In Zambi,a as the scheduled treason trial of the Opposition leader Hichilema goes underway, the visit of South African Opposition leader Mmusi Maimane has caused lot of headache for the Patriotic Front and their President Edgar Lungu, certainly President Lungu is following tricks of others totalitarian leaders, like President Museveni. Who also has put key opposition figures on treason trials, but has not had the issue of opposition leaders from abroad visiting to argument for their release. Therefore, Lungu got pressure from South Africa and by that means expelled the DA leader. As of today the supposed visit and treason trial was about happen. The problematic visit of Maimane has clearly created a storm the Zambian regime didn’t plan. Take a look!
How Zambia Authorities perceive the expulsion:
“THE Zambia High Commission to South Africa has informed the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) that Opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane was turned away from Zambia as his presence was going to undermine the sanctity, integrity and independence of the Judiciary. During the meeting between DIRCO officials and His Excellency Mr. Emmanuel Mwamba, Zambia stated that the matters regarding Mr. Hichilema were in court and it was imperative that the due process of the law was respected without undue pressure or interference. Government was concerned with Mr. Maimane’s and the DA’s media statements prior to his visit to Zambia that stated that his party would pressure the Courts of the Law to release Zambia’s opposition leader, Mr. Hakainde Hichilema who is currently undergoing a treason trial. Mr. Maimane alleged that Mr. Hichilema was facing trumped up charges and therefore he would mobilize fellow regional opposition sister parties and leaders to pressure the Zambian courts to release Mr. Hichilema. The Zambian High Commission had earlier advised Mr. Maimane to reschedule his visit until this and other concerns were resolved but clearly turned down such an advise” (Mwebantu, 26.05.2017).
As explained by Open Zambia:
“LUSAKA Magistrate David Simusamba was today at 12:00 hours expected to rule on whether the treason case involving United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema (HH) and 5 other people should be referred to the High Court as per committal certificate issued by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to refer the treason case to the High Court” (Open Zambia, 26.05.2017).
Patriotic Front statement on Maimane:
“We wish to place on record that UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema is not a political prisoner but a criminal suspect. Zambia has no political detainees and that will never happen under the Patriotic Front Government of His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu. Hichilema is a criminal suspect and not a political detainee. This is what is before the Courts. It is therefore unfortunate that South Africa’s “Nazi Party” Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane and his sponsors intend to make a political issue out of a criminal case. We shall not be lectured to by architects and beneficiaries of apartheid like Democratic Alliance. Zambia fought apartheid and even at this stage, we shall not relent in dealing with its agents like DA. Zambia is a sovereign country, with sovereign laws which must be respected by all. It is not a playground for every tom and dick, including agents of capital such as Maimane” (…) “We wish to place on record once more that if blocking a Presidential motorcade is political in South Africa, it is criminal in Zambia. Further we wish to say that it does not matter whether Zambians laws on treason are laughable to others, once someone crosses the line, they are triggered, unfortunately. If it is politics to just walk into a South Africa as an alien, it is law in Zambia that everyone is screened at the port of entry and entry can be denied without explanation” (…) “We have no apologies to make when Maimane is denied entry into Zambia. It was inevitable and he was correctly advised by the Zambian High Commission in South Africa. It must be said to Maimane that Zambia is a sovereign state and he has no right to enter Zambia as he ignorantly alleged in his interview. Entering a foreign state as an alien is the preserve of that Country’s immigration department and we think this is simple civics which a political front should grasp easily. Immigration at ports of entry do not exist for decorative purposes. They are meant to screen and send back or arrest characters with questionable agendas like Maimane” (Sunday Chanda Media Director, Patriotic Front, 26.05.2017).
