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Maj Gen Gregory Mugisha Muntu would prefer to remain a part of the Forum for Democratic Change, not necessarily in a leadership position given his loss of the presidency at the heated November 24 election, but still as part of the process for change.

However, the opposition party under newly elected president, Patrick Amuriat Oboi, will have to tolerate ideas other than Defiance as a single political philosophy for that to happen. Gen Muntu spoke to Baker Batte Lule last week.

Gen Mugisha Muntu

What has been your greatest contribution to the party?

The stability and cohesion in the party; the management of different tendencies in the party and the development of branch networks more especially the youth and women leagues. When I took over, they were only at the national level.

When we took over, we started from the grassroots and now they are at the national level. Then, of course, the branch networks but we didn’t reach where we desired to reach unfortunately.

Yes, many don’t understand me but with time they will. I’m patient that as time passes, people will understand me more and more.

Some say it’s hard to understand you when you work with people who are close to NRM like Anita Among

That is one of the reasons people have been raising. Anita in 2015, during the flag bearer elections, didn’t support me.

She supported Dr Kizza Besigye. I don’t know why people think that a person should be blamed when she is working with one person, and not the other.

She wasn’t working openly with Museveni then…

Well, I think she worked with him even then…. how do you know?

What do you make of last month’s election?

The delegates made their choice and I respect it because I’m a democrat. When it comes to election outcomes, I’m not quarrelling. It didn’t even come to my mind that I should contest it. That’s a settled matter.

The only issue is how to manage the different tendencies. The best way was to keep on managing both, and that was the platform on which I campaigned; such that some people concentrate on defiance and others concentrate on party development.

But the delegates chose that there was going to be only one strategy; defiance. I don’t get it; I don’t know how that is going to work.

Why don’t you give it time?

I don’t see it in my mind; I have been at the party headquarters for five years and I can tell you I don’t see how it can work. It can work in terms of demonstrations but if you don’t develop the party, what happens?

Suppose you get to 2020 and defiance hasn’t removed the regime, then what happens when you are going for an election and you have not prepared the party?

That’s what happened in 2015; neither did defiance work nor did we take up leadership through an election. We were not successful on both fronts because we were not prepared on both fronts.

Some people say you are hiding behind ‘consultations’ yet you want to separate.

That is what I mean exactly! If it means separating, we can separate; I don’t see any problem if we reach that conclusion.

Why would we not split if we find that you can’t have stability; that you might spend another five years in-fighting and remain weak.

Why would we do that? Why not move in different formations and concentrate your efforts in what you believe in and support the other side when it is necessary. Whichever works, we change the system.

Why then are you seeking to reimpose a strategy the delegates rejected?

There are people dying out there in the countryside; our focus is how do we salvage this country? As leaders, we are supposed to look beyond what people choose. At times people can make mistakes in their focus and analysis.  

I have made many decisions in my life that people never understood. I went to the bush at 23 years yet I was coming from an area that was literally UPC. People thought that I was a nut but they came to understand that the decision we had taken was the correct one.

I separated from the Movement in 2004; people thought it was wrong. We formed a new party… They didn’t understand, now they say we made the right decision. At times when you reach crossroads, as leaders, you must make a decision.

If you’re right, you will be absolved by time. If you’re wrong, you pay the price for it. If you are a leader, you don’t fear risks. But you must also be sure that you’re not making any decisions out of fear, out of anger, frustration or [similar thing].

You must ensure that the decision you make, however difficult it might be, is the correct decision.

Some say that the structures which the general talks about are only in his head …

How could we concentrate on building structures when all the time we were in Najjanankumbi debating whether the two tendencies can work together?

This sucked energy out of us because there was always internal strife. We should avoid going through another three years of the same because 2021 is here.

Many FDC members wonder why NRM people seem most hurt by your defeat.

I don’t make decisions depending on what people think. Every time we make decisions we must expect outcomes.

But there are also many FDC leaders, not only NRM, who keep on telling me the same thing; that look, these strategies can work alongside each other.

How would you be different from the Katonga group (Besigye loyalists) you accused of running parallel structures?

If we choose to stay within the party, then we will not carry out parallel activities. I don’t operate like that. I can’t act the way they were acting.

Those colleagues fought me for five years. If I find that there is no way we can do activities which are different from what they want to be done, then we will have to separate ways so that they don’t use me as an excuse. I don’t want to be seen as if I’m undermining the efforts of a leader. I would rather operate from the outside.

