The UTL Saga: The state salvages the debt to resurrect the Walking Dead

This Mango has gone through a lot. A former state company sold to Libyan investors and after the Libyan credit started to fail. The Ugandan Telecom Company (UTL) or Mango started to suffer too. The Telecom have been so hard hit that three years ago the state had to take it over.

There been so many twists and turns, where the company have been rumoured and speculations. Even the Minister and owners was speculated to moved to a shell company in Mauritius. Therefore, today’s sudden windfall and paying off debts. Is only bailing out a sinking ship and hoping it still doesn’t sink.

The UGX 45.6 Billions to the TDB (Eastern & Southern Trade & Development Bank). With this payment of this debt. The state is initially taking over UTL. This as they plans to make the UTL attractive to investors again. Mango haven’t been viable for years…

The Libyan Post ditched in March 2017 and since then it has struggled. The Libyans said the Government of Uganda needed to figure out a transformation plan for the UTL. It has clearly taken three years to figure this out. That nobody wanted to takeover the loans of a company, which haven’t invested in Telecommunications in years. Where the changes of mobile data, 3G and 4G networks for smartphones. The UTL haven’t had the funds or the ability to change with the times.

UTL is struggling because the state haven’t been able to save it before now. The regime needed over three years to figure this out. This with the steady leadership of Evelyn Anite, Frank Tumwebaze and Gen. Kahinda Otafiire interfering all at different times. While they have all done their part … it still took the Committee until now to secure payment for the debts. This should have been resolved earlier, if they intended to make it viable business.

In 2017, Anite even wanted all Ugandans for Patriotic reasons should have one UTL line. Maybe, she thinks everyone has a Airtel, MTN and could have UTL sim-cards in their phones. As the usual person should have at least double or dual sim-cards.

This all been a long lasting saga, which shouldn’t take this long. It is a fledging company. A former state corporation privatized and sold for scraps to Libya investors. Who earned on it in the good times, but ditched it when it got hot. Because, it been years since the UTL been viable and been a commodity.

This Mango is rotten. The Mango tree isn’t yielding any fruits anymore. This is a Walking Dead Enterprise. A Telecom who has no traction and is only throwing good money for bad investments. The money could have been burned in a street or thrown down a storm-drain, and it would still have more sense then investing it here.

UTL is being saved, but was it worth saving? Does it have any assets or financial liabilities worth mentioning? The competitors are miles ahead and the UTL needs huge investments to be in the same arena. Do they think another investor will spend money like a drunk uncle in a market, which is already filled with big companies. Who has small margins and higher taxes.

Therefore, the ones doing it … has to be regime “friendly” and willing to throw away good money for a bad investment. Peace.

Opinion: Reminiscing about Maj. Gen. Kazini [and will Museveni launch a “new breed” of military entrepreneurialism in North Kivu?]

This isn’t a far fetched, ancient history and such. Many of the men behind the ills of the past is still lingering around. They are in the chambers of powers, having titles and being called “honourable”. These men used their opportunities in the past to earn fortunes on the misery of others. They created massive networks, supported local militias and forged companies to ensure wealth. These was Generals, High Ranking Officials and Associates of the President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.

This they did across the Democratic Republic of Congo. These men in question was Gen. Salim Selah, Gen. Kahinda Otafiire and Maj. Gen. James Kazini. They we’re all participating in the plundering, the looting and the illicit resource flight from the DRC to Uganda. They ensured the military presence and their allies could extract, steal and operate illegal businesses to profit out of. That was all done with the blessing of the “High Above” in Kampala.

Today, I started to reminiscing about Maj. Gen. James Kazini, the late General who was killed by his girlfriend in 2009. That was year after the war in the DRC ended. The man who had together with various of factions, barriers to market and usage of force made it possible to enrich himself on the conflict. He together with Gen. Salim Selah secured companies like Victoria Group. Victoria Group even had as one of their shareholders being Gen. Muhoozi Kainerubaga. That’s why this enterprise was supported, all from the top!

The Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) used the power they had in the region to exploit the mineral resource and re-export it. Like selling diamonds, gold and coffee as Ugandan, but it origins was from the DRC.