DA’s own statement on the matter:
“The Zambian government clearly feels threatened by Mr Hichilema and his party, the UPND, who have been working tirelessly in their attempts to stop the decay of democracy in Zambia. As the sister party of the Democratic Alliance (DA), they too are committed to the advancement of vibrant, competitive, multiparty democracy, the rule of law and the entrenchment of human rights and free speech across Africa. Mr Hichilema is also a founding member of the Southern African Partnership for Democratic Change (SAPDC), a body of opposition parties from across Southern Africa who are committed to securing democracy across the region, and which I am the current Chairman of. It is for these reasons I decided to attend the trial of Mr Hichilema, in order to show solidarity with him and with the project of building and deepening democracy that we are engaged in across the continent. In respecting the Zambian government’s wishes, I honoured their call to refrain from visiting Mr Hichilema in prison, as the government claims there exists a court order preventing such visitation by members of the public. It should be noted that the Lungu administration even blocked Zambia’s founding father, President Kenneth Kaunda, from visiting Mr Hichilema in prison. It is a truly tragic collapse of a once stable democracy” (Democratic Alliance, 26.05.2017).
Therefore, the visit of solidarity were cut short, some say as short as an hour on the Zambian soil as the Opposition leader was not allowed to enter the Republic of Zambia. The certainty of the pressure arising of his presence must clearly been too profound for the judges and the authorities. Since they are clearly not powerful or seeing the strength of having foreigners questioning their trials and their justice system. I am sure the Zambian ruling regime and party would have wish the South African Opposition leader never planned his visit. Since they clearly has no problems with pinning Hichilema.
Certainly, people confess that South Africa has enough problems with the toll of a Zuma Administration, deep in a crisis of democratic deficit at this very moment. Still, the DA leader is obliged to visit and support fellow opposition leader. It shouldn’t be seen as vicious attempt or even trying to discredit the Zambian regime. That they have clearly been able to do on their own. As their words expressed through own party channels are vicious and blatant attempt of disrespecting the DA and Maimane. Seems like the Patriotic Front cannot get onlookers into their cases and have questions asked over their courts. If so, are they so democratic and right that the ruling regime of Zambia, cannot handle one-man travel into their country to be part of one trial?
That is how it will be perceived! That Maimane does to prove a point – sure, like no one else are trying to get political capital out of this. The only one losing right now is the Patriotic Front and their President Lungu. Who looks more like fools, than clever and sovereign? Not because they are not allowed to stop people from entering their borders and closing their gates. It is because they are already in an epic battle with forces beyond their shores. As the world is looking how they will act towards Hichilema.
Zambia has played the deck wrong and the cards are really stacking against them, as the political prisoner and opposition leader are under threat. That by the fear of losing control, as the Patriotic Front has to save their grace and attitude, as the ruling regime, clearly are losing their steps and cannot handle that a foreign leader question their courts. That is because their justice and their rule is overpowering. The Patriotic Front is ready by all means, expelling and trading shots. However, they do not win goodwill; neither does the current stalemate create possible positive leadership from the central government. Peace.
Here is the documentation that the Business Daily took their information from:
Reports on the elections that lead to the fall of Kahinda Otafiire lost his place as an MP aspirant for the General election in 2016. So he will not be the MP for the Ruhinda South-Mitooma District. He lost to another brother on the ballot who actually is in jail! But first I will address the person and few of his previous actions and issues that he has had in recent years in his position as a government official. So that if the public known all of this it’s a miracle that he is still been staying as a MP and representing this area for that long with all this stories. So hopefully the brother who is jailed and Aspirant for Ruhinda South – Mitooma District has more clean hands then Otafiire! Take a look.
Gen. Otafiire said this this summer:
“I have been with President Museveni for more than 40 years and he has not sent me to my voters. How does he start sending you who have spent the shortest time with him?” (…)”You will be saved by your deeds because at the level of primaries, we are all equal and stopping someone from standing would send a bad signal to the people” (…)”Don’t forget that we have competitors in other political parties who are seeing whatever we are doing. Just identify your weaknesses and plan to be stronger rather than blocking other people who want to stand against you” (Zadock, 2015).
