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Analysts Back Besigye’s Move to Opt Out Of 2021 Election




Analysts have backed Dr Kiiza Besigye’s decision to quit the 2021 presidential elections, saying the current political ground is not levelled.

Dr Besigye, who has stood four times against President Museveni, on Wednesday announced that he was not standing in the 2021 election, a move seen by many as a setback for the Opposition’s chances of unseating the incumbent, Yoweri Museveni.

But Prof Fredrick Juuko, a Makerere University don, said Dr Besigye’s decision is right, arguing that the election is already organised to favour the incumbent.

“I don’t think his decision may necessarily change the character of the elections. The elections are skewed in favour of the incumbent, secondly, these elections are all violent and in my view they are rigged so those elements will continue. Probably the votes Besigye would have got will be shifted to one of the other candidates,” the law don says.

In two of the four elections, Dr Besigye has alleged rigging by the ruling NRM and petitioned court over the matter. On two occasions, the courts have acknowledged that the elections were characterised by massive rigging but said it was not substantive enough to overturn the results.

On Wednesday, August 19, 2020, Dr Besigye, while explaining his decision not to stand again, said his standing would legitimise the NRM regime, arguing that the Justice Simon Byabakama-led Electoral Commission (EC) cannot deliver a free and fair election.

“This country will not be freed by Byabakama Electoral Commission declaring a new winner who isn’t Mr. Museveni; and that Museveni will come to Kololo with his hat and hand over power to the winner. Those who are waiting that Mr. Museveni will one day come and thank Ugandans for all the things that we have done for him, he will never do so,” he said.

In the 2021 election, mass rallies have been banned and campaigning will be on radio and TV and other social media platforms. But already, several opposition politicians such as Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine have been blocking from appearing on radio talk shows. The same happened to Dr Besigye in 2019.

These, Prof Sabiti Makara, another Makerere University don, indicate that the Opposition have no chance in the 2021 elections, hence backing Dr Besigye’s decision to pull out.

“First of all when Besigye is standing, he gains from mass rallies, young people and others follow him because of his good oratory skills. Now with scientific campaigns, he cannot have that advantage at all and I think it affects many other opposition candidates as well,” the profession of political science says.

“Two, I think election has been rigged, it already disadvantages the opposition because the NRM candidates have been campaigning for a long time whereas the opposition candidates have not been campaigning so they are already disadvantaged, so I think is his estimation and calculation, Besigye thinks he might lose even worse than what he did the last time,” he adds.

Dr Besigye’s decision to quit the election has come at the time of the emergence of the People Power movement that has morphed into National Union Platform party led by Bobi Wine. Over the last months, several NRM and DP supporters have defected to the party. Former FDC president and army commander Maj Gen Mugisha Muntu has also emerged with his Alliance for National Transformation Party that has so far attracted four members of parliament.

However, analysts say despite the emergence of the two other challengers to FDC dominance of opposition politics in the country, they have only come to split the opposition vote to the advantage of the ruling party.

“You see opposition has already weakened itself. The creation of alliance for national transformation weakened FDC. That was done before whether Besigye is there or not I think that damage was done and then of course the creation of the new National Unity Platform and knowing what the opposition is like it can never have another strength in the elections. I don’t think it is possible that they will have a common candidate. There may be a slight chance that this may happen at the presidential level, but not at the level of parliamentary seat because each individual has vested interests,” Prof Juuko says.

Prof Makara agrees: “There is the issue of Kyagulanyi. Some of the followers of Besigye have already shifted to Kyagulanyi that means that they two main actors in the opposition are going to divide the votes. That means that Besigye was going to fare worse than he did before so I think it is okay for him not to stand. May be he has calculated the other options of engaging in politics by other means other than standing.”

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Charles Mbire gains $1.2 million as stake in MTN Uganda rises above $51 million



Ugandan businessman and MTN Uganda Chairman Charles Mbire has seen the market value of his stake in MTN Uganda surge above $51 million in just two days, as the share price in the leading teleco company increased by a single digit.

The single-digit bump in the share price caused the market value of Mbire’s stake to gain UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million) in less than two days.

The million-dollar increase in the value of his stake came after Uganda’s largest telecom company delivered the country’s largest-ever IPO through the listing of 22.4 billion ordinary shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE).

Upon completing the largest IPO in Uganda’s history, MTN Uganda raised a record UGX535 billion ($150.4 million) from the applications that it received for a total of 2.9 billion shares, including incentive shares.

As of press time, Dec. 7, shares in the company were trading at UGX204.95 ($0.0574), down six basis points from their opening price this morning.

Data gathered by Billionaires.Africa revealed that since the telecom company registered its shares on the Ugandan bourse on Mon., Dec. 6, its share price has increased by 2.5 percent from UGX200 ($0.056) to UGX204.95 ($0.0574) as of the time of writing, as retail investors sustained buying interest long after the public offering.

The increase in the company’s share price caused the market value of Mbire’s 3.98-percent stake to rise from UGX178.45 billion ($49.96 million) to UGX182.86 billion ($51.2 million).