Many people say you are a very decent man but they can’t say the same thing of some of your allies…

Tough as it might be, we must ensure that there is communication on each side. In the last five years, it has been tough trying to hold the different groups together.

It requires strong leadership skills. We haven’t made a decision yet; we are still processing it. If we decide to separate, we must deal with the outcome of this separation.

We must work closely with those who are in the party. If we decide to remain in, there must be a lot of efforts to try and calm down those who don’t believe in the decision that was taken either way. There must be a lot of efforts to ensure that we manage the aftermath.

If you chose to split, would you want your supporters to join you?

There is no way you can force anybody. That’s why there needs to be a cooling down period so that whoever chooses to go a separate way does it not out of emotions but from a clear analysis that this is the correct decision.

1 month 2 weeks ago

Maj Gen Gregory Mugisha Muntu and group have entered a delicate phase of on-the-ground consultations on a string of hot-button issues threatening to tear apart the Forum for Democratic Change, Uganda’s biggest opposition party.

As they consult local party members countrywide to determine whether they stay in or quit, three sticky arguments have emerged, and if they are not resolved, the general and his allies may leave, some individuals familiar with the process have said.

The three arguments are: How is the group, in particular its leader Gen Muntu, going to work within the FDC party which has slandered him, called him a mole and a non-Ugandan?

How is the party going to reconcile the Defiance strategy (whose conception remains vague) with the strategy of exhibiting democratic credentials and building grassroots structures and party organs before taking power? And, what is the position of the FDC founding president, Dr Kizza Besigye in the party?

Gen Mugisha Muntu

Besigye’s continued dominance bothers some in the Muntu group, some of whom argue that if not checked, it can be counterproductive to FDC’s internal democracy and may nurture dictatorship in the opposition.

Bugweri MP, Abdu Katuntu, a founding member of FDC and a prominent member of the Muntu group, said the difficult answers to the foregoing questions make a split within the party inevitable.

“None of us is interested in splitting FDC because it would appear like we are working in the hands of our enemy. We have nurtured it to where it is. But how are you going to resolve those fundamental questions without people walking their separate ways since they speak to our respective ideological outlooks?” Katuntu said.

Katuntu argues that whereas the ongoing consultations are meant to have both options debated within the party, the consultations cannot do much to calm frayed nerves of those members who have been slandered from day one.

“Okay, we can say let’s work together. But how is the person who has called you a mole going to be treated, or to look at you, and how will you relate? Is there going to be a disciplinary process to reprimand such a person?

“But what about the tribal question which was part of the campaign? You cannot call a person a mole and think they can comfortably work with you. All those questions can be answered if there is introspection within FDC, which is likely not to happen,” Katuntu said.


Before formal consultations begin this week, Muntu has informally been comparing notes and his findings reportedly compound these questions.

“Whereas some people seem to say that we can resolve these questions internally, they, at the same time, signal messages that require resolving the questions by leaving the party. It is complex for us,” said one source, who has been privy to the ongoing consultations.

So far, Gen Muntu has been to Arua district and Kagoma county in Jinja district, where he received new FDC members. One source, who attended the informal discussions at the two places, said: “Well, these were not the formal consultations Gen Muntu talked about but the people we interacted with gave views as to how we shall work within FDC where some people have already declared us as enemies…”

This source said: “Whereas some of the members consulted seem ready to listen, they argue that their actions will depend on how the defiance group relates with them.”


Since winning the FDC presidency, Patrick Oboi Amuriat (POA) has signalled he is interested in reconciliation but some statements from some FDC officials have escalated the tensions. For instance, FDC chairperson, Wasswa Biriggwa and Nathan Nandala-Mafabi, the FDC secretary general, have invited anyone who wants to leave the party to go.

Abed-Nasser Mudiobole, the FDC secretary for legal affairs, said such statements are counterproductive.

“The whole reason to say we want to consult before we make any decision of leaving the party is intended to provide a window of reconciliation…but when some group looks at us as useless, it is not okay,” he said.

Mudiobole, who has previously worked in various national leadership positions since 2008 and is a prominent member of Muntu’s camp, said he was treated shabbily at the swearing-in of new president Patrick Oboi Amuriat last Friday.

“Ideally, being the FDC secretary for legal affairs, I was supposed to preside over the swearing-in of the new president. I was even at the party headquarters. But I was sidelined in favour of Mr Ladislaus Rwakafuuzi, a known member of the Mafabi group,” Mudiobole said.

