By Otim Nape
Since taking office, Katikkiro Peter Mayiga who many suspect to have a soft spot for Prsident Museveni has carefully avoided vehemently pushing for the Federo message. His explanation, widely parroted by his adherents, is that there is a lot Buganda can do to demonstrate the Federo benefits even before the much –cherished system of government is granted.
Even when you closely study his so-called ensonga ssemasonga, you will clearly see that Mayiga is being cautious to avoid confrontation with the M7 central government in the pursuit of Federo. Whether this is cowardice or strategy as Mayiga supporters argue, is debate for another day. In 2016, for the first time, Uganda held general election campaign without Federo being a big campaign
issue. This was so because Mengo, under Mayiga’s leadership, decided to become vague on the issue. Critics believe this ambivalence by the Mengo leadership was meant to smoothen things M7 as he campaigned for reelection. Depending on who you talk; majority believe that Mengo’s ambivalence didn’t work as M7’s foes like Kizza Besigye were able to grow their vote fraction, for the first time, without having any semblance of an alliance with Mengo. In fact in Besigye’s campaign, the Federo issue didn’t feature that much. It’s believed he could have scored more if the Mengo Federo grievances played out so openly like in the previous elections. Some consider that by failing to vehemently push the Federo issue once again, Mayiga inadvertently led to the demystification of the Buganda question in Uganda’s general election. We are unsure whether this silence was a deal with M7 but what is certain is the fact that for M7, Mengo’s ambivalence worked because it enabled him face less official hostility in the populous and politically very influential region of Buganda. But City Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago’s resounding victory even after Mayiga had publicly embraced his foe Jennifer Musisi whose candidate was Raga Dee of the NRM, is proof Mengo emerged politically weakened and bruised in the 2016 election season.
THE BOBI WAR
The lost political war with Bobi Wine, and the staying away of militants like Semujju Nganda, Betty Nambooze and others from CBS protesting Mayiga’s pro-central government conditionalities, further manifested a Mengo leadership clearing sinking into oblivion and irrelevancy. And the Kabaka Mutebi, who still speaks to some of the militants Mayiga purged, was increasingly becoming concerned. To Mutebi, whereas you need the money and M7 good will to do your activities uninterrupted, the political crowd is as important because that simply is how to demonstrate your might and clout even when you are legally barred from open political participation as a kingdom. The crowds that come out to meet him when he comes to the Lukiiko or wherever he goes in Buganda is nowadays less enthusiastic than was the case in the pre-Mayiga era. JB Walusimbi, Mayiga’s predecessor, was less charismatic but never suffocated those that sought to use Kabaka’s functions to make or act political statements against the M7 establishment. Mayiga, who as information minister resented Walusimbi’s moderate approach, has excelled in purging anti-M7 crowds at Kabaka’s events in order to give room to richer VIPs from M7 central government. This partly explains why, important as it was, the Friday youth event in Kyaggwe had only one Buganda MP Muyanja Senyonga attending it. In the past you would have all the Ganda MPs and those from other regions coming to symbolize their solidarity with the Kabaka whose Mengo government had clearly distinguished itself as a powerful center of power occasionally checking on M7’s excesses. This began changing when Mayiga became Katikkiro and chose those with money (read Jeniffer Musisi, Edward Sekandi, Judith Nabakooba etc) while sidelining victims (read Erias Lukwago) of injustice which the Mengo he served as information minister always condemned. He told Lukwago
supporters who fluked his tofali session with Musisi inside city hall and implored him to denounce Lukwago’s mistreatment that “sorry this is time for development, time for work and not politicking.” This hurt Lukwago but he was advised to ignore, keep quiet and avoid open confrontation with Mayiga. Lukwago attempted to join the ‘ttoffaali’ fundraising inside Mayor’s gardens where Mayiga and Musisi were
