Opinion: The PM spent 39 million shillings to rent a vehicle [and that only covered the overtime!]

As the Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja was a part of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) earlier in the year. There is now a leaked letter from Ambassador Adonia Ayebare, the Permanent Representative to the United Nations for Uganda. He has written a letter dated the 30th September 2022 where he requested for payment of the hiring of the rental vehicle, the driver and toll-fees.

The Prime Minister needed an SUV between the 17th September 2022 to the 21st September 2022. That cost in total $10,313.75, which is around Ush. 39,206,790 shillings or 39 million shillings. The PM cost the taxpayer around 9,75 million shillings. The SUV was only used for 14 hours and not more. If you do a small calculation, it cost the PM to rent the vehicle per hour around 2,8 million shillings.

This shows how the PM is willing to spend monies from the public coffers. It was just a rental SUV in the United States. This vehicle was rented from the NY Executive Services. What is striking is the costs of this bill and it’s only the additional expenses.

So most likely the vehicle rental was costing much more, but just in addition to original billing. The PM could afford to spend 39 million shillings on 14 hours in New York. Nabbanja should wonder how she could use funds like this. It is a wastage of funds and we don’t even know how much the Permanent Mission of Uganda to the United Nations, New York had agreed on spending on this. Because, this is just the overtime of 14 hours during these four days. This bill isn’t the whole cost of the rental vehicle and what was spent on the ordinary time. The 39 million shillings is only covering the overtime.

I would wonder how steep and how many millions it cost on the original billing. Since this is an additional invoice. The original invoice have to be big when the add-ons are 39 millions of shillings. As it said in the letter: “additional charge”.

We don’t know how much it was to begin with. The PM has a lavish spending habit and used to finer things. When she costs that much for overtime in New York. We can just peculate what else she spent money on and how costly that was. This is just overtime on a rental SUV. Not the first and original invoice.

Sigh. The PM has money to burn. That is for sure. Peace.

Bukimbiri County By-Election: Return Form for Transmission of Results (11.08.2022)

Updates from Gogonyo County and Bukimbiri County By-Elections

Today is the day of the polls in the by-elections that is running simultaneously. Gogonyo County in Pallisa district is sort of over before the polls. As there are no real opposition or candidates against the National Resistance Movement (NRM) Flag-Bearer. This is why the real score is on the Bukimbiri County By-Elections in Kisoro district.

The Gogonyo County has had low voter turnout and it’s really an uninteresting affair. The only bothersome thing is that the Electoral Commission didn’t change the ballots after the withdrawal of candidates. So, the Polling agents has to enlighten the voters about if they vote for any of the candidates who pulled out. Their ballots becomes invalided one and will be counted as a spoilt one. Instead of casting a vote that really matters…

In Bukimbiri County is a whole other ball-game. There is already reports of abductions and arrests of the polling agents of the independent candidate, Asigaro Turyagendya. They are now detained at various of police stations. In addition to that… A team led by the Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja, Minister Sarah Mateke and Moses Kamuntu is traversing the county arresting the polling agents and supporters of Asigaro Turyagendya. So, the acts of Soroti East has come to Kisoro for sure.

It is also reported: “Voters in Bukimbiri County By-election are being given between 2000 and 5000 Ugandan shillings to vote either Asigario Turyagenda (independent) or Eddie Kwizera (NRM). This has led to physical fights” (Voice of Muhabura FM, 11.08.2022).

The amount of voters in Bukimbiri is said to be moderate. While drones and heavy security detail in the district. As reported earlier there are alleged voting bribery in the district. However, it is also stated that there have been ballot stuffing going on in Nyanamo Town Council. The source for this was Julius Nkunda from the Voice of Muhabura FM.

We can assess the circumstances here and the outcome is most likely a resounding victory for the NRM. Not because they have the best candidates or the flag-bearers. No, because they have rigged the elections and ensured safe-landing for their anointed ones. They have invested, intimidated and bribed to make it happen. It is just formalities and awaiting the Return Form for Transmission of Results.

Derrick Orone (Gogonyo County) and Eddie Kwizera (Bukimbiri County) is scheduled to be sworn-in and be the next MPs of the 11th Parliament. To think otherwise and naive. This is why the population isn’t eager to show up or participate. Because, everyone knows the drill and it’s close to pointless or derivative at this point. When everyone knows what will go down and who will be announced.

The rest is just publicity, smack-daddy posturing and open blindfolding of the population. Hoping they don’t understand the gimmicks and the games. These weren’t elected MPs, but selected ones. The NRM didn’t need to do much, but they did enough to secure the poll position. That’s very obvious. Yet, another few hallow “victories” for the Movement.