Therefore, knowing all this, as the news of the Cabinet Meeting in Entebbe on Monday this week. Which stated building road-network in the North Kivu Province. I cannot help to think, that it’s not only a wet-dream for road-scandal with tenders, lost funds and ghosts. Also with the history of the UPDF. The history of men like Maj. Gen. Kazini. There could be people willing to profit from the sins of the past again. Especially, profitable mineral resources as cobalt and others, which happens to be in North Kivu.

So, if Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) is building the roads in North Kivu. Then, the President and his team will come excuses that the UPDF need a battalion to ensure the safety of contractors and engineers. While, the same army will also configure ways to participate in more military entrepreneurialism in the province. That would be a way to kick-back and make it profitable.

That the UPDF and UNRA would do this wouldn’t be shocking. There is to much resources and possible exploits for them to not grab it. Even if it is a illicit business and illegal. Still, to this day the Ugandan government is exploiting Congolese gold as they are minting it at the Gold Refinery in Entebbe. Which is why, I am thinking there is more plans ahead in North Kivu.

They are not just going there to tarmac some roads and build a bridge or two. No, they are not compensation for the past hurt and looting. No, these men are finding a new way to exploit and profit of the situation. This is the same government that has used Kisoro as a base and supported para-military groups in the DRC. The same government that was a safe-haven for M-23 soldiers. Therefore, I have little trust of the goodwill…

Until proven otherwise. Peace.

Ahead of 2021: The NRM repeats itself in true NRM fashion

We are soon in 2021 and the General Elections is upon us again. The new word “Scientific” is the new idea or subject of controversy. However, there are plenty of staples.

Just like President since 1986 picked up nomination forms and paid a few millions to his party. This is so steady and random. We knew this was happening since abolishing term limits in 2005. We all knew this was happening after he abolished age limit in 2017. It was written in stone. This was written in the stars and there was no way a meteor would hit Okello House in Entebbe and stop this from happening.

We are now seeing battles for the National Vice Chairman, which happens every time. This being in the North being the incumbent versus the deputy speaker. In Western someone whose either a relative of the President or the possible elevation of his Muhoozi. In the East being Mukula, Tanna or someone else whose loyal to the cause no matter what. Then in the Central its a free for all and former Lord Mayors or Presidential Advisors wanting this.

We are now also seeing the NRM Electoral Commission doing the ordinary warning to both members and candidates. That they need to run a free and fair election, where they will be victors, as this is the mass party. The party for the ones aiming at the stars, but hitting the moons. The pop-stars of the Republic.

We are also seeing old heads returning to campaign for the party. Even after they lost in the previous election in 2016. This being Kahinda Otafiire or Jim Muhwezi. These are the sort of NRA historicals who cannot step back and lead the youth from behind. They have to be in the front-line act like big-men. Be generals who has to be in the spotlight and be giants. Instead of giving and educating the next generation. No, they are just in it to eat in yet another term. However, these gentlemen who does that follows the sole candidate on top.

The race for 2021 is following a normal pattern. The NRM tries to show off amount of members. It is trying to make headlines with new deflections and MPs going from the Opposition. They want to have positive publicity, even if doesn’t make sense.

We can expect nice SUVs for RDCs and Chiefs, Pastors getting sudden funds and NRM Village Fund will resurface. The NRM will drop the shillings around like beers in and around alcoholics. That’s what the ruling regime will do. As soon as they can campaign now. They will drop facemasks, sanitizers and whatnot. Soap and smaller things to get the voters greased for the polls.

This is what we know. This has been played out for us so many times. The internal “drama” and knifing over smaller positions from the NRM Central Executive Committee to the rest of the Party. To even be flag-bearer in a newly minted district. That just happens every time. There will be former MPs who was disqualified in the Courts return to the polls claiming to have the academic credentials and needs to stand as a candidate in 2021. This will all appear in front of our eyes.

The NRM will repeat itself. It is doing it. Following standards, protocol and the whole thing. The structure is moving and they have the same story. Even the same actors acting up and wanting your attention. They want to suddenly sound democratic and sincere. When the rest of the time they are muffling the opposition and uses the police to policing them.

While they are free campaigning and using the state as a tool for their benefit. That is what they do and the continuation of the Movement continues. It is not cool, but a repetition of the same old thing. Peace.

