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    We Are Not Going To Pick Up Guns Like Museveni Did; FDC Chairman Birigwa Speaks On New Marriage With NUP/Opposition…

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    Mr. Birigwa (far R) with opposition leaders Bobi Wine and Besigye at Hotel Africana on Monday

    The National Chairman for Forum for Democratic Party (FDC) and former Manager for Uganda Coffee Marketing Board,  Ambassador Wasswa Birigwa has said that they are not going to use guns to dislodge President Museveni.

    Amb. Biriggwa made these remarks while speaking to theGrapevine in an interview over Monday’s joint statement from major opposition political parties.

    On Monday, 1st August, opposition leaders from different opposition parties led by National Unity Platform (NUP), Forum for Democratic Party (FDC) and JEEMA signed a joint opposition statement reproving what they called election malpractice and impunity from the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party in elections.

    Mr. Birigwa started by explaining the difference between their political agreement and the one Nobert Mao signed with President Museveni.

    He disclosed that;  “We (opposition) are not the state and we are not giving away ministries neither are we giving away escorts.

    “There is no power exchanged, we are simply citizens of Uganda who happen to be owning different entities for example, political parties, that are in opposition. So, there is no relation at all to what was signed between Mao and Museveni.

    “As far as what took place on (Monday), we have been discussing for many months about joining hands in order to get power from Museveni using peaceful means.”

    He further noted that they are not interested in becoming violent although they have a right to, according to the constitution, in Article 3.

    He added, “We have decided that the gun cannot resolve our differences, we have to do peaceful mass mobilisation.

    “We decided to come together with a common strategy after realising that elections only cannot deliver us to Canaan (the promised land).

    “We want to participate in elections but now that we have realised we won’t be allowed to, we have decided we shall only go there to sensitize the population regarding the crisis we are in.”

    He divulged that in their Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), they have agreed as opposition to stop attacking one another and work together.

    Mr. Birigwa clarified on statements made by Hon. Ssemujju Nganda, the Kira Municipality MP, that each party will submit their own candidate during elections and by-elections.

    Mr. Biriggwa explained, “Most people were saying that if we combine and bring one candidate, we will win Museveni. But I think you saw the Soroti East by-election, we still didn’t win. If these people are determined to deny you the votes, they will do so. They don’t care, they know there is no law that can touch them.”

    When we asked him how different this new agreement is given that previously, many opposition alliances have flopped, Mr. Birigwa said, “There are two things that happen in someone’s life, one, the timing, which also comes from the conviction in particular. For example, Hon. Kyagulanyi and his party realised that it was useless to continue thinking that elections can be fair and democratic. Yet on our side as FDC and PFT, we realised this long time ago that there is simply no way you can remove Mr. Museveni’s regime through an election.”

    Mr. Biriggwa added that it is impossible to keep using the same tactic and expect different results.

    “We have changed the strategy and the way we are going to go for elections is not to win but sensitize our people and awaken them.”

    He also called upon the army to go back to the barracks and let citizens decide for themselves their future leadership.

    “They can’t be fighting people and kicking them with their boots yet the people are the ones who pay for those boots.”

    “Demonstration don’t lead to violence. Violence comes when you stop the demonstration which is under the Constitution. The regime is the one breaking the law. All we have to do is to notify the authority of the police (as per the constitution) that we shall be walking from one area to another so that they give us security,” he said.

    He emphasized that the law states that they should inform (police), which they have always done but the demonstrations always get nasty when police starts teargassing people who later have to run into hiding and destroy people’s shops.

    “But if we were allowed to walk through without any confrontation from the army, the leaders would be able to control the situation.”

    When we asked him whether the statement that they signed is targeting the 2026 general election, Mr. Birigwa said, “This is a revolution that is going to take a month, a year and it could even take years. Time is on our side. It is not on the side of the regime, so we are not speaking in terms of 2026.”

