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Continuation of conflicting reports after the Beni attack on the MONUSCO Soldiers, as the UPDF prepares for deployment!

There are always an aftermath after a massacre, clearly the lights into darkness, you never know what you find or who you find. The ADF or ADF-NALU has gotten the blame for the attack on 7th December 2017. However, there are questions if they could do such a well based attack on MONUSCO and FARDC soldiers on that day. This will be a question as long as the Democratic Republic of Congo isn’t delivering or telling who they believe is behind it.

I will go through recent days report as the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) are preparing to deploy new forces in a joint mission together with the FARDC. This happens as there been consultation meetings in Mbarara, in the same days as the attack in Beni occurred. The reasons for this strike and attack is not known. The basic leverage of doing so is neither seen. If the ADF really did it or not. The ADF or ADF-NALU has not taken responsibility. Neither is the certainty of former M23 or any other group in the region having the capacity to strike this heavy against the peacekeepers on the move. With knowledge of their movement and knew exactly when to shoot.

Therefore, I have complied certain parts of news and reporting during the past few days. From different sources, as the UPDF are preparing to enter. Do a mission again inside the Congolese territory. This isn’t new, but new in the prospects, that the Kinshasa government is on overtime and extending their reign without any elections. While certain regions are filled with insecurity and rush of soldiers. With the use of foreign soldiers to clear out internal issues. Also ex-militants who are creating more trouble in a already conflicted region, where peace seems to evade.

The neutralization of the ADF and the security of the borders between the DRC and Uganda are two topics at the center of a meeting, Thursday, December 14, between the armed forces of these two countries. The talks are taking place in Kasindi-Lubiriha, a Congolese town about 90 km northeast of the city of Beni, bordering Uganda. This meeting brings together some senior officers and generals of the Armed Forces of the DRC (FARDC) as well as those of the Ugandan army (UPDF). According to security sources, the FARDC and the UPDF are discussing the planning and start of joint operations to neutralize the terrorist group ADF, active in the territory of Beni. The meeting between the Ugandan army and the Congolese army comes as new FARDC reinforcements from Kisangani have been deployed since Wednesday, December 13, in the Beni region. The Ugandan army delegation is led by Brigadier Michael Kabango, commander of the 5th Infantry Division of the Ugandan army. That of the Armed Forces of the DRC is led by General Marcel Mbangu commander of operations Sokola 1 North” (Radio Okapi, 2017)

National MP Paul Muhindo opposes planning a joint military operation between Ugandan and Congolese armies against Ugandan rebels from the ADF. During a briefing on Friday, December 15, this elected North Kivu, believes that this operation “will amplify things” on Congolese soil. “We think it’s a bad thing to associate these people [Ugandan soldiers] with coming to fight the ADF who are their brothers. This is a way for us to believe that we want to further amplify the situation on our territory, “said MP Paul Muhindo. He said a mixed military operation is not appropriate for bringing peace to eastern DRC. MP Muhindo believes that the FARDC are able to end the activism of this rebel group, with the support of the UN Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO), “if there is a clear will.”” (Radio Okapi, 2017).

Denouncing UPDF presence already in March 2017 in the DRC:

The provincial assembly of North Kivu opened its March session on Monday, March 31st. A session that starts with the denunciation of the presence of Ugandan army soldiers in some parts of eastern DRC. The chairman of this deliberative body clarified the areas where these UPDF soldiers are concentrated for unclear reasons. Jules HAKIZIMWAMI cited, for example, the Sarambwe Gorilla Reserve, about 100 kilometers north of Goma, in Rutshuru territory. They have been there since March 26, he said. He continued that these UPDF soldiers occupy important hills in the Sarambwe and Kisharo villages in the Binza group. The already occupied hills include Kazingiro, Kabumba, Risura and Kanyabusanane, more or less 20 kilometers from the Congolese-Ugandan border, according to the president of the provincial assembly of North Kivu. Jules HAKIZIMWAMI lamented the fact that these Ugandan soldiers say they came to secure their compatriots, who preceded them to make fields in Sarambwe. In his opening speech of this parliamentary session, the president of the provincial assembly called for the involvement of national authorities and regional and international cooperation structures to put an end to this presence” (Masimengo, 2017).

