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    Why M7 Was Reluctant To Renew Justice Byabakama’s Contract; Two NRM Diehards Awarded Juicy Commissioner Jobs …

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    President Museveni (L) and EC boss Simon Byabakama (R)

    Before receiving the news that the appointing authority President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni had renewed his contract as the chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission, Justice Simon Mugenyi Byabakama had already started planning his next move.

    Highly placed sources close to Justice Byabakama, one of who is a longtime friend to President Museveni told theGrapevine that Justice Byabakama had started communicating to his former colleagues in the judiciary to prepare for him an office because chances were high that he was going back to either the Court of Appeal or the Constitutional Court justice.

    Sources said that judiciary was ready to welcome Justice Byabakama and he was going to occupy one of the chambers that were occupied by Justice Steven Musota or Justice Christopher Madrama who were elevated by President Museveni after being appointed Supreme Court justices.

    When Museveni appointed Justice Byabakama EC chairperson, he fought tooth and nail through his lawyers led by Kiryowa Kiwanuka not to be forced to resign as controversial lawyers Erias Lukwago, the Kampala Lord Mayor and Kassim Male Mabirizi had asked court.

    Their case was dismissed by Justice Musa Ssekaana the head of Civil Division of the High Court.

    Other sources told theGrapevine that Justice Byabakama also had plans to apply for a slot at the Supreme Court and the idea was put on hold when he received the good news that his contract was renewed.

    Sources divulged that Justice Byabakama had a reason to panic because Article 60 of the Constitution, gives powers to the appointing authority to renew the contracts of the electoral commission chairperson and seven Commissioner’s contracts within three months before the expiration of their seven years contract.

    Surprisingly, lawyer Mabirizi has petitioned speaker Annet Anita Among as the chairperson of the parliamentary committee on the presidential appointments not to approve Justice Byabakama and other commissioners appointed by President Museveni insisting that their appointments are illegal.

    However, highly placed State House sources told theGrapevine that the President has been scrutinizing a number of issues among which include appointing individuals who are not going to put the country’s image and himself and his party the National Resistance Movement (NRM) in bad light.

    Insiders said that Museveni has been comparing and studying different intelligence reports given to him for guidance so that he makes a final decision on Byabakama and the Commissioners’ fate.

    Museveni was very careful when renewing Byabakama’s contract after getting suspicious and doubting his faithfulness.

    This was after he failed to properly handle the controversial Kyadondo East by-election when celebrated musician turned politician Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu (Bobi Wine) defeated National Resistance Movement’s (NRM) Sitenda Ssebalu.

    Insiders told theGrapevine that Museveni was briefed by his trusted operatives that Justice Byabakama and his team slept on the job by allowing thousands of voters to change their election areas to Kyadondo East with the agenda of voting Bobi Wine which resulted in NRM loss.

    Byabakama tried to correct the mistake by putting in place strict guidelines which are supposed to be followed before a person is allowed to change the place where he votes from.

    Sources said that in 2020, Museveni made a lot of consultation to establish if there is any loophole in the electoral laws which he could use to fire Justice Byabakama and his commissioners for sleeping on the job the second time when Bobi Wine registered the National Unity Platform (NUP) after sealing a deal with controversial veteran politician Moses Nkonge Kibalama who later surrendered his  National Unity Reconciliation and Development Party (NURDP).

    The situation at the Electoral Commission was very tense and Sam Rwakojo the then EC secretary and Jotham Taremwa the Public Relations Officer resigned.

    Since then, the big man from Rwakitura has been firing all the public officers were involved in the exercise that threatened his power.

    Senior presidential adviser on media, Joseph Tamale Mirundi disclosed that Museveni also fired former New Vision publishing Company Chief Executive Officer Robert Kabushenga for the same reason.

    Mirundi opined that Kabushenga slept on the job and allowed Kibalama’s party to announce its delegate’s conference in the government paper without informing State Security agencies to pick interest in the matter.

    Insiders insist that this is the only opportunity Museveni had to clean EC if he was to make sure that what happened in 2021 general elections doesn’t happen again.

    Sources added that Museveni also received a number of petitions from his people and Ugandans especially from the business community pleading with him not to renew Byabakama’s contract on allegations that he failed to handle the multibillion shillings deal to publish election materials used in the 2021 general elections.

    The proprietors of the local publishing firms like;  Picfare Industries, Graphic Designers and Inline Print Services among others protested and dragged the Electoral Commission to Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Asset Authority (PPDA) which first cancelled the process but later allowed it to proceed.

