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Archive for the tag “Yoweri K. Museveni”

Opinion: Niwagaba MP Constitutional Amendments going for VP Ssekandi’s position, maybe because his irrelevant at this point?

Wilfred Niwagaba MP is really gunning for replacing Vice-President Edward Ssekandi and also repeal the Prime Minister post of Dr. Rukahana Rugunda. Clearly, the MP has ideas and want another sort of governance put into stone or to be amended into law. As the Constitution would stipulate certain Executive and higher offices in the Republic. Like it does today with the VP and the PM, which the President shall appoint with the approval of the Parliament.

Niwagaba Independent MP are clearly that his trying to send a message, that is why Muhammad Kivumbi Muwanga (Democratic Party) and Betty Ocan Aol (Forum for Democratic Change). They have co-signed on this motion for leave for Niwagaba to finish the private bill to the parliament.

This is really a joint opposition bill and really trying to change the government by changing the constitution. This bill is also planning to find a legal ways of cutting down the size of the cabinet, because of how it has mushroomed under this President. Therefore, this is really directly attacking the NRM model of governance.

But, I will be fixated with is not the slimming of the cabinet nor the idea of how the cabinet members are picked/appointed. I feel it is more enriching to discuss the changes from VP to DP and repeal the PM.

Just look at vital parts of the amendment of the VP role into a DP!

108. Deputy President,

(1)There shall be a Deputy President of Uganda.

(2)A candidate in a presidential election shall nominate a person who is

qualified for nomination for election as President, as a candidate for Deputy

President.

(…)

(14) The Deputy President shall-

(a) deputise for the President;

(b) be the Leader of Government Business in Parliament;

(c) be responsible for the coordination and implementation of Government

policies across Ministries , departments, and other public institutions

(d) perform such other functions as may be assigned to him or her by the

President, or as may be conferred on him or her this the Constitution.” (Constitutional (Amendment) 26th July 2019).

13. Repeal of article 108A of the Constitution.

Article l08A of the Constitution is repealed” (Constitutional (Amendment), 26th July 2019).

If you have followed the VP and his life, his the most ceremonial public office in the Republic. Seemingly, his the face of the patronage and the laxity, since the President handles everything with his micromanaging. That is why the VP is mostly a busy body and someone that greets the President at functions or even at the Entebbe International Airport.

Surely with two roles submerged into one in away, that is what it seems by this constitutional amendment. That the possible changes would be an amplified VP and PM into a DP.

I don’t know what big difference this will do, as this role would be less ceremonial, but have actual powers. Also, being the safe-guard for the President and the one in his place. However, this is could have all been amplified with the VP himself. Alas, the Prime Minister is the one of most importance, as well, as the biggest budget with the projects underlining the OPM. This is why the repealing of this role would also affect everything being connected with the OPM.

Ssekandi should really defend his value, his importance and his ways. The VP should defend himself with a VP drive, ask for supplementary budget and maybe got on a VP Drive across the Republic. So, that people can see his face, know that he exists and even shake his hand. No, I am kidding with that part, but he needs to show his face value. Because, what has the VP done, except smiling on pictures at selected functions over the recent years?

VP Ssekandi might be a powerful man in the placement of the political order, but in practical sense. It seems like the OPM kicks him to the curb. The VP seems like useless position at this time and place. That is because his not giving enough daily remindings that his alive and kicking it.

That is why the opposition MPs are trying to revise the law. To get someone who has a real function and who does something while serving for the state. Not only getting the brown envelopes and going to funerals as the state official. There is clear need for something more and especially not only having the President doing this. Peace.

Opinion: We need a daily reminder that VP Ssekandi is alive!

Well, today was the day, that the State House officially stated to the Daily Monitor, that Vice-President Edward Ssekandi is alive. We all needed that friendly reminder, from time to time. Since he is a like ghost, who just show-up out of nowhere to functions, move plates, even scare the living sh** out of the patrons. Because, no one anticipated his remains were still there or even entertaining, the idea of an existence.

VP Ssekandi could surely be myth, be a relic of the past. Ssekandi could be a old book in the long forgotten National Library, which not even the biggest scholar cared to pick up in his life-time. Because, the existence of Ssekandi is that sort of guy.

