Court issues demand notice against Minister Banye-

Nzaki

 
 
By ROBERT MUHEREZA


Posted  Sunday, February 22  2015 

 

At Kabale, Western Province, Uganda.

 

The Kabale Chief Magistrate’s Court has issued a demand notice against the State Minister for Economic monitoring, Mr Henry Banyenzaki, over alleged failure to pay Shs360,000 to Kabale businessman Johnson Ndyabanawe.

Mr Ndyabanawe told the court Mr Banyenzaki hired his two lorries to carry people from different villages in Rubanda west constituency and drop them at Muko sub-county playground where President Museveni was addressing them on January 15. He also said Mr Banyenzaki paid him only Shs840,000 leaving a balance of Shs360,000 which he has failed to pay despite several reminders.

The demand notice dated February 12, issued by the head of small claims procedure at Kabale Chief Magistrate’s Court, Mr Darius Kamugisha, requires Mr Banyenzaki to settle the debt within 14 days and failure to comply, the complainant shall obtain decree for the same amount of money claimed together with expenses permitted by court.

But Mr Banyenzaki, on Friday said the claim is false and threatened to deal with the complainant for tainting his name.

“The claims are false and aimed at tainting my reputation. That man must be mad because I have never contracted him. I have not received the demand notice as of now but I am ready to challenge it,” Mr Banyenzaki said.

The State witness in the loss of pension in Uganda fears to come to court. The Judge is not happy about it:

Prison warders escort former Public Service permanent secretary Jimmy

Prison warders escort former Public Service permanent secretary Jimmy Lwamafa (R) and former Principal Accountant Christopher Obey (L) to the Anti-Corruption Court for a hearing of their case recently. PHOTO BY DOMINIC BUKENYA

By BETTY NDAGIRE


Posted  Tuesday, December 22   2015 

Kampala, UGANDA:

The Anti-Corruption Court Judge Lawrence Gidudu yesterday expressed dissatisfaction over the State’s failure to present a witness to testify against key suspects in the Shs88 billion pension scam.

The suspects include former permanent secretary in the ministry of Public Service Jimmy Lwamafa, former Principal Accountant Christopher Obey, and former director research and development Stephen Kiwanuka Kunsa.

Hearing of their case was set to proceed with submission by the acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Public Service, Ms Adah Kabarokole Muwanga, but she failed to show up before court on grounds that she was unwell.

This is the second time she failed to show up.

This second instance annoyed Justice Gidudu who proposed they deal with her (Muwanga’s) testimony, saying her absence was a sign that she might never appear.

However, the prosecutor, Ms Ms Barbra Kawuma, pleaded with court to avail her another chance to be heard, arguing that Ms Muwanga’s evidence is crucial for their case and being a civil servant, she has obligation to show up to testify and court should be granted another chance.

Postponement

Consequently, the judge allowed prosecution until January 8, 2016, and threatened to reconsider releasing the suspects on bail.

Justice Gidudu explained that in criminal law, when suspects are on remand, their trial should be speeded and that if the prosecution is continuously dragging its feet, then he will be obliged to release the suspects on bail.

Currently, prosecution is left with six witnesses who should testify before the end of February 2016, for court to rule on whether, the suspects have a case to answer.

The suspects have been on remand since August this year and two different judges have on two different occasions, denied to release the suspects on bail, agreeing with the prosecution that once out of jail, they will jeopardise investigations like they did in the initial pension case of Shs165 billion that was dismissed.

The trio is accused of fraudulently budgeting for over Shs88 billion of civil servants’ pension contribution to National Social Security Fund (NSSF) well knowing that civil servants don’t contribute to NSSF.


bndagire@ug.

nationmdia.com

 

The Judiciary of Uganda has been instructed to repay Shs94m that was swindled by court officials who have run away from their jobs:

Deputy IGG Mariam Wangadya

The Deputy IGG Mariam Wangadya reading out the order 

 

1st October, 2018

 

By Ephraim Kasozi

Kampala- The Inspector General of Government (IGG) has ordered the Judiciary to refund $26,000 (about Shs93.6m), which was shared by court officials at the Makindye-based Family Court.

The money had been deposited to court for ‘safe custody’ upon an order pending disposal of a divorce case between Ms Rachael Kisakye Nalukwago and then estranged husband Ryan Nobert Kaminski, an American citizen, in February 2016.

“This is, therefore, to direct you to, within 45 days, refund the $25,924 that was deposited with the court to Ms Rachael Kisakye Nalukwago Kaminski and Mr Ryan Nobert Kaminski and thereafter pursue Mr Paul Mwemeke (former cashier) with a view to prosecuting him and recovering the said sum of money from him,” Deputy IGG Mariam Wangadya ordered.

In the September 13 order to the Judiciary permanent secretary, Mr Kagole Kivumbi, the ombudsman observed that the Judiciary is liable and should refund the money to the parties.

Ms Wangadya also ordered the Judiciary to update the Inspectorate on the development within 60 days from the date of receipt of the order. 
Mr Kivumbi confirmed receipt of the directive. “As you read in the report, the money was never received by the Judiciary, so I am still consulting the Solicitor General on how to implement the (IGG) directive,” Mr Kivumbi said in a telephone interview.

The matter
The IGG directive was in regard to a complaint in which High Court Registrar Justine Atukwasa and Mr Mwemeke were accused of stealing $25,924, which had been deposited by the litigants.

Upon mediation of the case, a consent agreement was signed and, among others, the couple agreed to share the money but the registrar and the cashier failed to pay it back.

“In an internal memo dated March 29, 2017, to the Secretary to the Judiciary, Mr Mwemeke acknowledged failing to avail the money when the parties to the divorce cause demanded for it on March 10, 2018. In the same memo, he apologised and undertook to refund the money within three months,” reads the IGG letter, adding that Mr Mwemeke has since disappeared.

According to the IGG, Mr Mwemeke did not bank the money on the Judiciary account. “It was established that the petitioner deposited the said funds with the High Court Family Division and not an individual following a lawful decision from the same court and the funds could not be refunded to the parties because its employee, Mr Mwemeke, spent the funds,” reads the report.

ekasozi@ug.nationmedia.com

 

 

 

 

 

The NRM speaker of the Uganda Parliament, M/s Kadaga has ordered Gen Tumwiine to vacate Nommo Gallery over Shs 2bn rent arrears:

9 May, 2018

Written by Josephine Namuloki

Speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga has ordered Security minister, Gen Elly Tumwiine to vacate Nommo gallery or pay Shs 1.6 billion outstanding rent arrears accumulated since 1998.

Parliament launched an investigation into Gen Tumwiine’s occupancy of Nommo gallery, a public facility set up by Ugandan and foreign artists in 1964.

 

Nommo gallery. Photo credit: visitkampala.net 

 

The artists established Nommo gallery located in Nakasero in 1964 under the 1959 Act of Parliament, a component of Uganda National Cultural Centre (UNCC) and features exhibitions of works of art.

According to the parliamentary committee on Gender, Labour and Social Development report, Creations Limited, a private company owned by Gen Tumwine has been occupying Nommo Gallery since 1998 but the bush war and art-loving general has never paid rent to UNCC.

