In a Police Circular of 16th May 2018, the Inspector General of the Police Okoth Ochola has ordered a shift of policy towards the media. This is a change, but if we only see it on paper or in reality. Time will tell, because the laws that the Police use are still the same, they still have the Public Order Management Act (POMA), which has been used as a tool to oppress and silence opposition. Where the Police has interfered in journalistic endevours and political party works all across the Republic. All of that is well-known, as the Police needs to engage and give consent if anyone is gathering. That is so they can either stop it before it happens or have knowledge of any activity of any party, that is happening in public.
What is key from the message from the IGP was this:
“Unit commanders must observe the safety of journalists very critically and no journalist or citizen should ever be abused or tortured. Torture is a criminal offence according to the law and whoever will be found to be involved in the crime shall be expeditiously investigated and prosecuted. The constitution calls upon us all to preserve, protect and promote media freedoms” (IGP Okoth Ochola, 16.05.2018).
CEON-U reported this from the General Election and Campaigning in 2016:
“At the (media content) producer level, journalists reported pressure from government, security and ruling party officials, which sometimes saw the cancellation of critical radio programmes as well as suspension of presenters and talk show hosts for entertaining opposition candidates, especially Besigye. There were also increased cases of assaults and intimidation of journalists, self-censorship, and bribery” (CEON-U – ‘UGANDA GENERAL ELECTIONS 2016: REVISITING THE DEMOCRACY CONSTRUCT’ P:76, 2016).
It is not long ago, when Besigye was planning to hold a Radio Tour all-around Uganda, but the State sanctioned the radios holding him, but at the same period in time, the President could do the same and on the same topic, as Besigye was planning too. It is not many months ago. Therefore, the state is continuing to oppress and silence the other voices, than of the President.
Museveni likes to own the media, own the message and control it, therefore, he has lecture anyone to follow his voice and pattern, not question it, because then your not patriotic. That is what is well-known, so it is good idea that the Police are supposed to respect the covering of the journalists and their work. However, if they start to be to critical or get sources, which is questioning the Musevenisms, then know they will be besieged, be detained and lose their license. That is what Museveni does, so even if the journalist wouldn’t be arrested while on Live-Broadcast, like the police did in Kasangati in the recent year. Still, the NRM and Uganda Police Force has a long walk ahead.
It is nice that the IGP wants things to change, but they should also abolish POMA, so people are allowed to participate and be political active, without having the police breathing down their necks or coming with tear-gas, every time they congregate. This will certainly his a journalist, a camera-man or anyone covering it. They will not be totally shielded, I doubt the Police would do so. They usually cover all angles and anyone in the nearby passage get touched.
The Police can order and say they will leave the journalists be, but will they really follow through, when there are laws like the POMA in affect. That will not change the dynamics, unless, the Parliament makes other laws, that gives the provisions to the Police to act differently. Peace.
Here is the circular:
“Let me also warn anybody who is involved or planning to engage in corruption, that the long arm of the law will catch up with them. I would like to stress that when President Yoweri Museveni described this term as Kisanja Hakuna Mchezo, he meant it and we are all following suit. Poor performance will not be tolerated” – Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda at the launch of NRM Manifesto Week, 11.05.2018).
I will go year by year, into Ministerial Policy Statements from the Office of the Prime Minister, to show the vast wasted expenses put into the system of this entity alone. Because he is addressing others, well aware, that his Ministry and Public Office is famous for its wastage, its ghosts and their methods of shady deals with business people. That is the reason for why Dr Rugunda is now the Prime Minister, as he had to take over from Amama Mbabazi, whose been on the top list of corrupt officials for years. So he is sort of wrong, saying the government will not tolerate corruption, that means he have to target himself and his own office.
From the Office of the Prime Minister in the Financial Year 2014/15, the use of funds on Newspapers was UGX 276,2m. On Photocopying it was estimated UGX 945,5m. Welfare and Entertainment got UGX 303m. On government business, the PM needed UGX 239,000,000 Shillings on snacks!
From the Office of the Prime Minister in the Financial Year 2015/16, the use of funds on Newspapers was UGX 212,3m. On Photocopying it was estimated UGX 873m. Welfare and Entertainment got UGX 205,7m. Special Meals and Drinks got UGX 288m.
From the Office of the Prime Minister in the Financial Year 2016/17, the use of funds on Newspapers UGX 236,3m. On Photocopying it was estimated UGX 1,768bn. Welfare and Entertainment got UGX 182,2m. Special Meals and Drinks got UGX 378,7m.
I didn’t even look that hard into the MPS, but if I had, I am sure I could have found more pressing and questionable spending by the Office. Since they are spending on all sorts of projects, which could in hindsight just be on paper and not in reality. Because this OPM is known for ghost-projects, ghost-refugees and so-on. Therefore, the OPM and PM should be careful warning anyone else, when his own office is questionable a best and isn’t having oversight of it.
Therefore, when PM Rugunda sends out warning, maybe he should use less funds on snacks, special foods and also on Newspapers. I doubt he and his fellas read it that much, they should be preoccupied with the projects in Northern Uganda, the Youth Livelihood Projects and whatnot that is under his office portefolio.
