Posts tagged as: general

Norman Magaya Sues Fred Matiang’i Over Nasa Protest Ban

By Maureen Kakah

National Super Alliance’s (Nasa) head of Secretariat Norman Magaya has moved to court seeking to stop his arrest over ongoing protests.

Through lawyer Jackson Awele, he has sued the Inspector General of Police, the Director of Public Prosecutions and acting Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i.


He faulted the police for engaging in discriminatory killings in areas considered to be Nasa strongholds.

Mr Magaya argued that protestors have the right to demonstrate. He said the decision to hold him responsible for damages caused during protests against the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) was discriminatory.

Mr Magaya wants the court to suspend the directive on his arrest over anti-IEBC demos and the ban on holding demonstrations in Central Business Districts of Nairobi, Kisumu and Mombasa.

Last week, Dr Matiang’i said Mr Magaya would be arrested and held responsible for damages caused during demonstrations called for by Nasa.


Donors Ask Odinga to Rescind Decision to Boycott Poll

Western donors want National Super Alliance leader, Raila Odinga, to rescind his withdrawal from the upcoming repeat… Read more »

Govt ‘Concerned’ About Uganda Hosting Dissidents

There have been reports that Rwanda is concerned about Uganda allowing Rwandan dissidents to live and conduct business in the country.

Shortly after presenting her credentials to President Paul Kagame last week, Uganda’s High Commissioner to Rwanda Oliver Wonekha, when asked about the reports of bilateral issues between the two countries, said she was not aware of any concerns.

“As far as I know, our relations are good. But you know with a relationship, you must nurture it, you must take care of any gaps that exist. I will make sure that I look at those gaps and attend to them,” she said.

Although there has not been any official communication from both countries regarding their relations, a missive circulated after a closed door meeting addressed by Rwanda’s Minister General James Kabarebe pointed out key areas which “Rwanda is concerned about”.

The EastAfrican has learned that there have been two closed door meetings over the past month of government officials, members of the ruling party and the business community, to provide “an update” on relations between the two countries.

According to an insider, Gen Kabarebe said at the meeting that, “Rwanda is concerned by Uganda’s continued offering of its space to ‘Rwandan enemies’, whether deliberately or inadvertently, to conduct their operations.”

“Among other things, Rwandan authorities were worried by the decisions Uganda has taken, which are hostile to Rwanda,” the source told The EastAfrican.

“Among them is the decision to allow exiled Rwandan tycoon Tribert Rujugiro to operate in Uganda and work closely with government officials,” the source added.

A leaked memorandum of understanding shows a partnership between President Yoweri Museveni’s younger brother Gen Salim Sale and Mr Rujigiro, who Rwanda accuses of bankrolling dissidents fighting the government.

The MoU, seen by The EastAfrican, was signed by Gen Saleh and M/S Leaf Tobacco and Commodities Ltd, owned by Mr Rujugiro on June 13, giving the general a 15 per cent stake in the company. In return, Gen Saleh grants “security” to the business.

The MoU came a few months after Mr Rujugiro announced that he would be constructing a $20 million tobacco processing factory in northern Uganda.

Mr Rujugiro, the founder of the PanAfrican Tobacco Group, was a special economic adviser to President Paul Kagame before he fell out with the Rwanda government at the end of 2009 and went into exile.


Taken as a Toddler, ‘Orphan’ Reunites With Family

Leonard Sebarinda, now 70-years-old, was haunted for decades by the disappearance of his daughter, a toddler, in the… Read more »

Why Group Wants ICC to Probe Odinga and Kalonzo

By John Ngirachu

Nasa leader Raila Odinga’s controversial remarks over land ownership in Kajiado in June is one of the reasons a lobby has petitioned the International Criminal Court to investigate and prosecute him.

The petition, filed by the International Policy Group through Canadian lawyer David Jacobs and signed by the NGO’s chairman Dr Kenneth Otieno Orengo and the secretary Martin Nkari seeks to have the ICC to investigate Mr Odinga and his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka for incitement to commit 12 crimes against humanity.