“This is not fair…I am a commissioner for oaths and a notary public, I have all the legal qualifications, but what explains my side-lining. If they needed him [Rwakafuuzi], they should have consulted me as the head of department in charge of legal issues,” he said.

Interviewed for a comment, Harold Kaija, the deputy secretary general, denied that Mudiobole was overlooked.

“People are taking this too far. We are a united party and these are merely differences and we are working towards resolving them like what the party president said,” he said.


Mudiobole said the Defiance question is rooted in the party’s ideological differences.

“This is a fundamental question that has to be answered. Some of us, especially me as a lawyer, I do not believe in Defiance for being unstructured. How do you make them accountable? Who is recruited into it and how? What is their scope of operation?” he said.

Mudiobole argues that defiance creates dictators; “they are the people who become reckless when they take over power, they exercise it with impunity and to keep themselves in power, they torment the citizens through corruption and terror.”

“It is hard to democratise with such a force. Our argument is let’s exhibit these democratic credentials before taking power. We want institutionalised and structured power rooted in the people’s psyche. We want a decision to be taken when it has the backing of everyone from the village.”

Gen Mugisha Muntu (R) visits Kizza Besigye (C) after he was arrested over one of his defiance activities

Dr Sabiti Makara, a lecturer of public administration and political science at Makerere University, said the question of whether Muntu’s arguments can reconcile with defiance, leads to ideological departure.

“I have heard some people saying that it is difference in strategy but I don’t think so. Ideology informs the strategy. Ideology is your outlook and how you go about anything is defined by your outlook or belief. Gen Muntu says you cannot give what you don’t have. All his statements must be understood in that frame and they seem consistent. In essence, he is saying that if you are not democratic, you should not take power and you should show this to the masses before you take power,” Makara said.   

“If they think through it, defiance alone cannot work, and the best thing is to harmonise these differences. In case they cannot, I don’t see the Muntu group in that party. It [leaving] will depict them as bad losers but underneath such a decision, are fundamental questions of revolutionary struggle,” Makara said.


But there are also dissenting voices within Muntu’s camp. Some fear that forming a new party plays into the enemy’s hands on top of portraying the Muntu group as bad losers. Aswa MP, Reagan Okumu, who is also the FDC deputy president for Northern Uganda, said his colleagues should go slow about forming a party.

“I supported Muntu and I have no regrets for that and also agree that the language in the campaigns was beyond normal. But my argument to everyone is that let’s not rush to make decisions. FDC does not belong to one group. There are some people who are the source of this divisive language and that is something we have to find out,” he said.

Okumu said he does not agree with some senior party leaders who have already wished away the Muntu group.

“What Biriggwa and Mafabi are saying is not helpful and we should not behave like them. We are beyond some people and we should continue to be that…Leaving is not helpful; FDC will be no more…” he said.

Muntu said at the swearing in of POA last week; “I will be telling you a lie if I told you that there are no fundamental issues to deal with. As I understand, the delegates legitimately said this party can take power using one method but we have to investigate that in depth, whether there is anything that went wrong.”

He added: “We have decided not to make any decision; we want to make sure that whoever makes that decision is absolutely sure that that is the right decision that has been made.”

1 month 2 weeks ago

KAMPALA- Government has cancelled 96 land titles in three central forest reserves have been cancelled in an effort to save the country’s natural resources.

The titles, according to government were issued to various individuals in error or fraudulently.
Lands Ministry in partnership with the Anti-Corruption Coalition Uganda (ACCU) published the list of land titles in Kyewaga, Namanve and Nonve Central Forest Reserves in Wakiso District.

“We are calling upon the public not to be duped into buying such land,” a statement by ACCU and the Land ministry appealing to the public to report any suspected dealings on the plots of land using toll free lines, reads in part.

According to the list, 72 land titles in Kyewaga Forest Reserve mostly belong to Brig Hudson Mukasa, John Baliruno and Dennis Kasoma.

In Namanve Forest Reserve, the land titles that have been cancelled were erroneously issued to Harrison Busingye, Balayo and Associates Limited, DJS Investment Limited and Mash Investment Limited.

Those who had titles in Nonve Forest Reserve, according to the list are Haruna Semakula and former Wakiso District Resident Commissioner, Mr Ian Kyeyune.