The report presented to House by committee chairperson MP Alex Ndeezi (PWDs-Central) indicates that efforts to have Gen Tumwine pay rent arrears to a tune of Shs 1.6 billion (as of 2017) continue to be a nightmare. Moreover, every financial year, state funds are allocated for the maintenance of Nommo gallery.

“I think it’s a serious indictment of this House that we have been budgeting for Nommo gallery, when it has been appropriated by one individual. If we don’t stop this impunity, one day someone will come and take over parliament and say, ‘this is my house. I fought in the bush war’ yes…so honourable members, this House directs Hon Tumwine to pay the rent or to vacate because it’s a [Nommo gallery] public facility,” Kadaga said.

“We also want to know from ministry of Gender, which has been receiving this money [that] we budget for? These are public funds, we want an answer about this money before we pass your [Gender ministry] budget,” Kadaga added.

The committee’s recommendations include prevailing over Gen Tumwine to vacate the public facility (Nommo gallery) and his company, Creations Limited to pay rent arrears to a tune of Shs 1.62 billion before the end of this year.

“By 2017, rent arrears had accumulated to Shs 1, 620, 100, 000 and the auditor general has raised concerns over the same matter,” Ndeezi said.

“For the FY 2018/19, Shs 44.6 million has been set aside for the same purpose,” Ndeezi added.

Budadiri West MP Nathan Nandala-Mafabi on a point of information, recounted how the general recently invited MP colleagues to a house warming party in his village.

“Hon Tumwine has built a Shs 5 billion Nommo gallery in his home district Kiruhura. He has transferred the Nommo gallery from Kampala to Kiruhura,” Nandala-Mafabi said.

Aruu MP Odonga Otto wondered if parliament could not withhold Tumwine’s emoluments since Nommo gallery that his company manages has defaulted on rent payment for 20 years.

Ndeezi committee also recommended that the annual Shs 44.6 million be re-allocated to National Council for Disabilities to procure office furniture and equipment.

“No funds should be appropriated to Nommo gallery for maintenance until all rent arrears have been recovered,” Ndeezi said.

Previous efforts to force Tumwiine to pay rent or vacate the gallery have been futile.

namuloki16@gmail.com

Nb

It is alright to vacate the premises but one reckons the rent arrears must be paid. One understands this tennant and his boss want to go back to the bushes of Luweero to run their determinations there. Well it might be much easier for the owners of this International Art Gallery to quickly collect their dues before these African culprits disapear into thin air as was the case during 1980!

 

 

 

 

 

Who is Sam Mugumya?

 

Members of Forum for Democratic Change in a demonstration for the release

of Sam Mugumya Photo by Abubaker Lubowa

By IVAN OKUDA 

 

Posted  Thursday, November 13   2014

 

You have probably seen placards with the words ‘Release Sam Mugumya Now’ and if you don’t follow politics, may be wondering who this man is. An aide of Forum for Democratic Change’s Dr Kizza Besigye, Mugumya has been missing for days hence the placards. But who is this man that his whereabouts have caused such a reaction.

 

The tag “blue-eyed boy” comes to mind when Ugandans remember the devotion late Brig Noble Mayombo paid to his boss, President Museveni.

His was a dare-devil approach when working for and with the President. At one time as bodyguard Mayombo publicly knelt down to tie his master’s shoe laces.

Mayombo’s surreal sharp voice on radio pierced your ear and tickled your heart with intellectually polished arguments on matters of economics and politics and to say he worshipped his President would not be to stretch hyperbole a tad far.

Uganda’s political arena has not seen a young man deeply embedded in the life and works of a political figure that much – until Sam Mugumya and Francis Mwijukye arrived for Dr Kizza Besigye, another powerful political brand in the country.

Mugumya who finds himself thrust in the limelight following his arrest, at least as per the official Uganda People’s Defence Force’s account, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, has been by Besigye’s side for a decade.

His whereabouts remain a mystery

The government and army continue to face the verbal wrath of activists who are losing sleep over his continued absence.

Army spokesman Paddy Ankunda told this newspaper, “We have left that matter to the ministry of Foreign Affairs to deal with our Congolese friends and have the fellow brought here.”

The army claims the aide to the former Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) president was engaged in subversive activity and was arrested with dollars and sensitive documents.

Dr Besigye on the other hand told journalists recently that this is a ploy to frame him, ahead of the 2016 general elections.

“He has been a subject of persistent and intense persecution from the Ugandan regime. He has been arrested, tortured and detained for several times. It is highly possible that Mugumya was kidnapped from his home area in a fresh attempt by the regime to create a rebel group and criminalise us with it,” Dr Besigye said.

His fears come against the grim background of the 2006 elections in which he was charged, with among other offences, rape and terrorism which attract a maximum death sentence. He would later be acquitted by retired High Court judge John Bosco Katutsi who ridiculed the state for bringing up evidence so weak as not to even secure a conviction for a chicken thief.

The judge called it an amateurish job at blackmail.

Now, the government’s insistence that Mugumya was up to some mischief also comes against the backdrop of an opposition that has publicly vowed to make Uganda ungovernable.

Mugumya’s arrest and detention thereof has since offered fodder for speculation from the public and conspiracy theories, with some alleging Mugumya could have been duped by State agents within the FDC to go to Congo and later trapped innocently. In other circles, it is said, Mugumya is being held as a bet by the Congolese authorities who are in negotiation with both the government and opposition and the highest bidder could take the day.

The other account being peddled by renegade General David Sejusa is that Mugumya might be held up in a safe house in Kampala. All these and more accounts of events and versions of the truth of the story cannot be independently verified but at least they confirm the fact that Mugumya, at any rate, is a prized catch for the regime but more importantly, a delicate asset for the opposition, where he has been the “Mayombo” of the country’s biggest opposition politician.

 

So, who is Mugumya?

 

      Mugumya and other opposition members in a show of support for
                           Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago. 

In the last two years alone, Mugumya has been detained at least 60 times. Perhaps, no Ugandan has had stints and stunts with police as frequent as his, Dr Besigye and another close aide currently drumming up efforts for his release, Francis Mwijukye.

In a digest, Mugumya was one man ready to put his life on the line if only that serves the interests and aspirations of his icon and colleague in the struggle, Dr Besigye.

“Besigye espouses the values I stand for. He is an activist,” Mugumya said in a newspaper interview in 2010 when asked about his fascination with Museveni’s former personal doctor.

 

Where Besigye goes, so does Mugumya

This has seen him go far and wide. What Besigye has gone through and seen, Mugumya has gone through and seen. If it is the bile from the regime, he has taken it with him, if it is honey from the same establishment; their tongues have surely licked from the same saucer. This is made more intriguing by the fact that his physical appearance is almost a mirror image of Besigye’s, with the face giving the two an almost fraternal image. He is the replica of Dr Besigye’s popping eye balls that roll when he is stressing a point, his body literally moving along with every word that energetically comes out. You don’t have to disagree with the government to appreciate the power of articulation, the contagious strength in passion, and the zeal that is written on the face in bold letters when Mugumya, Mwijukye or Besigye speak.