The NGO has compiled the instances its says the two committed the crimes.

Among the incidents is the statement made in Kajiado in June during the campaigns before the General Election whose video recording would later go viral and become the subject of heated political debate.


The petitioners say: “We have strong grounds to assert that Raila Amolo Odinga, Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka and their cohorts in Nasa are planning to plunge Kenya into violence in pursuit of political power.”

Raila faces probe over Kajiado remarks – VIDEO

They argue that given their political status as former Prime Minister and former Vice-President, it is unlikely the former presidential candidate and running mate would be brought to book in Kenya.

“Their global networks as well as political clout in Kenya mean that any cases against them would likely lead to violence from their now radicalised Nasa supporters,” they add.

This, they say, leaves the ICC as the only credible available means of dealing with the two.

“There is reasonable basis to believe that Raila Amolo Odinga and Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka, as principal conspirators and part of a criminal organisation and enterprise referred to as Nasa, have intended to incite and instigate the crimes of murder, torture, persecution, forceful evictions, rape and damage to public and private property of innocent Kenyan citizens and residents who do not belong to the Maasai tribe in Kajiado County,” the petitioners say.


Arguing that Nasa wanted to get the votes of the Maasai during the General Election, the petitioners argue that the plan was to incite an attack against non-Maasais in Kajiado on the basis that they have invaded land.

“As a result of these inflammatory statements by Mr Odinga, leaflets asking the non-indigenous communities to leave the county or be forcibly evicted were spread across the county,” Dr Orengo and Mr Nkari say.

The petition to the ICC mirrors events in 2008 when in the thick of the violence that followed the election, the Opposition, ODM, and the ruling party, PNU, both sought the intervention of the Hague-based court.

Last week, the International Policy Group took out full page advertisement in the top dailies to explain its support for the controversial bill to change the law on elections.

It has also published several pro-government reports in the past and generally leans towards the government.


Police Killed Over 33 During Demo – Report

Kenya police killed at least 33 people in Nairobi during demos sparked off by August 8 presidential poll results,… Read more »

Nigeria:More Outrage At Alleged Buhari’s Directive to World Bank

By Seye Olumide and Lawrence Njoku

The Southern Leaders Forum (SLF) yesterday condemned the alleged directive by President Muhammadu Buhari to the President of the World Bank Group, Jim Yong Kim, that the institution should concentrate on northern Nigeria.

Kim had said: “You know, in my very first meeting with President Buhari, he said specifically that he would like us to shift our focus to the northern region of Nigeria and we’ve done that. Now, it has been very difficult. The work there has been very difficult.”

In a statement yesterday by Chief Guy Ikokwu for the South-East; Senator Bassey Henshaw for the South-South and Mr. Yinka Odumakin for the South-West, the forum said: “This directive, without mincing words, is sectional, discriminatory, divisive and against the laudable promise of President Buhari at his inauguration that he would not be beholden to anyone as he was elected to be the president of everybody.

“Giving instructions to the World Bank to concentrate on a section of the country where the president hails from throws a knife at the heart of our nationhood and challenges the hackneyed expression that the ‘unity of Nigeria is settled.’

“There can never be any rationale way such a request should be made by a president with a pan-Nigerian mandate. The only explanation that would have convinced us was if we were told that such a discussion did not take place at all.”

Besides, the forum said it had studied the very rude, bellicose, insensitive and knee-jerk response from the presidency on the matter, saying: “The unfortunate tirade from the office of the president showed a very deep contempt and palpable impunity as 90 per cent of its content was devoted to abusing those who have shown rightful indignation at such a development. It is not on record that even the British colonial masters addressed Nigerians in such scornful and brash language. The only tepid explanation in the spiteful statement was that the president’s request was for the reconstruction of the North-East. But Kim was emphatic about ‘northern region’ and not North-East.”

The southern leaders said they wouldn’t have raised any alarm if the Word Bank chief had stated that the request was to pay special attention to the North-East, as they were sympathetic to the devastation caused there by the Boko Haram insurgents.