When Mr Semakula appeared before the Commission in July, he admitted acquiring the 600 hectares but said he later donated about 190 acres to Mr Kyeyune.

The list resulted from the 2014/15 investigative study by ACCU that aimed at establishing facts surrounding individuals owning illegal land titles in selected forest reserves.

ACCU research was prompted by a report titled ‘behind the scenes’ published by Water and Media Environment Network Uganda (WEMNET) which revealed 52 land titles in forest reserves had been fraudulently issued to individuals and or investors.

However, Daily Monitor understands that the dispute over land titles have since landed government agencies in courts of law.

Brig Mukasa and Mr Baliruno have since sued Wakiso District Land Board, National Forest Authority and the Commissioner Land Registration and an interim order has since been issued by court halting the said cancellation of the land titles in Kyewaga Forest Reserve.

Efforts to get a comment from the Lands ministry were fruitless as the known telephone numbers for the publicist Mr Dennis Obbo were off air while calls to State Minister for Lands Ms Percis Namuganza went unanswered.

In July, the Commission of Inquiry into Land Matters has since established that 600 hectares in Nonve Forest had been destroyed and land allocated to various people including Mr Kyeyune and Mr Semakula.

The Executive Director of ACCU, Ms Cissy Kagaba said the move by government to cancel the land titles is welcome.

“We expect the public to verify if the land titles are actually cancelled. In case the public finds any contest, we shall step in,” Ms Kagaba said.

1 month 2 weeks ago

KAMPALA- Lawyers have asked the Constitutional Court to conduct a speedy hearing and disposal of the petition challenging the controversial Constitution Amendment Bill that seeks to scrap the presidential age limit from the country’s Constitution.

Muwema and Company Advocates and Akampulira and Partners represent Mr Benjamin Alipanga, the petitioner.

They say the on-going debate both in public and Parliament on the presidential age limit is contempt of court proceedings which are still pending before the Constitutional Court. The lawyers say their petition is intended to prevent further perpetration of a nullity by Parliament.

The lawyers are representing Mr Alipanga in a constitutional petition of 2015 where they are challenging the decision by the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party and its Central Executive Committee to amend the Constitution at that time.

In 2015, Mr Alipanga, a voter from Paidha Town Council in Zombo District, petitioned the court to declare that the NRM decision was unconstitutional. The petition has never been heard or disposed of by the Constitutional Court.

“…Therefore, any Parliamentary discussion/ debate in relation thereto so as to amend the said article before the court… would in effect be an illegal interference with court’s mandate in the case,” the lawyers state in a letter to the Registrar of the Constitutional Court.

According to the petition documents in court, Dr Alipanga states that the NRM party in 2015 attempted to unconstitutionally amend Articles 102, 105 and 107 of the Constitution to lift the 75-age limit on the presidency.

He was seeking court orders to stop the Electoral Commission from accepting nomination of Mr Museveni as a presidential candidate for the 2016 elections until the petition had been disposed of.

Article 102 (b) which bars any citizen aged below 35 or above 75 from vying for presidency, is under debate and a Bill is in Parliament seeking amendment of the constitution to remove the article. Under the provisions of the article, President Museveni now aged 73 will be ineligible to stand for president in 2021.

Mr Alipanga wants court to stop Parliament from “amending or in any way tampering or trying to tamper with” the cited articles of the Constitution. His petition is before the Constitutional Court.

1 month 2 weeks ago

The Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee is set to meet President Yoweri Museveni today, Tuesday over the 'age limit' bill.

The Con­sti­tu­tion (Amend­ment) (No. 2) Bill, 2017, recently tabled by Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi seeks to scrap the presidential age limit from between 35 and 75 years.

The committee resolved to consult Museveni as one of the people in support of the proposed amendment. The Legal committee has drafted a list of 29 legislators to visit Museveni at State House Entebbe at 3pm on Tuesday.

Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee chairperson Jacob Oboth-Oboth

Committee chairperson, Jacob Oboth-Oboth, says they intend to ask Museveni 'tough' questions on the proposed amendment. He explains that several people interviewed by the committee pointed to Museveni as the sole beneficiary of the bill.

He says they will ask him questions in regards to his earlier statements made in the press about contesting again for the presidency.

"You are aware several reports quote the president as having said he will not contest again. So we need to ask him whether those statements are true and it is actually him who made them, and whether he has changed his mind and why?" Oboth-Oboth said.