That is surely, why the President picked him as his second in command. No one is afraid of him, no one is thinking of him, except his wife and his closes relatives. The rest just anticipate him to open a well or even gracing a funeral now and then. However, he is not the honourable of which the system collapses the day he cease to exist.

No, he is urban legend, a man of all season and none of them. Edward is there, but for sure, no one knows why. He could be there for his organizing skills, his training, and his funny wordplay and even for his spiritual upbringing. Nevertheless, none of us has seen this or even heard of it. He has never proven any of his skills or his set of features. Except for a speech here and there.

Ssekandi is the VP who is there, but not really there(!!). That is why they have to say it from the State House, that he is alive and watching YouTube. Because, who knows what he does during the day or if he eats a pineapple or matooke. Since, the man is not to be seen or heard from.

The State House should do this more often, especially since Ssekandi is soon of the advanced aged, the ones who is usually retired or “expired” from the workforce, just like his master. However, they both linger. The President jumps around like a Criss-Cross video, but the VP is in the shadow, in the middle of the fog and not seen. That might be by default or rare luck, since his not stating anything radical or critically acclaimed policies. It is as if he wants to be this hidden. So, we don’t know and no idea what to know. He is just there, we suppose, but very little or no proof.

What we learned today?

Is that we need a daily reminder from the State House. In addition, occasionally, maybe even a health condition sheet or similar, to prove that he is alive and enduring this thing called life. So, that we can ensure, that the second in line after the President is there. Because, at the day to day, we got no real idea. Peace.

OPM Refugee Scandal: Reloaded!

You would think that the Office of the Prime Minister, who is in-charge of the Refugees in Uganda, would trade the waters carefully, after the last year scandal of thousands upon thousands of ghost refugees. Which the OPM and the state was cashing in on. No, no, no, they are having yet another scheme, as the government are planning to misuse the refugee crisis in the neighbour countries to their advantage. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) have no trouble doing so.

The Prime Minister Dr. Rugunda Ruhakana has clearly not lost the touch of deception or lying to the International Community for a buck. Here is yet another scheme made up to make the numbers sky-rocket!

More than 1000 Ugandans living in areas neighbouring Kyangwali refugee settlement were forced to attain refugee status in order to retain ‘ownership’ of their land. The scheme was reportedly crafted by Charles Bafaki, the principal resettlement officer in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), Jolly Kebirungi, the camp commandant Kyangwali refugee settlement area, in the newly created Kikuube district and Lutaaya Vianney from ministry of Lands” (URN – ‘OPM forced Ugandans to register as refugees in Kyangwali’ 02.01.2019, link:https://observer.ug/news/headlines/59562-opm-officials-forced-ugandans-to-register-as-refugees-in-kyangwali).

With this in mind, the government are putting lives in jeopardy, making the citizens play as refugees, and not being citizens themselves. Supposed to seek refugee in a camp instead of living their ordinary life. This in a way to get higher numbers of refugees and more need of aid to take care of them. If this isn’t misusing resources and also reckless behaviour against own citizens. Nothing is. This is what Steady Progress means in the NRM land.

The OPM are already known for inflating numbers, but now they cheating also by making Ugandan citizens into refugees. That is really ensuring the UNHCR and all agencies for fools. As the GoU and OPM have no trouble risking their own citizens as pawns in a scheme to secure funding. While, also using this scheme to scare locals of losing their land, if they didn’t play along. That is how far they take it.

No mercy, no problems ensuring suffering for people, as long as the OPM secures more funds to itself. Peace.

Uganda Police Message: Security of Police Headquarters, Stations, Installations and Barracks (20.12.2018)

Joint Local Statement on the Uganda refugees’ response (14.12.2018)

UNHCR statement on the refugee response programme in Uganda (30.11.2018)

The UN Office of Internal Oversight (OIOS) audit report into UNHCR’s Uganda operation, released this week, contains findings that show clear gaps and weaknesses in risk management in a number of areas during the period between July 2016 and December 2017. The audit followed the massive influx of refugees from South Sudan in 2016 – mid 2017, when UNHCR’s staffing capacity in key functions and in remote locations was very low, followed by a rapidly expanded operation in the second half of 2017 with many new staff and partners.