Opinion: Will Kahinda Otafiire be elected this time? [Or will he loose to a “jailbird” again?]

Back in the day in the year of 2015 there was this National Resistance Movement Primaries ahead of the General Elections in 2016. However in the constituency of Ruhinda, the NRM Members elected Captain Mugabe Dononzio Kahonda. They elected him over the NRA historical and Museveni loyalist , Major General Kahinda Otafiire.

As the times went on and the loyalist couldn’t stand as a candidate for the ruling party. He decided to run as an Independent Candidate, as he had already lost the primaries. During the Primaries the Captain was behind bars. Which says a lot about how the Ruhinda County looks at Otafiire at that point.

Right before the General Election in early February 2016, Otafiire and his campaign team tried to bribe the Captain to step down from his candidacy. So that he could win a walkover by paying him 500m shillings to back-down. However, the captain and his team didn’t agree to do that and exposed the tape of the call from Otafiire instead.

In the General Election, again the NRM Flag-Bearer was behind bars. Still, the honourable Minister and big-man of the ages Otafiire couldn’t win over Kahonda. That is how much people wants to support someone else.

In 2017 the embattled captain was again arrested with new charges. This time forgery and fraud. However, those cases haven’t been resolved nor followed through. The state just pinned this on the man as his a clear enemy of Otafiire. The man who has run the Ministry of Justice for years during the reign of Museveni.

Now in 2020. The Poster for Kahinda Otafiire the upcoming campaigns and will to stand again as the MP for Ruhinda County. It has been released this week, at least on social media. This shows that the man who couldn’t get the popularity within his own party. The man who couldn’t beat a jailbird and someone who was practically unknown. Still could beat him two times within two years. That he intends to stand again.

Otafiire still have to beat the incumbent MP Captain Kahonda. It is proven that he doesn’t have a popular standing in the county or in his home district. If he did, then he would have beaten him in the General Election too. Not only lost in the inner-party race in the primaries. He lost them both to the same man. That says it all.

Therefore, his blind ambition to try again in 2020 and in 2021 after the utter disgraceful failure of last time is beyond me. As long as the President is in Office he will offer him a noble position and get the envelopes to live the high life. The NRA historical don’t need to work for it and he just get it anyway. The loyalty to the NRM and the President is what feeds him.

This is well known and this man shouldn’t be concerned with campaigning or even trying to get elected. The public has already shunned him. I’m sure there are other big-men like Otafiire who thinks they are entitled to be in Parliament. However, that is not the case. That is why he cannot rig his own county and the will of the public there.

He still have to beat the same captain for the candidacy and for the possibility to be an MP in the 11th Parliament. These stories is the sort you cannot make up, but is sadly true. The indifference and the arrogance is strong with this one.

Otafiire should know better, but who are we kidding, right? Peace.

Opinion: Lt. Col. Nakalema aim wrong with her 4th December march

Lt. Colonel Edith Nakalema has today launched the first public march sponsored by the outfit she’s running. That will be a state owned march on the 4th December 2019 with the special guest, His Excellency, the Fountain of Honour, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.

What is really colourful about this enterprise is the message and the slogan of it all. That is the beautiful wording of “A Corruption-Free Uganda: It Starts With Me”. It is really rich coming from the State House. Really ironic and special, that the unique Anti-Corruption Unit of the State House are usually catching the small fishes, but not touching the kitchen cabinet nor anyone in close association with the President.

That’s why its very rich of the State House and its outfit to have a theme like this. Like the people don’t know whose doing it and whose letting the grand corruption happen. The President has even accepted the Presidential Handshake. He has accepted that businesses get started, get tax-holidays as long as he gets kickbacks. Not like he will let any opportunity of a short-sighted funds go away. Even if it means selling the most prominent building in Kampala, Mabira Forest or anything else. As long as he can get something out of a deal, he will do it eventually.

President Museveni and his handlers will secure that, that’s why his not touched, even with abundance of agencies combatting and securing the government tenders, procurement and budget. However, none of them have ever had the capacity to arrest or charge Amama Mbabazi, Sam Kuteesa, Kahinda Otafiire, Elly Tumwiine and so-on. They are all living lavish, but came out of the bush-war piss-poor. You go figure how their wealth got started.