He explained that they expect to hold a very formal meeting with the president, with the aim of writing a report without any bias.

"It's only that the rules don't allow us to host the speaker, the president and the chief justice here at parliament, that's why we are going to them but everything will almost be the same," he said.
Medard Lubega Ssegona, the Busiro East County MP told URN that he doesn't see the need to consult the president since people already know his views because he is the sole beneficiary of the proposed amendment. 

"We know what he has been saying especially in relation to the bill and with that the committee shouldn't be wasting its time and resources in visiting the president," he said.

Although the committee has generally been seeking the views of the stakeholders in regards to amending the age limit, and interrogating them, some MPs think Museveni is most likely to take charge of the meeting. Robinah Rwakojo, the committee vice chairperson, says talks have been ongoing to consult the president.

"All members agreed that we should meet the president since he is a stakeholder. He will not be asking anything different, but this time we are going to him and because he is the president, so many things will be handled differently", Rwakojo stated.

Recently, the committee cancelled plans to hold regional consultations among the general public citing inadequate funding.

1 month 2 weeks ago
Nurses under their umbrella body, Uganda Nurses and Midwives Union (UNMU) have called off their planned strike following a meeting with President Yoweri Museveni who reportedly agreed to fulfill their demands. 
The nurses and midwives last week gave government just seven days to give them a 400 per cent salary increment else they laid down their tools - just like the doctors and medical interns had done about a fortnight ago. The nurses had planned to start the strike today, Tuesday at midnight if their demands were not met. 
The UNMU leadership led by their general secretary, Paul Henry Bukenya met Museveni at State House Entebbe yesterday and agreed to call off the strike. According to Bukenya, Museveni directed the ministry of Public Service to give them a pay rise.
The nurses and midwives are demanding for 400 per cent pay rise
After the meeting, the Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, the Public Service minister Muruuli Mukasa and the leaders of UNMU addressed a joint-media press conference.
The 400 per cent pay rise will increase the pay of the lowest paid nurse to Shs 2.5 million and Shs 9 million for the highest paid nurse.
The money will include housing, risk, medical, responsibility, transport, transfer, leave, funeral and overtime allowances for each member. According to Bukenya, Museveni advised them to start a Savings and Credit Cooperative Organization (Sacco), which he promised to financially support.
Bukenya says the president also promised to increase nurses' lunch allowances.
"Today morning, we had audience from cabinet, we went to Entebbe State House in which we met the president in a cabinet meeting. We presented directly our demands and the president of the republic of Uganda was so concerned about our salaries and he pledged to look into the salaries of nurses and midwives", Bukenya said. 
Adding; "And, he stated that the salaries of all scientists are going to be enhanced. And as far as the scheme of service is concerned, he directed Public Service to immediately implement this scheme with effect from [December] 5. He also advised the leadership of Nurses and Midwives Union to start up a Sacco and he pledged to inject in money to help this Sacco to help nurses and midwives support their livelihoods. As far as housing is concerned, he came up with a strategy of building units for nurses and midwives for those who are not housed."
Bukenya explained that they will report to work since government has promised to address their demands.
"I encourage all nurses who have been in this struggle to make sure that government actually listens to them. The midwives of this country, you provide a great service to this country. Therefore we, as members of this union and nurses of this country, we ask everyone to go back on duty as the leadership of the union continues to engage government to fuflfill these promises it has mentioned."

Nurses threatened to strike just days after medical doctors under Uganda Medical Association (UMA) compelled government to accept to increase their salaries following their strike last month.

The strike, which lasted three weeks, was called off after government promised to pay a starting monthly salary of up to Shs 5 million to doctors effective next financial year.
1 month 2 weeks ago

Former Ugandan legislator Winnie Byanyima has been reappointed to lead Oxfam, an international confederation of charitable organizations focused on the alleviation of global poverty.

A statement from Oxfam shows that Byanyima has accepted an offer from Oxfam's board of supervisors to serve a second five-year term.

Byanyima said she was honoured and humbled by the board's confidence in her continuing an "exciting, roller-coaster journey" and felt a sense of duty to "carry on fighting, particularly for the women and girls in the South facing poverty and injustice" with whom Oxfam works.

Winnie Byanyima

"We are thrilled. Winnie is a visionary leader in the fight against inequality and poverty, and an inspiration to our teams and partners around the world. We look forward to continuing to work with her to help create lasting solutions to the injustice of poverty," Oxfam board chairman Juan Alberto Fuentes is quoted in the statement saying.

