Media Council of Uganda: Statement on Video Interview of the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister (23.01.2022)
I write what I like.
This week an anomaly happened. The ones supporting and actively supporting the National Resistance Movement (NRM) on Facebook got blocked by the site. The Online Company and Social Media platform has de-platformed several of NRM associated bloggers, pages and groups on Facebook. Some of them has lost their profiles and been suspended from there as well.
That says a lot. There been a sudden purge on their position on Facebook. A place where views, perspectives and spread of information is happening steadily. What is ironic here. The NRM is crying foul. The same supporters and activists, the same bloggers and associates of the NRM has had no issues blocking, hacking or violating pages of the opposition. The same NRM associated people have taken over opposition media houses pages and even deleted them. That has been during the campaigns. Therefore, maybe the same fellow breached “community standards” by inciting these acts and the opposition just notified the company.
That wouldn’t be shocking here as Ghetto TV and others been under fire on the same site. It is just a mention in the quest of things happening to the opposition. However, these sort of things doesn’t tend to happen to the NRM. The NRM is usually above these things and acting untouchable.
Now, the NRM SOMA, GCIC and Uganda Media Centre is losing its grip. As Facebook is an important platform on Social Media. They are not getting the venue for their space to spread their message in the final days to the polls. That is an act that backfire. Especially, if the NRM plans to act upon the “Scientific” campaigns. However, we know how that has worked of late.
I do feel sorry for the inconvenience, but they are just tasting the blunt action made towards them. As the NRM can easily block radio-stations, take away broadcasting licenses and stop publishing of newspapers in the Republic. That is if they are having high ranking opposition as guests on air or even getting their messages across for a long time. They are only lucky if they get short windows and limited space. While the NRM covers most of it.
This is why in the traditional media, the NRM and the President is covering most of it. His owning it in practice. Though on the social media and on newer platforms the opposition has an edge. This is why the recent actions of Facebook to de-platform the NRM groups, pages and persons are really hitting home.
What Facebook is actually doing is what the NRM does to the Opposition at home. They are blocking and making it impossible for them to speak. How many times has a opposition candidate tried to access a radio station and been blocked? Countless of times. The same is now happening to the NRM. In a manner, which they cannot control…
That is just karma in my view. They are tasting the same spirit, which they have delivered on a daily for years to the opposition. The men loyal to Museveni and his cause. Is now seeing the effects of their actions. These folks are tasting their own medicine.
Yes, they have a right to free speech. Yes, they have a right to express it and that is all justified. However, there is no human right to be part of Facebook. Secondly, if your part of Facebook. Then you have signed an agreement to uphold certain standards. However, if those is breached. The company can suspend or de-platform you, which they have done here. That is all natural.
The NRM apologists, activists and bloggers can find other avenues now. They can use other platforms and other places to spread their message. However, there are few sites who has more people connected and people accessing on the daily. Therefore, the blocking to the site is hurting them.
The NRM could start to mediate with Facebook. The NRM could try to talk and figure out how to get access again. What sort of amends and promises they need to get re-activated. I am sure they would let it happen. Alas, they rather cry foul and be victims.
Nevertheless, these folks aren’t that much of victims. These folks aren’t in danger of prison, abductions, arrests or torture even. No, these folk are in danger of house-arrests or fatalities. No, these folks are safe and surrounded by the elites. These people are eating. That is why it’s hard to feel sorry for them. Peace.
Last year in 2019, there was reports of a new Social Media Task Force for the National Resistance Movement (NRM), which had up to that point hired 49 people. The NRM already had their Social Media Activists (SOMA). So, they had two units work in co-ordination with each other. This is all attempts to steer the narrative and control the air-waves. Not new in that regard, but using modern methods to hit the public with information.
Just like all the other entities, which are government friendly press like the New Vision Group. The UBC, Government Citizen Interaction Centre (GCIC) and Uganda Media Centre to name a few.
In these COVID-19 lockdown times. The NRM together with the leader of the pack of the NRM Social Media Task Force, Duncan Abigaba have shown that they are feeding 245 bloggers. This is done through the kindness of Muhoozi Kainerubaga or the friends of him. They call them “Yellow influencers or bloggers” because that paint the picture. Even the blogger of Ashburg Katto is in the mix, so it seems its not far from the prison-cell to eating of the hand of the system.
These people will be instrumental to get the right vision ahead of the General Election of 2021. This is why they are even now doing deliveries and feeding them food. They are getting serviced by the state for a purpose. Because, these influencers can sway public opinion on social media and various of platforms. That is why Promoter Baalam and the Social Media Task Force of Abigaba is involved in this.