And by the way, the photos of the PM dropping cash-in had while campaigning for the General Election 2016, doesn’t make him the stature of confidence in the department of trust and transparency. As who knows where that came from and what account they accounted it in. Nevertheless, this the NRM way. Peace.
Well, again the lectures has to start, as the man whose says he is about free press and democracy, he has to call in a meeting to lecture them how to cover him. Not to attend a meeting of sorts, where the standing of the nation, no no, that is another bargain for another day. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, will tell stories of bravery from 1986 and beyond. He will express discontent, where his own words are taken out of proportion, because his erratic mind and his stances is changing with the wind. It would have been better to just drop a report and show the reality, however, the President wants positive spin ala Softpower or Chimpreports and so on. He doesn’t want media who questions and finds faults. Because the President is never wrong, everyone else is!
“President Yoweri Museveni has summoned all media owners and managers in Uganda for a meeting at State House Entebbe. The meeting was confirmed by the presidency in a brief message to journalists. “HE the President is due to meet media owners and managers today at Entebbe State House,” reads a message from Museveni’s press handlers. Accordingly, the agenda of the meeting is not yet clear, but inside sources hint on the fact that Museveni wants to dissuade the media from fanning conflicts between him and religious leaders as well as request for better coverage regarding the rampant cases of kidnap in the country” (Moses Namayo – ‘Museveni summons media owners’ 11.05.2018, Nilepost.co.ug).
Museveni has had a hard time with the media, he has closed radios, bullied newspapers and editors. That is why some of the most prominent reporters and notable writers are still in exile, not in Uganda anymore. Because they cannot stay there in fright of the penalties their writings will have. Everyone is supposed to praise every word coming out of the President mouth. Even when he is one week saying the priest and clergy are good folks, next week bashing them for connecting with politics and thirdly wondering why the clergy is silent doing nothing during the celebration of the martyrs?
That is just how the days goes by, and he expect everyone to tune into his message and his deluded beliefs. As he is the master and chief, the mastermind and the inventor of liberation, even as he keeps the whole republic as hostages to his rule. That is the magician who thinks he tricks everyone, but only tricks himself. President Museveni isn’t that bright or that smart, even the street smart, non-educated and the villager can see through it. That is why his own party officials was rebuked recently in Rukungiri.
So, don’t expect the fountain of honour to be regarding the media. It is all about himself and his agenda. That he needs to massage the message. There aren’t anything new, just that they need guidance to follow his memo and not think for themselves. That is the patriotic stance of the republic, to be on guard and follow the leader. If you don’t then your rights can be revoked. Peace.
“President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has this afternoon attended the thanksgiving ceremony of the Kitgum Municipality Woman MP Beatrice Atim Anywar at Boma grounds. In his speech, the President said he was happy Anywar had survived three accidents” (…) “For the past 10 years, Anywar’s attitude has been changing positively. NRM should do what Jesus told people to do, become fishers of men. I’m here to see if I can fish Anywar and all the other fish in the lake,” said President Museveni (New Vision, 26.05.2017).
You can sometimes wonder why someone is loyal or cares about their affiliations, as this weeks evidence, the full-circle of disloyalty and money hungry politician is in full-affect. This from the woman who delivered back to Parliament back-in-the-day a Ushs. 20 Million shillings to Parliament in 5,000 notes. She is the ones who has fought tooth and nail against the government to save the Mabira Forrest from foreign investors to build sugar-cane plantations and a sugar mill. Therefore, her stride and passion has surpassed many of the current incumbent Members of Parliament. That is why the betray of the Forum for Democratic Change is even more despicable, even if it has been in the works over the last 2 years.
Kitgum MP Beatrice Atim Anywar is on her fourth term in the Parliament, she has been before shadow minister and also been arrested during the 2011 Walk to Work demonstrations. She was questioned and even detained at some points of it. So it is not like her political life has been easy. Still, because of this knowledge and knowing what President Museveni does to his opponents, you would think that these people wouldn’t be eaten by the envelopes. Surely, the missing funds for her last foreign treatment. Might be reason, as she has been unlucky and has survived three bad-car accidents. So, she has gotten more pain and with that plenty. Certainly, a man can understand the payment of doctors fees and the sudden help can change a persons affiliation. Especially since she was kicked out of being FDC Treasury, also had to go independent because of her loss in the FDC Primary in Kitgum. Therefore, with her alliance with Mbabazi and the The Democratic Alliance (TDA). She stood more alone, than together with the Besigye/Muntu and Mafabi party of FDC.
To give you a brief timeline:
In November 2015, Beatrice Anywar had another tone:
“HAPPENING: Beatrice Anywar
I am a fighter. I fought the Mabira war and won it.
I am a staunch FDC member, but I belong to an FDC that goes forward” (NBS Television, 03.11.2015).