    Byabakama’s electoral commission awarded the contract to United Kingdom based Tall Security Printers, South Africa’s Uniprint, United Arab Emirates’s United Printing and Publishing, United Kingdom’s Adare Sec Limited and United Arab Emiretes’s Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing Company.

    However, Mirundi opined that Byabakama secured the new contract because he has not been fought the way former electoral commission chairperson late Al-Hajji Aziz Kasujja was fought.

    Mirundi said that the people who have business interest in the EC reached an extent of smuggling thousands of ballot papers using their contacts from the international company that was hired to print the ballot papers.

    These smuggled ballots were later given to Museveni as evidence to prove that his man had slept on the job.

    The former press secretary to the president said that Kasujja’s enemies tried to convince Museveni that the leaked ballot papers are already in the hands of the then opposition strongman Dr. Kizza Besigye.

    Mirundi narrated that upon receiving this news, Museveni immediately summoned Kasujja to State House Entebbe and grilled him.

    He wondered how the ballot papers leaked to his opponents.

    Museveni told him to proceed with his arrangement as he deploys his intelligence network to establish who is behind the scandal.

    Mirundi explained that Museveni forgave Kasujja and allowed him to proceed with the process because he was very aware that the man from Mbulire village in Bukomansimbi district was innocent and it was the mafias playing their games using their contacts in EC.

    Insiders disclosed that since Museveni is going to stand for presidency come 2026, he has to be very careful on who is at the helm of EC.

    Even though Justice Byabakama and his commissioners who include; Hajjat Aisha Lubega, Stephen Toshabya, Pamela Etonu Okudi are celebrating over the renewal of their contracts; their colleagues; Nathaline Etomaru, Mustapha Ssebaggala and Peter Emoru were dropped.

    Museveni also awarded former NRM legislators Robert Kasule Ssebunya, Anthony Okello who supported the lifting of the Age Limit from the constitution which caused their loss in the 2021 parliamentary elections.

    He also appointed Dr. Sallie Simba Kayunga a Makerere University lecturer as a Commissioner.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    CELEBRITY GOSSIP

    Buganda Caucus MPs Blocked From Visiting Kabaka Mutebi In Namibia As Mayiga Summons Clan Heads Over M7 Deals, King Visit…

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    Buganda Kingdom King Ronald Muwenda Mutebi (L) in Namibia

    The management of Okonguarri Psychotherapeutic Center in Namibia has blocked three Members of Parliament from accessing the Kabaka of Buganda Ronald Muwenda Mutebi.

    Buganda Premier Charles Peter Mayiga confirmed that Kabaka Mutebi is in Namibia resting following the advice of his doctor in Europe.

    However, there are ongoing allegation that Kabaka is in the said medical facility receiving medication not resting.

    Based on the ongoing contradiction, legislators who are members of the Buganda caucus in parliament secretly decided to travel to Namibia to confirm the development.

    theGrapevine has exclusively established that the three male legislators are members of the National Unity Platform and they sneaked into Namibia without the knowledge of the Ugandan embassy in Namibia or their chairperson Muhammad Muwanga Kivumbi.

    When contacted, one of the legislators confirmed the development but pleaded with theGrapevine not to reveal his identity because it was going to create a war with Buganda Kingdom leadership.

    “It is true we were blocked from accessing the Kabaka and we are the ones who advised the Buganda Kingdom clan heads who also plan on visitinf the Kabaka to first seek permission from Mayiga, Prince David Kintu Wasajja or Agness Nabalogo because they are the ones to give permission to any person who wants to access Kabaka,” a soft spoken legislator from greater Masaka said.

    He added that they tried to reach out to Prince Joseph Ndawula, the Ugandan ambassador to Namibia but he also didn’t help them, so they decided to return back to Uganda.

    The development comes at a time when Mayiga has just issued summons to the executive members of Buganda Kingdom clan heads council.

    According to highly placed sources in the clan council, the meeting is scheduled to take place on Tuesday next week at Bulange building the headquarters of Buganda Kingdom.

    Even though Mayiga didn’t give the reasons why he has summoned the clan council leadership, sources claim that top on the agenda is their planned visit to Namibia to visit Kabaka and last week’s State House meeting with president Museveni.

    “When we passed a resolution in our meeting to go to Namibia to visit Kabaka, our council speaker (omutaka Austine Kizito Mutumba) pleaded with us to reverse the resolution explaining that it was going to place him in bad light before Mayiga and it is going to deepen the misunderstanding between him and his administration, but we rubbished his prayers,” a clan head said.