When a plain clothed police officer, Bwana Arinaitwe unleashed a teargas canister unto Besigye’s eyes, crashing his car screens with a pistol butt, Mugumya was there.

“I was in the car with Dr Besigye and Mugumya when that police man sprayed our eyes, ears and mouth with tear gas. Sam was taken to the van and he was hit with a gun as police men continued to spray him,” Mwijukye says, adding, “80 per cent of the time Mugumya has been arrested I have been with him. There is nothing new the state is doing, they consider him a criminal and have always arrested him out of the blue for planning crime.”

In detention

In 2010, as the two activists walked out of Nakumatt shopping mall in central Kampala at 8pm, a police patrol pick up filled with mean-looking, security operatives made a menacing stop before them. The officers descended on the two, 10 police men viciously forcing Mugumya into the car and others kicking him from toe to head. The two were detained in different police stations, first charged with planning to commit crime, then inciting violence and later terrorism, alongside firebrand activist, Ingrid Turinawe.

That arrest would see the two men spend two months in Luzira prison and released upon paying cash bail of Shs5m each. Mwijukye received a ban for two years from the city, and was literally deported to Bushenyi and ordered to only leave that district with permission from state authorities till the case was disposed of. The two were acquitted and have never been convicted on any charge.

Andrew Karamagi, a lawyer and civil society activist who has had his own share of hide and seek with the police in the course of activism says, “His sacrifice, intellectual capacities, leadership abilities and service to his political party and youth, are self-evident.”

He adds, “His resilience, Spartan discipline and fortitude in the midst of ceaseless persecution and malicious prosecution he has suffered in the hands of the regime, despite it all he has remained the embodiment of valour, rectitude and service above self.” When Besigye emerged in 2001 as President Museveni’s opposition, Mugumya, then at Makerere University in the early 2000s was an opposition activist, and a member of the Reform Agenda.

Besigye’s right hand man

Since then, he became the fulcrum of Besigye’s activism. When he returned from exile in South Africa in 2005, Mugumya became his personal assistant and aide. During the 2006 and 2011 campaigns, he carried his files, received his calls, managed his programme, appointments and bought newspapers for his boss early morning. When the former FDC leader was still party president, Mugumya sat in his office and managed his correspondences, and itinerary. And there lies the glue of closeness.

“We are full time activists, some Ugandans must become full time activists if we are to liberate this country, we cannot be half time change makers,” Mwijukye says.

His background

Mugumya was born in 1979 in the western district of Rukungiri to Emmanuel Turyomurugyendo and Edinat in a family of five siblings.

He went to a school in Kasese district for his primary education before joining Muntuyera High School in Ntungamo and later Makerere University where he studied social sciences, majoring in political science. He graduated in 2006.

It was at Makerere that he cut his teeth in activism with the Reform Agenda, now FDC as general secretary of the party’s youth league. He was arrested in 2002 while delivering Christmas cards to former army commander James Kazini at Bombo barracks which Besigye sent to influential personalities.

He has not had formal employment after university and reportedly lives on hand outs from friends and well-wishers, arguing that he will get a job when the country has better leadership. He stood for MP Rukungiri Municipality in 2011 and lost.

In an earlier interview with this newspaper, Mugumya confessed his admiration for revolutionary icons Che Guevara and Machiavelli, saying his first girlfriend left him because she could not stand his extremist activism.

His humble background partly shapes his appreciation of Uganda’s governance questions and forms the fuel of his driving force. Mwijukye who last spoke to him three weeks ago says, “We come from a humble background so we are touched by inequality and the poverty this regime has created intentionally. You have schools, hospitals for the rich and poor. We want to change this.” When he is not engaged in frontline activism, Mugumya spends his time reading biographies and literature on revolutions and later catches up with friends in the evening.

Wherever Mugumya is, his close allies say, he is not shaken, he is only made stronger by adversity, his muscle of resolve has been thickened by the over 15 years of activism and passion driven by limitless conviction. City lawyer Julius Galisonga says he knows not of many young men who are incorruptible and resolute. For now, his future hangs in balance, what is clear though is that his detention is only part of an everyday struggle.

 

COMMENT FROM FOREIGN AFFAIRES

 

“We have asked Uganda’s ambassador in Kinshasa to inquire about Mugumya’s case. We cannot operate in another country. Normally, when something is on security matters, we handle it with care. If a Ugandan citizen is arrested by another government in a war zone, it is a serious affair,”

James Mugume, the permanent secretary, ministry of Foreign Affairs

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

Filter:

Latest Posts

In Acholi, Gulu , Forum for Democratic Change political party councillors  have met  Museveni and he has given them money to incite them to leave their party as 2016 National Elections approaches. 

 
By JULIUS OCUNGI

 

Posted  Thursday, May 7  2015
 

Gulu, ACHOLI, 

Five Gulu District councillors have come under criticism from the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party leaders over their secret meeting with President Museveni last week.

Mr Olweny Balington P’Ongwec (Bungatira Sub-county), Mr Kenneth Nyeko (Ongako Sub-county), Mr Wadock Francisco Awori (Koro Sub-county), Mr Chris Owen (Palaro Sub-county) and Mr Francis Komakech (Patiko Sub-county) allegedly met the President last week when he was in the district to launch the NRM members’ registration exercise.

During the meeting that reportedly took place at the 4th Division Barracks in Gulu Town, the councillors reportedly accused the district chairman, Mr Martin Mapenduzi, of abetting corruption in the district.

It is also alleged that each councilor received Shs2 million from Mr Museveni to cross to the NRM.

Mr Mapenduzi, who is also the district FDC chairman, told Daily Monitor yesterday that the councillors tarnished his name for cheap popularity.

“The councillors were taken to meet Mr Museveni by RDC Catherine Lamwaka and Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah. They were given money and promised jobs if they crossed to NRM,” said Mr Mapenduzi.

“As FDC, we shall take very tough measures against these councillors. We know they have become moles in our party and are now being used to spy on us, we shall deal with them,” he added.

Addressing a press conference in Gulu Town on Tuesday, some of the councilors acknowledged meeting the President but added that it was for service delivery reasons.

“We have been yearning to meet Mr Museveni on issues of service delivery in our areas. That was not a political move but rather a decision we undertook to address the concerns of our people regarding development,” Mr Nyeko said.

He noted that their motive was to solicit for support directly from the President to benefit residents and also to alert him about corruption abetted by some district leaders.

“We are soliciting for money for the local saving groups in our areas of jurisdiction, but our biggest issue is also the skyrocketing corruption tendencies in the district. Many things are happening and some of the district leaders are the ones at the forefront,” Mr Nyeko said.

Mr Komakech, who is also the district FDC spokesperson, said there was nothing wrong with meeting the President.

He also refuted allegations that they received Shs2 million and defected to NRM, arguing that they are still FDC members.

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

 

A government lawyer who Prosecutes criminals has been charged over a bribe demand:

By ANTHONY WESAKA

Posted  Sunday, May 10   2015

 

Kampala, UGANDA:

Mubende Resident State Attorney Patrick Obbo Oneko, was on Friday evening arraigned before the Kololo-based Anti-Corruption Court and charged for asking and receiving a bribe of Shs500,000. In exchange, Mr Oneko was not to prefer murder charge against a suspect.