Byanyima joined Oxfam in 2013 from the United Nations after serving in the Ugandan Parliament for 11 years and in the African Union Commission.

"I have never enjoyed a role as much as I have at Oxfam," she said adding that its staff, partners and volunteers make it a "tough and pragmatic organization… impatient with poverty and injustice and willing to tackle root causes."

In the next five years, Byanyima says she is eager to expand and deepen Oxfam's work in advancing women's rights and "tilt the balance" of Oxfam's humanitarian work toward prevention, such as building up people's resilience to the ever increasing and more intense crises.

She said she will push Oxfam to become much more ambitious in its understanding and use of the vast knowledge base of its staff, partners and volunteers around the world, saying "our knowledge is our power to change the world."

Byanyima says she excited about seeing through investments Oxfam is making in new, agile technologies. And she promised to push through her vision to trust the future of Oxfam more in the hands of young people in the South who are "the architects of our economies and our societies of the future.

In her first term, the statement says Byanyima initiated the "One Oxfam" restructure that enables Oxfam to be a more globally balanced organization with a stronger voice in the South, and transforms decision-making so it is happening more directly from Oxfam's country teams.

Byanyima recently moved the Oxfam International HQ to Kenya.

"This is vital to our mission as we must influence change from a position of integrity," she said.

1 month 2 weeks ago

Kampala- Police have listed four hotspots for criminals targeting drivers and passengers in Kampala City.

The police spokesperson, Mr Emilian Kayima, named the Nsambya traffic lights, Northern Bypass, Namirembe Road and Clock Tower as the most dangerous places where criminals target drivers and passengers in traffic jams to snatch their electronic gadgets such as laptop computers and mobile phone handsets. Other valuable items the thieves target include jewelry, watches and wallets.

Detectives, said spokesman Kayima, register between 10 to 25 cases of drivers and passengers being stripped of their belongings at each of the hotspots. Police said criminals pretend to be manoeuvring through the traffic snarl up as a pretext to grab valuables from motorists, passengers and pedestrians.
“These criminals are many and very smart. They are able to see drivers making calls or whatsapping as they wait for green traffic lights. They grab the items and walk smartly to the opposite side,” he said.

About 1,000 city dwellers have been robbed of their items over the past month, according to police estimates.

Mr Kayima explained that thugs at Northern Bypass place barricades in the middle of the road and demand for money from drivers. He said hesitant drivers are beaten, their items forcefully taken or vehicles vandalised.

“Northern Bypass and Entebbe Expressway have become deadly routes for drivers. We, therefore, caution drivers to be careful when using those routes much as they are faster for drivers dodging traffic jam,” Mr Kayima said.

The two ring roads, parts of which are still under construction, were planned to convey traffic without entering the city centre. They have become preferred fast options for motorists.

In October police recorded more than 100 cases of motorists who had been robbed of their property by thugs suspected to be under the Boda Boda 2010 group.

Pupils and teachers of Winterland Primary School in Kyebando are some of the victims of Northern Bypass broad day robbery. The suspected Boda Boda 2010 waylaid the Costa transporting them on October 3 at 10am and beat up the children and their teachers after they refused to pay them Shs20,000.

Mr Kayima said police was engaging Kampala Capital City Authority and Uganda National Roads Authority to devise means of securing drivers using Northern Bypass and Entebbe Expressway.

Police said criminals do not only target cars but also boda boda riders and their passengers as well as pedestrians. The thugs, according to police, grab wallets and phones from passengers on motorcycles while pedestrians are usually punched before their items are taken.

“We have increased our presence of overt and covert officers to deal with these criminals. However, we also ask the drivers and passengers, including pedestrians to be vigilant and suspicious of anyone walking by their sides,” Mr Kayima said.

Police said at least 70 suspects have been arrested in the last one month of which more than 40 have already appeared in courts and been remanded. The rest are still being interrogated.

1 month 2 weeks ago

Oxfam executive director, Winnie Byanyima has spoken out for the first time on reports that she could be prompted to take up Uganda’s most coveted office.
Ms Byanyima who happens to be wife to former presidential candidate, Dr Kizza Besigye told Steven Sucker in an interview on the BBC’s Hard Talk on Monday that she is focusing on her job at Oxfam when he asked her to respond to reports that some people view her as presidential material come 2021.

