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    TROUBLE IN BUGISU: I Won’t Leave Power Now, M7 Has Got My Back – Bugisu Cultural Leader Vows To Hold Onto The Throne As Infighting Escalates…

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    Bugisu cultural leader, Dr. Bob Mushikoori and President Museveni

    Bugisu cultural leader, Dr. Bob Mushikoori, has disdained numerous calls to relinquish the Bamasaaba Cultural Institution (Inzu Ya Masaaba) throne.

    Mr. Mushikori ascertained that he will hold on to the throne for as long as there are in-fights within the institution.

    Mr. Mushikori was elected in 2015, replacing Mr. Wilson Wamimbi, who was the first cultural head in 2010, but his term has expired and he is supposed to hand over power before November 28.

    “They are giving me more time to stay on as Umukukha. Good enough, President Museveni also thinks I should not go,” Mr. Mushikori said in an interview over the weekend.

    Mr. Mushikori’s backers have reportedly advised him not to hand over power to Mr. Mike Jude Mudoma, claiming he was allegedly elected in what they termed as ‘kangaroo style’.

    “They are imposing on us the Bamasaba a new Umukuuka, who was elected in the bush despite a court order restraining the same,” one of the ministers, who preferred anonymity, said.

    Mr. Mudoma, a scientist, who is from the Buyobo clan, was reportedly elected by the general assembly, which was held at Mutoto Cultural Ground on October 6.

    The speaker of the institution, Mr. Nelson Wadaila, said Mr. Mudoma had been duly elected as the new Umukukha to succeed Mr. Mushikori.

    “The outgoing Umukukha’s term ended but he had tried to fail all the attempts to elect his successor,” Mr. Wadaila said.

    It is alleged that the general assembly constituted 33 clan heads out of 49. This was refuted by some leaders, who say there was no quorum.

    Sources say elections took place in the house belonging to one of the delegates near Mutoto Cultural Ground for fear of police disrupting the exercise.

    The elections for the previous cultural heads were held at the institution’s headquarters at Malukhu but organisers say they changed the venue due to security reasons.

    Mr. Geoffrey Wepondi, Mr Mushikori’s right hand man, who also doubles as secretary general of the institution, dismissed allegations that the new Umukukha had been elected.

    “The rumour that they elected the new Umukukha should be treated as the most dishonest act shown by these individuals,” Mr. Wepondi said.

    Mr. Wepondi said the election of the new Umukukha was suspended by the August 24 restraint order issued by the Resident Judge of the High court at Mbale, Justice Jesse Byaruhanga.

    “The High Court issued a restraint order holding status quo and suspending any Umukukha III election activities until the matter is concluded,” he said.

    Mr. Wepondi, among others, were elected during the Mabanga-Bungoma general assembly in Kenya on April 1, 2019 in an alleged attempt by Mr Mushikori to shield his seat.

    The others included Ms. Rose Nelima, the speaker of the general assembly and Mr. Omar Njofu, the chairperson of the culture council. They replaced Mr. James Kangala, former secretary general, Mr. Wadaila, who was the speaker and chairperson of culture council, Mr. Christopher Bunoti.

    The State Minister of Gender and Culture, Ms. Peace Mutuuzo, in her May 27 letter said the decisions taken by the general assembly in Kenya were null and void.

    Mr. Wepondi blames the current confusion in the institution on the minister’s letter.  “She is behind the cause of confusion in the institution. Her authority to deploy administrators and officers is not backed by any law,” he said.

    Mr. Kangala said they have already forwarded the name of the newly elected Umukukha to the Ministry of Gender to be gazetted.  “We want government to cooperate with the cultural council to withdraw all privileges including the bodyguards, vehicle, and salary from Mr. Mushikori,” he said.

    The chairperson of the institution’s governing board, Mr. Stephen Mungoma, said he was not aware of the election of the new Umukukha.

    However, Mr. Mathius Nabutele, the first deputy prime minister, said the institution’s organs led by Mr Wepondi will conduct the election for the new Umukuuka.

    “They carried out a coup and we are running after whoever was involved. It was a clandestine move to overthrow the Umukuuka,” he said, adding that transparent elections will be conducted.

    Mr. Nabutele said transparent elections dictate that all aspirants attend the general assembly but in this case only  one candidate attended yet the race had attracted four candidates.

    The other candidates were Mr. Gregory Gidagui Mafabi from Sulani clan, Mr. Patrick Womakuya from Lago clan and Amran Wagabyalire from Halasi clan.

    Mr. Gidaguyi, one of the candidates, said there was no election because if there was, as a candidate, we would have attended by all means.

    “We need fair and transparent elections. Short of that, it remains a sham and I believe no election took place,” he said.

    In 2013, another cultural leader, Mr. Wash Joseph Kanyanya, going by the title Umukhungu Bukusu, was installed in Bududa District. Mr. Kanyanya’s installation has remained a thorn in the unity of the Bamasaba.