“We have since seen figures from projects done in the country by the World Bank within the tenure of the administration, which show that about $1 billion worth of jobs are specifically for the North-East, while about $2.9 billion worth of projects is for the whole of the country, including the northern states.

Just as the North-East deserves special attention, so also are the South-South, South -East and South-West, especially as the repayment of these facilities will mostly come from these parts.”

The African Democratic Congress (ADC) also decried the alleged Buhari’s directive, saying while it recognised the need for special attention for the North-East based on the devastation caused to it by terrorists over the years, it was wrong for the president to direct the World Bank or any international aid meant for the country to be focused on a particular zone.

The National Chairman of ADC, Chief Ralph Nwosu said if, for whatever reason, Buhari directed the World Bank to focus on the North-East “he (the president) must realise that whatever the World Bank is giving as a form of aid to a particular section of the country would be reciprocated by Nigeria in whatever form and when it comes to that, it is not only the section that benefitted that would reciprocate but the country.”

But the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, appealed that the issue should not be taken out of context, urging those blaming Buhari to endeavour to visit the North-East to appreciate the level of destruction.

“The level of destruction we are talking about is not just infrastructure but lives, children that have been out of schools, displaced people and all manner of devastation no single government or state could handle alone. That must have informed the president’s directive,” he said.

Also, the Director General of the Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr. Osita Okechukwu, urged those attacking Buhari over the revelation by Kim to, in the fullness of time, judge him by his project performance across the length and breadth of the country.

Okechukwu said it was not right to judge the president with those allegations, especially when massive projects were going on in various parts of the country.

“The statement Kim made is not as it sounds, for as we approach 2019 general elections, more stories will surface either fake or real. After all, the simple definition of election in liberal democracy is a referendum on the performance of the incumbent. Use your vote to judge his project performance not propaganda performance. Leaders like Buhari come once in a generation, I bet you”, he said.

On Ohanaeze’s visit to the President last week, Okechukwu who had lamented that Buhari’s letter of November 2014 and his January 2017 congratulatory message which were allegedly rebuffed by Ohanaeze leadership, said he was happy that the group finally opened a vital channel of communications with the president instead of “throwing stones from the sidelines.”

Riviera High School Club Wins Swimming Competition

By Jejje Muhinde

Riviera High School Swimming Club were crowned champions of a one-day swimming competition organised by Thousand Kilo’s Women Canoe and Aquatic Swimming Club on Saturday at Hill Top Hotel, Remera.

Riviera Club took the winner’s trophy after four of their swimmers dominated the mixed 200m relay free style category beating Hill Top and Lycee De Kigali Swimming Clubs that came second and third, respectively.

Riviera swimmers including; Cleon Sexerano, Noella Mutabazi, Daniel Audra Casillas Iyongere and Nelly Ange, finished top in different age group categories.

Hill Top Swimming Club won the boys’ 6-15 years (50m breaststroke) category, with Chris Noah clocking 30 seconds to finish ahead of Alex Kamali (32 secs) from Vision Club and Waridi Nshimiyimana, who finished third in 35 seconds.

The 16 and above years girls’ 100m break stroke category was claimed by Claudette Iradukuda from Karongi Swimming club, who clocked 3 minutes and 28 seconds, while the boys’ category was won by Steven Rukundinka from CBS in 2 minutes and 37seconds.

Over 40 participants took part in the competition whose objective was to attract and encourage more women to join the sport, according to Thousand Kilo’s Women Canoe and Aquatic Swimming Club Secretary General, Luvarie Uwambajimana.

He said: “Because of our culture, some (Rwandan) women fear to expose their bodies in public, and I think, for this reason, they don’t take up the sport, so we tend to educate and encourage more girls to take up the sport, that’s why we formed this club as women to inspire others.”

Rwandan Swimming Federation president, Samuel Kinimba Ufitimana, thanked the organisers, the sponsors as well as encouraged participants, who did not finish on the podium to train harder for the next competitions.