It can celebrate, but everyone knows what’s up and the reality will sooner or later hit them. They cannot do this forever and the public will not accept either. They are made fools off and everyone knows. Peace.

Opinion: Mutabazi only thinks about his own needs…

Joshua Mutabazi whose candidature for Bukimbiri County (Kisoro) seat was withdrawn by his party, NUP in favor of FDC candidate James Owebeyi has crossed to NRM” (NTV Uganda, 10.08.2022).

It wasn’t long ago that the National Unity Platform (NUP) withdrew their candidate in the up-coming by-election in Bukimbiri county in Kisoro district. It is just mere days since the effects of the Unity Statement came into affect and made the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) the “sole” candidate of the opposition in the by-election. However, as things are turning, the words of the 19 year old student surely turned bitter.

The not so seasoned politician who showed finesse character. Has had a change of heart. We don’t know what swayed him or what the National Resistance Movement (NRM) offered the young man. Whatever it was… it wasn’t serving the nation or the struggle for liberation. No it was most likely for his own needs and not what the country needed.

Just read his statement as he withdrew his candidacy just the other day…

Joshua Mutabazi statement:

But if, its for the people, but if it was for liberation, but had it been for us then why wait long. We cant keep claiming condemning and consoling. I choose to bridge the struggle but most importantly draw lines between what one needs and what the country needs. What the country needed a decade back was our leaders to be one, we are late. Its my turn, I wont delay therefore announce my withdrawal from the parliamentary seat by-election of the latter mentioned jurisdiction in favor and full support for united struggle. As the country’s need to have united forces of Change ages daily, I and my party decided to take it upon ourselves. If you have ever experienced injustice and by the ungodliness, then you are a candidate to stand against the same. “Do you want to stand out? Then step down. Be a servant. If you puff yourself up, you’ll get the wind knocked out of you. But if you’re content to simply be yourself, your life will count for plenty. Matthew 23:11-12-11-12 MSG If you are unwilling to make an early sacrifice in life, you’ll be beggars and slaves to the men who did” (Joshua Mutabazi – STATEMENT ON MY WITHDRAWAL FROM THE BUKIMBIRI COUNTY PARLIAMENT SEAT BY-ELECTION, 06.08.2022).

The young man knew perfectly well the deal and what sort of struggle it is out there. The path that his chosen is a road for himself. That is with whatever cherries or dealings the NRM has offered. This is short-term benefits, but in the long-run… his not useful or anything of value for the NRM. No, his just another bought cadre who they were able to corrupt ahead of a by-election. He will be useful as Ashburg Katto or anyone else taken from the NUP. The associates of Bobi Wine who turned the other way.

Mutabazi haven’t even carried himself in a whole campaign. He did the right thing and said the words that was wisely written in the statement. As the party in their efforts of solidarity and planned joint-ventures had to drop-out of certain races to show unified front against the NRM. That’s just a mere fact and Mutabazi isn’t the only one who had to withdraw and won’t be the last either. Especially, if the parties continues with this practice and belief of joint-campaigning to show a vast difference from the NRM.

Mutabazi is unwillingly to sacrifice and will become a beggar or a slave to the system. That’s the choice he made… when he decided not to follow the struggle, but took a choice for his own ends. The young man is in his rights to do so, but he abandoned the struggle and the life of sacrifices. He has chosen the life of cronyism and becoming corrupted by the regime itself. That’s why he gave up on trying to be part of change, but instead joining with the status quo. It is tragic, but that’s the path he has chosen.

When you have opened this door, there is no turning back. People know what you do and who you are. You weren’t the man you made to believe. Instead you sold out and that will forever be a stain on your name. That’s the choice he made and now he has to deal with it. Peace.

Bukimbiri County By-Election: The NRM is ready to repeat what they did in Soroti East…

We’re very ready to gain that victory in all the remaining by-elections in Gogonyo, and Bukimbiri. Our teams are already on the ground and we hope to repeat what we did in Soroti,” NRM party EC boss, Dr. Tanga Odoi said” (The New Vision, 05.08.2022).

The ones that believes the two by-elections scheduled for 11th August 2022 will be free and fair. Well, I hate to say it in advance: “It will not be”. Because, the National Resistance Movement are already prepared and Dr. Tanga Odoi know what went down in the Soroti East By-Election. So, the truth is in those words and the public shouldn’t be hoodwinked.

