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Top Ministers Amongi, Namuganza And Nantaba In Trouble, Accused Of Fueling Land Grabbing In Bunyoro

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Top government ministers are in trouble after being accused of fueling land grabbing in greater Bunyoro region. Kiryandongo chairperson Charles Ntaihoko Amooti revealed that the Bunyoro people are crying because of the controversial orders issued by lands senior minister Betty Amongi, her junior minister Persis Namuganza and information and national guidance state minister Aida Nantaba.

” Our people were peacefully staying on their land but in 2013, the state Minister for land by then, Aida Nantaba wrote a letter allowing Nyamalebe community to resettle in the degazetted government ranches because they were homeless. In 2017, when Kiryandondo sugar factory started evicting them from their land again, they petitioned minister Namuganza who wrote to RDC telling him that people should not be evicted from their land.”

“My lord, few days later, senior lands Minister Amongi wrote again telling people to vacate the land claiming that the land was owned by investors,” Amooti testified. He explained that Kiryandongo sugar used Amongi’s letter to evict people from their land and they are now homeless. He further revealed that Kiryandongo used fabricate false information that most of the people occupying government ranches were rebels who wanted to overthrow the government.

Kiryandongo chairperson Charles Ntaihoko Amooti

Immediately after their eviction, government deployed UPDF in the area to investigate rebel claims. Amooti further explained that Kiryandongo sugar used malicious claims of residents being rebels as a safe way of convincing the government to evict the people from their land.

Amooti told the commission of inquiry into land matters that he tried to explain his problem to the president but he advised him to go slow on that land because it’s a danger zone and government through its security agencies were still investigating the matter.

Hallen Kahunda, the Kiryandongo woman Member of Parliament also accused Kiryandongo sugar of evicting people from their land without compensating them.

She said that Kiryandongo sugar connived with top Ministry of Lands officials who issued land titles to them without consulting the people on the land. She also pinned Mukwano group of companies which evicted people who were leaving on the land without compensating them. She asked Bamugemereire’s commission which currently collecting people’s views on how to solve land matters in Uganda to find a lasting solution to the homeless people because courts have failed. She further told the commission that even the cabinet select committee appointed by the president, which is headed by minister Sam Engola has failed to solve the land problem. Justice Catherine Bamugemereire, the chairperson of the commission of inquiry into land matters promised to investigate their complaint and file final recommendation to the appointing authority to ably solve the problem.

By Jamil Lutakome

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INTERVIEW: If Museveni Was A Student Today, He Would Not Get A Degree, Most Heads Of Security Institutions Are Related Or From The Same Village – Besigye

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Four-time presidential candidate Dr. Kizza Besigye has warned that the political and cultural injustice in the country will soon breed violence.

While appearing on NBS TV’S Morning Breeze today, Besigye who was hosted by Simon Kagwa Njala gave an example of the education system saying that it is in a very bad shape that if the president (Museveni) was a student today, he would not get a degree.

Besigye said, “I normally tell people that if Museveni had gone to school today, I mean if Museveni is a student today when he is President, he would not get a degree.

Because his father would never get 6M to pay at University to get a degree. I am sure Museveni would agree with me that the wealth of his late Father Kaguta would not afford him University education.”

The former Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party president also decried the high level of nepotism in the security system of the country.

Besigye said, “the security Institutions themselves are a problem. Most of the security challenges we have today are a problem of security Institutions themselves. There is a problem of nepotism where you find most heads of security Institutions are related or from the same village. That creates a security challenge to those in service, because, some will say, “let’s leave them with their thing.”

Below is an extract from the conversation between Njala and Besigye:

NJALA: What is the political barometer currently?

BESIGYE: There is one constant; the ever-mounting discontent in the country. Wherever you go, it’s pulpable, because everywhere, people’s lives are becoming more difficult. Those who used to say we sleep, no longer sleep.

NJALA: What does that spell for the opposition?

BESIGYE: There is nothing like Government and then opposition that you think contests for power, one wins and forms Government and the losers form opposition. What we have is a small group of people that dominates the rest.

The artificial categorization of our politics is deliberate to confuse those who are far and inside Uganda.

You are talking about 2021 elections, I was a candidate in 2016, and after elections, I was charged with treason for declaring myself winner. We are going into 2021 and that case has not been heard.