    On why some opposition political parties like Gen. Muntu’s Alliance For National Transformation shunned the new opposition marriage, Mr. Birigwa disclosed that political parties are governed differently.

    “I know some of the political parties are not ready to join. In the same way if you remember when People’s Front for Transition (PFT) was starting, what happened is, JEEMA, the DP Bloc, FDC and People’s government quickly joined.

    “We invited others like NUP but they decided not to join saying they were working on something and they didn’t have enough resources at that time. But they promised that time will come when they will join and so we waited, and now, here we are working together although they are not part of PFT. So, it is best if one makes a decision out of goodwill when the time is right.”

    Mr. Biriggwa revealed that the marriage will enhance working together but it doesn’t take away anything from the parties.

    “This is not even about parties or individuals; this is for everyone to benefit.”

    NUP’s General Secretary, Lewis Rubongoya has also told theGrapevine that they didn’t sign a cooperation agreement but they signed a statement condemning the rigging of elections.

    He however refuted allegation that they had pressure from the donors to work with other opposition political parties that is why they signed the agreement.

    “This is about Uganda and fighting for our country. No one has to be involved in order for us to work together,” he said.

     

    By Kalamira Hope

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    NATIONAL

    Museveni Re-appoints Col. Akiiki As UPDF D/Spokesperson, Transfers And Appointments 34 Other Officers…

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    Col. Deo Akiiki (L0 and President Museveni (R)

    President Museveni who also doubles As The Commander in Chief has today transferred and appointed General Officers and Senior Officers of Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF).

    According to Defence Spokesperson, Brig. Felix Kulayigye, among the senior officers who have eaten big is Col. Deogratias Asiimwe Akiiki who has been re-appointed Deputy Defence Spokesperson. Others include:

    1. Maj. Gen. Hudson Mukasa appointed Deputy General Officer Commanding – Reserve Forces
    2. Maj. Gen. George lgumba appointed Commandant Senior Command and Staff College – Kimaka
    3. Maj. Gen. Lucky J Kidega appointed Camp Commandant
    4. Brig. Gen. Geoffrey Kaweesa Kigozi appointed Deputy Chief of Personnel and Administration
    5. Brig. Gen Hassan Kimbowa appointed Adjutant – General Headquarters
    6. Brig. Gen Ssenkumba Eugene Ssebugwawo appointed Chief of Personnel and Administration
    7. Brig. Gen Godwin Karugaba appointed Deputy Chief of Logistics and Engineering
    8. Brig. Gen Mwanje Ssekiranda appointed Chief of Staff – Reserve Forces
    9. Brig. Gen Ronald Solomon Bigirwa appointed Defence Advisor – Tanzania
    10. Brig. Gen. Stephen Tumwesigye Kashure appointed Chief of Staff – Uganda Rapid Deployment Capability Centre
    11. Brig Gen Simon Nicholas Ocon appointed Defence Advisor – Burundi
    12. Brig Gen Metland K Bitumbika appointed General Manager – Defence Forces Shop Uganda Ltd
    13. Brig Gen Augustine Kamyuka Kyazze appointed Commandant – Defence General Deport
    14. Brig Gen Francis C.hemengich Chemo appointed Defence Advisor – Somalia
    15. Brig Gen Julius Bagonza appointed Director Personnel and Administration – Air Forces
    16. Col. Justus Besisira appointed Director – Recruitment
    17. Col. Fred Zakye appointed Defence Advisor – Ethiopia
    18. Col. Daniel Erasmus Omoding appointed Defence Advisor – Belgium-Brussels
    19. Col. James Kato Kalyebara appointed Commander Royal Guards
    20: Col. Herbert Kyabihende Makanga appointed Deputy Chief Inspector General of Military Equipment
    21. Col David Tweheyo appointed College Secretary – National Defence College Uganda
    22. Col Peter Buyungo appointed Defence Advisor – USA
    23. Col Silver Chango Muhwezi appointed Deputy Commandant Senior Command and Staff College – Kimaka
    24. Col. Emmanuel David Muhanguzi appointed Acting Chief of Policy and Plans
    25. Col. Simon Peter Oyoo appointed Defence Advisor – India
    26. Col. Allan Matsiko appointed a Director in SFC
    27. Col. Nicholas Nyesiga appointed Director of Personnel
    28. Col. Deogratias Asiimwe Akiiki appointed Deputy Defence Spokesperson
    29. Col. AG. Chris Sseruyange Ddamulira appointed Defence Advisor- SAUDI ARABIA
    30. Lt. Col. Samson Henry Nabeeta appointed Director Estates
    31. Lt. Col. Ronald Kagyenyi appointed Director Inspectorate
    32. Lt. Col. Moses Wilson Ssentongo appointed Director of Music
    33. Lt. Col. Duncan R Kafeero appointed a Deputy Director in SFC
    34. Lt. Col. Ronald Kungu Kakurungu appointed Deputy Director of Strategic Communications
    35. Lt. Col. Betty Musuya Wanyera appointed Director Women Affairs