Museveni order UPDF to DRC:

Observers say UPDF’s anticipated operations could stretch deep into the volatile and unstable region to create a buffer zone for Uganda. “This time the President is extremely serious,” said a source. “He will not allow anyone to stand in his way as soon as DRC commences joint operations with UPDF.” Multiple sources said Museveni insisted Uganda obtains consent from DRC to avoid legal ramifications of an “invasion” and “work with all stakeholders to pacify that region.” “We intend to go there officially and work closely with DRC forces to stabilize the region across our border,” said an official informed about Uganda’s preparations for combat action. By Friday, heavily armed troops and artillery pieces were still being deployed at the border, confirming widely held perception UPDF would be inside DRC for quite a long time” (Muhame, 2017).

Who is behind the December attack on MONUSCO:

Tuesday, December 06, 2017. The FARDC officials whose camp is based near the base of the peacekeepers Camp, more or less 700m away, phone that they will send soldiers to fetch food, as they are used to doing. Around 17:30, they call their partners to announce that they are en route. A few minutes later, they arrive at the edge of their well-identified vehicle known to Tanzanian peacekeepers. They are around 35. They are familiar with the configuration of the camp. They are used to going there to refuel. Those who stand guard recognize some of them. They let them in. Everything is going fast! While one of those on guard is calling his superiors to warn them of the arrival of their « friends », the vehicle stops in the middle of the camp. A group of 5 or 6 goes towards the structures of communication, passes immediately to the attack and in the blink of an eye all the structures of communication are destroyed and all the camp is under attack. The peacekeepers are more trained than the attackers. They manage to repel the enemy. Moments later, another FARDC group arrives while the peacekeepers continue to repel the attackers. Great surprise! The peacekeepers note that the Fardc arrive to reinforce the attackers. This reinforcement will continue until dawn. Whenever attacking Fardc units feel weakened, others come to replace them. To believe a FARDC soldier who has just contacted Benilubero newsroom, while the fighting continues, Colonel Papy Kasongo, the head of the FARDC regiment, will constantly communicate with his superiors and tell them that the ADF have tried to take the camp of the peacekeepers but that everything returned in order a few minutes later” (…) “Thursday, December 08, 2017 Monusco is alerted in the early hours that one of its camps was attacked at night. Without delay, it sends a reinforcement. The consternation is total on arrival. Injured people moan in the bush. Lifeless bodies are strewn everywhere: 14 Tanzanian peacekeepers and 5 Fardc killed, among whom we can identify 3 Rwandans. The camp is literally looted. All materials and food were taken away. But no combat is reported in the area and no body of a so-called ADF-Nalu is found. Injured people testify and the facts speak for themselves. Monusco is very embarrassed. It will limit itself to giving the human balance sheet” (Beni Lubero, 2017)

With all of this, we can just speculate and wonder. Who did what and where. The reality is that innocent lives are taken. This time both FARDC soldiers and Tanzanian peacekeepers. Also the deaths of the attackers, who we don’t know if they belonged to ADF or if they we’re even a parallel FARDC-Network. At this moment, we don’t know. The speculations and the intelligence on the matter is mere opinions and not facts.

There are two stories being told and its hard to know, which ones to believe, what is striking is the quickly resolve of sending forces from Uganda into this. How easily the FARDC accept to play second fiddle on their own soil. How the UPDF and Museveni can deploy his forces in Northern Kivu. Without sort of acceptance of MONUSCO or anyone else supporting the peacekeepers. We can wonder who will pay or what will be the pay for these soldiers in the DRC. Since the UPDF has to pay them and give them shelter while fighting militants in the Beni area.

If the MP Muhindo is right, that it will amplify things, then the next coming weeks will be bloody. Also with the possible troops there already near Goma. They are already in the region and ready to arrive on the scene, as they have put soldiers and artillery in the Kisoro region combined with the ones reported in March 2017 20 km away from Goma. This proves that the Ugandans was ready prepared long in advanced for this sort of strike close to their border. That shouldn’t shock anyone, since they have been in the DRC plenty of times and used it to export valuable minerals and timber for a long time. This combined with the Consultation Meeting in December in Mbarara. Proves that something was-up, but the official agreement between the DRC and Uganda in this matter. Has not been official. Neither has the minutes for that meeting. In the hours and days ahead of the attack on MONUSCO in Beni. That should also be questioned.

