Opinion: No one is safe – when the authorities can take you in for “guilt” by association

The “drones” or “Panda Gari’s” never left the Republic. It is clear that abductions, kidnappings, keeping people detained incommunicado, torturing and also extra judicial killing is far from over. The authorities does it in broad daylight, they do it in the middle of the day. They come unannounced and without warrants, take away people and their remaining family or friends are shocked.

This can happen because the family is in exile, associated with the “wrong” political party or has some sort “questionable” behaviour. There can be “intelligence” gathered against the person, but nothing has been in the courts. None of the charges or the reasons to apprehend, abduct or kidnapped has been proven or tested. It is only on a hunch and possibly by association with someone. That’s all it takes and there is no other justification for doing so.

This is being done by the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI), Special Forces Command (SFC), The Flying Squad (Uganda Police Force) or Internal Security Organization (ISO). All of them are doing at different times to various of people. It is just so commonly happening. The only reason why we know about it is because people leak videos and messages from “loved-ones” or family members who has been “taken-in”.

The amount of this practice is hard to figure. The numbers fluctuate and the accuracy is hard to know. However, with the lack of oversight and no one been able to look into the practices of “safe-houses”. You just know the state has more facilities where they are keeping “prisoners” or “people of interest”. As they are held without their legal rights or after the 48 hours window to be taken to court to be processed. Because, the entities and the security agencies doing it is operating on a flimsy basis. There is little to no “intelligence” or “proof of criminal activity”. If the security agencies had it. They could have produced warrants and justification for the action in the first place.

The ones that is amazed by this have clearly lost a step. This has been done so deliberately over the years. In such a manner, that the state is now and then forced to pay damages to people captured without a legal basis. That’s why the Courts are forced to so, because the laws are stipulated in that way and the state has to fork out funds. This is for a reason and it happens too. The ones that is fortunate enough to challenge the kidnapping, torture, pain and suffering, which was caused on them by brutal force.

This is the legacy that the National Resistance Movement will leave behind. The acts of the CMI, SFC, Flying Squad, ISO and others will be things that has tarnished its reputation. Everyone knows they are doing it and they cannot run away from it. They have their Argentina House and other facilities that does it. There is no way to run away from it now.

There is no clever spin or sort of reasoning that can suggest otherwise. These actions will remain as dubious and be seen as deliberate acts of vengeance. They are not only done on political leaders, activists and random bystanders. It is also done on people by association and connected by blood. They haven’t even done anything, but their kin did a decision either in absentia, in exile or are already captured themselves. That’s how the state operates and they are not even hiding it. Peace.

Opinion: The NRM will miss the DGF

Now that’s it apparent that the Democratic Governance Facility (DGF) is closing in December 2022. This after baseless accusations and demeaning insults from the His Excellency President Yoweri Tibuhurwa Kaguta Museveni ahead of the General Election in 2021. Certainly, he that to control the narratives and in general ensure to silence his critics. While the DGF only did what it always has done, which is to support over 30 CSOs/NGOs who works on governance and civil education, which could have strengthen the society at large.

That’s why the closure of DGF will not only hurt a 100 people who has worked directly in the DGF. No, it will hurt the over 30 CSOs/NGOs who was directly funded by the DGF. Also, government entities and structures, which was also funded by the DGF. The DGF over the last five years has ensured a circulation of Shs. 15 trillion shillings. That’s a substantial amount of currency and monies that are taken out of rotation, which would be there to get domestic revenue for the state and ensure livelihoods of plenty. This will hurt service providers and those who is bound by contracts to the DGF and the entities it provided funds for. It is really compelling the damage the National Resistance Movement (NRM) has done here and it will feel it in 2023.

We know things was bad when the President suspended the DGF in February 2021. While he has lifted the suspension in June 2022. The DGF will not continue now and the regime will feel the losses. Just like the DGF together with NIMD used to support IPOD. Now, there are several other entities that is losing out. That will hurt the government and it’s institutions at large, but we know the President isn’t concerned about it.

The donors who made the agreement with Government of Uganda (GoU) to create the DGF in 2011, which happens to be Austria, Denmark, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the European Union might seek other partners or places to fund. Since, they are not welcomed or has the mechanisms to ensure development goals are met. Because, the donors has again to report to their citizens and taxpayers for the usage of funds. Which means they cannot just waste money and not prove any sort of value for money. That is squandered here, because the DGF was an organization and an umbrella organization, which kept it all organized and good oversight over it.

We know the national budget still needs external funding sources, though the bloated budgets are projecting more domestic revenue by any given year. Though there are common practice of deficits of funds, which leads to more borrowing, either domestically or by other sources. Meaning, the spiral of debts are growing and the nature of financing is becoming more dire. Since, the state has to pay interests and pay old debts to keep up with the programs. Certainly, the state or the republic has no plans to configure or has a back-up for the loss of DGF funding. No, it has lived on these funds for years and thinks the donors are gullible to return the favour anyway.