The Prime Minister Nabbanja flew in with a helicopter to campaign together with other high ranking officials who is in the area. They are clearly ensuring the path of victory and having the manpower to “ensure victory”. If that being Dombo or NRM operatives on the ground. These will do whatever it takes and that shows with how the NRM has invested in the PM to be there.

Here are some more important statements into the race, which we will be run like Soroti East…

The PM:

PM Robinah Nabbanja, pitches camp in Kisoro to campaign for NRM flag bearer, Eddie Kwizera Wa-gahungu ahead of this week’s Bukimbiri by-election. Nabbanja rallied the locals to support Kwizera, if promises and pledges of gov’t are to be fulfilled” (91.2 Crooze FM, 08.08.2022).

Joint Candidacy of the Opposition:

Kampala, Uganda: The National Unity Platform (NUP) party has withdrawn its candidate in the Bukimbiri county by-election, in order to jointly support James Owebeyi, a candidate for the Forum for Democratic Change-FDC party. Voting in Bukimbiri is scheduled to take place on August 11, 2022. The by-election stems from the court of Appeal’s decision to nullify the victory of Kwizera citing irregularities following a successful application by Owebeyi” (Flash TV Uganda, 07.08.2022).

Joshua Mutabazi statement:

But if, its for the people, but if it was for liberation, but had it been for us then why wait long. We cant keep claiming condemning and consoling. I choose to bridge the struggle but most importantly draw lines between what one needs and what the country needs. What the country needed a decade back was our leaders to be one, we are late. Its my turn, I wont delay therefore announce my withdrawal from the parliamentary seat by-election of the latter mentioned jurisdiction in favor and full support for united struggle. As the country’s need to have united forces of Change ages daily, I and my party decided to take it upon ourselves. If you have ever experienced injustice and by the ungodliness, then you are a candidate to stand against the same. “Do you want to stand out? Then step down. Be a servant. If you puff yourself up, you’ll get the wind knocked out of you. But if you’re content to simply be yourself, your life will count for plenty. Matthew 23:11-12-11-12 MSG If you are unwilling to make an early sacrifice in life, you’ll be beggars and slaves to the men who did” (Joshua Mutabazi – STATEMENT ON MY WITHDRAWAL FROM THE BUKIMBIRI COUNTY PARLIAMENT SEAT BY-ELECTION, 06.08.2022).

That Mutabazi (NUP) is withdrawing his candidature is in line with the united forces in the by-elections. This means the NUP and FDC will combine their efforts and be behind one candidate in the race. It shows that the statement released after the Soroti East By-Election is in effect. The parties are coordinating and ensuring the possible best outcome.

The FDC Owebeyi was able to pull off the petition in the courts after the General Elections of 2021. However, now in the By-Election it is a whole other breed. The state will use all means and tactics. The NRM EC Chairman is even saying it out loud. Expect it to become a military exercise. We should expect mass-arrests, pre-ticked ballots and other malpractices to ensure “victory” of the NRM flag-bearer. That’s how they are doing it and it’s so obvious.

That’s why I have little to no faith in the opposition in these races. Not because I want the NRM to win. I do want anyone else than the NRM to win. However, the way they operate and continues to take the elections. The will of the people isn’t the vital one. It is the total annihilation of the opposition. That’s the goal and the objective…

I don’t see a positive outcome. The FDC flag-bearer James Owebeyi could be a genuine man and an honest actor, the best sort of candidate, but that doesn’t matter. Because, the state is preparing their machine and rigging. The FDC polling agents and activists will soon feel the agony of facing the state. They are getting into the firing line and they tend to answer with brutality. To think otherwise is to be naive in 2022… Peace.

A Joint Opposition ahead of the next By-Elections…

The way to get back our power is to unite all of us and the population to be rallied together. Once that happens, I’m very excited that I can see it now beginning to happen. Even if we said that let all of us do this, this regime has no capacity to stop it” – Dr Kizza Besigye (01.08.2022).

Today there was a real launch of a joint opposition ahead of the next elections. This was a mix of various parties and formations. The main ones are the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) and National Unity Platform (NUP). The other parties was the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Justice Forum (JEEMA) and the DP Block. While the People’s Front for Transition (PFT) and People Power Movement (PPM).

This is the first one that is like this since the Democratic Alliance (TDA).The TDA have been shaky and most of the members there has ended up in the arms of the regime.

The TDA isn’t the only joint opposition ahead of an election. In 2011 the opposition went ahead with a coalition called the Inter-Party Cooperation (IPC). In 2020 the FDC and NUP created the United Forces of Change (UFC).