We should be worried about that, because secrecy like that, makes it even more questionable, the reasons for the deployment and also the sudden attack on MONUSCO. There are enough pieces that is missing and the picture is not clear. If it is Kabila who needs insurgency as a reason to stay in power or Museveni wants soldiers deployed, because he has a smaller contingent in Somalia (AMISOM). Peace.

Reference:

Beni Lubero – ‘The whole truth about the assassination of Tanzanian peacekeepers: A signed attack by FARDC’ (16.12.2017) link: http://benilubero.com/the-whole-truth-about-the-assassination-of-tanzanian-peacekeepers-a-signed-attack-by-fardc/

Radio Okapi – ‘La neutralisation des ADF au centre d’une réunion entre les FARDC et l’armée ougandaise’ (14.12.2017) link: https://www.radiookapi.net/2017/12/14/actualite/securite/la-neutralisation-des-adf-au-centre-dune-reunion-entre-les-fardc-et

Radio Okapi – ‘Le député Muhindo s’oppose à l’opération militaire mixte RDC-Ouganda contre les ADF’ (17.12.2017) link: https://www.radiookapi.net/2017/12/17/actualite/securite/le-depute-muhindo-soppose-loperation-militaire-mixte-rdc-ouganda

Masimengo, Eve – ‘Nord-Kivu : Des militaires Ougandais s’installent dans certaines localités’ (13.12.2017) link: http://benilubero.com/nord-kivu-des-militaires-ougandais-sinstallent-dans-certaines-localites/

Muhame, Giles – ‘Museveni Orders On DRC Operation as UPDF Amass Troops at Border’ (17.12.2017) link: http://chimpreports.com/museveni-orders-on-drc-operation-as-updf-amass-troops-at-border/

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Age Limit: Seemingly the Parliament is ready for the Second and Third reading of the bill tomorrow!

The Plenary Sessions paper for Monday the 18th December 2017 is out. The Constitutional Amendment No. 2. or the Private Bill of Raphael Magyezi, the Age Lifting bill of Presidential Candidates is up. But not only up for a Second Reading, which is natural after the first reading and been scrutinized by the Legal and Constitutional Committee in Parliament during the recent weeks. Clearly, the National Resistance Movement have short time.

Since the Plenary Session on Monday is all in the name of the bill, secondly, it is not just the second reading that is up. If it was so, it would have been an ordinary bill. However, this is the life-line of the political life of Museveni. Therefore, it has to be speeded up. They are racing to the underground and hoping to find a gold mine. So they can live happily ever after.

Because the reading is filled with “Bills Committee Stage”, then the “Motion for the House to Resume” , after that the “Report from the Committee of the Whole House” and the “Motion for Adaption of the Report from the Committee of the Whole House”. This means by this stage, the Parliament is expected to follow the guidelines of the Committee and their majority report. Secondly, so they can move forward vote on the bill and do the third reading.

Which is apparently happening right after they have gone through the reports in quick minutes and made sure the legality is in check. The Members of Parliament and the NRM has then ensured the protocol and provisions. Even if rushed and in sensational speed. They are trying to take a Formula One instead of dipping through the jams of Kampala.

They are on the same day, after all those minutes already facilitated in haste. Its like the wig of Parliamentary Speaker Rebecca Kadaga is falling off. Like Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah has fire up his ass. That they are pushing it further. They are actually as they just voted for the acceptance of the second reading. Just as they finished discussing the report and everything else. The Parliament is actually having the third reading. Its like they should just get 2/3 of majority vote and get it all over with.

So Museveni can sign himself into life presidency, instead of keeping this charade up for another day. They are extending their legality and their methods in the Parliament. I am sure the Police and Special Forces Command will guard the city squares and the streets around Parliament. There will be a siege of the Parliament. Since this is the life work of Museveni and his will. His will is law in the end. Nothing else matter. To say so is a lie. The NRM and their syncopates has too lie. They cannot help themselves, they want to eat and needs mercy from their master.