The National Resistance Movement (NRM) has gambled a lot of people’s futures here. The current day-to-day operations of both government entities and CSOs/NGOs will be hurting for a long time. They will not have payroll or be able to keep up with contracts, which was signed a time back. We will see both local government and NGOs cry out. Especially, when the DGF finally close and leave.

It won’t be that easy for the donors of the DGF just to donate or use funds in Uganda after this. They have had mechanisms and organizations, which have followed statutes and means of oversight. That is needed and gives good basis for them to continue to donate in the Republic. However, when that is now gone and cease to operate. The NRM with it’s baseless attacks and wanting to interfere. Has ensured this loss. They will feel the pinch and the loss of domestic revenue through this. They might not consider it right now. Neither the ramifications of the CSOs/NGOs, but their activities and such has ensured livelihoods of lots of people. That’s why this is biting the hand that feeds you. Without having any sort of back-up or other revenue to ensure the longevity of the partners of DGF, which are getting hurt by this.

The IPOD is just one of them, but there are 30 CSOs/NGOs and a few government entities that is losing out too. That’s where there will be shortfall in 2023 and beyond. Unless, the Government of Uganda is able to talk and negotiate again with donors to create another body to have similar functions. Which I doubt, because, why do that? When you have seen how the NRM and the President has acted towards the DGF? Peace.

Opinion: The “drones” never left

The “Drones” or the Panda Gari’s never ceased their operations. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) have only reconfigured things and made it their own. The same resistance group and rebellion, that promised freedom and liberty. Alas, security for all and no fear of sudden arrests, which would happen according to law. However, with the time that has withered and its now obvious that this was a lie.

The NRM wants to rule on intimidation, fear and strike vicious vengeance towards the ones that is defying it. That’s why people are ending up missing. Cheiftancy of Military Intelligence (CMI) is known for suddenly abducting, keeping people incommunicado and some even end up dead.

It is various of authorities who does this activity, not only the CMI, even if that is the one who is most recognized for it. The army own branched Special Forces Command (SFC) has been doing and so has other agencies like Internal Security Organization (ISO). It is not like the Uganda Police Force (UPF) or Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) haven’t worked in tandem on this.

There is a reason why “safe-houses” exists and they are used for keeping people unknowingly. They are there, usually tortured and battered. The authorities using violent means, which are supposed to break the spirit and get them to tell stories. However, this is only showing the brutal side of the government. As these people are detained, tortured and in harms way without any due process. The civilian are taken there and kept without warrants or court order. They are not deemed felons or people who has breached any statute or law. These people just happens to be caught, captured and be maligned for a crime they didn’t do.

That’s the sort of activity the Parliament is condoning, but never acting upon. No, the government isn’t stopping it. The Parliament haven’t been allowed to investigate and the authorities will only give progress or cliff-notes on the few that is mentioned in Plenary Sessions. The vans are coming to a street near you and someone is going to be at the mercy of the law.

When someone is saying it’s hard to spot the difference between a bloody gang and the people running the “drones”. That is saying something about how they operate. There is the same sort of acts that goons or street thugs do. They come silently and strike powerfully. The victim can be taken brutally away from the location and be kept at unknown location indefinitely.

With the usage of these means, it is hard to separate who is criminal and who is law enforcement. It is the same sort of violent approach and it’s no difference then in Amin’s time, which Museveni has said to be different too. He is actually using the same means and intimidation. His security organizations are using similar means and they not even concealing it. That’s why the Penal Code haven’t been revised and the authorities have the same colonial laws to pin civilians in. Heck, the same government is using military court to detain and charge civilians. That is just showing how far the authorities has taken it. There is no boundaries and the state is willing to do everything to silence the ones in its way.

The drones never left. They were prevalent in the year and months in advance of the 2021 elections. They have been active since then too, but now they are targeting more people. It is happening so often and with such haste. You know the government is trying to do a point. Just like it did with the Flying Squad and the Black Mambas. Things are just coming back and we can rest assured that the LDUs will soon kick-it off too.

This sort of government don’t come in peace, but it comes in resounding viciousness and no one is left untouched. That’s the justice and liberty that the NRM serves the public. You have to be careful. One day it might be you. Just because you were associated with the wrong people at the wrong time or the CMI/SFC has grudges against people like you. Peace.