    It should be noted that a few weeks back, Museveni also promoted police officers to the ranks of Assistant Inspector General, Senior Commissioner of police among others.

    By Kalamira Hope

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    NATIONAL

    INTERVIEW: NRM Will Continue To Fish In The Fishing Ponds Of FDC, NUP, DP And Other Opposition Parties –  Capt. Mike Mukula…

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    Capt. Mike Mukula, NRM's National Vice Chairman Eastern

    After fishing Democratic Party president Norbert Mao, who signed a cooperation agreement with President Museveni and the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM), Capt. Mike Mukula, the party’s National Vice Chairman Eastern region has bragged that they will continue fishing from the opposition.

    Mukula, a professional pilot, and businessman, revealed how he uses what he calls ‘fishing method’ to lure people from other political parties to NRM.

    In an interview with theGrapevine, Mukula noted that democracy is about managing perceptions and expectations to influence people’s political, social, economic and technological future.

    He asserted, “It has to be and you have got to spend money in order to propel your political idea.

    “Political parties are almost likened to super league teams, when Man U, Arsenal or Liverpool want to remain relevant, they must look for the best players and fish them to come and play in their football team. If you have a weak team, you will always lose.

    “The NRM will continue to fish in the fishing ponds of the opposition because democracy is a game of numbers. We will get the best from Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), National Unity Platform (NUP) and others in order to strengthen our party.”

    He however revealed that FDC, NUP and other political parties are also free to fish from the NRM’s fishing pond.

    “But I think we have a better advantage, better ideas and better strategies in attracting their members to our side. That is why you find that the Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Anita Among was initially in FDC and her Deputy Rt. Hon. Thomas Tayebwa was in the youth wing of FDC, Betty Kamya, Ssebugwawo among others all joined NRM from the opposition.”

    “Our business is to mind their peace and to ensure that we remain stronger and relevant,” he added.

    When we asked him to compare Kenya’s election to Uganda’s, Mukula revealed that Kenya has a different set of history from Uganda.

    “Kenya has never had political instability, yet we have had a military background under Obote I, Idi Amin, Yusuf Lule, Paul Mwanga, Obote II and a history of political insurgency,” he said.

    Mukula added that the revolution that ushered in the NRA now NRM government brought in a fundamental change.

    “It is a process of realigning the political direction of this country. All these countries have got lessons to learn from each other.”

    He contended that there is tribalism in both Kenya and Uganda, which is an African perspective, but whereas Kenya has only got the issue of tribalism, Uganda has got both tribalism and religious differences.

    He added, “Kenya has also got the element of people who have money. Here we don’t have a class society, people who have money, our people haven’t reached that level yet. When you underpin the democratic process of Kenya, it is an evolution of process from 1963 when they got independence.”