     

    By Baron Kironde

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    We May Have A Plan B But We Don’t Have Uganda B – Mao Advocates For Persuasion Over Coercion Approach To Political Differences At The IPOD Summit…

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    President Yoweri Museveni (Yellow shirt) with Jimmy Akena(L). Norbert Mao (R), NRM SG Justine Kasule Lumumba and others

    Democratic Party (DP) president, Norbert Mao, is one of the key opposition leaders who attended the Inter-Party Organization for Dialogue (IPOD) presided over by President Yoweri Museveni, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) chairman today at the Kololo Independence grounds.

    Mao described the IPOD summit as a rare opportunity to find solutions to problems affecting Uganda.

    “The spirit required from IPOD members is the spirit to put Uganda first. Violence should be condemned. We should use persuasion rather than coercion. We should look for common ground. We don’t want a situation where all interests are mutually exclusive,” Mao said.

    “Governments can come and go but the state needs to be protected. In some countries like Italy, governments are always falling but the state never collapses. IPOD is not about protecting any government. It is about the State. Uganda is the only country we have. We may have a plan B but we don’t have a country B,” the DP president added.

    Relatively, Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) president, Jimmy Akena, while at the same function, also urged all Ugandans not to ignore the need to come together for dialogue in case of any differences.

    “I urge all my colleagues not to lose sight of the greatest prize of all this. The greatest prize is how we shall leave Uganda. We need to strive towards raising the standards of living for every citizen. Ultimately as UPC, we would like to leave Uganda in a better place. We shall do everything in our power to achieve this. I am all in for dialogue and I hope all our colleagues will join us in this venture,” Akena said.

    “Despite some of our colleagues not being present, we have been able to capture concerns and raise all our concerns at this summit. We thank the President for promising to look into the issues we raised,” he added.

    The National Resistance Movement (NRM) Secretary General (SG), Justine Kasule Lumumba, said the IPOD under President Museveni’s chairmanship, has agreed to adopt the principle of a multi-stakeholder dialogue on national issues.

    “The principle adopted today is aimed at answering political questions lingering among Ugandan as the elders’ forum and other platforms handle the sematic areas as agreed before,” Lumumba said.

    President Museveni, while delivering his address after the summit, stated that the NRM government had long spotted the political problems of the country and devised solutions for them.

    “Politics is like medicine where you have a doctor who diagnoses the sickness of the patient by looking at the symptoms and carrying out tests. Once the doctor has diagnosed the sickness, he prescribes treatment,” Museveni said.

    He added; “Healthy politics is like that. When we were still students, we started a new force. In it, our social-economic diagnosis was eventually captured in the four principles of the NRM. These are patriotism, Pan-Africanism, social-economic development, and democracy. We are always ready to explain and also listen to the explanation of others. Unfortunately, some people have abandoned dialogue.”

    IPOD was formed in 2010 by the political parties represented in parliament. It’s mandated to consolidate multi-party democracy through dialogue.

    However, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), JEEMA and other political parties on the country boycotted it, saying they were not given ample time to discuss the agenda of the summit.

     

    By Baron Kironde

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    Bobi Wine In Talks With M7 Over Presidential Petition Withdraw Costs, Protests Justice Byabakama’s Procedure To Hire Kampala’s KAA Advocates…

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    NUP Principal Robert Kyagulanyi and President Yoweri Museveni (R)

    Medard Lubega Sseggona, the lead counsel to National Unity Platform (NUP) former presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine has revealed that they are in talks with president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s lawyers over Supreme Court presidential petition withdraw costs.

    Ssegona told the nine justices of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Alfonse Chigamoy Owiny-Dollo that they kicked off the talks on the matter today (Friday) morning.

    “My lords, today morning, we talked to lawyers of the 1st Respondent about the costs but they were not as positive yet,” Ssegona said.

    He submitted to Court that he knows very well that it’s very clear in the laws and regulations of the presidential petition that whenever the petitioner seeks to withdraw his petition, he or she has to bear the costs of the respondents.

    He further told the Court that its explanatory that the withdrawal of the petition means that the 1st Respondent (Museveni) won the 2021 presidential elections and no one is challenging his victory.

    Sseggona explained that the petition was filed in Court by his client on behalf of many Ugandans for the good of national democracy and good governance and he must not be punished.

    He insisted that the petition was a public interest matter.

    He pleaded with Court that it will be unfair for them to use their powers to slap costs on his client, who is a normal Ugandan, to foot the legal bills of a declared president of the Country.

    On the side of the 2nd Respondent (Electoral Commission), Ssegona protested the prayer for costs made by Commissioner Stephen Tashobya in his affidavit supporting the withdrawal of the petition.

    In his affidavit, Tashobya told the Court that they incurred huge costs to hire Kampala’s top law firm, Kampala Associated Advocates (KAA) that is why the petitioner has to foot the legal bills.