Opinion: Mpuuga is a part of the G-Unit now…

Sunday Monitor understands that a NUP caucus of more than 20 lawmakers has pledged allegiance to Mr Mpuuga or at least his ideals. Fred Ssimbwa, the Nakifuma country representative in the House, chairs the caucus that refers to itself as G-UNIT. During an interview with NTV Uganda’s flagship morning show, “Morning@NTV”, Bobi Wine said—without mentioning names—that he is aware of NUP lawmakers who have been “compromised.” It is thought he was referring to the G-UNIT” (Derrick Wandera – ‘NUP split pits LoP against Bobi Wine’ 25.09.2022).

The latest fluff piece in the Daily Monitor is hallow and certainly could have had more meat before serving it to the public. A look at friction or creations of “wings” within a party. There would be no different in the National Unity Platform (NUP). It wouldn’t be surprising if the NUP would have the same challenge as the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) was faced with, which was the hardliners versus the establishment or more pragmatic types.

However, we have now a new sort of vibe within the NUP apparently. 50 Cent should get his group name back, the G-G-G Unit. I am wondering who is the most loyal fella among the G-Unit in the NUP? Because someone has to emulate Tony Yayo. Wonder who is the punchline king or Lloyd Banks? Lastly, who is the one with the poignant bars like Young Buck?

Well, enough fun and play… but it’s interesting reporting of a sort of G-Unit from within. Yes, that is natural in a party to have wings and different groups. Even when the main objectives are the same and their leader is the same. They still will see things differently and wanting to achieve the same thing. These people just thinks there is different way to succeed. Like said earlier there is many paths, but you as a party has to choose one.

We know that as a Leader of Opposition (LoP) Mathias Mpuuga is a pragmatic fellow and not a direct revolutionary. Even if his party has moved in that direction and has had as a signatory programme to “remove a dictator”. Which by definition is a revolutionary act in itself. That’s why a man like Mpuuga will get pushback and essentially from everyone who signed up to the central ideals of the party. Therefore, he would be questioned and wouldn’t always prosper.

Mpuuga could easily get in the space that the likes of Winnie Kiiza or Gen. Mugisha Muntu has been in the FDC. That’s not speaking ill of these, but that is natural progression and act within what is prescribed by the organization itself.

The G-Unit is most likely the former internal pressure group of 20 MP from within the NUP Party. We know that just a year ago Bobi Wine warned the G-20 about creating an internal group or pressure group from within, because that could be the downfall of a new party. That’s what he has stated in September 2021 to the News Editor and reported about in the Entebbe Post around the same time as the “secret mobilizing team”.

The G-20 surely doesn’t sound as intriguing as the G-Unit. Though there is no one who is as gangster or ruthless as 50 Cent. There is no MP or part of the Pressure Group who can compete with the aura and the will of Curtis Jackson. That’s just a fact, but they can surely try. That Mpuuga is a patron of this G-Unit, which is an internal part of the NUP. Only makes things more hectic and possible could question his moves. Especially, if the G-Unit wants to work in another direction than what the NUP wants. He shouldn’t be out of line or cross the leadership of Kamwokya, which he is representing and being elected through. He wasn’t elected on a G-Unit platform, but on a NUP ticket.

This here is interesting times. I’m looking forward to any sort of pushback or recognition of the story published in the Daily Monitor. This is only mere hours after the release. The NUP and the LoP got to respond. It is not a good look and speculations are running wild. In that regard, also jokes of G-Spot, G-String and other fitting rebrands of the G-20, which is currently G-Unit.

They knew the G in G-Unit stood for Guerrilla, right? If not… now you know. The ones giving the same and acronym needs to know. It would be foolish not to right…

Well… Mpuuga and the G-Unit got some answers to give. That is obvious. The NUP also have to deal with this. This isn’t for South Jamaica Queens, but for Kamwokya. Peace.

Opinion: The IPOD is a lost cause

The Interparty Organisation for Dialogue (IPOD) who has gotten major funding from Democratic Government Facility (DGF) and Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD). DGF is bound to only last a few more months until December 2022. While NIMD has ceased funding after IPOD has failed to get all parties to sign a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The lasted MoU lasted until February 2022.

Now in September 2022 the IPOD Secretariat might feel at a loss. The ideal of IPOD might seem positive and worthwhile. Nevertheless, the results and the political forum has been more a sideshow than actually being fruitful. The majority party and ruling regime, National Resistance Movement (NRM) has used it more to poach the opposition and have publicity stunts. While the opposition like Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) and National Unity Platform (NUP) haven’t seen any sort of dialogue or proper platform to make difference. That’s why they rather distance themselves from it.

The IPOD was maybe made with the best interest in 2010. NIMD and DGF funded the organization to have a place and possibility to meet. IPOD could have been a safe space for the political parties, but we all know this haven’t been in the interests of the Head of State or the NRM. The NRM wants to either intimidate, strike or corrupt their opposition. That’s why President Museveni has himself promised to destroy and get rid of all opposition.