    He boasted that at this time, Mayiga has nothing to do because President Museveni has given them the green light and promised to coordinate the visit.

    He revealed that there are only two people who haven’t yet finalized their travel documents because they did not have passports.

    “By Thursday morning, we will be on the plane going to check on our beloved chairperson (Kabaka). Who is Mayiga to stop us from visiting Kabaka, even the president told us that he doesn’t like him and his ministers, and in Buganda kingdom, he only recognizes Kabaka, us the abataka and even informed the Nnabagereka when he met her recently,” a clan head said.

    It is not clear what mechanism Mayiga and Mutumba are going to deploy to stop clan heads from visiting Kabaka because they have been trying to frustrate them from meeting President Museveni but they overrun them.

    In the last Buganda Kingdom parliamentary session, Mayiga declined to allow the prayer made by one of the representative Professor Badru Katerega who wanted the Kingdom administration to guide those with money so that they can be allowed to go and visit Kabaka.

    Mutumba told theGrapevine that he is just a speaker of the council of Buganda Kingdom clan heads and has no power to stop them from doing whatever they think is good for their clans and Buganda Kingdom at large.

    He confirmed that he was not informed of last week’s State House meeting and he was very happy with the results of the meeting because the President agreed to help the kingdom clan heads to fight poverty among themselves and their grandchildren.

    President Museveni also promised to deploy UPDF engineering experts to help in the building of a commercial building on the land he bought for them in 2023 which is situated opposite the Bulange building.

    The president also promised to deposit Shs200m in the bataka Mutindo SACCO which they can use to fight poverty.

    However, when clan heads visited Museveni in 2023, Mayiga declared that he will not accept any person to mislead any member of the Kingdom organs with the aim of dividing Kabaka’s subjects.

    A resolution was passed in Buganda Kingdom parliament condemning the clan heads’ visit to Museveni and they were advised to apologize which they declined to do arguing that Mayiga and the Kingdom parliament don’t have such powers.

    The Clan heads insist that they are an independent organ in Buganda kingdom culture and they are the ones responsible for electing the Kabaka, thus they cannot be forced by Mayiga and his people to apologize.

    A committee chaired by Kingdom lands minister and also city commercial lawyer David Kisitu Mpanga was established by Mayiga to mediate talks between him with clan heads.

    However Isreal Kitooke Kazibwe the Kingdom spokesperson and also the minister in charge of mobilization rubbished the narrative of clan heads being independent explaining that all leadership in Buganda Kingdom are under Kabaka Mutebi and there is not independence.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    NATIONAL

    How Boyfriend, Pressure For Wedding Money Forced MP Nanyondo To Withdraw Her Signature From Censure Motion Against Mpuuga And Company…

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    Bukomansimbi woman legislator Veronica Nanyondo

    Kira Municipality legislator Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda has explained that the actions of Bukomansimbi woman legislator Veronica Nanyondo to withdraw in writing her signature from the censure motion against the four parliamentary commissioners over corruption allegations was showed that legislators don’t read.

    He revealed that the reason why he always overshadows fellow legislators on the floor of parliament and even during media talk shows is because they don’t read but just sign documents, especially when they are told that they will get allowances after signing.

    “How can a member of parliament withdraw her signature claiming that you were misled to sign, now how can you convince your voters that you are not misled to take decisions that affect them!” Ssemujju wondered.

    In her defense, Nanyondo said that the movers of the motion to impeach the commissioners used her signature from the opposition cabinet meeting and put it on the censure motion papers.

    Ssemujju noted that once a legislator appends their signature on a censure paper, he or she cannot withdraw it and Nanyondo is still taken as one of the legislators who signed the censure motion against the legislators.

    However, theGrapevine established that Nanyondo was forced by her boyfriend to withdraw the signature.

    Sources claim that Nyanyondo’s boyfriend, a one Kateregga who was a councilor for Bukomansimbi district, pleaded with Nanyondo to withdraw her signature because Mpuuga is one of their own and it will shame them to betray him.

    He alleges that Nyanyondo and her boyfriend are set to legalize their marriage in church before the end of this year and Mpuuga has already contributed Shs20m to help in the preparations of their wedding.

    Others who contributed include Annet Anita Among the speaker of parliament who contributed Shs10m.