A week later he said:
“I don’t think I am stupid as I appear. With all due respect, you’re insulting my intelligence” (…)”I don’t remember writing that letter although it has a signature resembling mine” (…)”I know Kasango as an officer of court. The documents were signed by Justice John Keitirima, whom I know well. I had no reason to doubt” (Walubiri, 2015).
Some cool quotes from the brother:
“Tamale Mirundi should leave issues of the generals to the generals.” Commenting on Tamale’s verbal attack” (…)”I am 85kg, do you think I have become big because of corruption?” (…)”what was a wetland doing in the middle of a city?” questioning the Nakumatt vs Nema saga” (…)”Even Museveni knows I am fire” (…)”I don’t like this nonsense. That is my private life, it has nothing 2 do with my public life as Minister. Whether I am taking my family out or not is none of your business. You fellow can u concentrate on what concerns u and leave Otafiire’s family alone.” In response to Daily Monitor concerning his Christmas plans” (Ortega, 2013).
Nominated as one of the Most Corrupt of Ugandans in 2012 and he was awarded the spot of number 7:
“Taking advantage of his senior position in the elite network that effectively plundered diamonds, coltan, timber and Gold in eastern Congo, Otafiire set up lucrative business enterprises in the neighboring country and refused to pay taxes, as reveals the 2003 final report of the United Nations Panel of Experts on Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources and Other Forms of Wealth of the Democratic Republic of the Congo:” (…)”Members of the Ugandan network are typically tax exempt. The Panel is in possession of documents showing that the network uses its control over the RCD-K/ML rebel administration to request tax exonerations for imports of high-value commodities. The granting of numerous tax exonerations to UPDF Colonel Otafiire between late 2001 and early 2002 is one of numerous cases. Not only did Colonel Otafiire benefit financially but, eventually, those exonerations forced local competitors out of markets in Bunia and Beni, leaving the petrol trade largely under the control of the network” (…)”Even in his own country, Uganda, Otafiire is routinely accused of abusing power. Fourteen years ago, he was dragged to a parliamentary probe committee for allegedly stealing copper rivets worth billions of shillings from an Asian businessman. In 2007, Kahinda Otafiire abused his office as minister of local government when he fraudulently allocated the Nakawa-Naguru estate redevelopment project to Opec Prime Properties Ltd, according to a 2008 report of the Inspector General of Government” (Sseremba, 2012).
1980s Luweero Triangle tricks:
“Obote put it more succinctly to Andrew Mwenda:” (…)”Maj. Gen. Kahinda Otafiire, for example, revealed that the National Resistance Army rebels used to wear UPC colours and then go into villages in Luwero and kill people in order to make the people think these were actions of the UPC government. Otafiire was boasting of the “tricks” NRA employed to win support in Luwero, but was also revealing the sinister side of Museveni and his insurgents… Each time there was a reported case of mistreatment of civilians by the army, we arrested those responsible and punished them severely” (Kalyegira, 2010).
Messy water of 2005:
“Maj. Gen. Kahinda Otafiire, the Minister for Water Lands and Environment, last month fixed the price of water in rural areas at Shs 10 per 20-litre jerry can” (…)”Until last month, prices varied from one area to another, depending on operational costs. Because costs differ, there is fear that a uniform tariff will jeopardise the operations of the water systems and lead to their collapse. This is because the companies can only continue running the water systems if there is a profit to make” (…)”However, Otafiire this week dismissed such fears, saying that the new water tariff aimed to make accessible it to every one. “It was a bad policy. I am the minister and I have changed it,” he said of attempts to develop a business model. “Water is not for commerce. If we can give free medicine, why not free water?” He said only two water schemes with electricity-powered systems would get government grants to subsidise their power expenses” (Kavuma, 2005).