With this all in mind, the theme should be rewrote, “It Starts with the President”. That would have been accurate. It would have targeted the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and their cronies. Instead, they go after the chicken-thieves and the ones that has no power, no suction or connection within the deep administration. The ones who are rightfully wrong in their actions, misusing local government tenders, creating ghost teachers and whatnot. Still, the biggest culprits, the ones who does it on large scale, the ones who has made and forged the system. They are walking beside the President, they are appointed by him and are untouchables.

That’s why, if the Anti Corruption Unit was sincere, they would have targeted not “me” but the President, Museveni himself. But she did so, she wouldn’t see another day in her office. So, we do understand. She doesn’t want to bite the hand that feed her. We all get that, but if they wanted to be honest. The aim should be at the King, then you best not miss. Peace.

Opinion: Otafiire better line-up a viable argument next time

I have heard all this noise about People Power, which power do you represent, where all these people? The one we know is the LC 1 Chairperson, People Power is exercised by LC1 chairpersons through the ballot box and we will guard this power using the army and air force. Whoever tries to disrupt this power, you are welcome but what will come next don’t regret”Kahinda Otafiire on the 28th October 2019

First and foremost, it is rich and funny that the Minister of Justice Kahinda Otafiire speaks of the value of the ballot box in concern of the LC1 Chairperson elections of 2018 wasn’t done through the secret ballot, but through the art of peer pressure or should I say by lining up behind the one the village or town wanted to have to represent themselves. Therefore, the Honourable clearly have forgotten how the state and the Electoral Commission did their work in 60800 villages last year.

Secondly, that he will guard the lining up of villagers for an election is showing that the backwardness of the National Resistance Movement (NRM). Instead of moving forward and doing elections with secret ballots, the Minister of Justice wants to defend the ideal of school-yard picking football captains in the villages. He will go so far to send the army against the ones going against that. That is loyalty towards the President and his self-styled President for life.

Well, thirdly, the Minister of Justice really thinks his smart, but I have already destroyed his arguments before he started. Because, the People Power is the power of the people. That they are stronger together and has the initial power of the government. Because the government is supposed to represent the people. As they are representatives of the people. Therefore, it is rich that that army has to defend that and not defend the people from enemies invading the territory of the people.

That is why you know the former NRA fighter and for life loyalist of Museveni sounds like this. His trying to sound wise, but instead sounds stupid. He sounds ignorant and dumb. That is a feat in itself.

But we can never take away this from him: “I can’t be a Minister for Crocodiles” and in the same regard. He cannot be the Minister for a Good Memory either. Peace.

Uganda: Letter to Dr. Rose N. Lukwago – Interdiction from Exercising the duties and functions of your office (11.10.2019)

Opinion: New strict campaign finance limits in the new Electoral Reforms…

I got to go at this law one more time, as there is one more consequential thing in it, that cannot be understated. This is real worry, because, this really limits the reach for the candidates, as they have to prepare in advance all the funds and everything before the elections. They have only two weeks to declare how they have raised funds, by whom and also the amount to able to campaign.

That is vital information, as this limits indirectly, the reach of the opposition and their campaigns. This should also stop the National Resistance Movement (NRM) from finding new funds, new money to suddenly have gifts, voter tourism and whatnot, which they didn’t announce two weeks after the nomination.

Take a look!

Section 22:

“(1b) candidate shall declare to the commission, within fourteen days after nomination day, the source of funds for financing his or her election.

“(4) (a) A candidate or candidate’s agent shall not- obtain, solicit or receive any financial or other assistance from any foreign Government, institution, body or person which or who has demonstrated an intention to overthrow the lawfully established Government of Uganda, or to endanger the security of Uganda;

(b) obtain, solicit or receive any financial or other assistance from an organisation which has been declared a terrorist organisation under the Anti-Terrorism Act, 2002” (Presidential Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2019).

The law is also scary vague on key components like the issue of financial or other assistance from foreign government, institution, body or person, whose intention is to overthrow a legal established Government of Uganda. This means, any sort of organization, whose funding is foreign and who works with governance could get into trouble to finance NGOs and others, which implies in a Multi-Party Democracy, that someone else than the incumbents should actually have the possibility to win. Alas, we know, in an Ugandan election that is impossible. Because, the House always WINS, sort of like the rigged Casinos.

