It was surprising when Dr Kizza Besigye presented himself for nomination as FDC flag bearer for the ‘old post’ – the one he has always fruitlessly contested for.
It was long in coming, especially since he had always indicated he was through with futile attempts at the ballot and would try other means to remove the regime. He also said he wanted to prove more democratic and less stingy for power by handing over to someone new, starting with the FDC party leadership, which went to Gen Mugisha Muntu.
Everybody, however, agrees that there is no law to restrain anybody from becoming a ‘serial contestant’ yet there is a limit on how long an incumbent may stay in office – age limit.
A few days before his declaration, some youthful supporters had lobbied Besigye to do so and even collected ettoffaali for his nomination. Hearty and colourful as it may seem, it is not the urging of those supporters that moved the man to act just like it’s not true that Amama Mbabazi was dragged into the race by the so-called poor youths.
Inwardly, Besigye has never been convinced that it is time to give up. Disbelief – that his fate was sealed in failure – and addiction possessed him: the same addiction that drives those in power is what drives those seeking it. All he needed was a fellow ‘queue jumper’ to remind him of the challenge.
Arguably, Mbabazi’s intention to contest for the presidency unsettled Besigye even more than it did to President Museveni. Besigye’s position as the de facto leader of the opposition in Uganda was threatened; so, he had to come out fast and state that he is still interested in unseating Museveni.
Most surprising, however, is that Besigye is dressing up to contest when there is no assurance that there will be electoral reforms before 2016. Besigye has been hard on the agenda of reforms more than even the need for greater grassroots mobilization.
Also, Besigye must have marked out a short cut and that’s why he has never moved to hold self-confessed vote-rigger Gen David Sejusa by the neck to reclaim his 2006 mysterious victory.
Rather, he fraternizes with him, perhaps in the hope that he can do a ‘2006’ in his favour this time. Once a best man, always a best man, perhaps?
Anti-corruption law welcome
I would like to congratulate members of the 9th parliament for passing the Anti-Corruption Amendment Bill. Given that official reports, including those by the World Bank, have showed that Uganda loses over Shs 500bn annually to corruption scandals, the new law is a significant victory for Ugandan taxpayers.
Once assented to, the new law will empower the state to confiscate properties and assets of officials convicted of corruption, including their relatives.
Recalling Uganda’s Shs 23.9 trillion national budget passed recently amidst widespread objections of insufficient funding to key priority sectors, monies recovered from confiscated wealth will increase future allocations.
It is equally gratifying that in the new law, the net of corruption offenders has been widened to not only cover leaders, but all persons can now be charged with causing financial loss to a bank, credit institution, a public/private body.
On the other hand, given poor enforcement of Uganda’s numerous anti-corruption laws, it is equally imperative that a conducive environment be put in place to ensure that the new law is able to effectively bite. This requires political commitment from the executive to ensure the independence of all anti-corruption institutions.
The government should also increase resource allocation to the inspectorate of government, police CIID, office of the auditor general, PPDA, and courts of law. In the interim, we call upon President Museveni to urgently assent to this bill.
Uganda Debt Network.
Thank you Stanbic’s Atuhaire
A few days before July 3, Stanbic bank sent me a message telling me that my chip and pin ATM card, which would protect me against skimmers, was ready.
At a few minutes past 6pm on July 3, I presented myself at the Stanbic bank branch at Acacia mall for the card. This particular branch closes at 6pm and while I girded myself for a refusal to be served after working hours, I hoped I would find a kind person to help me.
I work out of town and because I leave work after 5pm, it became difficult to beat the 6pm curfew to the bank. I also was not aware that even if I had requested that Stanbic-Acacia mall makes me the new chip and pin card, I could go to any other Stanbic bank branch.
Back to July 3. At the bank, I met one Rachael Atuhaire. She was serving two customers and told me that because it was past work hours, she might not be able to help.
I explained my predicament and she told me to try a branch nearer to my workplace. I told her that that was okay; but couldn’t she help?
Following some thought – she looked rather tired and I would have understood if she had refused – she made me a card.
I would like to thank Atuhaire for her kind heart. She saved me another trip which would have amounted to more time and energy used to chase the same card.
Clarity on The Observer story on UPC
I would like to respond to a newspaper article by Sulaiman Kakaire in the The Observer titled Akena election deepens UPC leadership wrangle that was published on July 6, 2015.
In the article, Kakaire quoted a nonexistent UPC delegate from Iganga called Sarah Kyazike. Busoga sub-region has only two UPC delegates with the name Sarah – Sarah Mutesi from Mayuge and Sarah Birungi from Luuka.
As part of the verification committee of the just-concluded UPC delegates’ consultative meeting cum delegates’ conference, and in consultation with the UPC chairperson of Iganga district, Ayub Mayambala, we have not come across a UPC delegate called Sarah Kyazike.
Second, in the same article, David Pulkol was quoted challenging the legality of the UPC delegates’ conference that was held on July 1, 2015. As a student of law, the UPC delegates’ conference is the supreme organ of the party with unlimited powers in light of upholding the aims and objectives of the party.
As such, what was a UPC delegates’ consultative meeting lawfully turned into a UPC delegates’ conference through a motion moved by Moses Higenyi Kemba, a delegate from Bunyole. The motion was seconded by two members.
However, where any legitimate UPC member feels offended by the decisions of the party’s supreme organ, I advise them to seek court redress.
Dennis Adim Enap,
UPC member, Jinja.