Mr Oneko, who appeared before Grade One Magistrate Susan Okeny, denied the related charges.

He was released on a cash bail of Shs1.5 million.

Each of his three sureties was told to pay a non-cash bond of Shs50 million.

The IGG, who is prosecuting the matter, claims Mr Oneko on or around April 30, at the Mubende Directorate of Public Prosecutions, corruptly solicited a gratification of Shs500,000 from Mr Francis Katuura, a resident of Kiganda village in Mubende District.

Why the bribe

The kick-back, according to the IGG, was to act as inducement to prevent Mr Obbo from preferring a charge of murder against Mr Katuura’s brother in-law, Mr Gordon Muwange.

Further, the prosecution in count two alleged that Mr Oneko on May 5, received the said bribe from Mr Katuura before being arrested with the money.

During the court proceedings, the IGG representative, Mr Yusuf Kiwanda, asked the presiding magistrate to deny Mr Oneko access to his office given the fact that he now faces criminal charges.

But in her response, the magistrate declined to issues the same orders before referring Mr Kiwanda to liaise with the IGG and the DPP in order to have the same orders effected.

Under the Public Service Standing Orders, when a civil servant is charged with a criminal offence, he/she is suspended to pave way for the investigations and also earns half pay.

Further, the court directed that Mr Obbo’s passport be surrendered to the court for custody.

The case was adjourned to May 21 for mention of the case.

awesaka@ug.nationmedia.com

 

PRISON SHOULD BE CALLED CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTE.

Posted on 13th November, 2014
Lucy Nakyobe in parliament

Revelations that taxpayers funded President Museveni’s re-election bid expose unfairness of 2016 elections

The recent confession by State House and some Presidency ministry officials that they exhausted their allotted funds for the 2015/16 financial year on recent presidential campaigns has come under fire from several political and civil society actors, who describe it as ‘total abuse of public funds with impunity.’

As parliament’s budget committee tussled with an avalanche of supplementary budget requests late last week, which totalled Shs 1.04 trillion, some officials confessed that they emptied their initial budget allocations in order to sustain President Museveni’s campaign expenditure.

State House comptroller, Lucy Nakyobe, whose office tabled a supplementary budget request of Shs 49.7 billion, told the parliamentary budget committee on April 1 that her coffers were depleted by the so many inland travels of President Museveni, who addressed four campaign rallies daily on average for the campaign period.

Four rallies, she said, meant more fuel for the 18-vehicle standard presidential motorcade and facilitation for the entourage. According to Nakyobe, Museveni also spent a large chunk of the money initially allocated to State House to fulfil presidential donations he had made across the country.

A number of top government officials led by the minister of state for Planning, David Bahati, appeared before the budget committee last week chaired by MP Amos Lugoloobi (Ntengeru North) to defend their supplementary budget requests.

Defence permanent secretary Rosette Byengoma told the committee that her ministry spent more money than originally allocated to them on wages for UPDF officers and men who worked during campaigns, elections and post-election period.

The minister of state for Agriculture, Vincent Sempijja, and the officer in-charge of Planning and Agricultural Development, Sam Semanda, told the committee that their sector is in dire need of Shs 6bn to procure hoes for the people of West Nile.

The duo, however, found a hard time. MPs argued that they need to investigate the claim because there is evidence that all MPs from West Nile got hoes during campaigns to distribute to their people.

Other requests for additional funding before the current financial year ends in May 2016 came from the ministries of Defence (Shs 253bn), Local Government (Shs 23bn), Energy (Shs 24.4bn) and Agriculture (Shs 6bn), as well as the parliamentary commission (Shs 66.6bn) and Police (Shs 56.3bn).

 

ABUSE OF FUNDS

However, corruption watchdogs such as Cissy Kagaba, the executive director of Anti-Corruption Coalition Uganda (ACCU), say the confessions by the public servants is tantamount to an admission that they wasted public funds to serve the interests of an individual.

“It is not surprising that the Public Finance Management Act was quickly amended to remove that whole component of supplementary budgets.”

Ahead of the 2016 general elections, the government hastily tabled before parliament and enforced the passing of amendments to the Public Finance Management Act which, among other things, to allow officials spend money and seek parliamentary approval later.

The opposition chief whip, Cecilia Atim Ogwal, argued that unless the State House budget included buying food for people reportedly dying from hunger in Karamoja and Teso, the supplementary budget is uncalled for.

“The Public Finance Management Act states that the supplementary budget must be on matters that are unavoidable and emergencies. Go back and reconsider fixing those demands in the coming budget,” Ogwal said, arguing that inland travels had been taken care of in the current financial year’s budget.

Kagaba told The Observer that the claim by State House’s Nakyobe that some of the money went into donations to fulfill the president’s promises was a sign of the breakdown of systems within the Museveni-led government.

“It shows that the system has failed because; how do you donate taxpayers’ money? What are the criteria you use to donate this money? We don’t even know what is inside those envelopes; so, one can come and say it was Shs 200,000 and yet it was Shs 100,000. You only donate that which belongs to you but you don’t donate taxpayers’ money because how do you come and account for it?”

MPs Ephraim Biraaro and Fox Odoi argued that it was embarrassing for State House to expect a supplementary budget to take care of donations instead of unforeseen emergencies.

“Poverty is foreseen and everyone knows Ugandans are poor. Donations should be given to deserving cases and if not paid, the promise erodes and should not fall under supplementary budgets,” Odoi (West Budama North) said.

Museveni campaigns in Hoima

The coordinator for the Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (Ccedu), Crispy Kaheru, said the issue of an incumbent running for re-election poses a challenge to attempts to level the playing field, especially where the incumbent has the capacity to use public funds during campaigns without the need to account to anyone.

“There is that grey area between President Museveni and candidate Museveni during the election period. It is costing the country very heavily,” he said. “Lawmakers must rein in on the spending of security agencies and State House by reforming the question of incumbency, which even the [Supreme court] judges talked about in their ruling.”

Kaheru suggested that the reforms should include the incumbent handing over his office to the next in the hierarchy in the event that he intends to run again for office, as well as setting benchmarks on what presidential privileges he or she retains as a candidate.

But MPs Col Fred Mwesigye (Nyabushozi), Peter Ogwang (Youth Eastern) and Joseph Kiregheya Matte (Bughendera) said it was necessary to approve the supplementary budgets to enable the president and State House to work.

The minister for the Presidency, Frank Tumwebaze, said there is nothing unusual or illegal in the move by State House to fund the president’s movements and other activities during the elections. He described the outcry as part of “their usual reckless allegations.”

He also welcomed the proposal to amend the constitution such that a sitting president enjoys fewer privileges but said the government would not deny the president his entitlements simply because of complaints that are not backed by law.

“Whether you like it or not, he is the president of Uganda; so, you are not going to expose him to risks simply because he is seeking re-election,” he said.

