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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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    Angels Of Death Strike, Take Two Of Uganda’s VIPs In 2023 Opener

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    Two of Uganda’s Very Important Persons have Monday died.

    National Unity Platform’s parliamentary flag bearer in the last year’s Omoro County by-elections, Simon Toolit Aketcha is dead.

    Toolit, died on Monday morning.

    The news of his death was confirmed by Omoro county MP Andrew Ojok Oulanyah.

    “It is a dark day in Omoro! We have lost one of our gallant sons and former MP, Hon. Simon Toolit Akecha! Hon. Toolit was the MP for Omoro County between 2006 & 2011 and was a candidate in recent by-elections. May his soul rest in eternal peace!” OJok tweeted.

    Toolit put up stiff political resistance against the late Jacob Oulanyah before also competing against his son Andrew Ojok Oulanyah.

    Toolit will be remembered as a candidate to have competed against the Oulanyah’s while holding the flag for two different parties for under ten years.

    In 2016, Toolit, then a candidate of Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) contested against NRM’s Jacob Oulanyah and polled 6,823 votes against the latter’s 8,218 votes.

    In the same manner, Uganda’s high commissioner to Kenya and Seychelles, Dr Hassan Galiwango, has died.

    Galiwango died Monday morning at Nairobi Hospital where he had been admitted.

    The late was the husband to Mbale City Woman Member of Parliament, Connie Nakayeze Galiwango.

    President Museveni appointed Galiwango as the high commissioner to Kenya in October 2020.

    Galiwango was also the former long serving director of finance and administration at the NRM secretariat at the time of his ambassadorial appointment. Ms Medina Naham, the NRM party chairperson of Koboko District, replaced him at the secretariat.

    The cause of his death is yet to be communicated by the government.

    Last year, Bank of Uganda governor prof. Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile, Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah and Gen. Elly Tumwine among other VIPs died.

     

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    Five Dead As Bomb Goes Off In Church Near DRC, Uganda Border 

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    A bomb killed at least five people on Sunday after detonating in a church in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the army said.

    Details of the attack remain hazy, but military spokesman Antony Mualushayi said the “terrorist act” happened in a Pentecostal church in North Kivu province’s Kasindi, a town on the border with Uganda.

    Mualushayi later told reporters that at least five bodies had been taken to the morgue following the blast, in what he called a provisional death toll.

    Joel Kitausa, a local civil society figure, put the death toll at eight and said 27 other people had been wounded.

    AFP was unable to independently confirm the toll.

    It was not immediately clear who carried out the attack. Mualushayi said that one suspect — a Kenyan — had been arrested.

    The DRC’s communications ministry said on social media that the attack was apparently carried out by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) group.

    The ADF — which the Islamic State group claims as its affiliate in Central Africa — is active in the Kasindi area.

    It has been accused of slaughtering thousands of Congolese civilians and carrying out bomb attacks in Uganda.

    The ADF has planted bombs in towns in North Kivu in the past.

    Since 2021 a joint Congolese-Ugandan military operation has been targeting the ADF in North Kivu and neighbouring Ituri province.

    Over 120 armed groups roam mineral-rich eastern DRC, many of which are the legacy of regional wars that flared at the turn of the 21st century.

    Source: AFP

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    Nepal Crash: Dozens Killed As Plane Crashes Near Pokhara Airport

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    Dozens of people have been killed after a plane with 72 people on board crashed near an airport in central Nepal.

    The Yeti Airlines flight from Kathmandu to the tourist town of Pokhara crashed on landing before catching fire.

    Videos posted on social media show an aircraft flying low over a populated area before banking sharply.

    At least 68 people are confirmed to have died, officials said. Several critically injured survivors were taken to hospital, unconfirmed reports said.

    Local resident Deeveta Kal told the BBC how she rushed to the crash site after seeing the aircraft plunge from the sky shortly after 11:00am local time (05:15 GMT).

    “By the time I was there the crash site was already crowded. There was huge smoke coming from the flames of the plane. And then helicopters came over in no time,” she said.

    “The pilot tried his best to not hit civilisation or any home,” Deevta Kal added. “There was a small space right beside the Seti River and the flight hit the ground in that small space.”

    The flight set out with 68 passengers on board, including at least 15 foreign nationals, and four crew members.

    According to flight tracking website Flightradar24, the 15-year-old twin-engine ATR 72 stopped transmitting position data at 05:05 GMT and the last signal from the aircraft was received at 05:12.

    Hundreds of Nepalese soldiers were involved in the operation at the crash site in the gorge of the Seti, just one and a half kilometres from the airport.

    The search operation has been suspended for the day, officials say.

    Video taken where the plane came down showed thick billowing black smoke and burning debris.

    “We expect to recover more bodies,” an army spokesman told Reuters, saying the plane “has broken into pieces”.

    Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal called an emergency meeting of his cabinet and urged state agencies to work on rescue operations. A panel to investigate the cause of the crash has been set up.

    Of the passengers, 53 are said to be Nepalese. There were five Indian, four Russians and two Koreans on the plane. There was also one passenger each from Ireland, Australia, Argentina and France among others.

    Aviation accidents are not uncommon in Nepal, often due to its remote runways and sudden weather changes that can make for hazardous conditions.

    A Tara Air plane crashed in May 2022 in the northern Nepalese district of Mustang, killing 22 people.

    In early 2018, 51 people were killed when a US-Bangla flight travelling from Dhaka in Bangladesh caught fire as it landed in Kathmandu.

    The European Union has banned Nepalese airlines from its airspace over concerns about training and maintenance standards in the country’s aviation industry.

    Source: BBC

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