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    Why We Are Not Opening Churches – Pastors Bujjingo, Bugembe, Watoto Reveal Wrong In Allowing Only 70 Congregants, Ask President To Review Decision….

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    Pastors Bujjingo (L) and Bugembe (R)

    In his address on Sunday 20th this month, President Yoweri Museveni eased the lockdown restrictions on the places of worship by allowing churches to open, but with strictly not more than 70 people per service besides keenly following the SOPS put in place by the ministry of health to avoid the spread of the virus

    To some churches in the country, this was news to rejoice about, it sounded like a total opening for them since there are churches whose following does not exceed or even reach 70 members. But for churches with a big following, it is still tricky to figure out how they will deal with their number with everyone attending the service.

    House of Prayers Ministries International (HPMI) Pastor Aloysious Bujjingo thanked the President for re-opening churches but pleaded with him that the number of 70 members discriminates worshipers and because he cannot discriminate them, Canaan land will remain closed.

    “Officials inspected our church and advised us that we can have a service of 8000 people per service with each person spaced 3 meters from the other on the 8.5 acres of land. The good thing is our church is not enclosed, it’s in tents and the aeration is good like the president advised,” Bujjingo said.

    “We don’t want people to leave their homes and get problems at Canaan land because of the stampede when they are struggling to be among the first 70 people. The turn up at HPMI for our lunchtime services alone is over 2000 worshipers. That is why we have agreed with the elders not to have lunch hours and Sunday services for now,” he said.

    Bujjingo disclosed that security at Canaan land alone is composed of 30 people and when you add the workers who take care of the place and the washrooms, the number goes to 100, “On that number, I’ve not included the choir, ushers and the elder’s team.”

    Bujjingo told all believers that all HPMI services will still be conducted on Salt TV, Salt Radio, Salt Media app and all the other online media platforms as they continue discussions with the President and other stakeholders on the number.

    Worship House lead pastor, Wilson Bugembe announced to his flock that there will be no attendance for church service. He urged his church members to instead stay home and catch the Sunday service on-line, and on air (Social media and TV/Radio)

    “Dear Worship House Family, we are opening soon. Wait a little. We apologize. We are yet to open but Not this Sunday. For better planning and your own safety plus the 70 number we were given, we kindly ask that you all wait a little longer as we pray and plan better,” Bugembe wrote.

    “Please stay online and on TV for this Sunday. We apologize for we know how we are all excited to come back to church. We miss you all. We shall inform you as soon as possible,” he added.

    Pastor Julius Rwotlonyo, the associate team leader Watoto also made it clear that they will have no physical services at any of their locations but will continue to gather as a church family online and on air as they pray for more favourable conditions.

    “Our desire is to ensure that all of our church members have a meaningful experience in our church services, while we observe national guidelines for the health and safety of our congregation and volunteer teams. With the restriction of a maximum of 70 people at a celebration service and no in-person children’s church services, we will have no physical services at any of our locations but we will continue to gather as a church family online and on-air as we pray for more favourable conditions,” he said, adding that their pastoral team is discussing ways that their gatherings in various communities can resume.

    Church of Uganda Archbishop Stephen Samuel Kaziimba wondered how the churches will split thousands of worshippers into small congregations of 70 people spread across the different services on Sundays.

    “It will be impossible for the entire congregation to be able to gather in different groups of 70 people for a corporate worship service. My own cathedral, for example, averages 4,000 people on a Sunday. To cater for all the 4,000 people in groups of 70, we would need to schedule 57 different worship services, which is simply not practical,” the Kaziimba told journalists this week at his residence in Namirembe, Rubaga Division.

    On march 25th the president declared a lockdown on places of worship as a measure to avoid the spread of the virus in the country and since then, churches adapted the use of social media to spread the gospel to different people.

    With the help of different media houses, mega churches have gradually embraced the trend of non-pysical gatherings, and have been having their services aired out on different TV and radio stations so that all Christians and church members of different churches are reached out to in this pandemic.

     

    By Baron Kironde

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    NATIONAL

    Who Is Milly Babalanda? From Humble Village Girl To Minister, New Minister For Presidency Narrates Her Journey….

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    Hon. Milly Babalanda with President Museveni recently

    President Yoweri Museveni on Tuesday evening named a new cabinet in which he appointed Mrs. Babirye Milly Babalanda as Minister for the Presidency.
    The appointment came as a miracle although not a surprise for the “humble village girl” from Kamuli.

    Our reporter caught up with Babalanda to speak about her new appointment

    Q: Congratulations upon landing this appointment!
    Babalanda: Thank you! I thank God, and His Excellency the President for this trust in
    me.

    Q: What is your background?
    Babalanda: I was born on 5th December 1970 to Mr. Sosani Magunda and the late Namuwaya Ruth of Nalinaibi Village, Nawantumbi Parish, Nawanyago Sub-County, Buzaaya County in Kamuli District. I am married to Pastor Samuel Babalanda of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. I have two biological children.