 

SPECIAL PLENARY SESSION

The supplementary budget requests of more than Shs 1 trillion come barely six months after the national budget of Shs 24 trillion was presented and approved in May 2015.

Parliament has now summoned MPs for a special plenary session on Wednesday to approve the supplementary budget requests despite an adjournment last week (March, 29) until April 26.

MPs have been spending the time scrutinising ministerial policy statements from sector ministries and statutory bodies for financial year 2016/2017. A source on the budget committee, who declined to be named so as to be able to speak freely, said most of the money the ministries and statutory bodies are asking for was diverted and spent on presidential campaigns.

“Those ministries and agencies had enough funds but decided to divert it for presidential campaigns. They are now pretending that there’s an outstanding shortfall on wages and so on,” the source said.

Other entities asking for more money include the Electoral Commission, which wants Shs 47.2bn to cover shortfalls incurred in the acquisition of the electronic results transmission system. External partners who were supposed to provide additional funding pulled out at a critical stage.

The EC will also use some of that money to pay up the balance on the Biometric Voter Verification system. The External Security Organisation (ESO) wants Shs 2bn to run its counterterrorism operations against the Al Shabaab, ADF, and monitoring the Albertine region. Shs 14.9bn is for missions abroad and Shs 7.2bn for the ministry of East African Community Affairs.

 

newseditor@observer.ug

hobenon@observer.ug

President Museveni didn’t forego any comfort in 1981. He saved well his person from prison.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash money kept at most homes in Uganda.

 

 

By Nick T. Twinamatsiko

Posted  Monday, November 10  2014 

 

Whereas Besigye, finding himself in similar circumstances in 2001, opted for exile and (subsequently) imprisonment, Museveni opted for armed rebellion.

 
 Speaking in Jinja recently, the eloquent Deputy Speaker of Parliament Mr Jacob Oulanyah described President Museveni as a heroic figure who snubbed the alternative of a comfortable life, complete with air-conditioned offices and cars, to go to the bush.

I don’t know whether Oulanyah was referring to 1971 or 1981; either way, he was wrong. Museveni’s options in 1981 were similar to those that came to be Kizza Besigye’s two decades later: exile, imprisonment or armed rebellion.

Indeed, in a 2011 interview with Charles Onyango-Obbo, former premier Kintu Musoke revealed that after the 1981 elections, the UPM leaders held a meeting to chart the way forward and, after the majority had resolved on the pacifist option, Museveni told them: “You can do whatever you want. But, as for me, I will not sit here and wait for Obote’s people to come and arrest me. I will fight them.”

Whereas Besigye, finding himself in similar circumstances in 2001, opted for exile and (subsequently) imprisonment, Museveni opted for armed rebellion.

Those who have probed into the circumstances surrounding the 1971 coup also reveal that when Museveni fled the country on January 26, he did so under the promptings of self-preservation since he was on coup makers’ hit list.

Museveni has never forfeited the alternative of an “air-conditioned” life. If Oulanyah is looking for a hero in the mould of the Biblical Moses who, according to Hebrews 11, forfeited palatial pleasures to suffer the afflictions of the wilderness, he should consider Maj Gen Mugisha Muntu, and perhaps join the Forum for Democratic Change.

Museveni has never made such a choice, and whereas it’s fine to sing the praises of our heroes, such praise shouldn’t be at the expense of historical truth.

The really remarkable thing about Museveni’s story is that he accepted the thorny bed that destiny had made for him, and after lying on it long enough, got a reward from the very same destiny.

Let nobody fool us that victory either in 1979 or in 1986 was a function of superior military strategy. In 1978, Idi Amin, by invading Tanzania, gave the exiles the victory they would never have otherwise got.

These exiles, Museveni included, had been thoroughly defeated and humiliated in Mbarara in 1972, and they had hit a dead end and settled in other careers before Amin’s impetuous invasion gave them a lifeline.

Similarly, the triumph of 1986 is attributable to the tribal fissures within the UNLA that deepened after the death of Oyite Ojok and resulted in the 1985 coup.

The truth then is that Museveni fought because he was cornered by circumstances, and his road to triumph was paved by the folly and weaknesses of his enemies more than it was paved by his own wisdom and strength.

There was an unmistakable hand of destiny in the whole affair, which is why there may be some truth in the claim that he was anointed to lead us. But remember the Biblical Saul. He too was anointed to lead Israel, and then after he went astray, the anointing was withdrawn and given to David.

Just like his predecessors, Museveni will come down because of the folly and weaknesses of his regime, rather than the wisdom and strength of his challengers.

Increasingly, corruption and incompetence are becoming the defining characteristics of his government. Due to the poor quality of education, most civil servants cannot systematically study the problems of society and devise efficient and effective solutions. Instead, these civil servants are busy pilfering public funds.

Several security agencies intervened in the pension funds fraud because the scale of the theft was considered a potential threat to national security.

 

Actually, all corruption threatens national security because money is ending up in a few undeserving hands, and the millions of desperate youth will, like the Museveni of 1981, find themselves with no alternative but to take matters in their own hands.

 

 

 

Money problems in the Parliament of Uganda:

 

SUNDAY, 02 NOVEMBER 2014

BY FLAVIA NASSAKA

                  

                        MPs earn big, but are deep in debt

 

Cash flow equals income minus expenses. Some members of Uganda's parliament clearly skipped that personal finance management class. Among them are Felix Okot Ogong, Nakato Kyabanji Katusiime, Florence Kintu, and Simon Peter Aleper. All of them earn quite a bit of money and all of them are so deep in debt it has made headlines.

Florence Kintu, the MP for Kalungu had her land in Mukono confiscated for failure to clear a Shs300 million debt and Dokolo MP, Felix Okot Ogong was in July rescued by the High Court when a bank moved to sell off a property he had mortgaged for a Shs1.6 billion loan.

Ironically, Okot Ogong who is also a money-lender, had in July 2013 dragged fellow MP Simon Peter Aleper (Moroto) to court over a Shs70 million loan. Ogong was charging a loan-shark fee of 5% interest per month.

Other MPs, like Christopher Aciro of Gulu have been accused of misappropriating funds generated by their constituents. In Aciro’ case, he reportedly mismanaged about Shs28 million belonging to 170 savings groups in the Acholi sub-region.

Money troubles are nothing new in parliament but they are worsening. During the induction of the current parliament, the Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga who has been in parliament for over two-decades warned the new MPs to avoid loan sharks. Very few were listening. When reality sunk in a few months later, the MPs demanded a 50% raise in their allowances. But it appears not to have helped. Recently, some MPs from the ruling party appealed to President Yoweri Museveni for a bail-out. It failed and the desperate MPs turned to a Chinese firm which offered to buy their debt and offer them better repayment terms. That too was blocked.

Even as the MPs cash flow problems appear not to abate, Kadaga recently threw the MPs to the sharks when she called a press conference to warn that her office would no longer second MPs loan requests to banks.

Rosemary Seninde, the Wakiso Woman MP who sits on the Commission that took the decision defended it.  She said the role of Parliament now is to introduce the individual as a legislator. “Beyond that, the relationship remains between an individual and the bank so that upon failure to pay parliament is not to blame.”