Hilton Shopping for a Second Hotel in Rwanda – Official

Global hotel franchise, Hilton Hotel, last week announced its debut into the Rwandan market by adding Ubumwe Grand Hotel… Read more »

Tuskys, Nakumatt Write to Regulator On Merger Plan

By Mugambi Mutegi

Nairobi — Tuskys Supermarkets has written to the competition watchdog seeking advice on its planned merger with competitor Nakumatt, putting into motion efforts to save the financially-troubled retailer from collapsing.

Dan Githua, Tuskys’ chief executive, Thursday said the retailers jointly wrote a formal notice to the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) alerting them of their intended merger while seeking the regulator’s opinion on how to proceed.

Nakumatt has faced an existential threat in recent months after a delay in getting new capital and failure to refinance its obligations saw it default on employees, suppliers and lenders.

A tie-up with Tuskys, which is still subject to due diligence and approval from regional competition regulators, is the latest scramble by Nakumatt whose proposal to receive a bailout from the government was snubbed.

“We have filed pre-approval documents with CAK basically explaining to them what the intended transaction is like,” said Mr Githua, in a response to queries by the Business Daily. CAK director-general Wang’ombe Kariuki confirmed that his office is in communication with the two retailers and had responded to the issue.

A merger of the firms will result in the largest retailer in the country, with rivals such as Naivas Supermarket and Uchumi Supermarkets far behind.

“If they want to have a management agreement, they have to seek an exemption. If they choose to merge, they have to follow the law,” Mr Kariuki said in a telephone interview.

“However, we are aware of the state the retail sector is in. We shall fast-track whichever application they submit.”

Nakumatt’s managing director and part-owner has insisted the retailers are seeking a merger. One of the CAK’s key mandates is to ensure that businesses do not engage in practices that may limit competition to the detriment of consumers


‘Family Planning Clinics Can Help Screen for Cervical Cancer’

AS cases of cervical cancer increase, screening services with existing family planning clinics can increase access to… Read more »

Muntu Explains Rare Unity Against Age Limit Bill

analysisBy Ian Katusiime

Kampala — ‘We are seeing MPs in traditionally Movement strongholds coming out to oppose this Bill, the momentum is unstoppable,’ he told The Independent

“The opposition is weak” is a refrain in Uganda’s political discourse. President Yoweri Museveni’s ability to thwart opposition protests, NRM’s super majority in parliament, and the absence of an alternative strong opposition leader in the mould of Dr Kizza Besigye are often cited as reasons for the above statement.

But what happens when opposition in its small numbers brings the country to a halt like was witnessed recently in parliament for over a week when opposition Members of Parliament blocked a motion of the age limit amendment Bill for a week?

Although the motion eventually succeeded and the Bill was tabled by NRM’s Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi, the opposition MPs about 20 only in number, on two occasions compelled the Speaker of Parliament to adjourn the House when they suspected that their counterparts in the ruling party were planning to sneak in the controversial Bill on the Order Paper of Parliament. The MPs with their new symbol of red headbands have now galvanised forces opposed to the amendment, across the country.

Following these events, observers are mulling the possible gains that Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Democratic Party (DP), Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) and other anti-NRM groups could reap if they put up a united front like the current pushback against the Bill has shown.

FDC President Mugisha Muntu says the anti-age limit sentiments across the country have been demonstrated through the number of leaders; social, religious who have come out publicly against the amendment. “Even leaders in the Movement party have come out on this, we are seeing MPs in traditionally Movement strongholds coming out to oppose this Bill, the momentum is unstoppable,” he told The Independent.

Muntu who temporarily halted his campaign for re-election as FDC President to join forces opposed to the age limit Bill, says Museveni needs to watch out because the campaign against the Bill is now international. He says the numbers NRM brags about in parliament remain a test on this issue.

“You have seen constituencies where people are telling their MPs to literally not touch it (the constitutional age cap),” he said.

He explained that there is so much opposition to the Bill because it is an opportunity to exploit for anyone who wants to see change; especially those not in politics who are the majority.

