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POLITICAL GOSSIP

Mbabazi’s wealth at a glance

With the Minister of Security, Amama Mbabazi, in the news for more than a month now on allegations of influencing the NSSF to buy his land in Temangalo at an exorbitant price, his wealth has become a subject of intense debate.

Not to be left out of this debate, Shop Talk managed to obtain Mbabazi’s own declaration of his wealth in accordance with the Leadership Code Act. Below are tit bits:

Date of birth: January 16, 1949.
Family: Wife and several children
Salary: Shs 75m; allowances of Shs 72m per year

Bank accounts:
-Stanbic Kampala Branch
-Stanbic Kihihi Branch
-Housing Finance Co.
-National Bank of Commerce
-Barclays (UK)

Land:
-3 pieces in Kabale valued at Shs 20m; 10m, 5m respectively.
-I ranch in Wakiso valued at Shs 1bn with income of Shs 70m per year.

-Houses:
-3 buildings in Kanungu valued at Shs 200m, 50m, 50m, respectively.
-1 building in Kololo valued at Shs 1bn
-1 building in Lacor, Gulu (value not established).

Vehicles:
-1 benz; 2 trucks [once commercial]

Shares:
Stanbic Bank, National Bank of Commerce, Karubaizi Farmers, New Vision, Kinkizi FM, Gold Trust Consultants, Arma Ltd.

Liabilities
Mortage of about Shs 100m in Housing Finance.

FDC’s 30, 000 cycles and 2011 strategy

FDC will not wait until the last minute to kick-start its 2011 campaign as recent developments seem to suggest.
Last week, the party paraded 600 bicycles before journalists. They are part of a total 30,000 bicycles that the party says it will give to its agents during the 2011 elections. The party estimates that the country has about 30,000 polling stations so the calculation is that each of FDC’s polling agents will have a bicycle. This way, they hope to stem vote theft that is reportedly rampant at polling stations, especially upcountry.
 
It sounds a good strategy indeed, but Shop Talk has some reservations as to whether it will succeed.
First, Besigye said they are going to be distributed soon to enable the mobilisers canvas support for the party. What this means is that three years later, when the elections are due, many of these bicycles could be scrap yard material.
Secondly, it remains to be seen how this will curb vote stealing. Even with their bicycles, FDC poll agents could still be chased away from polling stations by security personnel or even bribed to keep their distance.
Either way, the project is an indication that Uganda’s biggest opposition party wants to take the fight to the NRM come 2011. Shop Talk can’t wait!

Museveni and his ‘security’ briefcases

President Museveni does not take his security lightly and a few years ago, State House decided that photo-journalists must hand in their cameras for a thorough check if they are to be allowed to cover a function presided over by the big man.
Apparently the President had been tipped that some sharp-witted terrorist/assassin could easily hide a bomb inside a camera.

Last week, another security measure was introduced. The President was seen at Kololo Airstrip during the Independence Day celebrations being guarded by two mean-looking bodyguards each holding a briefcase. Apparently the briefcases contain devices that can detect bombs or any other explosive device in good time and a distance. It was such an interesting sight as these men stood by Museveni, one on his right one on his left, as he delivered his speech. The dark suit- clad men’s eyes kept darting from one direction to another in a bid to make sure that no one harmed the President.

Some people in the congregation were heard wondering whether the brief cases contained huge sums of money meant for the Bonna bagaggawale (Prosperity for All) scheme, which Museveni had come to distribute!

Scramble on for Sebunya’s turf

Sebunya Kibirige, the former minister of state for agriculture may be dead but the battle to replace him in Kyadondo North, Wakiso district, is still very much alive.

Already, Shop Talk has gathered from reliable sources that NRM’s Eng. Ian Kyeyune, the Wakiso LC-V chairman, and Levi Zzimbe, a former LC-V chairman for Mpigi, are eyeing the seat. And none is willing to stand down for the other, even after several meetings have been held to secure consensus ahead of the by-election. However, Shop Talk has learnt that Kyeyune is favoured by many on the ground. This is partly because of his record as chairman.

Meanwhile, we understand that DP’s Matia Bwanika who was defeated by Kyeyune to the LC-V seat, is also contemplating running for Kyadondo North. The ever smiling Bwanika is banking on the popularity of his CBS programme, Manya Eddembe Lyo (Know your rights) to win the hearts of voters. FDC’s Sam Kagulire too, could make a come back, having lost to Sebunya in 2006. Watch this space.

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