Insider information from parliament indicates that Kadaga acted because some MPs, fearing that all their money would be taken by banks, had started asking parliament to post their cheques on different accounts. Some would hide within the precinct of parliament as bailiffs waited outside.

No money literacy

Gomba Woman MP, Nakato Kyabanji Katusiime is among the unlucky ones. She was on Aug. 26 arrested for failure to repay a Shs100 million debt. Upon her release after paying an instalment of Shs20 million, she blames her constituency for her woes.

“The constituency demands are too high for a mere MP to afford,” she told The Independent in an interview.

But when Daily Monitor newspaper run the story; “Gomba Woman MP sent to jail over debt” on the day she was sent to jail, there was no sympathy in reader comments.

David Luttu said: “This is such a shame. Just a quick research on Google, our honourable MPs earn about Shs15 million a month, give and take. If at all they spend Shs5 million on work-related stuff… that leaves them with Shs10 million disposable income. This honourable MP should be able to pay this loan with interest in 10 months without causing the rest of us shame…Am sorry but she and others like her do not deserve to enter the gates of parliament.”

Another reader, Masiga, said: “Talk of broke and reckless parliamentarians. Why borrow such huge money that is beyond your means?”

Sabiitus wrote: “Let her not only be taken to prison but also made to work like others”.

Even fellow MPs, like Serere woman MP Alice Alaso, rubbish the excuse that MPs borrow to fulfil their constituency obligations. She says some MPs, especially new ones, spend extravagantly and live lavishly.

“How can you explain the scenario where one commits his entire salary to attending burials, wedding and paying voters’ school fees? To me, that’s biting more than we can chew and it’s definitely because some of us are financially illiterate”, she argues.

Without financial literacy, some MPs appear unable to understand how money works; including how to earn it, manages it, invest it and spend it. They appear not to know how to make informed and effective decisions with all of their financial resources.

The Parliamentary Commission is aware of this problem and occasionally outsources experts to talk to the MPs about money.

“Unfortunately these expert chats are one offs yet financial illiteracy has played a bigger part in the members’ indebtedness,” says Alaso.

This has also been noted and, Seninde says, members of the next parliament should be trained quickly to avoid the money troubles that have become common in the 9th parliament.

Equally disturbing is the lack of sympathy for MPs among voters.

A Daily Monitor reader called Rambo possibly summed it up: “This culture of entitlement by MPs should be eradicated. They are acting with impunity… Let her stay in jail!”

That appears to be the general feeling.

Many people in a country where the average income per month is about Shs80, 000 cannot understand why MPs who appear to earn quite a pile cannot pay their debts.

In reality, the MPs basic salary is just Shs2.6 million per month before tax – just about as much as that of a small time bank officer. But the MPs have other perks; around Shs3.5 million mileage facilitation, Shs3.2 million constituency facilitation, Shs4.5 million subsistence allowance, Shs1 million gratuity, Shs1 million town running, medical allowances, Shs50,000 per committee sitting, and travel facilitation when they go for trips domestic and foreign.

The various allowances make computing an MP’s salary quite confusing even for some of them, but it is generally said that MPs earn between Shs15 million and Shs20 million per month.

Unfortunately, the perks bounty is no assured unless the MPs is street-wise, belongs to the right networks, and knows how to juggle multiple tasks. Foreign travel is one of the most coveted perks, but it is tightly controlled and used as carrot and stick. You do not get unless you press the right buttons.  MP Alice Alaso says “it is embarrassing how MPs pop from meeting to meeting not because they are discussing issues but they are looking for allowances”.

Semujju Nganda (MP Kyadondo East) is more direct: He says the biggest business at parliament is looking for money and that “members reach an extent of going to an event, sign, and rush to another one.” He says the MPs sign for events that happen within the same time.

“They come to meetings without any clue; they just come to pick allowances,” he says. That perhaps explains why the MPs had in their budget proposals for the 2014/15 Financial Year, asked that their salaries and allowance be `consolidated into one package’.  The Ministry of Finance knocked down the proposal because it would raise the wage bill by 30%. Unofficially, however, many recognise that giving MPs financial stability amounts to throwing away the executive’s carrot and stick. Not a good idea.

Fake prosperity

But the misperception of the MPs true worth persists because some MPs have managed to navigate their complex financial lives without much trouble. The prosperous façade of a few fools many as it glosses over the indebted many.  Unfortunately, those taken in by the façade of prosperity include the MPs themselves, their voters, and the banks.

It starts in the beginning when, at the start of each five year term, the MPs; new and old, are given a motor vehicle allowance. For the current MPs, that was Shs103 million each tax free. An average Four-wheel SUV favoured by most MPs goes for about Shs50 million. The balance goes into acquiring a new wardrobe befitting their new status. Next comes a change in lifestyle; including acquiring a new, large and modern mansion in the city.

The banks proper may shun them, but private money lenders are on hand to help. They easily give loans of Shs100 million and over. With the new SUV, city mansion, and cash in the bag, the fake new make-over is in place.

It is not surprising, therefore, that in spite of the well document troubles, to be a member of parliament is one of the most attractive jobs in Uganda.

Contenders usually start laying strategies for winning the next election immediately after an election. This is what exactly took place in Fort Portal Municipality when Alex Ruhunda won the parliamentary seat in 2011. As early as 2012, aspirants started moving around the villages, meeting voters in markets, mosques, and churches and making campaign promises. With such pressure on the MP; that someone is eyeing their seat, the incumbent MPs never go out of campaign mode and the spending that goes with it.

Richard Mugisa, a village opinion leader at Bukwali village in East Division, Fort Portal Municipality says Ruhunda is quite a common figure in the constituency. Mugisa says apart from building for each homestead an energy saving stove, the legislator has made financial contributions to the Bukwali Youth Creative Club, a youth Savings and Credit Cooperative (SACCO).

Awidah Kabagenyi from Kagote, another village in West Division, is also among those who have enjoyed Ruhunda’s generosity. Kabagenyi says, as their patron in Nikisoboka SACCO, Ruhunda “fills in the gaps whenever some money is needed”.

In addition to that, the legislator is defined by many in the constituency as one of their own because he stands with them in both moments of joy and sorrow, in parties and at funerals. The voters expect it of every MP and they do not care how much it costs the MP. After, they say, MPs are wealthy.

Nobody asks the important questions: If they are as wealthy as is claimed, why are so many MPs so deep in debt? What needs to be done about it? Why do so many people who should know better choose to lead a high expenses lifestyle well-knowing they have very little income?

Dr. Apollo Karugaba, who represented Fort Portal Municipality in parliament 15 years ago, says MPs’ indebtedness started with the popularisation of the “politics of money”. “During our time, the electorate didn’t look at us as money churning machines and yet MPs were not as greedy as some portray themselves today. Both parties focused on constituency development”.

The Leader of Opposition, Wafula Oguttu, agrees. He says MPs trouble starts when, instead of presenting issues to the electorate, they hoodwink them by buying them sugar, paying fees, attending burials, and weddings.  “In 2011, I won an election without buying a single kilogram of sugar for any voter. Those who asked for tea, I advised them to try my opponents,” he told The Independent.

