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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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Another blow as Judge throws out Kiggundu’s lawyer Muwema



When court sat on Friday to hear the Kiggundu’s application to stop independent audit, he did not have a written application, and Justice Henry Adonyo instead ordered the plaintiff’s lawyer Fred Muwema to go make a written application seeking court to dismiss the audit and return to court on September 30 for a hearing of the application. But this adds more pressure on Kiggundu who is choking with the loans.

On 31 August, the judge ordered the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU) to carry out and independent audit into the accounts of the businessman and financial statements exchanged between the two parties, and present a report to court.

When asked by journalists why he has filed for an application seeking dismissal of the audit, Fred Muwema had this to say. “We are saying that let the validity and legality of those credit facilities (loans) be decided first before you can audit” He said.

The ruling on the application of the main suit to determine whether the businessman owes loan arrears to the bank is set for 5th October 2020, after which a date for hearing of the case will be set.


Hamis Kiggundu through his companies Ham enterprises and Kiggs International (U) ltd sued DTB branches in Kenya and Uganda for deducting money from his accounts something which the bank contends and said they only acted as per the loan agreement of deducting 30% from Kiggundu’s accounts to recover the credit facilities rendered to him between February 2011 and September 2016

But Court documents filed by the bank in their defense shows that Kiggundu, between February 2011 and September 2016, was granted various credit facilities by the said DTB Banks.

First, via Ham Enterprises Limited, Kiggundu obtained a loan of $6,663,453 and another Sh2.5bn from the DTB (U) to finance his projects in the real estate business.

Later, according to New Vision, he got a facility worth $4.5m through Kiggs International (U) Limited from DTB (K) and mortgaged his properties, which include Plot 328 located at Kawuku on Block 248 Kyadondo, three plots that include 36, 37 and 38 on Folio 1533 Victoria Crescent II situated in Kyadondo and land on Makerere Hill Road on LRV 3716 Folio 10 Plot 923 Block 9.

Documents show that as of January 21, 2020, Kiggundu was in default on payment obligations of $6.298m on the loan facility of $6.663m, as well as sh2.885b on the demand overdraft facility of sh1.5b and the temporary demand overdraft facility of sh1b.

The banks say that Kiggundu was in default on the payment of another $3.662m out of a total loan facility of $4m and another $458,604 on a loan facility of $500,000, as of January 21, 2020.

The DTB consequently served him with a demand notice to either pay up or lose the assets that he submitted as collateral security. The bank threatened to attach a plot on Makerere Hill Road and other prime commercial properties.

Analysts says that Kiggundu’s lawyer is playing delaying tactics aimed at stopping the independent audit as ordered by the court earlier. Kiggundu had wanted court to believe his own audit of loan transactions, but that would amount to injustice to the banks that gave him money-DTB Uganda and DTB Kenya.

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Minister Rukutana charged with attempted murder, remanded




The state minister for Labour, Gender and Economic Development Mwesigwa Rukutana has been remanded to Kyamugorani prison in Mbarara district.

Rukutana appeared before Ntungamo Grade One magistrate Nazifah Namayanja this afternoon from where he was charged with seven offences related to attempted murder, assault, malicious damage, and threatening violence.

Rukutana was captured in a video that went viral on social media showing him grabbing a gun from one of his bodyguards and started shooting at a vehicle belonging to supporters of his political rival Naome Kabasharira. At the time of the incident, Rukutana had just lost the Rushenyi country NRM flag to Kabasharira.

The prosecution alleges that on September 5, 2020, at Kagugu village in Ntungamo district, Rukutana and others still at large assaulted Julius Niwamanya and threatened to kill or injure him together with three others. The others are Stuart Kamukama, Dan Rwibirungi, and Moses Kamukama. 

It is also alleged that Rukutana also willfully and unlawfully damaged a motor vehicle registration number UAR 840X Toyota Rav 4 type which belongs to Moses Muhumuza.

According to the Judiciary public relations officer, Jameson Karemani, Rukutana has not taken a plea of these charges against him since they can only be tried by the chief magistrate who was not in court today.

As a result, the magistrate decided to send him to Kyamugorani, awaiting his return to court on Tuesday.      

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Lira district headquarters closed over COVID-19




Lira district headquarters have been closed after one staff tested positive for COVID-19 last week. 

On Monday morning, district staff were blocked at the gate with only the deputy chief administrative officer, his secretary and the receptionist allowed access to their offices. 

Paul Samuel Mbiiwa, the deputy chief administrative officer says that only heads of department will be allowed at the headquarters while the rest will work from home. He adds that the restriction will help to curb the spread of the virus.

“You see corona is not a joke. We have taken a step at fighting it and that is why you are seeing the staff outside. Even in my office here I do not want people to come if there is anything we can discuss on the phone.”

Francis Okello Olwa, a senior community development officer who doubles as the district spokesperson says that the entire district offices will be fumigated and closed for two days.

Health authorities in the district are planning to take samples from all the staff because they could have interacted with the one who tested positive. Currently, there are 19 COVID-19 patients under treatment at Lira regional referral hospital.     

On Sunday four health workers at the hospital tested positive for COVID-19. Dr Patrick Odongo, a senior medical officer at the hospital also succumbed to the virus.  

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