Tomorrow will be a hectic day, a day of arrests and detained opposition. There will be violence and trouble. Still, the movement of the law will happen. Even if it is foolish and the world knows it. They are pushing it and doing it on the knives edge. Because Museveni needs it. So his blood still pumps in his veins. As long as it does, he anticipate to be the king and stay the king. No stone left unturned to stay there.

Tomorrow will not be different. It is just a mere signal and flash from darkness. That the steps to life presidency is there. If Mwenda, Mirundi or Ofwono says otherwise, you know it is false. They lie, just like their boss. Peace.

South Sudan: The Arusha Agreement on the SPLM Reunification Implementation Matrix, Entebbe, Uganda (15.12.2017)

Opinion: Now that the World Bank has new priorities, they will most likely not loan to the pipelines in East Africa!

 

There is certain movements that will strike as more expensive for the East African Community (EAC). This being for the Government of Uganda (GoU) and the Government of Kenya (GoK), who has big plans of petroleum pipelines from their oil-fields and to the coast. That being from Turkana to Lamu Port. While the Ugandan oil goes from Hoima to Tanga Port in Tanzania. Both development and industrial projects will have issues with the funding. The World Bank has supported massive infrastructure projects in both countries.

Therefore, for the two counties big development and oil industry, this is giant set-back, since they have to find funding and loans for the pipelines on the open market. Even with higher interests and making the profits of it lesser, than it would have been with a World Bank loan. It would not hurt the pocket as much as it does on the open market. The banks wants more profits themselves and also make sure they are paid-in-full.

With all this in mind. There are speculations, but first. Parts of the self-answering service. Before we look at the reactions in Kenya and Uganda. All of are important, as the state is involved in the licensing and building the pipelines. They are directly into the development and procurement of the pipelines. That is why this is big blow for the administrations and their possible tax-profits on it.

Word Bank Q&A:

Q. How is “upstream” oil and gas defined?

Upstream is an industry term that refers to exploration of oil and natural gas fields, as well as drilling and operating wells to produce oil and natural gas” (World Bank, 2017).

Current projects in our portfolio would continue as planned. However, no new investments in upstream oil and gas would be undertaken after 2019, unless under exceptional circumstances as noted in the decision” (World Bank, 2017).

Kenya Pipeline:

The announcement by the bank, which has significant interests in Kenya’s oil prospecting sector, does not bode well for the country’s anticipated entry into the club of oil producing nations beginning next year. Analysts said they do not expect an immediate reaction to the announcement even as they acknowledged that it takes the shine from oil in the long term” (…) “Locally, the World Bank is offering technical support to the Kenyan government, through the Kenya Petroleum Technical Assistance Project, to prime all stakeholders for commercial oil production and sale. The six-year programme is scheduled to run until February 2021 and involves the World Bank managing a Sh5.2 billion fund set up by investors from Germany, Norway and Britain. The World Bank’s private lending arm, International Finance Corporation, is however directly involved in Kenya’s oil fields, having a 6.83 per cent stake in Africa Oil, the Canadian exploration firm with interests in northern Kenya oil blocks” (Mutegi, 2017)

Uganda Pipeline:

The pipeline, is expected to be completed by the year 2020, when the country is scheduled to start oil production. In fact, Uganda’s President, Yoweri Museveni and his Tanzanian counterpart recently commissioned the construction of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline. The two leaders laid mark stones for the crude oil pipeline in Mutukula, Kyotera district and Kabaale in Hoima district. Total E&P Uganda, a subsidiary of French oil giant, Total S.A, is spearheading the construction of the crude oil pipeline on behalf of the joint venture partners. Adewale Fayemi, the general manager, Total E&P Uganda says discussions are ongoing to discuss on the formalities of how the pipeline will be run. Already, an agreement has been reached that the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) will be run and managed by a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) – private pipeline company. This means that a private company will be incorporated with joint venture partners – Tullow Uganda, Cnooc Uganda Ltd and Total E&P Uganda, and the governments of Uganda and Tanzania as shareholders in the company” (Ssekika, 2017)

Certainly, this will put a strain on the projects. They have to deliver another type of arrangement to make sure they get funding and have the funds to pay the added interests the banks wants. The added points on the dollar and the interest-rates will hit state-owned firms and the state itself. Since the pipelines most likely becomes more expensive and will be less profitable.

