Opinion: I’m sorry Lumumba, I don’t believe you…

Yesterday, National Resistance Movement (NRM) Secretary General Justine Lumumba held a press conference ahead of delegation conference of the party and the road-map for the elections. This being in general campaigning and such.

On key point stood out to me and it was this one:

6. On the 7th August 2020, CEC sat to consider and approve the regulations that will be used during the Extraordinary Meeting of the 3rd National Conference, including the related NEC and CEC Meetings. Some have been mentioned above. Others include:

a). CEC directed that the Ministry of Health SOPs should seriously be observed to throughout the conduct of all political and electoral activities of the NRM. This shall be done in order to ensure that we protect the population from the risk of infection of the COVID-19 virus.

b). CEC directed that there should video recording of the entire Meetings of NEC and the National Conference, to ensure maximum transparency.

c). CEC has strongly emphasized that any form of bribery, utterance of any sectarian statements and use of inappropriate language, are unacceptable. Such practices are contrary to the values and principles of the NRM (please see Code of Conduct in the Fourth Schedule of the NRM Constitution), and the laws of Uganda. Any breach any shall have dire consequences. I therefore wish to call upon all NRM members to be law abiding, and to also strictly adhere to the MOH SOPs. The law enforcement officers are hereby called upon to ensure members comply with the law” (National Resistance Movement – ‘Media briefing by the Secretary General’ (9th august 2020).

As we see here, the highest organ of the ruling party have directed the party. A party which has flaunted, forgotten or not cared about the presidential directives and guidelines in concern to the spread of COVID-19. That is why the Electoral Commission and Ministry of Health have landed on strict guidelines, which made certain types of gathering illegal, this being processions, rallies and bigger meetings in general.

I doubt that Captain Mike Mukula, Prof. Ephraim Kamuntu, Evelyn Anite, Haruna Kasolo, Frank Tumwebaze or Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng will face the law. I really do, these people combined with the Flag-Bearers to be will be able to get away with rallies and processions. That has happen all across the Republic.

We know this, even sons-of-bush-warriors who is running for Parliament can have rallies. These are all okay in Up-Country. They are either doing supposed launches of government programs or internal party elections. However, these sort of activities would be blocked in a heart-beat with tear-gas, arrests and anti-riot police on the beckon-call of the RDCs. We know this treatment is only for the opposition, the NRM are above that and will not be touched.

That is why Mukula, Kamuntu, Anite, Kasolo, Tumwebaze and Aceng could all during the COVID-19 have rallies and similar types of activities. They can say, its something else, but all is bathed in yellow.

We could laugh about it and just say its a misfortunate affair. However, I don’t believe … the Police Force’s, ISO, CMI or the LDUs will crackdown on the NRM. That is not happening. It haven’t happen in the past neither in the near future. Not as long as the King stays the King.

These are untouchable. The SG of NRM said the right thing, but I don’t believe it. Until I see the bracelets and the charges done in Court. Which we will not see, because that will not be a good look ahead of the elections. Peace.

Mr. 1986 won’t play fair for 2021 [and the Movement continues to hold rallies]

For the ones thinking social distancing, lockdown measures and COVID-19 isn’t a nice sideshow for a “Scientific” election. Sorry brother, you were wrong. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) and its allies can campaign in the villages, towns, give away gear and even occupy churches for rallies.

That is now proven over the last two weeks. Several of ministers has been busy “campaigning” using government programs. Suddenly speaker Kadaga is in her district giving away masks. Minister of Justice Kamuntu holding rally in a church and in a yard. A State Minister for Health Aceng holding a rally in a sub-county in district, where she the flag-bearer in the election. Also, Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development Tumwebaze held a rally for SAGE too. Minister Kasolo have been holding rallies in the name “Emyooga” too. All of this is happening and we are supposed to believe this all part public official work.

However, the opposition can nearly participate on radio shows. Without the police officers coming barging in. Opposition parties cannot hold press conferences at their offices without being raided. Opposition parties cannot met activists at own party offices up-country without getting their MPs arrested. This is all things that happen in the same window of the Ministers holding rallies.

Meanwhile, we are supposed to cheer and joy for the Movements opportunity to campaign. They are using all tricks of the trade. While the policing of the opposition continues. The opposition cannot do anything without meeting police officers. This is a renewed Public Order Management Act (POMA) just under Presidential Guidelines of Lockdown during COVID-19. Which is supposed to be supported by scientists.

However, the same people who are running the guidelines are breeching it and not begging for mercy. The same folk who are closing venues, churches and public rallies are holding the exact same thing. This is really showing how blind-sided the Movement is.

They are thinking people are so stupid, that they are not understanding or grasping the issues at hand.