This is ensuring loyalty, as the payment of some rice and other foods during the pandemic. Will remind these Yellow Influencers whose their friends. They got to eat in the midst of it all, because hey are useful right now and in the future. Their platforms on the various of social media will be vital.
Its like 120 personalities on Social Media and about 120 bloggers, which is getting this treatment. This means these people are included and selected out, because of their writing and their content. This is because Duncan handpicked them and know what their up too.
That is what is striking is the amount of effort and to show their names on social media. These is our folks and comrades. Just go into Duncan Abigaba page on Facebook and the whole list will appear. It expose the ninjas writing and working directly for the NRM.
The Yellow Influencers if you may. The friends of Muhoozi is allowed to give these foods without any reinforcement of police nor any meetings with authorities. Because, they are working in-directly for the efforts for the state. This is partisan politics at its best. That information is being dropped on the day the UPF disclaim everything about Zaake whose healing after torture. That is the sort of state the Republic is in.
Where Yellow Influencers can get a food-drive by the Son-of-the-President. But opposition doing the same to his constituents are healing in the hospital after meeting the authorities. That is the double standard and the realities on the ground.
That Baalam and Abigaba is above Zaake is now clear as day. That the Yellow Influencers are important is clear too. They will be a tool into the elections and the campaigns, spreading the message of the “Yellow Bastard”. Peace.
“That’s the whole point of good propaganda. You want to create a slogan that nobody’s going to be against, and everybody’s going to be for. Nobody knows what it means, because it doesn’t mean anything.” – Noam Chomsky
The National Resistance Movement is steadily preparing for 2021. By every initiated move, they are trying to make it feel relevant and have a message to sell. It is not enough to have the Uganda Media Centre, Uganda Broadcasting Company, New Vision Media House, Government Citizen Interaction Centre or even the Ministry of ICT, whose all trying to peddle the message and image of the NRM.
Still, these are not enough. That is why the NRM have gotten a NRM Social Media Activists (SOMA). If this wasn’t enough, the NRM had already hired about 59 people for a Social Media Task Force run by Duncan Abigaba. Where one part of the team had specialists serving various of social media sites, while the same task force had hired 14 people to run the program on Twitter. This was leaked in August 2018. So, the team has been in play a while, but who knows how operative or even successful it is.
Yesterday, there is a new revelation. Not with a significant new change, but certainly a continuation of the building a digital task force and spin machine for the world wide web. Where they hope to spin enough and overlook enough to get the people to catch their bait. Either by the hook or by the crook. That is just what the NRM does.
The news yesterday, was that the NRM plans to hire a 100 Social Media Activists for all the republics regions, to represent all of them and spread the message. This is certainly a progression to the ones working for Abigaba who was hired last year for his Task Force. These will maybe fall in under his mission and umbrella. To ensure, that the NRM are acting correctly and getting the right image online.
We can clearly see t that Bosco, Mr. Sunday, Yoseri or Yoweri Kaguta Museveni are active online. Even if he has proclaimed there is only rumours and waste of time on Social Media. He himself is there and claimed to be biggest, most followed Ugandan on Twitter. Surely, there is a lot of paid bots on his followers page. Trust me on that one.
However, this is just a sign of the Don Wanyama’s, the Andrew Mwenda’s and whatnot of direct supporters, even Morrison Rwakakamba or whoever else spreading the words of old man with the hat. They will be now repeated a lot more and the self praise will hit levels that not even Soft Power and Sarah Kagingo would manage. That is what the NRM is preparing. They need the loyalists, the ones praising every move the His Excellency is doing. That is just the way it is.
If this is continued of the Task Force of last year, if it is hiring the ones in NRM SOMA. Surely, they will sooner or later, kick and scream because the NRM cannot manage to pay their salaries. They are there for a payday, not because they believe in the vision of the old man. They are not volunteers, but paid activists. Just like the ones paid to demonstrate before too. Staged nightmares waiting to appear. Peace.
There is now a leaked draft list of people circulating online, where there are known people who will be working for the President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. Whose job is spin the news and ensure the agenda is spread as he wishes, as the Minister of ICT and Communications Frank Tumbewaze and the Uganda Media Centre Ofwono Opondo cannot handle themselves, that is why more people are put on board.