That the World Bank is pulling out of these projects is all within line of the Paris Accord, as they have professed is the reason. Still, this will make these projects more expensive and make sure they are earning less on it. Unless, the crude-oil prices are going up to a level that makes these investments even more profitable. That is only for time to tell. Since it is costly projects and also sophisticated to build. There is needed lots of expertise combined state planning to achieve the development plans.

This is just the beginning, but the pipelines and these investments are vital for both Kenya and Uganda. As the governments are already borrowing state funds on the possible earnings from the oil reserves in their basins. Therefore, they need to drill and need the petrodollar as quickly as possible. Peace.

Reference:

Mutegi, Mugambi – ‘World Bank dims Turkana oil hopes’ (14.12.2017) link: http://www.nation.co.ke/business/World-Bank-dims-Turkana-oil-hopes/996-4227848-u02v8n/index.html

Ssekika, Edward – ‘East African Crude Oil Pipeline: The Inside Story’ (11.12.2017) link: http://www.oilinuganda.org/features/economy/east-african-crude-oil-pipeline-the-inside-story-details-emerge-of-how-the-crude-oil-pipeline-will-be-financed-managed.html

World Bank – ‘Q&A: The World Bank Group and Upstream Oil and Gas’ (12.12.2017) link: http://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/climatechange/brief/qa-the-world-bank-group-and-upstream-oil-and-gas

UN Special Rapporteur Alston questions the US Government on the extreme poverty in the United States!

The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”Franklin D. Roosevelt

Yesterday, something rare happen, the United Nations addressed big issues within the United States and their ways of governing. Clearly, this is starch message. If this was a poorer and weaker state. The United States Special Rapporteur Phillip Alston would have condemn their actions. Instead, he is describing it and addressing it. Which is a fresh look from the United Nations, that is worried about the growing poverty in the US. It is special that it happens in this period and time. When the ruling party and majority in both chambers of the Congress. Is working on a bill to give tax relief to the wealthiest, the corporations and growing deficit on the federal budget. Clearly, the value of the middle-class and the poorest doesn’t matter in this calculation. Since, the taxes will grow for the ordinary and the poor, while the richest get more cash.

Therefore, what the UN Special Rapporteur is writing is damning. It is demeaning. This isn’t a fairy-tale or a Disney adventure. This isn’t the dream of gaining fortunes at Silicon Valley. This is the real deal, the issues, the ghetto’s, the slums and the ones living on food-stamps all around the US. The way the United States is governed, might be also a reason for the rampant poverty. Since the Federal State is so far away and the limitations on the States. Barres the State governments from actually delivering necessary welfare and provisions to help their poorest citizens. It could be in their DNA, as everyone is supposed to be self-made and can become millionaires. Even if it is just a tiny group of people who is able to go from the slums and ghetto’s and become vastly wealthy. They are more rare, than the norm. The Rapporteur really paints a story of an American Nightmare and not the American Dream. Alston is describing a bleak picture and shows, that the United States got a lot of work to do. If their citizens are supposed to have equal rights and equal opportunities, because the contrasts and the different spectrum’s of wealth should worry the politicians. Clearly, it doesn’t when we know how the Tax-Plan is and who will benefit in the coming years.