“Even in the ruling party in their different sections, they want to see change, that is why there is all this momentum and it can only keep growing,” he said.

Muntu added that he has been holding meetings with various political and non-political actors to see that there’s a countrywide movement against the Bill.

The constitutional amendment appears to have even united FDC with its ever present internal ideological rifts. The factions of moderates led by Muntu and those of radicals who prefer street style protests and allied to former presidential candidate Besigye, seem to both view the amendment as an existential threat to opposition parties. Although the two groups have not come out jointly, party insiders say the focus is now on one thing- ‘Togikwatako’, the name given to the resistance of the Bill.

The unity of the opposition is not necessarily about forming electoral coalitions per se, but it’s about coordinated action even if parties do not form formal coalitions, says Moses Khisa, an Assistant Professor of Political Science at North Carolina State University.

“Political competition in Uganda today tends to be not so much between parties as between individuals up against the Ugandan state,” he told The Independent in an email response.

“Consider this, after the 2011 elections the opposition won a series of by-elections, in fact more than half dozen, and the decisive factor was that they were able to pool their resources, field a single candidate and work together to defeat NRM candidates,” Khisa says. According to him, this happened because there was high level coordination and strategic cooperation.

He says after the 2016 general elections, the opposition seems to have been derailed from its earlier mode.

In February, members of the opposition were involved in sharp disagreements as Uganda fielded candidates for the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) based in Arusha, Tanzania. FDC was wrecked by an internal party dispute and subsequently missed out on an EALA post, some of its members like Opposition Chief Whip in Parliament Ibrahim Semujju Nganda accused DP and UPC of being in bed with Museveni to undermine FDC, the largest opposition party.

Just around the same time, Museveni was nibbling away at DP. Muhammad Baswari Kezaala, the party’s national chairman had just accepted a diplomatic posting and Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi who stood for Kampala Woman MP on the DP ticket in the 2016 elections had taken up a cabinet position the same year

“Compare that with what has been happening with the recent by-elections where the opposition have been fielding multiple candidates but most importantly have been scattered with each party working on its own,” he adds, In his view, the opposition should use its small numbers to disrupt NRM.

“Opposition and progressive-NRM MPs are very few but can have the capacity to cause a standoff in parliament and to cause Museveni enough headache. Don’t forget that the rebel MPs in the ninth parliament were less than ten (although the most vocal were about four), but working with the opposition they created lots of problems for Museveni,” Khisa told The Independent.

And indeed the Supreme Court backed the rebel MPs in a ruling in 2015 stating that it was not automatic for the MPs to lose their seats after they had fallen out with their party. This was after the Constitutional Court ruled to throw them out of parliament.

Moses Khisa, however, puts a caveat on the actions of the opposition MPs in parliament. “Museveni has been very successful in scattering even a small opposition in parliament using both carrots and sticks and the current fierce opposition on the age limit machinations may fizzle precisely at the hands of coercive threats, money, and blackmail,” he says.

“But it will also depend on how much effort comes into play from outside parliament,” he adds, “MPs, however united, will not achieve much if there is no pressure from the general public, the organised civil society, and an activist media. The struggle against Museveni cannot be won exclusively from parliament. Impossible.”

Butambala County MP Muwanga Kivumbi, and a member of the DP, agrees that the Bill has united the opposition uniquely but is also guarded about it. “I hope the unity holds. It is the beginning of a long and protracted fight because the continued stay of Museveni threatens other parties,” he told The Independent.

Untamed ambitions

Kivumbi says it is likely the opposition is strongly together this time partly because the fight does not involve one particular individual. “Ambitions are inherently checked. It is not like there is someone gunning for President or MP. There is no clear cut beneficiary at an individual level. Normally what divides the opposition is ambition,” he says.

Kivumbi cites The Democratic Alliance (TDA), an opposition coalition formed in 2015 to take on Museveni in the 2016 elections and says it collapsed because of calculating politicians. “With every TDA model, there was disagreement based on who would gain and who would lose because we were looking for an individual,” the DP stalwart says.