NJALA: Your views are not matching the sentiments where others like Gen. Muntu, Bobi Wine want elections.

BESIGYE: I myself have not said that people should not warm up for elections. I have said that if that election is not going to be of a type we want (free and fair), then we should warm up to it differently. We have an experience that since Uganda’s Independence, we have never conducted free and fair elections.

We celebrated 57yrs of Independence but we know every leader has come into office by force.

For the period under Museveni, courts have concluded that elections under Museveni have not been free and fair. This is the experience of elections in Uganda. We then need to ask ourselves whether elections should be the way they have been or we need new type of elections.

Then there is a question of legitimacy?

One, we have an illegitimate person who violated the Constitution by detaining his opponent to declare himself.

Two, this person who is in office illegitimately, has already illegitimately appointed the new Electoral Commission headed by Simon Byabakama. By the way, Byabakama was my prosecutor on very many funny cases.

Thirdly, this illegitimate president violently destroyed the Constitution and invaded Parliament with his troops in order to procure an amendment to allow him contest beyond 75yrs. Of all the people who have so far shown interest to contest for the presidency, only Museveni is already 75yrs.

Museveni would not have been a candidate if he had not destroyed the Constitution. Now he has already taken 30bn from the Treasury to go around the country looking for endorsement as a sole candidate for 2021.

That said, I cannot go to a Radio Station and talk on space I have hired.

I went to the bush to have free and fair elections, how can I not want elections, but we must declare what type of elections we must have. That is within our power.

We are not going to allow someone who rigged himself into office, violated the Constitution to contest again. That is within our power.

Ending ruling by the gun is not going to happen merely by throwing the ballot paper in a ballot box. This must be well understood.

The first tool people holding power use to subdue people is instilling fear in the public and terrorizing them.

The second tool they use is bribes and favours. Most people are impoverished and when they want to say something or appear critical, they are bribed into silence. Some members of the media too, who are critical in dissemination of information are impoverished and are used to distort information.

The third tool is divide and rule so that we cannot unite.

I am aware that even within the liberation forces, there is lack of clarity on the type of struggle we want. There are some who believe Uganda is democratic; that we have elections where people contest and win and others lose.

This position has been formed by many years of narrative that we need an election to choose a good leader to replace a bad leader. That is not the struggle I am in.

The struggle I know and understand is that we are looking for a better country and the first mission should be to recapture the country and then once we reclaim the country and have power over it, then we can choose and leaders and create the rules.

You asked about 2019 Year Of Action. I wish to report to you that we have been to all the regions of Uganda in the year. In one region, there were attempts to fail us but we managed to get over it.

We are only left with Kampala Metropolitan. We shall come here too. So, we have been out there taking actions geared towards freeing us. Now we are left with taking real actions to end this Junta.

ON SECURITY:

NJALA: Col. share your insights with us on security.

BESIGYE: There is absolutely no doubt that security has been mounting. Sometimes I marvel when the NRM Junta keeps it’s mantra “peace that was ushered in by NRM”.

Peace is not the absence of war. In Uganda, you cannot have peace without justice. The level of injustice in Uganda is way too much; social-economic injustice is unimaginable.

ON EDUCATION: Look at the state and quality of our education. Education is an equaliser. I normally tell people that if Museveni had gone to school today, I mean if Museveni is a student today when he is President, he would not get a degree.

Because his father would never get 6M to pay at University to get a degree. I am sure Museveni would agree with me that the wealth of his late Father Kaguta would not afford him University education.

We have also political and cultural injustice. Anywhere in the world, where there is political injustice, it breeds violence.

Secondly, the security Institutions themselves are a problem. Most of the security challenges we have today are a problem of security Institutions themselves. There is a problem of nepotism where you find most heads of security Institutions are related or from the same village.

That creates a security challenge to those in service, because, some will say, “let’s leave them with their thing.” So, you have problems in recruitment, training and deployment.

The guns that are used to commit murders are all from security agencies.

Then there is a regional security challenge because of Uganda’s aggression and military adventurism.

By Aine Cohen

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We Have Evidence, Museveni Is Using NIRA To Rig 2021 Elections – Mao

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Democratic Party (DP) president Norbert Mao has accused president Museveni of trying to use the National Identification Registration Authority (NIRA) to rig the 2021 elections.