Kenya Probe 2007:
“KENYAN police are investigating a possible link between Maj. Gen. Kahinda Otafiire to a large consignment of sugar currently impounded in Mombasa over tax evasion, but the Local Government minister has denied involvement in the racket” (…)”The huge consignment, worth about Shs 850 million was impounded at Mombasa seaport several months ago after authorities realised its destination papers had been falsified to avoid paying taxes due” (…)”If the racket succeeded, said Port CID Chief Mr John Nyanzwii, then the owners would have evaded the 100 per cent duty paid for imported sugar and the import duty due to the Uganda Revenue Authority. The sugar would have appeared to have originated from Kenya” (…)”Although police authorities in Mombasa had information that the Sugar belonged to Uganda’s local government minister, Maj. Gen. Kahinda Otafiire, he denied the allegations in a phone interview with Daily Monitor last week” (NFV Zone, 2007).
Car Crash in 2008
“THE Minister of Water, Lands and Environment, Maj. Gen. Kahinda Otafiire, crashed his car on Saturday morning and drew a gun at a journalist who came to the accident scene.The incident took place on Kinawataka Road, off the Old Portbell Road at 2:30 a.m. Daily Monitor photo-journalist Mr Mike Odongkara was put at gunpoint by an angry Otafiire and manhandled by policemen who were called to the scene to rescue the minister” (Odangkara, 2008).
Threating to leave NRM in 2010:
“I might have to join another party. I won the elections but my name is not on the list [of party flag bearers released this week]. They are chasing me away. What do you want me to do?” (…)”“If you were in my shoes, what would you do?” (…)”You cannot petition someone who does not want you” (Kiggundu, 2010).
Shell case of 2012:
“Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Kahinda Otafiire yesterday failed to show up in court to explain his side of the story in a case in which petroleum giant Shell (U) Ltd sued him over alleged breach of contract“ (…)”Gen. Otafiire, through Benzina (U) Ltd, allegedly negotiated a land lease deal with Shell (U) but later failed to honour it” (…)”The petroleum company now wants a Shs1.2 billion refund for refusal to deliver land to it, which it says resulted in loss of business.” (Wersaka, 2012).
In 2013 Otafiire had issues in the parliament:
“Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs has been thrown out of Parliament for Government’s failure to appoint substantive DPP as Cases pile up and suspects spend longer time on remand without trial” (…)”Appearing before the parliamentary budget committee to present the DPP budgetary estimates for this financial year, MPs today ordered Major Gen Kahinda Otafiire out from Parliament accusing government of delaying the appointment of the substantive Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP)” (Investigator, 2013).
Shopping in 2014:
The Minister of Justice was shopping at the Joy Supermarket in Mbuya who is a city suburb on the outskirts of Kampala. After shopping in his trolley he came to the register where he asked the price for each of the picked items in the trolley. The whole shopping spree cost the minister 160, 000 shillings. He started first buy paying it with 50,000 bills. Before picking coins from another pocket there he started to count and used time to make a jam in the star while getting enough coins to pay the balance missing of 10, 000 in small change (Ugandadrone, 2014).
Retired Maj. Gen Kahinda Otafiire storms the tally center in company of security personnel for the Ruhiinda county polls and orders everybody out; and says they must leave everything inside in the hands of one of the security boys; Kahinda Otafiire came along while saying his votes have been rigged. The people and the officials are reportedly refusing to leave the centre.
Gen. Kahinda Otafiire is seriously being given a run for his money according to the pre-liminery report. Capt. Mugabe Dononzio Kahonda is leading with the difference of 4773.Mind you Kahonda did not vote because he is in the prison on allegations that he forged academic documents. Otafiire is also reported to fall behind Hosea Muhanguzi.
Kahinda Otafiire lost to Rtd. Cap. Kahoonda in Ruhiinda County while he is still incarcerated in prison.