Today we are seeing a new front with a lot more parties and formations behind it. That could strengthen the cause. We have already seen the NUP and FDC supporting a joint candidate in the Soroti East By-Election in the Moses Attan there. The new Press Conference and Joint Statement shows not only sentiment, but a plan for the parties ahead.

This country is bigger than our political parties. The mission is bigger than building our political parties. In any case, one would argue that there are no political parties in Uganda because we do not operate like political parties” (Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, 01.08.2022).

The Joint Statement is stating the plan ahead:

Going forward, we shall jointly or severally use any upcoming elections to organise and rally the population to defend their democratic rights and end the election ‘madness’ that has bedeviled our country since independence” (Joint Statement, 01.08.2022).

It will be interesting to see it happening in the upcoming by-elections. The opposition is showing a united force and its needed. The messages from the leaders is as important. Because, the parties and formations are pledging to work together.

The ruling regime and the National Resistance Movement (NRM) have been met with similar coalitions before, but this time around there is no direct or former NRM who will leave the fold quickly. The ones that has left the NRM did it so long ago… that it seems impossible for a return.

This statement comes days after the NRM-DP Cooperation Agreement and the previous election agreement between NRM-UPC. Therefore, this time around the Joint Opposition has to prove it. As the NRM is purging and trying to convince the opposition of working with them.

The Joint Opposition have to show it and also ensure they field the best candidates. They have to show the malpractice and undermine the election rigging. In such a manner, that the NRM cannot live with it or even announce the results. The opposition has to show fierce methods and not only play to the rules of the state. Opposition cannot just participate, but prove everything wrong with the regime.

Time will tell if this will work. The ambition and sentiment behind is commendable. I am hope it does make a difference. Not only a Press Conference and a Statement. The people have to see it and the parties and formations have to show it. Peace.

Uganda: Joint Statement of Political Leaders, Parties and Formations against the Brazen Thuggery of Elections in Uganda as Exemplified in the By-Elections of Kayunga, Omoro and Soroti (01.08.2022)

Uganda: Office of the Prime Minister – Minister of State for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees – Torrential Rains in Mbale and Kapchorwa (31.07.2022)

Opinion: The Apex Platform is the epitome of what is wrong with the NRM

NOTE: The Apex Platform is an Executive Decision-Making body whose decision shall be communicated accordingly by the Secretariat as directed by H.E. the President. The Apex Platform shall address the issues referred to it by Cabinet and report back by way of a Cabinet Information Paper” (APEX Manual).

The National Resistance Movement (NRM) and President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhurwa Museveni has been in-charge and in-power since 1986. The Cabinet is huge, the Presidential Advisors are countless and Parliament is to big for its chambers. Therefore, the President has many hands, ministries, parastatals or state owned enterprises (SOEs). Heck he has created so many government bodies, oversight commissions and whatnot. However, with every withering year they are not creating anything.

Now, the officiating the APEX Platform, which he is set to be at the inaugural meeting, which will be convened soon, I suppose. As all the stakeholders and participants will ensure they are part of the new body.

That shall be chaired by the President, the Vice President, Office of the President, Office of Prime Minister, Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development and National Planning Authority.

In addition other permanent members of APEX is:

– Ministry of Public Service (MoPS)

– Ministry of Local Government (MoLG)

– Office of Auditor General (OAG)

– The Attorney Generals Office (AG)

– Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS)

– A Representative of the Private Sector and Think Tank Organization coordinated by the OWC (Operation Wealth Creation)

When you a see a list like this… and all the government entities in it and the OP & OPM. The clear indication is that the APEX will be a decree or a presidential directive organization. As the chair and head is him. This isn’t governing better, but making the government more hectic. As the President isn’t trusting the entities and needs another oversight body to look into the government entities.

This is made to ensure the implementation of Vision 2040, but we know the APEX Platform won’t make much different. It is just a fancy meeting place, which sounds good, but isn’t it. Apex will not make a difference in the long run. Since it is the same government bodies and following the direction of the President. This is just using the Ministries and Government Bodies to have a semi-annual gathering and meetings. It is just a glorified caucus and a new Executive Body.

What is striking is that it’s created because of the struggle of lack of implementation of goals, visions and planned programs of the state. However, this is only creating more hurdles and mechanisms, which is adding bureaucracy that will not add any value. Except for having another secretariat and possible busy-bodies working for Apex. Even if the already mandated government bodies has follow up, which is mentioned in the manual. It is still proving … that the lack of good structure or personalized issues of the state is going all back to the President.

This is following up the Presidential Decrees and Orders. They are following the Executive and his will. This is just making it a magnificent body to do it. Peace.

Media Council of Uganda: Statement on Video Interview of the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister (23.01.2022)

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