The reality that I have seen, however, is very different. It is a fact that many of the wealthiest citizens do not pay taxes at the rates that others do, hoard much of their wealth off-shore, and often make their profits purely from speculation rather than contributing to the overall wealth of the American community. Who then are the poor? Racist stereotypes are usually not far beneath the surface. The poor are overwhelmingly assumed to be people of color, whether African Americans or Hispanic ‘immigrants’. The reality is that there are 8 million more poor Whites than there are Blacks. Similarly, large numbers of welfare recipients are assumed to be living high on the hog. Some politicians and political appointees with whom I spoke were completely sold on the narrative of such scammers sitting on comfortable sofas, watching color TVs, while surfing on their smart phones, all paid for by welfare. I wonder how many of these politicians have ever visited poor areas, let alone spoken to those who dwell there. There are anecdotes aplenty, but evidence is nowhere to be seen. In every society, there are those who abuse the system, as much in the upper income levels, as in the lower. But the poor people I met from among the 40 million living in poverty were overwhelmingly either persons who had been born into poverty, or those who had been thrust there by circumstances largely beyond their control such as physical or mental disabilities, divorce, family breakdown, illness, old age, unlivable wages, or discrimination in the job market” (…) “There is no magic recipe for eliminating extreme poverty, and each level of government must make its own good faith decisions. But at the end of the day, particularly in a rich country like the USA, the persistence of extreme poverty is a political choice made by those in power. With political will, it could readily be eliminated” (…) “Reflecting on these developments, leading poverty experts have concluded that: Because of this rising joblessness, the U.S. poverty population is becoming a more deprived and destitute class, one that’s disconnected from the economy and unable to meet basic needs. … 40 percent of the 1999 poverty population was in deep poverty … [compared to 46 percent of the 2015 poverty population … . Likewise, rates of extreme poverty (i.e., living on less than $2 per day per person) are also increasing, again because of declining employment as well as growing “disconnection” from the safety net” (Alston, 2017).

This words are striking, these words are address big problems within the American society. That cannot be taken easy. There isn’t proper institutions, programs or even state provisions to help out the ones need. The growing poverty and extreme poverty is weird when you consider the vast amount of wealth residing the same nation. It is like it was rigged to be this way and they are playing demographics and also politics must really be damaging. Since, there aren’t any clear indication that these issues are addressed or significantly cared about by the federal state or the states themselves. The ignorance of the needs of their own, should shatter anyone caring about fellow human beings. That they accept the dire poverty, while the riches families can own estates bigger than some European Kingdoms.

If that isn’t a signal of something in need of change, while so many are struggling to survive and to pay the next rent. That there are a lack of understanding of the generation after generation of struggling individuals in the ghetto’s and slums. These are not looked after or tried to fix, but with small patches and civil society based organization who try to do charity. However, they cannot make them prosper or change the evil circle of lack of jobs and no safety net from the state.

This is political choice and by political will, by the ones that actually are in power. They have to show their concern. Give their legislation and make sure that these people are addressed and have a future. Since they can leave the groundwork and framework so they can live life beyond the hand-to-mouth. But actually own a home and live decent. Instead of struggling with every single penny. Worrying about if either you or any other person in the family ending up in the hospital. If so, they have to collect more debt and struggle more because of lack of coverage and funds to be able to pay for health-insurance. That could be typical issue for Americans on the poverty line. The forgotten by all powers and shown these days by the tax-plan as well, who will make Medicaid and other programs get grave cut. While the corporations are getting tax-holidays.

There is something really wrong these days in America. The riches are really poor. They cannot afford to pay tax or even contribute to the society they are earning their fortunes in. They are so poor, they cannot stomach paying points on the dollars, so the poorest and their workers can get some social benefits. So they can be more healthy and work better for them. Instead, their greed and their draconian ways, will make the extreme poverty even worse and grow numbers of people in dire needs. With time, the corporations will also have fewer costumers. Since they cannot afford to buy their products. So it won’t gain growth, when making more people poor, while a minority will get even wealthier. Peace.

Reference:

Alston, Phillip – ‘Statement on Visit to the USA, by Professor Philip Alston, United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights*’ (15.12.2017)

Russian Probe: Letter from Cummings and Nadler to Gowdy and Goodlatte on “Subpoena documents from Cambridge Analytica and Giles-Parscale on their connection with WikiLeaks” (14.12.2017)

Age Limit: A Brief look into the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Report on the Age Limit!

Today, was the day that the 10th Parliament, the Committee of Legal and Parliamentary Affairs majority report was leaked. As Speaker Rebecca Kadaga yesterday gave the public knowledge that the Constitutional Amendment will be up for second reading after the Committee is done on the 18th December 2017. The bill of Igara West Raphael Magyezi private bill got passed through the first voting and ended under scrutiny by the Committee. Even though this report make it just look benign and dumb. The questions for the reason for this isn’t because of discrimination or any other sort. That is just political ploy by the President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. Who has a record of changing laws when he needs them too. If it is the constitution or another bill. It will be amended and changed when he needs it. The same reason for why the Article 102 (b) suddenly has to lifted and changed with an artificial provision.