Now in 2022 and after 12 years of IPOD. The NRM is losing one of the few places where Museveni could actually meet the real opposition. Not the “opposition” who is already leaning towards him or co-operating with him. No, the ones defying him or wanting to remove him isn’t now a part of the IPOD.

That NIMD is saying it won’t fund IPOD before NUP and FDC joins is a failure. The parties themselves has decide. They have seen the works of IPOD and what it has “achieved”. The organization don’t have that much to show for it. This is why they cannot even write an MoU, which they cannot agree upon.

The NRM might feel like this is a “victory”. They can point at NUP and FDC. However, that is a very hallow “victory”. The FDC and NUP has done this for various of reasons, but it is clear that the NRM isn’t an honest actor. That’s why activists, candidates and associates connected to the NUP or FDC are either kept incommunicado, arrested or even extra judicially killed. The authorities are monitoring the opposition more than they look into crooks. Therefore, the political prisoners and prisoners of conscience is a well-known phenomenon in the Republic. That’s all because of their affiliation and who they are associated with.

If the NRM really wanted IPOD to work. They would have properly invested in it and not only used it for photo-ops ahead of polls and elections. While also using it more directly to create positive headlines Nevertheless, NIMD and DGF maybe want more for their coins. They want them to actually have inclusive dialogue and talks in a political forum. That sort of thing seems like a thing of the past.

It is not the fault of NUP or the FDC for the end of IPOD. The killer of IPOD is Museveni. Like everyone else it goes back to him. It is his choices and orders, which are reflected here. He is getting his will and certainly not … get a free lunch. IPOD is only destroyed and losing value, as there are no real progress or talks of substance. When an organization like IPOD becomes sub-standard forum and losing all value.

President Museveni cannot be happy with this, because this just shows how flawed his multi-party democracy is. When the one forum he had where all elected parties could meet and talk is now ceasing to operate. The funding of this organization is stopped. Because, FDC and NUP isn’t accepting the conditions of the current MoU. That’s a failure and lacking the general understanding of what it should be.

If Museveni wanted this… things would have been different. Nevertheless, expect the NRM to deflect it or blame the parties for not signing on. Because, why should they sign on to something… when it gives them nothing and only legitimizing the regime. IPOD only gives political currency to the NRM without giving the other parties anything worthwhile. The others are just getting an opportunity to see Museveni close by and be there in his presence. That’s a futile enterprise and if the NIMD see that is an asset. They should just continue to pursuit it. However, it isn’t the product that its portrayed on the tin. It is something else and the ones dismissing it has all the reasons to do so. Peace.

Opinion: Museveni promotes impunity in regard to disregarding court orders..

I would want some amendment to this idea making independence to be a convergence of principles of justice. We should get time and discuss it deeply. Part of the problem they(security agencies) don’t implement court decisions is that they don’t agree(with them). There is need for convergence on what is justice in some of the cases between the courts and sometimes the population. For instance, we have got a problem of land issues especially in Buganda. You have got 5000 people in a parish and a magistrate says all of you must vacate because he has agreed with the landlord. Then the RDC says they must stay on the land. What is the historical position of the Ugandan reformers( NRM), freedom fighters and you the lawyers? If we just accept that court has decided that 5000 people must vacate, the RDC will come in and say they can’t leave. We say rubbish, they can’t go. If you say independence, it is abuse of power. You are making a big injustice to the population which can cause you a security problem” – President Yoweri Tibuhurwa Kaguta Museveni (21.09.2022).

It is really special and unique for a man that has appointed all judges and has all his cronies in the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs. The President has also appointed the Minister of Security and has total control of the National Army. All parts of Law Enforcement is following his command and is imagined in his idea of security. Therefore, the mannerism of what he said is so at fault. His blaming the same people he has trusted with the Judiciary.

The second part which is really troubling is that the President of over 30 years. He has created a new Constitution and enacted dozens of laws, which images what he stands for. The President has had the power and the majority for over 30 years. That’s why the President has the laws he deserves. Museveni knows this and the laws are there because of him. They are there for one reason. He wanted them and he has amended the laws several of times, as his mind has changed or being a President for Life makes it impossible to keep the old articles.

So with that in mind. Museveni should let the Courts judge in according to the laws and their judgements after their interpretations of these laws. Museveni has ensured the Judiciary are living within these limitations and scope of enforcement. The Law Enforcement and the Authorities are bound by the laws and how they are coded. That’s why the Courts cannot order differently or act against certain laws. This is because the President and his majority party has enacted these laws. As long as these laws are active and not repealed. The Courts have to follow them and judge accordingly. That is a very simple reasoning.