There are certain individuals who are hired to directly spread their “news” on Twitter, WhatsApp, Facebook and so on. There is even one man hired to run the GCIC, which is Simon Peter Olara, who will spread the handpicked messages there. The man on conventional social media like Facebook and Twitter, who will manage that is Herbert Anderson. On Twitter there are 11 persons who is working there directly, there will be one in-charge of Diaspora and International Media Monitoring, he is Ibrahim Bagaya Kisubi. Radios and TV part of the team are Augustine Otuko. You have a Content Development made by Hussain Hudu. However, the Manager of this team is Duncan Abigaba.
What is important about the Manager of this Media Team, Duncan Abigaba is the Ex-Presidential Assistant-Research & Information. Therefore, he is a loyalist of the President and will make sure the Team is up to dropping the “knowledge” they need. He is a former leader within the NRM Youth League (NRM-YL) as well. So, he has been a voice from within. Abigaba has been until recently, the manager of the Government Citizen Interaction Centre (GCIC). This man has really been in the midst’s of government agenda and spin, as they want.
So, when he becomes the manager of this team, that is partly hiring someone to handle the GCIC and getting the previous Presidential Assistant – Research and Information, are now making a Media Team to spin the news on the Social Media. The place where the President says it is all rumors and gossip. But clearly the President knows the importance of controlling the conservation and spread his message. That is why the state already controls the Vision Group and Uganda Broadcasting Company (UBC). This wouldn’t matter, if the President didn’t want set the agenda and not have the media looking into the facts.
This is to secure his message using a loyal man Abigaba to do this. The former leader of GCIC and NRM Youth League will ensure the message of the government is massaged to the masses. That is the clear message by the state, as they want to steer it and try to spin the news. As the need so many people as part of the Twitter Team, also the leadership of every single Social Media Page like WhatsApp and Facebook, and also Monitor the Diaspora or International Media.
Abigaba will really show his force and his ability as loyalist of the President. We will see if he can put this people up to speed, some calls this a micro-troll-farm for the President. That might be true, but if they will bring news like the GCIC handle, it will be super positive spin who is favor of the President. They will not generate facts and make sure the NRM looks like the golden goose of the world and at large. Peace.
Well, I am biased, as the President are visiting Dubai for 4th Global Business Forum on Africa on the 2nd November 2017. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is trying to cater to foreign investors. People who he usually cater to at the State House, so he can get favors and Presidential Handshakes. That is why he isn’t bothered with taxes, because the tax-holidays and possible offerings will be huge for the investors who comes in. That is what the National Resistance Movement (NRM) are doing, especially if it is for instance a nations offering the state loan, than the same state can come with state-companies to build infrastructure like Chinese companies coming in after offering loans to the same NRM government. Therefore, just look at what he was saying yesterday, which is weird, but fit a pattern.
“Since you are business people, we must be talking about profits. When you talk of Uganda and Africa, you are talking about peace as an enabling environment; which we have. We have raw materials, and have a population of 40 million people that’s’ a market. And if we talk of integration we have a four tear market” (…) “In Africa, the demand is there and growing because we have been under-consuming while the rest of the world the demand is falling because they have been over consuming” (…) “There are plenty of raw materials, minerals, tourism and so on so when you invest there you have access to all these” (…) “I don’t have to bother investors with taxes, what I want is for them to invest, use our raw materials, create jobs, add value and promote exports” (State House Uganda, 2017).
Well, so the President trying to say to foreign investors, you don’t need to pay taxes for your output, just cater to me. The state you don’t have to bother about, just bother about catering to the State House and me. We will add value and promote exports, we will agreements and make sure you get the value on our resources and low-payed workers.
We know who is the biggest taxpayers in the republic, because of Uganda Revenue Authority own statement in the media on the 31st October 2017, which stated names like Mr. Alnasir Virani Gulam Hussein Habib, Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia, Mohammed Hussain, Nakayima Janat, Karia Minex, Karia Kunnal, Alykhan Hudani and Dayalijil Karan. Who are sounding like foreign investors and they are on the top 25 biggest taxpayers in Uganda. So the state has already connected families from abroad to invest there in various businesses. This shows there are already people who is not worried about taxes, but about the output of their companies.
Some of these investors has made big names, while others have worked more in silence. Still, this shows that the top earners even promoted by URA and Doris Akol. Proves how they are working, as there wasn’t that many own citizens on the list. That shows that the foreign investors must get a special advantage and special agreements at the state house for their dealings. Especially, considering how it has been done, just for tearing down markets in Kampala for own investors and financial agreements. This has been done and arranged from the State House without consultation with locals, neither KCCA or the renters of these markets. That is how the NRM and Museveni do deals in favor of him and if he get ill-gained funds, he will support the “development”. It is in similar fashion he exposes his intent in Dubai.