“Here, there is no one individual in the opposition that will gain as the age limit Bill is fought, it is an example of how to tame ambitions but after that they will all go back to their camps,” he told The Independent.

He also says the fact that there is no one organising the anti-age limit campaigns means the campaign has been taken away from political parties which are filled with moles. Kivumbi who belongs to a DP faction opposed to the party president Norbert Mao added, “If you want to disorganise yourself, work with political parties”.

Winnie Kiiza, the Leader of Opposition in Parliament says it is not just the age limit bill which has united opposition but also the controversial land amendment Bill which has seen FDC, DP, UPC MPs work with NRM MPs.

“John Nambeshe, (Manjiya County MP) hosted us in Mbale at a rally meant to sensitise the masses against the Land Bill,” she said.

Kiiza insists it is not just about numbers because there are NRM MPs opposed to the Magyezi Bill like Theodore Sekikubo and Monica Amoding.

“If it were about the numbers, they would not have brought in Special Forces Command to remove a handful of MPs,” she says.

For now, the opposition parties of FDC, DP, and UPC seem to have put aside their internal fights to take on Museveni in what they have termed as a life presidency project. The fight in parliament is being led mainly by a group of young MPs who literally defended the constitution as they hurled kicks, punches and microphones at the invading SFC guards in the chambers of parliament on Sept 27.

How Age Limit Debate Has Overshadowed LCI Polls

Photo: The Independent

President Yoweri Museveni

By Stephen Kafeero

Ugandans may have waited for more than 16 years to elect their representatives at local council level but as the polls draw closer, the politics of the controversial presidential age limit debate seems to have overshadowed and relegated the process of the highly anticipated polls to a by-the-way.

Sunday Monitor has spoken to leaders of political organisations who claim they are unable to organise their supporters and identify candidates without being stopped by police on the premise that they are mobilising masses in support of the popular togikwatako campaign against the lifting of the presidential age limit.

A constitution amendment Bill by Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi to lift the 75 years cap for eligibility for the presidency is currently before the House’s Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, with each MP expected to soon pocket in excess of Shs20m to consult their constituents on the same.

Lawmakers against the Bill, who were violently hounded out of the House on the orders of Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, have already made it clear that they will not take money to facilitate consultations with their constituents. The country will be waiting to see if they can see through this position.

Consultations on

It is these consultations, which have already kicked off in some constituencies since Ms Kadaga sent MPs on a short recess, that the Opposition members accuse their ruling counterparts of using to mop up support for the ruling party candidates in the LCI polls using the State security apparatus and other such resources.

During last week’s independence celebrations, President Museveni warned individuals and groups against sabotaging democracy in the country.

“Democracy is about the harmonious co-existence of contending views.

A democrat is, therefore, a person who disagrees with a view but at the same time defends the right of someone to express the view he or she does not agree with,” President Museveni said.

He added: “… Uganda’s independence and democracy was bought with blood of our patriots. Therefore, nobody will be allowed to undermine it.”

President Museveni’s remarks were true in as far as the Opposition lawmakers in Parliament, who in the face of defeat tried to filibuster and even fight in a futile attempt to stop the tabling of Mr Magyezi’s motion.

The Commander-in-Chief’s remarks, however, were in sharp contrast with the actions of his subordinates, particularly the Inspector General of Police,Gen Kale Kayihura, and some of his officers and men. Gen Kayihura has not shied away from making it known that he will do everything in his power to contain dissenters on the matter.

He was clearer as he spoke at the wedding of a one Edgar Kulaigye last weekend:

“There is no question about the age card, that anyone can… . never mind togikwatako, they are lost in the wilderness because the article they are saying should not be touched, was touched a long time ago, even inside it will be touched… really bankruptcy nani… ..just forget them. Let us focus on consolidating what your grandfather; your fathers have contributed to pass the legacy of our country.”

Gen Kayihura, who has in the past been chided by activists and Opposition politicians for what they term as a poor human rights observance record, being partisan and instituting parallel informal groups in the police Force, among others, had earlier praised operatives who raided Parliament and arrested MPs from the chamber, saying they worked on his orders and had acted professionally.