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is in the business of saving lives and protecting people. Maintaining the trust and confidence of our donors and of the general public is of utmost importance to us. A number of internal reviews and technical oversight missions had identified risky areas in the operation during 2017. UNHCR worked closely with the OIOS auditors, who came to Uganda in February 2017, identifying issues and providing information that was used in the audit. We have accepted the recommendations of the OIOS auditors and have been working to address them well before this report was issued on 27 November, including in conjunction with Uganda’s Office of the Prime Minister.

Underscoring the urgency with which UNHCR was seized with these issues, the High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, visited Kampala in January 2018 to assess the complex challenges being faced in the refugee response and meet with the government at the highest level. Amongst other measures introduced, he agreed with the Prime Minister to launch the verification exercise into refugee registration data just completed. He also upgraded the leadership of the UNHCR operation to manage these challenges. Various corrective measures have been put in place, supported by a plan for ongoing and future actions. There is continuous follow-up.

Measures we have taken to date include revising or redesigning and rolling out new Standard Operating Procedures for the reception of refugees, their registration, protection, assistance (food, non-food items – core relief supplies) and case management. The complaints and feedback mechanisms for refugees have been strengthened with a new inter-agency call-centre. We have also strengthened staffing in key operations functions, in particular with regard to reinforced capacities in oversight and management. These include the establishment of a senior post in risk management and compliance. Monitoring and reporting functions have additionally been reviewed, revised and enhanced.

In regard to road construction, an investigation is ongoing and we are pursuing a full recovery of funds from any project partners of concern. Allowances paid to civil servants are verified through attendance records and payment to individual bank accounts with overall responsibility lying with the government.

To address concerns about the accuracy of registration data, a countrywide biometric verification exercise of the refugee and asylum-seeker population was conducted between March and October 2018. The Government of Uganda is now committed to using the appropriate tools for continuous registration, which is their responsibility, and to ensuring the integrity of the registration process. The strengthened registration and case management systems will improve service and assistance delivery, including distribution of food. UNHCR is working closely with the Office of the Prime Minister in the roll-out of these new systems and jointly addressing obstacles that emerge in their practical application at field level.

UNHCR has also closely reviewed its monitoring of water delivery trucking in remote refugee settlements. We are doing top-to-bottom reviews of contracts, invoices and delivery verification before proceeding with any payments. Significant progress has been made in reducing water trucking, which is expensive, from 37 per cent in May 2017 to 7 per cent over the course of the year, following completion of several water schemes in Rhino, Imvepi and Palorinya refugee settlements in northern Uganda. With the new measures in place, we expect a further reduction to 5 per cent in December 2018.

The audit recommendations vis-à-vis partnership management, performance monitoring, procurement procedures, non-food item distribution and warehouse management are being addressed and toughened measures have been put in place, including with partner organizations and the Office of the Prime Minister, where these activities are jointly implemented. Progress will be reviewed regularly.

UNHCR has additionally established a high-level dialogue with the Office of the Prime Minister and other government authorities on the audit findings, including regarding recovery of funds as may be needed. Fuel cards and vehicle tracking have been introduced for implementation in 2019. A task force has been set up to review projects implemented by the Office of the Prime Minister. A preliminary report is due in mid-December.

UNHCR is determined to ensure the full integrity of the refugee response in Uganda and is addressing all issues identified in the audit report.

Opinion: The sad realities of the Ugandan involvement in South Sudan!

Today, it was two vital reports that came out on the subject. Both was how the National Resistance Movement, the NRM and President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and his government have been involved in the South Sudan civil war. For me this wasn’t shocking or really news. The reports locally has been there.

That the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) have supported the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) with arms, guns and weapons training. Even in the midst of an United Nations Embargo. Which wasn’t long ago, that the Uganda President promised to continue to supply the South Sudanese counterparts. However, none of that has gotten as a MEMO to the Western partners of Ugandan war-machine. Who has continued to supply them with arms and later on been traded to third parties in South Sudan.