“It would be an honor to be asked to lead my country but right now, I have an even bigger honour serving Oxfam. I am happy, I have just signed an extension to my contract for the next five years,” Ms Byanyima said.
Ms Byanyima, a former lawmaker in the Ugandan parliament also spoke about the controversial move by government to scrap the presidential age limit.
“It is not a partisan issue but a citizen’s issue. It is an Oxfam issue so it’s important that I speak so that Ugandans can rise up and challenge it,” Ms Byanyima said.
She also spoke about the charity organisation’s plans to move the Oxfam International Secretariat from Oxford, where it was founded, to Nairobi, Kenya.

The aid organisation will begin its move in 2017, with it expected to take two years to complete the move, it was announced mid this year.
It will begin the move by first relocating senior directs and other key Secretariat staff. It will then recruit locally. As is the case now, its Secretariat will remain a multi-locational organisation, with advocacy offices in DC, NY, Brussels and Addis Ababa, a Global Humanitarian Team, and other staff accommodated in our affiliate HQs and country teams, too.
Ms Byanyima joined Oxfam in 2013 from the United Nations having previously served in the Ugandan Parliament for 11 years and in the African Union Commission.

Oxfam Chair Juan Alberto Fuentes said: “We are thrilled. Winnie is a visionary leader in the fight against inequality and poverty, and an inspiration to our teams and partners around the world. We look forward to continue to work with her to help create lasting solutions to the injustice of poverty."
Winnie said she was honored and humbled by the Board’s confidence in her continuing an “exciting, roller-coaster journey” and felt a sense of duty to “carry on fighting, particularly for the women and girls in the South facing poverty and injustice” with whom Oxfam works.

“I have never enjoyed a role as much as I have at Oxfam,” adding that its staff, partners and volunteers make it a “tough and pragmatic organization… impatient with poverty and injustice and willing to tackle root causes” all of which “fit my values and life experience.”
“I am so proud of our heritage and all we have built upon it in five years.” She said Oxfam had “woken up the world to the dangers of rising extreme inequality” and was confident that the coalitions it was helping to lead and convene would grow even more powerful and able to turn the inequality tide against ordinary people. She highlighted successes in Oxfam’s work on extractives, land rights and climate adaptation, and most of all on championing women’s rights and responding to humanitarian emergencies.

In her first term, Ms Byanyima initiated the “One Oxfam” restructure that enables Oxfam to be a more globally balanced organization with a stronger voice in the South, and transforms decision-making so it is happening more directly from Oxfam’s country teams. Oxfam has welcomed new affiliates in Brazil and South Africa and a new observer member in Turkey. She recently moved the Oxfam International HQ to Kenya.
“This is vital to our mission as we must influence change from a position of integrity,” she said.

Ms Byanyima added noted in the next five years she was eager to expand and deepen Oxfam’s work in advancing women’s rights and “tilt the balance” of Oxfam’s humanitarian work toward prevention, such as building up people’s resilience to the ever increasing and more intense crises.
She said she would push Oxfam to become much more ambitious in its understanding and use of the vast knowledge base of its staff, partners and volunteers around the world, saying “our knowledge is our power to change the world.”

1 month 2 weeks ago

Kampala. The Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa and the disability movement in Uganda are mourning the passing of Boaz Muhumuza, an immensely deep-hearted individual whose warmth for humanity overshadowed his apparent visual impairment.
His aura beginning with his immediate recognition of your voice was an invitation, a welcome for you to take part in his amazing, now, cut-short life.

He was 32 and that is the trauma for us, his colleagues and family, for this young life has been taken without notice. All we know was a severe headache and a sudden death.
Yet we face the inevitable with the comfort that we knew and worked with Muhumuza. It is when he joined us in 2009 that we learnt in practice the potential in disability. The man had been the best in his year at Makerere Law School.
Our memory of Muhumuza is the independence with which he did his work, moved from office to office, and sometimes travelled abroad with minimum assistance, his sharp mind that grasped the most intricate issues on Uganda’s history and politics.

Equally enduring are his stories on his life as the only boy in the only girls secondary school where he could access Braille facilities, his story on the many times born-again ushers at church who sought to take him forward so the pastor prays for him and he declined because he did not need ‘healing’.
He also used to joke that among us all, he was the only one who could see through darkness.
Our hearts go out to his wife Zaina and their two lovely boys Jordan and Jeremy. Adieu Muhumuza.

1 month 2 weeks ago