This is electioneering before the Elections Road Map and scientific measures that was put in. Therefore, the concern for spreading COVID-19 cannot be that big. When the Ministers are all up in people’s faces and holding rallies. While, they are closing everything else for everyone else. Unless, they are immortal and super-humans, the sort who cannot spread the virus nor be asymptomatic. These MPs and Ministers are so special, that they are above the law and above the fear of the coronavirus.

Everyone else has to be frightened and are in danger. They are not like these people and they are unique, they are special and true VIPs. These folks would usually have the ability to travel abroad for healing. The rest have to go to a hospital with lacking equipment, staff and enough ICU beds. That is just the mere reality.

If the state was worried about the COVID-19. Its high ranking officials wouldn’t campaign on a regular. If the state was holding free and fair elections. The opposition would be able to do internal party works and also prepare for 2021 in a fair manner. However, that is not true. The opposition cannot hold rallies or do their thing. Nevertheless, the Movement can do whatever it want.

That shows the injustice and impunity of the state. They are just misusing their power and reign. It is so obvious, that’s its foolish at best. Peace.

Opinion: The NRM is busy campaigning under “government” program launches

Today, State Minister Evelyn Anite held a sensitization program in Koboko Municipality. Seemingly, just like State Minister Haruna Kasolo holding Emyooga launching all around the Republic too. Minister Frank Tumwebaze launching SAGE system across the Republic. There is also the likes of State Minister Professor Ephraim Kamuntu holding a rally in Sheema district. Also, the State Minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng in Aromo sub-county in Lira District.

You can see the scheme, the State Ministers has all recently held rallies, meetings and been in public. While holding public gatherings, when the campaigning is supposed to be digital and “scientific”. However, that hasn’t mattered for the Emyooga, SAGE or whatever else these people been doing.

They are using the banner of government programs to campaign. These Ministers are using their roles as government officials to hold rallies. While telling the public that they are doing something else.

We are seeing Ministers doing the public gatherings, while citizens are arrested in Kampala for watching Premier League matches. 32 citizens in a small space was moved from a pub showing the matches to a crowded prison without any social distancing. This is happening, while the Ministers are allowed to hold gatherings in public without thinking about this. They have tents and closed venues, but for political reasons.

If people wants to watch Premier League or be gathering in public. They should invite a Minister from the Cabinet. Sensitize or learn about something useful. If not invite them to shed some knowledge about a government scheme and then put on a match on the big-screen. To ensure the legality of the event.

Because, the Minister can hold rallies, campaign rallies and use their ministries, their platform to practically campaign. Just like the President used the Operation Wealth Creation tour to campaign last year. This is copy of that, but using other means to do so. They are doing this in their own districts, across the Republic. All wearing yellow, spreading positive messages about the Movement and doing it ahead of elections. Instead of being scientific and following guidelines of the same government they represent.

That is just insulting common sense. The Movement, the Ministers can act a fool, but it doesn’t make it true. They can act like this is government business, but it seems like rallies. That’s why its deceiving. Especially, when these people are entitled to do so. While opposition and people cannot gather like this without getting arrested. That’s why its insulting to act this way. When others are silenced from doing the same. Peace.

Bosco, it isn’t UTB fault Tourists sway away, its yours actually!

If it was a different world, the Republic of Uganda could have been a haven for tourists and tourism. Where the wealth could have been generated and also shown the magnificent republic, which it is. It being the beautiful Kabale, the green valleys of Ibanda, the National Parks, the historical town of Jinja or bursting bubble of Capital City of Kampala. That is just for starters. However, the ruining this image isn’t Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), that is what the National Resistance Movement has done with the use of the army to quell riots, to meet opposition politicians and even lack of possible political associations without being arrested. This are the memo’s that get to the tourists.

They know that insecurity, the extra-judicial killings and the lack of trust between the state and its citizens are getting the world on worry. That scares away citizens, as well as the hardships against the Forum for Democratic Change and their Defiance Campaign, while now also using the army every time Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine. These sort of activity will not make the Republic more marketable. As people are worried if these sort of activity will interfering in their vacation hot-spots and make their peaceful existence turned into a war-zone with road-blocks, soldiers on posts and possible police brutality as they visit Mengo or even The Square in Kampala.

The president said Uganda has a lot of potential from its natural resources but there is a general lack of efficient marketing which falls directly under UTB. “The UTB has not been doing a good job, I don’t know why. You find other countries Which have nothing to show, attracting more tourists. Therefore, that area of promotion is still weak. If you hired me as promoter for just six months you will see the results,” he said. “The UTB and our embassies should market our country’s uniqueness. We must work towards increasing the numbers of tourists visiting Uganda from the current two million annually,” he added” (Nelson Bwire Kapo – ‘Uganda Tourism Board doing a bad job at promoting Uganda- Museveni’ (30.09.2018, link: http://nilepost.co.ug/2018/09/30/uganda-tourism-board-doing-a-bad-job-at-promoting-uganda-museveni/).