This amendment is clearly stifling the ideas like we saw in the previous election, where the citizens gave gifts and donations all along, as Kizza Besigye travelled across the Republic to give small donations here and there. Clearly, because, the NRM and their allies want to underscore and know how much they have on the books and verify their sources. Since, we know, they will not tell how much of the State House budget, the OPM or others goes directly to the President and his team of associates. No, they will make a way to be the smooth operator, but this law is get more strings attached to the opposition.

By all means, no political party or candidate should be used a foreign party to intervene or to overthrow an government, neither should money or funding play into it. That is fine, but that the Electoral Commission needs to know 14 days after the nomination, are really limiting the scope for fundraising, especially with all the conditions put into play.

The rest of the law is straight forward and understandable by all accounts, it is a measure to secure where the funding is from and not laundering money from unsolicited sources, which can be connected to terrorism and other illegal activity, which is fine. That shouldn’t be the case anyway.

But it’s the rest that put real strains on a campaign and ensures, that the candidates have to have a vault of funds to able to campaign and be running in 2021. That is if this goes through parliament and becomes actual law. Peace.

Opinion: Are the electoral amendments a way of outlawing NRM’s own “Independent” MPs?

Well, the first initial reports of the Presidential Elections (Amendment) Bill of 2019 wasn’t accurate, the rumours and speculations wasn’t all truthful. Who knows who leaked it like that and for what reason. That is up to TVO to conspire and show the paperwork off. That is his dish to serve and he does it with such skills.

Alas, this piece will be about independents candidates and their eligibility as candidates. Because, that was also important in the leaks and also the associations between organizations/pressure groups and party members. There are still legal boundaries to this, but now more restrictions, than in the past. Just take a look.

9A. Eligibility to stand as independent candidate.

(1) A person is eligible to stand for election as an independent if that person is not a member of a registered political party or organisation having ceased to be a member of a political party or organisation twelve months before nomination day; or having never been registered as a member of a political party or organisation.

(2) An independent candidate shall be taken to have ceased to be a member of a political party or organisation under subsection (1) (a), if that person has complied with the constitution, rules and regulations of the political party or organisation to which he or she belonged, that relate to cessation of membership of that political party or organisation and was discharged by the political party or organisation.” (Presidential Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2019).

Well, this is straight forward, but this outlawing a practice, which has been done in most parties of late. Most notably in the National Resistance Movement (NRM) where the incumbent loser in any given district or county, have re-run as independent candidates, even while being members of the party. There was even meetings with about 20 Incumbent MPs who lost their Primaries in 2015 at the State House mid-December 2015 ahead of the 2016. Surely, there was also some more who ran on their own accord after losing their primaries earlier in the year. There was also a rise in the amount of Independent MPs in the 10th Parliament. This means, that this method will not be allowed from neither the UPC, DP, FDC or the NRM for that matter. Especially,as the NRM as they have had the most these type of candidates in the previous election.

What this also does, limits and restricts the Independents, meaning if they are Independent. They are not even running under an organization. This means, that possibly, running as independent while being part of People Power. Would be impossible, that is if I understand it correctly. That means, someone running for People Power or for Go-Forward in the previous election. Would have to be registered as member and therefore, not really independent. But aligned to the organization or the party. That would limit the ability for certain individuals.

The original law from 2005 stated only this for any candidate:

9. Sponsorship of candidates by political organisation or political party

Under the multiparty political system, nomination of candidates may be made by a registered political organisation or political party sponsoring a candidate or by a candidate standing for election as an independent candidate without being sponsored by a political organisation or political party” (Presidential Election Act 2005).

Clearly, that law was more liberal, more free and gave way to more various of ways into parliament or into public office. However, this is now showing that the NRM wants stop their own practice and also make the road to the 11th Parliament harder. Even for the guy himself inflicting this law. Who did use this method, the Minister of Justice Gen. Kahinda Otafiire ran as an Independent Candidate after losing the NRM Primaries. He lost twice, but got the Ministry still, because his one of the loyal subjects of the President.