The Committee is trying their best to legitimize it, but it doesn’t take away the purpose and their reasons for their recommendations. I am not surprised, this was expected by the Committee, it is fitting the paradigm of National Resistance Movement (NRM) under the rule of Museveni. They are trying to find special ways of fitting his narrative to his life. Without implicating himself to much. So it seems like it fits something else, while in the end its him who benefits. If it would go wrong, someone else has to fall on their sword. If someone get more ambition than Museveni, they are sacked or called rebels within the NRM. Therefore, expect the quotes I have taken to be in this regard. I have not taken from the ones questioning the lifting, because we all know the reason why to keep it. The Republic was made to serve and be there for Museveni, but he has taken it hostage. The NRM are just accepting it, because they are eating of his plate, the little breadcrumbs he is serving now and then. Therefore, this report is reflecting this. Take a look!

Article 102 (b) threatens democracy since Article 1 of the Constitution grants people of Uganda the right to determine who leads them and how they are ruled. Therefore restricting their choice on account of age would deny them the opportunity to fully exercise their freedom to decide who leads them” (…) “that Article 102 (b) is discriminatory against the youth and aged and is contrary to article 2l which guarantees equality of all people before the law” (…) “The youth and aged also want to participate in decision making process in the country. Having a lower and upper age limit would limit the participation of the youth and the aged in the country’s leadership” (…) “That age doesn’t translate into capacity since the youth and aged persons were able to serve efficiently in the office of President” (…) “that since life expectancy has increased from the time this Article was proposed and considering that more Ugandans are living longer, the population of the youth and aged persons, which are increasing every year, are productive and must be utilised” (…) “There is no empirical evidence to prove the assertion that persons below 35 years and above 75 years are not biologically endowed for leadership” (Parliament of Uganda, P: 60, 2017).

I wonder how it suddenly became a threat in 2017, when it took 22 years before it became an issue and a problem that the whole republic had to consider. If it had been a threat, wouldn’t the Committees and the working groups in the years before 1995 edited it out or at least changed the text to make it without reason? Or was the group members so drunk on the personality cult, that they was worshiping the words of Museveni back-then?

I wonder, if the Members of Parliament, meant it with sincerity that age doesn’t translate into leadership. So an infant and boy-scout is ready to become an MP too? Is a 100 year old struggling to walk and talk, good enough with a sound mind to run a republic? Age is complex in the sense, that no individual is the same. That people age differently and become mature differently, as also people aging in various aspects and get defects with time. Their all natural causes to live and to breathe. We all get deceases and has issues during our lives, that creates fatigue. Which effects our minds and our body ability to reflect on our surroundings. That is why we wants leaders with all senses and a clear mind. To be able to govern and steer a hectic ship as a Republic is. It shouldn’t be someone with an advanced age, as they can be taken advantage off and used by spouse or by doctors. This has been in the past also not to long ago with a certain Grace and her husband Robert Mugabe. If Janet tries to pull off the same, maybe then the army might attack Museveni too and put him under house arrest. Well, that is just speculation. Still, the thought of an advanced aged President is a frightened perspective, as it will weaken the persons ability to govern with full force and vigor.

The Committee further believes that whereas Article 102 (b) is not discriminatory, it marginalizes against the aged and the youth. The Committee notes that Article 102 (b) marginalizes against the youth and the elderly by limiting their opportunities especially as far as offering their candidature for the highest office is concerned. The Committee observed that Article 32 of the Constitution obligates the state to take affirmative action in favour of the marginalized groups to which the youth and elderly belong. The Committee believes that removing the age restrictions in Article 102 (b) is one way of streamline the provision for purpose of redressing the imbalance therein against persons below the age of 35 and those above the age of 75” (Parliament of Uganda, P: 62, 2017).

It is hard to believe that this will help the ones that under 35 years, when it is amended just because of the age of Museveni. It will not change anything and any imbalance, unless suddenly the laws change so much that more people can afford to run campaigns and there is actually a democratic playing field for all candidates. Which it is not at the moment. This is a mute argument to use the youth, because they are marginalized and blocked by this law. No one said some experience isn’t helpful when running for office and actually know something about politics before you run.