That the State doesn’t need taxes or need structures to facilitate for foreign investors, they just needs agreements with State House and then it is all fair-game. It is insane, but fits the Modus Operandi of the Musevenism and NRM regime. Give him a Presidential Handshake and you can operate as you want in the Republic. Peace.
State House Uganda – ‘President Museveni woos Arab investors to Uganda “We have the raw materials, human resource and market”’ (02.11.2017) link: https://www.africa-newsroom.com/press/president-museveni-woos-arab-investors-to-uganda-we-have-the-raw-materials-human-resource-and-market?lang=en
“The three arms of government and their sub-branches must have discipline. For example I have been involved in disciplining the army. We should do the same for other sub-branches of government. If the Judiciary is also disciplined in fighting corruption, citizens will lead a good life.” – Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on the 1st October 2017, State House Entebbe.
Its just one of these days that hearing the news and seeing the tweets of the President, makes me laugh and wonder if he listen to himself. He knows his system and has made his garden. The way the government steers and govern is because of his policies, his regulations and his support. It is not like there been other ruling for last 30 years in Uganda. The Republic has been under the control of Museveni and his National Resistance Movement (NRM).
The NRM has suffocated all other free-will and control. Therefore, Ministers, Members of Parliament and others seek guidance and funds directly at the State House in Entebbe. Even foreign investors meet there to make agreements. Everything is nearly sanctioned out there. The Discipline now is more on the narrow-minded government that is run from there. The institutions and the procedures are not so important. Since most things happening is with the words from “above”, meaning the President and his close advisers.
It is not rocket science to know where the benefactor or the reason for lacking structures. That is because government waits for their go sign by the State House, they are waiting for funding of the projects and institutions from the State House. The projects and the works of the State House and under the Prime Ministers Offices are the key organizations within this government. They might say all of the massive cabinet has part to play, but that is the facade.
Therefore, it is ironic for a man so controlling and so disorganized that it gives sometimes way to the unthinkable. Just like the Presidential Handshake, that was sanctioned by the State House, but taken form the wrong account. That was the problem for the President, not that the corrupt behavior was occurring on his watch. Its like he talks against himself. Because he has no problem speaking anti-corruption, but if corruption benefit his cronies – its fine and dandy!
I am not surprised by him at this point of time, its fit his narrative. He says what he expects and wants out of others, but the next day he finds a way to benefit or use the loyalty of his cronies. Not like he would have excepted the UCC not to listen and stop the suspended MPs to hit the airways and be broadcast on TV. He rather being himself on radio and in the spotlight, but will accept anyone else sharing the same space.
President Museveni is the proof of someone saying something noble, but doing opposite. He might say something insane, but act rational. Therefore, you never know where you have him. I will never believe him actually disciplining the government, if doing so. It means they are all blindfolded and following his guidelines. It does not mean building proper governance and protocol, neither is institutionalize the departments and ministries, it is all about his will and his stature.
When it comes to Museveni, discipline is about following him. Not building transparent and proper government institutions. Peace.
It is depressing, it is sad and it tormenting to listen and read the defenses of National Resistance Movement. The defense of the 31 years of rule, the rule of the for life President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and his cronies. The cronies and their 10th Parliament, the By-Elections that are rigged in favor of the NRM Regime. The government of Uganda is totally controlled by the one in-charge, the President and kingpin.
The Parliament are following orders and making amends to seem to be different. Therefore, the results of elections are more to just show overpower, but not to have real elections. As the NRM sends buses and pays of villages with small-fees and commodities. There aren’t anything fruitful or sincere by the regime. The ones who put dissidents in the Nalufenya prison. Where they will be beaten, tortured and get ill. As well, as in the overcrowded prison in Luzira. The organized silence of opposition, as their rallies are filled with tear-gas and police brutality. If not the ones who are feared by the NRM are put on treason charges and called terrorists.
President Museveni with his patronage, his bloated State House, the massive cabinet and the Presidential Advisors. There certainly enough ghosts, fake bills and misuse of state reserves to write books ten times thicker than the bible. We can know by the lost trillions of the Petroleum monies, as the “Presidential Handshake” is a drop in the ocean. As the UNRA and other agencies has misused the taxpayers monies. This happens with such ease and lacking finesse, but the agencies looking into graft and corruption is compromised, because the ones leading it are loyal Musevenist.