Nevertheless, expect this to have ramifications. As this law is limiting the people running for Parliament. Unless, the NRM Primaries and others are held 13 months ahead of the up-coming elections. Also, that is if the Electoral Commission allows the parties to hold the Primaries early. Because something got to give. Peace.

Opinion: Bosco’s weird arguments for blocking public gatherings!

Well, its been a while since the President have addressed the public. Maybe, after meeting the diplomats from European Union at the State House of Entebbe. They told the old man with the hat, that he should try to sway public opinion about the acts of the Police Force and Army, which is used as tools to shutdown the Opposition. The President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni trying to defend the acts of the authorities, isn’t surprising, they are doing his bidding. I will not dissect the whole article published today, but just the vital parts in my opinion. Because lots of is his own self-praising, that he does at every opportunity he have. It is just his M.O at this point.

If you want to hold a public meeting (olu kungana) or a procession (ekivulu) for a legitimate reason, you should liaise with the Police, so that your public meeting or your procession does not endanger the lives of other Ugandans or the safety of their property. You agree with the Police on the route, if it involves a procession, or the venue if it is an event or a rally. The problem we have with some elements of the opposition is that they ignore this. They want to hold meetings or processions near markets or through crowded streets. This one we cannot allow” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 05.05.2019).

What is weird about this argument is that he thinks the public is so ignorant and so blind to the activity of the opposition. Especially, the consideration of the applications and notifications of all public rallies, all ones done by the opposition. They have complied, but still the Police Force have blocked it. If it is concerts of Kyarenga Extra of Bobi Wine or any rally in any district by the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC). The notification and even the paying the stadiums and town gardens are blocked by the Police Force, even before it is starting. So, we know the state is not allowing the gathering of the FDC or real opposition by all means. Not for safety, but because they challenge Bosco. So, his issues are also backfiring. As the government party and ruling regime are allowed to do processions without any issues or public gathering where-ever it fits, even public markets like the Owino Market in Kampala. So, the President really thinks the public is stupid like his cows.

Therefore, if you want to assemble publically or to procession, it must be for a legitimate reason. If it is to preach hate, to decampaign investments in Uganda etc., then we shall not allow you. Those who have ignored this logic have paid a heavy price” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 05.05.2019).

What is legitimate reasons? Is it stand for your sole candidacy or your causes? Because, anyone else will be shutdown, met with tear-gas and arrests. That is just what happens, if not blocked or house-arrested before entering the paid venue. This is just what is happening, as the Police Force are steady monitoring the acts of the opposition and criminalizing all their activities. Therefore, whatever they do is illegitimate in your eyes and by your authorities. They can never win, they can only loose.

They can notify and negotiate with the Police Force for a rally, a conference and even a concert, but by the ordinary option. The Police will block it or even disperse the crowds before entering the venue. That’s why his assessment is bit far fetched. There are no way the Police Force are accepting rallies, except in a limited window of an election roadmap, but even then the Police can close a rally then.

So anything that his not interfering with the ego of the President and his comrades. The rest have to beg for mercy to legitimate or be like Mama Mabira who kissed the ring. That is just who he his. Also, last part, which needs to be addressed:

However, I also disapprove of the method the Police used to break the glass of Bobi Wine’s car. They should have towed the vehicle to wherever they wanted him to be” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 05.05.2019).

This one is really ironic, because this has been done to plenty of politicians in Uganda. This is not a new tactic of the Police. They have destroyed glass to throw in tear-gas into the vehicle. I know of plenty of times this has been done in the Republic. The Police Force have even towed Besigye across several districts to the closest prison at one point. So, he wanted the same thing when Bobi Wine crossed to property at One Love Beach and drag him to Mukono. Because, that is okay of them without warrants or even charges. This shows his lack of respect of individual freedom, which is only given to Jajja, but not the public in general.

This text shall be a warning, that all opposition is by all practicality illegitimate in the eyes of the President. Not that this is new, he has called by them all names and said he would destroy them. Surely, this sort of defence is showing his intent before the 2021 election. There is nowhere to hide, as they are clearly not spreading the message, the almighty accepts. But, we knew that already. Peace.