    Mukula maintained that if one is to look at the aspirations, expectations and perceptions, the interests of Kenya’s politics are different from the ones of Uganda, adding that both countries have a lot to learn from each other.

    When asked how far his petition to Museveni had reached concerning his disagreement with the Vice President, Jessica Alupo, Mukula noted that matters of a party are handled internally and they are going to handle it internally as a party.

    Asked why NRM has injected a lot of energy into the ongoing by-elections compared to the past, Mukula revealed that they no longer underestimate anybody nor do they underestimate any elections.

    “We take all elections seriously and we think that we have learnt lessons in the past. For example, in Arua when we interrupted the flow of FDC and NUP and teargas was fired, we lost that by-election. This time we have seen no single teargas canister being fired and that is a lesson learnt and we continue to improve and finetune our campaign strategies and methods of campaigns.”

    He propounded that democracy is maturing and they are learning lessons and taking every campaign seriously.

    Asked if he still dreams of ever becoming the president of Uganda, the NRM die-hard stressed that, it was an allegation that was buried and finished.

    “I have got no single interest. I am now in the private sector, I believe in President Museveni as my leader and I will continue to support and vote for him as long as he is on offer and the party supports him. I am committed to the party and it is not about me, it is about the party and the country. I am committed fully behind President Museveni,” he stressed.

    He added,  “I am into manufacturing some of the largest manufacturing plans that are being developed in the country, I am in the aviation industry, I am in security, I am in insurance, I have gone into salt manufacturing, I am into fruit processing, I am going deeply into sugar and cement.”

    He added, “I am very comfortable in the private sector and also expanding to the regions like Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya.”

    Asked about his ship that is set to transport fuel to Uganda and other countries, Mukula revealed that they are just waiting for the political situation in Kenya to calm down but they were ready to sail fuel as early as yesterday.

    Mukula encouraged Ugandans to remain resilient and cohesive pursuing the line of expanding the economy.

     

    By Kalamira Hope

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    NATIONAL

    Your Claims Intend To Scandalise Court And Paint A Picture That Litigation Is A Mode Of Making Free Money – Top Judge Dismisses Minister Namuganza’s Shs1bn Case Against Parliament…

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    Justice Musa Sekaana (R) and Minister Namuganza (L)

    Justice Musa Sekaana, the head of the High Court Civil Division has dismissed Minister Persis Namuganza’s Shs1bn case against parliament.

    Namuganza ran to the High Court seeking a Court Order quashing parliament’s resolutions including advising president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the appointing authority, to dismiss her from the office of the minister over illegalities she committed during the allocation of Nakawa Naguru government land.

    In her application, Namuganza told Court that the select committee members led by Dan Kimosho and Dickson Kateshumbwa made biased resolutions.

    She pleaded to Court to award her Shs.1bn as damages and Court costs which the judge rubbished.

    “Litigation in Uganda is not a model of making free money. I do not know how she arrived at such a huge figure. What would be the basis of such a claim for that amount?.  Such claims intend to scandalise the Court and paint a picture that litigation is a mode of making free money” Sekaana stated.

    He insisted that the applicant failed to produce evidence pining the respondents (Parliament and the Attorney General) that she was not given fair hearing during her testimony before the committee and that there was no quorum.

    He explained that the issue of quorum is a question of fact which should be left for parliament to determine in accordance with rules of procedure and if the applicant wants to base on it, she should have filed the evidence through an affidavit.

    Sekaana further stated that the applicant failed to convince Court that there was a presidential directive which she based on when allocating the land clarifying that there are oral and written presidential directives.

    He noted that the president wouldn’t have abused any of them by breaking the law.

    The judge dismissed Namuganza’s application and directed all parties to share their Court costs.

    The Kimosho Committee recommended that Namuganza should be investigated by government investigation agencies over her involvement in the Naguru land saga and if evidence is found, she should be prosecuted.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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