presiding over tofali fundraising but was brutally turned away by pro-Musisi police and Mayiga said nothing. Things like those gradually alienated Mengo from would-be popular Baganda politicians that happen to be anti-M7. Extremists like Betty Nambooze started hitting him openly disputing his leadership on face book after Mayiga insisted on censoring their shows on CBS. Semujju Nganda is said to have told him off openly in a meeting to which Muwanga Kivumbi, Nganda, Lukwago and others were invited and urged to reduce their hostility to M7 in return for their continued appearance on CBS. Nganda said he couldn’t and it was okay not being hosted on CBS. And recently when Muzaata, Gashumba and Tamale Mirundi ganged up on Mengo and used the Kyapa mu Ngalo to demonize the kingdom, Mayiga was subdued and all of a sudden realized he needed the endorsement of these very popular Ganda politicians to effectively counter the Mirundi trio. Talk shows were specially organized for the likes of Lukwago, Nambooze, Medard Segona and others to appear on CBS to counter the Mirundi trio and lands minister Betty Amongi who was determined to use her powers to stop the Kyapa campaign. Palace sources say Mutebi then realized it was a mistake for the Mayiga administration to sideline these popular young politicians in order to reciprocate the good will of M7 manifested in the return of numerous Buganda properties immediately after Mayiga became Katikkiro.
THE MAYIGA NARRATIVE
Since Mayiga became Katikkiro, a new narrative emerged at Mengo and it goes as follows; Buganda has fought M7 too long and in the process lost chance to partner with him to fight household poverty while
creating wealth. At a personal level, Mayiga admires the Aga Khan model whereby a powerful institution, with a lot of history and popular good will behind it, is able to do charity-oriented development programs without having express political power. This was the motivation for his Tofali campaign which the M7 central government enabled by providing police VIP security and by refraining from taxing the collected revenues. Close to 15bn was collected in one year and some believe this is the reason Mayiga’s hands were tired when it came to renewing Federo demands in 2016. It took eloquent criticism by Tamale Mirundi, Nuhu Muzaata and Frank Gashumba (who detention ironically excited Katikkiro) for the Kabaka to feel some shame and
order Mayiga to stop the very exploitative tofali tours. During Mayiga’s reign, radicals that were using their Mengo offices to openly castigate M7 while demanding for Federo have all been purged e.g. Nakirembeka Waliggo, Sevume Musoke, Dr. Jack Luyombya, Gideon Kisitu and others. The purging has happened in the Lukiiko and Clan heads council. Even those active federalists still in Cabinet like Apollo Makubuya and Daudi Mpanga (whose Brother Peter is PPS and writes Kabaka speeches) are ever sidelined by Mayiga’s draconian approach to leadership at Mengo. Sources say that, excited about this effective purge, M7 at some point considered zeroing on Mayiga to be his successor. He courted the Catholic clerics to buy into this promise
but many of them became cautious the moment Cardinal Wamala reminded them of a similar promise M7 made to Bukenya in early 2000s that never materialized. During Mayiga’s tenure, M7 has reaped the Mengo
political dividend than he ever imagined. His expectations have clearly been exceeded. Reliable sources show that, there is a big powerful man in Bulange in Mayiga era cabinet who specializes in sweet-talking young opposition politicians to either openly defect to M7’s NRM or at least unofficially work with it while remaining in
their parties. Reliable sources show that the Prof Bukenya defection from TDA back to M7 in the heat of the 2016 campaigns, wasn’t only welcomed but was actually mediated or brokered by someone very powerful in Mayiga’s cabinet. Bukenya was told it was counterproductive to resist M7 who was clearly going to win after TDA Principals Besigye and Mbabazi failed to agree on one candidate. Poor Bukenya was left at cross roads after M7 used his defection to re-energize his campaign while demoralizing opposition supporters. Yet
all that was promised to him (including cabinet re-appointment and support to keep his Busiro North MP Seat) were never delivered upon by M7. Reliable palace sources say for sometime the Kabaka has been
uncomfortable seeing the Mayiga leadership at Mengo failing to seize the opportunity availed by the ongoing Togikwatako debate to renew Federo demands. The official response from Mayiga’s Bulange-based
supporters is that deputy Katikkiro Apollo Makubuya is charged with spearheading Federo and he is the one failing Buganda and not Mayiga.