RECOMMENDATION

The committee recommends that-

(1) The age prescribed in Article 102 be reduced from 35 years to 18 years and for the upper age restriction to be removed” (…) “(2) Article 102 is redrafted to specifically prescribe the qualifications for a person to stand for president. These should including him or her being-” (…) “(a) a citizen of Uganda ; (b) a registered voter; (c) a resident in Uganda at the time of submission of his or her

and / (c) having completed a minimum formal education of Advanced standard or its equivalent” (Parliament of Uganda, P: 63-64, 2017).

They are really using the Youth for all its worth, even though it is to give Museveni a life presidency. They are not putting that in print. But that is the initial results of the change of the law. That is why the text are not saying any age, neither way, but they are using the youth because it is easier to fit. Than using advanced age. Since we all know it ridiculous!

The Committee observed that whereas many reasons were advanced for limits, one of the most prominent reasons was the existence of Article 102 (b), which persons above the age of 75 from being eligible for election as president. The reasoning at the time was that Article 102 was a deterrent measure against an incumbent seeking unlimited term as president and was sufficient to deter such a person. The Committee therefore notes that removing the age restrictions in Article 102 will remove the last remaining measure against the indefinite seeking of the office of President” (Parliament of Uganda, P: 91, 2017).

So they are blaming Dr. Milton Obote his predecessor for the reason, but ironically when he is gone. The provision isn’t needed. Obote is the problem, but not Museveni who apparently is still there. Just to bring some short words of Wisdom from Professor Oloka in 2006, it said this:

Your attitude to the kisanja saga relates to a larger problem, which goes to the essence of the problem of democracy in this country. Constitutionalism is about accepting the rules of the game as written and agreed upon, whether those rules favour you, or not. If the goalposts are changed whenever the tide goes against those in power then we have simply returned to the stage when Apollo Milton Obote abrogated the 1966 Constitution, rather than face the possibility of losing his job as Prime Minister. The 2005 amendments to the 1995 Constitution were the non-violent equivalent of Obote’s 1966 abrogation. My short point is that in the final analysis, constitutionalism is based on trust, not on the document in which the Constitution is embodied, because as you and your supporters have said time and again; nothing in that document is sacred. Just as it is not the quoting of biblical verses that shows whether you are a true Christian; it is your actions. Mr. President, how can you expect to be trusted for example on the issue of an East African Federation which today you are so much in favour of, and tomorrow may have turned completely against, if you discover that the Federation constitution does not favour your political interests?” (Oloka, 2006).

He couldn’t say it much better than this. Museveni is changing the Constitution, when he needs the fix. He is drug-addicted for power, he needs the next fix. This will be his re-up. The stash will be ready and he can continue with his addiction. That is what this is about. Nothing else. So it is special that the Legal Committee is blaming the provision of the law on Obote, when it was there all along because Museveni wanted it first. Just like accepted the term limits. Until, he had spent the hours and the years on office. Therefore, he needed that fix before the age limit is breaking his bones and his heart.

If it doesn’t happen, he will do like addicts do: lie, manipulate, impulsive behavior, criminal behavior, blame shifting and sensation seeking. He is already lying, manipulating the MPs, using criminal behavior with corrupt payments of the MPs and putting blame on others. He is just missing sensation seeking. If not, he will start another radio campaign or try to get it forced through with Special Forces Command and Police Officers like through the first reading. We can just imagine what will happen next week!

But do I believe the reasoning in this report. No and No! Peace.

Reference:

Parliament of Uganda – ‘Report of the Sectoral Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on the Constitution (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, 2017’, December 2017

Oloka, Joe Onyange – ‘Oloka responds to the President on term limits’ (31.07.2006) link: https://www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1143715/oloka-responds-president-term-limits

Burundi: CNARED-GIRITEKA – “Declaration Contre Le Referendum Sur La Constitution” (15.12.2017)

South Sudan: National Salvation Front (NSF) – Maridi State – Maj. Gen. Saki James Palaoko “Re: Resignation from SPLM/A-IO” (12.12.2017)

IGAD Partners Forum (IPF) Statement on the High-Level Revitalization Forum on the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (14.12.2017)

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