A man who has held power for so long and not willing to follow the Courts. It is just disgusting. Just shows the contempt of the same laws that he has enacted. He wants the Law Enforcement and Authorities to be above the law. In such a manner, that the laws are only mattering to civilians, but not the authorities, which are supposed to following it too. This is impunity and a double standard. One law for the people, another law for the security organizations that follows my orders.

The President wants his orders and directives to be more powerful than the laws. It shows that he don’t want rule of law or constitutional order. He wants to rule by his whims and direct orders. That’s what Museveni wants and this is why he defends defying court orders. This he does because it doesn’t fit his political alignment or his tinkering at that very moment.

The President surely defies court orders as a way of punishing his enemies or dissidents. He doesn’t care about not following the law in any concern. Museveni rather have his way than actually following the laws he has enacted. As a President his wording and pompous Head of State who clearly doesn’t value the legislation he himself has ensured or enacted it. In the years in office, he could have repealed or gotten his MPs to write laws that fits his current state of mind. If he had done that, the Judiciary and the Court would have ordered things differently. However, that has never been the issue, because if he did that. He would have higher stakes with the donors and with the ones who is supporting his reign. It would be draconian and be totally disregarding the values he came into office with.

That’s why Museveni is conflicted… and the President just shows contempt of the same laws he has enacted. This is disgraceful and distasteful, but its the epitome of how his ruling the nation at this very moment in time. It is also why he never wants accountability over the “safe-houses”, the drones or any sort of misuse of power. The President wants the fear and intimidation. He wants the ability to order tyranny and use the security organizations to his advantage. That’s why he don’t value the laws or court orders. Peace.

The CMI is involved in a civilian matter: In the arrest of blogger Kasagga Matovu

To understand the current affairs, you need to know that the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) is a branch under the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF), which could be called the National Army. The CMI is the intelligence branch of the UPDF. Now that you know these facts and has that under wraps.

Let us read this story from earlier today: “The Directorate of CID and CMI, have charged to court a blogger known as Kasagga Bashir aka Kasagga Matovu, with 4 counts of Unauthorised Modification of computer material, under the Computer Misuse Act. The facts gathered indicate that during the month of August and September, 2022, while in the Kampala, the suspect, with requisite intent and knowledge, used his social engineering techniques to create, obtain and modify tweets and screenshots of twitter handles of the Defence Spokesperson @UPDFspokesperson, Uganda Police Force @PoliceUg, Annita Annet Among @Anita Among and Balaam Barugahare Ateenyi @Balaam 1980” (…) “The suspect has been the leader of the network of social media abusers. His communication matrix is linked to thousands of group members. It also clearly shows selected individuals and political groups, that have been glorifying and sponsoring his offensive behaviour, towards government officials and institutions. We have retrieved some of the deceptive posts, charts, accounts and pictorials, which he has been sharing with 6,588 followers on Twitter and 5,625 Facebook followers” (…) “The suspect has been charged with 4 counts of unauthorised modification of computer materials C/S 14 (1) and (6) of the Computer Misuse Act, 2011” (Uganda Police Force – ‘BLOGGER CHARGED WITH 4 COUNTS OF UNAUTHORISED MODIFICATION OF TWITTER ACCOUNTS’ 19.09.2022).

The Law itself:

14. Unauthorised modification of computer material

(1)

A person who—

(a) does any act which causes an unauthorised modification of the contents of any computer; and

(b) has the requisite intent and the requisite knowledge at the time when he or she does the act,

commits an offence” (Computer Misuse Act, 2011).

This Statute or Article of the Law is punishable up to 15 years in prison. That’s if the Courts or the authorities finds it fitting to give him the full extent of punishment for his actions. They are using the Computer Misuse Act of 2011, which has been used against dissident in the past. It has been a favourable tool. Even more so than certain parts of the Penal Code to pin crimes on the ones speaking ill or with malice against the state.

Now, we are seeing the army is involved in the prosecution. That isn’t new in the Republic. It is a staple around Election and in the Post-Election. The CMI have been used and directed to apprehend, kidnap and keep civilians incommunicado. That has been done by several of authorities and by other law enforcement as well.

So, with that in mind, it isn’t weird that the CMI is involved in making a case against a blogger. The CMI has also been used and have training for cyber crimes. That means the CMI is going into civilian matters Just like when the Court Martial is used as a tool to oppress civilians. When the civilians are neither soldiers, serving in the army or affiliated with the UPDF in any shape or form. Therefore, these sorts of practices isn’t new, but showing how the state operates at this point.

Now, that the Computer Misuse Act is used again. Expect it to be more relevant in the time ahead, as it has been amended and is more broad to capture even more people in the net. That’s why this year will be filled with cases like these and no one should be surprised by it. This is what the authorities has ordered. Peace.