    Sources divulged that Kateregga nowadays spendsmuch of his time in the United States of America because the couple plans on relocating to the US once this political term ends and after they legalize their marriage.

    Sources added that Nanyondo is not going to defend her position in the coming 2026 elections after realizing that the ground no longer favors her.

    Before joining politics, Nanyondo and Kateregga were running a printing business on Nasser Road in Kampala city.

    When Nanyondo contested for the first time as MP to replace her sister Suzan Namaganda, the former wife to former East African Assembly Uganda representative Fred Mukasa Mbidde, Kateregga was in charge of pinning her posters.

    theGrapevine made several phone calls to Nanyondo’s known phone numbers for a comment on the story but they all went unanswered.

    Nanyondo is among the poor performing legislators in Buganda.

    The four commissioners who in trouble are; Mathias Mpuuga the Member of Parliament for Nyendo-Mukungwe, Prossy Mbabazi Akampulira the Rubanda district legislator, Solomon Silwanyi the Bukooli Central legislator and Esther Afayochan of Zombo district woman legislator.

     

    By Hadijjah Namagembe

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    CRIME

    Stanbic Bank In Trouble, Client Petitions Court After She Was Defrauded Of Shs68m Via Flexi Pay…

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    Stanbic Bank CEO Anne Jjuuko whose bank is under fire

    Nakku Joweria a resident of Kyebando has sued Stanbic Bank Uganda limited for failing in its duty of protecting her saving account leading to defrauding her of shillings 68 million which was withdrawn from her account in a period of 24 hours through Flexi pay an application she had never registered for.

    In a court case filed before the Commercial division of the High Court of Uganda and coming up for directions in the registrar Christa Namutebi’s chambers, on the 24th June, 2024 at 9:40am, Nakku Joweria through his lawyers of Kimanje Nsibambi Advocates contends that between 7th and 8th February, 2023, there was unauthorized withdrawal of 68 million shillings from her savings account No. 903000026244 via the Flexi Pay Banking, a platform of Stanbic Bank and a total of 28 unauthorized transactions were conducted by fraudsters who fraudulently accessed her account undetected by the bank.

    She questions how a savings account which had a transaction limit was significantly exceeded during the unauthorized and undetected fraudulent transactions which led to her losing her’ money.

    “Our client has been a loyal client of Stanbic bank since 2001 way before the implementation of the FlexiPay system and at no point did she sign up for or activate the flexi pay on her savings account. The 28 unauthorized withdrawals from our clients account using four unknown Airtel lines raises serious questions and/ or lapses on the part of the bank for which we hold the bank specifically liable for the loss since it was in a better position to detect and prevent this fraud had it exercised reasonable care to detect these suspicious 28 unauthorized transactions that took place within 24 hours on a savings account that was rarely operated by our client,” reads the documents in parts.

    She also questions the effectiveness of the bank’s authentication protocols with their flexi pay system, effectiveness of the transaction monitoring to the extent of allowing 28 unauthorized transactions within 24 hours using four unknown Airtel lines and significantly exceeding the account limit.

    Nakku wants court to direct Stanbic Bank to reimburse 68 million to her account that was fraudulently withdrawn and pay her the costs and damages.

    On 6th February 2023, Nakku Joweria lost her phones to the robbers on her way to work at around 9pm. She reported the incident to police at 9am and to the telecom companies on the 7th February 2023.

    However, the telecom companies MTN and Airtel couldn’t process the new simcards because she had misplaced her original National Identity card.

    The robbers used her MTN number to open up a wallet on the Flexi pay which number had four other Airtel numbers that don’t belong to her which they used to make 28 unauthorized withdraws of 68 million shillings from her Stanbic bank saving account on the 7th and 8th February in a space of only 24 hours.

    When she went to withdraw some money from her account on the 6th, March 2023 that’s when she realized that her money was fraudulently withdrawn from her account.

    She wrote to the bank manager complaining about the matter and the bank promised to do thorough investigations to reveal how the money was withdrawn by the fraudsters.

    Through her lawyers of Kimanje Nsibambi Advocates, she wrote a demand notice to Stanbic Bank manager to reimburse her money since it was their weakness and fault for failure to efficiently protect her account.

    The bank through Twine Arnold, the senior legal advisor, Risk and Dispute Management wrote back with an out of court settlement request.

    However, the bank had proposed to reimburse only 34 million out of the 68 million on the premise that the settlement shall not be taken as admission of liability by any of the parties, a proposal she rejected and instead thought for legal redress in the commercial court.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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