Yet in actual sense there isn’t much Makubuya can do as long as Mayiga, who remains the very powerful centralist overall Mengo boss, isn’t in favor of renewed Federo demands as that would politically
complicate things and offset M7. Hence reliable sources say that Kabaka’s decision to use the Mukono Kyaggwe youth event to renew the Federo demands himself is in a way a vote of no confidence in
Katikkiro Mayiga’s leadership. Muyanja Senyonga, in his capacity as Buganda Caucus chairman, tried to imitate Raphael Magyezi by having a private members bill on Federo but gave up after the Mayiga-led Mengo developed a lukewarm attitude towards his plan. In fact even CBS wasn’t permitted to give prominence to the Muyanja plan in its news bulletins. In doing this publicly, Mutebi is sending out signals that “whereas I have a disinterested leadership at Mengo, I haven’t denounced my desire to have my kingdom operate under the Federo system of government.” Mutebi will clearly have to do much more, including repeating this call at future public events, because it’s unlikely that CBS which Mayiga firmly controls will allow politicians appearing on it to ride on Mutebi’s speech to renew Federo demands. Mind you since the 2009 closure, the CBS radio operates without a license (but on M7’s good will) and Mayiga rightly fears that, once provoked, M7 can just ring UCC boss Godfrey Mutabazi to do the needful. In the meantime we await to see if Senyonga will act on the clear demand the Buganda youth leaders, publicly backed by the Kabaka, made to him during the Friday youth event in Kyaggwe/Mukono and renew his proposed private members bill calling for Federo
Mpuuga Facing LOP Office Exit Door As Bobi Wine Introduces Nambeshe To International Funders; Bwanika In Muddy Fight For Zaake’s Juicy Job At Parliament…
Highly placed sources within the National Unity Platform (NUP) headquarters at Makerere Kavule have revealed to mighty Grapevine that all indicators show that their principal Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu (Bobi Wine) is not going to extend the tenure of Mathias Mpuuga as the Leader of Opposition in Parliament (LOP).
Mpuuga’s two and half years term is ending this December and sources disclosed that Bobi Wine will soon instruct the party Secretary General David Lewis Rubongoya to communicate to the Speaker of Parliament Annet Anita Among the party’s new leadership in parliament which is going to command their troops.
Sources divulged that there has been stiff competition between Mpuuga, Butambala county legislator Muhammad Muwanga Kivumbi, Opposition Chief Whip John Baptist Nambeshe and Nakawa West’s Joel Ssenyonyi.
However the current indicators show that Nambeshe is highly favoured and may take the day.
“Even in 2021, Bobi Wine wanted to appoint Nambeshe, he never trusted those people from the Democratic Party (DP) but he was under pressure from those people at Mengo (Buganda Kingdom Leadership). Others said that Nambeshe could not be trusted because he was new and had just crossed from President Museveni’s NRM. They allged that this meant that he was not yet tested. They even warned the Principal that Nambeshe can sell their party leadership in parliament to Museveni. That is why he decided to appoint Mpuuga who some now claim has betrayed him,” a NUP insider said.
This insider based his argument on the recent statements Bobi Wine made in an interview with BBC in London that a number of his party Members of Parliament are working with and for President Museveni.
First were allegations that Mpuuga led negotiations with President Museveni’s government that led to the release of legislators Muhammad Ssegirinya and Allan Ssewanyana from prison after they were detained for two years on murder, terrorism and attempted murder charges.
Bobi Wine was also shocked to learn that the opposition leadership in parliament were aware of the alleged Shs40m given to each Member of Parliament (including NUP legislator) thanking them which many alleged was a bribe from the sitting government.