Emmanuel Dombo, the Bunyole East MP who has been in the House since 1996 also says indebtedness is a problem faced by “amateurs who are excited and at the same time scared that when they don’t wash their electorate with money, they’ll be kicked out”. Dombo insists that in addition to money management lessons for MPs reviving meaningful Constituency Development Fund (CDF) is necessary. The CDF meant to facilitate legislators’ constituency work was erased upon misuse by some parliamentarians. “After spending millions in campaigns, some members went to parliament while already in a deficit. All that was on their minds was to make money to clear their debts. It’s no wonder that such members keep bothering the speaker requesting for travel opportunities so they can get bigger allowances”.

Prof. Sabiti Makara, a political scientist at Makerere University says the MPs money troubles are because voters have understood that the idea of politicians representing people is something just theoretical.

“Now that people have learnt that MPs represent themselves, they keep demanding for money and favours from them,” he says. He says the electorate only benefits when MPs are invited to fundraising events in the villages.

Makara says being indebted should not be a problem but the MPs could be borrowing in the wrong way.

“Politicians and other professionals worldwide are also indebted but they do it through good means from banks not from loan sharks who ask for exorbitant interests as it is here,” he says.

Considering their kind of obligations, the professor says MPs have to look for other monies to complement salary.

Makara, however, predicts that the next parliament is likely to have worse money problems.   “It will be a `yes sir parliament’ full of youths, they are terrible opportunists. They’ll do anything for money and whatever the president will say; they’ll just be nodding in approval”. But that too is unlikely to help, unless the MPs learn to better manage their cash flow.

 

Hearing of Kalyegira’s defamation case resumes

Publish Date: Dec 18, 2014

 

Hearing of Kalyegira’s defamation case resumes
             Timothy Kalyegira
 
 

By Davis Buyondo

 

KAMPALA - The case in which Timothy Kalyegira, a former Daily Monitor Journalist, is charged with defaming President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has resumed at City Hall in Kampala.

 

On Tuesday, through his lawyer Ladislaus Rwakafuuzi, Kalyegira prayed to court that criminal defamation charges brought against him by the State be dismissed on grounds that Section 179 of the Penal Code Act, under which he is being charged, contravenes international standards and best practices of media freedom.

 

Kalyegira further argues that according to the recent decision delivered by the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) to which Uganda is party, found criminal defamation to be contrary to the guarantees on freedom of expression. 

 

However, Moses Nabende, the trial Magistrate, advised Rwakafuzi to furnish court with the said decision.

 

Prosecution alleges that on July 12 and July 16, 2010 in Kampala district, with intent to defame the person of the president, Kalyegira unlawfully published defamatory matter on the Uganda Records, an online publication, when he published that government was responsible for the bombs that went off on July 11, 2010 killing close to 80 people at the Ethiopian village in Kabalagala and Kyadondo Rugby Club in Lugogo.

 

In 2012, Kalyegira filed an application to the High Court raising a question of law as to whether online publication was envisaged under Section 179 of the Penal Code Act.

 

In deciding the matter, Justice Lameck Kigozi held that online publication can constitute a commission of an offence under Section 179 of the Penal code Act and the case was referred to the trial magistrate for trial.

 

However, the case was adjourned to January 16, 2015 for mention.

 

Uganda Officials admit illegalities in public prime land giveaways in Kampala city, Uganda.

Uganda Land Commission chairman Baguma Isoke (L) before a Parliament

select committee yesterday.

PHOTO BY GEOFFREY SSERUYANGE 

By Yasiin Mugerwa

 

Posted  Thursday, April 16  2015 

 

In the Parliament of Uganda. 

Uganda Land Commission (ULC) officials yesterday admitted illegalities in city land deals.

The officials also volunteered information to the ongoing House inquiry into the giving-away of real estate belonging to public education institutions, detailing how they helped an investor to mortgage a piece of land belonging to a city school. 

Documents presented by ULC chairman Baguma Isoke to the House committee carrying out the investigation, contain evidence of the transactions.

The illegal deals

The committee heard that ULC illegally allocated Plot 27 on Bombo Road, belonging to Buganda Road Primary School, to Jima Properties Ltd in January 2011. The investor was granted a five-year lease and when the lease expired, ULC officials extended the disputed lease for 49 years. 

“Uganda Land Commission is party to shoddy land deals in the city,” said Mr Wilfred Niwagaba, the committee lead counsel. 

“They grabbed the school land and gave it to an investor. They extended the lease for 49 years to help the investor mortgage the school land title to a bank,” added Mr Niwagaba.

The documents showed how Mr Baker Mugaino, a land officer on September 8, 2014, wrote to the Commissioner Land Registration, confirming the extension of the lease to Jima Properties Ltd. The committee is investigating the people behind this company after ULC failed to disclose the names of its directors. 

However, in a May 5, 2014 letter, Mr Bulaimu Muwonge Kibirige, who signed as the managing director of Jima Properties Ltd, requested ULC’s consent to mortgage the land to his bankers for development financing as the only way to finish the project.

The committee heard that in the lease offer, the investor was asked to improve the school football pitch with simple materials, yet the school management wanted security of the pupils while at school. Later, the investor allegedly agreed with the school to build a perimeter wall around the school. 

“Following our application for financing, the bank may request for a full lease so as to secure its money,” Mr Kibirige wrote.

Mr Baguma and his team kept blaming the irregularities in various land deals on the current staff gaps at ULC. Mr Paul Idudi, a ULC official, said there is a committee within ULC which advises the commission’s board on various transactions. They requested for more time to study the advice the committee gave on the disputed land deals.

Mr Theodore Ssekikubo, the MP who petitioned the House to form a select committee on the takeover of land belonging to public schools, accused commission officials of colluding with investors to fraudulently extend leases and later claim that they hold the land in trust for Ugandans.

However, Mr Mugaino said: “It’s not true that we connive with investors. We are staff of the commission headed by a secretary who reports to the board. Where extension is done without developments, it’s an illegality and there is no need for debate over that matter.”

Kololo SS land giveaway

The committee also heard that former Mwenge MP Tom Butime was also given a piece of land belonging to Kololo SS to construct residential houses. The former MP later sold the land in question on which a mosque was later constructed. By press time, Mr Butime was not available for comment. 

Yesterday, ULC officials requested for a closed session with the committee to discuss the demolition of Nabagereka Primary School. 

Members who attended the closed-door meeting later told Daily Monitor that they were informed that the school land was sold by Buganda Land Board and that the government did not have any hand in the demolition. 

Ministry of Education officials are expected to appear before the committee today.

ymugerwa@ug.nationmedia.com

 

 

Mbabazi is interrogated over his presidential bid come 2016:

Amama Mbabazi

Former prime minister Amama Mbabazi during the Capital Gang talk show.

PHOTO BY FAISWAL KASIRYE.  

By Eriasa Mukiibi Sserunjogi

 

Posted  Sunday, July 5  2015 

  

Kampala. UGANDA:

In his maiden Ugandan talk show as a presidential aspirant, former prime minister Amama Mbabazi yesterday faced tough questions mainly about his record within the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) and the government, his alleged massive wealth and the involvement of his family in his campaign.

