January 15, 2020 at 1:10 pm #27796
In a blistering attack, Buyaga West County MP Barnabus Tinkasiimire has slammed the ruling NRM party of “deliberately neglecting” the countryside, saying majority of the Uganda rural poor continue to grapple with low household incomes and lack basic necessities of life.
Tinkasiimire said despite ruling Uganda for the last 34 years, Yoweri Museveni’s government had fallen short of economically empowering Ugandans to afford decent housing, medical care and education for their children.
“What type of leadership have you provided when majority of the population live on one meal a day; when you have not helped farmers market their produce; when people can’t afford an air ticket to treat a serious heart condition?” charged Tinkasiimire.
The fiery NRM lawmaker, who spoke to us in an exclusive interview on Wednesday, was reacting to NRM Secretary General Kasule Lumumba’s remarks that the so-called NRM rebel MPs were not invited for the party’s National Conference planned for January 25 at Mandela National Stadium, Namboole.
The main purpose of this conference is to effect amendments to the NRM Constitution.
The National Conference will be proceeded by the Central Executive Committee (CEC) and the National Executive Council (NEC) meetings that will be held on January 23 and 24 respectively.
Lumumba told journalists in Kampala on Tuesday that, “The NRM chairman gave guidance that for those members of Parliament who didn’t move with the party when we were having Constitutional amendments will not be invited and we don’t expect them.”
She was referring to likes of Tinkasiimire and other NRM MPs who voted against the removal of the presidential age limit clause from the constitution.
This paved way for Yoweri Museveni, who has since clocked 75 years, to stand for reelection in 2021.
Under the previous law, Dictator Yoweri Museveni would not have been eligible to seek another term in office.
Lumumba said, “Since they (NRM rebel MPs) will not have invitations, they will not come to attend the national conference. And so when you talk of someone coming to cause havoc, we have already written to the IGP as per the Public Order Management Act (POMA) to offer security at different venues. We expect government to offer security to these Ugandans who are coming to perform their constitutional roles.”
In response, Tinkasiimire said blocking them from attending the conference “is an outright indicator that NRM is being led in a dictatorial way.”
He charged: “Under what law or basis did they decide to block us? If they thought we had broken any rules, they should have taken us to the disciplinary committee.”
Tinkasiimire, who has previously opposed NRM positions on several contentious issues including Museveni’s stay in power, said he remained an elected party MP and member of the Parliament’s NRM Caucus which are mandated by the party’s constitution to attend the national conference.
“Until a decision is made that I am no longer a member of these entities, then I can’t be excluded from this conference,” he observed.
NRM accuses Tinkasiimire and his colleagues – Theodore Ssekikubo (Lwemiyaga), Winfred Niwagaba (Ndorwa East) and Sam Lyomoki among others of fuelling divisions in the party.
But Tinkasiimire says it’s high time the party woke up from slumber to “work for the people in the countryside because poverty is alarming. We are a mass party. We should be working for the prosperity of a few people.”
Asked if he would storm the delegates’ conference, Tinkasiimire observed: “The reason we are being blocked is we wanted to field our presidential nominees – Theodore Ssekikubo and Sam Lyomoki. These are people who are going to transform the country. Museveni has been our candidate but has failed to develop the countryside.”
In Lwemiyaga, Ssekikubo has in recent weeks been taking on security forces in running battles.
Ssekikubo is accused of jumping bail in a 2010 electoral offence case, a charge he denies.
It remains unclear if the conference will take decisions on the party’s candidature in the 2021 presidential elections.
It’s rumoured the delegates will endorse Museveni as the party’s sole candidate in the much-anticipated poll.
SG Lumumba was cagey on the matter.
“The issue of sole candidate cannot arise in this National Conference because we are not going to hold elections. This is a national conference which will majorly handle issues to do with the constitution. And when it comes to holding elections, the Electoral Commission will bring out all the guidelines for the elections..,” said Lumumba.
She quickly added: “However, the Chairman can cause discussion on what he chooses to discuss with members.”
Several gatherings of NRM leaders across the country have since endorsed Museveni as their “sole candidate” in the 2021 polls.January 15, 2020 at 1:25 pm #27801
the MPs that voted against the Presidential Age Limit constitutional amendment
The ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party has been advised to allow all its members, including the MPs that voted against the Presidential Age Limit constitutional amendment in 2017, to attend the forthcoming party delegates conference.
Yesterday, the NRM Secretary General Justine Kasule Lumumba told press that 30 NRM MPs including those who voted against the age limit amendment would not be allowed to participate in the conference scheduled for 25th this month at Namboole stadium.
Lumumba at a press conference, announced that those on this list that wish to attend the event, will have to appear first before the party disciplinary committee.
However, NRM’s Director Legal, Oscar Kihika in a letter dated 15th January 2019, warned Mrs Lumumba against blocking these MPs.
He noted that these MPs are legally still members of the National conference basing on Article 11(2) of NRM constitution.
“To the best of my knowledge, these MPs thus far have not been dismissed from the NRM,” he said.
According to Kasule Lumumba, the so-called rebel MPs will be replaced by Independent MPs who lean towards NRM.January 11, 2021 at 4:40 pm #27919
Facebook shuts down accounts of Ugandan government officials
Facebook has shut a slew of accounts belonging to Ugandan government officials accused of seeking to manipulate public debate ahead of elections Thursday, the internet giant said Monday.
The East African nation is holding presidential and parliamentary elections after a tense and bloody campaign, with incumbent President Yoweri Museveni, 76, facing a stiff challenge from the popstar-turned-politician Bobi Wine, 38.
“This month, we removed a network of accounts and pages in Uganda that engaged in CIB (Coordinated Inauthentic Behaviour) to target public debate ahead of the election,” Facebook’s head of communication for sub-Saharan Africa, Kezia Anim-Addo, said in an email.
“They used fake and duplicate accounts to manage pages, comment on other people’s content, impersonate users, re-share posts in groups to make them appear more popular than they were.”
Anim-Addo said the network was linked to the government ministry of information and communications technology.
“Given the impending election in Uganda, we moved quickly to investigate and take down this network.”
Museveni’s senior press secretary Don Wanyama, who saw both his Facebook and Instagram account shut down, accused the company of seeking to influence the election.
“Shame on the foreign forces that think they can aid and plant a puppet leadership on Uganda by disabling online accounts of (ruling party) NRM supporters,” he said on Twitter.
“You wont take away President Kaguta Museveni” he added, using the president’s second name.
Museveni’s online account is still active but many government officials and members of the ruling party have seen their pages taken down, including a well known blogger and Museveni supporter, a prominent doctor and a senior official in the information ministry.
The president has long accused foreign organisations and elements of backing Wine in a bid to remove his government.
Anim-Addo said over 100 such networks seeking to manipulate public debate have been removed worldwide since 2017.
In December, networks managed from Russia and France — one linked to the French army — were deleted over accusations of interference operations in Africa.
And in October Facebook shut down the page of a conspiracy-fuelled political party in New Zealand accused of spreading disinformation about the coronavirus ahead of elections there.
Social media giants such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others have come under increasing scrutiny over the content they allow to spread on their networks.
They notably blocked US President Donald Trump after Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol last Wednesday.
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