UNRA is adding interest charges on it’s debt amounting to 235,6 billion shilling per day….

The Uganda National Road Authority (UNRA), which is a government entity under the Ministry of Works and Transport is clearly not fit for purpose. The whole government is showing how it’s failing it’s governance, by not being solid and considering the costs of it’s operations. The Republic and their financial muscles are clearly not aligned. That’s why the State Budget isn’t only filled with deficit financing, but other parts of the state is run by it too.

UNRA director Allen Kagina is to blame her, but we know she has been directed and told to follow up on agreements in letters from the President. Presidential Directives are intervening and stopping a fair judgment of the tenders and the contracts signed. That’s why the whole blame cannot be put on her. As we have seen that the President has directed and told who is getting the bid. Therefore, the Ministry and UNRA has less powers.

That’s why the report published on the 6th September 2022 called: “REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON PHYSICAL INFRASTRUCTURE ON THE DELAYED PAYMENT TO CONTRACTORS, BY GOVERNMENT OF UGANDA, LEADING TO UNBEARABLE INTERESTS” is very important. That signals what is missing and how the reoccurring debt is appearing. The UNRA and Ministry of Works and Transport cannot compete. No matter how Gen. Edward Wamala structures or do his job, or even tries to configure within his means. The Presidential Directives and the current leadership structure is eating his ministry up alive. That’s why this report is earth shattering and shows how badly this is run.

The UNRA is becoming a loss-loss operation and the contractors are now losing money. They are losing money in such a way that the state has to pay with interests and add more costs. As they are already run on deficits. This is practically eating the roads and the supposed “integration” to markets, which the President always promises during campaign rallies.

Just read the quotes here… it is really tragic…

On 4th May 2022, Hon. Richard Sebamala, MP, Bukoto Central in Masaka District raised a Matter of National Importance regarding budget suppression particularly in the Road Sector with its attendant accumulation liquidated damages to a tune of UGX. 334,000,000 per day in the case of debts accumulated by Uganda National Roads Authority(UNRA). The Rt. Hon. Speaker directed the Committee on Physical Infrastructure to investigate the matter” (Report, P: 2, 2022).

The Sky Rocketing Interest Rates arising from Government’s non-fulfillment of its obligations to Contractors amounts to foreseen trivial costs to Government. It is improper for the Country to incur foreseen trivial costs to a tune of UGX. 235.6 million per day in interest charges” (Report P: 9, 2022).

Failure to pay the arrears will continue to cause Government to incur trivial expenditures including interest expenses, idle equipment and reduction in the works by Contractors” (Report, P: 9, 2022).

The Committee considers that MDAs, specifically Ministry of Works and UNRA are the main contributors to the deficit of the UGX 573.5 billion with accruing interest rate of 15% per annum, and the resulting interest charges amounting UGX 235.6 billion per day. The non-payment of Certificates arose due to the shortfall in funding and the 40% budget cuts across the board” (Report, P: 11, 2022).

You can really see the key aspects of report by just reading these few quotes. That says it all. It shows what the state does and how the UNRA is run. The Government have failed the Ministry of Works and Transport, and in-connection to that the UNRA as well. This is from the top-down who haven’t acted righteous. It isn’t the direct fault of UNRA director or UNRA itself. The Ministry of Finance and the State House should answer for their faults too. They haven’t looked into the numbers and what things has cost. The President has directed and ordered certain projects and taken out loans to build them too. That’s why the UNRA only trying to cope with the work. While the MoWT only has to follow up and do it’s bidding too.

That’s why the new debt and added interests is only making every project more expensive. The state is only adding more debt. While it should have ensured and finance the projects it already has. This shows the the failure of the state and how badly it is run. The UNRA is bankrupting itself. The state cannot afford it and doesn’t have fiscal funds to cover debts. That’s why it’s gaining even more debt as the time goes. The daily interests and costs should worry the state… because this is just bad or going to worse even. Peace.

The state ordered to pay in total 400m shillings in damages to 2 URA employees after illegal detention and torture of them in March of 2021…

(i) The affidavit evidence of A1, A2, Capt. Isingoma, AIP Kisa Claire and Mr. Kabagambe when considered in totality look that like a movie. A1 and A2 are arrested through the use of trickery as if they were on the run whereas not. A1 is deceived that he was reporting for deployment on an operation. When he reports at the appointed time and place he is literally abducted. He is made to leave his vehicle unattended at a fuel station as if he was a terrorist.

(ii) A2 was called by a fellow driver at midnight claiming he needed help having got a mechanical problem. He is lured in the middle of the night and arrested like a terrorist” (High Court, 12.09.2022).