Mr Mbabazi has since his long-awaited declaration of his presidential bid on June 15, preferred to talk about the future, offering himself as the candidate who will help Uganda transit from the leadership of the 1986 generation of leaders to the younger generation.

This was the major focus of Mr Mbabazi’s presentations at two earlier appearances on international media platforms, the BBC and Voice of America. It also formed the bulk of his five-minute video-recorded declaration statement, together with many of his messages on social media.

Mr Mbabazi’s opponents and critics, however, have sought to drive the debate back to his long record in government, looking to point out what they see as contradictions in what the former prime minister and ruling party secretary general says now and what he did over the many years when he was perceived as President Museveni’s right hand man.

 

Mr Museveni himself, in his response to Mr Mbabazi on the same day he [Mr Mbabazi] declared his presidential bid, questioned Mr Mbabazi’s ability to reform the government when, according to the president, he had opportunity to do so from within.

On the Capital Gang show on Capital FM yesterday, there were at least two “gangsters” who were resolute to hold Mr Mbabazi to his record. These were Mr Ofwono Opondo, the executive director of the government media centre, and Dr Kenneth Omona, the deputy treasurer of NRM.

The two ruling party members, who share deeply in what many see as a herculean task of stopping Mr Mbabazi, were often joined by Mr Ssemujju Nganda, the Forum for Democratic Change publicist, and Ms Beti Kamya, a former presidential candidate and MP, in querying Mr Mbabazi’s record.

Term limits, “repressive” laws

Mr Mbabazi was challenged to explain why he supported the lifting of presidential term limits in 2005 yet they could have technically kicked out Mr Museveni and prevented the “inefficiency” that Mr Mbabazi now says has crept into government.

He said he was “a vigorous” defender of the amendment of the Constitution to remove term limits because he thought that the idea of term limits ran counter to democracy, particularly the aspect of free choice.

“However, from the experience of Uganda, I have looked at the experience of choice more deeply... for democracy to flourish, it makes sense to revisit this issue of term limits in order to minimise the abuse of state power,” Mr Mbabazi said.

He said open terms can be abused in a system like Uganda’s, where free choice can be stifled by intimidation, bribery and corruption.

Regarding queries that Mr Mbabazi orchestrated “repressive” laws, particularly the laws on public order management and phone tapping, Mr Mbabazi defended both as good laws, saying that the only problem is that the laws are being abused.

Panellists poked fun at Mr Opondo during the first hour of the show, saying he had abandoned his usual habit of sipping at his coffee, ferociously taking notes as the debate progressed.

When his turn came, Mr Opondo sought to present Mr Mbabazi as playing double standards, saying the former prime minister did not deserve any sympathy because “internal debate in NRM died under Hon Mbabazi.”

Mr Mbabazi had talked of the lack of internal democracy and discussion within the party, saying, for instance, that it is only the party chairman, President Museveni, who spoke during the NRM delegates conference last December at which he was stripped of the secretary general position. 

 

Mr Mbabazi also distanced himself from the Kyankwanzi resolution in which NRM MPs declared Mr Museveni the party’s “sole candidate” for the coming election, saying it is illegal. Although he signed the resolution after it looked like he was ambushed with it, he later distanced himself from it and has since declared that he will challenge Mr Museveni within the party.

Mr Opondo, regarding this, said the NRM has been “quietly building consensus around President Museveni” and “it is strange that this founder leader of NRM is seeking to operate outside the rules that he has been enforcing.”

Mr Opondo said whereas Mr Mbabazi was the minister in charge of Political Affairs in 2000, he did not protest when the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the ruling Movement disowned Dr Kizza Besigye’s intention to compete for the presidency and “urged” President Museveni to stand as the unopposed Movement candidate.

Mr Opondo said when the Movement became the NRM party in 2005, a similar process took place, and that the same happened in 2010. Mr Mbabazi was the party secretary general on the latter two occasions, Mr Opondo noted, but that Mr Felix Okot-Ogong was persuaded to let Mr Museveni run unchallenged within the party in 2005. Another aspirant, Maj Ruhinda Maguru, also got his name struck out of the list by the party’s organs when he sought to challenge Mr Museveni. 

Mr Mbabazi did not respond to many of the questions because he was time-barred and promised to return to the radio show another time.

His take on alleged wealth, family

On her part, Ms Kamya wondered about Mr Mbabazi’s source of wealth and the “heavy” involvement of Mr Mbabazi’s family in his presidential aspirations, saying part of the accusation against Mr Museveni is his family’s involvement in state affairs and whether it won’t be the same with Mr Mbabazi.

“We hear that Mr Mbabazi has immense wealth; what does he make to account for this immense wealth?” Ms Kamya asked. 

Mr Mbabazi responded: “Beti, who told you I am wealthy? It is true that I am not poor, both mentally and physically... All the money that I have I can account for it... It is not true that I am that wealthy.”

The former prime minister, however, said he is “absolutely ready to fund the campaign to the maximum.”

Regarding the involvement of his family, Mr Mbabazi said he does not discourage his family members, particularly his children, from participating in public affairs. He said in fact it makes him proud.

He said, however, that it is not true that his family were playing the leading role in his campaign. “My family’s visibility is because I have been the centre of focus,” he said.

emukiibi@ug.nationmedia.com

 

Big people in government are benefiting from corruption - Kagina

By Yasiin Mugerwa

 

Posted  Thursday, July 9   2015 

In the Uganda Parliament, Kampala: 

The executive director of Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), Ms Allen Kagina, yesterday told legislators in a closed-door meeting that big people in government were benefiting from corruption in the roads sector.

Sources who attended Parliament’s Physical Infrastructure Committee meeting told Daily Monitor that Ms Kagina accepted that some UNRA and government officials she did not name had formed companies to benefit from the road contracts and narrated how they intentionally delay road projects through sham administrative reviews.

Ms Kagina, who led a team to the committee to give a status report on the road development projects under UNRA, explained that contactors are expected to be on the site by October 2015 and July 2015 respectively.

“There is inside trading in UNRA,” Mr Ephraim Biraro (Buhweju) said, before the journalists were kicked out of the proceedings on the request of Ms Kagina.

MPs led by Stephen Mikitale (Bulisa) demanded that the mandate of the ongoing Judicial Commission of inquiry into the corruption in the roads sector be widened to cover all the roads in the country.

Journalists kicked out

Ms Kagina requested the committee chairperson Mr Biraro to kick out journalists before she explained why UNRA had decided to hand-pick a Turkish contractor to work on 111km Hoima-Butyaba-Wanseko road.

Mr Patrick Oboi Amuriat (Kumi) complained that single sourcing was akin to corruption and that the failure to advertise a project of more than $100m would deny Ugandans value for money.

On the corruption at the weighbridge, Ms Kagina said starting next week UNRA would start an operation to protect the roads.

She talked of a new rapid response unit with a mobile weighbridge and a clampdown on overloaded vehicles. She said the entire management would be reviewed.

ymugerwa@ug.nationmedia.com

 

  

[google15f99a732e0ef6c2.html]