If the President and Bosco wanted it to be great tourist destination, why has the roads and the transport infrastructure been not invested properly in, as these projects are big borrowing operations, where the money has gone into cronies pockets instead of road-quality. Neither has there been well thought of planning of transport between the regions or towns. As there is hectic ways of traveling for the ones who doesn’t know or cannot afford to use specials across the Republic. Therefore, the expensive transport across from Entebbe to a National Park is huge cost for anyone. It doesn’t help with posters by Clear Channel across Europe, if it cost a dozens of bobs to travel and plan to do so.

The UTB is not in-charge of insecurity and the state of affairs. It is not their campaigns or their motivations fault for the situation on the ground. That is all Bosco, as he is the head and has run the Nation for so long. He should take charge and take blame. That would be new for him, because he always blames and says other people are not doing their job.

First. Generate trust abroad, than the people might come. If they know its safe and reads more positive stories. But the tourists will not come there, if the Entebbe International Airport is known for being the place, where the opposition leaders are arrested and detained after arriving. That is what the world knows now. Bosco has ordered this and his trying to destroy opposition is known. The torture and the preventative arrests is known. That is why people fear Uganda. They know that Bosco is a vindictive President, without any other cause, than promoting himself.

That is why this isn’t UTB fault. It is the NRM and Bosco’s fault, who has played this all wrong. He has neither made it easier to be tourist or gained their trust. That is why they pick other destinations like Botswana or Kenya for similar activity and safaris. Peace.

Association of Uganda Tour Operators Ltd: Sudden Increment in Rwanda Gorilla Permit Fees (08.05.2017)

Revealed: The Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiques in Uganda have not appointed needed boards for their agencies!

The Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiques came to sort of revelation in Parliament, that shows the lack of governance and institutionalism that is too common in the Republic of Uganda. That the National Resistance Movement has established agencies under the ministry, but have no-one running them. They have not even appointed boards or even have procedures to select the appointments to them. What a special event. Just take a brief look at the assessment that the Parliament Watch describes from the session today!

“The Committee on tourism trade and Industry has learnt that the different agencies under the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities have no Boards. For example, Uganda Tourism Board, Wildlife Education Centre, Uganda Hotel, Tourism and Training Institute. Members have urged the Minister to inform the Prime Minister and the President in the next Cabinet meeting that the Committee will not consider the budget unless the Boards are instituted by the Ministry. Committee observed that it is a deliberate move to control agencies through the line ministry” (Parliament Watch, 25.04.2017).

A definition of a board from Meriam Webster says this: “a group of persons having managerial, supervisory, investigatory, or advisory powers” (Meriam Webster – Definition of board). So the ministry do not at the current state have the capacity to involve people to have a managerial or a supervisory role over agencies beneath themselves. That must be the true definition of steady progress, as state affairs goes, aye?

Like Uganda Tourism Board was already established by 1994. So the NRM has had the time to handpick the men and woman fit for the works and roles, still they have none. So the one agency involved in marketing and promoting the republic as a travelling destination does not have a board. Even the web-page of UTB says this: “The Minister of Tourism Wildlife and Antiquities, appoints the Board of Directors for Uganda Tourism Board on a 3 year term. The Board has an oversight and advisory role over the work and plans of UTB. The Board of Directors is headed by a Chairperson supported by members representing public and private sector tourism stakeholders” (UTB – Board of Directors link: http://www.corporate.visituganda.com/about-us/board-of-directors/ ).

So the Ministry themselves should have the ability to make decisions fitted for appointing the needed personnel, without having the blessing of the President nor the Prime Minister. This is just one of the agencies and it didn’t take long time to look into it, the funny thing was, when you tried to go to the “Management Team” link on page, the only thing coming up on the page was “Bad”. So the knowledge of missing links and personnel is even visible to the tourism flagship page.

That the Minister Ephraim Kamuntu has work to do and people to employ certainly, also to get budget to keep their salaries in balance, as the agencies does need funds. Certainly, he has a State Minster Godfrey Kiwanda Suubi, who must have some insights and knowledge of some heads to collect. In addition, the Permanent Secretary Doreen Katusiime got know somebody fitting the program and vision of the agencies. If none of these three smart and bright, fellow appointees of the President can pick someone to the boards. Than the Director James Lutalo, should be able to find someone, educated and experienced in the field to envision the progression of the tourism industry and the wildlife experience in Uganda.

With the abundance of Presidential appointments to the Ministry, they should have the capacity and the ability to get the boards up and running, as well as a check-and-balancing act, to see that they do what the Ministry are supposed to do. So that the destination Uganda, can be a splendid travel for tourists. To make sure that they can have the best time while being there. Peace.