More on This

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Museveni – Why I Need More TimeMuseveni’s Long March to Power

Uganda’s Age Limit Bill Goes Through First Reading

Age Limit Bill Goes Through First Reading, Sent to CommitteeSuspected Grenades Detonated at MPs’ Homes

Age Limit Debate Shuts Down Parliament – Again

Chaos in Parliament As Minister, 25 MPs SuspendedAge Limit Debate Shuts Down Parliament – Again

Some of the accusations persist in this latest project to stop any dissent as the presidential age limit is removed from the Constitution and as NRM consolidates efforts to maintain a hold on the local councils. Several ruling NRM groups displayed their support for the removal of the presidential age limit at the independence celebrations in the presence of President Museveni and Gen Kayihura, yet police and other State institutions had warned against partisan campaigns and parallel celebrations on Independence Day.Since the end of the 2016 presidential polls, President Museveni has been actively campaigning across the country particularly Kampala and Wakiso and has met different groups in the same period. Lately, he has also been using the media, especially radios to push for support for the proposed land amendment Bill. The movements and activities of his opponents continue to be censured by police and other State operatives.It is the same cover anti-age limit campaigners say police and other State agencies are taking advantage of to prevent them from mobilising supporters for the LCI polls. State officials, who are supposed to be non-partisan such as Resident District Commissioners (RDCs) and their deputies, District Internal Security Officers (DISOs), Gombolola Intelligence Security Officers (GISOs) and Parish Internal Security Officers (PISOs) are reportedly going door-to-door not only marshaling support for the ruling party candidates but in some areas going as far as making sure that candidates against their position don’t vie in the November 21 polls.Government programmes such as Operation Wealth Creation and other social services are also reportedly being used as bait by the ruling party functionaries or those who claim to work for the same. Even without threats, other individuals fear to lose out on government programmes and services given that voting will be open and people will be able to pin-point who voted for whom.Democratic Party (DP) secretary general Gerald Siranda says the party has encountered the problem and is most prevalent in Bunyoro, Karamoja, Teso and the entire western sub-regions, which he says is being prepped as an Opposition no go zone.”In areas of Bunyoro like Kakumiro [District], our people have been threatened but also with the partisan police, it has been very difficult for our branches to even organise for these elections. They don’t differentiate between a DP meeting and a Togikwatako campaign,” he said.Mr Siranda says he wrote a “general” letter to IGP Kayihura and attached the Electoral Commission roadmap about how the party was to organise for the elections but police continues to interfere with their activities, including last week in Mpigi District where a party activity was thwarted by police.”You cannot conduct primaries and organise elections while indoors. People must meet, must organise.It is wrong, we cannot run a political institution on the permission of the police because the police can only come to oversee that there is calm during the process… an election is not only about the results, it is about the process,” he said.Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) acting party president Alice Alaso finds herself and the institution she leads in a similar predicament. On Tuesday, she found a hard time accessing her office at the FDC headquarters in Najjanakumbi. Police occasionally lays siege at political party offices and homes of Opposition leaders and other activists and forbids or restricts activity every time there are reports of demonstrations and other such campaigns by Opposition political activists.”For us, this even makes our case stronger, Ugandans should not vote for LCs that are NRM-leaning because what this does is to compound an already bad situation. Ugandans should know that the greatest disservice they will do for themselves and the country is to vote NRM LCIs,” she said.The former Serere Woman MP says the anti-age limit removal campaign and the campaign against the contentious Land Amendment Bill are inseparable from the local council elections and suggests a joint Opposition effort to push for both.The Ruling NRM party electoral commission chairperson, Mr Tanga Odoi, does not share in the sentiments and predicament of the Opposition. In a short period from now, he says, the country will be painted yellow in the party’s quest to retain a unanimous majority of LCs it inherited from the defunct one party Movement System.”The NRM as a party rides on the structure of LCs, so we are giving it all the respect. We are only waiting for the budget and you will see the NRM electoral commission everywhere in the country. We are giving it prominence, we have never neglected them because we know the party is founded on grassroots,” he said.How they started. Originally, the local councils (LCs) were called resistance councils (RCs) because they were created as a political and logistical support system for the National Resistance Army. The 1995 Constitution revised their name and duties.Duties. They are credited for mobilisation of the local community in law and order matters; law enforcement, gathering of data on crime and establishment of by-laws in their respective communities, among other things.The LCI and LCII pollsThe Electoral Commission-approved programme for the administrative units (village or LCI and parish or LC II) elections 2017 kicked off this week with the recruitment of village election officials.Election of LC I chairpersons will take place on November 21, with voters lining behind their preferred candidate and consequently counting, filling forms, declaration of winner and an inaugural council meeting. The actual voting in the 7,795 parishes and 59,315 villages, will last only 30 minutes. Each village will be a polling station.The following day, the process of electing of Parish/Ward (LC II) level will commence with the compilation of the parish/ward (LC II) voters’ register up to November 23. LC II elections will take place on December 7.Long overdueUganda has not conducted elections for LCI and LCII for the last 15 years, the last one having been held in 2001 before the country shifted from the one-party Movement system to the multiparty system of governance.Attempts to hold the elections in 2006 were unsuccessful after Maj (rtd) Rubaramira Ruranga (pictured right) successfully challenged the legality of the incumbent local councils following the country’s return to the multiparty political system. Court upheld his petition and nullified the local councils and ordered fresh elections under the multiparty system.Last year, Parliament passed the Local Government (Amendment) Bill, 2014 providing for lining up behind candidates during the elections. The move was to lower the cost of conducting these elections from Shs505b earlier budgeted. The November poll is expected to cost Shs15.7b.