    Q. How did you feel after receiving the news of your appointment?
    Babalanda: As a loyal, dependable, reliable and tested cadre who is a believer in God, this did not come as a surprise.

    Q. What do you mean by being a tested cadre?
    Babalanda: This is based on my background. I started off as a humble village girl from a very poor family in Nalinaibi in Kamuli district. My parents could not afford to pay for my education. Instead, I gambled my way out at all levels.
    This miserable background drew me to knowing and trusting God and to depend on Him for everything.

    I sat for my Primary Seven in 1985. I sat for my Senior Four in 1989 at Busoga High School in Kamuli where I did not perform well due to a difficult life.
    I became a village political mobilizer, gaining popularity amongst the villagemates who included the late Alhaji Kirunda Kivejinja and the Rt. Honorable Rebecca Kadaga. These two hail from my sub-county.
    I used to admire them to the extent of gaining their confidence and friendship. This interaction gave me a lot of hope and it was out of my determination that I secured an opportunity to attend a cadre-ship course at Kyankwanzi. I am cadre 31. Some of the products I was with in this training have served in positions as Ministers and RDCs. I did not get chance of deployment at this time. Instead, I remained in the village to change the mindsets of the communities.
    Overall, the Kyankwanzi cadreship training changed my life. Indeed, the engagement with Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga and the late Rt Hon. Kirunda Kivejinja was very productive for my political career.

    Q. How did you meet with the President? He has always praised you in public.
    Babalanda: I met the President in December 2010 in Jinja when I was a mobilizer in Kamuli. He picked interest in me basing on the submissions I made on matters of poverty alleviation in Busoga sub-region. He made a commitment to fund my initiatives.
    After the 2011 general elections, I received a telephone call from His Excellency appreciating my submission on poverty alleviation and also asking me if I could work with him in addressing the issue of chronic poverty in Busoga. I looked at this as a turning point in my life.
    We agreed to form Busoga Rural Development Agency – BRUDA which he funded. It was my first time to manage a big budget. I remember some individuals advising me to divert the money to other causes other than the issue at hand. They indeed tried to persuade me citing my impoverished background. I fervently prayed about this for three days and the Lord gave me Romans 10:11 which talks about the power of faith and belief in Him. I
    chose to be patient and focused.
    Around 2014, he appointed me as Deputy RDC Busia. Later in 2015, he deployed as the Assistant Head of the NRM National Chairman’s office at Mbuya, headed by Hon. Molly Kamukama Nawe. Later, after the 2016 elections he appointed me as Senior Presidential Advisor on Political Affairs and head of the NRM National Chairman’s office assisted by Mr. Kirunda Faruk. This is the office where I served until my appointment as Minister in Charge of the Presidency.

    Q. Why do you think the President chose you for appointment as Minister in Charge of the Presidency?
    Babalanda: I think the appointment was based on my character, method of work, loyalty and to assist him in implementation of the NRM manifesto.
    As you know, I have been heading his official political office. I have been key in taking record of his pledges, implementing programs, assessing manifesto implementation and coordinating his political activities. This has given me very good experience and as a member of the national task force, I think it was a good choice by the President to appoint a person who understands his political agenda at this critical time when we are talking of securing the future.

    Q. Is this office not too big for you?
    Babalanda: In the Book of John, Chapter 6:29 talks of our cardinal role as believers – to believe in the one He sent – and to leave everything else to Him. It reminds us that leaders are ordained by God.
    Leadership is all about sacrifice, understanding the interests of the appointing authority, understanding your roles and limits and respecting the team members. You don’t need to be a PHD holder to deliver. This is a political posting which takes passion and deep understanding of the mission at hand.
    My Ministry is quite diverse covering areas such as the Vice President’s Office, Security, Economic Monitoring, Patriotism, Anti-Corruption, Manifesto Implementation, Science and Technology, Uganda AIDS Commission, KCCA, RDC Secretariat and Presidential advisors.
    As a senior Presidential Advisor on Political Matters and Head of NRM National Chairman’s Office who has been working under direct supervision of the principal, I have gained enough exposure due to working closely with majority of the heads of government agencies. The only difference now is that I shall be their supervisor, if all goes well in the appointments committee.

    Q. What challenges do you anticipate in your new role?

    Babalanda: Being a cadre, I anticipate many expectations from our mobilizers.
    Secondly, ensuring that our Manifesto is implemented as planned and within the expected time frame is likely to be a challenge especially during the COVID-19 crisis. The fight against graft is an ongoing but quite challenging endeavor. Also, addressing the intelligence gaps in our security systems and the challenge of some sleepy RDCs.
    If all goes well, I will share my detailed work plan in tackling the above challenges.

    Q. When was your best moment in life?
    Babalanda: I can say that this was the time when His Excellency the President offered me parental advice to return to school to complete my education on 8th May 2016 at Rwakitura. Returning to class as an adult was not easy given my other pressing responsibilities. The day I presented my A’ level certificate with 13 points for admission to Bugema University completely washed away my sorrows and depression.