The state sponsored torture story of Robert Asiimwe Akanga (A1) and Kalemba Stevens (A2) is nothing new, but it needs to be told. These two gentlemen won their case against the Attorney General, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) and the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA). This case just shows how the state uses torture and keeping people illegally detained without producing them to the courts within the 48 hours deadline. That happened to the people of this case and it is significant, but not shocking.

This sort of case should be spread, because it shows what the state does and how it operates. The authorities are acting like this on the regular. They are allowed to operate like this and it has no consequences. The state is paying damages and costs of the case, but the officers and the authorities will not clean up their act. This is how they are and it’s only a few of these stories that ends up in the Courts. Most of the torture cases are happening in silence and the victims cannot or have no options but to stay silent.

Just read these quotes… and it should make you shiver…

It all started with this: “The allegation is that on the 28th day of February 2021, Al and A2 being employed by Uganda Revenue Authority as a customs officer and driver respectively stole USD 410,000 the property of GAK Express Co. Limited. The two deny the charges” (High Court, 12.09.2022).

So, this all starts with alleged criminal behaviour, which is directly false. The authorities have pinned two men and because of their role in URA. They were easily targets as the work of Customs Officer and a Driver. However, there was never any proof or evidence of this crime.

That didn’t stop the state from doing this to them, which is quotes from the Court Ruling…

About the Arrest and Torture methods used on A1:

In his affidavit in support dated 25th March 2022 A1 stated that on 3rd March 2021, he received a phone call from Paul Karatunga, the In-Charge Operations Team 1 informing him of a planned operation along Entebbe road. Karatunga assigned A1 to lead the team. They met at Total Petrol Station, Kajjansi at 6.30 am. Karatunga was in company of two soldiers namely Captain Charles Isingoma and Captain Winnie Kusiima plus two armed escorts. A1 was instead arrested under gun point and pushed him into a vehicle. He was taken to URA offices where he met other UPDF and Police officials attached to URA. He was handcuffed. Lt. Col Zaakye informed him, the arrest is in connection with theft of money belonging to a Sudanese national. He denied participating in theft” (…) “Col. Cassette Ignatius Wamundu asked him to confess to the theft of money or be tortured by the Joint Anti -Terrorism Taskforce until he does so. That he was denied a right to contact his lawyer or make any phone call. On 6th March 202l at 7 am was picked by a team from CMI, blindfolded and taken to CMI Hqrs at Mbuya where he was subjected to torture” (…) “It was executed by 10 well-muscled men using weapons such as guns, sticks, batons, metal bars, pliers, chains, ropes and electric wires. He maintained his innocence as they demanded for the money he is alleged to have robbed. He lost consciousness due to prolonged torture. He regained his senses to realise he was in a corridor. He was bleeding and still chained. He was taken back to Custody at SIU Kireka during darkness. He could not walk” (High Court, 12.09.2022).

About the Arrest and Torture methods used on A2:

A2, in his affidavit of 25th March 2021 states that on 2nd March 2021 at around midnight, hg received a call from Sekweyarna, a fellow driver at URA, claiming to be stuck near his home and needed help. A2 responded only to find army captains who put him under arrest at gun point. Col Cassette Ignatius Wamundu asked him about the money. He denied knowledge of where the money was. He punched him in the right eye and as he fell down. He was kicked in the ribs at gun-point before his children and wife who cried and shouted. He threatened to shoot him unless he admitted having stolen money on 28th February 2021. Present were Captains Isingoma. Diana Museveni and Winnie Karugwara. They took him back to his home” (…) “That on 6th March 2021 he was taken to CMI offices in Mbuya and taken to a room where four muscled men had assorted weapons including guns, sticks, batons, metal bars, pliers, chains, ropes, electric wires among others. He was undressed. He was badly and severely beaten using the electric cables, hang on hand cuffs up the ring as his legs were tied down and suspended in one position for a whole day as he was being beaten” (…) “He was tortured again on on 8th March 2021. His body became swollen with wounds on the legs, back, hands, ribs and abdomen. He did not receive any medical attention or have access to a lawyer or family members. Further mistreatment went on until he was produced in court after an ordeal of 16 days in detention” (High Court, 12.09.2022).

The damages they are getting for all of this:

Taking all these factors into consideration I award A1 as the main target and focus of torture a sum of 200 million as compensation for pain, suffering, and physical injuries. I award another 50 million to A1 as punitive damages for subjecting him to humiliation and embarrassment. I Award a sum of 100 million to A2 as damages for pain, suffering and physical injuries. I award another 50 million to A2 as punitive damages for subjecting him to humiliation and embarrassment. A1 and A2 are also awarded taxed costs of this consolidated application” (High Court, 12.09.2022).