In less than two days, his stake gained more than UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million).

In a statement after the successful listing of MTN Uganda’s shares, Mbire said the IPO shows the confidence that Ugandans and other investors have in the company, its brand and strategic intent.

“We commend all the regulators for their support in our work to become a USE-listed company and to comply in a timely manner with the listing provisions of the national telecommunications operators’ license,” he said.

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350 million (debt free).

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350. ( debt free).

He is into communications-revenue assurance-cement-distribution-oil services-real estate-oil exploration and logistics.

Source: Billionaires Africa

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2-year-old dies at Arua hospital as nurse demands Shs 210,000 bribe




A two-year-old child died at Arua Regional Referral hospital after a nurse, Paul Wamala demanded a bribe amounting to Shs 210,000 before carrying out an operation. 

The incident happened on Saturday, after Aron Nabil, a two-year-old child was referred to the hospital for an operation after he was diagnosed with intestinal obstruction, a medical emergency caused by a blockage that keeps food or liquid from passing through the small intestine or large intestine.

According to the relatives of the child, Wamala allegedly asked them to initially give him Shs 30,000 to buy medicines to commence the procedure. He however returned shortly asking for an additional Shs 180,000 from the relatives.

Emily Adiru, a resident of Osu cell, in Bazar Ward, Central Division, and a relative of the child says although they paid money to Wamala, he abandoned the child without carrying out the operation. According to Adiru, Wamala later refunded Shs 200,000 through mobile money, after she threatened to report him to the police.

“They told us this boy needs an operation which was supposed to be done in the morning on Sunday at around 7 am. They took him inside there, some doctor came from the theatre, he called one of us and said, we should pay Shs 70,000 for buying medicine to start the operation. We paid the Shs 30,000 [but] after paying the Shs 30,000, after some minutes, the same man came and opened the door and called us again, and told us we should pay another Shs 100,000. We also paid the Shs 100,000 and we thought it is finished. We were outside there waiting for our patient to come out [but] then this man came back again and said we should pay another Shs 80,000,” said Adiru.

Although the operation was later carried out after a 7-hour delay, the child didn’t make it, and relatives attribute the death to negligence. Miria Ahmed, a concerned resident wonders why such incidents have persisted at the facility which is supposed to service the citizens.

“Is the problem the hospital, is it the management or it is the human resource that is the problem in the hospital? A small child like this you demand Shs 210,000 for the operation? Well, if the money was taken and the operation is done, I would say anything bad but this money was taken and the small boy was abandoned in the theatre,” she said. 

When contacted Wamala refused to comment on the allegations. Dr Gilbert Aniku, the acting hospital director says that the hospital will issue an official statement later since consultations about the matter are ongoing.

Arua City resident district commissioner, Alice Akello has condemned the actions of the nurse saying she has ordered his arrest so as to set an example to the rest. The case has been reported to Arua regional referral hospital police post under SD reference No:05/30/05/2022.

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Mexican president’s Mayan Train dealt new legal setback | Tourism News




Activists say the planned tourist train will harm the wildlife and natural features of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has been dealt the latest setback to an ambitious plan to create a tourist train to connect the country’s southern Yucatan Peninsula.

On Monday, a judge indefinitely suspended construction on a portion of the project, known as the Mayan Train, saying the plans currently do not comply “with the proceedings of the environmental impact evaluation”.

The ruling follows a legal challenge by activists who said they were concerned the 60km (37 mile) portion of the train that would connect the resorts of Playa del Carmen and Tulum would adversely affect the area’s wildlife, as well as its caves and water-filled sinkholes known as cenotes.

The original plan for the disputed section was for an overpass over a highway, but the route was modified early this year to go through jungle at ground level.

The federal judge cited the “imminent danger” of causing “irreversible damage” to ecosystems, according to one of the plaintiffs, the non-governmental group Defending the Right to a Healthy Environment. In a statement, the group said that authorities had failed to carry out the necessary environmental impact studies before starting construction of the section.

Lopez Obrador had announced the ambitious project in 2018, with construction beginning in 2020. The roughly 1,500km (930 mile) cargo and passenger rail loop was presented as a cornerstone of a wider plan to develop the poorer states and remote towns throughout the about 181,000sq km (70,000sq mile) Yucatan Peninsula.

The railway is set to connect Caribbean beach resorts with Mayan archaeological ruins, with authorities aiming to complete the project by the end of 2023. The plan is estimated to cost about $16bn.

The project has split communities across the region, with some welcoming the economic development and connectivity it would bring. Others, including some local Indigenous communities, have challenged the project, saying it could not only disrupt the migratory routes of endangered species, including jaguars, tapirs and ocelots, but could also potentially damage centuries-old Mayan archaeological sites.

The National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism, the government agency overseeing the project, has said that it expects to “overcome” the latest challenge and that work should continue after an environmental impact statement is finalised. It said the Environment Ministry was currently reviewing its environmental application for the project.

For his part, Lopez Obrador has insisted the railway will not have a significant environmental effect and has accused activists of being infiltrated by “impostors”.

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