    Q. What comments do you have on the new cabinet where you are a member pending Parliamentary approval?
    Babalanda: I call upon my colleagues to understand the NRM priorities in our mission to secure the future. Our impact will be felt by our sacrifices and contributions. This is not a reward but a call for duty as servants of the people. The culture of in-fighting and cliques should end forthwith to promote teamwork. This is not a tournament but a service.
    It will be very sad if we fail our principal and the party leadership who sacrificed day and night to come up with a good Manifesto which gave us victory in the general elections.

    Q. Who is your role model?
    Babalanda: This is a challenging question to me. However, I admired the work methods of my supervisors at State House when I was a Senior Presidential Advisor. Madame Lucy Nakyobe and Gen. Nalweyiso Proscovia have had a great impression on me. Both ladies are scandal-
    free, practical, uncompromising and result- oriented. They are frank in their dealings with people. I enjoyed working with them and I hope to pick a leaf from their methods of work to guide my next step of service.

    Q. What is last message to the public?
    Babalanda: This commitment will be made after going through the appointments committee of parliament. Nonetheless, I promise to maintain my method of work, which is accommodative and principled.

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    NATIONAL

    Lawyer Mabirizi Parades 10 Witnesses To Pin Justice Sekaana Over Incompetence: Why Lord Mayor Lukwago, Journalists Top List…

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    Controversial City lawyer Hassan Male Mabirizi Kiwanuka has paraded ten witnesses to pin the head of the High Court Civil Division Justice Musa Sekaana over incompetence, misconduct and misbehaviour.

    Mabirizi dragged Justice Sekaana to the Judicial Service Commission accusing him of unfair treatment when he threw him out of court and even warned to cause his arrest blaming him for submitting rubbish that he is a biased Judge.

    This was after Mabirizi asked Sekaana to recuse himself from his case where he wanted Court to declare that Justice Simon Mugenyi Byabakama is illegally holding the office of the chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC).

    Mabirizi further claims that Byabakama declined to resign from the judiciary as a Judge of the Court of Appeal.

    Mabirizi insists that Justice Sekaana was incompetent when he declined to excuse himself from the case after admitting that he was still an Advocate, and has represented the Electoral Commission in several cases.

    Mabirizi said that this alone shows that Sekaana is biased and cannot deliver justice in a case against a former client.

    Sources at the Judicial Service Commission told theGrapevine that among the witnesses paraded by Mabirizi include Kampala Capital City Authority Lord Mayor Ssalongo Erias Lukwago and a number of journalists who once covered proceedings where Sekaana represented EC.

    “He mentioned a number of people to support his case but much emphasis was put on the Lord Mayor because he was present in Court and he was on his side,” a source added.
    Mabirizi also protested and withdrew his suit where he was seeking a court order restraining the process of recruiting new judicial officers by Justice Benjamin Kabiito’s Judicial Service Commission until his main case challenging the process was determined.

    On February 1, 2021, the Judicial Service Commission issued an external advert in which it sought to fill positions at the Supreme court, justices of Appeal, High court judges, deputy registrars, assistant registrars, chief magistrates and Grade One magistrates, a process Mabirizi wanted to be declared illegal.

    Last week, High Court Judge Emmanuel Baguma declined to hear Mabirizi’s case and refered the matter to the deputy registrar to be allocated to another judge. Justice Baguma stated that he observed that a similar case was recently filed twice by Mabirizi on different occasions and also withdrawn twice in May 2021 after being allocated to Sekaana, who heads the civil division.

    He added he did not see any reason for withdrawing those cases and there were no minutes to show why the matters were withdrawn. He advised that the said file be given back to Justice Sekaana to avoid duplication which Mabirizi protested and withdrew his matter.

    Mabirizi told this website that he will never appear before Sekaana again.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    How Does Rebecca Kadaga Be Answerable To Nabbanja? Mixed Reactions Over PM Nabbanja Appointment…

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    Hon. Robinah Nabbanja and Lord Mayor Lukwago

    The Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago has expressed dissatisfaction over the appointment of Robinah Nabbanja as the leader of government business.

    In the new cabinent list released yesterday evening, President Museveni appointed former state minister of Health for general duties, Hon. Robinah Nabbanja, Prime Minister, a move that has attracted both backlash and praise from a section of Ugandans.

    “With all due respect, you cannot choose Hon. Robinah Nabbanja to lead government business, that is rewarding mediocrity. How does Rebecca Kadaga(1st Deputy Prime minister) be answerable to Nabbanja?” Lukwago said.

    However, former Aruu County legislator Odonga Otto praised the appointment of the woman from Kakumiro saying the President made the right move.

    “Make no mistake, the choice of Hon. Nabbanja as Premier is no joke. Acting more often as a semi literate village belle, Hon. Nabbanja is a woman of action she will even remove food from a minister’s mouth if one is eating during work hours. Finally the ministers have got a watchwoman,”Otto tweeted.

    A one Deborah Haboya said, “Atleast not Nabbanja, there are much more smarter and intelligent women if at all Museveni wanted to please women.”

     

    By Hope Kalamira

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