    In his submission, Sseggona told Court that there was no proper procedure followed by the Electoral Commission when hiring KAA as required by law.

    He insisted that the Electoral Commission is a government institution which needs to follow the public procuring procedures.

    In his response, Edwin Karugire, Museveni’s lawyer told Court that due to the scandalous behaviour of the petitioner, he has to pay them costs.

    He told Court that Bobi Wine exhibited an errant behaviour against the judiciary when he said that it is not independent, biased and incompetent yet it has saved him several times when he ran there for justice.

    He cited the Moses Kibalama case and the case where court directed security to leave his home after the elections.

    Karugire told court that with all those successes Bobi Wine continues to attack the Judiciary yet he failed to prosecute his petition which means that he is a bad loser.

    KAA’s Elison Karuhanga rubbished Ssegona’s submissions that the Electoral Commission didnt follow the public procurement procedures when hiring them.

    He branded Bobi Wine’s lawyer Ushaka Ssekajja as ignorant about the public procurement thus he cannot give advice to the Court.

    He also supported Karugire’s submission that Bobi Wine has been a scandalous litigant who must be punished with costs due to his intentional public attack on judiciary without following the necessary procedures stipulated in Court rules.

    William Byaruhanga, the Attorney General who represented the 3rd Respondent asked court to find ways of handing reckless petitioners of the presidential petition since this is a very serious matter. He agreed with fellow petitioners not to object to the withdrawal of the petition which Court allows.

    On the issue of Costs, Justices Stella Arach Amoko who read the ruling stated that it will be noticed in the detailed ruling. Bobi Wine withdrew his petition citing unfairness of the judiciary after they declined to accept his additional evidence and amendment of his petition.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    Supreme Court Aceepts Bobi Wine Application To Withdraw Petition, Defers Decision On Costs To Another Ruling As Chief Justice Owiny Dollo Warns Bobi Wine & His Lawyer Ssegona…

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    Bobi Wine's Lawyer Medard Seggona (L) and Chief Justice Alphonse Owiny Dollo

    The Supreme Court has Friday March 5th, 2021 granted National Unity Platform (NUP) leader Robert Kyagulanyi leave to withdraw a petition he had filed challenging president Yoweri Museveni’s re-election.

    Bobi Wine filed the petition early last month,  challenging the results of the January 14 presidential elections, but on February 26th  wrote an application to the Supreme Court seeking permission to withdraw it, saying he would take the matter to the Public Court, after he alleged bias and conflict of interest on the side of Chief Justice Alphonse Owiny Dollo and other Justices of the Supreme Court.

    However, today, the Chief Justice granted Bobi Wine’s lawyers led by Counsel Medard Lubega Ssegona permission to withdraw the petition, although he deferred the decision on costs of the suit to another ruling at a  date to be communicated by court.

    Justice Owiny Dollo asked the Attorney General William Byaruhanga (who wasn’t objecting to the withdrawal of the petition) what would happen if the court declined to grant the withdrawal.

    Byaruhanga, in response, said the court would be in a state of quagmire whereby a petitioner has found that his petition is not good enough and the proceeding would be complicated.

    “The only way out seems to be to accept the application withdrawal unless another candidate takes it up,” the Attorney General said, adding that; “There were threats from one former presidential candidate to take it up but it must have died a stillbirth.”

    Museveni’s lawyer Counsel Edwin Karugire noted that their reason for withdrawing is that the evidence on record is not sufficient to support the petition

    However, Chief Justice Owiny Dollo cautioned Counsel Ssegona to advise his client  (Bobi Wine) to desist from making negative comments about the Judiciary and the Supreme Court.

    “When the court rules against him (Kyagulanyi) he goes to the Public Court, the court above Supreme Court, it means, that his court is above the Supreme Court,” the Chief Justice told Ssegona.

    But Ssegona refuted the claims that the utterances his clients made were meant to be interpreted and construed to mean the context in which the Chief Justice had put them.

    “Your Lordship, my client is a regular user of the courts of law. Whenever his rights have been transgressed upon he always runs to courts of law. That is a demonstration that he believes in the rule of law and not jungle law as he is being presented. There is evidence on record. He doesn’t run to anyone else but court.”

    But the Chief Justice insisted by saying that; “You heard what the Attorney General was saying; that your client is only happy with courts when they rule in his favour. When they don’t rule in his favour, then the other words I cannot repeat. That’s what he resorts to.”

    The Chief Justice went on to warn lawyer Ssegona to desist from tempting the Attorney General, whom had agreed to amicably allow him and his client to sit on a round table and settle the matter.

    He told Ssegona that; “As a Catholics, we are told to say the Lord’s Prayer every day and I say it twice. But in that prayer, you ask God not to lead you into temptation. Now I’m telling, don’t tempt the Attorney General. If he has agreed to sit on the same table  to solve this matter amicably, don’t tempt him. I also want this matter settled once and for all.”

     

    By Grapevine Reporter

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