While the guns and arms been flowing, the refugees has seek shelter and relief in Northern Uganda. As the same Western partners has donated funds as the massive refugee flow from across the border. As they are fleeing the conflict and civil war. The same Ugandan government, to trick the numbers and schemes to fund various operations of the state, even buy an expensive plot for a parking lot for the Office of the Prime Minister, has used them. This is the sort of activity happens from the government, who supply arms to the conflict, they are asking the same foreign donors to help with trouble it creates.

The UNCHR has spent a total of $129,9m in 2016 and $210m in 2017 on the Refugee operation in Uganda. This while the Ugandan authorities has ballooned the numbers and added over 300,000 refugees, which was ghosts. Therefore, the UNHCR and OPM had to after the scandal have a registration and verification drive, which also cost the UN Agency money. For instance, the OPM claimed to pay for 72 civil servants working on UNHCR projects and paying them salaries, but there was no clear documentation if they really existed or had a job. There was also procurement done without prior authorization or documents going up to about $34,4m, which was not approved off or cleared by the UNHCR.

When you combine these reports, show how blatant disregard the Ugandan government have, how they are both the mediator, the arms supplier and the refugee relief. While getting both the value for money for the arms, they are getting benefit on the refugees and they are supplying high-ranking government officials because of it. You can clearly get the gist of the operation.

The Ugandan government have been earning and using the conflict to gain monetary gains, in each side of the bargain. By circumventing the arms-embargo, while being a mediator and official “peace-maker” and hosting the refugees from the same conflict. That is really staggering, when your combining all the efforts and tricks done, to get another buck. Earning fortunes on others misfortune. Peace.

OPM – Ministry for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees: Press Release – Clarification on the Status of Rwandan Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Uganda (22.11.2018)

Uganda Police Force – Internal Note (16.11.2018)

OPM Refugee Scandal: It is verified that it was 352k Ghost Refugees!

Minister Hillary Onek and Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda can make any excuses in the books of civil service. Not that they will be true for that matter, because earlier this year. It was revealed that in several of the refugee camps and settlements in the Republic of Uganda. The Government of Uganda had inflated the numbers, so they to could gain international recognition and also monetary gains for the needed people seeking refuge there.

This was ghosting refugees and the ones fleeing wars in Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan. Where the majority of the refugees comes from. This was a real scandal, that shown how the authorities are using the misfortune of others to eat donor pledges and multi-national organizations supply of foreign currency. To facilitate food, shelter and other needed services for the ones living in the refugee camps and settlements.

Take a look at this:

The Government of Uganda has one of the most progressive refugee policies, allowing refugees and asylum-seekers to live in gazetted refugee settlements and exercise freedom of movement and settlement within the country. As a routine practice, the government has provided a grace period of two months within which any registered refugee and asylum-seeker who missed the exercise, can approach OPM for verification. Taking this into consideration, the above verification numbers are preliminary. A more detailed analysis will be undertaken after the grace period. The difference between the initial verification target stands at 352,643 individuals. Among those, 255,490 individuals were verified as inactive and closed for the following reasons: a) 158,533 individuals whose whereabouts are unknown as reported by family members; b) 34,174 were reported by their families to have returned to their countries of origin; c) 9,481 were identified to have registered more than once; e) 3,931 were reported deceased; f) 1,489 were closed as they were Ugandan nationals; and (g) a verification exercise by OPM in April 2018 confirmed the urban refugee population to be 55,812” (UNHCR – ‘Joint statement by UNHCR and OPM on preliminary results of refugee verification exercise’ 08.11.2018).

So, the OPM and the National Resistance Movement (NRM) played this game with the lives of refugees and with the donor nations. Hoping to score more funding for non-existing refugees, getting funds and grants for people who never existed. That shows the devastation and extortion of the situation. When the ones in dire need and the ones in camp together with forged numbers are used in a scheme.

That is why the UPM and UNHCR had to do this exercise in the first place, as the lack of trust in the numbers. As they sky-rocketed and ballooned into ridiculous levels.

The OPM Refugee scandal of this years shows the value of oversight and due diligence, as the need to verify the numbers and the stats. That is why there is missing or ghosting over 352,000 people as refugees in Uganda. That shows how corrupt and how the state used the ability of refugees to take money from others.

Therefore, these sort of joint actions should happen often. To secure that the GoU and the OPM isn’t rigging the numbers in their favor. Peace.

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