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Besigye gives up on presidential elections, moves to ‘Plan B’

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Kizza Besigye addressing FDC supporters

Four-time presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye has declared that he will not contest for the presidency in the forthcoming 2021 general election.

Besigye announced the decision at the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) headquarters in Najjanankumbi on Wednesday, finally putting an end to the speculation about his candidature. He said he will now move to ‘Plan B’ and leave ‘Plan A’ [elections] for others.  

Besigye has contested for the presidency since 2001, losing the race to incumbent Yoweri Kaguta Museveni according to results released by the Electoral Commission but in all the three previous elections, Ugandan courts agreed that there was vote-rigging but fell short of declaring the elections null and void.

Besigye said he has decided to drop elections as a path for Uganda’s liberation, insisting that he will yet again legitimise Uganda’s sham elections when Museveni is still president. He reiterated his all-time commitment that he will never leave the struggle to overthrow President Museveni’s regime. 

“Never ever imagine that I can leave the struggle, never. If we felt that again moving with both hands is the most efficient way, maybe we would have done that. But trust my judgement, this country will not be free by [Simon] Byabakama [Electoral Commission chairperson] or whatever he’s called going to Kololo to announce that there’s now a new winner who is not Museveni. And for Museveni to come with his hat and hand over power. Those who are waiting for that day when Mr Museveni will come humbly and thank Ugandans for all the things that we have done for him without our permission of course, he will not do so.” said Besigye. 

Before the announcement, Besigye arrived at the FDC headquarters in Najjanankumbi amidst ululations from diehard FDC supporters. He was received by party leaders including the party president Patrick Oboi Amuriat (POA), spokesperson Ibrahim Ssemuju Nganda, lord mayor Erias Lukwago, the party EC chairperson Toterebuka Bamwenda, the vice-chairperson Eastern Region Salaamu Musumba, and several others.

But mini chaos ensued when his supporters started erecting posters bearing his portrait and placards demanding that he picks presidential nomination forms and take part in the 2021 election. However, Nganda asked his supporters to calm down as he prepared to talk to them and the country at large. 

He eventually told the supporters that the struggle to get Museveni out of power will not only rely on elections because Uganda’s democracy has been greatly tampered with.

“Ladies and gentlemen we’re at another crossroad when the junta, the gunmen are organizing another election to legitimize themselves. That is what they are doing. I told you that in 2016 both my hands were busy – this one engaging the election here, this one engaging the fighting here. That is not very efficient, the election here are our ‘plan A’, fighting here is our ‘plan B’. And ‘plan B’ is wide, it is involving, it is my humble decision that I have discussed extensively with my colleagues that we get somebody to lead ‘plan A’ and you leave ‘plan B’ for me.” Besigye said. 

Besigye then commenced his formal speech mainly narrating his journey in elective politics since 2001. He reiterated that he has won elections all the time he has stood against Museveni, but the results were manipulated to keep the incumbent in power.

“As you know they took me to jail, charged me with treason for declaring myself a winner, and I went to court and I said yes; ‘it is true I declared myself, here I am. Try me, let me show you that it is I indeed who won that is why I declared myself winner.’ It is now five years, we’re going into another election, they have never tried me. I am a prisoner of treason, never tried because they don’t want the truth to come out. And since 2016 the then desperate Mr Museveni has been rampaging all over the place. He then created the new electoral commission this one. He created it when he’s not supposed to be in office himself. This Byabakama-commission is itself illegal because it was set up by an illegitimate man.” Besigye added. 

Besigye assured his supporters that he has confidence in all the people who have picked expression of interest forms seeking nomination for the FDC presidential flag, among them, Wasswa Biriggwa the party chairperson and party president Patrick Oboi Amuriat. He added that he will align his support to whoever will be duly nominated and elected presidential candidate for the FDC.

He also pledged his support for other opposition political players both in the 2021 elections and in another strategy of defiance whose details he declined to dwell deep into.

“We’re building a strong front for change. In the ‘plan B’, we move with everybody who wants change whether you have a party or you don’t have a party. I can tell you without a shed of doubt that I have every confidence in our leaders that we have here today. Mulongo Wasswa Birigwa is not new to the challenges of ‘channel A’. I believe I don’t have to talk much about our president POA. POA has been in national politics for decades, there is no corner of this country that he doesn’t know. He also had experience in public service even before coming into election,” Besigye added. 

Besigye’s decision not to contest in the 2021 presidential general elections has generated mixed reactions from several leaders and members of the FDC. Although the announcement was expected by Besigye’s inner circle, it took many party members by surprise.    

Some FDC members said they will pursue other means to ensure that he appears on the 2021 presidential ballot. Harold Kaija, the FDC deputy secretary general asked young party supporters and other members to rest assured that the party is stronger than ever before.    

He said FDC will not only put up a spirited fight in the 2021 elections but also in the ‘plan B’ of defiance led by Besigye. He explained that Besigye’s declaration will only serve to clarify the roles and camps for two groups fighting for the same cause.    

Doreen Nyanjura, the Kampala deputy lord mayor, said the fears of party members, especially young supporters who had high expectations in Besigye’s candidature are understandable. She, however, said Besigye’s announcement doesn’t mean that he is out of the struggle.  

“Our commander is going nowhere, our commander is still around, he’s simply going to take on ‘plan B’ as other commanders take on ‘plan A’. So really this means FDC is going to get stronger because there is division of labour. KB is going to head ‘plan B’ and we’re going to get another commander to head ‘plan A’.  I understand their emotions because personally I got emotional as well. But I had to understand his message that he’s going nowhere and he’s here for the struggle. So our fighters need to be encouraged, they need to give support to KB and to whoever is going to carry our flag because Museveni is still here and I think that is our major enemy.” Nyanjura said. 

Amuriat said the party is set to work with other political organizations in the next elections but on three conditions.   

“If there are agents of Museveni, we have nothing to do with them. The second factor is going to be on the basis of what they expect out of the struggle. The third is what they bring into the struggle. So those are going to be 3 main factors that will determine our operation with anybody who would like to coalesce with us. We’re doing this because we have been in the past been disappointed by some of our friends and how they have treated us. You remember what happened in TDA. You also remember what happened in IPC and so the English say once bitten, twice shy. We’re going to be a little bit shy when dealing with our potential allies, we’ve got to understand them very well,” said Amuriat. 

Besigye’s declaration coincided with the conclusion of the issuance of expression of interest forms for FDC presidential aspirants. FDC Electoral Commission chairperson, Toterebuka Bamwenda described the concluded process as smooth and fruitful. He says they expect Amuriat and Biriggwa to fulfill the requirements and return the forms for nominations next week.   

Besigye’s refusal to participate in the forthcoming elections will be good news to People Power and Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine supporters who have always called on him to step aside for Kyagulanyi. 





Source – observer.ug

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Another blow as Judge throws out Kiggundu’s lawyer Muwema

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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.

Background

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

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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.      





Source – observer.ug

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Lira district headquarters closed over COVID-19

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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.  





Source – observer.ug

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