Reasons for the fall of Otafiire:
“Gen. Kahinda lost because of his rejection for Mitooma not become a district. This resulted into the district chairman Benon Karyaija who is very popular to part ways with him and become arch enemies. The former Mitooma district NRM chairman Tito Nsigireho, district speaker silver Tumukuratire, finance secretary Bamusiime Muhwezi have all been against Otafiire since 2010 when they defeated him and Mitoma was granted district status from Bushenyi district. Still in Mitooma district, Thomas Tayebwa won in Ruhinda North with over 80%. He was contesting against one Musinguzi. Ruhinda North is a new constituency that was curved of Ruhinda this year” (Muhwezi, 2015).
If this wasn’t interesting then I don’t know; we can see that with the fix of somebody else as flag-bearer in the district, especially since the district was split of the districts in the area. Also with losing the loyalty of patrons in the area, that cost him a lot of votes. So I am sure that Mr. Otafiire can become Minister Without Portefolio or something in the 10th Parliament. Now we have seen that the future handpicked loyalist of the Party, not because the locals in Ruhinda want him anymore. Peace.
NFVZone – ‘Kenya Police Probe Otafiire Over Sugar’ (20.11.2007) link: http://www.nfvzone.com/news/2007/11/20/3108994.htm
Kalyegira, Timothy – ‘Rwanda: How RPF and NRA perfected the human atrocities to blame it on Hutus’ (18.03.2010) link: http://rwandarwabanyarwanda.over-blog.com/article-rwanda-how-rpf-and-nra-perfected-the-human-atrocities-to-blame-it-on-hutus-46935719.html
Kavuma, Richard M – ‘Otafiire upsets water experts’ (25.08.2005) link: http://www.worldwatercouncil.org/fileadmin/wwc/Sections_for/Journalists/Water_Media_Program/wmp_resources_kavuma_25.08.05.pdf
Kiggundu, Edris – ‘Gen.Otafiire threatens to quit NRM’ (23.10.2010) link: http://www.observer.ug/component/content/article?id=10614:genotafiire-threatens-to-quit-nrm
Muhwezi, Wilber – ‘PRISONER CAPT. KAHONDA DEFEATS GEN.KAHINDA OTAFIIRE’ (27.10.2015) link: http://mknewslink.com/prisoner-capt-kahonda-defeats-gen-kahinda-otafiire/
Investigator – ‘Otafiire thrown out of parliament over DPP’s appointment’ (08.08.2013) link: http://news.ugo.ug/otafiire-thrown-out-of-parliament-over-dpps-appointment/
Odongkara, Mike – ‘Otafiire crashes car, pulls gun at journalist‘ (08.05.2008) link: http://mikeodongkara.blogspot.no/2008/05/otafiire-crashes-car-pulls-gun-at.html
Ortega, Ian – ‘Kahinda Otafiire Quotes (Compilation)’ (31.07.2013) link: http://bigeye.ug/kahinda-otafiire-quotes-compilation/
Sseremba, Yahya – ‘10 Most Corrupt Ugandans’ (19.04.2012) link: http://campusjournal.ug/index.php/special-report/investigation/471-10-most-corrupt-ugandans
Ugandadrone – ‘Kahinda Otafiire causes jam in a supermarket counting coins’ (15.12.2014) link: http://ugandadrone.com/kahinda-otafiire-causes-jam-in-a-supermarket-counting-coins/
Zadock, Amanyisa – ‘Stop deceiving voters, Otafiire tells aspirants’ (05.06.2015) link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Stop-deceiving-voters-Otafiire-tells-aspirants/-/688334/2740506/-/ure9e3/-/index.html
Walubiri, Moses – ‘I am not as stupid as I appear – Otafiire’ (14.06.2015) link: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/670963-i-am-not-as-stupid-as-i-appear-otafiire.html
Wersaka, Anthony – ‘Otafiire shuns Shell case mediation’ (18.05.2012) link: http://www.kigalikonnect.com/article/otafiire-shuns-shell-case-mediation.html