Jubilee Trains Agents in Readiness for Oct 26 Poll

By Margaret Njugunah

Nairobi — Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju says the party has been training its agents for the last 3 days, ahead of the October 26 repeat Presidential elections.

According to Tuju, on Sunday alone, the party trained 823 trainers as part of its response to the Supreme Court directive that a fresh presidential election be held within 60 days.

Tuju urged the opposition coalition, the National Super Alliance, to do the same and rescind their decision to withdraw from the poll.

“Our activities since the September 1 ruling have been to comply, prepare and campaign for the fresh election while our opponents have only been engaged in press conferences and collecting money from poor citizens,” he said.

Tuju says the role of agents in an election is critical to ensuring fairness and transparency and has asked NASA to learn from the annulled August 8 poll and ensure the agents it deploys are properly briefed.

He says had the Opposition properly deployed its agents as it had made noise about doing, they would not have had to rely on the results from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to make their case before the Supreme Court.

“Even in the August 8 elections, NASA was unable to deploy even half of the number of required agents. They were so disorganised that in some parts of the country, they did not have agents.”


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Nigeria:Nigeria Has Highest Burden of Diabetes in Sub-Saharan African

By Franka Osakwe

Nigeria is said to have the highest incidence of diabetes in Sub-Saharan Africa, with about five million people currently living with the condition, and about 50 percent of the cases still undetected.

This was disclosed by the Medical Director, Sanofi Nigeria-Ghana, Dr. Philip Ikeme, during a pre-press briefing ahead of diabetes summit coming up on October 18 in Lagos.

Ikeme said the disease is a global epidemic, which is why people need to go for regular check up. “There’s a huge problem about the growing burden of diabetes and there is a push for us to pay more attention to it. Type 2 diabetes, which tends to affect older people, constitutes 95 per cent of all diabetes, while type 1 constitutes about five percent. Currently, we have a global burden of 387 million,”

According to him, the disease produces such other chronic ailments as stroke, blindness and cardiovascular disease. The General Manager and Country Chairman, Sanofi Nigeria-Ghana, Folake Odediran, said the aim is to provide an educational platform for diabetes care.”


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South African President, Jacob Zuma, has urged African leaders to invest more in the education African children, saying… Read more »

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