We know the state will only condone but not act upon the mischief. These sort of cases never cease to exist. There is no retribution or stop of the practice. This has been going on since the inception of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and done by the government before it too. The NRM promised to end it, but they never will…

The damages of 400m shillings won’t make a difference in the grand scheme of things. The officers, the men who did the torture and the authorities will not go after the ones who did it. No, the mentioned high ranking officials and others will walk free. The only thing happening is that the gentlemen who was arrested, harmed and tortured will get damages. The system will not change… and that’s how the story goes.

A1 and A2 are reminders of how the NRM and the Authorities are working. This isn’t a one of or an isolated case for that matter. No, this is how they move and allowed to work. It just happens that this one ended up in the High Court. Peace.

Opinion: Museveni is the sort of politician he would have hated in the 1980s…

Because the politics of the past have been politics about intrigue, about subterfuge, this has been the politics of the past. This politics has not concerned the population. It has been about job-seeking on the part of the politicians. But now for the first time, we are going to talk about the population, their life, their political rights, their economic interests. That will be the centre of gravity of what we are doing” – President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (TV Interview in 1986)

Today is one of those days where I wonder if history will ever catch up to Yoweri Tibuhurwa Kaguta Museveni. The man who re-invent himself ahead of any election. The sort of man that changes to whatever there is. A man that is willing to give up everything for the inch power and prestige. The man that doesn’t dwell on the circumstances, but swiftly regroup to get ahead. That’s all he does and this is why his tone changed over the years.

First part of his reign. He wanted to be seen as the new breed. The one you could count on for political changes, transform society and give hope for a better future. However, with time that was a smoke-screen to keep himself in power and by enough time to avoid any sort of accountability for his actions. Since, he has distorted, disrupted and ensured total control. That’s why Presidential Directives and letters matters more than legislation now. This is why his a sole-President without the burden of transparency or even checks-and-balances. He is just ruling supreme, the dictator and the man who uses vicious means to get ahead.

Secondly, Museveni knows perfectly everything ill with the previous regime. He even stated that in his first speech as well after taking power in 1986:

There is, in philosophy, something called obscurantism, a phenomenon where ideas are deliberately obscured so that what is false appears to be true and vice versa. We in the NRM are not interested in the politics of obscurantism: we want to get to the heart of the matter and find out what the problem is. Being a leader is like being a medical doctor. A medical doctor must diagnose his patient’s disease before he can prescribe treatment. Similarly, a political leader must diagnose correctly the ills of society. A doctor who does not diagnose his patient’s disease adequately is nothing but a quack. In politics we have also got quacks – and Uganda has had a lot of political quacks over the past two decades or so. I also want to talk about co-operation with other countries, especially in our region. One of our weaknesses in Africa is a small market because we don’t have enough people to consume what we produce” (Museveni, 26.01.1986).

Thirdly, he even wrote this in an article in 1985:

We are convinced that some of the post-independent African leaders are the ones that are just hopelessly out of depth and have got to look for scapegoats. Africa, since independence, has been tossed between, on the one hand idiotic quislings that are mere ‘caricatures’ of the worst aspects of the European middle class and, on the other hand, muddle-headed ‘revolutionary’ ideologies of Fabians, murderers and a variety of other opportunists, who spent more time putting people in preventive detention, when they are not murdering them … That is why African independence has almost begun to look as if it is a non-viable proposition” (Yoweri Museveni, Selected Articles on the Uganda Resistance War, 1985).

When you read these texts and quotes from Museveni in the past. You see that he knew what was wrong in the past. However, for him to stay in power and be in office for all these years. He has done exactly the same himself. His used these vicious means to stay and never leave.

It is just so striking after all these years. Museveni has backtracked… and become the same as he fought against. All the things he has used to describe the predecessors can be used on himself. Everything he has pinned on someone… can be said about him now.

After over 36 years in office he has turned into the leaders he didn’t respect or did rebuke in past. The man in the bush and after taking power… he promised a fundamental change. Nevertheless the “No Change” slogan of the past… is his true testament and what he has served the public.

The misuse of power, injustice and impunity which is what he is known for now. If you read these things today. It is so easily to pin it on Museveni. He is the epitome of the leaders he despised. The rhetoric and message that he used. Can now be used about him. Just the thought of this… shows how far he fell and how power corrupts. He wanted this and he thrives on it.

All the pieces of the puzzle fits Museveni. It is all him. He should know this, but clearly he will deflect this. If people remind him of older statements. He will say the times has changed and it isn’t important. At this very moment and time… he would have gone to the bush to fight himself. Museveni would have had tried to do a coup d’etat to get rid of this leadership. That’s what is so striking in 2022. Peace.

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