Sources said that to protect his diaspora supporters who fund many of their political activities in NUP, Bobi Wine decided to drop Mpuuga because most of the party leadership in the Diaspora are not happy with him and are alleging that he is in bed with NRM leadership in parliament.
Sources added that the reason why Bobi Wine traveled with Nambeshe to United Kingdom where he has spent over ten years without stepping foot because of his anti-gay activism is an indicator that the man from Bugishu may fall into things very soon.
Earlier, Bobi Wine assigned Nambeshe to start receiving application from opposition legislators who want to apply for different positions in parliament.
In United Kingdom, Bobi Wine, Nambeshe, Barbra Itungo Kyagulanyi held private meetings with a number of politicians in Britain and other leaders from NUP Diaspora. He later traveled to German.
However, theGrapevine has established that Bobi Wine is under pressure from a section of Muslim leaders who are complaining over his decision not to appoint Kivumbi as the next Leader of Opposition in Parliament.
Sources said that recently, Bobi Wine explained to a few of them on phone that his goal is to first silence those people accusing his party of being the new Kabaka Yekka party.
He promised to compensate them by appointing Kivumbi as the Opposition Chief Whip in parliament replacing Nambeshe.
“This is our time, Bobi Wine seems to have betrayed us. Does he think that a Muslim is not fit for that office? He is also slowly becoming like other politicians who sideline Muslims when it comes to giving them big assignment,” a top sheikh at Kibuli Muslim faction told theGrapevine during the course of investigating this story.
theGrapevine has also seen a letter written by Kimanya-Kabonera legislator Dr Abed Bwanika asking for the position of Opposition representative on the Parliamentary Commission as a replacement for embattled Mityana Municipality legislator Francis Butebi Zaake.
Sources said that Bwanika has a big task of convincing Bobi Wine to assign him this influential position because he is on the list of legislators he rarely trusts.
Other sources disclosed that Bwanika is very calculative. He
“He is very sure that once Bobi Wine drops Mpuuga, he has to compensate the people of Greater Masaka by giving one of their sons another position.”
Sources said that chances are high that Bobi Wine is going to renew Zaake’s contract as Parliamentary Commissioner but if he is pressurised to make changes, he will replace him with either Ssenyonyi or Kasanda district woman legislator Flavia Nabagabe Kalule, who is a very good friend to Bobi Wine’s wife.
Zaake was impeached from the office of the commissioner of parliament on indiscipline grounds after attacking the speaker Among.
However, his actions were supported by Bobi Wine.
NUP insiders disclosed that Bobi Wine is expected back into the country before the end of this week to make the long awaited announcement.
By Grapevine Reporters
M7 Hires Kenyatta, Odinga Lawyers To Defend UNOC In Multibillion Oil Case In Kenya…
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s government has hired V.A Nyamodi and Company Advocates, a Kenya based law firm to defend Uganda National Oil Corporation (UNOC) in a multibillion oil case.
Highly placed sources in UNOC revealed that V.A Nyamodi lawyers are going to work with Ruth Sebatindira’s Ligomarc Advocates from Uganda and lawyers from the Attorney General’s chambers led by Kiryowa Kiwanuka the Attorney General together with UNOC legal team led by Peter Mulisa.
V.A Nyamodi Advocates led by Poul Nyamodi helped former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to win the presidential petition against Raila Odinga in the 2017 presidential elections petition and also represented Odinga in the recent presidential election petition against President William Ruto.
UNOC lawyers are going to battle with Royani Energy Limited and concerned Kenyan citizens Charles Kombo and John Kinuthia who protested the move to allow UNOC to obtain Oil importation Certificate to import petroleum products through Kenya.
In their petition filed in a Kenyan Court, they insist that UNOC does not have Shs36bn turnover covering three years as required by the Kenyan authorities.