While addressing the press at the DP headquarters in Kampala, Mao said president Museveni is using different committees like the NIRA to register voters before the recommended time.

“Let me assure you, Museveni started rigging the elections long time ago. Our office has relevant confidential information about NIRA and he is using it to recruit carders who he will use to practice unfair electioneering in 2021,” Mao said.

He added, “the voters registration list was supposed to be presented by the electoral commission but Museveni decided to give all the responsibility to a committee he controls, so that he can do whatever he wants at any time.”

Mao wondered whether NIRA will be able to separate voters list from the normal registration list for all citizens.

“I wonder whether NIRA will separate the voters list from the normal citizen list that registers even children under 18yrs of age,” Mao wondered.

Mao advised Ugandans to wake up and defend their voice and votes come 2021 for a better Uganda.

“We don’t know whether the electoral commission is an independent institution but we need to defend our country and our vote,” he said.

Mao also introduced the new DP bloc plan where he emphasized that one opposition leader has to contest with the NRM party for president.

When he was asked their next plan if the ‘one on one strategy’ fails, Mao said, “if other parties refuse to cooperate with us, we shall continue moving on as DP but I call upon our fellow comrades to follow the one on one framework if we are to dislodge Museveni.”

By Josephine Kauma

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Those People Tried To Bewitch Us: Police Publicists Enanga Grilled For Grabbing Clan Land

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Soft spoken Uganda Police publicist CP Fred Enanga (46) has today told the commission of inquiry into land matters how his own Okabo clan members forcefully refused him to visit his ancestral home in Akokoro sub county, Apac district with a mission to grab their family land.

Smartly dressed in a blue suit, Enanga told Justice Catherine Bamugemereire’s led land probe that his family has been victimized and psychologically tortured by other clan members led by his uncle Naphtali Enanga.

“My Lord, since 2015 I have never stepped foot at my ancestral home even though my wish is to see my family members on a monthly basis. My grandfather the late Enoci Okabo settled at Alia village where he was even buried in 1940’s after getting into a misunderstanding with his fellow family members over different grievances including witchcraft,” Enanga testified.

He said that his grandfather stayed on the land for a limited period of time and left it for wild animals. He later invited other clan members who had problems to come and stay with him.  He said that when his grandfather died, his father, retired superintendent of police George Echonga decided to implement his father’s dream of establishing a farmland on his 4 square miles of land.  He testified that in 1977, George Echonga used his two brothers Benjamin Enanga and Johnson Angala who were staying in Alia to help him submit his land title applications to Lango land commission to process for him a land title so that he could officially own the land because he was busy.

Enanga’s father (R) with his lawyer

However, Enanga faced a hard time when the commission’s lead counsel Ebert Byenkya tasked him to explain how his father could have applied for a land title in 1977 when it’s well known that by that time there was a land decree issued by the late Idi Amin, the former president of Uganda. Byenkya further quizzed Enanga to explain how Echonga applied for a land title in 1977 yet documents show that he only got it in 2018. He cited a lot of illegalities in the processing of the land title. The flamboyant lawyer tasked Enanga to explain properly how his father obtained the land because the commission had information that he only encroached on other people’s land and later declared it has his. 

He explained that its well known that most of the land in Lango is owned communally and Enanga used his office to influence and turn the land from communal ownership to mailo and later evicted other family members from their land.

Byenkya also blamed Enanga for using his office in police the embarrass his clan members including the clan head Mike Awitongo who was ordered by police officers to leave the clan meeting which he had summoned to mediate Enanga and his family members. 

Enanga denied all the accusations saying that when the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Martin Okoth Ochola summoned to the commission last year, the commission reported him to his boss as a land grabber. Ochola later summoned the Uganda Police Profession Standards Unit to investigate Enanga.

Enanga also submitted to the commission a report from the Police Profession Standards Unit exonerating him on all the accusations. He said that one of their auntie’s children have been stealing his father’s cows and goats and they were convicted by court and others settled the matter out of court. He added that some family members are using the matter to malign and spread baseless propaganda against him. Commissioner Robert Sebunya asked Enanga to negotiate with other family members because he is more educated than his colleagues.

By Jamil Lutakome

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