That the government and budgets are bloated. That the financial and economic state is in deep distress, as the state is suffering from lacking provisions and revenue. As well, as they are struggling with the stop of donor friendly relationships. People’s and Foreigners trust in the leadership of Museveni has been dwindling. President Museveni are also already prospecting the revenue of the oil and petroleum, even before it has surfaced. Therefore, the future will also be compromised by the deals done today.
The defenders of the NRM now, does not believe in real democracy, as they defending the rigging and militant Movement. A President who has no trouble with killing and destroying to stay in power. The ones defending him has no trouble to stand by a man who empties the treasury and state reserves with no hesitation. As well, as the men and woman who stays by the regime, are easily taking land and resources, they are eating of the plate and selling it back to the Ugandans. This with impunity and without any consideration of the ones who loses their chances.
It is a nation who has a government, not based on merit, but on loyalty. The loyalty to Museveni and his agenda. The agenda to work for him and his ideas. Not work to develop the nation, but develop the estate of Museveni. The idea of real Movement is ploy from the master himself. He just needs shadows to work for him and for envelopes. Not a real party who deliver policy or working for the future Republic. No the Movement is now a shell used pounce out the empty ideas of greed, nurture of the estates of Museveni and of the staging the power of the old-man with the hat!
President Museveni and his apologists knows all of this, they live by this and has faith that this is ideal and the dream. That someone comes with empty promises and lives by the fake party celebrating the 1986 coup. The coup that overruled the government and the old constitution, that President Museveni couldn’t pigeonhole. That has he done to his own and plans to do it again for his 8th Term.
The apologists can say he created safety, but he also created warfare and civil-war to get to power. Some called it a revolution, other calls it a takeover. But with time it wasn’t for the idea of a people’s government, but more a government and state built around the revolutionary, who didn’t really believe in the words he spoke.
The ones defending him, is defending a lie and that for the sake of eating. Not for the benefit of the Republic or the public. The struggling public is pawns, they are just needed props now and then for the Movement. As they praise their master, as they know if they get to close or too ambitious they are surely losing their place. Therefore, all of them are loyal cadres, elite and patrons who surely basks in the pasture of the President. But really, they should know it is on borrowed time. No-one knows how long the patronage and military can be serviced, how long they can all live on the charade and the misuse of power.
Certainly, the President knows this too, therefore, he uses all ways to make sure and get people on board. Even if that lets people starve, let them cheat on food reliefs and even use refugees as bailing-out card on the struggling economy. That is solely made of the patronage and grand-corruption orchestrated from the seat of the President at the Okello House. He can created all sorts of schemes and manufacture new ways of promoting better agriculture or better yields, but it is all ploys of generating more funds for his own. Not for the public to earn or get better output of the seeds and seedlings. If so, than the agricultural should be booming after 30 years in power.
However, the defense of this will be in the patronage and by the spokespersons appointed by the President. These ones will make a fuzz and say the Opposition never was a viable option and never had the leadership to overturn the Movement. The Movement has always been the only option, they say and use new ways of saying so. But that doesn’t make it true, as the rigging and the intimidation is used to forge this facade. The flawless untouched ballots doesn’t exists, there has been all sorts of play to get the will of the President.
President Museveni, even detain opposition, he uses safe-houses and some like Sam Mugumya are detained in the Democratic Republic of Congo, with no plan of getting him home. Him and others are lingering abroad as the political prisoner lingers in uncertainty. This is the legacy of the revolutionary, who became the draconian and the militarized government who uses all means to stay. He uses all methods on earth, Machiavellian and Orwellian blended in a Yellow Color with no fear of repression… no fear that the Movement can be touched, but when the moment appear. Than the Ugandans shouldn’t lose it, because they have already lost so much in the name of Museveni. Museveni has stolen the past and the present. His men has rewritten the history and tried to become the grand hero, and the generations from the rebellion is dwindling away. The young generation only knows the folklore and should beware, it is not all what it seems. The ghosts are not only in the budgets, but they are haunting the President from the past. They are the ones he stole to gain power and to silence the opposition. These souls will ask in the after-life, why he did what he did to them and also why he punished their grand-kids. Since they all lead the same faith. They all got to feel the pain, with no mercy from the leadership controlled by the President.
That is why there are no defending a man like Museveni. He has used all tricks, even was able to deceive the west for decades to pay for his decadence. Certainly, he must laugh about the dumb-white men and their agendas. His grin must be wide thinking of all the sorts of cars, airplanes and ranch expansions that are paid by the friends of direct-state aid. They have kept his roof and his ammunition, to oppress and to relief his patronage. Therefore, if someone is defending this man. Think of his track-record and all the souls he has left behind. Peace.