On the 2nd November 2015 the FDC Stalwart Anywar was the one proposed and delivered the papers of Mbabazi Presidential Aspiriant to Electoral Commission Chairman Eng. Dr. Badru Kiggundu at Kololo. She was also one the first key figures rallying at the Nakivubo Stadium on the Presidential Candidate Nomination Day of Go-Forward and for Amama Mbabazi. This was on the 3rd November 2015. Then she followed and was also part of the AmamaTrail, like at the rallies of Mbabazi in Mityana on the 11th November 2015. Beatrice Anywar was clearly involved directly with the Go-Forward and the TDA in its hey-day. While in the 30th November she was joining again the FDC Team when they we’re trialing through the district of Kitgum.
1. December 2015:
“FDC yesterday maintained that Mr Denis Okalit was the party flag bearer for the Kitgum municipality MP seat even as Ms Beatrice Anywar made last minute attempts to persuade the party to reconsider the decision. The party endorsed Mr Okalit last Friday as its flag bearer despite a petition by Ms Anywar against the decision. The party accuses Ms Anywar of supporting presidential candidate Amama Mbabazi’s candidature. Ms Anywar seconded Mr Mbabazi’s nomination but the party says she acted outside the party laws” (…) “Gen Muntu said the party was facing several challenges in different parts of the country following the party primaries but said everything humanly possible will be done to resolve them. “Mr Okalit is the one with the party ticket. Ms Beatrice Anywar is running as an independent. I was telling party leaders in Kitgum District that whoever they choose to support, they must not cause confusion during campaigns because after four months, the party has to remain,” Gen Muntu said” (Kafeero, 2015).
Later in December 2015:
“Kitgum Woman MP Beatrice Anywar says she is not campaigning for any particular presidential candidate. Anywar’s troubles stem from her recent public support for independent presidential candidate Amama Mbabazi yet she is still a member of FDC” (NTV Uganda, 05.12.2015).
So her misconceptions during the early campaigning as she claimed to be FDC, but working for the Go-Forward, while also being Independent MP candidate in Kitgum. Clearly shows that she was on the ways to greener pastures and hoping for yields in the Go-Forward/TDA umbrella, instead of the FDC. She got elected into the 10th Parliament and was sworn-in as Independent.
Months after being sworn-in as independent MP, she proposed on the 30th May 2016 a power-sharing agreement between Dr. Kizza Besigye and President Yoweri Kaguta Musevei. Something that was just talk, but clearly she figured something out. Certainly since the election she needed to see where she could get loyalty. As her role as independent and supporting Mbabazi had backfired. Go-Forward didn’t really go as planned for the politician. Therefore, she had try to create another fix. Since she still has linkage to FDC, while trying to mediate with Museveni. This has certainly happen in the shadows, as the President will really listen when he thinks he can get his way. Than we fast forward a year. As she doesn’t make any significant sway of leadership or change of position. Other than again, falling unlucky, having a car-crash, which she doesn’t have the money to pay the hospital bills. As she will get treatment in India. This is happening in April 2017. As the bill of charge grows and how it get paid. Is not known, but on a separate note, the wife of Mbabazi got paid by the state for her overseas treatment in 2017. Therefore, it is most likely that the Museveni footed her hospital bills in India.
While the time lingers, the evidence of her needs of funds and help is clear, as the rumors was as the Oil Cash Probe or the Presidential Handshake hit a high point, in early May 2017. She was rumored to have visited the President at the State House asking for her own funds. Beatrice was one out of a group asking and begging the President for money. This was big news around 1st May 2017. And not strange concerning the rumored and alleged paid funds for her hospital bills in April 2017. Whey you know this and she has a thanksgiving ceremony in Kitgum this 26th May 2017, where the fountain of honor is President Museveni. You know the political affiliation is now towards the Movement and the President. Honorable Anywar is now officially affiliated with Museveni and his party.
This has happen over the last two years, as she lost the FDC Primaries and had to find other homes. Tried in Go-Forward. That didn’t go well, and now she has found shelter in NRM. As the founding member of FDC, and that she was adamant of being apart of FDC while running for a new term in office. Therefore, the stages of disloyalty is clear in the sand. The recognition of it and the questionable will of her can be in doubt. As she was a harsh critic of Museveni’s ways and his attack on the Mabira forrest, but now in these days sh can be parts and even wear yellow. The whole world can see and learn by the Anywar case. How dirty and how the politicians can change camps to gain cheap popularity. Therefore she even went on the rallies of both Mbabazi and Besigye during the campaigns of 2015. You can wonder how she plans to do it in 2021 and in 2020. To gain another term in Parliament, as she clearly are now loyal to Museveni and his cause. He even praised her like he did with the Good DP Mbidde and Mao.
This story will only continue and the proof that the envelopes of Museveni has power, more than his ethics, his control of society and his demands of no scrutiny into his backroom policies. That is clear to loot the state reserves. Now, Mama Mabira, the former strong opposition leader, are now marginalized over a little help. All of her history of the past vanish, even if some remember, that will be gone as her newfound home destroys her former attacks on the government. Just like the record of Beti Kamya is also wrecked. Peace.
Kafeero, Stephen – ‘Anywar pleads with FDC leaders for Kitgum municipality flag’ (01.12.2015). link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Anywar-pleads-with-FDC-leaders-for-Kitgum-municipality-flag/-/688334/2978950/-/op6ssyz/-/index.html