and Lord Mayor Lukwago

    The Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago has expressed dissatisfaction over the appointment of Robinah Nabbanja as the leader of government business.

    In the new cabinent list released yesterday evening, President Museveni appointed former state minister of Health for general duties, Hon. Robinah Nabbanja, Prime Minister, a move that has attracted both backlash and praise from a section of Ugandans.

    “With all due respect, you cannot choose Hon. Robinah Nabbanja to lead government business, that is rewarding mediocrity. How does Rebecca Kadaga(1st Deputy Prime minister) be answerable to Nabbanja?” Lukwago said.

    However, former Aruu County legislator Odonga Otto praised the appointment of the woman from Kakumiro saying the President made the right move.

    “Make no mistake, the choice of Hon. Nabbanja as Premier is no joke. Acting more often as a semi literate village belle, Hon. Nabbanja is a woman of action she will even remove food from a minister’s mouth if one is eating during work hours. Finally the ministers have got a watchwoman,”Otto tweeted.

    A one Deborah Haboya said, “Atleast not Nabbanja, there are much more smarter and intelligent women if at all Museveni wanted to please women.”

     

    By Hope Kalamira

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