They also allege that UNOC has not sold 6.6 million litres of petroleum products and does not have the five retail stations and depots within Kenya to fulfil one of the conditions set by the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority of Kenya for a license to be given to them.
They added that it was wrong for the Kenyan authorities to waive the said conditions so as to grant UNOC the license.
UNOC through the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development applied for a license in Kenya to import Uganda’s petroleum products through Kenya and both countries agreed that UNOC opens offices in Kenya which was done.
This comes days after president Museveni signed the Petroleum Supply Act which gives exclusive monopoly to UNOC as the sole importer of petroleum products in Uganda.
The Attorney General Kiwanuka also signed a deal on behalf of Uganda with Vitol Bahrain to trade directly with UNOC without engaging middlemen especially those in Kenya.
President Museveni explained that Oil price in Uganda has been high because of the said middlemen.
However, Oil dealers in Uganda are secretly planning to challenge the Act in the Constitutional Court.
By Sengooba Alirabaki
Mufti Mubajje In More Trouble: Attorney General Kiwanuka Advises M7 On Meeting Him Over Muslim Properties That Are Set To Be Auctioned…
Embattled Mufti of Uganda Sheikh Ramathan Shaban Mubajje is in more trouble after learning that Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka has advised President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on meeting him over Muslim properties that are going to be auctioned.
Kampala affairs Minister Hajjat Minsa Nabengo Kabanda revealed that last week, Muslim ministers in president Museveni’s cabinet approached him and pleaded with him to save the Muslim properties including Gaddafi Mosque which is the National Mosque from being auctioned over a Shs19bn debt.
Last month, Commercial Division of the High Court ordered public auctioning of Muslim properties registered in the names of Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) and the listed ones are; Land in Leasehold Register Volume KCCA 149 Folio 16 land at Kampala City William Street which houses Tabliq mosque.
Others are; Lease Register Volume 2771 Folio 2, Old Kampala Plot 23-25 which houses the national Muslim mosque and the Muslim headquarters; Kyadondo Block 195 plot 5463 Land at Kyanja Kampala City; one square miles of land at Bukwe Hoima district, one acre of land located at Lumbas, Jinja city; plot of land at Mbale city; shares in Uganda Rancheers Ltd & Commercial Holdings Ltd; Subsidiaries to Uganda Moslem Supreme Council that own 2 square miles land at Migyera-Buluri; plot of land at Entebbe Municipality opposite Victoria Mall.
Mubajje through his lawyers led by Musa Kabega and Abbey Bukenya are fighting a losing battle to overturn the Commercial Division of the High Court decision after losing two appeals.
Minister Kabanda said that when the matter was presented to the President, he invited the Attorney General to advise him since it was a legal matter.
The nonsense Kiwanuka advised the president not to intervene but wait until the court process is done.
Highly placed sources in State House told theGrapevine that since the order for auctioning Muslim properties, Mubajje has been lobbying State House staff to arrange for him a meeting with the president.
When all efforts failed, he turned to the Chief Justice Owiny Dollo and his Deputy Richard Butera to save him. We have learnt that they have not yet fixed a meeting with him.
Minister Kabanda said that Muslim ministers in cabinet and Members of Parliament are set to meet Mubajje and businessman Justus Kyabahwa and his lawyers led by Ahmed Kalule Mukasa for a fact finding meeting before returning to the president to brief him on the matter.
“I give assurance to Muslims that the President will help us save the Muslim properties,” Kabanda said.
The development comes days after former UMSC Secretary General Hajji Ramathan Mugalu threatened to take legal action against Mubajje claiming that he defamed him when he told the public that he forged his signature when he signed on the agreement that okayed the sale of Muslim land in Sembabule district which is the genesis of all these troubles.
He insisted that Mubajje signed the Shs3.5bn land sale agreement willingly and they both have audio and video evidence as proof.
However, Mubajje boasted that UMSC has the capacity to mobilise funds to pay the businessman.
By Sengooba Alirabaki
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